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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Hannah Nicholls on her experience of our ‘Writing Lives’ module

Hannah Nicholls on her experience of our ‘Writing Lives’ module

Final year student Hannah Nicholls chose to take LJMU English's 'Writing Lives' module, and became so absorbed by it, she decided to post her reflections on her experience on her regular (and really rather excellent) personal blog. She's kindly given us her permission to reprint the piece here:  I am going to use this post to talk about a separate project I am currently working on. Usually I would not blur the lines between my personal blog and the blogging I do for university. However, it is a project that I enjoy taking part in, and it has taken up much of my life, so it would be wrong not to have it mentioned here. This project is called Writing Lives. It is a module on my English course at Liverpool John Moore’s University. The aim of this project is to make working-class autobiographies available to the public. To do this, each student is required to pick an author from the Burnett...
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English MRes Residential at Gladstone’s Library

English MRes Residential at Gladstone’s Library

Every year, students studying on LJMU English's Masters by Research Programme spend a couple of days at the wonderful Gladstone's Library in North Wales, to read, discuss and reflect upon their work. Here, Andreas Theodorou reflects upon the trip on 13th - 14th February 2017.  As one of LJMU’s English MRes students, I was offered the opportunity to participate on a residential trip to Gladstone’s library in Hawarden. This picturesque building houses the collection of William Gladstone, who amassed over 20,000 books. During a guided tour around the library I saw a multitude of books on theology, and even some books about places I frequented myself. The building left me absolutely speechless, and the vast quantity of books was enough to leave me awestruck. We were shown the annotations that Gladstone would make in the books which he read, his personal collections, and, of course, his axe… because every great reader needs a good axe… We started the trip with a discussion on a...
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Professor Joe Moran: LJMU English Research Stands Up

Last week at the Everyman Bistro, LJMU launched Liverpool Bright Club, an innovative comedy night on which professional performers were accompanied by LJMU lecturers in a series of stand up sets. Billed as the ‘thinking person’s variety night’, the aim of Bright Club is to spread the word about university research in an entertaining format. LJMU English's Professor Joe Moran, whose research work is focussed upon everyday experience in Britain's recent past, took part in this pioneering night to present ideas from his most recent book Shrinking Violets: A Field Guide to Shyness.  Joe reflected, 'It was an interesting process trying to fit your research into the form of stand-up, as what we do when we lecture is vaguely similar but also very different. I’m used to extemporising in lectures and you can’t really do that in a routine: you have to learn the whole thing off by heart because the lines only work when you say them a very specific way. The organiser, Tim Miles, told...
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Feminism’s Family Drama: New Article Available to Read for Free

Feminism’s Family Drama: New Article Available to Read for Free

I'm really pleased to say that my new article, "Feminism's Family Drama: Female Genealogies, Feminist Historiography, & Kate Walbert's A Short History of Women", has just been published in Feminist Theory, and you can read it online and download it for free. I loved writing this piece, not least because I love the novel by which it was inspired. Kate Walbert's A Short History of Women (2009) is a patchwork of short stories about several generations of women who are all connected by one shared ancestor: a suffragette who, in the early twentieth century, starved herself to death. Skipping forward and backward in time between the late Victorian period, the onset of the First World War, the Second World War, the 1990s, and the early 2000s, the stories explore the relationships between the women whose stories they tell. Each woman feels differently about the activism and death of Dorothy Trevor Townsend, their suffragette relative. When we speak of feminist history, we often speak of mothers...
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Rachel Willie Awarded Prestigious Book Prize

Rachel Willie Awarded Prestigious Book Prize

LJMU English's Rachel Willie, together with co-editors Kevin Killeen and Helen Smith from the University of York, have been awarded the Roland H. Bainton Prize (for Reference Works) for The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in Early Modern England, c. 1530-1700. This was published by Oxford University Press in 2015, and contains forty essays from leading international scholars on the role of the Bible in sixteenth and seventeenth century life, exploring how the scriptures served as a generative motor for ideas, and a resource for creative and political thought, as well as for domestic and devotional life. It contains Rachel's own essay, 'All Scripture is given by inspiration of God : Dissonance and psalmody'. This prestigious prize is awarded by the Council of the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference. Congratulations Rachel!  ...
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Celtic Tiger Blues: Professor Gerry Smyth’s latest book

