Study Abroad at SCSU: Southern’s English Programme

Study Abroad at SCSU: Southern’s English Programme

What (and how) will you be studying on Southern Connecticut State University's English modules? Rupert French investigates... During our time at Southern we were fortunate enough to meet up with several Professors of the English department, who helped us understand the differences in their learning strategies for students. Professor Charles Baraw teaches a module on comic books, 'Comics and the American Experience'. He gets his students to learn how to read comics differently from standard fiction. As well as studying from a diverse set of texts such as Maus (and hopefully We:3, all about the Grant Morrison love), certain classes also learn how to create their own storyboards based around topics of their choice. Professor Melissa Talhelm teaches a module titled 'Lyrics as Literature' that looks at lyric composition as a form, but is primarily a creative writing course. Professor Talhelm is also a singer-songwriter and a Richard Thompson fan. You should definitely, definitely take these classes if they're on offer when you arrive. What becomes apparent through...
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Study Abroad at SCSU: Using the Library

Study Abroad at SCSU: Using the Library

Going to study at SCSU (or thinking about it)? This post is part of a series to help orientate you to their campus. Your guide is LJMU English intern Rupert French.. You’ll be pleased to know that for all the complex differences between the systems of Higher Education in the US and Britain, the SCSU library (aka The Hilton C. Buley Library) remains very library-ish. But there are some differences for users to be aware of to get the most out of their study time. The library is at the centre of campus and during semester is open from 8am-11pm.During the summer months this changes to 7.30pm. 

Much the same as LJMU, there are plenty of computers, but not enough for everyone at every time. As a Study Abroad student, you will have your own account to log in to these desk-top computers. You can reserve study rooms online as well as solo study on particular computers with any necessary software for your particular course. Perhaps the key difference when you're...
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Welcome Freshers 2016!

Welcome Freshers 2016!

Welcome to LJMU English! This tab along with the T.E.A tab are your first stops for all the information you'll need for your first few weeks. Beyond Freshers, us lot over at T.E.A (check out our actual faces under 'Student Interns' down the side there ----->) will be providing you with lots of helpful tips and insights into studying at LJMU. To get you started here's some very helpful stuff: Induction Week:     The Blackboard Community Site is where all of your course-related info and induction timetables will appear, and you'll receive details of how to gain access when you receive your official Welcome Pack from the University towards the end of August. Don't worry if you are struggling to understand Blackboard, we all are, it's a complicated beast and you will soon be able to just about tolerate it (that's as good as it gets with Blackboard, sorry). Once you are an enrolled, inducted, official LJMU student we can tell you all our deepest, darkest secrets (probably). By then you will undoubtedly...
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An Introduction to World, Time and Text

An Introduction to World, Time and Text

World, Time and Text is an expansive module, incorporating texts from across the centuries so you are bound to enjoy something and if not everything. You'll be exposed to such a plethora of literature that you're at least learning a lesson in diversifying from your normal reading list. Starting with Paradise Lost you're dropped somewhere near the deep end but fear not, we've already compiled a list of hints and tips with how best to stay afloat and enjoy the epic poetry of John Milton! World, Time and Text focuses on intertextuality, how literature across generations is linked and what questions this brings about authorship. What you learn about intertextuality in this module will be applicable for all modules across the course and brings about all sorts of debates about who retains the authority on a piece of writing. From Paradise Lost you will look at Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman, edging towards the shallow end, unfortunately filled with a talking polar bear refusing to give up any...
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Reading English Module.

Reading English Module.

This is quite a fast-paced module, structured in three parts - focussing in turn on poetry (including 'V' by Tony Harrison - amazing, and Shakespeare's Sonnets), prose (Wuthering Heights - see T.E.A's separate post for this) and drama (Endgame by Samuel Beckett). This module, for me, felt quite different from the others, due to the varied material. Kate Walchester says: "The aim of 'Reading English' is to ease your transition into the undergraduate study of English Literature by introducing you to a wide range of texts from different periods, refreshing your knowledge of literary terms and techniques, and supporting you as you write your first research essay". This module may feel like a bit of a rollercoaster, unnerving at times, but it is exactly because of this feeling that the module is so enjoyable. It allows you the opportunity to explore the variations in literature. When it comes to choosing your modules for level 5, you will have a good idea of the different areas of study - for...
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Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë.

