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Prof Susan Irvine
Prof Susan Irvine profile picture
  • Professor of English Language & Literature
  • Dept of English Lang & Literature
  • Faculty of Arts & Humanities
Research Summary
My research focuses on Old English literature and language, especially writings associated with King Alfred's court at the end of the ninth century and the transitional period between Old and Middle English.
Teaching Summary

The focus of my teaching is medieval literature and language and I contribute to all the undergraduate and postgraduate medieval courses offered in the Department. The English Department at UCL is rightly proud of its reputation for teaching English literature from its starting-point to all students, and for offering in addition a substantial number of optional courses in early periods. In teaching Old English, I encourage students to see this subject as an integral part of their study of literature more generally: to recognise that the linguistic skills they acquire are often beneficial in their study of other literary periods, that the theoretical approaches applicable to modern periods of literature (gender studies, for example) are valid for Old English as well, that their knowledge of modern poetry (for example Seamus Heaney, W.H. Auden, Geoffrey Hill, and Ezra Pound) can be enhanced by their study of Old English as well as of more modern literature. I regularly organise trips for students to UCL's Special Collections where they have the opportunity to study medieval manuscripts.

I am the convenor for the course Old English Literature II, which is currently taught around a series of topics which allow the literature of the period to be explored in terms of its generic and thematic preoccupations as well as its historical context. I also help to convene the First-year Introduction to Old English course and am co-convenor for the MA course Anglo-Saxon Court Culture.

MAR-2009 – APR-2009 Visiting Professor   Universita’ Degli Studi Roma Tre, Italy
JAN-2008 – DEC-2010 Head of Department English UCL, United Kingdom
2004 Professor English UCL, United Kingdom
1997 – 2004 Senior Lecturer English UCL, United Kingdom
1992 – 1997 Lecturer English UCL, United Kingdom
1987 – 1992 Darby Fellow in English Language and Literature   Lincoln College, Oxford, United Kingdom
Academic Background
1987   Doctor of Philosophy University of Oxford
1981   Bachelor of Arts (Honours) University of Otago
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