Category Archives: RUG English News

News about the English department and from the university.

Conceptualizing the Enemy in Early Northwest Europe

Friday saw the launch at the department of Karin Olsen’s Conceptualizing the Enemy in Early Northwest Europe: Metaphors of Conflict and Alterity in Anglo-Saxon, Old Norse, and Early Irish Poetry (Brepols).

This volume provides the first comparative analysis to explore conceptions of conflict and otherness in the literary and cultural contexts of the early North Sea world by investigating the use of metaphor in Old English, Old Norse, and Early Irish poetry. Applying Conceptual Metaphor Theory together with literary and anthropological analysis, the study examines metaphors of conflict and alterity in a range of (pseudo-)mythological, heroic, and occasional poetry, including Beowulf, Old Norse skaldic and eddic verse, and poems from the celebrated ‘Ulster Cycle’. (Publisher)

English Department First in Elsevier League Table

The 2016 Elsevier University League Tables results have been published and the department has again been rated first in the Netherlands (followed by Amsterdam, Utrecht, Leiden and Nijmegen).

The tables rank facilities, teaching, programme, staff, assessment, and organisation and communication. With the exception of Assessment (where Groningen received the second highest grade), the department was first or joint first on all other measurements. With the exception of one score that remained the same, all of the other scores increased.

These kinds of tables are never 100% accurate measurements of things, but they give students and potential students some idea of the strengths and weaknesses of particular departments.

3D Employment Graph

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Norton Textbooks


Textbooks published by W.W. Norton and Co. for first and second year courses from the site are sold to University of Groningen English department students at a 20% discount if you enter the code WN369 at the checkout. You can buy 3 Norton Critical Editions for the price of 2 by using the code WN339.

Please note that although this has been facilitated by me as it may be useful to students, I have nothing to do with Norton’s retail department and cannot answer questions about their site or sales processes. I do not claim that this is the cheapest way to purchase these books.

Groningen english 1st year

Groningen english 2st year

NCE Offer (3 for 2)

GUTS play: Beyond Therapy

“A bisexual New Yorker seeing a psychiatrist meets a neurotic woman seeing a psychiatrist.”

Beyond Therapy is a quirky comedy about a lonely woman (Prudence) who replies to a personal ad and meets an eccentric, outspoken bisexual man (Bruce) who wants Prudence to be the mother of his children.. and this is five minutes into their conversation. If Bruce sounds like he needs to be in therapy, he is. So is Prudence. However, both of their therapists are even more mentally messed up than the distraught main characters.

Directed by English student Elsemiek Hes. Actors include Dorian Smilda and Aubrey Williams.

Dates and times:
9 June – 20:30
10 June – 20:30
11 June – 15:00 & 20:30

Tickets via – it is advised to immediately download the tickets after payment.


Information & event:

John Hurt Fisher Prize 2016 awarded to Sebastian Sobecki

The John Gower Society, dedicated to the study of the leading medieval poet of the same name, has awarded Prof. Sobecki the John Hurt Fisher Prize for 2016.

The Society describes the Award as follows: ‘The Society’s highest honor, the Fisher Prize for “significant contribution to the field of John Gower Studies” is awarded annually at the Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo, Michigan.’

Corey Gibson: Lecture at the Poetry, Edinburgh, 17 March

Corey will lecture on “The Politics of ‘Alias MacAlias'”
This talk will examine Hamish Henderson’s theorization of the anonym in Scottish literature. In particular, it will focus on the tension that arises in the revolutionary political potential and the reactionary romantic mystifications that can be so easily projected onto the cipher of ‘Anon.’ As a folklorist, poet, and political agitator, Henderson was committed to a vision of the ‘commonweal’, but as an acolyte of MacDiarmid’s he was enthralled and troubled by the logic of the political and poetical vanguard.