Glenda Norquay in Paris and Warsaw

Professor Glenda Norquay had an unusual start to the autumn semester, visiting first Warsaw then Paris to give keynote lectures at two very different international conferences. In Warsaw she spoke at the fourth 'Scotland in Europe' conference. This interdisciplinary conference was held at the Institute of English Studies in Warsaw, home to one of LJMU English’s Erasmus Exchange partners. Glenda's talk was on ‘Chronotopes of Justice in Contemporary Scottish Fiction’, including Irvine Welsh’s most recent two novels which reunite the characters from Trainspotting. Other papers at the conference provided a fascinating mix of views on contemporary politics, translation studies, popular culture and tourism, as well as Scottish writing. If Warsaw looked beautiful in the autumn light, Paris provided the spectacle of late summer sunshine. This conference, again interdisciplinary, was on ‘L’avoir lieu/ Taking Place’. The conclusion of a two-year project led by the VALE research group at the Sorbonne, the conference brought together a rich diversity of papers, including perspectives from conceptual art...
Read More

New journal issue revives Rosa Luxemburg’s legacy

A new journal special issue edited by Dr Filippo Menozzi is set to revive the legacy of Marxist anti-imperialist intellectual, Rosa Luxemburg. ‘Rosa Luxemburg: Capitalism, Imperialism and the Postcolonial’, a special issue of New Formations: A Journal of Culture/Theory/Politics, aims to reflect on the current relevance of Luxemburg’s work, particularly how her writings might help us address cogent issues such as neoliberalism and the postcolonial condition, the current crisis of Europe, debt colonialism and imagining the end of capitalism. Dr Menozzi’s article, 'Think another time: Rosa Luxemburg and the concept of history’, features in the issue alongside work by Helen Scott, Benita Parry, Evelin Wittich, Peter Hudis, Stephen Morton, Ingo Schmidt, Paul LeBlanc and Kanishka Chowdhury. The issue as a whole contributes to a revival of Luxemburg in the twenty-first century, testified by the on-going publication of her complete works by Verso and Kate Evans’s graphic novel Red Rosa. With this revival of interest, Luxemburg is returning as a truly “contemporary” thinker,...
Read More

Dr Michael Perfect on BBC Radio Merseyside

Dr Michael Perfect will be speaking on BBC Radio Merseyside this week about novelist Andrea Levy. The interview will explore how Levy’s work addresses the experiences of Windrush migrants to Britain. Levy’s Jamaican father arrived in England on the Empire Windrush ship in 1948 and much of her writing has explored this history and aspects of black British experience. Dr Perfect’s interview will open with a reading from Levy’s 2004 novel Small Island, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Whitbread Novel Award, the Whitbread Book of the Year award, the Orange Best of the Best, and the Commonwealth Writer's Prize. The interview will take place on Sunday October 7th at 9.10 pm and can be accessed here....
Read More

LJMU Workshop to Explore Irish History through Theatre

A new workshop at LJMU will explore Ireland’s revolutionary past through contemporary theatre. The workshop, organised by Professor of Irish Cultural History, Gerry Smyth, will explore issues raised in a play by award-winning Liverpool-based playwright and musician, Lizzie Nunnery, about the murder of Francis Sheehy-Skeffington. ‘To Have to Shoot Irishmen’, will be playing at the Everyman Theatre for three nights from Thursday 25th October as part of the Liverpool Irish Festival. Francis Sheehy-Skeffington (1878-1916), atheist, socialist, feminist and anti-militarist, was also a fervent nationalist who longed to see the connection with Britain severed. A rationalist radical who ploughed his own furrow with great courage, he himself agreed that he was a crank –“a small instrument that makes revolutions”. Although he had broken with John Redmond over the latter’s support for the first World War, Sheehy-Skeffington was not prepared to give uncritical support to the republican leadership that was planning violent insurrection. Ironically, his murder during the 1916 Rising, on the orders of...
Read More

Murder Ballads at Royal Court

The music of Nick Cave has inspired a new production by Professor Gerry Smyth which will be running at the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool this Halloween. Based on Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’s cult album, Murder Ballads is a darkly comic tale of madness, horror and death set in a Texan bar in the winter of 1882. Perfect for anyone who loves Cave or who is looking to get into the Halloween spirit, Murder Ballads runs from October 31st to 2 November. Further information and bookings are available here....
Read More

