Dedicated Followers of Fashion

Dedicated Followers of Fashion

As always, this year, all students enrolled on the level 6 module ‘Vamps and Villains: Exploring Gothic Fiction’ were asked to give a short interactive presentation. But one group in particular showed an admirable dedication to their studies in their session on the representation of desire in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray by commissioning t-shirts  emblazoned with selected bon mots from Wilde's writing. Module leader Sonny Kandola commented that 'students Tracey Hughes, Jade Swann, Annie Simpson and Amy Rees certainly gave an inventive and engaging presentation that kept our attention throughout and challenged us to rethink the representation of desire in the text'. Wilde would, of course, have had something to say about that typo, but the group assure us that the misspelling of ‘thief’ on one of the t-shirts was entirely the printer's error. And they're LJMU English students, so we trust them implicitly....
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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)...
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Sondeep Kandola at the Playhouse

Sondeep Kandola at the Playhouse

  The Haunting of Hill House, an adaptation of the 1959 novel by Shirley Jackson, is proving a critical and popular success at the Liverpool Playhouse: the Guardian review loved the play's 'unsettling suggestion we can only save ourselves – because we are all alone in the dark'. Jackson's novel is a student favourite on our third-year 'Vamps and Villians: Exploring Gothic Literature' module, and on 10th December 2015 LJMU English's Sonny Kandola gave a talk exploring that text in terms of the female Gothic, domestic trauma and neurosis. Ruminating on Jackson's own tortured life, she linked the breakdown of the central character, Eleanor, to the anxieties around women's social role exploded by Betty Friedan's 1963 sociological study The Feminine Mystique. Sonny traced the symbolism of the (Gothic) house in the American psyche back to work of Edgar Allen Poe, explaining how the house had been used to represent fears about political legitimacy in a comparatively young nation and anxieties about the dead hand of the past that the ghost in the...
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