Welcome to the Department of English Literature, one of the oldest and most prestigious University departments of English in the UK. Its first Professor, John Nicholl (1833-1894), studied at Oxford before returning to his native city to take up the Regius Chair of English Literature in 1862, a post which he held until his retirement in 1889. The position has since been been filled by some of the country’s most distinguished literary scholars, among them A.C Bradley, Sir Walter Raleigh, Peter Alexander, and Stephen Prickett, and it is currently held by Professor Nigel Leask. A second endowed Professorship, the Bradley Chair, was created in 1965 and has been held by such notable figures as John Bryce, Andrew Hook, and Clifford Siskin, and is currently occupied by Professor Murray Pittock.
The Department, which was incorporated in the confederal School of English and Scottish Language and Literature in 1996, aims to deliver high quality teaching and learning experience, based on our unrivalled range of scholarship and critical inquiry.
The School of English and Scottish Language and Literature was delighted with our excellent results in RAE 2008. Not only did we return the largest number of active researchers in Scotland — we submitted all our staff — and the third largest in the UK, but 70% of our research was rated as either “world-leading” (35%) or”internationally excellent” (35%). Using various measures of research achievement, we are ranked between third and eighth in the UK. This result demonstrates our status as a major institution for the study of English and Scottish language and literature, and builds on our achievement of a 5*-rating in RAE 2001.
In these pages, you will find detailed descriptions of all our courses, along with details of seminars, conferences and other academic events, past, present and forthcoming. You can find out about the staff of the Department and, in some cases, read essays and articles by them. I hope you enjoy your visit.