Celtic Tiger Blues: Professor Gerry Smyth’s latest book

LJMU English's Professor Gerry Smyth's new book, entitled Celtic Tiger Blues: Music and Irish Identity, has been published by Rutledge. It is a collection of essays focusing on Ireland's complex cultural relationship with music of various kinds. It includes material on the art and folk traditions, the work of James Joyce, popular groups such as the Pogues and the Waterboys, and the aesthetics of listening. The book represents the latest stage in a life-long project for Gerry, focusing here on the ways in which music engages with particular aspects of Irish identity. The nature of popular music and the Irish identity it supposedly articulates have both undergone profound change in recent years: the first as a result of technological and wider industrial changes in the organisation and dissemination of music as seen, for example, with digital platforms such as YouTube, Spotify and iTunes. A second factor has been Ireland’s spectacular fall from economic grace after the demise of the "Celtic Tiger", and the...
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Nadine Muller Wins Heritage Lottery Funding for War Widows’ Stories

Nadine Muller Wins Heritage Lottery Funding for War Widows’ Stories

LJMU English's Dr Nadine Muller has secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for her new project War Widows' Stories. Reflecting on how the idea for this venture came about, and what the project will achieve, Nadine says: My first book, The Widow: A Literary & Cultural History, is due to be published by the end of the year, and while I’m proud of the monograph, it very much feels like a book alone won't do this topic justice. The stories I uncovered are filled with injustice, prejudice, and hardship in many different forms. Yet very few people seem to be aware of the challenges widowhood has presented for women in Britain over the past two centuries on economic, psychological, and social levels, and even fewer are aware that to this very day there are battles left to be fought. Of course one group of women is very much aware of these issues, and that is widows themselves. I often go on about the benefits of blogging...
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Michael Morris’s Slavery Walking Tours

Michael Morris’s Slavery Walking Tours

Black History Month runs each October in the UK to highlight the contribution made by black men and women to Britain’s heritage. This year, LJMU English’s Michael Morris led two public walking tours for Black History Month in Glasgow. Michael’s research revealed that all twelve of the statues in Glasgow’s central George Square have a connection to slavery and abolition. George Square was laid out in 1781 and the statues, erected between 1819 and 1902, are designed to celebrate scientists, writers, military figures, politicians and royals. These statues tell a sanitised story of Empire – whether a clean story of trade from the Clyde, or an orderly procession of colonised peoples paying tribute to a monarch. In an example of ‘guerrilla memorialisation’, this walking tour read the statues ‘against the grain’ to reveal a hidden history of Glasgow and Scotland’s involvement in slavery associated with each and every one of the statues on display. Both tours were sold out and led to great...
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‘His fourth… and best’: Joe Moran’s Book on Shyness in the Limelight

‘His fourth… and best’: Joe Moran’s Book on Shyness in the Limelight

Joe Moran, Professor of English and Cultural History at LJMU, has published his fourth book: Shrinking Violets: A Field Guide to Shyness (Profile Books). It is a literary, cultural and historical reflection on what Charles Darwin called “this odd state of mind”: shyness. Since then, Joe's latest work has been read, discussed and praised across the media, and across the world. The Guardian review called Shrinking Violets 'fantastic and involving', the Daily Mail deemed it 'nimble' (!), the Herald loved its 'illuminating stories gathered from across the world', and the Spectator its 'beautiful descriptions of the anguish of the shy'. At the start of September Shrinking Violets was BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, read by Nigel Planer. Joe himself has been hard at work promoting his book: and all while never missing a lecture or seminar! He appeared on the BBC Radio 4 programme Thinking Allowed, in discussion with Laurie Taylor and the sociologist of shyness Susie Scott. He also appeared on The Forum on the BBC World Service, discussing shyness and introversion with the...
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Nadine Muller Launches New Project Live on Woman’s Hour

Nadine Muller Launches New Project Live on Woman’s Hour

On 11 November 2016, Nadine Muller, together with Mary Moreland from the War Widows' Association of Great Britain, launched her Heritage Lottery Funded project War Widows' Stories live on Woman's Hour. They were given eight star-struck minutes with BBC Radio 4's Jenni Murray, and you can listen to the result below via BBC iPlayer. Talking about her first live radio experience, Nadine says: It's needless to say I was so excited about being able to do this. It meant our project was given national coverage on Armistice Day, a time when the nation is focused on remembrance of the dead, but often forgets about our duty to take care of those who survive conflict, including veterans and families. You can listen to the programme via this link, and Nadine has also written a blog post about her experience, which you can you read here....
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LJMU English PhD Joseph Thorne on his role in ‘Liverpool’s Wild(e) Poet’ Exhibition

