English student gets full LJMU Scholarship for PhD on Northern Irish Troubles

English student gets full LJMU Scholarship for PhD on Northern Irish Troubles

Aimee Walsh, who graduated from LJMU English in 2011, has just heard that she has been awarded a full LJMU Scholarship to pursue her PhD with us. Aimee's working title for her project is 'Voicing the Subaltern Testimonies of the Northern Irish Troubles'. Her research is primarily concerned with the relationship between testimony of marginalised groups (women, security forces, and prisoners) and their representations in Northern Irish art (fiction, film and theatre). She will examine the relationship between personal testimonies of the Northern Irish conflict, from a range of archives, and consider how those subaltern voices are translated into artistic representations of trauma as a result of the 'Troubles'. Despite the available archives, research in the area of trauma testimony in Northern Irish art remains unexplored. Aimee's thesis will focus on testimonies from marginalised voices, particularly those of prisoners, the security forces, and women. She will argue that these depictions of subaltern Troubles testimonies fuse memory and history to create a space for challenging stereotypes of marginalised groups....
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Lynsey Hanley’s Respectable: Event at Waterstones Liverpool One

Lynsey Hanley’s Respectable: Event at Waterstones Liverpool One

Following the LJMU English launch of our research fellow Lynsey Hanley's book Respectable: The Experience of Class, you can see Lynsey talking about her book with our own Professor Joe Moran at Waterstones Liverpool One on Monday, 9th May at 18.30. More details, and tickets (£3 each) are available from Waterstones here. Respectable was Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4 last week, and you can listen again here....
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Shelf Lives: Shakespeare’s Quatercentenary

Shelf Lives: Shakespeare’s Quatercentenary

The final event in the current Shelf Lives series took place in Liverpool Central Library on Wednesday 20 April, when three academics from the English Department spoke on texts relating to the quatercentenary of the death of William Shakespeare. Pictured are (a windblown!) Dr Rebecca Bailey, Dr Brian Gibbons and Professor Elspeth Graham, who respectively spoke on Frederick Beilby Watson’s Religious and Moral Sentences Culled from the Work of Shakespeare (1847), Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Essays and Lectures on Shakespeare (1907 Everyman edition), and an essay from the Papers of the Lancashire Historical Society entitled ‘The Elizabethan Playhouse in Prescot, Lancashire’ by F.A. Bailey (1952). Shelf Lives is a collaboration between LJMU English and Liverpool Central Library, and will return in autumn 2016 for a third series.  ...
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Michael Morris at ‘Abolition, Memory and Time’ Seminar

Michael Morris at ‘Abolition, Memory and Time’ Seminar

LJMU English's Michael Morris was delighted to be invited to take part in the seminar 'Abolition, Memory and Time' at Hospitalfield House in Arbroath in North East Scotland on 16th April 2016. This amazing venue is currently developing as an Arts Centre,  and this, its inaugural seminar, was based around Graham Fagen's exhibition Scotland + Venice 2015, previously at the Venice Biennale. Fagen's exhibition is based around the story of Robert Burns' near emigration to work as a book-keeper on a slave plantation in Jamaica. Fagen took an abolitionist song 'The Slave's Lament' often attributed (though on fragile evidence) to Burns, and recorded a new version with reggae artist Ghetto Priest. The seminar opened out the topic of the exhibition to explore Scottish connections with Atlantic slavery and the continuing importance of questions of race in the present. In particular, connections with the North East were emphasised: as Montrose had been a key port in the tobacco and rum trades, slave ships had left from its port. A...
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Respectable: LJMU English launch of Lynsey Hanley’s new book

