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Department of English

At the Department of English, we engage with English as the language of globalisation, the native 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 departments within the Faculty of Arts, with researchers and lecturers from the UK, the USA, Canada, Ireland, India, the Czech Republic, Germany, Tanzania and, of course, Denmark. The research covers four broad disciplines - linguistics, literature, social/historical/media studies, and international business communication - and regions in which English is the primary language - the British Isles, the United States and the English-speaking post-colonial world, as well as English as the global language of international business communication.

Research environment

The linguistic research ranges over language acquisition, multilingualism, comparative and theoretical phonetics and phonology, comparative and theoretical morphology and syntax, language variation and change, language comprehension, and how language is processed in the brain. 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. 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, social media, film, and popular and folk music history. Research in international business communication ranges over theories and methods of strategic corporate communication, knowledge communication, lexicography, translation and intercultural communication needed to manage English professional communication in Danish and international companies and organisations with particular focus on business-related topics concerning the English language, business communication and the business environment.

Upcoming Events at the Department

Fri 24 Jan
14:00-15:00 | Åbogade 34, building 5342, room 333
Information meeting on the PhD program
For all applicants to the programme in ICT, MEDIA, COMMUNICATION AND JOURNALISM.
Sat 25 Jan
10:00-17:00 | Kunsthal Aarhus, J.M. Mørks Gade 13, 8000 Aarhus C
MA Curating Symposium: The Curator Has Left the Building
Wrapping up the third semester of the new MA Curating programme, students from the programme will present their investigations within the scope of Curatorial Knowledge at a public symposium at Kunsthal Aarhus.
Mon 03 Feb
14:15-16:00 | Kasernen, Langelandsgade 139, Building 1580, Room 214
Peter Bjerregaard: Exhibitions as Research
Peter Bjerregaard, editor of the Routledge anthology, Exhibitions as Research: Experimental Methods in Museums (2020), will introduce his model for knowledge-making in exhibitions, which he dubs collapsology

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News from the school

Dementia patients have a tendency to go wandering off. A new research project at Aarhus University aims to ensure the ethical use of surveillance technology to make it possible to find signs of life in dementia patients who have gone wandering off somewhere. (Model photo: Colourbox.com)
Lektor og leder af Center for Overvågningsforskning Anders Albrechtslund står i spidsen for projektet men i tæt samarbejde med pårørende til demente og plejepersonale.
Associate Professor Anders Albrechtslund, the Director of the Center for Surveillance Studies, is the leader of the project – which will be working closely alongside both care staff and the families of dementia patients.

2020.01.09 | Grant, Health and disease, Afd. for Digital Design og Informationsvidenskab, Arts

An ethical framework for the use of surveillance technology to ensure that dementia patients can retain their dignity and lead a safe life

Researchers from Aarhus University, in partnership with VIVE, Aarhus Municipality and Business Academy Aarhus, have received a grant from VELUX FONDEN for a project they call LIVSTEGN (which means “sign of life” in Danish). The project involves close collaboration between researchers, dementia patients, their families and their care staff.

2019.05.20 | Afd. for Digital Design og Informationsvidenskab

WRO 2019 Awards

Artist-Researcher Winnie Soon receives WRO 2019 Biennale Award Winnie is now exhibiting two artworks at Four Domes Pavilion in WRO Media Art Biennale, one of the leading forums for new media art in Poland and Central Europe. Her work “Unerasable Images” receives the WRO 2019 Award.

In addition to her new seat on the Jyllands-Posten Foundation board, Anja Bechmann is research director of DATALAB – Center for Digital Social Research, associate professor in media studies and a Jens Christian Skou Fellow at the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies at Aarhus University.

2018.05.28 | Arts, Medievidenskab og Journalistik

IT expert with humanities background elected to Jyllands-Posten Foundation board

Anja Bechmann, associate professor in media studies, has been elected to the Jyllands-Posten Foundation board. She presents her view on why Denmark’s largest media company needs her profile, and why board work is important.

Winnie Soon (Foto: Claus Sjödin - CSPress.dk)

2018.05.14 | Awards, Afd. for Digital Design og Informationsvidenskab, Arts

Winnie Soon receives PhD prize

On 30 May 2018 Winnie Soon will receive the Aarhus University Research Foundation PhD Award for her project ‘Executing Liveness – An examination of the live dimension of code interactions in software (art) practice’.

2017.11.03 | Afd. for Digital Design og Informationsvidenskab

Plant a Light in the dusk of autumn

This autumn, the Tropical Dome of Aarhus Botanical Garden’s Greenhouses will light up in an interactive spectacle. The installation is developed and produced by CAVI, TEKNE, CIBIS, the School of Communication and Culture, AU, in collaboration with the Greenhouses, Science and Technology, AU, and the design agency Kollision.

2017.06.07 | Lingvistik, Kognitionsvidenskab og Semiotik, Awards

Associate Professor Peter Bakker wins award for his work for the deaf

For the past three years, deaf and hearing students from all over the world have been able to attend an international summer school at Aarhus University which is conducted in sign language. The man behind the summer school is Peter Bakker, an associate professor of linguistics, and the Danish Deaf Association has presented him with an award in…

Dream Banking: The challenge: Lots of people have dreams, but not everyone bothers to find out whether they have enough money to achieve them. Solution: An app which shows people their dreams and how much money they have saved – how close are they to achieving their target? As a bonus, the bank gains invaluable insight into its clients and can improve the advice it provides.
The Charitable Micro Donation: The challenge: People rarely have any cash in their pockets these days, and this is a challenge for charities. How can you collect money from people under such circumstances? Solution: An app that allows you to donate a small amount of money each time you perform a transaction in Mobile Pay. You can choose between various charities, and you can change the amount donated as well. 

Albert: The challenge: How can we teach our children the value of money when they never see any actual notes and coins? Solution: A digital piggy bank called Albert – a joint piggy bank for the entire family. Parents can access it via their smartphones and identify shared targets for which the family can save up. Children have a contactless card so they can see how much money the family has saved so far.

THE ONE-STOP ECONOMY EXPERIENCE: The challenge: Financial decisions often give rise to anxiety and doubt. Have you made the right decision or not? Lots of bank clients do their own research – or hesitate to make investments they are uncertain about. Solution: A web app which gives users a clear view of the whole process, teaching them when to think with their hearts – and when to think with their brains.     

SAVE IT BY CASH: The challenge: Lots of young people have a savings account, but they don’t necessarily make regular deposits. How can we develop a healthy attitude to saving money among young people? Solution: A digital piggy bank which can only be accessed by the user’s fingerprint. Owners can set targets for how much they want to save. They can keep an eye on developments visually in the box.

2017.06.08 | Students, Afd. for Digital Design og Informationsvidenskab

Students designing the digital payment systems of the future

Students of digital design from Aarhus University presented a panel of developers from Danske Bank with their ideas about the digital payment systems of the future and how the Danes perceive money. Increasing digitalisation means that our banks need new skills to rethink the payment systems of the future.

Photo: SynchroniCity/Tom Blockley

2017.02.23 | Research, Afd. for Digital Design og Informationsvidenskab

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 Digital Design og Informationsvidenskab

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 Digital Design og Informationsvidenskab

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.

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Recent publications

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