LJMU English PhD Joseph Thorne on his role in ‘Liverpool’s Wild(e) Poet’ Exhibition

Here LJMU English PhD Joseph Thorne talks about his involvement with Liverpool Central Library's current exhibition:  When I first applied to LJMU (back in the distant past of 2014), I was promised involvement with an exhibition on the late-Victorian Liverpool poet, Richard Le Gallienne. I’d come across Le Gallienne in my wider reading, but he was always a very marginal character. He was one of Oscar Wilde’s hangers on and then, following the Wilde trials, broke from Decadence and faded into well-deserved obscurity. And that was all there was to it. Or so I thought. When I started working my way through the extensive Le Gallienne collection, housed in the Liverpool Central Library, I was forced to re-evaluate Richard Le Gallienne. For those of you who know little about Le Gallienne, a brief biography is a good starting point. He was born as Richard Gallienne in 1866 to John and Jane Gallienne. His father, who worked at the Birkenhead Brewery, hoped that...
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PhD Jennie O’Reilly to give conference paper to the American Folklore Society

PhD Jennie O’Reilly to give conference paper to the American Folklore Society

LJMU English Phd student Jennie O'Reilly has just received support funding from both LJMU and the American Folklore Society to deliver a conference paper in the US. Here she describes the research underlying her proposal... Back in June of this year I received an email from the American Folklore Society informing me that my paper had been accepted at this year’s Joint Annual Meeting with the International Society for Folk Narrative Research – in Miami! What an incredible location for a conference... Addressing the theme of the conference on ‘Unfinished Stories’, my paper will focus on two ethnographies: Mules and Men by Zora Neale Hurston and Harry Hyatt’s Hoodoo Conjuration Witchcraft Rootwork, both undertaken during the 1930s. ‘Florida is a place that draws people, white people from all the world, and Negroes from every Southern state surely and some from the North and West’ claimed Zora Neale Hurston in Mules and Men. When asked ‘where [did she] want to go to collect...
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Professor Glenda Norquay On Dangerous Women

Professor Glenda Norquay On Dangerous Women

While on a recent research fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, LJMU English Professor Glenda Norquay took part in the Dangerous Women Project. This initiative explores what it means to be ‘a dangerous women’. Each day, over the course of a year, a Dangerous Women Project post reflects on the various ways in which women might be understood as ‘dangerous’.  Contributions come from poets, playwrights, politicians, academics, artists, journalists and anyone who feels they can contribute to the theme. Glenda’s post, which went live on Thursday 8th September, is about the writer Annie S. Swan and the ways in which we might think about the ‘dangerous’ nature of her popular fiction:  ‘Annie S. Swan: making people cry’: click here to read it. You might want to follow the project on Twitter or read other posts from the project about writers, activists, scientists, politicians  - all kinds of women, from all over the world, doing interesting things!...
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Liverpool’s Wild(e) Poet: Richard Le Gallienne Exhibition at Central Library

Liverpool’s Wild(e) Poet: Richard Le Gallienne Exhibition at Central Library

  Those of you interested in Oscar Wilde (who isn’t?), in literary Liverpool or in the 1890s might like to visit the current exhibition at the beautiful Hornby Library in Liverpool Central Library from 5 August–31 October 2016. This free exhibition celebrates the life and 150th anniversary of Richard Le Gallienne, Birkenhead boy, aesthete, poet and critic, who was inspired to lead a literary life after hearing Wilde lecture in Liverpool. You can read the Guardian review of the exhibition here. For LJMU English final year students, this would be sure to get you in the mood for our Level 6 module ‘Vamps and Villains’. LJMU PhD student, Joseph Thorne, has been working as a research assistant on the exhibition and will be blogging soon for us about his experiences curating and working in the archives.  ...
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Shrinking Violets: Radio 4’s Book of the Week

Shrinking Violets: Radio 4’s Book of the Week

LJMU English's Professor Joe Moran's latest book, Shrinking Violets, will be Book of the Week on Radio 4 next week, starting on Monday 29th August. Joe's 'Field Guide to Shyness' will be read by Nigel Planer. If you miss an episode, you'll be able to listen again here. Can't wait until Monday? You can also read Joe's fantastic essay previewing the book on the Guardian website here.  ...
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Marginal Irish Modernisms: International Conference at LJMU English 8-9 September 2016

