Winners! LJMU English Summer Book Design Competition 2017

Winners! LJMU English Summer Book Design Competition 2017

During the summer of 2017 (remember it? it rained, mostly) LJMU English ran a competition asking students to design a book cover for a text they were studying, and to submit their work of creative genius with an explanation of the inspiration behind their work. We're delighted to announce that the quality of the entries we received meant that we've had to designate not one, but two worthy winners: one from a 2017 graduate, and the other from a student who started with us this year (and heard about the competition at one of our Open Days). Both will receive their choice of book from the gorgeous Penguin Clothbound Classics series. HUGE congratulations to Gemma and Kathrin - you can admire their designs and read how they came about below. Look out for more competitions soon - we do so like to show off the creativity and brilliance of our students! Gemma Lutwyche, L4 English & Creative Writing Tennessee William’s play A Streetcar...
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Transitions Module: Study Opportunities in the City

Transitions Module: Study Opportunities in the City

This year, Level 6 students taking the module 'Transitions: Identity in the Inter-War Years' were lucky enough to enjoy two fantastic and relevant events right on their doorsteps. In October we went to see the exhibition Portraying a Nation: Germany 1919-1933 at Tate Liverpool. Although it was particularly relevant to one of the texts on the module, Christopher Isherwood’s Goodbye to Berlin (1939), it also gave us a much broader sense of the period. Students found the intense portrait photographs by August Sander difficult to look at with a sense of what was to come. They also found his organisation of experience particularly compelling: ‘I loved seeing how the Sander photographs were paired with a timeline of the interwar years. It was also brilliant to see the categorisation of a poor woman as "the city", rather than any class of people.’ The Otto Dix paintings, whether engaging with his war experiences or with life in the Weimanr Republic, were challenging but stimulating. ‘Some of the...
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Internship Opportunity for LJMU English Students: Organising a Conference at the London Metropolitan Archives

Internship Opportunity for LJMU English Students: Organising a Conference at the London Metropolitan Archives

Are you studying English at Level 5 or 6 at LJMU this year? Passionate about theatre? Intent on pursuing a career in archives or heritage studies? Interested in events management? Keen to show off your social media skills? Fancy creating online resources for new second year module ‘Body, Mind and Soul: Seventeenth-Century Literature and Culture’? If the answer to any of these questions is a resounding ‘yes’, then do apply for this internship which is designed to give you invaluable hands-on experience of organising a conference. Just hearing the name ‘Drury Lane’ immediately conjures up images of London and the theatre. However, surprisingly little is known about that first theatre on Drury Lane, the Cockpit-Phoenix Playhouse dating to c. 1616. This unique event will redress this imbalance through the cutting edge research of leading scholars and theatre practitioners. Actors will perform short scenes from Cockpit plays and delegates will be offered access to rare theatrical documents from the period. But, best...
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The BFG – for free! – at the Phil, Tuesday 18th October 2016

The BFG – for free! – at the Phil, Tuesday 18th October 2016

If you're an LJMU English student, you can see The BFG for free on Tuesday, 18th October 2016, as part of the Philharmonic's partnership with your university. All you need to do is to book over the phone (Box Office number: 0151 709 3789), or buy from the Box Office at the Philharmonic Hall on Hope Street in person. When you collect your tickets, you will need to show your LJMU student card. No-one (and least of all a literature student) can have too much Roald Dahl in their life, clearly, but if you haven't yet seen a film at the Phil, you're missing out on one of Liverpool's best cultural experiences. The screen, supposedly the last of its kind in the world, rises out of the stage while the Phil's resident cinema organist, Dave Nicholas, does his thing. In a kilt. Call the Box Office now! The Phil are also showing Ken Loach's I, Daniel Blake, on 16 November 2016, and the all the same things - free tickets...
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Welcome Freshers 2016!

Welcome Freshers 2016!

Welcome to LJMU English! This tab along with the T.E.A tab are your first stops for all the information you'll need for your first few weeks. Beyond Freshers, us lot over at T.E.A (check out our actual faces under 'Student Interns' down the side there ----->) will be providing you with lots of helpful tips and insights into studying at LJMU. To get you started here's some very helpful stuff: Induction Week:     The Blackboard Community Site is where all of your course-related info and induction timetables will appear, and you'll receive details of how to gain access when you receive your official Welcome Pack from the University towards the end of August. Don't worry if you are struggling to understand Blackboard, we all are, it's a complicated beast and you will soon be able to just about tolerate it (that's as good as it gets with Blackboard, sorry). Once you are an enrolled, inducted, official LJMU student we can tell you all our deepest, darkest secrets (probably). By then you will undoubtedly...
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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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Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë.

