Our new Head of Department

We are delighted to announce that Professor Peter Stoneley took up his post as Head of Department at the start of this term. Peter has been with the department for twelve years and was most recently Director of Postgraduate Studies for the School of Literature and Languages and English Subject Representative for the AHRC Southwest and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership.

Peter Stoneley

Peter contributes to the courses on Twentieth-Century American Literature, Writing America, Nineteenth-Century and American Fiction. In his research he works mainly on nineteenth- and twentieth-century US literature, most usually looking at how literature intersects with history, and with other cultural forms

Of his new role and his thoughts for the future of the department, Peter writes: ‘I really enjoy the fact that this new role connects me with a much greater number of students and colleagues.  There are quite a few challenges in universities at the moment, but I take confidence in the work that the Department does, from students’ writing and presentations, to the teaching and learning ideas and the research of the professors.’

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream in school

On 7 December, Dr Rebecca Bullard visited Robert Piggott Junior School in Wargrave to lead a workshop with children in Year 6 (aged 10 and 11) who have been studying William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream this term. Each class learned a verse from Act 2 scene 2, in which Titania (Queen of the Fairies) is protected and sung to sleep by her army of fairies. Titania was played by teaching assistant, Mrs Sharif, and both classes did an excellent job of scaring away the creatures of the forest for her and singing her a lullaby! The children did a brilliant job of thinking about how to create different kinds of atmosphere using music, their voices, and their bodies – just as actors would have done in the sixteenth century. You can read more about the workshop, and see some pictures, here.

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Submissions to the 2017 Creative Arts Anthology

Since 2008, the English Department has published its annual Creative Arts Anthology, bringing together the creative work of contributors from the university, and the Reading creative scene. This year’s Anthology, the tenth edition to date, is no different, and we’re now looking for submissions.

Creative arts anthology 2017

Despite what you might think, submission isn’t just open to the English Department! Students and staff of any subject are welcome to submit work, and we’re also looking for entries from local talent too.

Entries can take a variety of forms. Past editions have included written poetry and prose, as well

as visual art in the form of photography, drawings, and paintings. There is no limit on the number of works one author or artist may submit, but please be aware that as space in the final publication is limited, we will not be able to publish all entries. We also ask that submissions aren’t too long, to allow for more work to be featured, but if you’re unsure about an entry you have in mind, please get in touch via our Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/UoRCreativeAnthology/) or Twitter

(https://twitter.com/UoRAnthology17).

All submissions should be sent to readingcw@hotmail.com, accompanied by brief biographical note to be used should your work be selected. Written entries should be in the form of a Word document, while visual entries should be Jpeg’s (ideally, please submit in publishable quality in the first instance, otherwise it will be harder to judge the work for publication.)

The deadline for submissions is Monday 9 January 2017. If you have any questions, let us know!

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EMRC seminars

Early Modern Research Centre seminar for Spring Term

 

6 FEBRUARY:

Dr. Edmond Smith (Kent),

“Cultures of commerce and governing behaviour in early modern England”

20 FEBRUARY:

Dr. Kathryn Woods (Warwick),

“Sweat and Toil: The Skin and Pores of the Eighteenth-Century Labouring Body”

6 MARCH:

Eva Johanna Holmberg (Helsinki),

“Travel and Self-Description in Seventeenth-Century English Culture”

 

For further information, please see the EMRC website: www.reading.ac.uk/emrc or contact the Centre’s Director: Dr. Michelle O’Callaghan m.f.ocallaghan@reading.ac.uk

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CIRCL seminars in the Spring Term

Please find here the CIRCL seminars for Spring 2017:

18th January 2017, at 1 pm, Dr Chris Milson, former CIRCL BA, MA and PhD student, will be speaking on Reading Funny Words: Sex, Gender and Language in Silverberg and Smyth’s ‘Sex is a Funny Word’

8th February 2017, at 1 pm, Dr Wendy O’Shea-Meddour, Department of English Literature and also a very widely-published children’s book author, will be speaking on: Battling with the Gatekeepers: Censorship and Silence within the British Children’s Publishing Industry

22th February 2017, at 1 pm, Dr Krissie West, Department of English Literature, will be speaking on The Child as Witch in Three New England Texts, looking at Cotton Mather’s The Family Well-Ordered; Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter; and Emerson’s Domestic Life.
 All these seminars will be in room HUMSS 110.
All welcome!