Respectable: LJMU English launch of Lynsey Hanley’s new book

We talk a lot about the role social class plays in British society, but how exactly do we move from one class to another and, if we do so, what effect does it have on us? In her latest book, Respectable (Allen Lane), Lynsey Hanley argues that class remains resolutely with us, and subjects its attendant ideas of aspiration and social mobility (routinely cast as unequivocally positive phenomena) to bracing scrutiny. Lynsey is a Visiting Fellow of the School of Humanities and Social Science, and is also studying for a PhD with LJMU English. Hilary Mantel has called Respectable 'pithy and provoking'. Lynsey is the author of Estates: An Intimate History (2007) and is a frequent contributor to the Guardian, the New Statesman, and many other publications. She makes regular appearances on tv and radio, including Newsnight, Start the Week and Night Waves. She also wrote the introduction to the Penguin Modern Classics edition of Richard Hoggart's The Uses of Literacy, an important text on LJMU English's Level 4 module 'Literature in Context'. The launch of Respectable will...
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Nora & Jim: Marginal Voices, Centre Stage at Liverpool’s Unity Theatre

Nora & Jim: Marginal Voices, Centre Stage at Liverpool’s Unity Theatre

We got another chance to see LJMU English's Gerry Smyth's play Nora & Jim at Liverpool's Unity Theatre on 31st March and 1st April 2016. The play premiered during the Liverpool Irish Festival in 2015, and is told from the point of view of James Joyce's partner, Nora Barnacle, when the lovers were apart in the autumn of 1909. By imagining Nora's responses to the letters Joyce wrote to her, it gives voice to a marginalised figure who was left legally vulnerable during their separation as an unmarried woman with two illegitimate children to Joyce. The play forms part of the wide-ranging project Marginal Irish Modernisms, which is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. You can visit their microsite here to find out more, and discover further resources on key figures of the movement. Nora & Jim is a cross-School collaboration for LJMU. Written by Gerry, it is directed by David Llewellyn (head of the LJMU Drama department) and features two former LJMU Drama students: Jade Thomson as...
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Shelf Lives at the Central Library: The Easter Rising

Shelf Lives at the Central Library: The Easter Rising

On 16 March 2016, colleagues from LJMU English and University of Liverpool got together with a lively and well-informed audience to explore some of the complex and moving stories that formed part of the Easter Rising in Dublin a century ago. LJMU's Dr Gerry Smyth introduced a remarkable text, James Stephens' The Insurrection in Dublin, a lyrical eye-withness account, published only four months after the events began to unfold. Michael Robinson, from University of Liverpool's Institute of Irish Studies, drew upon the issues raised by Stephen Walker's 2007 book Forgotten Soldiers: The Irishmen Shot at Dawn to remind us of those Irishmen whose battles were being fought on the European mainland. Dr Deaglán Ó Donghaile from LJMU then explored the poetry of Joseph Mary Plunkett. The Central Library holds a first edition of Plunkett's collection, published in 1916 after Plunkett had been executed for his role in the Rising, on the same morning as he married Grace Gifford. The book begins with a sketch of its author by...
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Nadine Muller: Why We Teach Social Media Skills

Nadine Muller: Why We Teach Social Media Skills

Ever since I took up my post at LJMU, I have been teaching an optional second-year module on social media and communication skills as part of the department's dedication to maximising its students employability. It's not the kind of module that students or parents expect to see as part of an English degree. Sure, they can see why we offer the opportunity to gain work experience in the USA, or why we have a module specifically for those who are considering going into teaching after their degree. But giving English students the chance to develop an ability to use social media platforms in a professional way has lots of benefits, and that our students recognise this is evident both in the steady increase in the number of those who choose the module each year, and in the impact the module has on their careers after their degree. So, what are those benefits? Why should English students - and their lecturers - spend any time at all thinking...
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Michael Morris at UCL’s Institute of the Americas

Michael Morris at UCL’s Institute of the Americas

Michael Morris is looking forward to giving a seminar in Bloomsbury next week at University College London’s Institute of the Americas. The session is entitled ‘Scotland and the Caribbean: Atlantic Archipelagos’, and in it he will discuss aspects from his recent book. This follows similar talks at University of Edinburgh Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies and University of Liverpool Centre for the Study of International Slavery. Michael's paper at UCL will revolve around the cultural history of the Atlantic world, particularly that of the long eighteenth century. It is concerned with recovering the memory of Atlantic slavery in a Scottish context, as well as the implications of this recovery for contemporary debates on Scottish (and British) identity in a post-referendum context. Michael will also be engaging with the concept of the ‘archipelago’, bringing together theories around Caribbean creolization with the Four Nations approach which re-considers ‘the British Isles’ as an ‘Atlantic Archipelago’. The seminar will take place on Wednesday 16th March, from 5.30-7pm, and you can find more details...
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The Return of Shelf Lives