This is one of the texts you will study on the Reading English module. First of all let me just say that this novel is NOT a typical 'chick love story' (as one person put it in my seminar group). Heathcliff is far from the romantic hero, if he can be considered that at all! This is a far more complex story about greed, class, conflict and consequences. Please do not assume that you can watch a TV or film adaptation and know the story. The novel is far more complex, with intricately woven plot and character relationships. These things are never, in my opinion, portrayed correctly on screen and the novel's gothic atmosphere is usually either overlooked or over-done. I admit that Wuthering Heights is sometimes difficult to get into, I had to go back and start again, as I found I had not taken in the first few chapters, but perseverance with this novel is rewarding. There is so...
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Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

'Lo-lee-ta'. It is hard to pick a favourite book from the first year of the course, but when people ask me which book I enjoyed the most, Lolita always pops into my head first. Now I know that most will have heard of the book purely for its notoriety and controversial themes, but there is a lot more to this novel. Nabokov has an aesthetic quality hard to beat. Little descriptions that are both simple and stunning. In one line he can create an image that stays with you, 'She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock.' [In normal circumstances you will need to Harvard reference here]. Try not to be put off by the theme of the novel, although hard to stomach. Humbert Humbert is frequently shown as a monster or something strangely alien and grotesque. But the novel is not a sympathetic portrayal of a paedophile, rather a unique perspective on a...
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Being a Commuting Student

Being a Commuting Student

Commuting to uni can sometimes be a challenge, especially if you live a bit of a distance away, and have a 9am lecture. It’s not rocket science – you have to get up early. However, you really need to make sure you give yourself enough time to eat and drink first. There is nothing worse than sitting in a lecture and your stomach rumbling! Thankfully if you are in a rush there is The Amazing Georgina – the toast lady in the student zone, who makes the best tea and toast ever . You will also need to get yourself sorted out with a train or bus pass. On a more personal note: It can be a worry that because you're not living in halls you won't meet people. This is not the case, there are ways you can get involved through the LSU, different societies you may be interested in and so on. The LSU have a lot of social events taking...
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Being a Mature Student

Being a Mature Student

I came to university after completing an Access course at college. I had done my A-Levels when I was younger, at which time I decided to take a year out to save money before university. That year turned into many as life took over and bills had to be paid. Many people have asked me, since returning to education, whether I regret not going to uni when I was younger. I can honestly say that I don’t. At 18 years old I was not confident or assertive in anyway, I was not sure what I wanted to do and certainly not prepared for the amount of work involved in university life – if you want to put your all into it. As a mature student I am not distracted by the nightlife (I did all of that in my 20’s) although I do enjoy meals out in Liverpool's many fantastic restaurants! I’m more aware of why I am here (at...
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Being a Student Parent

Being a Student Parent

I dropped out of university when I was 20 and moved back home to have my son. I knew it was the best option because my student life at the time consisted of getting up for a 9am lecture, pouring myself a mug of wine, and going back to bed until it was time to hit the clubs of Lancaster again (there are clubs in Lancaster, honest). Needless to say, becoming a parent changed my schedule a fair bit. For a while I was content with having  swapped booze for a balanced diet and night life for, well - still night life - but of a different sort. Then I started to wonder if I'd ever be able to go back to university. I wanted to, but I had a lot of doubts. Sometimes making it through the day without putting the telephone in the dishwasher or the kettle in the fridge seems like the greatest thing you'll ever achieve as a parent. It's a...
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Feeling daunted? Ineffectual? Inadequate? Don’t panic it’s all fine!

Feeling daunted? Ineffectual? Inadequate? Don’t panic it’s all fine!

My first two weeks at uni were spent walking aimlessly round, lost most of the time and hoping I could find someone I could follow - obviously not in a weird stalker way. I think everyone feels a little out of their depth at times, and you're not alone if you do, it's a common feeling. There have been moments when I have asked myself if I chose the right course, whether I was good enough to be on the course and generally whether I would do well. The truth is you're here on your own merit, you've earned your place: so you are in the right place. Self-doubt is something you simply have to get over in your own time. If you receive a mark on your assignment that you're disappointed with don't be disheartened, the tutors give constructive feedback that you can take on board and use to improve your work next time. The tutors are always happy to talk through...
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Your Massive Reading List

Your Massive Reading List

Have you read the book for this week? Have you? Have you read all of the books IN THE WORLD? Because you need to - immediately! You are an English student now and the most important thing about being an English student is making sure that you never do anything other than read, read, read, and read some more. If you haven’t read and made extensive notes on every text on your reading list before the first week of teaching then you have already failed your degree and might as well throw the lot of them in the Mersey right now. Or maybe that’s not true. Maybe everything will be alright. Maybe you don’t need to read anything at all. Just sit back, make a cuppa, and spend the next 72 hours watching Netflix. Or maybe, just maybe, we can find a healthy and reasonable balance here. Getting to grips with the amount of reading you are required to do at degree...
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Seminar Survival

Seminar Survival

If you are a good student (and I know you are) then you'll have read your English Style Guide from cover to cover at least five times and will be very familiar with the section titled: 'Seminars and What to Do in Them'. If you haven't read it (Shock! Horror!), then go and read it now because it is very helpful and tells you everything you need to know about what to do in seminars. That said, I’m sure you want to know even more about what to do in seminars, which is why I’ve written even more about what to do in seminars. Being in a seminar is just like being at a house party, but you have to navigate it completely sober. That may sound awful, but at this party, learning is your drink of choice (stay with me), and if you take it one sip at a time your inhibitions will fade and you’ll soon be the life...
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Tips on Secondary Sources

