Friday 17 December 2010

Wednesday 15 December 2010

Read-in this Saturday in London

Charity of the year - JustGiving Page now up

If you want to donate or cite the page for an event, the JustGiving page for our Charity of the Year 2011 is here:

Feedback on modules

How can I complete the questionnaire?


When can I complete the questionnaire?

ANY TIME ANY DAY until the 11 February 2011

Your opinion counts! Complete your Unit Evaluation Questionnaires and have your say!

Manchester Milton

The Manchester Milton Marathon went very well on Friday, including a visit from the BBC, and all involved enjoyed themselves. Thanks to the readers, those who sponsored us, to everyone who brought food, and Liam Haydon for all the organisation and enthusiasm. The whole poem took us around 11 hours to read out and we were exhausted by the end! With donations on the day the amount raised for the RNIB is around £820, which is magnificent.

Thursday 9 December 2010

Milton Marathon running order

Paradise Lost Timetable

Please note that all times are approximate, so could readers please arrive in plenty of time at the start of the book in which you are reading to ensure the smooth flow of the day.

Book I [9.15 – 10.00]

1-191: Jerome de Groot
192-375: Graham Ward
*376-621: Liam Haydon
622-798 [End]: Naya Tsentourou

Book II [10.00 – 10.45]

1-225: Isabelle Dann
226-416: Anke Bernau
417-628: Will Simpson
629-814: Joel Swann
815-1055 [End]: Megan Venter

Book III [10.45 – 11.25]

1-216: Carolyn Broomhead
217-343: Anke Bernau
344-554: Kayleen Devlin
*555-742 [End]: Rachel Willie

Book IV [11.25-12.25]

1-171: Liam Haydon
171-392: Hannah Priest
393-609: Nichi McCawley
610-796: Mark Littler
797-1015 [End]: Kate Ash

Book V [12.25 – 13.25]

1-208: Irene Huhulea
209-387: Rachel Jardine
388-599: Louise Machen
600-742: Gale Owen-Crocker
743-907 [End]: Stephen Gordon

Book VI [13.25 – 14.25]

1-188: Mike Sanders
189-385: Rachel Willie
386-567: Sarah Hardy
568-745: Laura Swift
*746-912 [End]: Mike Collier

Book VII [14.25-15.00]

1-215: Ishbel Saxton
216-448: Rhian Atkin
449-640 [End]: Rob Spencer?

Book VIII [15.00-15.35]

1-216: Mike Addelman
217-451: Emma Martindale
452-653 [End]: Hal Gladfelder

Book IX [15.35-16.35]

1-204: Patricia Campbell
205-375: Paul Reilly
376-566: Joel Swann
567-779: Verity Emanuel
780-989: Nichi McCawley
990-1189 [End]: James Smith

Book X [16.35-17.30]

1-208: Rachel Willie
209-459: Ian Pople
460-640: Laura Swift
641-908: Laura Henshaw
909-1104 [End]: Mike Collier

Book XI [17.30 – 18.25]

1-225: Naya Tsentourou
226-452: JT Welsch
453-683: Irene Huhulea
684-901 [End]: Joel Swann

Book XII [18.25-19.00]

1-269: Iain Bailey
270-465: Jerome de Groot
466-649 [End]: Liam Haydon

N.B. That the marking * indicates a section that does not begin with an indent.

Come down and support the Milton marathon on Friday!

The Milton marathon takes place on Friday from 9am in room A4. Come down to listen, have a muffin, and support the epic reading:

Tuesday 7 December 2010

Open letter to David Willetts from the Council for College and University English

CHAIR of CCUE                       
Professor Linda Anderson
School of English Literature,
Language and Linguistics
Newcastle University
Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 7RU   
Tel: 0191 2228059
                                  6th December, 2010

 To the Right Honourable David Willetts,

Open Letter from the Council for College and University English

As University teachers of English, we urge you to reconsider your proposals for the withdrawal of public funding for the teaching of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

We are deeply concerned both by the rapidity with which decisions are being made, and the ill-considered assumptions that underlie the proposals. According to the Browne report, just fifty hours of panel time have been devoted to ‘scrutinising the evidence, examining the options for reform and testing the recommendations’. A week, or slightly more, to remodel the entire basis of teaching in Britain’s Universities?

It is not clear to us that the market alone is an effective way of managing higher education; nor does it appear that any serious work has been done to predict the ways in which the proposed changes to that market will affect Higher Education institutions and the national and regional economies across the UK. The proposals are based upon assumptions about the different levels of economic and social utility of subjects in the Arts and Humanities on the one hand and those in the so called STEM area on the other. But the evidence of the last fifty years of Higher Education has demonstrated clearly that the skills, experiences and ideas that ‘non- priority’ subjects such as English provide are as fundamental to business as they are to the public sector. Society will be poorer for a lack of public investment in the arts and humanities; but business will be too.

Across a wide range of sectors graduates in English bring immense value to UK culture and the UK economy, making use of the rigorous critical training and advanced communication skills provided by University departments.

How can it make sense – in economic or any other terms – to withdraw public support from the teaching of subjects such as English in our Universities, with no serious analysis of either the assumptions guiding the decisions or their likely effects?

Professor Linda Anderson
on behalf of Council for College and University English

Feedback on modules

You will be asked to give feedback on modules in two ways over the next two weeks.

Firstly, seminar leaders will circulate EAS questionnaires, which are designed to have you consider how you have learnt, what helped your development, and if there are any ways that we can alter the course in order to ensure that in future it is the best it can be. Please fill these in seriously and carefully, as we use them to reflect upon our teaching and to enhance your experience here at Manchester.

Secondly, you will be asked to fill in more broader University questionnaires via your Student Portal. Again, please do consider your responses and think about the ways in which we have supported your learning through seminar teaching, feedback, office hours, library resourcing, and lectures.

Monday 6 December 2010

Council for College and University English OGM, 4 December

Our CCUE representative attended the OGM on Saturday, held in the School of Advanced Legal Study in Central London.

Representatives from English Literature and American Studies departments around the UK were met together to talk about the state of the subject and its future. In particular there was a discussion of 'impact' and how this might affect work in the discipline - how scholars might think about judging the cultural, social and economic import and effect of their research.

John Tusa gave an invigorating lecture calling upon the discipline to fight back against the coming cuts. He argued that the debate was impossible to win and instead of engaging with it the community should put its own points assertively and repeatedly, pointing out the success that the Arts community had had in arguing for continued funding since the late 1990s.

There was a fun panel on interdisciplinarity, pointing out the really good work and potential benefits of working with non-Higher Education Institutions from the Welsh National Assembly to the Royal Institution.

The closure of the English Subject Centre ( was lamented and there is a petition to sign - whether you are a undergraduate, postgraduate or staff member this organisation is invaluable and important. Please support it:

CCUE also agreed to prepare a statement deploring the government attitude to the Arts and Humanities and the ending of the teaching grant.  