Marginal Irish Modernisms: International Conference at LJMU English 8-9 September 2016

On Thursday 8th and Friday 9th September 2016 the Department of English at LJMU will host an international conference on the subject of Marginal Irish Modernisms. The conference will focus on reconsidering the meaning and scope of Irish modernism throughout the twentieth century and down to the present. The keynote speakers are Professor Joseph Bristow of the University of California who will be talking about Oscar Wilde Sir Roger Casement, and Dr Tina O’Toole of the University of Limerick, who will lecture on cosmopolitan Irishness in the fiction of George Egerton. Besides Britain and Ireland, delegates will be attending from France, Germany and the United States. The Principal Co-ordinator of the network Professor Gerry Smyth said: ‘The department of English here at LJMU has strengths in many of the areas encompassed by this conference. It’s fantastic to have an event like this here in Liverpool, and to be at the forefront of exciting developments in the field of modernist studies.’ This event is part...
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Liverpool Travel Seminar, Saturday 24th September 2016

Liverpool Travel Seminar, Saturday 24th September 2016

The tenth annual Liverpool Travel Seminar will be held at Blackburne House, Liverpool, on Saturday 24 September 2016. The Liverpool Travel Seminar is a collaborative and interdisciplinary research forum launched jointly by Liverpool Hope University, the University of Liverpool, and Liverpool John Moores University in 2007. This year’s event is arranged in association with the Arts and Humanities Research Council ‘Translating Cultures’ theme, and brings together researchers linked to AHRC-funded projects with members of the Network on Travel Writing of the Far North to discuss questions of travel and place. Speakers include Professor Karina Lykke Grand (Aarhus University, Denmark) Professor Margaret Topping (Queen’s University Belfast) and Professor Carol Tully (Bangor University). The seminar is organised by Professor Charles Forsdick (University of Liverpool), Dr. Zoe Kinsley (Liverpool Hope University) and Dr. Kate Walchester (Liverpool John Moores University). For further details contact Kate Walchester (K.A.Walchester@ljmu.ac.uk). You can reserve a place here. ...
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‘Nothing like first-hand evidence’: Jonathan Cranfield’s latest book published

‘Nothing like first-hand evidence’: Jonathan Cranfield’s latest book published

Last month saw the publication of LJMU English's Jonathan Cranfield's latest book, Arthur Conan Doyle and the Strand Magazine, 1891-1930, as part of the Edinburgh Critical Studies in Victorian Culture series with Edinburgh University Press. Professor Douglas Kerr of the University of Hong Kong notes how the 'partnership between Arthur Conan Doyle and The Strand Magazine developed into one of the most successful collaborations in publishing history. In telling its story, Jonathan Cranfield's fascinating book shows the vital part it played in the formation of a modern readership and culture'. The book is about reimagining Arthur Conan Doyle as an active participant in the twentieth century. Jon said, 'We have developed a habit of imagining that all the "Victorian" writers ceased doing anything of importance after Queen Victoria died. Fortunately she was not like the big spaceship in Independence Day and all the other "Victorians" did not spontaneously combust upon her departure'. The book charts the ways in which Conan Doyle and other lesser-known writers in The...
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Masters by Research with LJMU English

Masters by Research with LJMU English

LJMU English welcomes applications for our MRes programme for 2016-17. This is a year-long course that gives you the opportunity to realise a research project of your own devising, under guidance from an individual supervisor and alongside a lively community of postgraduate students within and beyond the English department. Come and develop your research skills with us! See the postgraduate pages on this site or for further information and application links see the University web page: https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/study/courses/postgraduates/english. Please note that the deadline for applications is Wednesday 20th July, 2016. We will consider applications after this date but places may not be available....
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Hauntings: Vernon Lee Event at the Bluecoat

Hauntings: Vernon Lee Event at the Bluecoat

At Liverpool's Bluecoat gallery on Saturday, 21st March, LJMU English's Sondeep Kandola took part in 'Hauntings', an afternoon of performances and discussion inspired by the work of Vernon Lee, a pseudonym of the British writer Violet Paget (1856 – 1935). Lee was one of the most influential women writing in English in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries who wrote inventive and impassioned fiction, drama and essays on topics such as European identity, gender inequality, war and globalisation. A continental intellectual and pacifist, Lee both participated in, and anticipated, the wider shift from Victorian earnestness to Modernist play that shaped British literature at the turn of the twentieth century. In light of the turbulent friendships that she had with figures such as Henry James, Oscar Wilde, H. G. Wells and Virginia Woolf and the recent upsurge of interest in the culture of the fin de siècle and lesbian Modernist writing, the event (which featured readings and performances from her influential collection of ghost stories Hauntings(1890) by Nathan Jones and Maria Fusco)...
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Prescot Work Experience: Megan Bagnall

