Beyond the boundaries

December 16, 2010

In an article complaining about the research excellence framework impact pilots in English language and literature, Peter Barry attempts to belittle each of the five case studies that have been published ("Examples of little relevance", 9 December). An alternative view is that they represent the range of exciting, innovative and valuable research being done in the discipline these days. It would have been more useful if Barry had given any hint of the importance of other work in English that he claims has been ignored.

I was pleased that a case study from our centre was included in the set of five quite different examples. I believe they illustrate the way in which much interesting research being carried out in English language and literature is not being done at the core of traditional departments but at the edges, in collaboration with others and across disciplinary boundaries.

David Barton, Director, Literacy Research Centre, Lancaster University.

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