In 2007 a generation waited with baited breath for the final chapter of the Harry Potter series and Edinburgh Napier opened its doors to its first generation of English students.
Edinburgh has a rich literary history, inspiring tales of crime, adventure, great detectives, school mistresses and boy wizards. It is the world’s first City of Literature and home of the largest public celebration of the written word in the world ’the Edinburgh International Book Festival'. Linda Dryden, Professor of English Literature, spearheaded the creation of the English department with the realisation that in a cultural capital, home to four universities, there existed only one option for studying English in this City of Literature.
From Shakespeare and poetry from the Romantic age, to Scottish, Irish and American literature, science fiction and gothic tradition in literature, the course aims to develop a broad knowledge of the relationships between literature, culture and life as we know it today. English at Edinburgh Napier University is a unique course with a focus on modern literature. This aim is supported by the department’s research activity. Through its Centre for Literature and Writing (CLAW), it has implemented Robert Louis Stevenson Day – an annual date on Edinburgh’s literary calendar when the life, loves and works of one of the most famous writers from the city is celebrated.
Other themes include the Age of Frankenstein, Victorian crime, the war poets and modern terror. Academics from the department have also contributed to a new series of HG Wells books after copyright protection of the celebrated writer’s work lapsed.
“In the past 10 years, the subject area has become one of the strongest in the University, both in terms of teach and research. We have routinely achieved impressive ratings in the National Student Survey, one year even achieving 100% satisfaction.
“The most recent Research Excellence Framework in 2014 gave research in English 64% at 3* and 4*, an impressive achievement by anyone’s standards.
“I am extremely proud of the staff and students that I have worked with over the years, and given what has been achieved in our first decade, I can only imagine that English will continue to go from strength to strength over the next 10 years.”
Professor Linda Dryden,
School Director of Research
Director, Centre for Literature and Writing (CLAW)