School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics



Our staff continue to honour a distinguished tradition of research within the School.

Special collections in the Robinson Library

The first Chair of English was established in the College of Physical Sciences at Newcastle in 1898 (known since 1909 as the Joseph Cowen Chair). A separate Chair in English Language was founded in 1964.

Following in the tradition of such eminent scholars as Ernst Honigmann and Barbara Strang, our staff continue to produce world-leading research in traditional areas of literary and linguistic studies.

They have also been at the forefront of the development of new research fields, including:

  • creative writing
  • postcolonial literature
  • children's literature
  • film
  • the origins of language


The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 assessed the quality of research in the School. English Language and Literature at Newcastle has been ranked 3rd in the UK in the REF and was ranked 1st for impact.

See the full REF results for English.


There is expertise in the School on a great many aspects of literature and language, from linguistic theory to language acquisition and Tyneside dialect to the modern Indian novel.

Our research is united by three core aims:

  1. We aim to cement and enhance our tradition of excellent critical, historical, theoretical and creative scholarship across a full range of periods, genres and linguistic research areas.
  2. We want to expand and deepen our research in certain key areas of particular distinction, especially in new and developing fields in which we are contributing to the shaping of the discipline.
  3. We seek to initiate and sustain research collaborations with regional, national and international partners, particularly with regard to the use and development of archival sources for our research.

Scholarly communication

We are committed to communicating our work as widely as possible, especially to audiences outside universities. Our research appears in many forms:

  • scholarly editions and monographs
  • scripts
  • novels and poetry collections
  • films
  • exhibitions

We are determined to ensure that, in addition to students and academics, our research has an impact on all sorts of people and organisations. This includes cultural institutions and policy makers, and indeed anyone interested in literature and language.

Principal subject areas

More detail on our research can be found through our principal subject areas: