Department of English and American Studies

About the department

From the written word, music and festivals to seafaring and sustainable wind power, the maritime city of Hull has a rich cultural and creative heritage. Our University is at the heart of life in Hull and the department is actively involved in the city's vibrant community.

Our students are taught in an inclusive environment – supported by writers, playwrights, and researchers with expertise in literature, language, discourse analysis, film, history and art history. Staff in the department work with a range of organisations including prisons, publishers, participatory arts and heritage institutions, art galleries and offshore industries.

Head of department

Sarah Jane Dickenson

Dr Sarah-Jane Dickenson


Our community

The Fear Talking

One of our newest staff members Dr Chris Westoby has recently published his debut novel The Fear Talking. Chris – our Programme Director of the Hull Online MA in Creative Writing – is also a Hull alumnus and credits his experiences as a student here at Hull for helping shape his literary career:

‘My journey towards being the Programme Director of the Hull Online MA Creative Writing and publishing my debut book, The Fear Talking, all began here as a student at the University of Hull. Our MA Creative Writing cultivates an environment where it is safe to try new avenues of writing, take risks, experiment and face down difficult subjects. As a student, this supportive community encouraged me to disclose my mental health condition for the first time via creative writing. It was barely a sentence, but it was the seed that led to undertaking a PhD and developing an entire book on the subject’.

The Fear Talking is available from Amazon and Waterstones.