The English department is made up of an extremely friendly and active group of students, faculty and staff. In addition to the research events (such as guest lectures and conferences), a wide array of activities and events are organised throughout the year that allow not only for a celebration and encounter with English literatures and language outside of the classroom, but also for the building of a true sense of community within the department.
Faculty and staff regularly get together for dinners, hikes in the nearby mountainous landscapes, or away-days during which they discuss their research or teaching practices. They also gladly attend the student parties organised by the students’ committee, which are always a great opportunity to get to know one another beyond the desk and blackboard setting.
The students, and in particular its committee (SCOPE), also organise a number of creative and/or academic activities such as creative writing groups, poetry reading groups, student conferences, “improv.ppt”, and publish a student magazine, MUSE.
There is also a deep attachment to the theatre in Lausanne, and a wish to be able to experience the plays that are studied in our seminars. Thus, countless theatrical productions that have involved both students and faculty have taken place at the on-campus theatre and elsewhere, be it in the context of the Fécule theatre festival, or Switzerland’s first and only yearly Shakespeare festival that we organize.
Although Lausanne and the Léman/alpine region have also served as inspiration for some landmarks of English literature, we are fortunate to regularly take our students on various study trips: to London and Stratford-upon-Avon to watch and study Shakespeare’s works, to Paris to study the life and work of African American writers and artists who lived there, to the Lake District and the Alps to discuss Romantic poetry, to Scotland, on a tour of several landmarks through the North of England, or more local weekend retreats to read medieval texts or discuss and observe linguistic phenomena.