Cotton Famine Project Publishes First 100 Poems

Edwin Waugh: Home-life of Lancashire factory workers during the cotton famine The ‘Cotton Famine Poetry’ project, which is being directed by Brian Maidment from LJMU and Simon Rennie from the University of Exeter, has moved into an exciting new phase and is garnering considerable media attention. The first 100 poems, all with audio versions and most with annotations, are now available on the website available here. The project’s overall aim is to create a database of all the available poems about the cotton famine from the early 1860s gathered from magazines, newspapers, books and broadsides and to use the poems as the basis for a series of events and publications that will reach out to schools, museums and the general public. The impact of the project has already led into unexpected areas, greatly helped by articles in the Guardian and Sunday Times and Simon’s interview on Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme. The traditional band Faustus are recording musical versions of some of the...
Read More

Joe Moran Discusses New Book at Waterstone’s

Joe Moran, Professor of English at LJMU, will be talking about his new book First You Write a Sentence: The Elements of Reading, Writing … and Life at Waterstone’s in Liverpool at 6.30 pm on Tuesday 23rd October. Using minimal technical terms, First You Write a Sentence is Professor Moran's unpedantic but authoritative explanation of how the most ordinary words can be turned into verbal constellations of extraordinary grace. Using sources ranging from the Bible and Shakespeare to George Orwell and Maggie Nelson, and scientific studies of what can best fire the reader's mind, he shows how we can all write in a way that is clear, compelling and alive. Whether dealing with finding the ideal word, building a sentence or constructing a paragraph, First You Write a Sentence informs by light example: much richer than a style guide, it can be read not just for instruction but for pleasure and delight. Professor Moran will be in discussion with Dr Helen Tookey,...
Read More

Dr Deaglán Ó Donghaile speaks at Foyle Pride Festival

Dr Ó Donghaile at the Foyle Pride Festival Dr Deaglán Ó Donghaile addressed a large audience in Derry this summer on the subject of "Oscar Wilde and Irish Republicanism" as part of the Foyle Pride Festival, which this year marked its 25th anniversary. The talk, which took place on August 22nd, focussed on Wilde's public expressions of sympathy for Irish republicanism, and the ways in which his anti-colonial beliefs influenced his literary writings. The event was followed by a very lively questions and answers session and was part of a week of events that included film screenings, public discussions on LGBTQ+ culture and rights, and a talk by Peter Tatchell. The Festival culminated in thousands of people taking part in a march through Derry. ...
Read More

Bluecoat 300: Charity, Philanthropy and the Black Atlantic

For anyone who couldn’t make ‘Bluecoat 300: Charity, Philanthropy and the Black Atlantic’ last year or who wants to find out more about the events held, a full report has recently been published online by Sophie Jones of the University of Liverpool. The one-day symposium and series of related public events marked the Bluecoat’s tercentenary and the tenth anniversary of the International Slavery Museum by exploring connections between charity, philanthropy and the black Atlantic in Liverpool. The event was principally organised by English lecturer Michael Morris, with LJMU as chief sponsor. The full report can be read here....
Read More

The International English Project: Four Days in Naples

Kate Walchester and Filippo Menozzi visited Italy last month to promote and develop LJMU English’s exciting new links with the University of Naples ‘L' Orientale’. They asked the five undergraduate students who accompanied them, Alexa Spanghero, Charlotte Westwood, Ruth Childerhouse, Emma Oudheusen and Gabi Cummings, to write a brief report on their experiences. Here’s what they came up with: ‘In times when the fate of international mobility is uncertain, what better way to restore students' faith in multicultural collaboration than to send five of them on a mission to Naples, Italy (and why not enjoy a bit of sunshine too while we are there)?’ This is the thought that I imagine went through the heads of Kate Walchester and Filippo Menozzi when they were organising our recent trip to the city. Brilliant idea that it is, it does not stand alone. It is in fact part of the International English Project that, since March 2018, has kept six interns busy using film...
Read More

