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Faculty of English Language and Literature

The Faculty of English Language and Literature is by far the largest English Department in the UK, with over 75 permanent postholders, a further 70 Faculty members, 900 undergraduates and 300 postgraduates. The Faculty has a very distinguished research and teaching record, covering all periods of English Literature.
Oxford’s English Faculty is one of the most illustrious Schools of English in the world. Established in 1894, it has numbered among its members some of the most important critics and scholars in the field, including J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Edmund Blunden, Nevill Coghill, Helen Gardner, Richard Ellmann, Terry Eagleton, and many others. We are now home to nearly eighty Professors, Readers, and Lecturers, with about the same number again of Tutors and Research Fellows based in Colleges. At any one time, there are roughly a thousand students studying within the Faculty at undergraduate level, and another three hundred at graduate level in the largest English graduate school in the country.
Traditionally teaching and research in the Faculty has covered the entire history of literature in English from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present day, along with language studies. More recent growth areas include world literature and film studies.

Series associated with Faculty of English Language and Literature

"British" World War One Poetry: An Introduction
Approaching Shakespeare
Broadcast Media
Censorship in Literature in South Africa
Centre for the Study of the Book
Challenging the Canon
D.H. Lawrence
Edward Lear's Feelings
English at Oxford
English Graduate Conference 2012
Faculty of English - Introductions
George Eliot
Great Writers Inspire
Great Writers Inspire at Home
History of the Eighteenth Century in Ten Poems
Indian Traces in Oxford
Interviews on Great Writers
Leonard Woolf's The Village in the Jungle (1913): A Day Symposium
Literature and Form
Literature, Art and Oxford
Medieval English
Modern Fairies
MSt English Language
Not Shakespeare: Elizabethan and Jacobean Popular Theatre
Oscar Wilde
Oxford Writers' House Talks
Poetry with Simon Armitage
Professor of Poetry
Samuel Johnson
Shakespeare's first folio
Staging Shakespeare
The End of Journalism
Tolkien at Oxford
War and Representation
Writers in Dialogue
# Episode Title Description People Date
201 Creative Commons Literature and Form 2: Chapters Dr. Catherine Brown offers a series of talks introducing different writing forms and their use in great novels: In the second lecture, Brown talks about the ways in which writers choose to break up their works into chapters, parts, and volumes. Catherine Brown 21 May 2012
202 Creative Commons Literature and Form 1: Unreliable Narrators Dr. Catherine Brown offers a series introducing different writing forms and their use in great novels: In the first lecture, Brown discusses the use of the unreliable narrator, particularly in Nabokov's Lolita and McEwan's Atonement. Catherine Brown 21 May 2012
203 Creative Commons What is a Great Writer? An academic panel discusses the question. In this panel discussion from the Great Writers Inspire Engage Event workshop, Dr Seamus Perry, Dr Margaret Kean, Professor Peter McDonald and Dr Ankhi Mukherjee discuss what we mean when we talk about greatness in writing. Seamus Perry, Margaret Kean, Peter McDonald, Ankhi Mukherjee 15 May 2012
204 Creative Commons Julian Thompson on Wilkie Collins Dr. Julian Thompson considers how Wilkie Collins's fiction was pioneering across a variety of genres, including detective fiction and gothic thrillers. Julian Thompson 15 May 2012
205 Creative Commons Chaucer Professor Daniel Wakelin discusses the work of Chaucer and explains how he was one of the first to use everyday spoken English as a literary language in the 14th Century. Daniel Wakelin 17 Apr 2012
206 Creative Commons Ezra Pound Dr Rebecca Beasley explains why we should read Pound, someone she considers as the central figure in early 20th Century poetry movements. Rebecca Beasley 10 Apr 2012
207 Creative Commons Mary Leapor Dr Jennifer Batt talks about Mary Leapor, an 18th Century kitchen maid who wrote accomplished verses and won accolades from literary society. Jennifer Batt 27 Mar 2012
208 Creative Commons DH Lawrence 7. Reception History Catherine Brown gives the Seventh and final lecture in the DH Lawrence series. Catherine Brown 19 Mar 2012
209 Creative Commons DH Lawrence 6. Birds, Beasts and Children Catherine Brown gives the sixth lecture in the DH Lawrence series. Catherine Brown 19 Mar 2012
210 Creative Commons John Milton Dr Anna Beer shares a few short extracts of Milton's poem Lycidas and discusses what they show about Milton's very special qualities as a writer. Anna Beer 15 Mar 2012
