Why study English?
1) When thinking of the University of Bonn, a picturesque, baroque, yellow palace may come to your mind… The Department of English, American and Celtic Studies (Institut für Anglistik Amerikanistik und Keltologie) is located within this wonderful building. The former palace of the Elector of Cologne was built around 1700 and is not only close to the river Rhine and the park Hofgarten but also to the city centre.
2) Our University was amongst the first ones to have a full professorship for “Anglistik” (English Literature and Language). Prof. Dr. Nicolaus Delius taught here at Bonn around the middle of the nineteenth century since 1847 until 1879. His scholarly work focused on Shakespeare Studies and editions of the whole canon of William Shakespeare’s work, e.g. 1851 "Der Mythos von William Shakespeare" and 1853 "Über das Theaterwesen zu Shakespeares Zeit".
3) Students and staff alike are always happy to help you. In fact, we offer an extensive range of information and interesting events. Throughout the first weeks of term, for example, our student representatives organise the annual Welcome Days with Bonn tours and information sessions, and during term they hold open hours. Our departmental library offers short tours to get to know our shelving system. At the beginning and throughout the semester you are always welcome to see the Studies Coordinator Dr. Imke Lichterfeld and her team of student mentors, our Administrative Coordinator Dr. Nicole Meier, and any of our lecturers during their office hours (people). Besides, you may wish to attend our regular career events such as the alumni talks “Forum Beruf English Studies” or the annual fairs on exchange programmes or career perspective which the faculty organise, such “Perspektive? Zukunft! Karrieretag.”
4) The major fields of study of our department – Linguistics, British and Postcolonial Literatures and Cultures, Medieval Studies, and North American Studies – have exclusively received very good to excellent evaluation marks from the science council (Wissenschaftsrat). Among the rated aspects are, for example, our research quality and reputation. We offer a wide range of different modules and courses on literature, cultural studies, synchronic and diachronic linguistics, literary theories, and the history of anglophone countries. Usually we offer courses on a variety of linguistic aspects, e.g. sociolinguistics, language acquisition, Old English or Structural Linguistics. Our modules cover all literary epochs, such as the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, or the Victorian Era, Modernism and the Roaring Twenties. The Harlem Renaissance and Postmodernism are also often covered. We also offer modules on Popular Culture through theory, film adaptations, comics, Steampunk, Fashion etc.
5) Bonn is one of two locations in Germany only where you can study Celtic Studies. In fact, our Celtic Studies’ main focus is on Literatures, Cultures, and Languages. Consequently, you can study Irish, Welsh, and Scottish-Gaelic.
6) Throughout each semester several interdisciplinary lecture series take place. Each semester, there is a lecture series on current issues in North American Studies, and a lecture series on Medieval Studies. These series are held by our staff members and visiting scholars alike, as well as Bonn series on – for example – epochs of world literature. There are many individual talks by visiting scholars as well who present their research on forensic linguistics, Shakespeare and British TV Series…
7) We have several inter- and transdisciplinary research groups, for instance Bonn Group for Eighteen-Century Studies (BGECS) or Bonn Applied English Linguistics Conference (BAEL). In addition, we co-operate with several research centres such as Bonner Mittelalterzentrum and Centre for the Classical Tradition (CCT).
8) The university’s main library (Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek / ULB) holds many books relevant for English and American Studies, However, we also have two departmental libraries. Each library holds over thousands of books and numerous journals. In fact, the Celtic library has an extensive range of rare holdings related to Indo-European languages (legacy of Eduard Rudolf Thurneysen).
9) “Fernweh?” We can help you go abroad. The Department of English, American and Celtic Studies has many long-time international relations with diverse universities nationally and internationally. We encourage our students to go abroad throughout their studies, for example via the Erasmus+ Programme or The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Going abroad has many advantages: you can intensify language skills, learn more about culture, meet new people, and extend your academic knowledge. There will be information sessions on studying abroad throughout the year.
10) A distinguished feature of our university life are our annual awards for students and staff. The Faculty of Arts awards professors and lecturers for excellent teaching as well as students for outstanding theses on gender and intercultural studies, but students of the Department of English, American and Celtic Studies can win the Queen’s Prize, awarded by the British Embassy for an excellent thesis and students of North American Studies may receive the US-Ambassador’s Award.
11) The department offers various field trips. For example, you can participate in an excursion to Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon every year. In the past, students have travelled to conferences, workshops and short trips to Berlin, a student conference in Frankfurt, the library in Wolfenbüttel, political institutions in Brussels, or museums in Amsterdam. However, they have also spent weeks in London, Washington D.C., Edinburgh, Bristol and Bath, Manchester and Liverpool, or Yorkshire…
12) We offer a high amount of fascinating workshops. In the past there have been workshops, which encourage to broaden your knowledge (e.g. about New Zealand Literature and Maori culture), or on the other hand, to help to enhance your soft skills (e.g. time management). Extracurricular activities also involve spare time activities such as the joining the student body, or taking part in the organisation of the film society or in a theatre production. You can join our acting group Bonn University Shakespeare Company (BUSC) who produce old and new plays twice a year.