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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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 The module's website, produced by its students, explores ways in which historical documents found in digital resources like the Old Bailey Online can be read in dialogue with novels, poems and memoirs.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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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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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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Writing Lives

Writing Lives

Writing Lives is a final-year undergraduate module on the LJMU English programmes, taught by Helen Rogers. Autobiographies are one of the most important resources we have for learning about the experiences and identities of ordinary – and extraordinary – people in the past. Memoirs have also been one of the most common forms of writing undertaken by working-class authors but many memoirs are never published and few remain in print. The aim of the Writing Lives Blog is to make some of this literature publicly available and to explore its significance for understanding working-class culture and identity. ...
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Prison Voices

Prison Voices

Prison Voices: Crime, Conviction and Confession, 1700-1900 is created by second-year undergraduates studying English literature and cultural history at Liverpool John Moores University, UK. In our blogs we examine the literature of crime and punishment in the 18th and 19th centuries, both fictional and non-fictional, and consider how these influenced each other. ...
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‘The best academics’: Helen Rogers in the THE

‘The best academics’: Helen Rogers in the THE

Dr Helen Rogers has been named in the Times Higher Education as an academic making exemplary use of blogging in her research. In the article 'Twitter and Blogs are Not Add-ons to Research', published on 28th August 2014, Tim Hitchcock, professor of digital history at the University of Sussex, praised Helen's Conviction blog, which shares ideas and excerpts from her forthcoming book Conviction: Stories from a Nineteenth-Century Prison. Professor Hitchcock claims that the most impressive thing about Helen's blog (and her career more widely) 'is that there is no waste – what starts as a blog, ends as an academic output, and an output with a ready-made audience, eager to cite it'. Last year Helen received a Teaching Grant from the Higher Education Authority to develop her innovative approach to fostering collaborative student research in two of LJMU English's undergraduate modules. Visit 'Prison Voices' and 'Writing Lives' to see what her students have achieved. You can also find out more about both...
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Writing Lives Students on BBC Radio

Writing Lives Students on BBC Radio

LJMU English students and lecturer recently featured on BBC Radio 4’s major new series Five Hundred Years of Friendship Level 6 students Cleo Chalk, Steve Clark, John England and Victoria Hoffman co-wrote a blog post on ‘Memories of Improvement’ and LJMU Reader, Dr Helen Rogers, was interviewed by Radio 4 presenter Dr Thomas Dixon for the programme on ‘Felons and Oddfellows’ While developing the series Thomas asked Helen whether working-class autobiographers wrote about their friends. Since this is a question that researchers have yet to study, Helen decided to ask her students on the ‘Writing Lives’ module. On Writing Lives, students have selected an author from the unpublished manuscripts in the John Burnett Collection of Working Class Autobiography and have researched and written about an aspect of their author’s life and memoir and published their findings each week on the Writing Lives website. ‘The Memories of Improvement’ article explores what friendship meant to four of these authors. Along with Helen’s Level 5 module, Prison...
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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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