Mission Statement

The Department of English is a community of scholars engaged in research and teaching in the fields of Language and Communication, Literary Theory, Modern English Linguistics, Medieval Studies, Modern English Literature and Culture, and North American Studies. It is one of our foremost aims to provide students with a rich, systematic and up-to-date understanding of these various fields, and to offer a comprehensive curriculum reflecting the state of the art in English studies.

We consider research and teaching to be interdependent and mutually enhancing academic practices. We believe classrooms are where new scholarly perspectives or assumptions are tried and tested. Lectures, seminars and workshops are not simply didactic, but designed to engage fundamental theoretical questions and to tackle a range of methodological issues. Students are encouraged to develop their own research questions and areas of interest. We are committed to interdisciplinarity as evidenced by our collaboration with a number of important research centers in the Faculty of Humanities and beyond.
At the BA level, we aim to familiarize students with the most important theories and methods in language and linguistics, and in literary and cultural studies. We also aim to give them an overview of the literary and linguistic histories of English from the Middle Ages to the present. At the MA level, students specialize in either literary studies or language and linguistics. After completing an intensive programme of study, graduates should have acquired a high degree of English language competence as well as academic communication skills. They should therefore be able to claim professional standing not only in higher education, but also in the media, in publishing, public relations, and similar fields.

We uphold the traditional aims of a humanistic education, such as intellectual independence, critical thinking, and personal development. To allow students to explore their individual abilities, we support extracurricular activities including theatre projects, exhibitions, concerts, poetry events, etc. Students at all levels are also encouraged to take part in the life of our local and international academic communities by, for example, attending guest lectures, conferences, and other interdisciplinary, scholarly events.

We consider intellectual excellence to be directly connected to cultural diversity, and we therefore seek always to uphold the different experiences and perspectives of our staff and students alike. In our research and teaching, we regularly engage issues related to the organization and representation of social difference. We are likewise committed to creating learning environments which are welcoming to, for example, women, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, and people from less advantaged ethnic, national, or economic backgrounds.

This organizational chart (PDF, 77KB) shows the current structure of our department.