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Visions of Nature

Steven Matthews writes:

I’ve been involved this year as a poet-in-residence at Oxford’s Museum of Natural History, during their ‘Visions of Nature’ season. The poetry project has been run by John Holmes.

Part of the remit was to create new work for an anthology of poems new and old about the Museum, its origins, collections, and history. The launch event for the book takes place next Monday, 12th December, 7-9, at the Museum. The event is free, but pre-booking is advisable. The link to the ticketing site is

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/guests-of-time-tickets-26783739887

Please come along if you are able.

 

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Report on The Interface Between British Contemporary Black and Jewish Cultures: A Symposium

David Brauner writes:

On 4th November 2016 a symposium on ‘The Interface Between British Contemporary Black and Jewish Cultures’ was held at the University of Reading. The event was sponsored by the ‘British Jewish: Contemporary Cultures’ AHRC network and the ‘Identities’ research group at Reading. It also marked the launch of a large interdisciplinary research project based at Reading, led by Professor David Brauner, entitled ‘Towards a British “Black-Jewish Imaginary”: The Interface Between British Black and Jewish Literature, Art and Culture 1945-2015’.

David Brauner

The symposium was divided into four sessions: a panel on ‘Contemporary Fiction’ in the morning; a panel on ‘Shifting Identities’ after lunch; a panel on Zadie Smith after a break from coffee; and finally a talk by the playwright, theatre director and academic, Julia Pascal. Joining four speakers from Reading – Nicola Abram, David Brauner and Nicole King from the Department of English Literature, and Rachel Garfield from the Department of Art – were speakers from all over the UK and from Germany and Poland. In addition to the presentations, there was much intensive discussion and debate and the end of the day found everyone exhausted but stimulated and inspired to continue the conversations beyond the symposium.

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CIRCL seminars – starting next week!

30th November 2016 – please note that this CIRCL seminar will run at a different time than usual! It will start at 2 pm and run to 3 pm: CIRCL Visiting Scholar Xu Dan will speak about: Discipline and Deviation: Representations of Children in Chinese Revolutionary Story Picture Books, the 1970s

7th December 2016 2016, at the usual time of 1 pm, Professor Zhu Ziqiang, Professor of the College of Literature & Journalism of Ocean University of China and Head of the Children Literature Institute, will speak about Key Issues in Contemporary Chinese Children’s Literature Theories

18th January 2017, at the usual time of 1 pm, Dr Chris Milson, former CIRCL BA, MA and PhD student, will be speaking on Reading Funny Words: Sex, Gender and Language in Silverberg and Smyth’s ‘Sex is a Funny Word’

All these seminars will be in room HUMSS 110.

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JQ Wingate Prize

The 2017 JQ Wingate Prize has generated an innovative and diverse long list of fiction and non-fiction from authors around the world, as it marks its 40th anniversary. The 14-strong list includes six novels as well as a multi-faceted mix of histories, memoirs and biographies, which throw new light on past and present events. Established in 1977, the annual prize, worth £4,000 and run in association with JW3, is awarded to the best book, fiction or non-fiction, to translate the idea of Jewishness to the general reader. Professor Bryan Cheyette is the chair of the judges this year and has written a blog for the Times Literary Supplement on how he and his fellow judges managed to choose fourteen out of 70 books for the long list.

 

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Tony Watkins lecture – all welcome!

A reminder that you are all warmly welcome at

The Annual Tony Watkins Lecture on Children’s Literature, Culture, Media for 2016

Assistant Professor Helle Strandgaard Jensen from the Department of History, University of Aarhus in Denmark, expert on Scandinavian and transcultural children’s media, will be speaking on:

‘Always Shiny and New? Historical Perspectives on the Politics of Children’s Media Consumption’

on Thursday, November 24th 2016 at 6 pm in HUMSS G25. All welcome!

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