Alongside the more traditional elementsof Anglophone Studies, the main areas of research in this department are Postcolonial Studies, with a particular focus on South African Studies (Prof. Erhard Reckwitz), and American Studies.
The department is currently conducting two externally funded projects, both of an interdisciplinary nature. Headed by Prof. Josef Raab and with the participation of Prof. Jens Martin Gurr, a research group receiving state funding at the University of Bielefeld’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF) is working on “E Pluribus Unum?: Ethnic Identities in TransnationalIntegration Processes in the Americas”. Inconnection with the project, the “Da-Sein” exhibition of contemporary US Latina/o art was held at the Essen university library in November /  December 2008. The second project is on bio­ethics and literature. Entitled “Geschichte,Theorie, Ethik der Medizin: Literarische Texte für den neuen Querschnittsbereich”, it is being funded by the Andrea-von-Braun Foundation and conducted by Prof. Annette Kern-Stählerin cooperation with Prof. Bettina Schöne-Seifert.
Several of the department’s lecturers are also involved in establishing an interdisciplinary “Urban Studies” field of research in the humanities as part of one of the university’s main areasof research, “Urban Systems”. The project is headed by Prof. Jens Martin Gurr and Dr. Martin Butler.
Members of the Department of Anglophone Studies have international connections with the USA, Ireland, Finland, Sweden and South Africa. The inaugural conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English was attended by the entire linguistics faculty.