Centre for English Studies
The Centre for English Studies at SOAS is part of the School of Arts, and places the academic study of English literatures in the global setting of Africa, South Asia, the Near and Middle-East, and their diasporas.
At SOAS, we offer unmatched expertise in the creative, historical, cultural, political and social dimensions of these contexts. Our work in the Centre celebrates the centrality of diverse traditions and representations of Anglophone literary culture, emphasising interdisciplinarity and a range of literatures in English and in translation.
As part of the School of Arts undergraduate curriculum review, from 2020 we are no longer accepting applications for the BA English programme. See more details on the Centre for English Studies programme pages.
At SOAS, we focus on taking English beyond the curriculum choices and research topics that have historically dominated the discipline. From within our specialist institution, we offer an exciting approach to the field: an approach defined by its global outlook and its commitment to studying new voices alongside more established authors and texts. From its beginnings, English at SOAS has taken a decolonised curriculum seriously. The Centre provides a crucial hub for staff and students at SOAS, and those beyond, to connect with urgent global conversations addressing the creative and critical responses of literary study to the complex challenges of the contemporary world. Innovative, interrogative, and inclusive, we foster teaching and research that is both global and local in its engagement with metropolitan, cosmopolitan and island histories.
English at SOAS looks to its own location and literary heritage in Bloomsbury, London’s famous Knowledge Quarter. From our position in the Global 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. As a student at SOAS, you will have instant access to a fantastic professional network in the heart of a world-leading literary city: a place to browse diverse and comprehensive bookshops; to visit unique libraries and archives, such as the renowned British Library; and to meet inspirational teachers and researchers, like-minded peers, and established and emerging authors.
Honorary degree J. M. Coetzee and Graca Machel - SOAS Graduation
Professor JM Coetzee, Honorary Doctorate, 2015 Graduation