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Centres and Institutes

English Studies at SOAS

Studying English at SOAS offers an exciting approach that brings new voices and a global discipline to our specialist institution.  Building on existing strengths and expertise in literatures, languages and linguistics from around the world, English at SOAS also looks to its own location and literary heritage in the heart of Bloomsbury.  From our position in the ‘North’ and particularly London, we are interested in the ways in which English - in all its variations as a field of literary study - has long been in dialogue with its neighbours in the northern hemisphere and across the Global South.  Our vision is an interrogative one - cutting edge, deeply committed to interdisciplinary research and teaching across the humanities, and engaged with metropolitan, cosmopolitan and island histories. English at SOAS is truly international and the first degree of its kind in the UK. 

At SOAS you will be in a fantastic professional network in the literary hub of the capital: a place to meet like-minded peers, but also alumni, staff, and visiting speakers.  Our new ‘Conversations in Bloomsbury’ series, launched in 2015, takes its inspiration from the book by Mulk Raj Anand and our own Faber Building, where T. S. Eliot, the famous poet and dramatist, worked as an editorial director when it was the home of independent publishing house Faber & Faber.

Many novelists, poets, journalists, theatre directors and performers have studied at SOAS: Jung Chang, Zeinab Badawi, Saira Shah, Freya Stark, MK Asante, Ishtiyaq Shukri, Willis Barnstone, among others.  Honorary graduates and fellows also include award-winning writers J. M. Coetzee, Ben Okri, Wole Soyinka, and Meera Syal. See our honorary fellows and honorary graduates pages.

The English degrees at SOAS place the academic study of English language and literature in the global setting of Asia and Africa, where SOAS has unmatched expertise in linguistic, cultural, political and social contexts.

Honorary degree J. M. Coetzee and Graca Machel - SOAS Graduation 2015

J. M. Coetzee & Graca Machel Graduation 2015

SOAS Graduation 2015 Honorary Degree: Professor J. M. Coetzee Citation: Dr Kai Easton (pdf; 64kb)  

Teachers on the English programme include: