Shelf Life (It’s the Only Life We Know)

Shelf Life (It’s the Only Life We Know)

Beginning on Wednesday, 17 September, LJMU English Staff will be giving a series of talks at the (dazzling) Liverpool Central Library. Organised by Dr Gerry Smyth, LJMU English's Reader in Cultural History, each session will feature three presentations on books and other material held by the library, with plenty of time for discussion afterwards. Gerry said: 'We decided that eclecticism - something for everybody – rather than a shared theme or period, would be the best means to structure each session. I guess if there is a theme animating the series it's a love of books, of reading, and a celebration of libraries'. This 'Shelf Life' series will take place on 17 September, 15 October, 12 November and 10 December 2014, beginning at 3pm, on the top floor of the Central Library. Look out for more details on the topics and texts we'll be discussing. We'd love to see you there.  ...
Read More
‘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...
Read More
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...
Read More
On Location: Gladstone’s Library Trip 2014

On Location: Gladstone’s Library Trip 2014

The Students Report: Overview: Anthony Robson Over the course of January 23rd and 24th the English Literature and Cultural History MRes found itself relocated to the beauty and elegance of Gladstone’s Library. The essence of the relocation was to get us to think about reading, libraries and our own individual research. Once at the library and checked in, we were treated to a quick tour of the library and the history of it, and how the collection was sorted, based upon Gladstone’s collection of books. Once the tour was done, we were left to browse the collection and see for ourselves the amount of literature and books held there. From books on specific authors to books on the history of English counties to the volumes of Punch, we all found something which engaged us as researchers. This was followed up by a discussion upon selected reading, in which the main question was “Where did the elephant go?” Next came the unusual role reversal were...
Read More
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...
Read More
Nineteenth-Century Periodicals Research Day

Nineteenth-Century Periodicals Research Day

On November 8th 2013 LJMU held the Nineteenth-Century Periodicals Research Day. Organised by Brian Maidment (English), Val Stevenson (Library), and Clare Horrocks (Media, Culture, and Communication), the symposium generated a forum in which many of the contemporary issues relevant to periodical research could be discussed. In addition the event celebrated ‘Punch Re-Rooted’—the new archive collection and exhibition of nineteenth-century periodicals at the Aldham Robarts Library. The first speaker was James Baker from the British Library’s digital research department. James’s presentation emphasised the advanced ways in which Digital Humanities enables us to engage with primary source material and how these modern research methods may lead to opening up and crafting a new canon. Next up was Jonathan Canfield (English, LJMU). Jonathan’s study of Arthur Conan Doyle’s work for The Strand Magazine was helpful in evaluating my own approach to archival research. Focusing on a specific period of The Strand’s publication Jonathan identified a transition in the voice of the magazine as it...
Read More
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...
Read More
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...
Read More
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...
Read More
Postgraduate Research Seminar (2013)

Postgraduate Research Seminar (2013)

This year’s postgraduate research seminar, led by the MRes students of the Research Centre, brought together an exciting mix of themes, genres, and periods. As is so often the case, it was a pleasant surprise seeing how well our postgraduates handled their nerves in presenting their work-in-progress to a room full of well-wishing – yet in the speakers’ eyes probably slightly terrifying – academics. The challenge of being first on the afternoon’s programme was one Liam Mushrow handled competently with a paper entitled “Pullman and Literary Realism: The Sally Lockhart Mysteries”. Focusing on The Lockhart Quartet (1985-1994) and the novels’ move from being marketed first as detective fiction and later as children’s literature, Mushrow’s talk provided a discussion of Philip Pullman representations of violence. More specifically, Mushrow’s careful analysis was concerned with Pullman’s descriptions of violence as a means of achieving narrative realism, raising wider questions about the novels’ claims to “historical authenticity” and their moral and educational responsibilities to young...
Read More
On Location: Gladstone’s Library Trip 2013

On Location: Gladstone’s Library Trip 2013

In late April MRes students went on an overnight reading party field trip to Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden.  The Library, established by Gladstone himself in his later years, provides a wonderful resource for scholars of the nineteenth century but also, for us,  an ideal environment in which to discuss, argue, reflect and to extend debates that had emerged during the taught elements of the Masters programme.  The schedule for the visit included an information session on doctoral study; a short story analysis; a poetry seminar, where everyone present chose, read and led discussion on a particular poem; a research paper given by a member of staff; and a theory session where we engaged in particular with the work of Stanley Fish. We also had time to sit around the fire, in enormous leather armchairs, seeing a large moon outside the gothic windows and pondering many things.   What follows are student impressions and accounts of some of these sessions.  Liam Mushrow Short story Discussion: The Elephant...
Read More
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...
Read More
English Students Write Blog Posts for Journal of Victorian Culture Online

English Students Write Blog Posts for Journal of Victorian Culture Online

Six Level 5 English students have written a series of blog posts about crime and punishment in Victorian Liverpool for the Journal of Victorian Culture Online, the blog for the respected Journal of Victorian Culture. As part of the second year English module, Prison Voices: Crime, Conviction and Confession 1700-1900, students took to the city’s streets to explore the spaces of Victorian crime and punishment. The module, which is led by Dr Helen Rogers, explores both real and imagined prison voices investigating, for example, Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations (1861) alongside the criminal confessions and historical debates about confinement that Dickens drew upon. Zoë Alker, an LJMU doctoral student whose thesis examines violent street robbery in mid-Victorian Liverpool, was asked to run three sessions related to her research and decided to organise field trips to the places that featured so heavily in her case studies: the nineteenth-century Assize court in St George’s Hall, and the former bridewell on Argyle Street. During these sessions, students...
Read More
Hamlet Blog by Sam Caddick

Hamlet Blog by Sam Caddick

Hamlet Blog   When considering the different characters in the works of Shakespeare, one may instantly think of the traditional monarchs, patricians, and the fools that are found in the majority of his plays.  Eric Heinze, Professor of Law at Queen Mary, University of London, however, chooses instead to focus on a less obvious type of character – that of the lawyer. Beginning his lecture, Eric drew our attention to Act 5 Scene 1 of Hamlet where the titular character comes across two skulls and muses on the possible lives of their owners.  The first he considers to have belonged to either a ‘politician’ or a ‘courtier’, upon which he delivers conventional remarks about each of the professions.  When finding the second skull Hamlet breaks into a curious lecture about the role of the lawyer in his time, which Eric suggests may link to the increasing dominance of legal power over the more martial power which is seen to be exercised in Shakespeare’s...
Read More
Punch Ledgers Launch

Punch Ledgers Launch

Valerie Stevenson, Head of Research and Learner Support at LJMU's Aldham Roberts Learning Resource Centre, introduced the Punch and the Victorian Periodical Press Collection. A satirical magazine, Punch or the London Charivari ran from 1841-2002. It was printed weekly in a standardised format, containing text and image. It is a highly useful resource in that the magazines can be used to give context to literary or historical moments. For example, the case of Jack the Ripper and serial killers in London give historical insight into the social concerns surrounding the novella Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde. It can also be used solely on its own merits, as a primary resource. Liverpool John Moores’ database of the Punch Ledgers, on which Clare Horrocks has been working for a number of years,  offers a special insight into the inner workings of Punch. As Clare demonstrated, the Ledgers, and their digitised excel counterparts,  contain such details as the names of contributors, their pay, the...
Read More
Research Seminar: John-Paul Zaccarini – ‘Circus on the Couch’  (30 October 2013)

Research Seminar: John-Paul Zaccarini – ‘Circus on the Couch’ (30 October 2013)

On Tuesday 30th October, we were proud to welcome to LJMU the internationally renowned and multi-talented circus performer John-Paul Zaccarini. Having already enjoyed considerable successes as a circus artist, director and choreographer, John-Paul began a foray into the remarkably different (but arguably equally as challenging!) world of academia by studying for a PhD, with his invention of the concept he entitled ‘Circoanalysis’. It was this term which formed the basis of his fascinating paper ‘Circus on the Couch’. John-Paul began by playing us a film of a dramatic scene involving rope work from his award-winning solo performance, Throat (which can be accessed here: http://vimeo.com/39268206). The video was visually stunning and served as an excellent introduction to his previous profession as a critically acclaimed circus artist. Having retired from performing, John-Paul is now a visiting lecturer at the University of Stockholm. Exploring the idea that aspects of psychoanalysis can bed applied to the circus arts he conceived a new method of theorising...
Read More
Research Seminar: Feeling Cold: Phenomenology, Spatiality, & The Politics of Sensation

Research Seminar: Feeling Cold: Phenomenology, Spatiality, & The Politics of Sensation

En route to this week’s research seminar, I begin to fancy I understand a lot about ‘feeling cold’ and very little about spatiality. Icy needles of relentless rain drip down my neck and flood my shoes while the Dean Walters building seems to have mysteriously relocated to a space far further from my new job at London Road than I had remembered. Still, I scurry on through sodden Liverpool, crashing through the door thankfully just in time to catch the beginning of Stephanie Clare’s thoughtful and stimulating first paper of seminar season. And not a moment too soon. Stephanie has a lot of ground to cover with us this evening and she carefully guides us through her interesting and challenging concept by dividing her paper into three distinct sections. Using examples from Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks and Sandra L Bartky’s work on feminism and phenomenology; she shows how characters who become suddenly aware of being objectified in some way,...
Read More
‘Libraries Gave us Power’

‘Libraries Gave us Power’

Policy Provocations 2012 poses the question – do we still need libraries? When I think about what libraries have meant to me, I find myself (as many do) in emotive territory. My earliest encounter with library membership involved visits to Widnes’s Kingsway Library on Saturday mornings as a child of about 5 or 6. My mum was a nurse working night shifts, so to give her some peace to sleep, my dad would take my older sister and me off to the local market for the weekly shop and then we would stop off at the library to choose our books. My sister, in her early teens, would often get albums of her favourite bands (an embarrassing amount of All About Eve I am sorry to tell) which she would then ‘tape’ on a double cassette deck (retro) noting with care the tracks on the new sleeve and making compilations. I joined the book club, gamely reviewing the classic The Owl...
Read More
Research Seminar: Dr Bella Adams (LJMU), ‘Wrack & Ruin’ (2008) by Don Lee – An Ecocritical Reading (28 February 2012)

Research Seminar: Dr Bella Adams (LJMU), ‘Wrack & Ruin’ (2008) by Don Lee – An Ecocritical Reading (28 February 2012)

Research Seminar Blog –Dr  Bella Adams (LJMU): ‘Wrack and Ruin’ (2008) by Don Lee: an ecocritical reading,  28th Feb 2012 Michael Harley Dr Bella Adams’ research seminar was about the novel Wrack and Ruin (2008) by Don Lee, a Korean-American novelist and professor of creative writing at Temple University.  Works preceding Wrack and Ruin include a short story collection Yellow (2001), set in the same fictional Californian town as Wrack and Ruin, and the novel Country of Origin (2005). The presentation was based on a chapter for a book entitled Asian American Literature and the Environment that Bella is co-editing.  Bella’s central premise was to review the book on eco-critical terms, which means, as succinctly as I can for those uninitiated like myself in eco-criticism, a reading of the novel that focused on the depiction of the environment in regards to relationships between space and place and anthropomorphic depictions of nature or the ‘non-human.’ Wrack and Ruin is a satirical comedy that depicts...
Read More
Research Seminar: A Rantin’, Drinkin’ Bard: Robert Burns & the (Scottish) Supernatural

Research Seminar: A Rantin’, Drinkin’ Bard: Robert Burns & the (Scottish) Supernatural