This is one of the texts you will study on the Reading English module. First of all let me just say that this novel is NOT a typical 'chick love story' (as one person put it in my seminar group). Heathcliff is far from the romantic hero, if he can be considered that at all! This is a far more complex story about greed, class, conflict and consequences. Please do not assume that you can watch a TV or film adaptation and know the story. The novel is far more complex, with intricately woven plot and character relationships. These things are never, in my opinion, portrayed correctly on screen and the novel's gothic atmosphere is usually either overlooked or over-done. I admit that Wuthering Heights is sometimes difficult to get into, I had to go back and start again, as I found I had not taken in the first few chapters, but perseverance with this novel is rewarding. There is so...
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Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

'Lo-lee-ta'. It is hard to pick a favourite book from the first year of the course, but when people ask me which book I enjoyed the most, Lolita always pops into my head first. Now I know that most will have heard of the book purely for its notoriety and controversial themes, but there is a lot more to this novel. Nabokov has an aesthetic quality hard to beat. Little descriptions that are both simple and stunning. In one line he can create an image that stays with you, 'She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock.' [In normal circumstances you will need to Harvard reference here]. Try not to be put off by the theme of the novel, although hard to stomach. Humbert Humbert is frequently shown as a monster or something strangely alien and grotesque. But the novel is not a sympathetic portrayal of a paedophile, rather a unique perspective on a...
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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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Being a Mature Student

Being a Mature Student

I came to university after completing an Access course at college. I had done my A-Levels when I was younger, at which time I decided to take a year out to save money before university. That year turned into many as life took over and bills had to be paid. Many people have asked me, since returning to education, whether I regret not going to uni when I was younger. I can honestly say that I don’t. At 18 years old I was not confident or assertive in anyway, I was not sure what I wanted to do and certainly not prepared for the amount of work involved in university life – if you want to put your all into it. As a mature student I am not distracted by the nightlife (I did all of that in my 20’s) although I do enjoy meals out in Liverpool's many fantastic restaurants! I’m more aware of why I am here (at...
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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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Feeling daunted? Ineffectual? Inadequate? Don’t panic it’s all fine!

Feeling daunted? Ineffectual? Inadequate? Don’t panic it’s all fine!

My first two weeks at uni were spent walking aimlessly round, lost most of the time and hoping I could find someone I could follow - obviously not in a weird stalker way. I think everyone feels a little out of their depth at times, and you're not alone if you do, it's a common feeling. There have been moments when I have asked myself if I chose the right course, whether I was good enough to be on the course and generally whether I would do well. The truth is you're here on your own merit, you've earned your place: so you are in the right place. Self-doubt is something you simply have to get over in your own time. If you receive a mark on your assignment that you're disappointed with don't be disheartened, the tutors give constructive feedback that you can take on board and use to improve your work next time. The tutors are always happy to talk through...
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Student Discount

Student Discount

This is possibly the best thing about being a student (other than gaining a degree), as saving money is a student's prerogative. All you need is a bit of plastic, otherwise known as an LJMU card or NUS card, and you will be saving money here, there and everywhere! Getting your student discount in shops is fairly simple as you present your LJMU student card when you pay and you get 10% off your purchase, simple right? However, as you may notice on your new shiny LJMU card, there is no expiry date which means some shops may not accept it for student discount. Do not worry, we are here to help and have some inside information just for you... LJMU is a great university (as you know because you've chosen to go here) but you probably didn't know they are so great that they can get you a free NUS card, yes FREE! You apply for the card online...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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):...
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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...
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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...
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The Winter’s Tale: LJMU English Fieldtrip

The Winter’s Tale: LJMU English Fieldtrip

LJMU Level 5 Shakespeare student, Hugh Adam, writes about the 18th November production of The Winter's Tale. The Winter’s Tale Performed at the Liverpool Playhouse, the Northern Broadsides’ production of The Winter’s Tale captures all the vital emotional elements of the text (jealousy, betrayal, abandonment, acceptance, comedy, redemption), while adding a modern twist sure to please all theatre goers, not just Shakespeare enthusiasts. Beginning in Sicily, transposed from the time of its writing to New Year’s Eve 1999, The Winter’s Tale opens with the celebrations of old friends Leontes, the King of Sicily, and Polixenes, the King of Bohemia. In accordance with the play’s complexity of tone, the celebrations are bittersweet for Polixenes, who longs to return to Bohemia and his family. His eventual decision to remain in Sicily (convinced by Leontes’ wife, Hermione) gives the insecure Leontes grounds to suppose an affair between the two, leading the King of Sicily (and those around him) into a vicious, jealousy-fuelled turmoil. The first three acts...
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Sort Your Life Out! (With LJMU English)

Sort Your Life Out! (With LJMU English)

Hot off the press, the 2015-16 edition of The English Academic Journal is now ready. All students on the English programme, whether single or combined honours, are entitled to a free copy, so please look out for the rather beautiful spiral bound journals (with a green cover this year), and pick one up from your personal tutor. Student interns from the English programme have been working feverishly over the summer to design a journal for all our students. Fuelled only by jammie dodgers [other jam-filled biscuits are available] and cups of tea [other beverages are... oh, you know this], the team have put loads of thought and time into designing this year’s edition. The journal is intended to serve both as a useful diary /planner  and as a repository of incredible wisdom about (almost) all aspects of life as a student  studying English at LJMU. It contains loads of information about your University and about Liverpool – places to go, people...
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