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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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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How We Used To Live: LJMU English Hosts Northern Film Premiere

How We Used To Live: LJMU English Hosts Northern Film Premiere

First shown at the 2013 London Film Festival, How We Used To Live is a poetic collage-history of London, setting colour footage from the BFI National Archive to the hazy, beautiful music of Saint Etienne. Produced by the filmmaking collective of the band with writer Travis Elborough and director Paul Kelly, it looks back at Britain from the 1950s to the 1980s, with some scenes lost to contemporary Britain, but some still profoundly resonant. The film will be screened on Thursday, 14th October 2014 at 5.30pm in John Foster 121, and Travis Elborough will answer questions afterwards. You can watch a trailer of the film here. ...
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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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Research Seminar: Professor Margaret Topping (QUB), ‘A Sense of Place in Travel Narratives, or Travelling in 4D’ (10 December 2013)

Research Seminar: Professor Margaret Topping (QUB), ‘A Sense of Place in Travel Narratives, or Travelling in 4D’ (10 December 2013)

Professor Margaret Topping, Queen's University Belfast ‘A Sense of Place in Travel Narratives, or Travelling in 4D’ LJMU English Research Seminar 10 December 2013 Professor Margaret Topping presented an involving and thematically transitory lecture on travel writing and its place in an increasingly digitised society. Through outlining where Francophone travel writing has come from and where it stands, Topping then looked at how themes and sensitivity within travel writing as a text are explored through installation art – almost the flip side of the coin, where instead of people seeking out the text to explore other worlds, the other worlds are brought to them. Topping deftly brought wo supposedly polar art forms together in an encompassing and thoroughly convincing argument that considered the possibilities and plasticities of negotiating debates on intercultural mobility. Looking at the written works of Flaubert, Maspero, Proust and Sebar, and the visual works of Kader Attia, Mounir Fatmi and Majida Khattari, Topping selected and entwined already moving and powerful works...
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Research Seminar: Lynsey Hanley (Visiting Fellow) – ‘A Look In The Mirror – Reflections on Tabloid Observations & Broadsheet Prejudices, 1980-2010’ (29 October 2013)

Research Seminar: Lynsey Hanley (Visiting Fellow) – ‘A Look In The Mirror – Reflections on Tabloid Observations & Broadsheet Prejudices, 1980-2010’ (29 October 2013)

‘A Look In The Mirror, Reflections in Tabloid Observations and Broadsheet Prejudices, 1980 – 2010’ by Lynsey Hanley On 29th October 2013, Liverpool John Moores University were more than proud to welcome new Visiting Fellow in the Research Centre for Literature and Cultural History, Lynsey Hanley, to discuss her most recent work ‘A Look In The Mirror, Reflections in Tabloid Observations and Broadsheet Prejudices, 1980 – 2010’. Having previously heard of Hanley’s work with Estates her 2007 book published under Granta Books and acknowledged her contributions to The Guardian newspaper; it was interesting to hear her latest piece of research from the author herself. When Hanley began her presentation to a room filled with Liverpool John Moores staff and students, she tapped into nostalgia to ensure that the entire room was entranced by her research. Introducing her research with the statement that The Mirror was the publication that she and her family grew up with, allowed us, the audience, to recall our...
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Professor Joe Moran’s ‘Intimate History’ of British TV Gets Rave Reviews

Professor Joe Moran’s ‘Intimate History’ of British TV Gets Rave Reviews

Professor of English and Cultural History, Joe Moran, has just released his latest book, ‘Armchair Nation: An Intimate History of Britain in Front of the TV’, which tells the story of television over the generations. A follow-up to his critically-acclaimed book, ‘Queuing for Beginners’, Joe’s fascinating and perceptive observations on British life chart viewing habits and programme developments throughout the years, covering major milestones such as the Queen’s Coronation and the first televised FA Cup Final in 1953, the first moon landing, telly going colour, Ted Heath’s proposed 10.30pm TV curfew in 1973, the popularity of the Sopranos and US imports of the ‘naughties’ and the impact shows like the X Factor has had on the viewing public. Read a full review of the book here from Saturday’s Observer Commenting on the book, Joe said: "It’s not so much a history of TV as a history of watching TV. The challenge for me was to write about something that is such an everyday feature of...
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Conference Report: Victorian Orientalism(s)

Conference Report: Victorian Orientalism(s)

27th-29th June Ragusa Ibla, Sicily, Lois Thomas In June this year, with the support of a postgraduate travel bursary, I packed my bags and merrily boarded a well-known budget airline flight for Trapani, Sicily to attend the inaugural conference of the Universities of Ghent and Catania. The subject was ‘Victorian Orientalism(s)’ and presented an opportunity for me to finally commit to paper my thoughts about the persistence of oriental imagery in the accounts of transgressive and revelatory experience that form the basis of my PhD thesis. Arriving on the west coast of the island, the first challenge was to negotiate Sicily’s bus service to travel across to the tiny, perfect baroque town of Ragusa Ibla in the South East. This turned out to be no great hardship. Cruising along through the Sicilian countryside accompanied by wonderful views, good tunes and air conditioning, I was able to take in the cities of Palermo and Catania en route to the conference venue. A new...
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Research Seminar: Dr David Tyrer (LJMU) – “The Politics of Phobia”

