Vancouver: LJMU English at World Congress of Scottish Literature

Vancouver: LJMU English at World Congress of Scottish Literature

LJMU English Lecturer Michael Morris recently attended the second ever World Congress of Scottish Literatures which took place this year in Vancouver, British Columbia. The conference’s subtitle ‘Dialogues and Diasporas’ emphasised the variety of ways in which Scotland is articulated both at home and within a global context through literature in English, Scots and Gaelic. This year marks 150 years of the confederation in Canada, though the First Nations have been on the territory for considerably longer than that. The organisers of the congress observed that the location the conference was held on was ‘unceded territory’ and a strong element of the conference was exploring Indigenous/ Scottish relations from the earliest days to the present. This included an opening session featuring Indigenous spoken word poetry and music and the launch of the Indigenous/ Scottish Studies research cluster which will explore the history of conquest and exchange. The congress was closed with an exhibition of Metis dancing believed to be a fusion...
Read More
Marxism Postgraduate Reading Group: This Thursday, 26th October 2017, 4pm

Marxism Postgraduate Reading Group: This Thursday, 26th October 2017, 4pm

LJMU Postgraduate students are warmly invited to the inaugural meeting of our Marxism PG Reading Group, to be held this Thursday, 26th October from 4-5.30pm in John Foster 133. The preparatory reading is Jodi Dean's article ‘Enjoying Neoliberalism’: Cultural Politics 4/1 (2008), 47-72 - available via DISCOVER from LJMU Library Services. Do come along and share your own stories of enjoyment!...
Read More
Don’t want to leave us? Come and Study on our Masters by Research!

Don’t want to leave us? Come and Study on our Masters by Research!

LJMU English welcomes applications for our MRes programme for 2017-18. 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. You’ll learn about new critical approaches in literary studies, attend workshops on professional skills from writing for publication to creating podcasts, take part in a research retreat at Gladstone's Library in Hawarden and encounter a wide range of specialist interests in the department through research seminars and reading groups. 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 Monday 17th July, 2017. We will consider applications after this date but places may not be available. Remember too that if you are an LJMU Alumni, you should be eligible for a 20%...
Read More
The English Team Go Mad (For Research) in North Wales

The English Team Go Mad (For Research) in North Wales

  At the end of May, with marking almost complete, staff in English refocused their attention on research at an Away Day event in Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden, North Wales. In the inspiring environment of this wonderful Victorian place, and blessed with brilliant sunshine, we discussed our postgraduate provision, our public engagement activities and funding for research. There was time too to share research ideas – and moderate our marking. Conversations, animated or quiet, took place in various corners of the library and its grounds. Colleagues found new connections in their research work, and took a rare opportunity just to talk about what they’d been reading. We even found time for a country ramble – which, when confronted with a series of stern signs, revealed that some of the English team are more inclined to risk-taking behaviour than others (you know who you are!) ...
Read More
A Drink with Brendan Behan

A Drink with Brendan Behan

On Thursday 20 April the Liverpool-Irish Literary Theatre in conjunction with the Liverpool Arts Society will perform a Rehearsed Reading of a new play based on the life and work of Ireland’s very own poète maudit: Brendan Behan. The play was written by Dr Andrew Sherlock (Drama) and Professor Gerry Smyth (English), and it will be read by former students and staff of LJMU. Brendan Behan has long been regarded as a minor figure in modern Irish literary history, although more recently he has come to be regarded as an important postcolonial rejoinder to the 'great' writers from Ireland's modernist heyday. Dr Sherlock and Professor Smyth are founder members of the Liverpool-Irish Literary Theatre which since 2011 has performed seven different pieces in six different countries. This year the company will perform three plays at the Fourth International Flann O'Brien Conference in Salzburg, as well as a six-night run of Professor Smyth's play Nora & Jim (based on an episode in the lives of James Joyce and his partner Nora Barnacle) at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival in August. Please contact Professor Smyth...
Read More
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...
Read More
English MRes Residential at Gladstone’s Library

English MRes Residential at Gladstone’s Library

Every year, students studying on LJMU English's Masters by Research Programme spend a couple of days at the wonderful Gladstone's Library in North Wales, to read, discuss and reflect upon their work. Here, Andreas Theodorou reflects upon the trip on 13th - 14th February 2017.  As one of LJMU’s English MRes students, I was offered the opportunity to participate on a residential trip to Gladstone’s library in Hawarden. This picturesque building houses the collection of William Gladstone, who amassed over 20,000 books. During a guided tour around the library I saw a multitude of books on theology, and even some books about places I frequented myself. The building left me absolutely speechless, and the vast quantity of books was enough to leave me awestruck. We were shown the annotations that Gladstone would make in the books which he read, his personal collections, and, of course, his axe… because every great reader needs a good axe… We started the trip with a discussion on a...
Read More

