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.'