211 Creative Commons The Lure of the East: the Oriental and Philosophical Tale in Eighteenth-Century England Professor Ros Ballaster discusses the objectives of oriental tales published in the second half of the 18th Century which use the sheer power of storytelling to conjure up alternative worlds. Ros Ballaster 13 Mar 2012
212 Creative Commons Only Collect: An Introduction to the World of the Poetic Miscellany Dr Abigail Williams, Director of the Digital Miscellanies Index, explains how these popular collections of poetry designed to suit contemporary tastes were used in the 18th Century. Abigail Williams 09 Mar 2012
213 Creative Commons Why Dickens? Dr Robert Douglas-Fairhurst talks of Dickens' life and influences and why these have made his works so popular. Robert Douglas-Fairhurst 02 Mar 2012
214 Creative Commons DH Lawrence 5. The Alps Catherine Brown gives the fifth lecture in the DH Lawrence series. Catherine Brown 28 Feb 2012
215 Creative Commons DH Lawrence 4. The World at Large Catherine Brown gives the fourth lecture in the DH Lawrence series. Catherine Brown 28 Feb 2012
216 Creative Commons DH Lawrence 3. Christianity Catherine Brown gives the third lecture in the DH Lawrence series. Catherine Brown 28 Feb 2012
217 Creative Commons The Tragedie Of King Lear. ePub version of text THE TRAGEDIE OF KING LEAR. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 22 Feb 2012
218 Creative Commons King Lear Showing how generations of critics - and Shakespeare himself - have rewritten the ending of King Lear, this sixteenth Approaching Shakespeare lecture engages with the question of tragedy and why it gives pleasure. Emma Smith 22 Feb 2012
219 Creative Commons DH Lawrence 2. Humour Catherine Brown gives the second lecture in the DH Lawrence series. Catherine Brown 15 Feb 2012
220 Creative Commons DH Lawrence 1. Consciousness Catherine Brown gives her first lecture in the D.H. Lawrence series. Catherine Brown 15 Feb 2012
221 Creative Commons Babbling a Dialect of France: Loanwords, French, and Johnson's Dictionary Professor Mugglestone discusses the concept of loanwords in relationship to Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language. Lynda Mugglestone 13 Feb 2012
222 Creative Commons The life and death of King Iohn. ePub version of text The life and death of King Iohn. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 10 Feb 2012
223 Creative Commons King John At the heart of King John is the death of his rival Arthur: this fifteenth lecture in the Approaching Shakespeare series looks at the ways history and legitimacy are complicated in this plotline. Emma Smith 10 Feb 2012
224 Creative Commons J.M. Coetzee Professor Peter McDonald gives a talk on the work of South African Nobel Laureate, J.M. Coetzee. Peter McDonald 07 Feb 2012
225 Creative Commons Olive Schreiner Professor Elleke Boehmer gives a talk on Olive Schreiner (1855-1920), the South African novelist, pioneering feminist, and anti-imperialist polemicist. Elleke Boehmer 07 Feb 2012
226 Creative Commons Katherine Mansfield and Rhythm Magazine Dr Faith Binckes explains why modernist short story writer and critic Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923) is a great writer, highlighting her involvement with the 1911-1913 periodical Rhythm, edited by her second husband John Middleton Murry. Faith Binckes 07 Feb 2012
227 Creative Commons George Eliot - A Very Large Brain Dr Catherine Brown gives a talk on George Eliot and her influences. Catherine Brown 07 Feb 2012
228 Creative Commons William Blake Dr David Fallon introduces the poetry, painting, and engraving of William Blake, focusing on the imaginative and visionary aspects of Blake's work and his desire to break the publics 'mind-forg'd manacles'. David Fallon 07 Feb 2012
229 Creative Commons 18th Century Labouring Class Poetry Dr Jennifer Batt gives a talk on Stephen Duck, one of the 18th Century labouring-class poets. Jennifer Batt 07 Feb 2012
230 Creative Commons Jonathan Swift and the Art of Undressing Dr Abigail Williams gives a talk on Jonathan Swift and the Art of Undressing. Abigail Williams 07 Feb 2012
231 Creative Commons Beowulf Dr Francis Leneghan gives a talk on Beowulf, one of the most important works in Anglo-Saxon literature. Francis Leneghan 07 Feb 2012
232 Creative Commons Shakespeare and the Stage Professor Tiffany Stern gives a talk on William Shakespeare and how his plays were performed in Elizabethan England. Tiffany Stern 07 Feb 2012
233 Creative Commons Pericles, Prince of Tyre Pericles has been on the margins of the Shakespearean canon: this fourteenth lecture in the Approaching Shakespeare series shows some of its self-conscious artistry and contemporary popularity. Emma Smith 01 Feb 2012
234 Creative Commons The Tragedy of Richard the Third: with the Landing of Earle Richmond, and the Battell at Bosworth Field. ePub version of text The Tragedy of Richard the Third: with the Landing of Earle Richmond, and the Battell at Bosworth Field. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 25 Jan 2012