The Return of Shelf Lives

Shelf Lives, LJMU English's series of talks run in collaboration with Liverpool's Central Library since it reopened in 2014, is back! Originally conceived as a way of drawing public attention to the amazing resources the Library has to offer, the sessions typically feature contributions by a number of LJMU English staff, with plenty of time for discussion afterwards. Topics are as wide-ranging as our own research interests, but, as organiser Gerry Smyth put it, 'I guess if there is a theme animating the series it's a love of books, of reading, and a celebration of libraries'. All the talks take place at Liverpool Central Library, William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EW. Our next sessions are focussed upon particular cultural events in the city and beyond: 16 March 2016 3-4.30pm, Celebrating the Centenary of the Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916: The Insurrection in Dublin (1916) by James Stephens (Dr Gerry Smyth) Forgotten Soldiers: The Irishmen Shot at Dawn (2007) by Stephen Walker (Michael Robinson) The Poems of...
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New: Liverpool Queer Reading Group

New: Liverpool Queer Reading Group

 “As a theoretical perspective, ‘queer’ functions as a verb meaning to trouble, subvert, make strange or perverse – its very invocation, queer scholars routinely explain, ruptures, overturns, blurs and decentres. Queer is about refusal, resistance indeterminacy, and transgression…” - Laura Doan, Disturbing Practices The Liverpool Queer Reading Group is starting this week, and is intended as an interdisciplinary reading group for Liverpool's universities and beyond. The monthly meetings aim to create a space in which members can engage with different theories, theorists and intersections in the field of queer studies. We will meet monthly in the John Foster Building, Liverpool John Moores University. All are welcome to our first session on Thursday 10th March at 5pm, John Foster Room 1.33, in which we will be ‘Introducing Queer Theory’. No preparation is needed as we’ll be discussing (provided) extracts from Maggie Nelson’s book The Argonauts. Just come along, or get in touch if you're interesting in joining: Email: queertheoryliverpool@gmail.com Twitter: @queer_liverpool Blog: https://queerliverpool.wordpress.com/   ...
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‘Employment, Mobility and Intercultural Communication’: Kate Walchester’s Keynote Lecture in Norway

‘Employment, Mobility and Intercultural Communication’: Kate Walchester’s Keynote Lecture in Norway

On 4 February 2016, LJMU English's Kate Walchester travelled to Østfold University College in Halden, Norway to give a Keynote Lecture to open the Second ENTICE International Interdisciplinary Conference. The (irresistible) acronym ENTICE stands for 'East-North Travel and Intercultural Communication in Europe', a project funded by EEA and Norway Grants, awarded to encourage pan-European collaborations.  Kate’s lecture, which discussed the travel writing of Mary Wollstonecraft, Lady Di Beauclerk and Mrs. Aubrey le Blond was titled ‘Employment, Mobility and Intercultural Communication in British Travelogues from the long Nineteenth Century’ and comes from her research for a monograph, Travelling Servants; Mobility and Employment in British Travel Writing 1750- 1850. Kate is shown in the photo with organisers Dr. Eva Lambertson and Dr. Jutta Eschenbach from the English Department at Østfold University College.  ...
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Bella Adams’s Pre-Show Talk at Liverpool Playhouse: A Raisin in the Sun

Bella Adams’s Pre-Show Talk at Liverpool Playhouse: A Raisin in the Sun

On Thursday 3rd March, LJMU English's Bella Adams will be giving a pre-show talk on Lorraine Hansberry's ground-breaking 1959 play A Raisin in the Sun, which is on at the Liverpool Playhouse from 2nd-5th March. James Baldwin claimed of the play that, ‘Never before, in the entire history of theatre, has so much of the truth of black people’s lives been seen on the stage'. Bella's talk will explore the cultural and political context of the play, and you can get tickets to hear her speak here. Bella said, 'My talk will focus on Lorraine Hansberry’s varied political interests, the critical reception of the play, the Chicago Southside setting and housing segregation. This wasn't a play I knew well before I heard it was coming to the Playhouse, and reading and researching it has been fascinating. In fact, I'm thinking of adding it to the reading list for my Race in America module next year.' If you're studying that module, or fancy seeing a fascinating...
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‘A Friend in Rose’: LJMU Drama & English Student at Luminous Landscapes