New album of W. B. Yeats lyrics from Professor Gerry Smyth

Professor Gerry Smyth is to launch three new projects in the fields of Irish music and theatre over the next six months. His new album of settings of lyrics by W. B. Yeats, Words for Music, Perhaps, will be launched at the Liverpool Irish Festival in October. Professor Smyth will also travel to the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin this month for the launch of a book entitled Music Preferred: Essays in Musicology, Cultural History and Analysis, in which he has a chapter on ‘Moore, Wagner, Joyce: Evelyn Innes and the Irish Wagnerian Novel’. The book honours the distinguished Irish musicologist Harry White on his sixtieth birthday. In July, five members of Professor Smyth’s Liverpool-Irish Literary Theatre company are due to travel to Nijmegen in the Netherlands for a rehearsed reading of a new play at the annual conference of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literature....
Read More

Wilde scholars celebrate double success

Dr Deaglán Ó Donghaile will be holding a major international conference entitled “Oscar Wilde’s Modernist Legacies” at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2021. Organised with Professor Joseph Bristow of UCLA, the conference will be hosted by the university’s Clark Library, which houses the world’s largest collection of materials relating to Oscar Wilde. This event will explore Wilde’s influence over modernist writers during his own lifetime and during the first half of the twentieth century. Dr Ó Donghaile is currently completing a monograph, entitled Oscar Wilde and the Radical Politics of the Fin de Siècle, and has conducted research at the Clark Library as a Visiting Fellow in 2009 and 2013, and again in 2017. Dr Sonny Kandola will also be travelling to the library to take up a Clark Fellowship in 2019. Dr Kandola will carry out archival work for a project provisionally titled 'Oscar Wilde: Censorship and Empire'. For more about the Clark Library, see here....
Read More

Prison Voices team present at Edinburgh conference

The Prison Voices team English students and lecturers joined forces last week to present an innovative paper at an Edinburgh conference on crime fiction. Lecturers Emily Cuming and Jude Piesse co-presented a paper with Level 5 students Lindsay Wilkinson, Sarah Pass, and Joshua Preece about their joint experiences of the undergraduate module ‘Prison Voices: Narratives of Crime and Punishment 1700-1900’, developed by LJMU’s Helen Rogers. The paper was delivered at an interdisciplinary conference on ‘Crime Fiction(s): Victorian and Neo-Victorian Narratives of Crime and Punishment’ held at Edinburgh Napier University. The paper addressed the topic of ‘Prison Voices in the Classroom: Crime, Punishment, and Pedagogy in the Digital Age’, reflecting on the methods used to uncover and articulate prison voices from the past. Joshua, Sarah, and Lindsay did a fantastic job at representing the student perspective, making the paper one of the acknowledged highlights of the day. LJMU was also represented by PhD researcher Sam Saunders, who delivered a fantastic paper on ‘“The Romance...
Read More

New publications on Margaret Atwood and Karen Tei Yamashita

Margaret Atwood. Copyright Liam Sharp 2016. Recent publications from English lecturers Fiona Tolan and Bella Adams are set to expand our understanding of contemporary women’s writing. Fiona Tolan has edited a special issue of the prestigious journal Contemporary Women’s Writing on Margaret Atwood. The issue came out in print last month and brings together eight essays by leading Atwood scholars. It also features Fiona’s own author interview with Atwood. Bella Adams’s chapter ‘Environment, Justice, Aesthetics: Through the Arc of the Rain Forest and My Year of Meats’ has been published in the first edited collection on the writer Karen Tei Yamashita. The collection contains freshly commissioned essays by a range of international scholars, a recent interview with the author, and a semiautobiographical keynote address that ruminates on Yamashita’s Japanese American heritage. For further details, see Contemporary Women’s Writing 11.3 (November 2017) and Karen Tei Yamashita: Fictions of Magic and Memory, ed. by Robert A. Lee (University of Hawai‘i Press)....
Read More

‘Shy Radicals and Shrinking Violets’

Professor of English and Cultural History Joe Moran is due to speak about his latest book on shyness at Liverpool's WoWFest literary festival on Thursday May 24th. Professor Moran’s social-cultural history Shrinking Violets charts shyness from antiquity to the present day and explores the different ways in which writers, scientists, artists and thinkers have tried to explain, ‘cure’ and occasionally celebrate it. The event also features activist writer and artist Hamja Ahsan, whose book Shy Radicals: The Antisystemic Politics Of The Militant Introvert is a call to arms for the politically motivated introvert to quietly challenge extrovert-supremacist politics and twenty-first century assertiveness culture. The event will take place at 6.30 pm at The Bluecoat. For tickets and further information see https://www.wowfest.uk/events/10-events/191-event-shy-radicals-and-shrinking-violets.html...
Read More