Don't forget to sponsor Friday's Marathon Milton reading!

Sunday 5 December 2010

EAS message of support for student actions and occupations

Staff and postgraduate students from the English and American Studies in Manchester wish to convey their support for the occupation of the Roscoe Building and the ongoing student-led actions around the country in protest at the government’s wilful vandalising of the Higher Education sector.

The undersigned believe that the ending of government funding for the teaching of the Humanities and Social Sciences will alter the very nature of Higher Education. Cutting funding to the arts, humanities and social sciences undervalues the contributions of these subject areas to the economy, culture, and society of the UK (and the world).

The proposed measures will commercialise and commodify HE in a way that is quite at odds with free expression and the teaching of independent thought.

Putting the burden of funding onto students by the massive raising of tuition fees will be socially divisive and will lead to greater social inequality. The ending of the EMA scheme and the closure of AimHigher will ensure that those from poorer backgrounds will be excluded further.

We therefore support our students in their resistance to these regressive and unfair cuts.

Anke Bernau
Geoffrey Ryman
Robert Mitchell
James Smith
Noelle Gallagher
Humaira Saeed
Jerome de Groot
Michael Sanders
Benjamin Ware
Laura Doan
Liam Haydon
David Brown
Muzna Rahman
Carolyn Broomhead
Rebecca Pohl
Jade Munslow Ong
Irene Huhulea
Kaye Mitchell
Liam Harte
Iain Bailey
Robert Spencer
Geoff Ryman
Eithne Quinn
Howard Booth
Henry Thompson
Hal Gladfelder
Letizia Alterno
David Matthews
Jennie Chapman
Carys Crossen
David Alderson
Michael Bibler
Brian Ward
Andrew Frayn
Patricia Duncker
Jackie Pearson
Monica Pearl

Friday 3 December 2010

Student and staff - emergency meeting

NUS and UCU are calling an emergency meeting today at 5 p.m. following the announcement of the scheduling of the Higher Education vote in Parliament for next Thursday. Roscoe LT B, all welcome.

Thursday 2 December 2010


Dear Student,

From today, Wednesday the 1st December the online Unit Evaluation Questionnaire will go live for you to provide feedback and evaluate the course units which you have been taking during this semester. Your opinions really do matter.

Why complete a questionnaire?

You said that you wanted good quality, fast feedback on your assessed work – we implemented the Policy on Feedback in September 2010 which includes a 15 day feedback policy.

You said you wanted more library staff available during the 24 hour opening period, more staff have been made available during peak periods.

The results of the questionnaires will be collated and reviewed by senior academics within the School and Faculty, and appropriate actions will be taken as a result of your feedback.

How can I complete the questionnaire?


When can I complete the questionnaire?

ANY TIME ANY DAY until the 11 February 2011

Your opinion counts! Complete your Unit Evaluation Questionnaires and have your say!

What do you do? Mo Saqib, NUS Humanities Faculty Officer

Mo Saqib - Humanities Faculty Officer

Hi there, my name's Mo and I get to be your Humanities Faculty Officer for the next year! With 15,000 students, I represent the biggest faculty at the university, so I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can. This also means I'll be dealing with a huge range of issues in trying to make your university lives go as smoothly as possible; so if you ever need help with anything, do get in touch and I'll do my best to assist you (and it doesn't matter whether or not you're a Humanities student, as the Exec we're here to help all 40,000 of you!).

You can get in touch via email to:

Emergency meeting on Friday

The vote on whether to rise tuitions fees has finally been announced for Thursday 9th December. That gives us a week to act!

Please come to this emergency meeting tomorrow at 5pm in the Roscoe Occupation to make plans for the week.

Amanda Walters, NUS Campaigns Officer

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Research Seminar today on Shakespeare, all welcome

Roger Holdsworth, 'Marriage and Misogyny in The Winter's Tale', Poetry Centre (A4), 4pm, all welcome

JdG Powerpoint for teach-in, 1-3 today

EAS Charity of the year 2011

The EAS Charity of the Year will be the Red Cross, voted for by a large number of you.
We will have activities and events throughout the year to support their excellent work. If you want to do something to support them please contact Jerome de Groot. You might want to run the Manchester 10k, do a sponsored reading, wear red, ride around London at night, give time or donations to the shop in Chorlton, or sit in a bath of beans.

There are some quick ways to start helping here:

The first organised event for 2011will be the Pub QEAS, in early February - watch this space for date and location....

Monday 29 November 2010

EAS teach-in, Wednesday, 'Radicalism, literature, culture and the University'

Roscoe Building 1-3 Wednesday afternoon, come for talks, biscuits, and discussions of the beginnings of radical politics, the role of the university, and the importance of writers and artists in supporting struggle and articulating dissidence. Your chance to talk to EAS staff about how they see the ongoing student action, the proposed changes to the University system, and how (and why) we should strive to ensure that the Humanities are protected.

Remember, we want bread, but we want roses, too.

Talks will include:
Robert Spencer - Globalisation and the University
Carolyn Broomhead - Mary Wollstonecraft:  A Vindication of the Rights of Student(s)
Jerome de Groot - History of English Radical Politics - Levellers, Diggers, Ranters, Regicides
David Alderson - Marxism/ Queer tbc
Mike Sanders - Education and Class in the C19th

Information about the action tomorrow

Sunday 28 November 2010

What do you do? Sam Jones, assistant programmes administrator

If you’ve met me so far it will have been in my capacity as receptionist and/or assistant programmes administrator for English and American Studies.  For a month or so from the 29th November on, however, I’ll be covering the EAS assessments post.  Any essays you hand in will go through me, as will any marks you get back.  Any questions about assessments, feel free to get in touch.

Introducing Skrap!

Hello all! We are here to inform you about an exciting new performance night, due to launch the week starting the 6th December in Manchester. Our aim is to discover the areas of performance that do not get staged too regularly by opening a night dedicated to them. We are formed of students from Manchester University, but the night is not at all exclusive. We also have an acronym: Skrap! (if you can work it out then praise will be heaped onto you)

The launch night is on the search for performers. There are two parts which you might be interested in:

The Scratch Evening: This is a place where ideas at any stage of development can be shown to a receptive audience, you could even just read something you found interesting and want to discuss. You will be given ten minutes, to pitch, perform or do what you feel, before having the option to open to the floor to the audience, who will duly give feedback. It is open to anything however developed or formative, informality is essential.

Launch Night: Following the first scratch evening, there will be a presentation of mixed performance that will hopefully take place in every nook and cranny of the venue that we inhabit for the evening. We are looking for perhaps: dance, physical theatre, spoken word, storytelling, dance poetry, circus skills, cabaret, theatre, live/performance art, ideas for installations, bands, music, beatboxing, audio performance, mixed media performance, stand up comedy, film, acting, clowning and anything else involving an object in front of an audience. If you can do any of these things (or anything else) or even have an idea, e-mail us and you could perhaps be called on for this or the next Skrap!

