This is the blog for the three degree pathways offered in the English Subject Area at the University of Worcester: English Literature (Single and Joint Honours), English Language (Joint Honours), and Creative and Professional Writing (Joint Honours).
Jenny Lewin-Jones presented a paper at the University of Birmingham’s 15th Education Research Conference at the School of Education, University of Birmingham, on 26th November 2016. The paper was titled “Getting to grips with Critical Discourse Analysis: shedding light on an HE policy document”, and showed how micro-analysis of linguistic features can illuminate the rhetoric of a particular discourse and reveal opaque relationships between language and power.
Referring to several European productions of Hamlet between 2001 and 2014, Dr Nicoleta Cinpoeş’ recently published article ‘Handling Ophelia: a Story in Four Unscripted Scenes’ examines the stage struggle to ‘recuperate’ an Ophelia that both discursive criticism and visual objectification bury prematurely, albeit by different means and for different aims, when they claim, in Laertes’s words: ‘The woman will be out.’ She takes Laertes’s words to mean both taking the woman out and putting the woman on view, and offers a preliminary survey of the customary textual cuts and their effect on Ophelia’s part, exploring ‘the four unscripted scenes’ of three directors – Vlad Mugur, Radu Alexandru Nica, and Jan Klata – and their impact on Ophelia’s role as found in Shakespeare’s play. The article has appeared in Volume 32, Issue 4, of the New Theatre Quarterly (Cambridge University Press).
Drs Cinpoes and Mueller took a group of Masters by Research students on a trip to London last week. We visited Banqueting House to marvel at its fabulous ceiling paintings, and saw a production of The Libertine (a play about John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester) at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. As the photos indicate, fun was had by all!
English Language lecturer Jenny Lewin-Jones was interviewed on BBC Radio on 3rd November 2016, on the release day of the Collins Dictionary Words of the Year 2016. Neologisms, language creativity and lexicography are part of Jenny’s research interests, and feature in her teaching, particularly in the University of Worcester’s 2nd year undergraduate module “The English language in the 21st Century”. For more on the Words of the Year 2016 see Jenny’s Twitter account on language and linguistics @JennyLewinJones and the official Collins Dictionary list at https://www.collinsdictionary.com/word-lovers-blog/new/top-10-collins-words-of-the-year-2016,323,HCB.html
At the recent graduation ceremony of the Institute of Humanities and Creative Arts, the award-winning poet Patience Agbabi was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters. Agbabi has offered several poetry workshops for Worcester students over recent years, organised by Literature lecturer Dr Tricia Connell. Her recent work has included Telling Tales (2014), which transposes Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales to twenty-first century Britain. Pictured below are Drs Agbabi and Connell at the post-ceremony celebrations.
Dr David Arnold and Dr Pippa Marland have recently returned from the 7th Biennial Conference of the European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture and the Environment, at the Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. The theme of the conference was “Wildness without Wilderness: The Poiesis of Energy and Instability”. As well as providing a forum for debates within established and emerging areas of Ecocriticism – such as New Materialism, Post-Humanism and Ecosemiotics – the conference also embraced contributions by delegates crossing the borders between critical and creative practice. The event drew participants not only from across Europe but also North America, the United Arab Emirates and Taiwan.
Dr Marland participated in a panel on “Corporeal Energies”, with a paper entitled “Going Wild Inside: the Poetics of Illness in Gwyneth Lewis’ A Hospital Odyssey”, while Dr Arnold took part in the panel on “Beat Ecologies”, with a paper called “ ‘We are all capable of extraordinary transformations’: Reading Philip Whalen’s Buddhist Poems’”. Dr Arnold also chaired a panel on “Ecospiritual and Ecopsychological Readings”.
Dr Arnold and Dr Marland are both members of the Green Voices Research Group at the University of Worcester.
Drs Jeffries, Kailoglou and Mueller took a group of students on a trip to London to visit the British Library and the Globe. The ‘Treasures of the British Library’ exhibition and the tour of the Globe proved very enjoyable and fun was had by all! We also learnt a thing or two.
The University’s Institute of Humanities & Creative Arts is offering a full-time PhD studentship in Eighteenth-Century Literature (Director of Studies: Dr A. Mueller) – details for this opportunity may be found here: http://www.worc.ac.uk/discover/phd-studentships.html
On Friday, 14 October 2016, Dr Gareth Price (Duke University, USA) will offer a talk entitled ‘Politics and Flying Pigs: Narratives, Frames, and Metaphors’ as part of the English Language Talks Series. Dr Price will address the question ‘How do we use language to parse everyday political life?’ in relation to the construction of political campaign discourse in the US. Primarily using Lakoff’s work on the power of metaphor and narrative, and Goffman’s work on “frames”, he will also allude to Propp’s morphology of the folk tale, Foucault’s notion of the ordering of things, Bakhtin’s notion of the “carnivalesque”, and Borges’ wry use of the allegory. Suggesting that metaphors and narratives do not offer a single path by which to understand politics, Dr Price will explore how satire and inversion can offer points for resistance.
This talk will be of special interest to students of English Language of all years and also of students with an interest on metaphors, sociology, politics, and literature. Staff and students from the whole Institute are warmly welcome.
The talk will take place in Venue: EE G162 Lecture, Friday 14.15- 15.15. Any questions, please contact Dr Lefteris Kailoglou (E.Kailoglou@worc.ac.uk).