Department Hosts University of Naples Professor on ERASMUS Staff Exchange

This week, it was our great pleasure to welcome Professor Miguel Mellino, from our partner the University of Naples L’Orientale, as part of the ERASMUS Staff Exchange at LJMU. Professor Mellino is an important voice in contemporary Italian Postcolonial Studies. His research centres on the intersections between race, culture, citizenship and the history of decolonisation, and his publications include influential works on Stuart Hall and Frantz Fanon. Currently, he is also curating the Italian translation of writings by Frantz Fanon and Aimé Césaire. During his stay in the Department of English, he contributed to undergraduate teaching by giving a lecture on Paul Gilroy’s The Black Atlantic for our Level 5 Postcolonial Writing students. Prof. Mellino, who translated Gilroy’s book into Italian, delivered an inspiring talk that focused on the politics of diaspora, racism and modernity in Gilroy’s thought. Our visiting speaker also gave a paper for our Research Seminar, titled “‘The state of the European Crisis: Neoliberalism between Biopolitics and...
Read More

Sam Saunders Edits New Issue of “Law, Crime and History”

The new issue of Law, Crime and History journal has been published featuring work by LJMU PhD candidate Sam Saunders. Sam, along with Setphen Basdeo (Leeds Trinity), also edited and introduced the issue which has a broad focus crime history and crime literature. Contributors to Law, Crime and History originally presented their work at a successful conference at LJMU entitled "Lives, Trials, and Executions: Perspectives on Crime, 1700–1900" in 2017. Sam notes that “the aim of the conference was to bring together scholars working on crime history and crime fiction from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the editorial aim of the journal was really to reflect that breadth”. Sam’s own contribution to the journal is a study of mid-Victorian police memoir fiction, a largely forgotten genre of literature which helped to prepare readers for later iterations of crime and detective fiction. His interest in the subject was sparked by his ground-breaking PhD research into the lost periodical origins of detective fiction....
Read More

Magical Realism Conference at LJMU

LJMU English’s Christinna Hobbs and Jennifer O’Reilly are organizing a one-day conference on magical realism, to be held at the university from 9 am-5 pm on July 5th 2018. ‘Reality, Interrupted: New Perspectives on Magical Realism’ seeks to explore understandings of magical realism in the twenty-first century. It aims to interrogate the category of ‘magical realism’ through an examination of its conventions, form, and features, as well as its relationship with political, historical, and cultural contexts. The keynote will be delivered by Dr Chris Warnes of St. John’s, University of Cambridge. Proposals from individual scholars at any stage in their career, or for panels and roundtables, are welcome by the deadline of February 28th. A limited number of travel bursaries are available for postgraduate students. Please see the following for full details about the event and how to submit your proposal: https://realityinterrupted2018.wordpress.com/ @MagicReal2018 Contact: Magicalrealismconf2018@gmail.com ...
Read More

Professor Glenda Norquay Travels to New York and Warsaw

See below for Prof. Glenda Norquay’s accounts of her trips to the MLA Convention in New York and the Institute of English Studies at the University of Warsaw. Watch out for details of Erasmus exchange places available in Warsaw next academic year! ‘This year began for me with two international expeditions that were ‘wild’ in a number of senses. The first was to the Modern Language Association Convention in New York City. This is the biggest international gathering of the English subject area and a great opportunity to find out what’s new in the discipline, engage with scholars in a particular specialism or hear academic celebrities. I had co-organised a panel of international scholars – from France, the Netherlands, Scotland – to talk on ‘Mapping Literary and Political Landscapes in Postdevolutionary Scottish Writing: Restating Insecurities’. This was related to the main, or Presidential, theme of the Convention, ‘States of Insecurity’. Our session was Panel 720 – which...
Read More

