Eating Your Reading List

Eating Your Reading List

Everyone loves a bowl of plain pasta and a pot noodle butty, but a few decent meals here and there can make a huge difference to your life, let alone your ability to study. There’s tons of food advice for students around, but can you use the books on your reading list as a cooking aids? Yes: yes you can. How much fun would it be to eat along with your favourite characters? (The answer is: SO MUCH FUN!) Here’s what culinary delights some of your first year texts have to offer, along with helpful links to simple recipes from the World Wide Web: Wuthering Heights fans can treat themselves to ‘boiled milk or tea’ and a delicious ‘basin of milk porridge’. If you’re feeling very hungry try ‘a plateful of cakes’. Hopefully your accommodation doesn’t make you feel like you’re living on the set of A Taste of Honey, but some ‘biscuits and a flask of coffee’ may brighten your early...
Read More
Reading Is Good For You

Reading Is Good For You

"Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing." - Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird. We all have our own stories of how we became readers, whether you were introduced to reading as a child, or came to it of your own free will. The most important thing is that you found books, or did they find you? I have always felt a need to read and have always been surrounded by books. I was always read to as a child, and I can still remember the first book I bought with my own money, Roald Dahl's The Witches. It was not just the ability to disappear into other lands, and to partake in adventures, but something far more intrinsic to my general being. I always have a book on the go and I always have anthologies of poems around me, so that I can pick something up and put it down...
Read More
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...
Read More
Film/TV Adaptations.

Film/TV Adaptations.

I have mentioned in my Wuthering Heights post that it is not good to rely on the film or TV version of a book. I stand by this. Reading the book is essential. Films and TV just don't have the time or the scope to convey everything that a book can. I'm sure you already know this as you've chosen English, but it's surprising how many students will try to dodge the reading. During group work on Lolita I was amazed to find that I'd missed a whole scene in the book, as had four others in my group. Whilst one student talked very excitedly about the significance of the scene the rest of us looked at each other, puzzled. The question was then asked, "Where in the book is that?" The student looked sheepish, "I've not read the book, I watched the film" (Groan!). But if you avoid this potential shame, watching a film or TV version can be...
Read More
Worried? Afraid? Made the Wrong Choice?

Worried? Afraid? Made the Wrong Choice?

Now that a few weeks have passed, you're probably fed up of being told to read books. You might even be feeling daunted by the amount of books you have to get through, but the best way to deal with this is simple, just take it one book at a time. The tutors aren't (just) trying to torture you, you DO have to read the books to pass. Remember, you chose English as your degree, so just suck it up. If you're thinking 'OMG I chose the wrong course', and the thought of turning another page fills you with dread, then you probably did. All is not lost - you can probably still change it - but you need to do this ASAP so you don't fall too far behind. If you genuinely want to change courses, go and see your Personal Tutor to sort it straight away. There's no point hanging about and thinking it'll all just work out: be...
Read More
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...
Read More
This Is How We Do It: Recipes

This Is How We Do It: Recipes

Whether you're living at home or living in halls it is important to eat well. It's not only good for the body but for the brain too. I know it can be difficult after a long day to go home and cook, and I also know it's far more pleasing at the time to have an extra hour in bed than get up and prepare a breakfast and lunch. I even know how hard it can be to live on a student budget, so here are some helpful recipes (hopefully). You can't live off coffee and alcohol, but we have thrown in some handy cocktail recipes for the weekend, just in case you need them! Lynne's Easy Tuna Pasta: Great for lunch. Ingredients: 2 - 3 tsp Green Pesto, 1 - 2 tbsp mayonnaise, tin of tuna (drained), diced cucumber (approximately a quarter of the cucumber), pepper and tomato (as much as you fancy), a bit of grated cheese, chopped jalapeños (Home Bargains sell these in...
Read More
The Independent Scene: Food and Drink pt. 2

The Independent Scene: Food and Drink pt. 2

I am predominantly vegetarian although I am actually a pescatarian. So, I am writing part two of where is good to eat and drink from a slightly different perspective. Liverpool has so many great places to eat and drink it's hard to choose, thus I am breaking them down a little... My Favourites Breakfast/Brunch: My favourite has got to be Moose Coffee. Situated on Dale Street, it's not too far to walk but far enough from the John Foster building to work up a bit of an appetite: you'll need it as the portions aren't stingy. The New Jersey Moose is my personal fave. It is a plateful of amazing flavour-packed potato hash and oozing runny eggs. They do a wide range of breakfasts, sandwiches, pancakes and waffles. There are a lot of veggie options and you can add extras like smoked salmon and bacon. Be sure to get there with plenty of time to spare though, this place gets full very quick! Dinner/Lunch (depending where you're from):...
Read More
The Library is Your Friend