‘A Friend in Rose’: LJMU Drama & English Student at Luminous Landscapes

You know when you're wandering around Liverpool's Festival Gardens in the dark, clutching the hand of your grumpy five-year-old? Perhaps you don't. But imagine if you were, and you suddenly recognised one of the amazing people involved in the Lantern Company's Luminous Landscapes event as one of your students! Here, Siofra McKeon-Carter, a final year Drama and English student, answers my star-struck questions after a really memorable event: How did you get involved with the Lantern Company? I got involved through their student placements as I had worked with one of their team before on NCS The Challenge. (By that way, that's also a fab organisation for students to work for over the summer, and you can find out about them here.) What did you do as part of Luminous Landscapes?  I was part of the team working the puppet Rose, aka the 'old lady, keeper of the lakes'. Rose may be elderly, but she's also around ten feet tall. How did you prepare for your performances?  We actually met Rose about two...
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LJMU English’s Deaglán Ó Donghaile to give Public Talk on Irish Fenianism

LJMU English’s Deaglán Ó Donghaile to give Public Talk on Irish Fenianism

As part of the Liverpool celebrations marking the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin, LJMU English lecturer, Dr Deaglán Ó Donghaile, will give a public talk on the Irish Fenian revolutionary, Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, at the LJMU's John Foster Building on 26th February at 5pm. Described by the rebellion’s leader, Patrick Pearse, as being 'incapable of compromise', O’Donovan Rossa was one of the key figures of nineteenth-century Irish republicanism.  Such was his importance to the physical force tradition that his funeral was used as the ideological launching ground for the Easter Rising. Interned in Ireland, and then later imprisoned in England for high treason, he was tortured and held in isolation for resisting prison authorities.  Upon his release he rejoined the Fenian movement and advocated the use of arms to remove the British presence from Ireland. Drawing on research that he has conducted at the Huntington Library, the New York Public Library, the Trinity College Library in Dublin and at the...
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LJMU English Masters student to speak at ‘Cityscapes’ Conference

LJMU English Masters student to speak at ‘Cityscapes’ Conference

LJMU English's MRes student Charlotte Neely has had her paper accepted by the 'Cityscapes: Media Textualities and Urban Visions' conference to be held at York St John University on 23rd April. The paper is entitled 'Re-mapping Possibilities: The Immigrant Child's Experience of New York's Urban Ghetto', and Charlotte will be speaking about Henry Roth's 1934 novel Call it Sleep and how it can be illuminated by the theory and practice of psychogeography; the study of the influence of geographical locale on the mind and behaviour. This newly emerging discipline places particular emphasis upon playfulness and drifting within the urban environment, and she will draw upon its ideas to reinterpret the movements of Roth's child protagonist David Schearl through New York's Lower East Side during the years leading up to the Great Depression. Charlotte's paper will argue that, despite facing impoverished conditions and ethnic discrimination, David locates spaces of play that transgress boundaries and disrupt mechanisms of power. As the protagonist makes his impromptu journey through the city,...
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Writing Working-Class Womens’ Lives: LJMU English Students Speaking at Oxford University on International Women’s Day

Writing Working-Class Womens’ Lives: LJMU English Students Speaking at Oxford University on International Women’s Day

Students on the Level 6 LJMU English module 'Writing Lives' have been invited to share their research on working-class women’s autobiography at the Gender, Women and Culture seminar at Oxford University on the 8th March 2016. Soraya Nas and Catriona Parkinson, two of the module's student researchers, will be talking about their author blogs. Helen Rogers, who designed and runs this innovative module, will explain how LJMU English students are contributing to a public history project to create a digital archive of working-class autobiography in Britain, from the 17th to the 21st century. She will also discuss some of our preliminary findings about working-class women’s life-writing, based on our research on memoirs from the Burnett Archive of Working Class Autobiographies. Helen said 'We all feel particularly honoured that on International Women’s Day we will be involved in celebrating women’s lives, writing and history'. Soraya Nas will be talking about Elizabeth Rignall, born in Yorkshire in 1894. In her author blog, Soraya shows how Elizabeth’s memoir, All So Long Ago, ‘brings to light the...
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Lord of the Flies at the Liverpool Playhouse