Professor Joe Moran: LJMU English Research Stands Up

Last week at the Everyman Bistro, LJMU launched Liverpool Bright Club, an innovative comedy night on which professional performers were accompanied by LJMU lecturers in a series of stand up sets. Billed as the ‘thinking person’s variety night’, the aim of Bright Club is to spread the word about university research in an entertaining format. LJMU English's Professor Joe Moran, whose research work is focussed upon everyday experience in Britain's recent past, took part in this pioneering night to present ideas from his most recent book Shrinking Violets: A Field Guide to Shyness.  Joe reflected, 'It was an interesting process trying to fit your research into the form of stand-up, as what we do when we lecture is vaguely similar but also very different. I’m used to extemporising in lectures and you can’t really do that in a routine: you have to learn the whole thing off by heart because the lines only work when you say them a very specific way. The organiser, Tim Miles, told...
Read More
Celtic Tiger Blues: Professor Gerry Smyth’s latest book

Celtic Tiger Blues: Professor Gerry Smyth’s latest book

LJMU English's Professor Gerry Smyth's new book, entitled Celtic Tiger Blues: Music and Irish Identity, has been published by Rutledge. It is a collection of essays focusing on Ireland's complex cultural relationship with music of various kinds. It includes material on the art and folk traditions, the work of James Joyce, popular groups such as the Pogues and the Waterboys, and the aesthetics of listening. The book represents the latest stage in a life-long project for Gerry, focusing here on the ways in which music engages with particular aspects of Irish identity. The nature of popular music and the Irish identity it supposedly articulates have both undergone profound change in recent years: the first as a result of technological and wider industrial changes in the organisation and dissemination of music as seen, for example, with digital platforms such as YouTube, Spotify and iTunes. A second factor has been Ireland’s spectacular fall from economic grace after the demise of the "Celtic Tiger", and the...
Read More
Michael Morris’s Slavery Walking Tours

Michael Morris’s Slavery Walking Tours

Black History Month runs each October in the UK to highlight the contribution made by black men and women to Britain’s heritage. This year, LJMU English’s Michael Morris led two public walking tours for Black History Month in Glasgow. Michael’s research revealed that all twelve of the statues in Glasgow’s central George Square have a connection to slavery and abolition. George Square was laid out in 1781 and the statues, erected between 1819 and 1902, are designed to celebrate scientists, writers, military figures, politicians and royals. These statues tell a sanitised story of Empire – whether a clean story of trade from the Clyde, or an orderly procession of colonised peoples paying tribute to a monarch. In an example of ‘guerrilla memorialisation’, this walking tour read the statues ‘against the grain’ to reveal a hidden history of Glasgow and Scotland’s involvement in slavery associated with each and every one of the statues on display. Both tours were sold out and led to great...
Read More
‘His fourth… and best’: Joe Moran’s Book on Shyness in the Limelight

‘His fourth… and best’: Joe Moran’s Book on Shyness in the Limelight

Joe Moran, Professor of English and Cultural History at LJMU, has published his fourth book: Shrinking Violets: A Field Guide to Shyness (Profile Books). It is a literary, cultural and historical reflection on what Charles Darwin called “this odd state of mind”: shyness. Since then, Joe's latest work has been read, discussed and praised across the media, and across the world. The Guardian review called Shrinking Violets 'fantastic and involving', the Daily Mail deemed it 'nimble' (!), the Herald loved its 'illuminating stories gathered from across the world', and the Spectator its 'beautiful descriptions of the anguish of the shy'. At the start of September Shrinking Violets was BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, read by Nigel Planer. Joe himself has been hard at work promoting his book: and all while never missing a lecture or seminar! He appeared on the BBC Radio 4 programme Thinking Allowed, in discussion with Laurie Taylor and the sociologist of shyness Susie Scott. He also appeared on The Forum on the BBC World Service, discussing shyness and introversion with the...
Read More
Study Abroad at SCSU: ‘Geography of Wine’ Class – Over 21s Only