The Library is Your Friend

The library really is your friend but like all friends you need to give it love and attention. It's just like that one friend you have who is clever and beautiful but also like, totally deep and complicated and if you don't make an effort to really understand, they'll walk off in a huff and hide the books you need. We all have a friend like that right? So here's some top tips about hanging out with your new mate and getting what you need. FINDING BOOKS WHEN YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT: This always seems like it's going to be so easy but we've all found ourselves wandering aimlessly up and down the aisles on the verge of tears because the book you need should be RIGHT HERE but it's not and it's all a conspiracy against you and you alone. The library services home page (https://www2.ljmu.ac.uk/lea/index.asp) is the starting point for all my tips so acquaint yourself with it now. Click 'Search Library Catalogue' under Quick...
Read More
The Library Archives

The Library Archives

By now you will probably be experts in using the library (if not you can consult our helpful post and/or get in touch with the nice library folk), but have you ever used the archives in Aldham Robarts? Perhaps you have heard talk of The Lower Ground Floor and wondered what happens down there...? Well, wonder no more for the mysteries of LG are about to be revealed. If you look up the Archives and Special Collections on the LJMU website you can find out about their impressive and exciting collections. If you have an interest in researching something particular that's the place to look. You can find all the information regarding when you can visit and who you should contact via that website. If you get in touch with them, I can guarantee you will be welcomed by someone lovely, knowledgeable, and very willing to help. There is a lot of really exciting stuff down there, from the Willy Russell Archive to The Punch...
Read More
‘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...
Read More
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....
Read More
Internships with The Reader Organisation

Internships with The Reader Organisation

Calling all LJMU English students! The (Liverpool born and bred!) Reader Organisation have been in touch, and want to let you know about their next round of intern recruitment. They have a variety of roles available, and pay travel expenses and sustenance remuneration. This is a really great opportunity for volunteers to gain an insight into a national charitable social enterprise, and to use the skills you're honing on your degree to their best advantage. This round of internships will run over the summer from July till September/October and the deadline for apps is Monday 27th June. Click here for all the details. You can also get some top tips from current student Victoria Jordan and graduate Christopher Lynn on their experiences at The Reader. Please let me know if you decide to apply!...
Read More
Careers with English: The Reader Organisation II

Careers with English: The Reader Organisation II

'The Reader' is a national reading charity with a unique shared reading model that reaches across all ages, demographics and settings, and began in Liverpool in 1997. They use great literature as a tool for living which helps people better connect with themselves and others, enabling them to realise the changes they want to make. Christopher Lynn, a recent LJMU English Graduate, began as a volunteer for the organisation back in 2014, and has gone on to secure a permanent position. Here, Chris gives LJMU English students some inspiring advice as to how to make the most of your skills, and to get a career that'll really mean something to you: 'I discovered "The Reader" through a vacancy on the LJMU graduate website (sign up folks!). Alas, it was for a senior management position, but after reading about the work The Reader does, I just had to get involved. Luckily, The Reader has a number of voluntary projects, so I signed up, and was trained to deliver weekly poetry groups...
Read More
LJMU at SCSU: English Students Join Trip to Southern Connecticut State University

LJMU at SCSU: English Students Join Trip to Southern Connecticut State University

LJMU English students Ryan Pickering and Katie Taylor are among those currently visiting Southern Connecticut State University on a trip funded by the School of Humanities and Social Science. LJMU has formed an exciting alliance with SCSU (or 'Southern' to its students and staff), and we hope that lots of students studying English will take up the opportunity to study there for a semester or a year. Ryan, Katie and two other HSS students are experiencing everything Southern, New Haven, and the surrounding area has to offer. As well as New Haven's museums and galleries, they will explore Connecticut's beautiful shoreline (they were instructed to bring their swimming costumes), and visit both the Mark Twain and the Harriet Beecher Stowe houses. New Haven, which is also the location of Yale University, is a mere hour-and-a-half on a train from New York (and around two hours from Boston) - an amazing location for exploring the east coast of the US. On Thursday, 9th...
Read More
LJMU Writers’ Workshop presents Robert MacFarlane at Tate Liverpool

LJMU Writers’ Workshop presents Robert MacFarlane at Tate Liverpool

We’re excited that the LJMU Writers’ Workshop, run by our colleagues in Creative Writing, has invited Robert Macfarlane to come and speak at Tate Liverpool on Thursday 16 June. Macfarlane is best known for three widely acclaimed and beautifully written books that he describes as a ‘loose trilogy of books about landscape and the human heart’: Mountains of the Mind (2003), The Wild Places (2007) and The Old Ways (2012). These books are all about the human need to encounter the wildness of nature – whether it is by climbing a mountain or shinning up a tree in a suburban park. Macfarlane sees these encounters with wildness as an antidote to what he calls, in The Wild Places, our ‘retreat from the real … a prising away of life from place, an abstraction of experience into different kinds of touchlessness’. His most recent book is Landmarks (2015), an exploration of how the words we use to describe the natural world can help to reconnect us with it, and which he describes as ‘a glossary of enchantment...
Read More
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...
Read More
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)...
Read More
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...
Read More
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...
Read More
Careers with English: The Reader Organisation