If you are interested in performing in either part of the night or involved and helping out, then e-mail:

Charity of the year poll open until end of Tuesday

Don't forget to vote:

Another day of action on Tuesday

There will be another day of student action on Tuesday, from 12:

Supported by the UCU and the NUS:

Saturday 27 November 2010

Urban Flotsam at the Martin Harris Centre

                                                                            Urban Flotsam

                                                                The 2010 Studio Production

                         Composed by Michael Mayhew in collaboration with 3rd Year Students / Drama                                                                
                                                                    2nd December  ~ 1900hrs
All Tickets for the Evening Performance are to be
                                               collected from the Martin Harris Centre Main Office.

                                                                First Come First Serve.

                            Durational Performances ~ 31st December ~ 12:00hrs to 18:00hrs
                                                                    1st December ~ 1400hrs to 1700hrs
                                                                    2nd December ~ 1400hrs to 1700hrs

Urban Flotsam is a geographical orchestration of a city and of lives, using the intimate narratives of 11 performers.

These stories based on true moments of time and place have been retraced and weaved through the streets of the City of Manchester, within a process of re-mapping the city with intimacy.

                                         Memories re-invent place, time and landscape.

Whilst travelling through the urban networks we have gathered and collected the debris and wreckage that the urban landscape produces.

The driftwood of lives washed up around us has become our material to produce Urban Flotsam.

Urban Flotsam is a multi-disciplinary performance event that offers a multiple variations of engagement, from the durational to the traditional framing of time within performance to the taking of walks through to the generation of new maps of intimacy, to international participation.

                For more information log on ~

                Join the live streaming of Urban Flotsam on 1st & 2nd December
                From 1830hrs.

Third Year students have worked with John Thaw Fellow, Michael Mayhew for a 10-week period, engaging with a process that is cited as 'provocative, and challenging, it moves and changes people's lives' it's important, significant, and influential.'
                                     Lois Keidan, Director, Live Art Development Agency.

Mayhew is also cited as 'One of the most original and searching artists currently working in the UK.'
John E McGrath, Director, National Theatre of Wales.

Thursday 25 November 2010

UMNUS Feedback Survey

Meanwhile, in Italy, and across the UK (and the Roscoe Building)

Occupations in Pisa and Rome:

Occupations across the UK:

Events in the occupied Roscoe Building, Friday 25 Nov:

Information about action on Tuesday :

TV writing: Careers interview/ workshop

An interview with Debbie Oates, writer for Coronation Street.

Wednesday 8 December, 5.15pm, 5th floor, Crawford House, Booth Street East (above the careers service)

On Wed 8 Dec at 5.15pm, Debbie Oates, Coronation Street writer will  be talking at a University of Manchester Media Club event about what it’s like to write for the UK’s most successful television soap.  She will also draw on her experience of writing for hit series such as Fat Friends, Robin Hood, Primeval, Brookside and many more.  Debbie’s  successful career includes writing for television, radio and the theatre.  She has a degree in English and Drama from Bristol University and a Phd in Women’s Studies from the University of Manchester.   

If you are interested in television, radio or the theatre, this is your chance to hear from an established writer and learn how they work with producers and directors.  

You will also hear from Jo Combes, of the BBC Writers Room initiative about the Writers Room Future Talent Award and other initiatives. 

To register to attend this free event, email giving your contact details.

Students occupy Roscoe LT

Monday 22 November 2010

Wednesday's fun


Following the hugely successful national NUS/UCU demonstration on 10th November, which saw over 50, 000 people march on the streets of London to protest against education cuts (see, University of Manchester Students' Union have called a demonstration in Manchester to coincide with the National Day of Action on Wednesday 24th November.

The protest will assemble at 12pm outside University Place and will be followed by a march via MMU to the Town Hall.

UMUCU Executive Committee

Sunday 21 November 2010

Email your MP

Please help us put pressure on them so that they vote against a rise in tuition fees by sending them an email. The template email is in this Facebook group or pasted below. :

Details can be found here:

Dear (Insert name) MP,

I have recently taken part in the UCU/NUS national demonstration to defend further and higher education against cuts and fees, and to protect our future.

I believe that the cuts to education, imposed by the new coalition government will have detrimental effect on current students, prospective students and communities as universities begin to withdraw services in order to balance their budgets. The removal of the Education Maintenance Allowance will have a massively negative effect on further education students and when we add to that the coalition
Governments plan to raise University tuition fees to £6-9k with the removal of state funding for all but STEM subjects I am concerned that students will be expected to pay more money for their university education and, in return, receive a poorer student experience.

The result of this Government’s action will be to shut out many of our young people from education.

We are already starting to see effects at such as:
• Course, module and campus closures
• Staff redundancies, both academic and support staff
• Less money available for student support
• Merged classes: therefore less tailored teaching and one-to-one support.
• Fewer resources: this could mean fewer books in the library, or fewer materials for students and the cost of buying materials could therefore fall to the individual student.
• Cuts to Basic Skills and ESOL provision

Countries around the world value their education systems and are working hard to attract oversees students. Cuts to higher education means that countries such as China and India will start to attract both international and domestic students taking much needed money from the system, therefore lowering the funding and standards of the UK higher education system.

Universities and colleges are also large employers in the community and contribute a huge amount of money to the local economy. Cuts to education will result in a rise in local unemployment and a reduction in the amount the institution contributes locally.

I look forward to hearing your response to these issues and ask that you do all that you can as my representative in Parliament to stop these attacks on education and fight to preserve, and fund our future.

Yours Sincerely,

Thursday 18 November 2010


Feedback comes in all kinds of ways - written, spoken, summative, formative. In EAS we use feedback to help you improve your thinking about the subject, your ability with texts and ideas, and your performance in assessment. You should be constantly learning and seeking ways to augment and improve how you study, how you read, how you discuss, and how you write.

You will be receiving your essays back in class from now on. Please do seek out your seminar leaders in their office hours to discuss written feedback. Remember to use your feedback to improve your work - be it written, in seminar, or in the library - in the future.

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Sexuality meets medieval

Sexuality meets Medieval Studies in Monday's MANCASS  talk. All welcome:  

Mon 22 November 2010 at  5.00 p.m.  Dr David Clark, University of Leicester, 'Acts, Identity, and Self(-Abuse) in Medieval Literature'.

In The Poetry Centre, now Room A4, ground floor Samuel Alexander Building.