Study Abroad at SCSU: ‘Geography of Wine’ Class – Over 21s Only

Now this section is very far from being a humble brag about hanging out with a group of students drinking wine, although yeah... Being over the legal drinking age in the US, I partook in a few field trips and classes with the 'Geography of Wine' class to get an idea of the versatility of the educational opportunities on offer at SCSU. Apart from introducing me to some great people, it gave me a chance to see American students interact with a Professor as well as giving me scope on how the American system works. Also I got to drink some wine. As a writing credit at SCSU, Seniors may take a class in the geography of wine. (The structure of degrees in the US is, at first, a bit daunting for those of us in the standard UK three year system. To orientate yourself, read my post elsewhere on this site.) Most of those who I joined on this trip were either Geography...
Read More
LJMU English PhD Joseph Thorne on his role in ‘Liverpool’s Wild(e) Poet’ Exhibition

LJMU English PhD Joseph Thorne on his role in ‘Liverpool’s Wild(e) Poet’ Exhibition

Here LJMU English PhD Joseph Thorne talks about his involvement with Liverpool Central Library's current exhibition:  When I first applied to LJMU (back in the distant past of 2014), I was promised involvement with an exhibition on the late-Victorian Liverpool poet, Richard Le Gallienne. I’d come across Le Gallienne in my wider reading, but he was always a very marginal character. He was one of Oscar Wilde’s hangers on and then, following the Wilde trials, broke from Decadence and faded into well-deserved obscurity. And that was all there was to it. Or so I thought. When I started working my way through the extensive Le Gallienne collection, housed in the Liverpool Central Library, I was forced to re-evaluate Richard Le Gallienne. For those of you who know little about Le Gallienne, a brief biography is a good starting point. He was born as Richard Gallienne in 1866 to John and Jane Gallienne. His father, who worked at the Birkenhead Brewery, hoped that...
Read More
PhD Jennie O’Reilly to give conference paper to the American Folklore Society

PhD Jennie O’Reilly to give conference paper to the American Folklore Society

LJMU English Phd student Jennie O'Reilly has just received support funding from both LJMU and the American Folklore Society to deliver a conference paper in the US. Here she describes the research underlying her proposal... Back in June of this year I received an email from the American Folklore Society informing me that my paper had been accepted at this year’s Joint Annual Meeting with the International Society for Folk Narrative Research – in Miami! What an incredible location for a conference... Addressing the theme of the conference on ‘Unfinished Stories’, my paper will focus on two ethnographies: Mules and Men by Zora Neale Hurston and Harry Hyatt’s Hoodoo Conjuration Witchcraft Rootwork, both undertaken during the 1930s. ‘Florida is a place that draws people, white people from all the world, and Negroes from every Southern state surely and some from the North and West’ claimed Zora Neale Hurston in Mules and Men. When asked ‘where [did she] want to go to collect...
Read More
Professor Glenda Norquay On Dangerous Women

Professor Glenda Norquay On Dangerous Women

While on a recent research fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, LJMU English Professor Glenda Norquay took part in the Dangerous Women Project. This initiative explores what it means to be ‘a dangerous women’. Each day, over the course of a year, a Dangerous Women Project post reflects on the various ways in which women might be understood as ‘dangerous’.  Contributions come from poets, playwrights, politicians, academics, artists, journalists and anyone who feels they can contribute to the theme. Glenda’s post, which went live on Thursday 8th September, is about the writer Annie S. Swan and the ways in which we might think about the ‘dangerous’ nature of her popular fiction:  ‘Annie S. Swan: making people cry’: click here to read it. You might want to follow the project on Twitter or read other posts from the project about writers, activists, scientists, politicians  - all kinds of women, from all over the world, doing interesting things!...
Read More
Shrinking Violets: Radio 4’s Book of the Week

Shrinking Violets: Radio 4’s Book of the Week

LJMU English's Professor Joe Moran's latest book, Shrinking Violets, will be Book of the Week on Radio 4 next week, starting on Monday 29th August. Joe's 'Field Guide to Shyness' will be read by Nigel Planer. If you miss an episode, you'll be able to listen again here. Can't wait until Monday? You can also read Joe's fantastic essay previewing the book on the Guardian website here.  ...
Read More
Marginal Irish Modernisms: International Conference at LJMU English 8-9 September 2016

Marginal Irish Modernisms: International Conference at LJMU English 8-9 September 2016

On Thursday 8th and Friday 9th September 2016 the Department of English at LJMU will host an international conference on the subject of Marginal Irish Modernisms. The conference will focus on reconsidering the meaning and scope of Irish modernism throughout the twentieth century and down to the present. The keynote speakers are Professor Joseph Bristow of the University of California who will be talking about Oscar Wilde Sir Roger Casement, and Dr Tina O’Toole of the University of Limerick, who will lecture on cosmopolitan Irishness in the fiction of George Egerton. Besides Britain and Ireland, delegates will be attending from France, Germany and the United States. The Principal Co-ordinator of the network Professor Gerry Smyth said: ‘The department of English here at LJMU has strengths in many of the areas encompassed by this conference. It’s fantastic to have an event like this here in Liverpool, and to be at the forefront of exciting developments in the field of modernist studies.’ This event is part...
Read More
Liverpool Travel Seminar, Saturday 24th September 2016