Lord of the Flies at the Liverpool Playhouse

Regent's Park Theatre Company are in the middle of a sell-out run of their production of Lord of the Flies at the Playhouse Theatre this week. On Thursday 4th February, LJMU English's Alice Ferrebe gave a pre-show talk about William Golding's novel and its context. The adaptation is set in the present-day. Did Golding's novel translate across 60 years? Why is it still such a favourite school set-text? Alice: One of the things I tried to bring out in my talk was the way the novel, first published in 1954, responds to crucial anxieties in its post-war context, in particular issues around human morality in the wake of the Death Camps and the atomic bomb. Those ideas, are of course, perennial ones, and the narrative still retains its moral charge today. There's a lovely irony in the fact that Golding wrote the novel whilst himself a schoolteacher, often setting his class thankless tasks like counting the number of words on the page of a novel...
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Professor Glenda Norquay at the Scottish Poetry Society

Professor Glenda Norquay at the Scottish Poetry Society

This Thursday, 4th February 2016, LJMU English's Professor Glenda Norquay will be giving a talk on Scottish women's poetry at the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh. Many of the strongest voices in Scottish poetry today are those of women, yet only 40 years ago, successful female poets were marginal figures. Glenda, who is currently taking up a prestigious Visiting Research Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh, will discuss the emergence of women writers from the 1970s onwards. In the second part of the evening, poet Liz Lochhead shares her memories of the Scottish poetry scene in the 1970s, in conversation with Colin Waters. Tickets for the event 'From Renaissance to Referendum: Women's Voices in Modern Scottish Poetry', which are free, can be booked here. ...
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English MRes Residential 2016: Gladstone’s Library

English MRes Residential 2016: Gladstone’s Library

Every year, LJMU English's Masters by Research students attend a residential with their supervisors and some of the department's PhD students to talk, read, and reflect on their studies on the programme so far. Here, Edward Dafnis gives his account of our (wonderful) trip in January 2016: An hour’s drive from LJMU is Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden, North Wales. Completed in 1902 to house William Gladstone’s personal collection of over 20, 000 books, periodicals and journals – all read by the man himself and with an estimated 11, 000 containing annotations, the library now houses 250, 000 texts and promised to be a reflective place of study and discussion. Articles by Walter Benjemin, Jorge Luis Borges and Alberto Manguel plus a short story by Alice Munro started the afternoon discussions before a tour of the spectacular library. Nestled amongst the rows of leather bound tomes were armchairs and simple wooden tables where people sat and read and worked in silence. Despite...
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Empire and After Go to Artist and Empire

Empire and After Go to Artist and Empire

On Wednesday 20 January Dr Gerry Smyth and Dr Filippo Menozzi took nine second-year students to London to see an exhibition entitled  Artist and Empire at Tate Britain. Taking advantage of LJMU's Corporate Partnership with the Tate organisation, the students - who are all taking a module entitled Empire and After - saw a range or materials (paintings, sculpture, games and other artefacts) relating to the controversial role of the British Empire worldwide. One student, Katie Taylor, said: 'The highlight of the exhibition was Andrew Gilbert’s mixed media installation British Infantry Advance on Jerusalem, 4th of July, 1879. It shows a tableau of British soldiers, imagining them as defeated and displayed as curios adorned with an array of bizarre accessories such as high-heeled leather boots, white leather handbags, shards of broken mirror, numerous dangling teabags and a carrot driven through with nails. The effect was striking among the imperial paintings of the British Empire and helped me to question the way representations of non-British cultures often...
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The Winter’s Tale: LJMU English Fieldtrip