235 Creative Commons Richard III In this thirteenth lecture in the Approaching Shakespeare series the focus is on the inevitability of the ending of Richard III: does the play endorse Richmond's final victory? Emma Smith 25 Jan 2012
236 Creative Commons The Comedie of Errors. ePub version of text The Comedie of Errors. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 23 Jan 2012
237 Creative Commons The Comedy of Errors Lecture 12 in the Approaching Shakespeare series asks how seriously we can take the farcical exploits of Comedy of Errors, drawing out the play's serious concerns with identity and selfhood. Emma Smith 23 Jan 2012
238 Creative Commons The Joys of Cricket This podcast looks at cricket seen through eighteenth-century eyes, focussing on a poem by James Dance, called 'Cricket: An Heroic Poem.'. Adam Rounce 12 Dec 2011
239 Creative Commons George Eliot 3. Reception History In this third and final podcast, Dr Catherine Brown discusses the popularity of George Eliot's work in the Victorian period, which led to her status as a sage and the steady accumulation of her wealth. Catherine Brown 05 Dec 2011
240 Creative Commons History of English Pronunciation Do we really know what Chaucer's poetry sounded like? Professor Simon Horobin introduces evidence that gives us an insight into the history of English pronunciation and explores what it tells us about how and why changes in language take place. Simon Horobin 30 Nov 2011
241 Creative Commons The First Part of Henry the Fourth, with the Life and Death of Henry Sirnamed Hot-spvrre. ePub version of text The First Part of Henry the Fourth, with the Life and Death of HENRY Sirnamed HOT-SPVRRE. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 16 Nov 2011
242 Creative Commons Henry IV part 1 Like generations of theatre-goers, this lecture concentrates on the (large) figure of Sir John Falstaff and investigates his role in Henry IV part 1. Lecture 11 in the Approaching Shakespeare series. Emma Smith 16 Nov 2011
243 Creative Commons George Eliot 2. Genre and Justice The second lecture in the series on George Eliot considers how narrative justice operates in relation to the genres of comedy and tragedy, particularly in 'Adam Bede' and 'Daniel Deronda'. Catherine Brown 15 Nov 2011
244 Creative Commons The Tempest. ePub version of text THE TEMPEST. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 14 Nov 2011
245 Creative Commons The Tempest That the character of Prospero is a Shakespearean self-portrait is a common reading of The Tempest: this tenth Approaching Shakespeare lecture asks whether that is a useful reading of the play. Emma Smith 14 Nov 2011
246 Creative Commons George Eliot 1. Intellect and Consciousness In this lecture Dr Catherine Brown brings her discussion to focus primarily upon Eliot's atypical novella 'The Lifted Veil' and her novel 'Middlemarch'. Catherine Brown 10 Nov 2011
247 Creative Commons The Tragedie Of Anthonie, and Cleopatra. ePub version of text THE TRAGEDIE OF Anthonie, and Cleopatra. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 10 Nov 2011
248 Creative Commons Antony and Cleopatra What kind of tragedy is this play, with its two central figures rather than a singular hero? The ninth lecture in the Approaching Shakespeare series tries to find out. Emma Smith 10 Nov 2011
249 Creative Commons Shakespeare and the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) Professor Charlotte Brewer introduces the methodology behind the creation of the OED and how current activity to update the Dictionary may reveal new evidence about Shakespeare's impact on the English Language. Charlotte Brewer 08 Nov 2011
250 Realism Dr Catherine Brown, English Faculty, Oxford, gives a lecture exploring the nature of realism in verbal and visual art. Catherine Brown 08 Nov 2011
251 Creative Commons The life and death of King Richard the Second. ePub version of text The life and death of King Richard the Second. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 01 Nov 2011
252 Creative Commons Richard II Lecture eight in the Approaching Shakespeare series asks the question that structures Richard II: does the play suggest Henry Bolingbroke's overthrow of the king was justified? Emma Smith 01 Nov 2011
253 Creative Commons Walcott and Naipaul: History and Myth Catherine Brown, Lecturer in English Literature, compares West Indian writers Derek Walcott and Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul on their attitudes towards history and myth. Catherine Brown 26 Oct 2011
254 Creative Commons English and Gender Professor Deborah Cameron explores some of the key theories surrounding the use of language by women and men. Are we really so different? Deborah Cameron 21 Oct 2011
255 Creative Commons Introduction to the MSt in English Language Professor Deborah Cameron introduces the new Master's course in English Language offered by the University of Oxford. Deborah Cameron 21 Oct 2011
