PhD student Ryan Coogan on Teaching at Southern Connecticut State University

PhD student Ryan Coogan on Teaching at Southern Connecticut State University

From August to December 2017, LJMU English PhD student Ryan Coogan spent a semester teaching and researching at LJMU's transatlantic partner Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven. Ryan's thesis focusses upon the work of five key 20th century artists who are primarily known as poets, but have also worked extensively in other forms of media. In Southern's Professor Charles Baraw, who visited the LJMU English department last year, he found a fellow fan of the work of Susan Howe, and together they collaborated on the design of some challenging material and assignments as part of the 2017/18 version of Professor Baraw's 'Contemporary American Poetry' module.  Work and study abroad adds a highly competitive edge to any cv, and the unique relationship between Southern and LJMU has been established to ensure as many of our students as possible can gain that international advantage. At LJMU's 2017 Teaching and Learning Conference, Ryan, Professor Baraw, and Alice Ferrebe (Subject Leader for LJMU English) co-presented on...
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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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Lunch Poems by Frank O’Hara

Lunch Poems by Frank O’Hara

Lunch Poems was easily my favourite text of 1st year. I fell deeply in love with O'Hara and am married to his poems in my heart. I'm not a weirdo. Reading poetry is very different to reading a novel, and this often puts students off but if you stick with it the pay off is great and you'll never want to read anything but poetry again (except for what's on your reading list of course). The first thing to do with Lunch Poems is to give it a kiss because it's such a sexy little book. If you don't feel these urges to begin with then, trust me, you will by the time you're done (I reckon). Then just read through them all in one go. Don't worry about "getting" them or understanding all the references, because there are loads and you can look stuff up later, just read them. Get a feel for the language by reading aloud. Take your time, but not...
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Liverpool For Literature Lovers

Liverpool For Literature Lovers

If you can manage to put down your books and get out of bed every now and again, there is a lot for a literature lover to do in this here Liverpool. Here are some good things: The Bluecoat: Located here, The Bluecoat is the city's hotspot for contemporary arts of all kinds. If you check out their events page and tick 'Literature' it will bring up a list of exciting literary happenings. Often they are free, or charge a very small fee. If you are a poetry fan like me then look out for their (usually free) poetry readings and groups. If you are in Liverpool this month then there is an exciting sounding Literary Walks event called Visiting Victorians on Sunday 24th July, 2-4pm. The event "evokes 19th century Liverpool and discovers how writers explored the struggles and triumphs of the town that Dickens called the ‘Copperfield stronghold'"- click the link to book tickets. The events are updated every few weeks so keep checking back to see what's on. There is...
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LJMU English Hosts Inaugural Event of the Northern Postcolonial Network

LJMU English Hosts Inaugural Event of the Northern Postcolonial Network

Members of the Northern Postcolonial Network (founded by the Universities of Sheffield, Salford and Manchester) are pleased to announce the network's inaugural event will take place on Wednesday 25th March at Liverpool John Moores University, 1-8pm. The network aims to support knowledge exchange and networking amongst scholars and other individuals and groups working on postcolonial topics in the North of the UK. The day itself will involve a mixture of discussion about the aims and priorities of the network, a postgraduate panel, a keynote address from Professor John McLeod of Leeds University and an evening event. We would welcome attendees from diverse contexts and fields, so as to further the discussion about postcolonial studies in the region. Further details to follow including a CFP for postgraduate papers. Please contact Dr. Kate Houlden on k.m.houlden@ljmu.ac.uk for further information or see the website at http://northernpostcolonialnetwork.com/. Alternatively, follow us on www.facebook.com/northernpostcolonialnetwork or on Twitter at @Northernpoco....
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Conference: Women Writing Pleasure, 3 July 2015

Conference: Women Writing Pleasure, 3 July 2015

We are thrilled to announce that LJMU English will be hosting a one-day conference on "Women Writing Pleasure" on 3 July 2015. Focusing on all genres of women's writing from the nineteenth century through to the present day, the event will facilitate discussion on the numerous ways in which women writers have conceptualised, described, and engaged with various forms of pleasure, from the intellectual to the sexual, from the material to the psychological, and beyond. The conference is co-organised by PhD researchers Chloe Holland and Krystina Osborne and by Dr Nadine Muller. To read the call for papers, download the conference poster, and more information about the event, please visit the dedicated conference website at http://www.womenwritingpleasure.com....
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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...
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