Research impact

100% of the School's research Impact was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in REF2021.

Featured research projects

The Virginia Woolf & Music project explores the role of music in the lives of Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group

Chris Jones has collaborated with media companies to adapt Seamus Heaney’s translations of medieval Scottish poet Robert Henryson for TV and app

Zinnie Harris’ new plays and her adaptations of canonical drama provide exciting contemporary roles for women

Oliver Emanuel’s The 306 Trilogy sought to question the national conversation about memory and notions of ‘heroism’ and ‘cowardice’

Emma Sutton’s research identifies networks of indigenous musicians with whom Robert Louis Stevenson made music

Award-winning Iranian-American writer Dina Nayeri publishes a book about displaced children

Further projects

Read Older Scots

Rhiannon Purdie, Professor of English and Older Scots, leads a project to reintroduce Older Scots to the Scottish secondary schools.

American Civil War Monuments

Dr Kristen Treen, Lecturer in American Literature, secured funding to collaborate with students in developing a public database that provides contextual detail about monuments to the American Civil War.


A project designed and developed by Margaret Connolly (Schools of English and History), Rachel Hart (Special Collections), Alan Miller and Iain Oliver (School of Computer Science). Initial transcriptions were prepared by Edwin Goi, Anabel Farrell, and Miriam Buncombe.

Reading Shakespeare

Don Paterson drew on his working knowledge of the sonnet form as a practicing poet to write Reading Shakespeare’s Sonnets.

Vanessa and Virginia

Extensive editorial and biographical research on the work of Virginia Woolf by Susan Sellers.


Poet Robert Crawford and photographer Norman McBeath partner to celebrate the 2015 UNESCO International Year of Light.

Featured research projects

Featured research projects from the School of English.

The Philosophical Life

A research project led by Dr James Harris and Dr Tom Jones, and funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Land Lines: British Nature Writing, 1789-2014

A research project exploring British nature writing from the late 18th century to the present involving Dr Christina Alt.

Hardy and the Boer War

A guide to the events that inspired Drummer Hodge among other works by Thomas Hardy written by Phillip Mallett.

The Victorian City

Research into the structure of 19th century cities as portrayed in literature, written by Phillip Mallett.