Tips on Secondary Sources

Here are some tips and help in finding those pesky secondary sources! I know that most of you will already know all of this, but just in case you don't, here is some (hopefully helpful) advice. Firstly, never ask yourself "how many sources can I get away with?". The more secondary reading you do, the better, but that doesn't mean you have to read the whole book every time. Begin by checking the index for relative key words, and choose chapters that relate to your essay or your primary reading. Secondly, if you read a book or essay and that author mentions another author, it might be worth checking out the referenced author. This can actually create an interesting argument in your own essay (but don't plagiarise whatever you do!!). Thirdly, those lectures you attend every week, that are on BlackBoard, they usually contain references and quotes, some lecturers even put their bibliographies at the end. Check them out, I'd advise you not to pilfer the contents...
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Art for Lit’s Sake: Kathrin Shawcross wins T.E.A. Competition

Art for Lit’s Sake: Kathrin Shawcross wins T.E.A. Competition

Avid fans of LJMU English will know that The English Appendage (TEA), the department's merry and dauntingly efficient band of peer mentors, recently organised a competition asking our students to create an image encapsulating one of the texts we study on the programme. The entries we received, which included photographs, drawings and paintings, gloriously confirmed what we already knew - that our students are a creative bunch, and can think in pictures as well as in words. You can see the winning entries here. Kathrin Shawcross, who was awarded first prize, is a second year English and Media and Cultural Studies student. She often uses painting and drawing as a way of expressing and expanding her interests. Kathrin said, 'when I read a particularly interesting book at university or have a certain type of music stuck in my head I will usually end up creating a picture to reflect how much I have enjoyed them'. Kathrin's winning image was the product of a lengthy process, and began...
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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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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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Social Media Skills for Students

Social Media Skills for Students

Social Media Skills for Students is an LJMU English project which builds on Nadine Muller’s work-experience module ‘Express Yourself: Presentation and Social Media Skills’ by creating a resource that extends beyond the English undergraduate programme at LJMU and that is accessible and useful to all students within and outside the university. Through this dedicated website, students are able to draw on guides and exercises devised to maximize their digital literacy and provide them with a professional online presence that can function as a significant aid in their career development and prospects. The site was established and developed by Nadine and her team of amazing interns. ...
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Krystina Osborne

Krystina Osborne

Krystina is a PhD student at the Research Centre for Literature and Cultural History. Prior to this, she studied at LJMU for a BA in English, graduating with a First Class Honours degree, and for an MRes in Literature and Cultural History, achieving a Pass with Distinction. Krystina’s MRes thesis was entitled ‘“In the Service of Women”? Developments in Feminism and Female-Authored Erotic Fiction Since the Publication of Angela Carter's The Sadeian Woman’, and focused on authors including Charlotte Roche and Sarah Hall. Her main research interests in contemporary women’s erotic writing and theories of gender and sexuality are reflected in her recent progression to PhD level to conduct research into engagements with female masturbation in contemporary women’s writing and in wider culture, supervised by Dr Kate Houlden and Dr Fiona Tolan. She is currently on the steering group for the Postgraduate Contemporary Women’s Writing Network (PG CWWN) and also works part-time as a bookseller, a role that has intensified her interest...
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Graduate Teaching Assistantships

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

The Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies at Liverpool John Moores University is offering up to 10 full time Graduate Teaching / Research Assistant Studentships in a range of disciplines to start in October 2014. This studentship scheme offers a valuable opportunity to study for a PhD while teaching in subjects broadly related to your PhD research. The studentship covers full tuition fees and a bursary of £13,863 for three years, based on successful PhD progression. GTAs work with academic staff in a range of teaching, learning and assessment activities to support student learning for up to 180 hours in each academic year. These activities include supporting lectures, leading seminars, providing tutorial support, demonstrating in practical classes, marking student assessments and exam invigilation. GTAs will undertake a programme of teaching and learning skills development during the first year, and will be encouraged to attend a range of researcher development sessions in line with the Vitae Researcher Development Framework throughout their...
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‘Print Culture and Gender in the British Empire’, University of Warwick, 5 June 2014

‘Print Culture and Gender in the British Empire’, University of Warwick, 5 June 2014

‘Print Culture and Gender in the British Empire’, University of Warwick, June 5th 2014. Conference report by Sam Caddick With my train leaving Liverpool at 6 am and several changes deep in the bowels on the Midlands, I planned my journey to Warwick University and the Gender and Print Culture in the British Empire conference in the manner of a military manoeuvre. My meticulous planning was undone at the eleventh hour, I alighted the shuttle bus too early and found myself dashing from the University’s science department over to the humanities department on the other side of the campus. Arriving just before registration closed, the conference opened with a keynote from Priti Joshi, hailing from the University of Puget Sound. Professor Joshi’s paper focused on The Mofussilite, one of the 14,000 newspapers that came out of Anglo-India. The paper was founded by John Lang, considered to also be the first Australian born novelist. Lang founded the paper in 1845 and frequently used this...
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