SCSU’s Professor Brian Johnson gives Poetry Reading at LJMU

SCSU’s Professor Brian Johnson gives Poetry Reading at LJMU

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

Study English Abroad in the USA

Since 2014, LJMU has been developing a unique transatlantic alliance with Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Connecticut. At the centre of this agreement is the chance for LJMU and Southern students (as the latter are known) to experience life and study abroad, whether this is for a semester or a year. New Haven is perfectly located to give students the experience of an American college town whilst being in easy reach of cities like New York and Boston. LJMU English has long been dedicated to giving our students the opportunity to expand their experience by travelling abroad. Our 'Working in the USA' module was established over twenty years ago, and since then has supported the second year students who choose to take it in finding a vast array of both paid and unpaid work in the US. One of our External Examiners described the module as 'truly trailblazing'. You can read about how recent 'Working in the USA' students found...
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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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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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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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Liverpool 2016: City of … English Homework?

Liverpool 2016: City of … English Homework?

If you're an LJMU English student, it's likely that you've recently been offered a free trip to some sort of cultural happening in Liverpool to further inspire you in your studies. Level 4 students on 'World, Time and Text' went to see rapper Testament remixing William Blake's poetry back in November. Last month Level 5 'Shakespeare' students saw The Winter's Tale at the Liverpool Playhouse, and students on the Level 6 modules 'Vamps and Villains' and 'Our House' have also been to the Playhouse to see The Haunting of Hill House.  We're lucky to live in a place that gives us so many opportunities to extend the thinking we do and the discussions we have in class. So why not make it one of your New Year's resolutions to make the most of even more of the cultural opportunities our amazing city has to offer? We're not saying it'll guarantee better marks, but well... it can't hurt. And do remember that all LJMU students get amazing discounts with the University's...
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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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LJMU English Lecturer to Teach in China

LJMU English Lecturer to Teach in China

LJMU English's Alice Ferrebe is leaving for China this week, to teach a short course based upon her research specialism to students at Shanghai University, as part of their International Term. Undergraduates at SU study for a total of four years, and in the third term of their first year, they are able to select a range of modules designed and taught by academics from abroad. Alice will be teaching a literature module focussed upon the representation of youth in post-Second World War British writing, which will draw upon material used in LJMU English's Level 4 'Literature in Context' course. Alice said, 'I was lucky enough to be able to visit the Chinese Literature department at Shanghai University last year, and ever since then I've been wondering what it would be like to teach British culture and literature to Chinese students. I've become obsessed with the idea of finding out what students from such a different background might make of Alan Sillitoe's short story...
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Alice Ferrebe, Literature of the 1950s: Good Brave Causes

Alice Ferrebe, Literature of the 1950s: Good Brave Causes

Alice Ferrebe's study rereads the decade and its literature as crucial in twentieth-century British history for its emergent and increasingly complicated politics of difference, as ideas about identity, authority and belonging were tested and contested. By placing a diverse selection of texts alongside those of the established canon of Movement and 'Angry' writing, a literary culture of true diversity and depth is brought into view. The volume characterises the 1950s as a time of confrontation with a range of concerns still avidly debated today, including immigration, education, the challenging behaviour of youth, nuclear threat, the post-industrial and post-imperial legacy, a consumerist economy and a feminist movement hampered by the perceivedly comprehensive nature of its recent success. Contrary to Jimmy Porter's defeatist judgement on his era in John Osborne's 1956 play Look Back in Anger, the volume upholds such concerns as 'good, brave causes' indeed. Literature of the 1950s: Good Brave Causes was published by Edinburgh University Press in 2012....
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Dr Alice Ferrebe

My earliest research focused upon the representation of gender in British literature and culture, and resulted in my first book, Masculinity in Male-Authored Fiction 1950-2000. This looked at the influence of conceptions of masculinity on fictional form and theme through a period of intense political and stylistic negotiation, ranging from the (allegedly) Angry Young Men, to the more contemporary confessional literature of Nick Hornby. This research and writing in the field of literary gender studies continues, and I’m also really interested in the performances of gender that are at work in the English classroom – I co-edited a collection of essays that explore this dynamic with my LJMU colleague Fiona Tolan. I’ve become increasingly fascinated with the literature and culture of mid-century Britain, and my book Good, Brave Causes, which covers the decade 1950-1960, was published in 2012 as part of the Edinburgh History of Twentieth-Century Literature in Britain series. The 1950s has acquired almost as many mythic associations as its...
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