Gale Owen-Crocker

Follow EAS on Twitter

EAS in the news

<JdG blushes>

EAS Student Representatives 10/11 (reminder)

EAS Student Representatives 10/11

To discuss student representation please contact Dr. Daniela Caselli,

1st years
Christine Homer
Talitha Colchester
2nd Year
Joseph White (EL)

3rd Year
Abigail Davis
Sarah Moran (EL)
Clare Evans (EL)
Charukie.Dharmaratne (?)
Rachel Gledhill (El)
Rosie. Rees-Bann (EL)

Tabatha O’Brien-Butcher (MA Cont Lit)
Rosemary Glynn (MA GSC)
Emma Howat (MA Cont Lit)
Catherine Johnson (MA American Studies)

Muzna Raman
Carina Spaulding
Rena Jackson
Liam Haydon
Irene Huhulea

Exhibition on sustainable travel today in University Place

Tuesday 16 November 2010

Student action/ walkout

[this from Sarah Hardy]: A meeting about student action against the cuts will happen in MR1 in the Union, Friday at 5. Staff and Phd students welcome. A walkout is being planned for the 24th - more information will be available at the meeting on Friday.

EAS Research Seminar

The EAS seminar series returns this week with not one, but two (!) events:

4pm Tuesday 16 November, Mansfield Cooper 2.04
Our recent graduate Evan Jones and poet/editor Todd Swift will be discussing their new anthology of Canadian poetry. There is a free poetry reading at the Burgess Centre following this event.

4pm Wednesday 17 November, Poetry Centre
Christine Ferguson (Glasgow) will be speaking about 'Determined Spirits:  Spiritualism, Heredity and the Natural History of the Medium'.

World AIDS day

Hello there,

World AIDS Day 2010 – we need your help! World AIDS Day is an international day of action to raise awareness about HIV and challenge stigma.

It's a great opportunity to get involved and make a difference – whether that’s through fundraising, campaigning, or wearing a red ribbon.Manchester World AIDS Day Partnership lots of activities that we need your support with, including:· Helping with street collections in Manchester· Selling candles and collecting donations at the Vigil on World AIDS Day· Taking a collecting tin/red ribbons into your school, college, workplace or to local business.To get involved, sign up at: or


Thank you for your support

Manchester World AIDS Day Partnership

Sign the petition, support the Humanities
also on this matter:

EAS Charity of the Year 2011

If you know of a local charity that you feel we should support, or a charity that the EAS community might or should have a close link to, please tell Jerome de Groot so that they might be chosen as our inaugural Charity of the Year. If there are multiple suggestions there will be a vote. Deadline: 23 November. 

Lunchtime Lecture Week 8, Walt Whitman by Ian McGuire

Ian will lecture on Whitman's  ‘Crossing Brooklyn Ferry’, Schuster Building, Rutherford LT, 1.10-1.40 Wednesday 17 Nov. All welcome.

Friday 12 November 2010

Tuesday 9 November 2010

December 1910 Centenary blog

An innovative blog for a conference based around Virginia Woolf’s famous and controversial statement that 'on or about December 1910 human character changed':

Save The Words!

Help keep obscure words in common usage:

Follow EAS on Twitter

Monday 8 November 2010

What do you do? Fiona Fraser, Student Support Officer

My name is Fiona Fraser and I am the Student Support Officer in the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures.  Myself and my colleague Laura Prescott are here to assist you to make the very best of your time in Manchester and can work with you to address any difficulties you might have during the course of your studies. This might include help with financial, personal or academic issues. Where we are not best able to help you ourselves, we can also signpost you to other relevant sources of information and advice around the University and the City. We are located in A15, Samuel Alexander Building and run a 15-min drop-in service on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2pm-4pm (during term-time)

Lunchtime Lecture week 7, Elizabeth Bishop, Sestina

John McAuliffe will lecture on Elizabeth Bishop's poem 'Sestina' which can be read here:

1.10-1.40, Rutherford Lecture Theatre, Schuster Building. All Welcome.

Saturday 6 November 2010

EAS Staff vs JRUL Staff, 18 November

Come and watch some creaking limbs play 8-aside football at Trinity High School (behind the Library) for campus bragging rights from 5-6pm, 18 Nov, drinks afterwards at the Ducie Arms.

Friday 5 November 2010

Don't forget to sponsor the Marathon Milton reading!

What are you reading? Dr Jerome de Groot

Reading during term is always amazing - varied and wonderful texts, a range of the best works ever written - but stressful, as there is never enough time and so the experience is always pressurised. I am currently blitzing on winners of the Nobel prize - Toni Morrison's Beloved for a class on historical fiction, Pinter, Golding and Heaney for an upcoming adult education weekend on British winners. Not too shabby, frankly. I also have Jeanette Winterson's The Passion to reread this week and my staple diet of John Milton, early modern revenge tragedy, Andrew Marvell's poetry and if I am lucky some secondary materials to ponder, prepare and respond to. Throw in a few journal articles I am reviewing, a doctoral thesis I am examining in a few weeks, and writing feedback on student essays, and my time is really quite full. I do have China Mieville's The City and the City waiting to be finished when I can, and Patricia Cornwell's Postmortem to read after that, but I predict I won't get to them until the Christmas break...

Tuesday 2 November 2010

What are you reading? Sarah Hardy, Peer Mentor

This semester I am taking 'Jamestown to James Brown' which traces the African American experience from slavery to the twentieth century meaning that I am reading a mixture of historical essays, slave narratives and antebellum slave poetry. Outside of the set texts I have been reading Barack Obama’s Dreams from my Father which both reinforces many of the themes we look at in 'Jamestown', and also has been an enjoyable and very manageable read.

In September I read Richard Wright’s Native Son which tells the story of Bigger Thomas’s murders, rapes and subsequent trial in Chicago in the early twentieth century. Wright states in his introduction that in writing Native Son he hoped to illustrate the everyday discrimination and poverty faced by African Americans in a narrative that 'would be so hard and deep' that the white audience would 'have to face it without the consolation of tears'.  80 years after its publication Wright’s novel is still an uncomfortable and at times shocking read, possibly more so as many of the themes and frustrations raised in the novel are still relevant and manifest themselves in modern explorations of the African American experience such as The Wire.

This semester I have also been reading Milton’s Paradise Lost as part of the Thursday reading group. Although confusing to follow (particularly as I have no basic knowledge of the Bible) each week I find I am able to understand more and follow the subsequent discussion. I particularly found our reading of Book 4 interesting as I could see Milton’s direct influence on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein which I studied in Year 1. However, whether my enthusiasm for Milton will last remains to be seen as the epic charity reading in December may prove to be overkill...

Monday 1 November 2010

More on the Browne report

Stefan Collini reviews the Browne report into funding in Higher Education:

The Browne report

An illustrious former student of the University of Manchester writes...

