Clearing Day 2018

It’s clearing day at Northumbria. Several colleagues are helping answer calls from applicants for our BA courses in English Language, Literature and Creative Writing and also our Foundation Year in Humanities.

The clearing hotline number here is 0800 085 1085

If you’re not involved in clearing and/or would like to read some thoughts from colleagues in English at Northumbria, here are some recent articles which appeared in The Conversation:

Tony Williams on the story Cat Person and #metoo

Claire Nally on graphic novels

Katy Shaw on why the novel is not dead

Sarah Duffy on how we think about time

Claudine van Hensbergen on Hamilton

Here also is a piece by colleagues at Bradford and Swansea on how students use social media in making decisions about university applications

Writers and intellectuals on Britain and Europe, 1918–2018

Here again is the call for papers for a major conference coming up in November.  The deadline for abstracts is 30 July 2018.

. . .

CALL FOR PAPERS

Writers and intellectuals on Britain and Europe, 1918–2018: 

An international conference 

Northumbria University | Newcastle upon Tyne | 1-2 November 2018

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Prof. Jason Harding (University of Durham)

Prof. Bob Eaglestone (Royal Holloway, University of London)

(For additional confirmed speakers, please see https://europeanconversations.com/programme/)

The British EU Referendum on 23 June 2016 once more threw into relief Britain’s conflicted relationship to and with the rest of Europe. While newspaper discourse and political rhetoric have been the focus of much popular and critical attention, debates around the referendum and its likely consequences have not been limited to journalists and politicians. Writers and academics were among those publicly commenting on Britain’s position in Europe, from J.K. Rowling, whose vocal tweets courted controversy among her fans, to EU law expert Professor Michael Dougan (University of Liverpool), whose videos on the subject of the Brexit campaign and its impact have been viewed by millions of people in Britain and abroad. 2017 also saw the emergence of what was quickly dubbed ‘BrexLit’, including high-profile titles such as Ali Smith’s Autumnor Adam Thorpe’s Missing Fay.

This conference seeks to connect the diverse literary and scholarly interventions in current and recent Brexit debates with earlier interventions by British writers and intellectuals into the relationship between Britain and Europe. It aims to bring together creative writers and researchers in literary and cultural studies with an interest in Britain and Europe to facilitate an exchange of ideas and encourage cross-period and cross-disciplinary exchange. The central questions and concerns to be addressed by the conference – Britain’s relationship to Europe and the place of writers and intellectuals in the process of defining this relationship – are likely to remain topical for some time to come, as Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union progresses through the negotiating stages.

The conference sessions will cover three main strands: (1) European debates of the inter-war years and the 1940s, (2) literary interventions in the wake of the 1975 United Kingdom European Communities membership referendum, and (3) present-day writers and intellectuals and the Brexit debate. The conference will offer a space to address any kinds of interventions, both for and against closer ties between Britain and Europe.

Three central questions will be addressed by the conference: 

(1) What contributions did/do writers and intellectuals make to debates about Britain’s integration into Europe in the public sphere? 

(2) How did/do writers and intellectuals reflect privately and in correspondence with each other on matters relating to Britain’s integration into Europe?

(3) What motivations drove/drive writers and intellectuals’ involvement in these debates, and how are these articulated? 

The conference looks at writers’ and intellectuals’ contributions to Anglo-European debates over the past century, seeking to draw out parallels and to establish challenges and opportunities. A public round table event will serve to articulate some of the lessons to be drawn from such a comparison, and will look at the experience of writers and academics who have themselves intervened in debates around Brexit.

We invite proposals for papers from researchers and writers that speak to any one of the conference strands and/or questions. Please send abstracts of up to 300 words, accompanied by a short biographical statement and contact details, to Dr Ann-Marie Einhaus at ann-marie.einhaus@northumbria.ac.ukEXTENDED deadline for submitting abstracts: 30 July 2018.

Thanks to generous support from UACES, there will be some support available for postgraduate speakers without institutional travel funds. Please indicate on your proposal whether you wish to be considered.

The conference website is www.europeanconversations.com

Studying English at University

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I’m looking forward to visiting Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College in Darlington this afternoon to talk about studying English at university.

One thing we’ll be looking at is Jorge Luis Borges’s story Pierre Menard, author of the Quixote

I’m looking forward to seeing what the students think about it.

I’m also planning to show them this undergraduate essay:

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That’s the video essay. There’s also a written essay to accompany it here

Colleagues at Northumbria love visiting schools and working with students and teachers.

Do get in touch if you’e like to visit us or for us to visit you.

Remember also that we have an exciting event coming up next Wednesday when Lynne Murphy will be talking about differences between British and American English in our Annual Linguistics Lecture

There are still places available for Lynne’s talk but do book if you’d like to come

On The Farm

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(It’s behind a paywall but) there’s a fascinating piece by our colleague Daisy Hildyard in the current issue of the London Review of Books:

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n11/daisy-hildyard/on-the-farm

The piece relates to Daisy’s most recent book The Second Body which is published by Fitzcarraldo.

Daisy is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Northumbria, working on a project which involves shadowing people, from scientists to butchers, who know about animal’s lives.

The project, her novel and this article are all fascinating.

Lisa Matthews – Launch of Callisto

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Northumbria Creative Writing PhD student Lisa Matthews launches her new collection of prose poems Callisto in June. The Newcastle launch takes place at the Lit & Phil on Wednesday 13th June, 7-9pm. Lisa will be reading from the book, with support from Gillian Allnutt, Linda France, Crista Ermiya and Jo Colley. She will also be attempting an audience recitation of one of the poems from the book. All welcome.

Hauntology

There are many excited readers this week as they have been receiving their pre-order copies of Hauntology, the new book by our colleague Professor Katy Shaw

Katy is Professor of English Literature at Northumbria and a leading figure in work on 21st century writing, working class literature, representations of post-industrial regeneration, and the languages of comedy.

As its subtitle says, this book explores ‘the presence of the past in contemporary literature’. We can’t wait to see what it says about the work of Simon Armitage, Jez Butterworth, Zadie Smith, David Peace and others.

The book is dedicated to Mark Fisher, a key name in work on hauntology and other areas of criticism.

 

 

 

English Colleagues in The Conversation

We’ve had several pieces by colleagues in English in The Conversation over the years. Here are three recent examples.

Sarah Duffy’s piece on how our minds construct time appeared in January

Katy Shaw argued against Will Self’s views on the future of the novel in March

Most recently, Billy Clark, Sarah Duffy and Graham Hall wrote a piece on how to talk about politics with your family

Billy appeared on CJAD 800 in Montreal yesterday to talk about the ideas in the piece he wrote with Sarah and Graham.

All of these pieces relate to ideas we discuss in classroom work and in our own research.

We’d be happy to join in further conversations on these here or elsewhere!