Networks and Interest Groups

Networks and Interest Groups

About networks and special interest groups (SIGs)

The English Association is interested in encouraging networks and special interest groups in any area of English Literary Studies. Fellows may join or establish groups or networks on topics appropriate to the Association’s interests. Some groups could be linked to specific events, possibly leading to a conference or pamphlet in the Issues in English series. Any such groups would not be limited to advanced research, nor is membership limited to Fellows.

How to set up a new network or special interest group

Anyone interested in convening such a network or SIG should submit an expression of interest by emailing

Before getting in touch, please note that:

  • SIGs/networks require a chair to lead and coordinate activities;
  • SIGs should be set up to address specific issues, and will therefore have limited life spans;
  • SIGs are a good way to broaden the EA’s reach by focusing the influence and expertise of the Fellows. In order to capitalise on the valuable knowledge of the Fellows, the EA is particularly interested in SIGs which propose defined outcomes and outputs (such as an event or publication);
  • SIGs/networks should reflect the EA’s distinctive range of activity by being cross-sector and interdisciplinary;
  • SIGs/networks should reflect the EA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Current Groups


Image of a reel of film unspoolingThe UK based Adaptations Interest Group is linked to the international Association of Adaptation Studies (a Registered Charity) and the journal Adaptation (Oxford University Press).

The SIG will be convened by Deborah Cartmell through the Centre for Adaptations (De Montfort University, and Jeremy Strong through the Association of Adaptation Studies (

This will be a UK group and will co-ordinate and provide information on annual conferences and activities taking place within the UK.

If you would like to join the group, contact Deborah Cartmell

Anglo-Italian Relations Interest Group

AngloItalianThe History of Anglo-Italian Relations Special Interest Group is convened by Professor Giovanni Iamartino of the University of Milan.

The aim of the group is to gather together colleagues interested in the history of linguistic, literary and cultural relations between Britain and Italy. Areas of interest will include linguistically-orientated topics such as loanwords from English to Italian and vice versa, and more literary and cultural aspects, such as translations of literary texts or the reception of important authors.

Those interested in joining the group are invited to contact Professor Iamartino

Ariosto, the Orlando Furioso and English Culture, 1516-2016

British Academy International Conference, 28-29 April 2016

The interest group is sponsoring a limited number of bursaries as a contribution towards conference expenses for registered PhD candidates and early career/post-doctoral researchers.

Application for a bursary

Funded by the Society for Renaissance Studies and the English Association, this conference is able to offer a limited number of bursaries of up to £100 as a contribution towards conference expenses for the delegate. Applications for a bursary should be sent to and must be received by March 1st 2016.

To apply for a bursary please copy and complete the form below and return together with:

  • a brief (1 page) curriculum vitae
  • a covering letter (no more than one side of A4) detailing the reasons why the bursary is being sought
  • a letter of support from your doctoral supervisor or a senior colleague

Please note: bursaries are available only for registered PhD candidates, and early career/post-doctoral researchers with no access to institutional funding. They are designed to assist with the costs of attending the conference in London and may be awarded on a competitive basis. Bursary holders are expected to attend the whole 2-day conference and may be asked to write a short report on the conference for publication by the Society for Renaissance Studies.




Address for correspondence:




University affiliation:


*Title of PhD thesis:


*Date of registration for PhD:                                                *Proposed date of completion:


*Post-doctoral applicants: please list two recent publications


*Please complete as relevant


Bursaries will be paid into your current bank account by electronic transfer. Please therefore give all relevant details (Bank name and address, Swift/BIC code, account name and number) in the section below.


Bursaries will be paid in arrears and on receipt of proof of attendance. If you wish to claim for travel costs, you will be required to present the relevant receipts.


Bank Details:


Bank Name:


Bank Postal Address:


Bank Sort Code:                                             Swift/BIC code:


Current Account name of holder:


Current Account number:

Conference website

Children's Literature Interest Group

Children's Literature Interest Group
Author interviews
Writing about the First World War for Children
How do you write about the First World War for younger readers? This is the question we asked ourselves as we discussed how to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the war.
Form Folder Symposium Booking Form
Writing about the First World War for younger readers
File Alice in the Classroom
File Jane Austen in the Primary Classroom
Jane Austen for children

The Manuscript Technologies Forum

books with laptopThe Manuscript Technologies Forum aims to contribute to the current scholarly debate within the areas of the History of the Book and the Sociology of the Text, and the intersections of these areas of literary culture with Material Culture and Material Philology. The Group will seek to advance our knowledge of manuscripts and printed books and text, textualities and reception, by holding small symposia, occasional lectures and by encouraging the participation by all interested scholars in this exciting area.

The Forum is convened by Professor Elaine Treharne, Stanford University and Dr Orietta Da Rold, University of Leicester. Anyone interested in joining the group is welcome to contact the convenors by email.

Latest news

The Forum hopes to sponsor a session at the 2014 International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The Poetry Network

Generic tube mapThe English Association's Poetry Network, founded and coordinated by Peter Robinson, is an affiliation of Fellows whose creative, research, and educational interests centre on poetry, and who variously work to increase the profile of this art across the UK and beyond.

Planned projects for the coming years include seminars, conferences, prizes, launch events and publications.

The Network will also seek to

  • collaborate on reading tours for poets from home and abroad,
  • share knowledge and information about poets' archival holdings
  • promote library and school support for poetry
  • generally enhance the visibility of this Cinderella among the arts.

In 2014 the Network produced a new anthology of poems titled The Arts of Peace. There were a number of launches for the collection, including Acton Court, Bristol on 1 August and at the Association's British Poetry of the First World War Conference at Wadham College, Oxford on 5 September 2014.