Dr Sonny Kandola began her paper by introducing us to the role of Gothic literature in the formation of the United Kingdom.  Reading Robert Burns’ ‘Address to the Deil’ and ‘Tam O’Shanter’, alongside Julia Kristeva’s theoretical conception of the ‘Abject’, Sonny mapped Burns’ central themes of the Supernatural to Scottish identities, cultural alienation, and the loss of independence.  The seminar raised complex questions around nation and colonial constructions of the self.  Though we traced Burns’ imagery to folkloric and Scottish oral traditions, Sonny also showed us how the Gothic could be used to reveal the poet’s ‘slippery politics’ and his movement between Jacobitism and Unionism.  Starting with ‘Address to the Deil’ Sonny focused on Burns’ heavy use of dialect and the poem’s carnivalesque transgression of Paradise Lost. Burns’ own reading practices were highly sophisticated, and we were reminded how his dialect was an ‘option not a necessity’. By transforming Milton’s vision of hell into a ‘jocular and domestic idiom’ Burns’ poem...
Read More
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...
Read More
Research Seminar: Beauty, Ugliness, & the Psychology of Aesthetics

Research Seminar: Beauty, Ugliness, & the Psychology of Aesthetics

Research Seminar, November 15th, 2011: Dr Carolynn Burdett, ‘Miming, Breathing, Balancing: the art of empathy and the Victorian fin de siècle’. I’ll begin at the end, if you will allow.  Dr Carolynn Burdett’s intriguing seminar had finished.  In it, she had discussed the research of Vernon Lee.  In a radical enterprise exploring aesthetics, Lee travelled Europe with her cohort (which seems a reasonable descriptor after hearing of their experiences; companion or lover doesn’t seem appropriate somehow) Kit Anstruther-Thomson, recording physical responses to art.  My mind was racing.  The question of how we react to art, or beauty and ugliness, was central to both Dr Burdett’s paper and Lee’s research, and something in particular Dr Burdett said played on my mind: ‘interacting with art should be hard work’ (I’m paraphrasing here).  It would be easy, wouldn’t it, to stroll around a gallery muttering ‘that’s nice’ or ‘I don’t get that’, but what if we really looked.  Stopped.  And looked.  With intent.  How...
Read More
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...
Read More

Dr Bella Adams

Teaching: I am currently teaching three undergraduate modules on the English degree: ‘Reading English’, Literary and Cultural Theory 1’ and ‘Race in America.’ I am module leader for ‘Race in America’, which mainly focuses on contemporary black American novels, poetry, film and theory. In the past, I have taught on a wide range of modules in English and American literature, from survey modules to more specialized modules in nineteenth century American writing, modernism, postmodernism, critical theory and contemporary poetry. I welcome inquiries from students interested in pursuing post-graduate degrees in the following topics: Asian American writing; African American writing; race in the US and contemporary race theory; racial and environmental justice discourses; anti-racist pedagogies. I am currently supervising two MRes students in American AIDS crisis writing, specifically in contemporary drama and poetry. Research and publications:  Books: I have published three books -  Amy Tan (Manchester UP, 2005), Asian American Literature (Edinburgh UP, 2008), and, most recently, Asian American Literature and the Environment, which I co-edited with...
Read More

Dr Emily Cuming

Teaching I began working at Liverpool John Moores University in 2017. Before this, I was a Research Fellow at the University of Leeds for three years, during which time I taught undergraduate and MA courses in Victorian and Modern literature. Prior to that I lived in the US for seven years where I taught at a number of liberal arts colleges in Southern California, including a role as Visiting Lecturer in the Interdisciplinary Humanities at Scripps College in Claremont. I received my PhD from the University of Manchester. At LJMU, I currently teach the following courses: Digital Victorians: Investigating the Victorians in the 21st Century (Level 4) Literature in Context: Britain in the 1950s (Level 4) Our House: The Representation of Domestic Space in Contemporary Culture (Level 6) Research My main research interests are in representations of domestic, urban and maritime space; cultural histories of housing from the nineteenth century to the present; the historical relations between narrative form, autobiography and the writing of...
Read More

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...
Read More

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,...
Read More

Dr Michael Perfect

I hold a PhD from the University of Cambridge, and before joining LJMU in 2016 I taught at Bilkent University in Ankara, at Cambridge, and in London. My main research and teaching interests are in twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature and culture, with particular emphases on contemporary British literature, postcolonial studies, modernist and postmodernist literature, film and adaptation studies, discrimination and equality studies, and theory. My monograph Contemporary Fictions of Multiculturalism: Diversity and the Millennial London Novel was published in 2014. This book analyses novels of the last three decades that explore ethnic and cultural diversity in London. My work has also appeared in publications such as the Journal of Commonwealth Literature, The Journal of Postcolonial Writing, The Dictionary of Literary Biography, The Literary Encyclopedia, and a number of edited collections. I am currently writing a book on Andrea Levy for Manchester University Press, and am also working on a project that relates to screen adaptations of contemporary transnational fiction. You can visit Michael's website at www.michaelperfect.com...
Read More