Prescot Work Experience: Megan Bagnall

The second year 'English Work Experience' module... well - even if you haven't taken it, you can guess what it does. Part of LJMU's commitment to preparing our graduates for the world of work, the module also aims, where possible, to involve students studying English in the research activities being carried out by staff in the department. Prescot, a town eight miles to the east of Liverpool, is coming out of some very difficult economic times with a cultural revival. The long-term efforts of a wide variety of residents, community and charity organisations, and members of Knowsley council are soon to be crowned with the construction in Prescot of a Jacobean theatre and education hub. LJMU English's Professor Elspeth Graham has played an important part in this exciting regeneration, and for many years has offered students on 'English Work Experience' the chance to take part in a range of community-based cultural projects. Megan Bagnall has recently completed the module, and here she reflects upon the...
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Prison Voices: LJMU English Students publish their year’s research online

Prison Voices: LJMU English Students publish their year’s research online

LJMU English's groundbreaking second year module 'Prison Voices: Crime, Conviction and Confession, c.1700-1900' examines the literature of crime and confession in both fictional and non-fictional texts across two centuries. The module's website, produced by its students, explores ways in which historical documents found in digital resources like the Old Bailey Online can be read in dialogue with novels, poems and memoirs. By reading literary and non-literary sources together, students investigate the relationships between social power and cultural authority. The module is led by Helen Rogers, who is currently designing a  new module, 'Digital Victorians: An Introduction to Digital Humanities', that first year English students will take next year. This year, Ben Chance is the first student on the module to publish his research blog. 'Art, Expression and the Condemned' explores the emotional significance of tattoos and love tokens for convicts awaiting deportation in the nineteenth century. You can read Ben's pioneering post here. It's a great example of the skills developed by the module: scholarly research communicated to...
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ESPRIT de Corps: LJMU English Hosts Major European Conference

ESPRIT de Corps: LJMU English Hosts Major European Conference

The first floor of the John Foster Building will resonate with the sounds of many different voices and languages on the 7th and 8th of July when the European Society for Periodicals Research (ESPRIT) holds its fifth conference at LJMU English. The Society was founded in 2009 by a group of periodical researchers from the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, the USA and the UK. The group is dedicated to cross-disciplinary and transnational research into European periodicals, magazines, journals and newspapers from all historical periods. As well as conferences, the Society, which is free to join, acts as an information exchange for research in this field and is just launching an on-line journal, the Journal of European Periodical Studies. Last year’s conference in Stockholm brought together over forty speakers from across Europe all keen to think about the similarities and differences between the periodical press in different countries and in diverse national traditions. This year’s conference has taken 'Periodical Counter Cultures: Tradition,...
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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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Research Centre Seminar Series 2015-16

Research Centre Seminar Series 2015-16

The Centre hosts a regular series of research seminars which welcomes a variety of external speakers, internal workshops and postgraduate sessions. Seminars take place on Tuesday evenings 5.30- 7pm in the John Foster Building rm. 1.27 unless otherwise stated. All are welcome to attend and refreshments are provided. For information please contact Michael Morris M.J.Morris1@ljmu.ac.uk Seminar Series 2015/16 - Semester 1: 6 Oct: Alice Ferrebe (LJMU): 'Junior Romantic Anthropologist bore': Colin MacInnes’s Adventures in Postwar Multiracial Britain 20 Oct: LJMU Postgraduate Session with Ryan Coogan and Christinna Hobbs 3 Nov: Helen Rogers (LJMU): ‘Writing Lives’: Bringing Life-Writing to Life: Writing Lives in the Community @ www.writinglives.org 24 Nov: Kostas Boyiopoulos (Durham University): Raconteur and Racketeer: Oscar Wilde and the Confidence Trick 8 Dec: Thomas Dixon (Queen Mary University of London): Raining Men: The Manly Tear from John Donne to Brian Blessed Semester 2: 19 Jan. Bella Adams (LJMU): Sharp White Backgrounds: A Critical Race Theory Reading of Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An American Lyric. 2 Feb: Faye Hammill (University of Strathclyde):...
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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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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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