The Department of English was founded on 11 November 1971, as one of the seven units of the newly founded Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Niš. In the beginning, it had two professors (Ljiljana Mihailović and Vida Marković) and one lector (Damjan Karapandžić). A decade later, six teaching assistants obtained doctoral degrees, which facilitated the teaching process and development of the Department.
During the period of nearly four decades, the Department hosted numerous British and American lectors: Helen Goodluck, David Cunliffe, David Hill, Peter Sexton, Gloria Jones, Ian Cotton, Mollie Heckel, David Read, Brooke Ricker, Lauren Schumate, Cleyera Martin, Kelsey Montzka, Jessica Collins, Danbi Lee, Joshua Popkin and Sonja Dix Stojanović.
Members of the staff of the Department of English have either studied or done research at reputable universities in the United States, Britain, Canada and Australia. Moreover, the Department constantly maintains the existing connections and establishes new forms of cooperation with other higher education institutions in the country and abroad, while the list of visiting lecturers includes the following professors: Ranko Bugarski, Ljubomir Mihajlović, Diane Larsen-Freeman, Colin Nicholson, Terry Eagleton, Jim Scrivener, Todd Oakley, Kenneth Cushner, Mark Turner, Ray Jackendoff, Marshall Toman, and others.
The Department of English has successfully licenced the study programmes of Bachelor studies of English (a four-year programme) and Master studies in English (a one-year programme), and together with other philological departments at the Faculty, the Department participates in the Doctoral studies of Philology (a three-year programme). All of these programmes have a considerable number of elective courses, which allow students to tailor their educational profiles. Students who complete the BA and MA programmes obtain the professional title of a Bachelor with Honours in Philology and Master in Philology, respectively.
Members of the Department of English actively contribute to scientific research activities in several ways: as participants at national and international scientific conferences, as visiting lecturers at universities in the country and abroad, as participants in projects funded by the Republic of Serbia, as well as other numerous international scientific and administrative projects. Their publishing activity consists of issuing monographs and textbooks, books of proceedings, and publishing articles in domestic and international journals.
The Department of English has organized a series of scientific conferences dedicated to the problems of studying languages, literature and culture. These conferences include: Language, Literature, Politics (2007), Language, Literature, Globalization (2008), Language, Literature, Identity (2009), Language, Literature, Change (2010), Language, Literature, Communication (2011), Language, Literature, Values (2012), Language, Literature, Marginalization (2013), Language, Literature, Discourse (2014), Language, Literature, Meaning (2015), Language, Literature, Time (2016), Language, Literature, Space (2017), Language, Literature, Theory (2018) and Language, Literature, Context (2019). The Department has also organized a biannual conference called Teaching Languages and Cultures Conference in the Post-Method Era, and the previous topics include: Issues and Developments (2014), Developing Competencies (2016), Challenges and Perspectives (2018). In addition to the mentioned conferences, the Department also participated in organizing conferences of the Serbian Association for Canadian Studies (SACS), as well as a series of interdepartmental conferences (with other departments of English from the region).
The Heads of Department of English have so far been: Vida Marković, Ljiljana Mihailović, Sonja Janoski, Gordana Opačić, Ratomir Ristić, Brankica Pacić, Mladen Jovanović, Đorđe Vidanović, Dragana Mašović, Lena Petrović, Vesna Lopičić, Biljana Mišić Ilić, Slobodanka Kitić, Vladimir Ž. Jovanović, Mihailo Antović, Milica Živković and Dušan Stamenković (the current Head of Department).
At the beginning of 2019, the Department has seven full professors (Dragana Mašović, Vesna Lopičić, Biljana Mišić Ilić, Tatjana Paunović, Vladimir Ž. Jovanović, Milica Živković and Mihailo Antović), three associate professors (Violeta Stojičić, Vladan Pavlović and Dušan Stamenković), six assistant professors (Nina Lazarević, Milena Kaličanin, Danijela Petković, Milica Radulović, Ana Kocić, and Nataša Tučev), four senior lectors (Ljiljana Janković, Marta Veličković, Ljiljana Mihajlović and Ljiljana Marković), three teaching assistants (Aleksandar Pejčić, Vladimir Figar and Sanja Ignjatović), one teaching fellow (Lidija Petrović) and one junior researcher (Ema Živković).