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The University of Southampton
EnglishPart of Humanities

Public engagement

Public Engagement is vital to the work of English at Southampton and we depend upon the links between our research and the intellectual needs of wider public and professional communities.

Discover Medieval Culture: Professor Catherine Clarke worked with artist Nayan Kulkarni on a Hyre, a permanent public art installation at St John's ruins, Chester
Discover Medieval Culture project

Much of our work uses the approaches and methodologies of the literary critic to engage with wider social and political issues. We produce new ways of understanding and contributing to debate, be it through offering new maps of familiar places, exhibitions that illuminate economic and legal histories, or dialogues that explore the implications of contentious scientific developments. We share our work widely through public talks, newspapers and magazines, television and radio, podcasts, blogs and other digital media.

We also develop collaborative relationships with a wide range of people from cultural practitioners to politicians. Staff in English work with geographers, film-makers, archivists, teachers, poets, dramaturges, digital media specialists, artists, economists, political activists, curators, playwrights, councillors, lawyers, novelists, translators, screen-writers, librarians, and musicians. We have curated film festivals and exhibitions, collaborated with theatres, playwrights and writers on bringing new works to new audiences, helped open up and shed light on new digital and old paper archives. We’re also very aware of our role as educators, and many of us also work with school children, teachers and support our own students on placements as they explore teaching as part of their degree course.

Engaging with the public also allows us to make connections between our research and our teaching, and we involve our own students in the events we organise and the materials and approaches we develop. Through visiting archives, working with writers, using exhibition material, and going in to schools, students gain understanding of the exciting and wide-ranging connections between English Literature and the wider world and are encouraged to imagine how they can use their degree in careers beyond the academy.

For more information about our public engagement activities, browse through the links below or contact Professor Nicky Marsh

Find out more

Blog: Find out what's happening on the project City Witness: Place and Perspective in Medieval Swansea.

Podcast: Professor Clare Hanson podcasts on the controversial post-war eugenics movement for BBC History Magazine. Find out more about Clare's research.

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