A Drink with Brendan Behan

A new play written by LJMU English Professor Gerry Smyth is to have a rehearsed reading at the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool on March 20th. A Drink with Brendan Behan, written in collaboration with Andrew Sherlock of LJMU Drama, will be followed by a round table with Professor Vic Merriman (Edge Hill) and Professor Frank Shovlin (Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool). Dr Sherlock and Professor Smyth are founder members of the Liverpool-Irish Literary Theatre. Congratulations to Professor Smyth and Dr Sherlock! Further details will be available soon. ...
Read More
Vancouver: LJMU English at World Congress of Scottish Literature

Vancouver: LJMU English at World Congress of Scottish Literature

LJMU English Lecturer Michael Morris recently attended the second ever World Congress of Scottish Literatures which took place this year in Vancouver, British Columbia. The conference’s subtitle ‘Dialogues and Diasporas’ emphasised the variety of ways in which Scotland is articulated both at home and within a global context through literature in English, Scots and Gaelic. This year marks 150 years of the confederation in Canada, though the First Nations have been on the territory for considerably longer than that. The organisers of the congress observed that the location the conference was held on was ‘unceded territory’ and a strong element of the conference was exploring Indigenous/ Scottish relations from the earliest days to the present. This included an opening session featuring Indigenous spoken word poetry and music and the launch of the Indigenous/ Scottish Studies research cluster which will explore the history of conquest and exchange. The congress was closed with an exhibition of Metis dancing believed to be a fusion...
Read More
Winners! LJMU English Summer Book Design Competition 2017

Winners! LJMU English Summer Book Design Competition 2017

During the summer of 2017 (remember it? it rained, mostly) LJMU English ran a competition asking students to design a book cover for a text they were studying, and to submit their work of creative genius with an explanation of the inspiration behind their work. We're delighted to announce that the quality of the entries we received meant that we've had to designate not one, but two worthy winners: one from a 2017 graduate, and the other from a student who started with us this year (and heard about the competition at one of our Open Days). Both will receive their choice of book from the gorgeous Penguin Clothbound Classics series. HUGE congratulations to Gemma and Kathrin - you can admire their designs and read how they came about below. Look out for more competitions soon - we do so like to show off the creativity and brilliance of our students! Gemma Lutwyche, L4 English & Creative Writing Tennessee William’s play A Streetcar...
Read More
Transitions Module: Study Opportunities in the City

Transitions Module: Study Opportunities in the City

This year, Level 6 students taking the module 'Transitions: Identity in the Inter-War Years' were lucky enough to enjoy two fantastic and relevant events right on their doorsteps. In October we went to see the exhibition Portraying a Nation: Germany 1919-1933 at Tate Liverpool. Although it was particularly relevant to one of the texts on the module, Christopher Isherwood’s Goodbye to Berlin (1939), it also gave us a much broader sense of the period. Students found the intense portrait photographs by August Sander difficult to look at with a sense of what was to come. They also found his organisation of experience particularly compelling: ‘I loved seeing how the Sander photographs were paired with a timeline of the interwar years. It was also brilliant to see the categorisation of a poor woman as "the city", rather than any class of people.’ The Otto Dix paintings, whether engaging with his war experiences or with life in the Weimanr Republic, were challenging but stimulating. ‘Some of the...
Read More
Marxism Postgraduate Reading Group: This Thursday, 26th October 2017, 4pm

Marxism Postgraduate Reading Group: This Thursday, 26th October 2017, 4pm

LJMU Postgraduate students are warmly invited to the inaugural meeting of our Marxism PG Reading Group, to be held this Thursday, 26th October from 4-5.30pm in John Foster 133. The preparatory reading is Jodi Dean's article ‘Enjoying Neoliberalism’: Cultural Politics 4/1 (2008), 47-72 - available via DISCOVER from LJMU Library Services. Do come along and share your own stories of enjoyment!...
Read More
LJMU English Interns Co-Organises Cockpit-Phoenix Symposium in London

LJMU English Interns Co-Organises Cockpit-Phoenix Symposium in London

I had just graduated from LJMU with a 1st class BA (Hons) in English Literature when I heard about the internship. At first I assumed (never assume) that the internship would not be for graduating students. After speaking with Dr Rebecca Bailey I was assured otherwise, and I quickly sent in my application. The main interest for me was the historical aspect. Though my passion is English literature, my great love is history, and the early-modern period is such an interesting period that I was incredibly excited by the project. The opportunity to help out at a symposium with Rebecca and Dr Eva Griffith, an independent theatre historian, was a fantastic prospect as a student…and to have the opportunity to spend some time at the London Metropolitan Archives was almost too much excitement. So, I went to my interview with everything crossed. I was thrilled to be one of two interns chosen. My fellow intern, Alina Burwitz, second-year undergraduate student on the...
Read More
LJMU English Interns Create World Literature Website

