Department of English

English is the language of globalisation, the first language for almost 400 million people and the language of communication for many more. English at Aarhus University is one of the largest and most international subject areas at the Faculty of Arts, with researchers from the UK, the USA, Ireland, India, Germany and, of course, Denmark. The research covers three broad disciplines - linguistics, literature, and social /historical/media studies - and regions in which English is the primary language - the British Isles, the United States and the English-speaking post-colonial world.

Research environment

The linguistic research ranges over child language learning, second language acquisition,  foreign accented speech, comparative syntax, language variation and change, and how language is processed in the brain. The research in literature is concerned with a wide range of authors, from Shakespeare, through Austen and Dickens, to living writers such as Thomas Pynchon and Amitav Ghosh, as well as with theoretical approaches to literature such as new historicism, eco-criticism, gender studies, and the relations between literature and moral philosophy. The research in social/historical/media studies examines topics such as migration, hybridity and identity, culture and technology, ethnic conflict and nationalism, memory policy, cultural heritage and tourism, film, and popular and folk music history.

The Department of English is one of nine departments at the School of Communication and Culture at Aarhus University.  

Upcoming Events at the Department

Tue 28 Mar
10:00-11:00 | Nobelparken building 1481, room 264.
The Northern Ireland Troubles in Britain
Centre for Irish Studies Spring Seminar series 2017
Wed 29 Mar
16:15-17:45 | Nobelparken, Gebäude 1481, Raum 341
Ringvorlesung in März (3)
Steffen Krogh: Fra Köln til Köningsberg, fra Flensburg til Freising. Tyske dialekter og regiolekter før og nu
Thu 30 Mar
14:15-17:00 | at Kasernen, Langelandsgade 139, Building 1584, Room 124
Aesthetic Seminar. Who Carries the Weight of History? Artistic Responses to Colonial Ruin(action)s in the former Danish West Indies
Mathias Danbolt is an art historian with a special focus on queer, antiracist, and decolonial perspectives on contemporary art and performance.

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News from the school

Photo: SynchroniCity/Tom Blockley

2017.02.23 | Research, Afd. for Informationsvidenskab og Digital Design

Aarhus University to head giant global project on technology in future cities

EU issues major grant to associate professor Martin Brynskov and the beacon project SynchroniCity. This gives Aarhus University a leading role in developing the Internet of Things in cities, and a unique opportunity to work with a global consortium to influence the current process of digitalisation.

2016.12.01 | Afd. for Informationsvidenskab og Digital Design

Turn On Literature: A new EU-project involving the Poetry Machines

A new EU-project includes a further development, distribution and translation of the Poetry Machines. Two new partners join in – a library in Norway and a library in Romania.

2016.11.04 | Research, Afd. for Informationsvidenskab og Digital Design

An expanding global smart city network

Martin Brynskov, associate professor of information studies, is working hard to expand the international smart city research network, and has just signed a collaboration agreement with Seoul in South Korea.

Photos: courtesy of the artists

2016.06.17 | Afd. for Informationsvidenskab og Digital Design, Arts, Research

There are always research elements in my artworks

Winnie Soon, a PhD student of Information Studies, has contributed to an exhibition about media art in Hong Kong with “Jsut code”, an artwork showing Twitter messages that must be decoded using a smartphone.

2016.06.03 | People, Litteraturhistorie og Retorik

Karen-Margrethe Simonsen, associate professor in comparative literature, has been appointed president of the international literature project CHLEL

Karen-Margrethe Simonsen has been elected to lead the Coordinating Committee for the Comparative History of Literatures in European Languages Series (CHLEL), which conducts research within literature across borders.

2016.02.11 | Research, Afd. for Informationsvidenskab og Digital Design

The School of Communication and Culture appoints five new MSO professors

Five researchers at the School of Communication and Culture have been appointed to the position of MSO professor (MSO stands for "with special responsibilities" in Danish).

Photo: Lise Balsby (AU Foto)

2016.02.10 | Arts, CC

New Master's degree programme focuses on intercultural competences

In the summer of 2016 the School of Communication and Culture at the Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University is launching a new Master’s degree programme in intercultural studies. Students can specialise in five different languages.

2016.01.28 | Research, Afd. for Informationsvidenskab og Digital Design


The Aarhus University Research Foundation has awarded a grant of DKK 2.65 million to a research project on the use of surveillance by families, schools and others.

2016.01.15 | Litteraturhistorie og Retorik, Litteraturhistorie

Svend Erik Larsen, Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature, receives a prestigious Chinese visiting professorship

Sven Erik Larsen has been appointed Yangtze River Chaired Visiting Professor at the School of Literature and Journalism, Sichuan University, Chengdu from 2016 to 2019.

2015.12.04 | Research, Afd. for Informationsvidenskab og Digital Design

DKK 1.5 million for urban experiments in Aarhus

At the beginning of the year, a new major EU project was launched at a workshop where the name of the new project and the visions behind it were presented. OrganiCity is the name of the EU project, and this international research project is headed by Martin Brynskov, associate professor of information studies at Aarhus University.

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