English Association Fellows Reflect on Brexit
This year, 2016, marks 110 years since the formation of the English Association and 10 years since we were granted a Royal Charter. Founded in 1906, the early aim was "“to promote the due recognition of English … and to help in maintaining the effectiveness of the language in both its spoken and its written use”.
Over a century later, the English Association remains proud of the work that it undertakes on behalf of our broad and diverse community, across the span of primary, secondary and higher education, and from early life experiences to adult learners.
As well as promoting the importance of English Studies for the four nations of the UK, our work is increasingly international in its scope. This ranges from electing leading international scholars and educators as English Association Fellows; developing collaborative international networks in and beyond Europe; and exploring new ways of communicating ideas across national and regional borders. As a scholarly association we are committed to explaining the educational benefits and imaginative potential of English as a global language and literature, and in exploring the humanist values of openness, respect, equality and tolerance.
Set against this context – and in light of the referendum decision of 24 June – the Trustees have canvassed the views of a number of English Association Fellows. We invited Fellows to reflect upon the professional and personal impact of the Brexit vote and to consider what this might mean for the future of English. They argue, at this critical time, both for emphasizing the importance of English within the humanities and for strengthening the European context within which English Studies and students of English have flourished up to now.
Adrian Barlow and Martin Halliwell
President and Chair of the English Association
Read all responses in full (PDF 562KB)