Careers with English: The Reader Organisation

Studying English with us? Fancy a career that would allow you to carry on doing what you've been doing on your course, in a home-grown, innovative Liverpool organisation? Victoria Jordan is in her final year of an English degree at LJMU, and she is currently working as an intern at The Reader. Here, she describes what lead her to the role, and what it involves: "As you enter your final year of Uni, it starts to dawn on you that soon you will be fighting off all the other graduates for the career you really want. Internships are a great way of making you more desirable to a prospective employer, as well as allowing you to learn new skills to add to your CV.  I am currently halfway through my four month internship with The Reader Organisation and already feel more confident about entering the big, bad world! The Reader is a charity and social enterprise based in Calderstones Park, Liverpool, that promotes well-being...
Read More
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,...
Read More
And the winners are…T.E.A. Competition

And the winners are…T.E.A. Competition

As we know you will remember, a little while ago those lovely folk at The English Appendage came up with a competition asking all LJMU English students to come up with a single image to capture a book, play or poem studied on an English module. After much deliberation, we're now very excited to announce our winners, and they are (drum roll.....): First Prize: Kathrin Shawcross, Wuthering Heights He's mean, she's moody, it doesn't end well.... You've all read this now, so this is not a spoiler. The judges loved the eerie glow of Kathrin's mixed media image. She wins a £50 Amazon voucher, but can only spend this on gothic texts. Probably.   Second Prize: Rich Albinger, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? If you're just finishing Level 4, you've got this to look forward to on your Literary and Cultural Theory module next year. If one can ever really be said to look forward to envisioning a post-apocalyptic future, that is... The judges loved Rich's...
Read More
English student gets full LJMU Scholarship for PhD on Northern Irish Troubles

English student gets full LJMU Scholarship for PhD on Northern Irish Troubles

Aimee Walsh, who graduated from LJMU English in 2011, has just heard that she has been awarded a full LJMU Scholarship to pursue her PhD with us. Aimee's working title for her project is 'Voicing the Subaltern Testimonies of the Northern Irish Troubles'. Her research is primarily concerned with the relationship between testimony of marginalised groups (women, security forces, and prisoners) and their representations in Northern Irish art (fiction, film and theatre). She will examine the relationship between personal testimonies of the Northern Irish conflict, from a range of archives, and consider how those subaltern voices are translated into artistic representations of trauma as a result of the 'Troubles'. Despite the available archives, research in the area of trauma testimony in Northern Irish art remains unexplored. Aimee's thesis will focus on testimonies from marginalised voices, particularly those of prisoners, the security forces, and women. She will argue that these depictions of subaltern Troubles testimonies fuse memory and history to create a space for challenging stereotypes of marginalised groups....
Read More
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....
Read More
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.  ...
Read More
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...
Read More
Joseph Thorne

Joseph Thorne

I am a PhD researcher at LJMU English, in receipt of the Fully-funded PhD Scholarship. Before coming to Liverpool, I did my undergraduate degree in English Language and Literature at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where I did a special author paper on Oscar Wilde. I then completed an MA in English Literature in my native Cardiff. My dissertation, supervised by Dr Anthony Mandal, was on the Decadent tendency to define criminality as a form of sainthood. In this project I explored everything from Victorian inner-city cartography to the nature of sin in the proto-weird fiction of Arthur Machen. This gave me a good basis for my current project: a re-reading of the fin-de-siècle illustrator Aubrey Beardsley. While most criticism treats him as a fairly isolated, prickly character, my study will pay particular attention to his place in the social networks of the 1890s. I have given papers at the ‘Medieval Myths and British Identities’ conference (Cardiff University, 18/09/2015) and the ‘Fin de...
Read More
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...
Read More
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...
Read More
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...
Read More
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...
Read More
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...
Read More
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/   ...
Read More
Jennie O’Reilly

Jennie O’Reilly

I am a doctoral student based at LJMU’s Research Centre for Literature and Cultural History. My current project explores the representation of African American folk belief in the American imagination from the late nineteenth century to the present. My research is interdisciplinary and draws on a wide range of sources including newsletter publications, oral testimony, literature and film. Prior to my PhD, I graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a BA (Hons) in English and History, after which I went on to gain an MA in Cultural History from the University of Liverpool....
Read More