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Shaping the world with words

We are deeply saddened to announce that Professor Jae Jung Song died unexpectedly but peacefully in his sleep on Sunday night. His funeral will take place tomorrow, Thursday, 27 April, at 12:30 pm at Hope and Sons Funeral Home on the corner of Andersons Bay Rd & Oxford St. All are welcome.

The Department is putting in place arrangements to continue his teaching and supervisions, and all of his students will be advised as those plans are finalised. Tutorials and lectures will continue as scheduled.

We know this news is shocking because we feel the shock ourselves. The University provides support for students through the Chaplaincy services, student health and OUSA support. Please feel free to contact any of these groups if you would like to talk about what has happened or feel you would like some extra support.

Studying English helps you read more deeply, in fiction, poetry and critical prose, and take in the sounds and signs of language in the world around you. Linguistics is the discipline that directly addresses questions about language and its nature, structure, use and development.

The Department of English and Linguistics at the University of Otago has a distinguished record of teaching and research. It was ranked in the top one hundred departments in the world for English language and literature in the 2016 QS World Rankings by Subject. It also ranked first in the field of English language and literature for the number of research-active teaching staff in the most recent Performance Based Research Funding Assessment of New Zealand universities.

The department offers both a major and a minor in English literature, a major and minor in Linguistics and a minor in Writing, and hosts the Scottish and Irish Studies Programme. A number of prizes are awarded to outstanding students in many areas. New, in 2017, is a University of Otago City of LIterature PhD Scholarship for a doctoral project in literary studies.


Learn concepts and techniques for analysing texts, improve your communication skills and sharpen your perception.


Linguistics studies language and its nature, structure, use and development.

Centre for Irish & Scottish Studies

Short overview of Irish Scottish Studies and studying it at Otago.


"Projections on the Map," by Prof Stephen Prickett

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Stephen Prickett, Regius Professor Emeritus of English Language and Literature at the University of Glasgow and honorary Professor of English at the University of Kent at Canterbury, presents on a topic of particular relevance to our position in the Pacific.



Dr Elisabeth Liebert

Elisabeth Liebert thumbnail

Elisabeth Liebert’s Master’s degree led her deep into the world of John Milton, which in turn led her to Otago’s John Hale, an international authority on the renaissance poet. So when she embarked on her PhD, it was her choice of supervisor that brought her – intellectually, at least – to Otago.