What are you reading? Laura Swift, Peer Mentor

I've been reading The Original of Laura, the novel Vladimir Nabokov was working on when he died in 1977. He requested in his will that it be destroyed after his death, but it was finally published last year. The narrative is often disjointed but there are moments of beautiful language and enchanting character studies. I find it more interesting as an artefact than as a novel, but the book emphasises this, reproducing facsimiles of each of Nabokov's handwritten index cards and perforating the edges so that the reader can remove and rearrange them, 'as the author likely did when he was writing the novel.'

Friday 29 October 2010

What are you reading? Jennifer Evans, Peer Mentor

At the moment it seems as if the work load for 3rd year is never ending and the amount of reading I have to do in a week certainly reduces my time allowed to spend on reading books for ‘pleasure’. However, it has recently been my 21st Birthday and my Aunty bought me the collection of books nominated for the Booker Shortlist, which, as you can imagine, I was extremely happy about! So, I have tried to start to read one of them, a few pages at a time, before I go to bed. The book is called Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey. I don’t usually read Historical novels, however the cover of the book instantly grabbed me. It is the story of Olivier, the son of a French aristocrat who escaped the bloodbath of the French revolution and his servant Parrot who both travel to America to explore its notion of democracy. I have only read the first chapter so far of Olivier’s story but it already has me hooked. I think you need something that will take you away from your studies for a while, even if it is only a few pages before you go to bed!

Second Year Focus groups

If are a Second Year and you would like to be involved in Focus Groups about feedback, assessment, and curriculum design please contact

What are you reading? Dr Mike Sanders

Like a number of my colleagues I am in the fortunate position of being on research leave this semester and am taking full advantage of having more time for reading than is the case during a teaching semester.

At the moment, as part of my current research project, I'm reading Thomas Cooper's Chartist epic, The Purgatory of Suicides (1845). Written whilst Cooper was serving a prison sentence following his role in the mass strikes of 1842 and consisting of 944 Spenserean stanzas or 8,496 lines of poetry, with a cast-list that ranges from Mithridates to Mark Anthony and from Judas Iscariot to Castlereagh, it is a demanding but rewarding read.

For general interest I am alternating between James Shapiro's 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare and Rob Young's Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music. The former offers a fascinating account of how Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It & Hamlet all came to be written in 1599. The latter explores the manifold ways in which folk music has been interpreted and transformed from Cecil Sharp and Ralph Vaughan Williams through Ewan MacColl, Shirley Collins and Nick Drake to Kate Bush and Julian Cope. Light relief is provided by a Marxist classic, in this case the collected scripts of Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel.

Following the announcement of the ConDem's Comprehensive Spending Review, which clearly aims to return Britain to the 1920s and 30s, I  have decided it is time to prepare for the coming crisis by re-reading some of the classic working-class fiction of that era, beginning with Lewis Jones' We Live and Walter Brierley's Sandwichman.

Thursday 28 October 2010

What do you do? Dr. David Alderson, EAS Research Officer

As Research Officer, I'm responsible for implementing our research strategy and for monitoring our progress in the lead-up to the next Research Excellence Framework in 2014. The latter ranks academic departments in the UK on the basis of the research they carry out, and distributes funding on the basis of that. At the moment, we are ranked joint second in the UK, and it's partly because of this that Manchester is recognised as one of the major English departments internationally. I also oversee the John Edward Taylor Fellowships which bring two eminent academics to Manchester each year in order to give lectures open to everyone and seminars to EAS postgraduate students and staff.

Joint UCU/ NUS Demo against cuts

'Fund Our Future: Stop Education Cuts' – Wed 10 Nov 2010,

Wednesday 27 October 2010

What are you reading? Rebecca Parton, Peer Mentor

At the moment I am reading Sir Gawain and the Green Knight for my Medieval Romance course. The North Western dialect is almost intractable without a good translation, but the alliterative verse in the original language is a joy to hear! There seems to be very little time for ‘pleasure’ reading as an English student so it is fortunate then that most of what we study I thoroughly enjoy. If pushed for my real pleasurable reading indulgence then I would have to say it is a toss-up between George Eliot and Vogue!

Being a Student Representative

University of Manchester – EAS Student Representation
Matt Crow (

There are a number of different levels of representation for students of English and American Studies at the University Manchester running from University, through Faculty and School to Subject level.  Last year I sat on the EAS taught programmes committee, the EAS staff-student liaison committee, the School Undergraduate Student Representative Committee, the School Undergraduate Programmes committee and the Faculty staff-student liaison group; all of these groups meet roughly once a semester, some more regularly.

Liaison committees act as a forum for students to express concerns, constructive criticism or praise about their courses or their experiences of study at Manchester, be this access to library resources or feeding back on developments relatively new to the University, such as student use of Blackboard.  Programme committees discuss developments and introductions to course units, among other roles. Here students can feed back on how successful they felt their particular courses ran academically and discuss proposed amendments to courses. Minutes for all meetings are documented, copies of which can be obtained from your representative; all actions taken over points raised in meetings are fed-back at the next committee where relevant.

Representatives are appointed after having nominated themselves for the EAS staff-student liaison committee and draw from both their own experiences and those of a range of other students to contribute to committee discussions; representatives can always be contacted by other students and their details are publicised throughout the year.

Tuesday 26 October 2010

Lunchtime LecturEAS: Wednesday, all welcome

Lecture given by Roger Holdsworth, 1.10-1.40, Rutherford Lecture Theatre, Schuster Building, Wednesday. The topic is Shakespeare's Sonnet 144

What are you reading? Dr. Andrew Frayn

My current reading is focused on my works in progress which, broadly speaking, focus on ideas of mass culture and civilization, decline, and disenchantment.  A cheery bunch of topics, I know.  I've recently been wrestling with Niall Ferguson's The War of the World, which sees the twentieth century from 1904 to 1953 as a single, ongoing conflict.  It's magisterial in knowledge and scope, and by turns brilliant and infuriating.  That response, I think, would please Ferguson, a revisionist historian, and I'm sympathetic to his aims.  Gary Sheffield's Forgotten Victory also offers an alternative narrative of the First World War, and one which will surprise a number of you-- perhaps even most.

I'm in London currently, and my reading on the tube is Matei Calinescu's Five Faces of Modernity, a classic account of the development of European modernity and modernism which I've been meaning to get around to for some time.  In the British Library I'm reading Ford Madox Ford's The Marsden Case, a scarce novel which is a fascinating precursor to his magnum opus, the war tetralogy Parade's End; a Tom Stoppard adaptation of this series is being filmed for the BBC at the moment.

For fun I'm turning, when I have a moment, to Alasdair Gray's Old Men In Love.  Gray is a literary master-craftsman in the fullest sense; he writes wonderful, thought-provoking prose, and designs all of his books: illustrations, typesetting and all.  Poor Things and A History Maker are his most accessible, in my opinion, though Lanark: a Life in Four Books is his challenging classic.

