DEL newsletter spring 2022 issue 1

Being on campus this term.

You will have had quite a bit of communication from the University, both before and after the vacation, about returning to your studies on campus this term.  If you have missed any of them, please see the latest updates here and also the information on returning to study on campus, both on Essentials.

Please remember that the University is still asking people to wear face coverings indoors, including in the library and in teaching rooms, and when moving around inside the buildings. Please continue to take regular lateral flow tests (LFTs), especially when you are coming onto campus. You can collect LFTs from the collection point in the Library, Monday to Thursday, 13:00 – 16:00.

The good news is that the regulations now allow us more use of our spaces in the Edith Morley building, as long as we ensure adequate ventilation. So the Social Study Space in EM 106 can now be used by more people (and remember, it has a stock of books and a printer!) Academics can meet students for face-to-face meetings in their offices in small groups, and so our regular ‘consultation hours’ (the hour each week when members of staff are available for tutees and students to call in with questions) is being reinstated: please check the information on office doors. 

UoR Fiction Writing Society

New to this academic year WriteSoc is a great way of getting to know new people while working on a new or pre-existing writing project! WriteSoc holds two ‘get togethers’ a week – a writing session and a social session. You can join them for a writing session on Saturdays 1pm to 3pm at the library and/or for a social catch up at Mojos (3pm on Wednesdays). New to the society? WriteSoc will be holding a taster session this week!

For more details check out their Instagram

UoR English Society

EngSoc is excited for a new term with new plans! Welcoming all students EngSoc plans for a term of social events, including film nights, book clubs and formals – and hopefully some trips too!

This term biweekly book club sessions will be held where any book you find yourself reading can be discussed. To keep up with the when and where check out their Instagram.

EngSoc is also planning regular social events this term with a different mixer for each part of our degree and plenty of opportunities to meet new people!

New to the society? A taster session will be held on 27th January, come along to watch ‘10 things I hate about you’ – details can be found in their social media accounts.

Membership: You can purchase membership via the RUSU website

Introducing the careers officer

As things begin to open up again, we can start looking forward to job opportunities and internships being advertised more. So it is a good time to think about career plans. We are very lucky to have a dedicated careers officer for our School, and Daniel Mitchell (our careers officer) is keen to hear from English Literature about their plans.

Daniel is happy to help students who are looking for:

  • Ideas about the kinds of careers they might pursue
  • Help with identifying the ‘next steps’ for your career plans
  • Checking your CV or application form
  • Practising for a job interview

You can get in touch with Daniel via email or you can book an individual appointment with him using My Jobs Online. You can do this by selecting ‘Search Appointments’, then ‘View Appointments’ under one of the appointment types and then clicking ‘Book’ – you’ll then be asked to fill out a quick form to tell us what you’d like to talk about.

If you cannot see any appointments with Daniel listed, do book in with any of his colleagues or call the Careers Reception on 0118 378 8359. You can also email us at, call in the First Floor of the Carrington Building 9-5pm Monday to Friday or visit our website. 

Study Advice in the Library

The Study Advice team in the Library is offering webinars, resources and 1-2-1 sessions to support your learning. Their weekly webinar programme this term focuses on dissertation support, improving essay grades and exam revision. You might also like to check out their Study Guides to help develop your academic skills, including the one on making the most of your feedback when you start to have your assessed work returned to you. If you think you would benefit from a 1-2-1 with the Study Advice team, you can book either a f2f or Teams appointment here.

Film Review: Dune (2021), dir. Denis Villeneuve

*no spoilers*

The film starring Timothée Chalamet is set to be one of three and is jammed to the brim with impeccable visuals. The storyline based on books by Frank Herbert tells an emotionally

charged tale of protagonist Paul Atreides who, as son of Duke Leto Atreides, has more power than he can begin to grasp. Alongside the well-known cast Dune is full of amazing landscapes that bring us into the world of science fiction and mythic. The film is full of intense moments and leaves us craving for another… or perhaps the desire to read the entire book series.

DEL Spring term Research Seminars

Wednesday 2nd February, 5.00-6.30:

Professor Ralph Pite (University of Bristol), ‘Edward Thomas in 1914-15: unfathomable deep time’

Wednesday 2nd March, 5.00-6.30:

Professor Hillary Chute (Northeastern University), ‘Maus Now’.

All events will take place online – Zoom links will be circulated nearer the time.

New Year’s Resolutions (and why we don’t promise to keep them!)

