The Institute of English Studies is one of nine member Institutes of the School of Advanced Study of the University of London. The Institute started life as the Centre for English Studies in 1991 and became a Programme of the School of Advanced Study on its foundation in 1994. The University Council conferred institute status on 2 December 1998, and it officially became the Institute of English Studies on 1 January 1999. Since then it has grown to the point where it now runs twenty research seminar series and up to twenty-five conferences a year, as well as major externally funded research programmes and post-graduate degrees.

Its mission is to:

  • Promote advanced study and research in English Studies in the wider national and international academic community.
  • Facilitate academic discussion and the exchange of ideas through its comprehensive events programme.
  • Provide a centre for excellence in English Language, literature, palaeography and the history of the book.
  • Offer opportunities which promote excellence in English Studies, by means of events, fellowships, research training, consultancy, and publications.