Long Essay lecture - reminder

Lecture: 27 October, 1-2, Samuel Alexander LT
Dr Alan Rawes will be holding an information lecture to outline the
workings of the Long Essay and to answer questions.

What are you reading? Joe White, Peer Mentor Co-ordinator

At the moment, essay deadlines are looming - which means most of my reading is academic. Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko, and John McLeod’s Beginning Postcolonialism are currently glaring at me, each half open, atop my desk. I also came across The History of the English Novel today, by Ernest A. Baker, which (as boring as it sounds) is a great starting point anybody preparing an essay on any English novel.

When I’m not reading through course material, I have a soft spot for Stephen King, and generally try to keep up to date with his latest. Sometimes I have a browse through an autobiography or two - I’m halfway through Clarence Clemons’ life story at the moment. He’s the saxophonist from the E Street Band (Bruce Springsteen’s backing band. I love Springsteen’s music way too much).

If you’re looking for something to read, I can highly recommend: To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, and Salem’s Lot, by Stephen King. The former novel is the reason I’m studying English Literature (even though it’s an American text), and the latter, after Dracula, is probably THE definitive vampire tale (none of this Edward Cullen nonsense). Read them, and love them.

Monday 25 October 2010

What do you do? Dr. Ian Scott, Admissions Officer

As Admissions Tutor I get to plan our recruitment year-on-year, how many students on each degree, what kind of offers we make to prospective students, how we present the degrees and department at Open Days etc. In liaison with the School Admissions Office we have to plan publicity years in advance, negotiate our entrance requirements and thoroughly examine our processes each year to make sure we’re as scrupulously fair as we can be when it comes to deciding on offers. Admissions is a tricky business for us and the whole university these days. If we miscalculate either way we can end up with either too few students or, as is the danger in our case, way too many, and that has serious resource implications.

Office hours, 2010 Semester One

Office hours are times that staff members devote to meeting with students. You may come along and talk about any aspect of the course that you wish; no appointment necessary.

Undergraduate Programme Director
Dr Jerome de Groot, Room S.1.16
Tuesday 1-2, Thursday 10-11

Course Unit Directors Level 1
Dr Daniela Caselli, Room W105
CUD, Reading Literature
10-11 Wednesday, 12-1Thursday

Prof. Gale Owen-Crocker, Room S.1.11
CUD, Mapping the Medieval
Mondays 1-2, Tuesdays 1-2

Dr. David Matthews, Room S.1.6
CUD, Academic Development
Tuesday 11-12, Wednesday 12-1

Dr. Natalie Zacek, Room N2.8
CUD, American History
Tuesdays 4-5, Thursdays 3-4

Prof. Brian Ward, N112
CUD, Jamestown to James Brown
Monday 10-11, Tuesday 10-11

Course Unit Directors Level 2
Dr. Noelle Gallagher, Room S.1.25
CUD, Writing the C18
Wednesdays 12-1, Thursdays 4-6

Dr. Jerome de Groot, Room S.1.16
CUD, Power and Gender
Tuesday 1-2, Thursday 10-11

Dr. David Matthews, Room S.1.6
CUD, Chaucer
Tuesday 11-12, Wednesday 12-1

Dr. David Alderson, Room W118
CUD, Gender, Sexuality and Culture
5-6 Monday, 1-2 Tuesday

Dr. Michael Bibler, Room N1.08
CUD, America in the 1940s and 1950s

1.2-30 Tuesday, 11-12 Wednesday

Dr. Jennie Chapman, Room W.1.09
CUD, American Literature and Social Criticism
Thursday 2-4

Research Seminar, Weds 4-5, Poetry Centre

EAS and Critical MASS welcome Judith Houck to the seminar series.  Her title is 'Treating Men at a Lesbian Health Clinic: Identity Politics, Feminist Organizing and Women's Health Care Provision'. All Welcome

EAS Student Representatives 10/11

To discuss student representation please contact Dr. Daniela Caselli,

1st years
Christine Homer
Talitha Colchester
2nd Year
Joseph White (EL)

3rd Year
Abigail Davis
Sarah Moran (EL)
Clare Evans (EL)
Charukie.Dharmaratne (?)
Rachel Gledhill (El)
Rosie. Rees-Bann (EL)

Tabatha O’Brien-Butcher (MA Cont Lit)
Rosemary Glynn (MA GSC)
Emma Howat (MA Cont Lit)
Catherine Johnson (MA American Studies)

Muzna Raman
Carina Spaulding
Rena Jackson
Liam Haydon
Irene Huhulea

Thursday 21 October 2010

Lecturer's Eye View: Photodiary of Week 5

Charity Milton Marathon

University of Manchester English and American Studies undergraduates, postgraduates, staff and friends will be undertaking to read aloud the entirety of John Milton’s Paradise Lost on 10 December (the day after the poet’s 402nd birthday).

The poem consists of well over 10,000 lines of verse and the entire marathon will take around 12 hours of continual reading.

This epic reading is to raise money for the RNIB (Milton became totally blind aged 46 and dictated the entirety of the poem).   

If you would like to participate (as a reader), please email:

If you would like to sponsor us, please do:

Lunchtime Lecture week 5, Shakespeare Sonnet 144

Lecture given by Roger Holdsworth, 1.10-1.40, Rutherford Lecture Theatre, Schuster Building, Wednesday 27th

Two loves I have of comfort and despair,
Which like two spirits do suggest me still:
The better angel is a man right fair,
The worser spirit a woman coloured ill.
To win me soon to hell my female evil
Tempteth my better angel from my side,
And would corrupt my saint to be a devil,
Wooing his purity with her foul pride;
And whether that my angel be turned fiend
Suspect I may, but not directly tell;
But being both from me both to each friend,
I guess one angel in another's hell.
Yet this shall I ne'er know, but live in doubt,
Till my bad angel fire my good one out.

Tuesday 19 October 2010

What are you reading? Dr. Howard Booth

Like Professor Duncker, I’m currently on research leave. I’m writing on Kipling again, which this time means mugging up on his early writing. (I still think his late stories are his best work.) And I too am reading DH Lawrence, this time the novella ‘The Captain’s Doll’. My response to Lawrence differs from Dr Turner’s. Lawrence is at once frighteningly radical – everything about the way we live and relate to one and other is damaged and needs to change – and also self-aware and self-ironising. Much is lost if we just take Lawrence ‘straight’. An example from Women in Love: during a country house weekend, the hostess Hermione tries to kill Rupert, with whom she has long been in love, by creeping up on him and trying to hit him on the head with a paperweight (a lump of lapis lazuli). At the last moment Rupert saves himself by interposing a volume of Thucydides. Yes, there are some characteristic Lawrentian themes in play here: emotions should be brought to the surface and not repressed, and love and hate are closer than we would like to think. But it also knows its own staginess and is sending up a world of rich patrons and artist sets that Lawrence knew well. When Cambridge University Press published a collection of essays entitled Lawrence and Comedy in 1996 some eyebrows were raised, but I think the editors and contributors were onto something. Perhaps this explains my discomfort at the first sentence of the letter in last Sunday’s Observer by Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis et al protesting about the proposed closure of the Lawrence Heritage Centre in Eastwood: ‘We are united in our belief that DH Lawrence is one of the world’s most important writers and that he has a unique place in British culture that should be celebrated.’ I’m glad they wrote the letter and fully support their cause, but the way they express themselves sounds much more ‘earnestly in earnest’ than Lawrence usually allowed himself to be.