256 Creative Commons Twelfe Night, Or what you will. ePub version of text Twelfe Night, Or what you will. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 20 Oct 2011
257 Creative Commons Twelfth Night The seventh Approaching Shakespeare lecture takes a minor character in Twelfth Night - Antonio - and uses his presence to open up questions of sexuality, desire and the nature of romantic comedy. Emma Smith 20 Oct 2011
258 Creative Commons The Lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronicus. ePub version of text The Lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronicus / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 19 Oct 2011
259 Creative Commons Titus Andronicus Focusing in detail on one particular scene, and on critical responses to it, this sixth Approaching Shakespeare lecture on Titus Andronicus deals with violence, rhetoric, and the nature of dramatic sensationalism. Emma Smith 19 Oct 2011
260 Creative Commons Poetry and Tobacco This podcast looks at the relationship between tobacco and poetic inspiration, through some popular comic poems. Abigail Williams, Laurence Williams, John Clargo 03 Aug 2011
261 Creative Commons You are the Earth, You are the Sky; How one man become the dominant force in the British media's coverage of sport. Does that mean he controls sport itself? Final lecture of the 2011 News International Professorship of Broadcast Media lecture series on Sport and Broadcast Media. Matthew Engel 19 Apr 2011
262 Creative Commons From Reith to wreath; The Great Days of Sport on BBC TV and how they ended Matthew Engel, the journalist and sports writer and 2011 New International Professor of Broadcast Media gives his third lecture in the 2011 series entitled; Please, mister, can we have our ball back? Sport, the media, and the people. Matthew Engel 19 Apr 2011
263 Creative Commons It's the Cat's Whisker: How Sport and the Media developed together, from Mesopotamia to John Logie Baird Matthew Engel, the journalist and sports writer and 2011 News International Broadcast Media Professor gives his second lecture in the 2011 series entitled 'Please, mister, can we have our ball back? Sport, the media, and the people. Matthew Engel 19 Apr 2011
264 Creative Commons Life and death? No, Much more Important than that; How Sport turned into Big Business and a Global Obsession Matthew Engel, Journalist and Sports Writer and 2011 News International Visiting Professor of Broadcast Media gives the first of the 2011 series on Broadcast media, entitled; Please, mister, can we have our ball back? Sport, the media, and the people. Matthew Engel 19 Apr 2011
265 Tolkien's Languages These lectures cover an introduction to J R R Tolkien's career, show how medieval literature influenced his fiction, and consider the wider scheme Tolkien worked on linking his mythology to historical and other mythical events. Elizabeth Solopova 21 Mar 2011
266 Tolkien and Medieval Literature These lectures cover an introduction to J R R Tolkien's career, show how medieval literature influenced his fiction, and consider the wider scheme Tolkien worked on linking his mythology to historical and other mythical events. Elizabeth Solopova 21 Mar 2011
267 J R R Tolkien 'Beyond the Shoreless Sea' These lectures cover an introduction to J R R Tolkien's career, show how medieval literature influenced his fiction, and consider the wider scheme Tolkien worked on linking his mythology to historical and other mythical events. Stuart Lee 21 Mar 2011
268 J R R Tolkien: Medievalist and Mythmaker These lectures cover an introduction to J R R Tolkien's career, show how medieval literature influenced his fiction, and consider the wider scheme Tolkien worked on linking his mythology to historical and other mythical events. Stuart Lee 21 Mar 2011
269 Creative Commons Brought to Book: Book History and the Idea of Literature Professor Paul Eggert, University of New South Wales, gives the 17th Annual D.F. McKenzie lecture on the subject of books and gives a case study of Henry Lawson, Australian author of Where the Billy Boils. Paul Eggert 09 Mar 2011
270 Creative Commons The Winters Tale. ePub version of text The Winter's Tale. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 09 Nov 2010
271 Creative Commons The Winter's Tale How we can make sense of a play that veers from tragedy to comedy and stretches credulity in its conclusion? That's the topic for this fifth Approaching Shakespeare lecture on The Winter's Tale. Emma Smith 09 Nov 2010
272 Creative Commons The Tragedie Of Macbeth. ePub version of text THE TRAGEDIE OF MACBETH. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 02 Nov 2010
273 Creative Commons Macbeth In this fourth Approaching Shakespeare lecture the question is one of agency: who or what makes happen the things that happen in Macbeth? Emma Smith 02 Nov 2010