The Winter’s Tale: LJMU English Fieldtrip

LJMU Level 5 Shakespeare student, Hugh Adam, writes about the 18th November production of The Winter's Tale. The Winter’s Tale Performed at the Liverpool Playhouse, the Northern Broadsides’ production of The Winter’s Tale captures all the vital emotional elements of the text (jealousy, betrayal, abandonment, acceptance, comedy, redemption), while adding a modern twist sure to please all theatre goers, not just Shakespeare enthusiasts. Beginning in Sicily, transposed from the time of its writing to New Year’s Eve 1999, The Winter’s Tale opens with the celebrations of old friends Leontes, the King of Sicily, and Polixenes, the King of Bohemia. In accordance with the play’s complexity of tone, the celebrations are bittersweet for Polixenes, who longs to return to Bohemia and his family. His eventual decision to remain in Sicily (convinced by Leontes’ wife, Hermione) gives the insecure Leontes grounds to suppose an affair between the two, leading the King of Sicily (and those around him) into a vicious, jealousy-fuelled turmoil. The first three acts...
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Sondeep Kandola at the Playhouse

Sondeep Kandola at the Playhouse

  The Haunting of Hill House, an adaptation of the 1959 novel by Shirley Jackson, is proving a critical and popular success at the Liverpool Playhouse: the Guardian review loved the play's 'unsettling suggestion we can only save ourselves – because we are all alone in the dark'. Jackson's novel is a student favourite on our third-year 'Vamps and Villians: Exploring Gothic Literature' module, and on 10th December 2015 LJMU English's Sonny Kandola gave a talk exploring that text in terms of the female Gothic, domestic trauma and neurosis. Ruminating on Jackson's own tortured life, she linked the breakdown of the central character, Eleanor, to the anxieties around women's social role exploded by Betty Friedan's 1963 sociological study The Feminine Mystique. Sonny traced the symbolism of the (Gothic) house in the American psyche back to work of Edgar Allen Poe, explaining how the house had been used to represent fears about political legitimacy in a comparatively young nation and anxieties about the dead hand of the past that the ghost in the...
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Sort Your Life Out! (With LJMU English)

Sort Your Life Out! (With LJMU English)

Hot off the press, the 2015-16 edition of The English Academic Journal is now ready. All students on the English programme, whether single or combined honours, are entitled to a free copy, so please look out for the rather beautiful spiral bound journals (with a green cover this year), and pick one up from your personal tutor. Student interns from the English programme have been working feverishly over the summer to design a journal for all our students. Fuelled only by jammie dodgers [other jam-filled biscuits are available] and cups of tea [other beverages are... oh, you know this], the team have put loads of thought and time into designing this year’s edition. The journal is intended to serve both as a useful diary /planner  and as a repository of incredible wisdom about (almost) all aspects of life as a student  studying English at LJMU. It contains loads of information about your University and about Liverpool – places to go, people...
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Teaching the British 1950s in China, 2015

Teaching the British 1950s in China, 2015

Each year, Shanghai University run an 'International Semester' in June, when students completing their first year of study have the chance to pick short courses across a range of disciplines that are designed and taught by academics from outside China. In June this year, I was lucky enough to be one of those 60 or so teachers myself, and offered a course based upon material both from my last book, Good, Brave Causes: Literature of the 1950s, and my experience on teaching one of LJMU English's first year modules, Literature in Context. I stayed on campus - which, as SU has just under 40,000 students, is like a town within the city, with canteens, sports facilities, and supermarkets, and dormitories sleeping four undergraduates to a room. My class consisted of 32 students studying a wide variety of subjects, from engineering to... well, English. Though all of the students had studied the English language since primary school, not all of them had practice in...
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Research Seminar: Dr Fionualla Dillane, ‘New Old Formalism, Old New Historicism, Victorian Periodicals and the Problem of Genre’

Research Seminar: Dr Fionualla Dillane, ‘New Old Formalism, Old New Historicism, Victorian Periodicals and the Problem of Genre’