Critical MASS Research Seminar for EAS

Katie Gough from the University of Glasgow will be presenting at 4pm on Wednesday in the Poetry Centre (A4). Her talk is entitled 'Authenticity and Performance: The Troubling Origins of the Harlem and Irish Renaissances.' All welcome.

What are you reading? Dr Nick Turner

I seem to have over a dozen books on the go: is this the sign of an erratic mind? Here are some of the best of them. DH Lawrence's Women in Love is intense, wonderfully offensive at times, and now unintentionally funny. He is worth ten of his blander compatriots.  Elizabeth Jane Howard is an assured comic writer, rising above accusations of being middlebrow, in Getting it Right. Michèle Roberts's The Book of Mrs. Noah somehow manages to be experimental, passionate, political, lyrical and highly readable all at the same time. And Barbara Pym is never far from the bedside table: someone to read again, and again, and again. 

Monday 18 October 2010

What are you reading? Dr. Robert Spencer

I am reading Philip Roth’s new novel, Nemesis. It is set, as usual, in Newark, New Jersey during the polio epidemic of 1944. It’s brilliant as always and has all the themes of Roth’s late fiction – anxious masculinity, the capricious nature of fate, lucid nostalgia, the awful fact of mortality and impotent rage at God. I’m also appreciating Peter Ackroyd’s Jack Maggs, which retells Great Expectations from Magwitch’s point of view. Less arduous but equally thought-provoking is Tim Krabbe’s The Ride which I read on the train yesterday for the six millionth time – the best book about cycling ever written. Krabbe is the Joseph Conrad of sport writing.


The first meeting year of the Manchester Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies will be held at 5.00pm today (Monday 18 October) in the Poetry Centre. Ian Riddler will talk about objects made of bone, horn and antler. No wheelie bins for the Anglo-Saxons, everything got used.

Gale Owen-Crocker

Manchester Literature Festival

Is in full swing:

Lecturer's Eye View: photos from around the department

Friday 15 October 2010

Lunchtime LecturEAS

Come along and hear an expert talk about a piece of poetry, prose, film or drama at lunchtime on Wednesdays. Each session will comprise a 20 minute lecture and a 10 minute Q&A. You should read the poem in advance (posted on the EAS blog). Lectures run from 1.10-1.40, Wednesday afternoons, Rutherford LT, Schuster Building.

Semester 1

Week 4
Jerome de Groot
John Milton, Sonnet 19 (‘When I consider how my light is spent’)

Week 5
Roger Holdsworth
Shakespeare, Sonnet 144 ('Two loves I have, of comfort and despair')

Week 7
John McAuliffe
Elizabeth Bishop poem tbc

Week 8
Ian McGuire
Walt Whitman, ‘Crossing Brooklyn Ferry’

Week 9
Malcolm Hicks
Robert Browning, ‘Inapprehensiveness’

Week 10
Ian Scott
Film clips tbc

Week 11
Andrew Frayn
Richard Aldington, ‘In the Tube’ and ‘Cinema Exit’

Semester 2
Programme to be finalised, but lectures from Hal Gladfelder, Anke Bernau, Michael Sanders (on John Clare, ‘Remembrances’), Roger Holdsworth (on WH Auden, ‘Musee des Beaux Arts’), Howard Booth, Noelle Gallagher (John Dryden poem tbc).

Thursday 14 October 2010

What are you reading? Professor Patricia Duncker

Research Sabbaticals are a time to catch up on reading. I am writing about Virginia Woolf's late style. Did she have one? And reading Between the Acts (1941) and Michael Cunningham's appallingly pseudo- Woolfian aren't-I-clever fantasy of three women in different time zones, based on Mrs Dalloway and using Woolf's working title - The Hours (1999). I have tried to read it twice before and never got further than page 24, now on page 74. Victory. Also, a more interesting scholarly work - Romantic Moderns by Alexandra Harris (Thames and Hudson, 2010). Bold, original and sumptuously illustrated.

Monday 11 October 2010

Thouron Award

The Thouron AwardGraduates of British universities receive support for up to two years
for a graduate (post-graduate) degree program at the University of
Pennsylvania. Penn, an Ivy League institution, is one of the world?s
leading research universities. With 12 schools on one contiguous
campus in Philadelphia, it offers a wide range of postgraduate courses 
in the Schools of Arts & Sciences, Communication, Dental Medicine,
Design, Education, Engineering and Applied Science, Architecture &
Regional Planning, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Social Policy, and
Veterinary Medicine, as well as the Wharton School of Business.
Typically, 6 to10 Awards are made each year to British graduates.
More information, including application forms and instructions, is
available at:

Mario Vargas Llosa wins the Nobel Prize for Literature

Thursday 7 October 2010

Research Seminar

Oct 13: David Alderson, 'Saturday's Enlightenment', A4 Sam Alex, 4-5 All Welcome

Wednesday 6 October 2010

EAS Long Essay (Third Years) lecture - COMPULSORY

Lecture: 27 October, 1-2, Samuel Alexander LT
Dr Alan Rawes will be holding an information lecture to outline the
workings of the Long Essay and to answer questions.

Comments from External Examiners on EAS degrees

External examiners are experts in their fields appointed from Universities around the UK to provide oversight on our assessment procedures. The comments below come from the most recent set of reports:

'The BA course is excellent: fascinating, well-designed course, excellent full feedback, producing some work of a very high intellectual calibre'

'staff offer a wide range of innovative, challenging, and interesting modules [...] staff provide detailed, constructive feedback on the marking sheets for essays and examinations and the robustness of the internal moderation is well-documented'

'Feedback was detailed and constructive, and it was clear that staff were committed to and engaged in the intellectual development of the students [...] an excellent undergraduate programme which pushed students to engage with a range of different cultural forms'

'Excellent feedback on student essays, and a well-designed proforma to enable this. High levels of care and attention in marking'

Tuesday 5 October 2010

2011 World Youth Leaders Forum, Hong Kong

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), a partner university of The University of Manchester, is holding a World Youth Leaders Forum from 20 to 22 July 2011 in Hong Kong for approx. 100 participants.  Undergraduate students from any discipline area are eligible to submit abstracts for consideration.  The successful nominee(s) from The University of Manchester will be sponsored by CUHK.

