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English Department

Mission Statement – General

Housed in the heart of Zurich, the English Department is characterized by open communication and a lively research culture. With more than fifty members of staff, we are the largest English Department in Switzerland. The fields of English Literature and English Linguistics are each represented by four professors, eight assistants, and two senior assistants, as well as several third-party funded scholars. Our study programmes also cover Language Skills and Culture, and the English Department provides a wide range of Services. We value diversity in our faculty, student body, research, and the content of our programmes.

The English Department is committed to academic excellence in research. We contribute to and help shape cutting-edge scholarly debates in linguistics, literature, and cultural studies. Members of the department have key roles in international and national research networks, journals, and book series. International collaborations and visiting professorships connect our department with a global network of research, stretching from New York to New Zealand, and from Helsinki to Delhi. Junior scholars play a vital part in our research activities. Devoted to supporting up-and-coming scholars in their academic careers, we are proud that several postdoctoral researchers have succeeded in securing third-party funded projects or professorships. We welcome international researchers and frequently host international guest speakers, workshops, conferences, and other academic events.

We believe that research and teaching are mutually enhancing, and our courses reflect this interdependence of scholarly practice and learning. Students are encouraged to see themselves as part of the scientific community, to develop an advanced understanding of academic discourse, to conduct independent research, and to exchange ideas with others. In the course of their studies, they develop a firm grasp of the subject – language, literature, media, and culture from across the anglophone world – and acquire relevant historical and contextual knowledge enabling them to understand present phenomena in the light of the past. Through innovative teaching formats we encourage independence and creativity. We value critical reading, writing, and thinking. Our students are well prepared for careers in education, research, culture, and communication.

Members of the English Department are actively involved in interdisciplinary programmes and centres at the University of Zurich. The department is a close partner of educational institutions in the canton of Zurich (Pädagogische Hochschule, Kantonsschulen) and many of us offer courses of further education for teachers on a regular basis. We also collaborate with cultural institutions such as the James Joyce Foundation, archives, libraries, theatres, cinemas, as well as various media to enrich wider cultural debates.


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