Dr Fiona Tolan

I work on contemporary fiction, with a strong emphasis on British and Canadian women's writing. Since completing my PhD (Durham, 2004) on Margaret Atwood and Second Wave Feminism, I've maintained a strong research interest in Atwood's work and recently edited a special issue on Atwood for the journal Contemporary Women's Writing (2017) and am currently writing The Fiction of Margaret Atwood (Palgrave, 2018). My current large research project is a literary cultural analysis of representations of cleaning and housework in post-war women's writing. I use cleaning as a locus for examining intersecting politics of race, gender and class within the public and private spheres. All of this work feeds into my teaching here at LJMU, where I convene the final year module, Post-millennial British Fiction, and teach on Transitions: Writing Between the Wars. I lead the research methods module for MRes students, and I currently supervise PhDs on autoeroticism in contemporary women's writing and punk women's experimental writing of the 1990s....
Read More

Dr Kathryn Walchester

My main research interest is travel writing; in particular eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European journeys by women. I have published monographs on women travellers in Italy and Norway and I am currently working on a monograph about travelling servants. I lead the ‘Genres of Travel’ module at Level 6; the ‘Teaching Strand’ of ‘English in the Workplace’ and ‘Cultures of Childhood’ at Level 5 and lead ‘Reading English’ at Level 4, as well as supervising dissertation students at Level 6 and post-graduate projects at MRes and PhD. With colleagues from University of Liverpool and Liverpool Hope University, I organise the Annual Liverpool Travel Seminar. Research My research interests are writing by late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British travellers and explorers, particularly representations of the north and Italy. I have published work on women travel writers in Italy including ‘Our Own Fair Italy’; Women’s Travel Writing and Italy 1800-1844 ( 2007) and Gamle Norge and Nineteenth-Century British Women Travellers in Norway, a monograph about women...
Read More

Dr James Whitehead

My research interests include Romanticism and its legacies, psychiatry and mental illness in nineteenth and twentieth-century literature, including modernism especially, and life-writing. I arrived at LJMU in 2014. Before that I studied English at Oxford, UCL, and King's College London, where I held a Wellcome postdoctoral fellowship and lectured in English and medical humanities. I have also been a lexicographer for the ongoing third edition of the OED. Teaching I currently teach on the following modules at LJMU: English 4011: Reading English English 5000: Literary and Cultural Theory English 5045 Romanticism and the Real: Politics and Culture in the Nineteenth Century English 6053: Locating Madness I have previously taught postgraduate modules on literature and psychiatry and convened an MSc programme in medical humanities, and taught on undergraduate modules covering life-writing, modernism, 19th century literature, Romanticism, 18th century literature, and introductory courses on studying poetry and language in literature. I have supervised undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations in these areas and am always happy to discuss research plans with prospective...
Read More

Dr Rachel Willie

My research covers seventeenth century literary history and culture. My first book, Staging the Revolution: drama, reinvention and history, 1647-72 (shortlisted for the University English Early Career Book Prize, 2016) offers a reappraisal of drama, both in terms of live performances and performances on the paper stage. My book argues that, far from 1660 marking a watershed moment as is often asserted in the texts transmitted in the Restoration and assumed to be true by later critics, late seventeenth-century England was concerned with the continuing legacies of recent history and this is revealed in literature printed and disseminated in the period. While researching this book, I became intrigued by the number of anonymous scurrilous pamphlets ‘by the man in the moon’ and I have begun a wider study on ‘long seventeenth-century’ responses to the moon as an embodied and as a philosophical construct. With Kevin Killeen and Helen Smith, both based at the University of York, I co-edited The Oxford Handbook...
Read More