The Forum has the following objectives:

 (i)             To provide a platform to university students worldwide to exchange views on topics of regional or global interest;

(ii)             To promote cross-cultural exposure and friendship;

(iii)           To foster social responsibility and concerns on regional or global issues; and

(iv)           To nurture a sense of global inter-dependence.

The theme in 2011 is 'Reshaping the Post-Crisis World Order'. The global financial crisis in previous years has had severe impacts on the entire world. CUHK are eager to listen to original and creative ideas from young leaders across the continents on the theme and its related issues.

Nominees must meet the following criteria for consideration:

(i)            Be undergraduates in their second year of study or above;

(i)              With outstanding academic performance (an academic average of at least 65%), with vision and leadership potential;

(ii)             Interested in global and local issues, and eager to consider solutions;

(iii)           Respectful and appreciative of others' values and beliefs.

Students who are accepted for participation will be provided with free meals and accommodation during the Forum, as well as subsidized airfare/ transportation.  For further information, please refer to the e-leaflet of the Forum <> . Please read this information carefully.  The e-leaflet explains the format of the abstract that is required as part of the selection process.

Dr. Michael Bibler, CUD American Lit to 1900, Office Hours

Tuesday 1-2:30;Weds 11-12; by appt. Office N.1.8.

SAHC Careers Facebook page!/pages/The-University-of-Manchester-Careers-SAHC/159788307371514?ref=ts

Nobel Prizes for Manchester

Two scientists who discovered graphene at The University of Manchester have today been awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics.

Professor Andre Geim and Dr Konstantin Novoselov have been awarded the highest accolade in the scientific world for their pioneering work with the world’s thinnest material.

Graphene was discovered at the University in 2004. It has rapidly become one of the hottest topics in materials science and solid-state physics.

It not only promises to revolutionise semiconductor, sensor, and display technology, but could also lead to breakthroughs in fundamental quantum physics research.

Dr Novoselov, 36, first worked with Professor Geim, 51, as a PhD-student in the Netherlands. He subsequently followed Geim to the United Kingdom. Both of them originally studied and began their careers as physicists in Russia.

The award of the Nobel Prize means there are currently four Nobel Laureates at The University of Manchester.

University of Manchester President and Vice-Chancellor Nancy Rothwell said: “This is fantastic news. We are delighted that Andre and Konstantin’s work on graphene has been recognised at the very highest level by the 2010 Nobel Prize Committee.

“This is a wonderful example of a fundamental discovery based on scientific curiosity with major practical, social and economic benefits for society.”

Monday 4 October 2010

English and American Studies Staff-Student Liaison Committee

English and American Studies holds termly a Staff-Student Liaison Committee meant to give students the opportunity to speak about various aspects of their experience. The SSLC is a constructive forum where the staff representative and the students representatives can exchange views on matters concerning the Department and the School, discuss and explain various issues, and agree on the best way forward.

Every year we issue a call for representatives. We need representatives for every year and each Single Honours programme. The pool of representatives is also used to invite select representatives to Departmental and School committees. To be a representative you will need to be active in seeking your peers' view on teaching, administration, assessment, etc. and be willing to act as a spokesperson for them.

If you would be willing to act as a representative on the department's Staff-Student Liaison Committee, firstly 'thank you' and secondly, please in the first instance contact Dr. Daniela Caselli,, by Friday 15 October 2010.

When replying, please state your name and degree programme in your email. Please note that meetings are held termly and last one hour.

Peer Mentor drop-in sessions for all years

Peer Mentor drop-in sessions, for discussion of any aspect of your course, will run every Thursday 1-2 in Mansfield Cooper 2.05.

Top 25 UK Arts & Culture blogs

via Creative Tourist:

Friday 1 October 2010


 Feedback can be given in a number of ways - formally, through sheets attache to submitted work or discussion with your Academic Advisor, or informally, through comments and advice given during class or via email. Be sure to use the feedback you are given to improve your work and develop your learning.

Bernard Cornwell competition

Academic Advisors

A reminder that all returning Year 2 and Year 3 students should contact their Academic Advisors to arrange a meeting this term. Year 1 students will meet their AAs as part of Academic Development. Joint Honours and Combined Studies Students should check the Academic Advisory information relating to their home discipline or department.

Milton Reading Group

Come and join the Milton reading group, 4-6 on Thursdays in S.1.16 Samuel Alexander Building. Currently the group is working its way through Paradise Lost and they will be looking at Book 2 next Thursday. All welcome, a very good way to begin to pay closer attention to this important work. Further info email

Thursday 30 September 2010

Peer Mentor drop-in sessions TODAY

Mansfield Cooper Building 2.05 from 12-1
The Peer Mentors will be running drop-in sessions today. You can go along and ask them questions about any aspect of your course and your experience at Manchester, and they will give you help, information and moral support!

National Student Survey highlights (2010)

Questions about teaching:

1. Staff are good at explaining things: 95%
2. Staff have made the subject interesting: 88%
3. Staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching: 97%
4. The course is intellectually stimulating: 98%

Teaching section average score: 95%

This is the joint highest score in the University

Wednesday 29 September 2010

Office hours, 2010 Semester One

Office hours are times that staff members devote to meeting with students. You may come along and talk about any aspect of the course that you wish; no appointment necessary.

Undergraduate Programme Director
Dr Jerome de Groot, Room S.1.16
Tuesday 1-2, Thursday 10-11

Course Unit Directors Level 1
Dr Daniela Caselli, Room W105
CUD, Reading Literature
10-11 Wednesday, 12-1Thursday

Prof. Gale Owen-Crocker, Room S.1.11
CUD, Mapping the Medieval
Mondays 1-2, Tuesdays 1-2

Dr. David Matthews, Room S.1.6
CUD, Academic Development
Tuesday 11-12, Wednesday 12-1

Dr. Natalie Zacek, Room N2.8
CUD American History
Tuesdays 4-5, Thursdays 3-4

Prof. Brian Ward, N112
CUD, Jamestown to James Brown
Monday 10-11, Tuesday 10-11

Course Unit Directors Level 2
Dr. Noelle Gallagher, Room S.1.25
CUD, Writing the C18
Wednesdays 12-1, Thursdays 4-6

Dr. Jerome de Groot, Room S.1.16
CUD, Power and Gender
Tuesday 1-2, Thursday 10-11

Dr. David Matthews, Room S.1.6
CUD, Chaucer
Tuesday 11-12, Wednesday 12-1

Dr. David Alderson, Room W118
CUD, Gender, Sexuality and Culture
5-6 Monday, 1-2 Tuesday

Dr. Jennie Chapman, Room W.1.09
CUD American Literature and Social Criticism
Thursday 2-4