10th March, 2015. After a warm welcome to LJMU from Professor Brian Maidment, Dr Fionualla Dillane from University College Dublin outlined the crux of her discussion. Is the study of periodicals under threat from the ‘new old formalism’ that encourages the researcher to think of the periodical as a ‘training ground’ for writers approaching established forms. By broaching the muddy waters of genre using the return to formalism, genre, Fionualla suggested, is a methodological tool and a conceptual frame. The study of periodicals has always been interdisciplinary due to the diverse field and contents of periodicals. Fionualla unpacked the concept of new formalism, giving rich analysis of the pivotal texts and argued that a return to formalism privileges the literary, which, by extension, deprivileges other texts defined as lacking literary merit and designated as craft. This is a conservative approach which Fioualla successfully argued is ‘turning back’. Fionualla argued that the study of periodicals is still at the stage of description rather than...
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Collaboration and Collegiality at the Northern Postcolonial Network

Collaboration and Collegiality at the Northern Postcolonial Network

“The Northern Postcolonial Network Inaugural Event”, LJMU, Wednesday 25th March 2015 The Northern Postcolonial Network was established in 2014 by early career researchers at the universities of Manchester, Salford and Sheffield to support knowledge exchange among postcolonial researchers in the North of the UK. The inaugural event, organised by Dr Kate Houlden, LJMU, took place at LJMU on the 25th March and was the first time I would be speaking about my research since starting my PhD at LJMU in January. My nerves were dispelled as soon as the roundtable discussion about the aims of the network began. The discussion was led by founding members and organisers, who introduced key topics such as establishing a database of research, the pedagogical concerns of the network and community partnerships. The discussion evolved with contributions from network members and key questions were raised about the significance of a “Northern” postcolonial network and how to keep both local and global perspectives within our field of...
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The Judas Kiss: Treason and Betrayal in Six Modern Irish Novels

The Judas Kiss: Treason and Betrayal in Six Modern Irish Novels

Gerry Smyth's new book argues that modern Irish history encompasses a deep-seated fear of betrayal, and that this fear has been especially prevalent since the revolutionary period at the outset of the twentieth century. The author goes on to argue that the novel is the literary form most apt for the exploration of betrayal in its social, political and psychological dimensions. The significance of this thesis comes into focus in terms of a number of recent developments – most notably, the economic downturn (and the political and civic betrayals implicated therein) and revelations of the Catholic Church’s failure in its pastoral mission. As many observers note, such developments have brought the language of betrayal to the forefront of contemporary Irish life. This book offers a powerful analysis of modern Irish history as regarded from the perspective of some its most incisive minds, including James Joyce, Liam O’Flaherty, Elizabeth Bowen, Francis Stuart, Eugene McCabe and Anne Enright. ...
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Northern Postcolonial Network Has Its First Meeting At LJMU

Northern Postcolonial Network Has Its First Meeting At LJMU

The inaugural event of the research group the Northern Postcolonial Network will be taking place at LJMU this week, on Wednesday, 25th April 2015. Organised by LJMU English's Dr Kate Houlden, the day will involve a mixture of discussion about the aims and priorities of the network, a postgraduate panel, a keynote address from Professor John McLeod of Leeds University and an evening event featuring a reading by acclaimed Leeds poet Khadijah Ibrahiim. Other speakers include LJMU English PhD student Christina Hobbs, whose paper is entitled, ‘Comparing Independence in Literature of the Danish North Sea Empire: A Study in World Literature’. A full programme, and registration details for this free event, are available at: http://northernpostcolonialnetwork.com/events/...
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Love’s Labours Lost: Live in Liverpool

Love’s Labours Lost: Live in Liverpool

On the 11th February 2015 a number of students attended a live streaming of Shakespeare’s Love’s Labours Lost in a Royal Shakespeare Company production coming to us in FACT Liverpool from Stratford-Upon-Avon. Set in an Edwardian country house, this was an excellent production of one of the lesser-known plays. The visit was arranged for Level 5 students taking the Shakespeare module but other students and postgraduates also came along. The play (and its comedy) really came to life although, sitting in a cinema, it was difficult to know whether or not to applaud along with the enthusiastic audience in Stratford! We did, however, have the advantage of taking in food and drink. Second-year student Andrew Stevens-Davies commented: ‘Having not attended a Shakespeare performance before, I did not know what to expect from a cinematic viewing of a live performance. That being said, my expectations were immediately surpassed. As an English student studying Shakespeare I quite often find myself getting frustrated with the...
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‘He heard the world more than he saw it’: Dr Gerry Smyth launches James Joyce’s Chamber Music Resource