Liverpool Travel Seminar, Saturday 24th September 2016

The tenth annual Liverpool Travel Seminar will be held at Blackburne House, Liverpool, on Saturday 24 September 2016. The Liverpool Travel Seminar is a collaborative and interdisciplinary research forum launched jointly by Liverpool Hope University, the University of Liverpool, and Liverpool John Moores University in 2007. This year’s event is arranged in association with the Arts and Humanities Research Council ‘Translating Cultures’ theme, and brings together researchers linked to AHRC-funded projects with members of the Network on Travel Writing of the Far North to discuss questions of travel and place. Speakers include Professor Karina Lykke Grand (Aarhus University, Denmark) Professor Margaret Topping (Queen’s University Belfast) and Professor Carol Tully (Bangor University). The seminar is organised by Professor Charles Forsdick (University of Liverpool), Dr. Zoe Kinsley (Liverpool Hope University) and Dr. Kate Walchester (Liverpool John Moores University). For further details contact Kate Walchester (K.A.Walchester@ljmu.ac.uk). You can reserve a place here. ...
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
LJMU To Host Conference on Malcolm Lowry

LJMU To Host Conference on Malcolm Lowry

2017 marks the seventieth anniversary of the publication of Malcolm Lowry’s great modernist novel Under the Volcano, and the sixtieth anniversary of Lowry’s death. From 28th to 29th July 2017, LJMU's Creative Writing department will host a two-day international conference that will explore the legacy of Lowry’s work, his literary status today and his ongoing role as source of inspiration to creative writers and artists across various disciplines. Confirmed speakers so far include colleagues from universities in Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United States. The conference takes place in Liverpool, across the Mersey from Lowry’s birthplace on the Wirral. Since 2009, Bluecoat (Liverpool’s contemporary arts centre) has worked with the Firminists, an informal collective of Lowry enthusiasts and academics, to stage an annual ‘Lowry Lounge’ to celebrate the writer in the place of his birth. This programme has included guided walks, film screenings, talks and discussions, archival displays, music and other creative responses to Lowry, and book launches of the...
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
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
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
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
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
LJMU English’s Deaglán Ó Donghaile to give Public Talk on Irish Fenianism

LJMU English’s Deaglán Ó Donghaile to give Public Talk on Irish Fenianism

As part of the Liverpool celebrations marking the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin, LJMU English lecturer, Dr Deaglán Ó Donghaile, will give a public talk on the Irish Fenian revolutionary, Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, at the LJMU's John Foster Building on 26th February at 5pm. Described by the rebellion’s leader, Patrick Pearse, as being 'incapable of compromise', O’Donovan Rossa was one of the key figures of nineteenth-century Irish republicanism.  Such was his importance to the physical force tradition that his funeral was used as the ideological launching ground for the Easter Rising. Interned in Ireland, and then later imprisoned in England for high treason, he was tortured and held in isolation for resisting prison authorities.  Upon his release he rejoined the Fenian movement and advocated the use of arms to remove the British presence from Ireland. Drawing on research that he has conducted at the Huntington Library, the New York Public Library, the Trinity College Library in Dublin and at the...
Read More
LJMU English Masters student to speak at ‘Cityscapes’ Conference

LJMU English Masters student to speak at ‘Cityscapes’ Conference

LJMU English's MRes student Charlotte Neely has had her paper accepted by the 'Cityscapes: Media Textualities and Urban Visions' conference to be held at York St John University on 23rd April. The paper is entitled 'Re-mapping Possibilities: The Immigrant Child's Experience of New York's Urban Ghetto', and Charlotte will be speaking about Henry Roth's 1934 novel Call it Sleep and how it can be illuminated by the theory and practice of psychogeography; the study of the influence of geographical locale on the mind and behaviour. This newly emerging discipline places particular emphasis upon playfulness and drifting within the urban environment, and she will draw upon its ideas to reinterpret the movements of Roth's child protagonist David Schearl through New York's Lower East Side during the years leading up to the Great Depression. Charlotte's paper will argue that, despite facing impoverished conditions and ethnic discrimination, David locates spaces of play that transgress boundaries and disrupt mechanisms of power. As the protagonist makes his impromptu journey through the city,...
Read More
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...
Read More
Masculinity and the Metropolis: LJMU English Student to give paper at University of Kent Conference

