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SOAS launch new take on English degree

The Bachelor of Arts in English is the new pioneering course that will be launched at SOAS from next year, but it won’t be a conventional English degree.

BA English at SOAS will bring together the work of regional experts from Asia and Africa to teach a new approach and understanding of the English language and culture as an international language that has spread far from its motherland. It will, for example, look at the varying impact of Shakespeare’s comedies on theatres in China, South Korea, India, Egypt and Botswana.

Dr Ayman El-Desouky, the course convenor, says the new BA will push the subject towards a new role in contemporary World Humanities. Students will take modules in “English in the Global World” and “Global Shakespeare” in first year. Moreover, they will enquire into literary topics of identity, love, society to the extent that they are constant in many literatures. In addition, issues of sociolinguistics, history, postcolonial studies will be explored.

william-shakespeare-portrait11The course will be available as single-honour or joint-honours. Students will have the possibility of combining English with another language to recognise further.

The BA English student will gain the potential to face the “world out there” and the enthusiasm to continue their academic path in Cultural or Postcolonial Studies, Comparative Literature or any other Masters programme concerning humanities or social sciences.

Alessandro Sasso

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