‘He heard the world more than he saw it’: Dr Gerry Smyth launches James Joyce’s Chamber Music Resource

In 2011 Dr Gerry Smyth of LJMU English set to music the thirty-six lyrics that comprise Chamber Music, published by the Irish author James Joyce in 1907. Although Joyce is one of the most studied authors of the modern era, his poetry remains relatively unknown. The following year, Gerry recorded this material for a CD entitled James Joyce’s Chamber Music: New ‘Folkish’ Settings of the Thirty-Six Lyrics, and since then he has performed material from the album on numerous occasions, including events in Belgium, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. During the same period, Dr Smyth commenced work on a web-based learning resource, hosted by LJMU, which features a wide range of textual and video materials relating to Joyce’s original collection, and to the new musical version. This is an on-going project which will in time be fully integrated into LJMU English's teaching and research profile, and you can access it here, and via the 'Links and Resources' section of our site. The website was launched at an event in...
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LJMU English Hosts Inaugural Event of the Northern Postcolonial Network

LJMU English Hosts Inaugural Event of the Northern Postcolonial Network

Members of the Northern Postcolonial Network (founded by the Universities of Sheffield, Salford and Manchester) are pleased to announce the network's inaugural event will take place on Wednesday 25th March at Liverpool John Moores University, 1-8pm. The network aims to support knowledge exchange and networking amongst scholars and other individuals and groups working on postcolonial topics in the North of the UK. The day itself will involve a mixture of discussion about the aims and priorities of the network, a postgraduate panel, a keynote address from Professor John McLeod of Leeds University and an evening event. We would welcome attendees from diverse contexts and fields, so as to further the discussion about postcolonial studies in the region. Further details to follow including a CFP for postgraduate papers. Please contact Dr. Kate Houlden on k.m.houlden@ljmu.ac.uk for further information or see the website at http://northernpostcolonialnetwork.com/. Alternatively, follow us on www.facebook.com/northernpostcolonialnetwork or on Twitter at @Northernpoco....
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LJMU English on TV

LJMU English on TV

Tune into Liverpool's Bay TV (Freeview Channel 8) tonight (Wednesday 17th December) to see highlights from one of LJMU English's Shelf Lives events at the magnificent Central Library. Members of the team talk about some of the books in the Library's holdings that fascinate them and have inspired their research. Watch out for more Shelf Lives events (and Bay TV book-related programmes) in 2015. You can visit Bay TV's website here: http://www.baytvliverpool.com  ...
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Conference: Women Writing Pleasure, 3 July 2015

Conference: Women Writing Pleasure, 3 July 2015

We are thrilled to announce that LJMU English will be hosting a one-day conference on "Women Writing Pleasure" on 3 July 2015. Focusing on all genres of women's writing from the nineteenth century through to the present day, the event will facilitate discussion on the numerous ways in which women writers have conceptualised, described, and engaged with various forms of pleasure, from the intellectual to the sexual, from the material to the psychological, and beyond. The conference is co-organised by PhD researchers Chloe Holland and Krystina Osborne and by Dr Nadine Muller. To read the call for papers, download the conference poster, and more information about the event, please visit the dedicated conference website at http://www.womenwritingpleasure.com....
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Dr Jon Cranfield and the Holmesian Phenomenon

Dr Jon Cranfield and the Holmesian Phenomenon

Jon Cranfield's new book, co-edited with Tom Ue, received an excellent review in the Guardian this week. Sherlock Holmes is part of a series called Fan Phenomena which explores how enduring cultural icons are continually reinvented by their fans. The essays cover a wide range of these creative reinterpretations, from Steampunk iPad apps to Shakespeare and including, of course, the most recent television reappearance, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. Jon's own chapter in the book is entitled 'Sherlock Holmes: Fan Culture and Fan Letters'. Look out for a copy arriving soon in the Aldham Robarts Library....
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