Thursday 18 - Friday 19 January 2018, Senate House
Organised by the Institute of English Studies in partnership with the School of English, Newcastle University

REGISTER HEREProvisional Programme

Consortia, collaborative partnerships inside and outside the academy, team research, multi-year funding, impact assessment, international frameworks, the legacy arrangements for large awards …. There are many indications that humanities research is developing at a new scale and in new directions. What these have in common is a requirement to ‘think bigger’ (and perhaps think differently) than hitherto.

New technologies from fast communications to big data and on-line repositories invite expansion, while many accept that humanistic knowledge should reach out to wider publics and interests. Increasingly, it is said that interdisciplinary research can speak more successfully to complex human problems, and that, in a connected world, research needs to be international, global and partnered.

How are we in English – the largest of the humanities disciplines – adapting to these changes? This conference speaks to this, focussing on five areas: partnership working, public engagement, interdisciplinarity, digital innovation and the international context for humanities research. How are collaborative partnerships best developed? How might the humanities become more publicly present? What are the dos and don’ts of interdisciplinary work, and the potential of digital technologies for transforming literary research? What is the international context, and why and how should we think globally?

The conference is organised by the Institute of English Studies (IES) in the School of Advanced Study (SAS) at the University of London in partnership with the School of English at the University of Newcastle. It follows from the huge success of the co-sponsored ‘English: Shared Futures’ conference in July in Newcastle, attended by over 550 people, organised by The English Association, University English, The Institute for English Studies and NAWE. It speaks to similar issues of remaking disciplinary identity, common purpose and the practicalities of working in English at the present time, and it asks: how do we take our shared futures forward? 

The conference will be organised in strands with convenors as below. The format for each will be provocations by leading figures followed by workshop discussion. Strands will be held sequentially and not simultaneously so attendees can contribute to everything.


Partnership working:              Professor Dinah Birch (Liverpool)

Public engagement:               Professor Sarah Churchwell (SAS)

Interdisciplinarity:                   Professor Rick Rylance (SAS)

Digital Futures:                       Professor Martin Eve (Birkbeck) and Professor Jane Winters (SAS)

International research:           Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge (UEA) and Professor Dame Marina Warner


Jenny Richards (Newcastle)

Rick Rylance (IES)

  • £40 Standard
  • £25 Concessions

Please click the REGISTER HERE button below to sign up.

The School of Advanced Study is part of the central University of London. The School takes its responsibility to visitors with special needs very seriously and will endeavour to make reasonable adjustments to its facilities in order to accommodate the needs of such visitors. If you have a particular requirement, please feel free to discuss it confidentially with the organiser in advance of the event taking place.

Enquiries: Events Officer, Institute of English Studies, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU; Email: