Who We Are: The English Studies Community in the 21st Century. Higher Education Academy roundtable


Ben Knights

Helena Goodwyn

Rosie Miles

Clare Whitehead

We are we – we who teach and research in English Departments in the UK in the twenty-first century? Who have we been and who might we be becoming?

This panel will introduce a just-launched survey of HE English academics considering questions of identity, formation and progression in our discipline. How do those of us currently working in the profession understand ourselves and what we do? Are conceptions of English Studies academic identity changing with a younger, newer generation (those 40 and under), and how do those working in different kinds of institutions perceive themselves? How does it feel to be a creative writer in an English department? In a discipline that spends a lot of time focussing on all sorts of diversities in texts, how diverse are we? Is English perceived as a mostly white, middle-class subject?

In an era in which teaching is back on the agenda more than it’s been for a generation, is the ideal still only to be a ‘research star’? How important is teaching to us and how do we as a Subject think about the relative value of teaching and research in terms of our identities?

In short, is the English Studies academic changing in terms of how s/he thinks of herself? Join us for a lively discussion to kick-off the conference!

Wednesday 5th July, 12.30