PhD student Ryan Coogan on Teaching at Southern Connecticut State University

PhD student Ryan Coogan on Teaching at Southern Connecticut State University

From August to December 2017, LJMU English PhD student Ryan Coogan spent a semester teaching and researching at LJMU's transatlantic partner Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven. Ryan's thesis focusses upon the work of five key 20th century artists who are primarily known as poets, but have also worked extensively in other forms of media. In Southern's Professor Charles Baraw, who visited the LJMU English department last year, he found a fellow fan of the work of Susan Howe, and together they collaborated on the design of some challenging material and assignments as part of the 2017/18 version of Professor Baraw's 'Contemporary American Poetry' module.  Work and study abroad adds a highly competitive edge to any cv, and the unique relationship between Southern and LJMU has been established to ensure as many of our students as possible can gain that international advantage. At LJMU's 2017 Teaching and Learning Conference, Ryan, Professor Baraw, and Alice Ferrebe (Subject Leader for LJMU English) co-presented on...
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SCSU’s Professor Brian Johnson gives Poetry Reading at LJMU

SCSU’s Professor Brian Johnson gives Poetry Reading at LJMU

Last Wednesday night, as the sun set (really rather poetically) over the Mersey, Professor Brian Johnson from LJMU's transatlantic partner Southern Connecticut State University gave a reading of his poetry to staff and students. Professor Johnson currently teaches composition, creative writing, and modern literature at Southern, and is the author of Torch Lake and Other Poems (a finalist for the Norma Farber First Book Award), and Site Visits, a collaborative work with the German painter Burghard Müller-Dannhausen. During his week-long visit to LJMU, Professor Johnson also observed a variety of classes on the English programme, as well as leading a poetry masterclass for final-year Creative Writing students. He gave a paper on the Site Visits project to the Research Centre of Literature and Cultural History. LJMU English and Creative Writing are exploring a range of exciting opportunities for our students with Southern Connecticut State University. We'll both be welcoming Study Abroad students from our sister institutions next year, and are working towards a programme of staff exchanges that will give all our students the chance...
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LJMU English Welcomes Colleague from Transatlantic Partner Southern Connecticut State

LJMU English Welcomes Colleague from Transatlantic Partner Southern Connecticut State

Next week, LJMU English will be hosting a visit from Professor Brian Johnson of Southern Connecticut State University. LJMU has a unique 'transatlantic alliance' with 'Southern' (as it's known to its staff and students). We have an English Major from Southern studying with us this semester, plus a number of students on our English programme have applied to Study Abroad there next year, and are anxiously waiting to hear if their applications have been successful. Professor Johnson currently teaches composition, creative writing, and modern literature at Southern. He is the author of Torch Lake and Other Poems (a finalist for the Norma Farber First Book Award), and Site Visits, a collaborative work with the German painter Burghard Müller-Dannhausen. Whilst at LJMU he will give a paper on the Site Visits project to the Research Centre of Literature and Cultural History, and a Poetry Reading on Wednesday 15th March at 5.30pm in Redmonds 523: all are very welcome. As well as observing a number of classes...
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Studying English: From Southern to LJMU

Studying English: From Southern to LJMU

Tyler Korponai is a English major at Southern Connecticut State University, LJMU's transatlantic partner. He is studying on the English programme this semester. Here, he shares his advice to Southern students planning to study English abroad at LJMU.  As a Southern Connecticut State University student investigating the English program at Liverpool John Moores University, there are some distinctions between these two universities’ programs of which you should be conscious. Before beginning classes it would be to your benefit to prepare yourself for a different orientation and style of teaching. You should attempt to contact lecturers, who are akin to professors, module leaders, who are essentially directors of an individual course and communicate with lecturers, and finally your Learning Technology Officer, who would be in charge of connecting you electronically with faculty on Blackboard. If all has been done properly before your departure, the names of your modules, lecturers, and at least one contact in the English department should be in your possession. Being connected early...
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Study Abroad at LJMU: University Study in the UK

