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Research Areas 

The Department plays a prominent role in several University Institutes and Centres. 

The Centre for Poetry and Poetics emerged from the Basil Bunting Centre for Modern Poetry as a focal point for work not only in English but also in Modern Languages and Classics. It hosts frequent poetry readings and conferences and organises the poetry laureate with Durham Book Festival. 


The Centre for Nineteenth Century Studies brings together staff in English, History, Music, Modern Languages and other disciplines. 


The Institute for Medical Humanities was founded in 2000 and funded with a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award from 2005. It promotes interdisciplinary research into the dynamic and mutually-influential relationship between creativity, arts and humanities and the medical discipline. It engages with several external partners, in the NHS, psychology and care organisations. CMH has a very active seminar of guest speakers and an influential blog. The Hearing the Voice project is organised by CMH. 


The Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Studies includes several staff and postgraduates from English. It organises a lively programme of seminars and other events, including an annual postgraduate conference. IMEMS is able to draw on an enviable array of archival resources, including one of the world’s most significant collections of medieval manuscripts at Palace Green Library and Durham Cathedral, and the Ushaw College Library. See here for research collections in Durham. 


The Centre for Modern Conflicts and Cultures, directed by Dr James Smith, brings together expertise from researchers across Durham University in order to investigate how intellectuals, writers, and artists have engaged with or participated in the major geopolitical and ideological conflicts of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. 


The Centre for Cultural Ecologies aims to provide a forum at the interface of the sciences and the humanities for research concerned with world-making practices, insofar as these impact on and trouble the distinction between natural and cultural systems.