English and Modern Languages

Why English and Modern Languages at St Anne’s?

English and Modern Languages is an excellent course: it enables you to become fluent in a foreign language and to read widely in two literatures with the individual attention of expert tutors (more information about the Oxford English and Modern Languages course is available here). At St Anne’s we have particular strengths in this course, and we strongly encourage you to apply.


Our Commitment to the Course

At St Anne’s we usually have three students taking English and Modern Languages each year, so you will be part of an interesting group (many colleges, by contrast, only take a single student for EML). We also have many students studying single-honours English and single-honours Modern Languages  so you will join those communities too. Because you can choose from a wide range of papers in both English and your language, the workload for EML across the year can become uneven unless it is well planned. At St Anne’s we take particular care in this, making special arrangements for your teaching so that you have the best possible intellectual experience. This approach distinguishes us from many other colleges.


Our Range of Tutors

We have a large group of tutors and researchers who regularly teach on the EML course. Your tutors will include Siân Grønlie  (Old and Middle English), Geraldine Hazbun (Spanish) Freya Johnston (English eighteenth century and Romantic literature), Andrew Klevan (film studies), Patrick McGuinness  (French and Comparative Literature), Simon Park (Portuguese), Matthew Reynolds (English nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century literature, comparative literature and translation studies), and Robert Stagg (Shakespeare and English Renaissance literature). We also have excellent arrangements in place for teaching those languages for which the tutor is not actually located in St Anne’s. All of us are interested in how literature travels across languages and interacts with other media (art, film, music, digital media), and we work closely with colleagues across the humanities subjects. While you may also be taught by tutors at other colleges, at St Anne’s you can always rely on our tutors’ breadth of expertise if you have queries, problems or thoughts that you would like to share with us.


Our Interest in Comparative Literature and Translation

St Anne’s houses the university’s Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation Research Centre (OCCT): it runs a host of talks, seminars, readings and conferences which you are very welcome to attend. Each year the Weidenfeld Professor of Comparative Literature spends a term at St Anne’s, delivering their lectures and meeting students: recent postholders have included Ali Smith, Durs Grünbein, Mario Vargas Llosa and Amos Oz. More details of the Weidenfeld lectures are available here. We also host Oxford Translation Day (a festival of literature across languages) and the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize, a national literary award designed to celebrate the translation of European literature into English (details here). We have many postgraduate students working in English, Modern Languages and Comparative Literature, so there is a very lively intellectual community for you to join.


Our Library

St Anne’s has one of the biggest college libraries, including excellent, continually updated sections in Modern Languages and English Language and Literature. The library also has an impressive archive of older books and manuscripts, many of which we use in our undergraduate teaching. And if you need a book which we don’t have, the Taylor Institution Library (for Modern Languages) is just down the road, the English Faculty Library is just across the University Parks, and the main Bodleian Library is a ten-minute stroll away.


Our Future, and Yours

St Anne’s graduates have achieved great things. Writers such as Iris Murdoch, Helen Fielding and Zoe Heller studied here; other graduates have gone on to become leading literary critics (Gillian Beer, Jenny Uglow), journalists (Polly Toynbee, Lynn Barber, Hadley Freeman) and broadcasters (Libby Purves, Tina Brown), as well as teachers, actors, translators, musicians and aid workers. The ‘creative industries’ (advertising, marketing, publishing) understand the importance of trans-linguistic and cross-cultural understanding – exactly the skills you will develop during an EML degree. You will find that you are equipped for many different careers, and St Anne’s devotes ample resources to helping you in the years after you graduate [link]. EML students here are very well placed to make the most of Oxford’s future, as well as its past; the university’s humanities departments and research centres are increasingly moving to a site opposite St Anne’s, and we are currently working to expand the number of literary events we offer to our undergraduates. We hope that you will be intrigued by what we are doing now; and also that you will help us shape the study and enjoyment of English and Modern Languages in the years ahead.