LJMU English Interns Create World Literature Website

Rupert French, Emily Richardson and Katie Taylor, soon-to-be graduates in English at LJMU, have recently completed an internship to create a World Literature website blog. Rupert, Emily and Katie built on the knowledge they gained from our third-year optional “World Literature” module and translated it into an informative online resource. This project testifies to the commitment, abilities and independent thinking of our students, who worked as a team with support from the module leader. The World Literature website showcases the promising work done by the 2016-17 cohort of our World Literature module at LJMU: it includes introductions to key concepts and texts explored in the module, a gallery of student work, and video recordings of presentations from the World Literature Constellation. This was a public student symposium held as part of Tate Liverpool Constellation last January, which benefited from the partnership between LJMU and Tate Foundation. This website also aims to be a resource for future students planning to take...
Read More
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...
Read More
Shanties and Liverpool’s Cultural History: Gerry Smyth at the Mersey River Festival

Shanties and Liverpool’s Cultural History: Gerry Smyth at the Mersey River Festival

LJMU English's Professor Gerry Smyth participated in Liverpool’s celebrated Mersey River Festival,at the weekend, while also showcasing some of his research on one of the city’s lesser known musical traditions. Along with friends in local group the Rock Light Rollers, Gerry performed a concert of shanties (onboard work songs) associated with Liverpool during its nineteenth-century heyday as one of the great port cities of the world. The concert took place in the Albert Dock aboard a working tall ship called The Kaskelot, out of Bristol. Professor Smyth recently published an essay entitled ‘Shanty Singing and the Irish Atlantic: Identity and Hybridity in the Musical Imagination of Stan Hugill’ in The International Journal of Maritime History, 29.2 (2017), the full text of which may be accessed here.    ...
Read More
Level 6 English Students present at LJMU Teaching and Learning Conference

Level 6 English Students present at LJMU Teaching and Learning Conference

Since January four English students – Jess Baker, Alice Robinson, Katie Taylor and Jessica White – have been working on a Curriculum Enhancement Intern project around Liverpool Libraries with staff support from Val Stevenson and Glenda Norquay. They’ve been investigating student use of our own library, awareness of what the libraries around Liverpool offer, and what might help everyone make the most of the fabulous resources across the city. On 15 June they presented their work – with coolness, confidence and aplomb – at the conference. And afterwards enjoyed a well-earned class of wine... Their work on the project has revealed a number of things – not least the demand for more armchairs in our library!   It also showed that the best way of finding out what students think is to get students to ask them: an online survey and a number of lively focus groups across all levels produced some findings of real interest of staff in English and in Library...
Read More
The English Team Go Mad (For Research) in North Wales

The English Team Go Mad (For Research) in North Wales

  At the end of May, with marking almost complete, staff in English refocused their attention on research at an Away Day event in Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden, North Wales. In the inspiring environment of this wonderful Victorian place, and blessed with brilliant sunshine, we discussed our postgraduate provision, our public engagement activities and funding for research. There was time too to share research ideas – and moderate our marking. Conversations, animated or quiet, took place in various corners of the library and its grounds. Colleagues found new connections in their research work, and took a rare opportunity just to talk about what they’d been reading. We even found time for a country ramble – which, when confronted with a series of stern signs, revealed that some of the English team are more inclined to risk-taking behaviour than others (you know who you are!) ...
Read More
Internship Opportunity for LJMU English Students: Organising a Conference at the London Metropolitan Archives

Internship Opportunity for LJMU English Students: Organising a Conference at the London Metropolitan Archives

Are you studying English at Level 5 or 6 at LJMU this year? Passionate about theatre? Intent on pursuing a career in archives or heritage studies? Interested in events management? Keen to show off your social media skills? Fancy creating online resources for new second year module ‘Body, Mind and Soul: Seventeenth-Century Literature and Culture’? If the answer to any of these questions is a resounding ‘yes’, then do apply for this internship which is designed to give you invaluable hands-on experience of organising a conference. Just hearing the name ‘Drury Lane’ immediately conjures up images of London and the theatre. However, surprisingly little is known about that first theatre on Drury Lane, the Cockpit-Phoenix Playhouse dating to c. 1616. This unique event will redress this imbalance through the cutting edge research of leading scholars and theatre practitioners. Actors will perform short scenes from Cockpit plays and delegates will be offered access to rare theatrical documents from the period. But, best...
Read More
LJMU English Summer Competition: Design a Book Cover!