Masculinity and the Metropolis: LJMU English Student to give paper at University of Kent Conference

Lois Walker, a postgraduate student on LJMU English's Masters by Research programme, has had her conference paper proposal accepted for the 'Masculinity and the Metropolis' conference at the University of Kent in April 2016. The interdisciplinary conference, which spans two days, will include scholars of literature, art history and film. Lois's paper is entitled 'The Myth of Gay "Golden Age" New York', and will focus upon two novels from the period - John Rechy’s Rushes (1979) and Andrew Holleran’s Dancer from the Dance (1978). She seeks to challenge the romanticised ideal of an urban 'safe space' by exposing ways in which male homosexual experience was forced into the de-industrialised and derelict dark spaces of New York city such as the piers and the waterfront bars. Her chosen writers express within their novels a duality within gay metropolitan life and illustrate several conflicts between the individual and the community, the homosexual male and the city, and the discourses of private and public life within the urban. Lois graduated...
Read More
English MRes Residential 2016: Gladstone’s Library

English MRes Residential 2016: Gladstone’s Library

Every year, LJMU English's Masters by Research students attend a residential with their supervisors and some of the department's PhD students to talk, read, and reflect on their studies on the programme so far. Here, Edward Dafnis gives his account of our (wonderful) trip in January 2016: An hour’s drive from LJMU is Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden, North Wales. Completed in 1902 to house William Gladstone’s personal collection of over 20, 000 books, periodicals and journals – all read by the man himself and with an estimated 11, 000 containing annotations, the library now houses 250, 000 texts and promised to be a reflective place of study and discussion. Articles by Walter Benjemin, Jorge Luis Borges and Alberto Manguel plus a short story by Alice Munro started the afternoon discussions before a tour of the spectacular library. Nestled amongst the rows of leather bound tomes were armchairs and simple wooden tables where people sat and read and worked in silence. Despite...
Read More
Liverpool Postcolonial Reading Group: Concerning Violence

Liverpool Postcolonial Reading Group: Concerning Violence

On Thursday 4th February the Liverpool Postcolonial Reading Group, which was founded by postgraduate students in LJMU's School of Humanities and Social Science, will be showing Göran Olsson’s Concerning Violence (2014). This documentary about imperialism and decolonisation across the African continent, is based on Franz Fanon’s 1961 The Wretched of the Earth and narrated by Lauryn Hill. The reviewer for Variety noted: ‘Göran Hugo Olsson doesn’t make documentaries so much as incendiary devices, diving deep into Swedish film archives for vintage clips that have sat like so much undetonated ordnance all these years.’ The session will begin at 5pm with a short introduction to the film, and there will be time for discussion afterwards. You can see the film's official trailer here. If you're working with postcolonial issues at any of Liverpool's four universities, and you fancy coming along, please contact the group via email liverpoolpostcolonial@gmail.com or Twitter: @Lpoolpostcolonial...
Read More
LJMU English Lecturer to Teach in China

LJMU English Lecturer to Teach in China

LJMU English's Alice Ferrebe is leaving for China this week, to teach a short course based upon her research specialism to students at Shanghai University, as part of their International Term. Undergraduates at SU study for a total of four years, and in the third term of their first year, they are able to select a range of modules designed and taught by academics from abroad. Alice will be teaching a literature module focussed upon the representation of youth in post-Second World War British writing, which will draw upon material used in LJMU English's Level 4 'Literature in Context' course. Alice said, 'I was lucky enough to be able to visit the Chinese Literature department at Shanghai University last year, and ever since then I've been wondering what it would be like to teach British culture and literature to Chinese students. I've become obsessed with the idea of finding out what students from such a different background might make of Alan Sillitoe's short story...
Read More
PhD Success: Judge David Lynch

PhD Success: Judge David Lynch

Judge David Lynch, an Honorary Fellow of LJMU, gained his PhD with flying colours in May 2015. His thesis on ‘The Role of the Circuit Courts in the Development of Federal Justice’ makes a significant contribution to literature on the development of early American law and was passed without emendations. When he retired from the Bench David embarked on an MRes in Literature and Cultural History and completed his Masters in 2011. Rather than relaxing into retirement, he then began working towards his Doctorate. His Director of Studies was Dr Colin Harrison, whose own research is on North American cultural history and his supervisory team included Professor Glenda Norquay (English) and Dr Carlo Panara (Reader in Law). With the encouragement of the External Examiner, Professor Penny Darbyshire, Kingston Law School, David (now 75) is now planning to produce a book out of his research....
Read More
12