“Honestly, I have never been the type of person to put an emphasis on this celebration or this time of year, so no surprises when it comes to New Year’s resolutions I have little to no motivation. But talking to other students to assemble this amalgamation of opinions on New Year’s resolutions has got me thinking- why is so much pressure put on this time of year? That awkward week in between Christmas and New year’s where time seems to stand still does make us ask if we feel happy about the year that we’ve had? Humans are constantly evolving so it only seems natural that we’ve invented a way to track and assess this progress, to hold ourselves accountable for this evolution as though it were within our control to inflict this change upon ourselves. I guess the point I’m getting at here is New Year’s resolutions act as a sort of wooden obelisk or arbour (you know the type vines grow up?) that ensure we are moving in the right direction, moving forward. Upwards and onwards. After all isn’t the essence of life growth?”

  • Leorah, second year, English Literature

“I’m not too keen on New Year’s resolutions as I think everyday is a new opportunity to make a change. However, this year I decided to start fresh and improve my eating and sleeping habits. One resolution was to drink water so since New Year’s Eve I have been drinking 1 litre of water every day. I eat breakfast and at least 3 meals without fail every day. I had promised to sleep before 10:30pm, but that resolution didn’t get so far after I stayed up to complete a uni assignment.”

  • Maryam, first year, Law student

“I feel like the reason I don’t really bother with New Year’s resolutions is because I think it stops you from making goals at any point in the year. For example, imagine you want to start something in February but because of the social construct of New Year’s resolutions you feel a pressure to put it off until the following year. I prefer to make goals at anytime during the year rather than just New Years. However, I do sometimes like to start things in the New Year because I think it is nice to start the year with fresh goals, although I don’t always find myself sticking to them. I also think its important to note how goals and resolutions change as the year progresses, and even more necessary is to know that this is okay.”

  • Nippa, first year, Psychology student

“This New Year I’ve done the annual tradition of setting a New Year’s resolution. Usually mine fail or drop off my radar by February/ March time, so in order to stop this happening, I’ve decided to take a new approach. I’ve set myself monthly goals for the year- it appears easier to focus on goal at a time. For instance, my main goal this January is to develop my career prospects and insights. This means I’m working on my CV, researching career paths and meeting with career advisers. Whereas my goal for February is to cook healthy dinners from scratch most day and eat out less.”

  • Bethany, second year, Law student

“I am always adamant to make as many new year’s resolutions as possible even if I don’t keep them. My logic is that at least one of the 10 new habits I try to form will stick. This year I have tried to cover as many different areas of life in my resolutions, from reading at least 6 books to picking up a new sport and exploring different hobbies such as art and cooking. I think that it is important to be conscious that if forming a new habit doesn’t stick this is not a failure. It was simply an attempt to improve yourself and nothing about that should be viewed negatively, after all there is always next year”

  • Second year, English Literature

“I dislike New Year’s resolutions. I hate the pressure as everyone around me seems to have a buzz, this newfound energy to becomes a better person. I am glad that I no longer feel the need to fall under the spell of the constantly gym adverts and Veganuary commercials I am bombarded with. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about self-improvement, but I find this particular tradition suffocating and even a little toxic.”

  • Second year, English Literature

“I am glad that I dropped my New Year’s resolution of waking up at 5 am (habits of successful people). In retrospect I find it a bit absurd, we all function differently, I don’t think that that the idea that successful people wake up at 5am is a blanket statement. Actually, it is a known fact that creative minds tend to spark up late at night or in the early hours of the morning. Also, with university work I found this habit impossible to keep as my schedule is largely dictated by my workload. I guess I would like to take this opportunity to say that you shouldn’t feel pressure to pick up habits like these if they don’t work for you. Whatever routine has you feeling like you are thriving, and doing your best work is the routine you should stick with, even if that means getting up at midday.”

  • Second year, English literature

If you would like to contribute to the DEL fortnightly newsletter, please contact our editors Ab Thomas (part 1) or Leorah Stewart (part 2) or email

About English Literature at Reading

The Department of English Literature at Reading has been an internationally recognised centre for research and teaching in English Studies for over a hundred years. Our teaching system, with its emphasis on seminars and tutorial work, encourages our students to discuss ideas with tutors and other students in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere. All of our students have access to dedicated study advisors; our academic placement scheme and 'professional track' programme provide invaluable preparation for subsequent careers.
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