Research Seminar: Dr David Tyrer (LJMU) – “The Politics of Phobia”

Why we fear what we fear is a question that has long fascinated LJMU’s own David Tyrer. Coming from an interdisciplinary background, David studies the phenomenon of phobias from a cultural, historical, and sociological perspective.  His studies range from the depiction of phobias in pieces of art, to the sociological use of the word as a byword for hatred- such as homophobia and xenophobia. David opened his talk with a discussion of the history of phobias.  Coming from the Greek for “fear”, the term was popularised during the 19th century with many being intrinsically connected to historical events.  For example, the concept of claustrophobia and agoraphobia first materialise during the Franco-Prussian War – claustrophobia during the siege of Paris, and agoraphobia following the relief of the city. As well as their relationship to historical events, David also detailed how phobias were used as political tools.  With the modern classification of phobia occurring in 1871, the concepts then went under a medicalization during...
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Research Seminar: ‘Censoring Intimacy: British Cinema of the 1960s’

Research Seminar: ‘Censoring Intimacy: British Cinema of the 1960s’

Dr Tracy Hargreaves (University of Leeds) delivered a paper charting the work of the British Board of Film Censors and of its secretary John Trevelyan over a decade. She put to good use her 300 odd pages of research notes compiled from the Board’s archives which enabled her audience to lift the curtain and look beyond the urbane diplomacy of Trevelyan’s delicate dealings with directors, producers and scriptwriters to the highly critical comments of the Boards examiners. Trevelyan was able to resolve many disputed cuts over a pleasant lunch although, as Dr Hargreaves pointed out, from time to time he exceeded his brief and thought of himself as a scriptwriter. Dr Hargreaves’s in-depth analysis of the Board’s records allowed her to enliven the seminar with many examples of the cuts demanded by the examiners and how the issues were eventually resolved. Although the paper covered the 1960s, I was delighted that Dr Hargreaves began a little earlier with one of my...
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Research Seminar: Oh, What Beautiful Books!

Research Seminar: Oh, What Beautiful Books!

‘Oh, What Beautiful Books!’: Captivated Readers in an Early-Victorian Gaol As November ushered in its customary chill, a warm welcome awaited the delegates who gathered for the first paper in this year’s series of seminars. The turn-out was impressive, featuring staff and students from both LJMU and our neighbours at the University of Liverpool, all eager to hear Dr Helen Rogers’s fascinating research into the impact of nineteenth-century prison visitor Sarah Martin and her work with the inmates of Yarmouth Gaol. What followed was a hugely affecting paper, felt all the more keenly owing to Helen’s presentation of the material, which revealed her own emotional response to the scholarly research. We learned how the literally ‘captive’ boys were simultaneously captivated by the reading material offered by Sarah Martin. She sought out books that they could keep and they in turn made the learning process their own, jostling to pore over the illustrations depicting simple moral tales featuring characters seemingly like themselves and...
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Professor Brian Maidment

Brian joined LJMU English in September 2012 as a part-time Professor of the History of Print. His long teaching career has taken him to wide range of HE institutions including polytechnics, colleges of higher education, and both pre- and post-1992 universities. His central role now is concerned with research, although he does contribute to both post-graduate and undergraduate teaching. His research interests are focussed on the nineteenth century, especially mass circulation, popular and illustrated literature, and he has published widely on a broad range of topics, although more recently he has concentrated his interests on Victorian periodicals and early nineteenth century visual culture. Brian is an extremely experienced supervisor and examiner at Ph.D and M.Phil level, and would welcome applications from students especially on topics concerned with mass circulation Victorian literature and popular culture. A frequently invited speaker at universities and scholarly events in both Europe and North America, Brian is a Visiting Scholar at the Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University,...
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Dr Nadine Muller

My research covers literary and cultural histories of women, gender, and feminism from the nineteenth century through to the present day, as well as contemporary women's fiction, and neo-Victorianism. My first monograph - The Widow: A Literary and Cultural History - will be published by Liverpool University Press in late 2017, and I am now working on an oral history and participatory project called War Widows' Stories, which is in receipt of a grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund. I am a member of the AHRC Peer Review College, and I am also a BBC New Generation Thinker. I welcome enquiries from prospective doctoral researchers wishing to work on any combination of the above fields and themes. At LJMU, I teach across all undergraduate levels and postgraduate levels, and I have led the departments' core literary and cultural theory provision as well as covering modules on gender and social media. I have also designed specialist modules such as "Feminist Fictions", which covers women's writing's relationship with feminist...
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