274 Creative Commons Measvre, For Measure. ePub version of text MEASVRE, For Measure. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 27 Oct 2010
275 Creative Commons Measure for Measure The third Approaching Shakespeare lecture, on Measure for Measure, focuses on the vexed question of this uncomic comedy's genre. Emma Smith 27 Oct 2010
276 Creative Commons The Tempest. ePub version of text THE TEMPEST. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010
277 Creative Commons The Two Gentlemen of Verona. ePub version of text THE Two Gentlemen of Verona. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010
278 Creative Commons The Merry Wiues of Windsor. ePub version of text THE Merry Wiues of Windsor. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010
279 Creative Commons Measvre, For Measure. ePub version of text MEASVRE, For Measure. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010
280 Creative Commons The Comedie of Errors. ePub version of text The Comedie of Errors. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010
281 Creative Commons Much adoe about Nothing. ePub version of text Much adoe about Nothing. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010
282 Creative Commons Loues Labour's lost. ePub version of text Loues Labour's lost. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010
283 Creative Commons A Midsommer Nights Dreame. ePub version of text A MIDSOMMER Nights Dreame. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010
284 Creative Commons The Merchant of Venice. ePub version of text The Merchant of Venice. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010
285 Creative Commons As you Like it. ePub version of text As you Like it. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010
286 Creative Commons The Taming of the Shrew. ePub version of text THE Taming of the Shrew. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010
287 Creative Commons All's Well, that Ends Well. ePub version of text ALL'S Well, that Ends Well. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010
288 Creative Commons Twelfe Night, Or what you will. ePub version of text Twelfe Night, Or what you will. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010
289 Creative Commons The Winters Tale. ePub version of text The Winters Tale. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010
290 Creative Commons The life and death of King Iohn. ePub version of text The life and death of King Iohn. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010
291 Creative Commons The life and death of King Richard the Second. ePub version of text The life and death of King Richard the Second. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010
292 Creative Commons The First Part of Henry the Fourth, with the Life and Death of Henry Sirnamed Hot-spvrre. ePub version of text The First Part of Henry the Fourth, with the Life and Death of HENRY Sirnamed HOT-SPVRRE. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010
293 Creative Commons The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, Containing his Death: and the Coronation of King Henry the Fift. ePub version of text The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, Containing his Death: and the Coronation of King Henry the Fift. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010
294 Creative Commons The Life of Henry the Fift. ePub version of text The Life of Henry the Fift. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010
295 Creative Commons The first Part of Henry the Sixt. ePub version of text The first Part of Henry the Sixt. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010
296 Creative Commons The second Part of Henry the Sixt, with the death of the Good Duke Hvmfrey. ePub version of text The second Part of Henry the Sixt, with the death of the Good Duke HVMFREY. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010
297 Creative Commons The third Part of Henry the Sixt, with the death of the Duke of Yorke. ePub version of text The third Part of Henry the Sixt, with the death of the Duke of YORKE. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010
298 Creative Commons The Tragedy of Richard the Third: with the Landing of Earle Richmond, and the Battell at Bosworth Field. ePub version of text The Tragedy of Richard the Third: with the Landing of Earle Richmond, and the Battell at Bosworth Field. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010
299 Creative Commons The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight. ePub version of text The Famous History of the Life of King HENRY the Eight. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010
300 Creative Commons The Tragedie Of Troylus and Cressida. ePub version of text THE TRAGEDIE OF Troylus and Cressida. / Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. William Shakespeare 26 Oct 2010