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Opening up the extraordinary, inspiring world of literature
We are one of the largest English disciplines in Australia, enriched by the research excellence of our internationally distinguished staff.

Placing first in Australia and 18th internationally in the 2022 QS World University rankings for English Language and Literature, our discipline is held in very high regard. With more than 30 full-time staff, we have one of the largest cohorts of academics specialising in English and Creative Writing.

Our academics have a broad range of expertise traversing genres, authors and historical periods in English literature and language, as well as Australian, American and Irish literatures, literary theory, film and television studies, writing and rhetorical studies, and creative writing.

Our study offering

Explore and develop your skills in fiction, non-fiction, poetry and other forms of writing. Gain a deep understanding of theories and histories of writing and develop the core skills of writing, structuring and editing. We give you intimate access to Sydney’s literary life, including a constant calendar of readings, performances, major literary and cultural events, and a host of celebrated visitors.



Bring together contemporary critical theory with literary narratives and investigate how and why literature remains an influential cultural form in the 21st century. Consider the ways in which the study of literature works within a specifically Australian cultural context and explore the expansion of literary and cultural narratives across a broad transnational framework.


*Available to all students studying the Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Visual Arts, as well as all combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degrees.  



English has a vital research culture and offers postgraduate supervision across an extensive range of areas. These include: Medieval and Early Modern Literature; Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Literature; Modern and Contemporary Literature; Australian and Aboriginal literature and culture; American literature and culture; British and Irish literature; world literatures; literary and cultural theories; studies in gender and sexuality; film and TV studies; scholarly editing and language studies; poetry, poetics, drama and the novel; rhetoric, aesthetics, hermeneutics and semantics; and creative writing.

Drawing from established research in a wide range of fields, in Writing Studies you will learn to combine various research methods including rhetorical, discourse and textual analysis to examine written, spoken and visual texts at various stages of production, from conception to transmission and consumption.


*Available to all students studying the Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Visual Arts, as well as all combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degrees.

Our research

Through our leading researchers, we have have expertise across these areas:

  • The Novel, Drama, Poetry
  • Literary history
  • Literary and cultural theory
  • National and Global literatures
  • Language studies
  • Creative writing and practice-led research
  • Academic writing and rhetorical studies
  • Film and television studies

The Shakespeare Reloaded/Better Strangers project

Combining the experience and skills of academics and school teachers, we develop fresh approaches to the teaching of Shakespeare, producing educational activities for the classroom, professional development workshops and the publication of research outputs on the theory and practice of pedagogy. Our ideas and activities can be found on the project website.

Research groups

Australian Literature Resources Centre

An extensive collection of reference works, books and literary journals about Australian writers, poets, dramatists, essayists and critics. 

Aboriginal culture, history and writing, Australian history, short story and poetry collections and criticism, theatre, war, queer literary theory, post-colonial writing, cinema, autobiography and women’s writing are all accounted for. The centre maintains subscriptions to major Australian literary journals and is actively acquiring key Australian films.

Location: rooms N411 and N416, John Woolley Building

Contact: Associate Professor Rebecca Johinke

Our people


Visit the School's events calendar  to see our upcoming events and seminars.

Discipline Chair

Associate Professor Rebecca Johinke

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