Study Abroad at LJMU: University Study in the UK

Now compared to your fiendishly complicated system in the USA (that's how it seems to an outsider anyway!), the UK system is relatively straight forward for British students. In the UK, most students buy an (expensive!) ticket for the subject (or combined subjects) of their choice, get on and travel straight to their destination/graduation over three years of full-time study. For the most part, students study on single-honours programmes (that is, they major in one subject from the very start of their course, like Mathematics or English), or joint-honours, which combine the study of two subjects (Criminology and Psychology, for example). LJMU students take six modules per year, three in each semester (and our semesters run from September-December, and January-April), for 20 credits per module. On some programmes, all modules will be core (that is, obligatory), but on most students take a combination of core and optional modules. (In my second year of study on single-honours English, I chose the 'Working the USA' module, hence why I’m talking to...
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Study Abroad at LJMU: Your British grades and how to understand them

Study Abroad at LJMU: Your British grades and how to understand them

The main message here is simple: don't panic! Jessica Rimmer guides you through the ways in which the grades you get at LJMU will differ from those at Southern.  The expression of marks and grades differ greatly between the US and the UK. As percentage values don't carry the same grade weight on both sides of the Atlantic, marks in the UK are generally lower. Therefore, receiving marks in the 60 - 70 percentage range is no reason to despair, as this is considered the threshold for strong work in the UK. Another UK grading difference is the way in which results are characterised, as GPAs don't exist over here. Instead, students receive a mean mark for each year of their studies, and results are ultimately categorised into final degree classifications such as 'first class', 'upper second', 'lower second', 'third' etc. In order to aid your understanding of these seemingly incomprehensible differences in grading, please consult the 'UK/US grading system conversion chart'...
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Study Abroad at LJMU: Welcome to Liverpool!

Study Abroad at LJMU: Welcome to Liverpool!

Want to know how to spend your free time in Liverpool whilst studying at LJMU? Ask a local. Isobel Currie lets you in on her favourite places to visit... Liverpool is a vibrant city with so much to do and see. The city revolves around its nightlife, so there are options for different types of people and very different nights. I'd say my favourite is Seel Street, as the bars here have something for everyone - R&B, Soul, House and Pop music. Victoria Street offers some of the best clubs and gets very busy on a Saturday night. Liverpool is home to two huge football (soccer) teams, Liverpool FC and Everton FC. They both have stadiums in Anfield and Everton that you can take tours of or try their websites for game tickets. The derby in which the two teams play against each other really divides the city for the day. I'm sure I don't need to tell you that Liverpool is also the birthplace...
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Study Abroad at LJMU: The British Classroom

Study Abroad at LJMU: The British Classroom

LJMU English intern Isobel Currie tells you what to expect in classes at LJMU.  The average university day at LJMU differs massively from that at Southern. If you're studying on the English programme, for example, each of your modules will usually be timetabled for three hours per week. Usually, you'll start with a lecture for 50 minutes with 10 minutes break at the end. (Science programmes have a different schedule.) Lectures tend to be a single tutor speaking at the front of an auditorium to all the students registered on that module (this can be up to around 200 students). Generally students don't contribute to lectures, unless called upon by the tutor. Tutors also often make announcements before or after the session - regarding events, room changes etc.  Seminars are usually straight after lectures, and run for an hour and half to two hours, depending on the subject, the tutor and the contributions from you and your fellow classmates. They will feel more familiar to you, as they work in a...
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Study Abroad at LJMU: Trips from Liverpool

Study Abroad at LJMU: Trips from Liverpool

Now, our country is nowhere near the size of yours. This may have its downfalls, but it does mean that you can experience lots of different cities while you're studying at LJMU. From Liverpool you could easily visit Manchester and London on a day trip, and Edinburgh for a weekend; all are easily accessible by train from Liverpool's Lime Street Station. Manchester Trains between Liverpool and Manchester run frequently due to their close distance, usually once an hour. They can be as cheap as £6 for return tickets if you book in advance, but even booking on the day shouldn't be more than £8 each way. No-one fully understands the pricing systems of British train travel, but online booking is the most reliable way to get the cheapest tickets. Depending on where you live in the city, most stations will go to either of Manchester's main stations, Victoria or Piccadilly. For the town centre, I'd recommend using Victoria, as it's only a two minute walk from...
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