LJMU English Summer Competition: Design a Book Cover!

The eagerly-awaited LJMU English Student Summer Competition is finally here! (I'm writing that as if this is an annual event - well, from now on, it will be...) We're asking our students to design a cover for one of the texts you've read for your course. We don’t mind a bit which medium you choose to use - painting, drawing, photography, typography, anything - but your design must capture something important about the text and your interpretation of it. The talented winners will receive prizes from the delectable Penguin Clothbound Classics collection, and we're also hoping to have the best entries made into notebooks. So - you want to know the rules, right? Well here they are: You must be studying English as part of your programme at LJMU (and it’s ok if you’re graduating this summer!) You must design a cover for one of the texts you’ve read for your course. You must include a short paragraph (200 words maximum) explaining the inspiration behind...
Read More
The Indian Road Sign: LJMU English Abroad

The Indian Road Sign: LJMU English Abroad

Ruth Childerhouse is just completing her second year as an English student at LJMU. Early this year she was given the chance of travelling to Tirunelveli in India to visit a range of schools and colleges there. Here, she reflects upon her experiences in the context of her studies of post colonialism.  Our focus on the trip was special needs schools,  and coming back I was completely emotionally exhausted. I am so incredibly grateful that I was given this chance to explore the differences in culture and I was constantly on the lookout for evidence of a British colonial legacy. The best way I can explain my impression of this legacy is through road signs. When we got off the aeroplane in Thiruvananthapuram (try saying that after a few drinks!), my first thought was, ‘Oh help, I’m going to get run over’. Actually, my first thought was ‘I’m going to die in this heat’, but the prospect of being squished by a van was...
Read More
English Win LSU Amazing Course Team 2017 Award!

English Win LSU Amazing Course Team 2017 Award!

Last night at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Liverpool Students' Union held the 8th annual Amazing Teaching Awards, an event that celebrates excellent teaching and support across LJMU - with all votes from our students themselves. English were shortlisted in the 'Amazing Course Team' section, alongside thirteen dauntingly excellent departments - and we won! Numerous members of the department were shortlisted in individual categories too; Joanna Price ('Amazing Feedback'), Jon Cranfield and Colin Harrison ('Amazing Supervisor') and Filippo Menozzi ('Amazing Teacher'). We are SO excited to have received this honour - one which rewards one of our proudest achievements as a department - that we think and work as a team to give our students the best experience we can. So we just want to say an enormous thank you to our AMAZING students for nominating us in such numbers and with such eloquence. Here's some of the lovely things they wrote: 'The English team go above and beyond for their students and are always there...
Read More
A Drink with Brendan Behan

A Drink with Brendan Behan

On Thursday 20 April the Liverpool-Irish Literary Theatre in conjunction with the Liverpool Arts Society will perform a Rehearsed Reading of a new play based on the life and work of Ireland’s very own poète maudit: Brendan Behan. The play was written by Dr Andrew Sherlock (Drama) and Professor Gerry Smyth (English), and it will be read by former students and staff of LJMU. Brendan Behan has long been regarded as a minor figure in modern Irish literary history, although more recently he has come to be regarded as an important postcolonial rejoinder to the 'great' writers from Ireland's modernist heyday. Dr Sherlock and Professor Smyth are founder members of the Liverpool-Irish Literary Theatre which since 2011 has performed seven different pieces in six different countries. This year the company will perform three plays at the Fourth International Flann O'Brien Conference in Salzburg, as well as a six-night run of Professor Smyth's play Nora & Jim (based on an episode in the lives of James Joyce and his partner Nora Barnacle) at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival in August. Please contact Professor Smyth...
Read More