Faculty of Languages and Cultures
Six of the academic departments are devoted to teaching and research in the languages, literatures and cultures of Africa, China and Inner Asia, Japan and Korea, the Near and Middle East, South Asia, and South East Asia, with the seventh teaching and conducting research in Linguistics. The Language Centre caters to the needs of non-degree students and governmental and non-governmental organisations. It maintains a huge portfolio of courses, including year-long diploma programmes, weekly evening classes in about 40 different African and Asian languages, and tailored intensive one-to-one courses.
The research conducted and published by the academic staff of the Faculty focuses on a wide range of topics in the languages, literatures, and cultures (both classical and popular) of Asia and Africa.
Their teaching is in three main areas:
- language competence acquisition;
- textual and cultural studies - both comparative and language-specific, and covering not only 'literature' in a strict sense but also visual media, performance, folklore, translation etc.;
- language studies with linguistics at its core - including the prestigious Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project.
The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise produced healthy results for the Faculty of Languages and Cultures, which submitted its research outputs to the Asian Studies, Middle Eastern and African Studies and Linguistics sub-panels. These are subject areas in which good teaching draws heavily upon the quality of the research conducted. More than 50% of all research outputs were assessed to be either of world-leading quality or internationally excellent. We were judged to be the national leader in Asian Studies by a significant margin, with 65% of our research in the world-leading and internationally excellent categories. The Faculty successfully led a bid, in collaboration with University College London, for funding from HEFCE for a Centre of Excellence in the Teaching and Learning of Languages of the Wider World. The Centre came into existence in 2005.
The Faculty is also home to the Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS).
While SOAS as a whole represents the most substantial concentration in the Western world of expertise dedicated to the study of Africa, the Middle East and Asia, the Faculty of Languages and Cultures is heavily committed to teaching and research that is grounded in a knowledge of the principal languages and cultures of two-thirds of humankind.
Key Faculty post holders are:
- Dean of Faculty: Professor Anne Pauwels
- Associate Dean (Undergraduate) Dr Francesca Orsini
- Associate Dean (Masters) Dr Monik Charette
- Associate Dean (Research) Dr Rachel Harrison
- Associate Head of the Department of Africa Dr Martin Orwin
- Head of the Department of China and Inner Asia and Head of Department of Japan and Korea Professor Andrew Lo
- Associate Head of the Department of Japan and Korea Professor Andrew Gerstle
- Head of the Department of Linguistics and Head of Department of Africa Professor Irina Nikolaeva
- Head of the Department of Near and Middle East Dr Wen-chin Ouyang
- Head of the Department of South Asia and Head of the Department of South East Asia Dr Dana Healy
- Interim Head of SOAS Language Centre Dr Gulnara Stover
The Faculty Office is located on the third floor of the Philips building at the School's Russell Square campus. This Office has replaced individual departmental offices and is the first point of contact for staff and students. (NB The first point of contact for students studying the MA / PG Diploma in International Studies and Diplomacy is the CISD office, room F303, 3rd floor, Faber Building.)
Opening hours for students and visitors are 10am-4pm, Monday to Friday (10am-12noon and 2pm-4pm during vacations).
Key contact points are as follows:
- 020 7898 4399