The Department of English and Literary Studies started as a pioneer department in 1976 after having been a part of the English Department, University of Nigeria, Nsukka when Calabar was one of its campuses. Unlike other departments, it did not inherit any students from English Department elected to move to the mother Department at Nsukka.
As the first Department of English and Literary Studies in Nigeria, the Department pursued a vigorous policy of advancing studies in African Literature, while still encouraging research in the English language and other literatures.
Originally, the Department was housed in a two-storey building at the Main Campus; then in 1992 it was moved to the 3rd floor of the definitive library. Today it is located at the Abubakar Rimi Building which she shares with the Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies. After Professor William Stevenson, the Department was at various times headed by the following:
|1||Late Professor Ime Ikiddeh||(1979-1980)|
|2||Professor Ernest N. Emenyonu||(1980-1988)|
|3||Professor Chidi Ikonne||(1989-1991)|
|4||Professor Julius N. Ogu||(1992-1993)|
|5||Professor (Mrs) Ebele Eko||(1994-1996)|
|6||Professor Dele Orisawayi||(1996-1998)|
|7||Dr. (Mrs) Grace Eche Okereke||(2000-2002)|
|8||Dr. Azubike Iloeje||(2002-2004)|
|9||Dr. (Mrs) Eno Grace Nta||(2004-2006)|
|10||Dr. Anthonia Inyang Umoren||(2006-2008)|
|11||Prof (Mrs) Stella Ikhesor Ekpe||(2008-2010)|
|12||Dr. Ndubuisi Clement Osuagwu||(2010-2012)|
|13||Dr Stella Asibong Ansa||(2012-2014)|
At present, the Department is headed by Prof. Francis Ibe Mogu and has in all 31 academic members of staff, while the student population is above 600.
The Department has awarded an estimated number of 3,500 B.A degrees and not less than 260 postgraduate degrees since 1975.