Professor Robinson oversaw the publication of the Association's anthology of poems celebrating the bi-centenary of the birth of Charles Dickens - A Mutual Friend.

Anyone interested in joining the network is invited to contact Professor Robinson via the Association's office

The Poetry of the Great War Interest Group

A March 3, 1916, British military Field Post Office postmark and Field Censor's approval stamp. The letter was posted at the time of the Battle of Verdun in World War I.The Poetry of the Great War Special Interest Group was established to initiate a discussion of Great War poetry as the centenary of the War approached.

Anyone interested in joining the group is invited to contact the convenor - Professor Tim Kendall, University of Exeter.


The group convened a Conference on British Poetry of the First World War, held at Wadham College, Oxford, 5-7 September, 2014.


Group Convenor Professor Tim Kendall will be speaking at the 13th International Robert Graves Conference - Robert Graves and the First World War - at St John's College, Oxford, from 7 to 10 September, 2016. Further information available from conference organiser Dr Charles Mundye -


The bust of Shakespeare from Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon

We are looking for expressions of interest in a proposed new group in Shakespeare.

Areas to be addressed might include:

  • Shakespeare in and as performance on stage, screen and in other media;
  • Shakespeare for readers;
  • Shakespeare and the states of contemporary criticism;
  • Shakespeare past, present and future;
  • Shakespeare for all ages;
  • Shakespeare as creative source, resource and inspiration;
  • Shakespeare's lives and afterlives.

We are particularly interested in exploring opportunities for dialogue between performance, teaching and creative writing, and will be looking for exciting and original ways for the SIG and the English Association will contribute to the anniversary events of 2016.

Anyone interested please contact Professor Robert Shaughnessy at the University of Kent,

University Admissions and Transition Interest Group

TransitionEnglish continues to be an enormously popular subject with both A-level and undergraduate students. Communication between colleagues who teach in the post-16 and university sectors, however, can be somewhat sporadic and insubstantial.

The University Admissions and Transition Special Interest Group aims to:

  • promote dialogue between colleagues teaching English at AL and degree level
  • respond to any new developments in Key Stage 5 or university education, or in the admissions process
  • encourage online contact and the sharing of ideas and information
  • set up opportunities for colleagues to visit and observe English being taught in schools, colleges and universities
  • host twice-yearly meetings
  • contribute to the English Association’s conference programme
  • manage the Why Study English? website



The reform of Key Stage 5 English has been a protracted and at times frustrating business. Doubtless the newly accredited specifications will not have satisfied everyone’s expectations, yet there is plenty in them to engage and inspire sixth-form students and teachers alike. The English Association’s University and Transition Group is hosting a conference on New Aspects of A Level English at Senate House, University of London, on Saturday 3 October 2015. The event aims to bring together colleagues from across the secondary and higher education sectors and will cover both English language and English literature topics. With speakers drawn from the A-level and university teaching communities, the day promises to inform, excite and inspire.

Why Study English? [opens external website]

Poetry of the Great War Conference

Wadham College, Oxford, 5-7 September 2014

wadhamThe centenary of the First World War is now only two years ahead, and the English Association is planning a major conference to focus on the poets and the poetry of the Great War.

The conference will be held at Wadham College, Oxford on Friday, Saturday and Sunday 5th, 6th and 7th September 2012. It is being organised by the Poetry of the Great War Interest Group convened by Professor Tim Kendall of Exeter University, and the conference patron will be Professor Jon Stallworthy.

The conference will be open to all and the programme will be designed to have a wide appeal. It will include distinguished speakers, special events and exhibitions, a musical evening and a Conference Dinner. An important feature is that the EA will be inviting all the individual societies, fellowships and associations that exist to promote individual war poets to participate by providing panel speakers, organizing events within the main programme and advertising their publications and activities. In this way the EA hopes to offer all such groups a much larger platform and an international audience. It will also offer these societies the opportunity to collaborate, if they wish, in shared presentations and activities.

Plenary Speakers confirmed so far

Professor Edna Longley, Queen's University, Belfast

Professor Jay Winter, Yale University



e-bulletin May 2013

PDF document icon EA SIG Newsletter Issue 2 May 2013.pdf — PDF document, 729 kB (747176 bytes)

Loneliness and Technology

Loneliness and Technology is a Special Interest Group (SIG) that has been set up to think about the challenges of this moment and literature’s role in helping us navigate them.

Loneliness and Technology is a Special Interest Group (SIG) that has been set up to think about the challenges of this moment and literatures role in helping us navigate them. Its designed to initiate discussion around how we think about loneliness as a political history of emotion, how literature offers us a space to nurture solitude, and how technology induces and resists feelings of isolation.

The aim of the project is to investigate how a range of fields, as they struggle to adapt to the digital, depend on literary elements to convert feelings of isolation into more productive forms of solitude and loneliness. The intention is to provide a forum to think about the challenges to teaching and working online in the current climate, and literature’s role in providing us with the emotional skills to manage that adaptation.

It is designed as a cross-sector and interdisciplinary project that seeks to draw on expertise in the fields of literature, psychoanalysis, digital humanities, mental health, architecture and the history of work and education to bring together researchers and prompt discussion around how we relate to the digital and what it’s possible to do with thinking and feeling.

Planned projects include a seminar series that will run in the spring and a special issue of Issues in English in the autumn.

Anyone interested in joining the group or who'd like more information about it is invited to contact Dr Jess Cotton.

Upcoming events

15 April 2021: Thinking Loneliness. Book now

Past events

Mapping Feminist Loneliness, 1 April 2021

The Phenomenology of Social Distancing, 25 March 2021

Public Space and the Geography of Loneliness, 4 February 2021

Loneliness and Psychoanalysis, 4 March 2021

Motherhood's Lonely States, 18 March 2021, 18:00 - 19:30

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