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).
Professor Jean Webb, who is an expert on the growing research area of health and sickness in children’s literature, presented a public lecture on the topic in the Hive library on 1 March. Prof. Webb illuminated the differing ways in which the healthy child and the sick child have been portrayed in English writing for children from the nineteenth century to the present, and what these tells us about changing ideas about childhood.
All applicants who successfully applied for a place on our degrees in English Literature, English Language and Creative & Professional Writing are cordially invited to attend our Applicant Day on Saturday, 18 February. You’ll be able to tour the campus, view our accommodation, meet current students and staff, and participate in a subject specific workshop. In addition, the Head of Department will offer a brief talk about studying for an English degree at Worcester, which will be followed by a Q&A session with several tutors. Further information concerning the Applicant Day may be found here: http://www.worcester.ac.uk/your-home/applicant-days.html.
Dr Tricia Connell delivered a study day for AS Level English Literature students from the RSA Academy Arrow Vale. After a study session focused on The Great Gatsby, the students were able to talk to our Student Ambassadors about studying English at Worcester and explore our award-winning Hive Library. The event was, as one of the students noted, ‘extremely enjoyable and informative’. Please contact Dr Connell directly if your school is interested in running a similar event (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Two of our MRes Early Modern Studies students, Kirsty Driscoll and Ceri Fowler, and our new PhD student Lucy Cooper will attend the annual conference of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (BSECS) (4-6 January, St Hugh’s College, Oxford University). They will be accompanying their supervisor, Dr Andreas Mueller, who has recently been made a member of the BSECS Executive Committee. Kirsty and Ceri are in the process of completing their Masters theses on Restoration literature, while Lucy’s doctoral project is concerned with the contribution made by eighteenth-century Anglican clergymen to the formation of the English literary canon.
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.