Thursday 24 February 2011

Toller Lecture

The annual MANCASS Toller Lecture will be held at 6pm on Monday 7 March 2011 in the Historic Reading Room, John Rylands University Library, Deansgate Building. The speaker is Professor Barbara Yorke and the topic is 'King Alfred and the traditions of Anglo-Saxon kingship' ALL WELCOME.
The lecture will be followed by a FREE wine reception. There will also be a dinner at Pesto's following the lecture. Anyone wishing to attend the dinner should give their name and £20 to Professor Gale Owen-Crocker BY WEDNESDAY 2 MARCH 2011. (That includes wine.)

Tuesday 22 February 2011


This spring brings a theatrical explosion to Manchester, the Manchester In-Fringe Theatre Festival 2011. Nine Stunning student productions, with something for everyone; ranging from political satire with Posh Oxford Boys, fantastical new writing, mad monkeys, jazz, domestic violence, a post-apocalyptic world and everything in between. Come support the Arts and be entertained by the finest from the University of Manchester’s Drama Society. 


Check out the trailer for this year's festival and come along if you like what you see...


Tickets £4.50 for students, £4.00 for Drama Society members. Tickets available from the Union box office on Oxford Road. Limited number of tickets may be available on the door. For more information visit

Friday 18 February 2011

Heritage Lottery Fund award set to transform Whitworth Art Gallery

The Whitworth Art Gallery has been awarded £8million by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards the long-awaited extension designed by leading architects MUMA.

This development will transform the gallery - one of The University of Manchester’s best-loved cultural treasures - creating a new experience that can be shared by visitors from across the local community with those coming from further afield.

At the heart of the project is an elegant 21st-century extension that will double the size of the public space at the gallery. An art garden will be created and new main entrance will welcome visitors directly from Whitworth Park. 

Images here: 

Publisher workshops at the JRUL

PhD Studentships in Romanticism and Gender Studies

The School of Arts and Social Sciences at Northumbria University is currently offering a number of PhD studentships in Arts, English & Creative Writing, History, Media and Social Sciences, to commence in October 2011. These postgraduate Research studentships have been designed to provide students with high quality supervision from experts in their field and involvement in the vibrant research culture within the School.

There are two studentships in English Literature; one in Romanticism, and one in Gender Studies. For further information, please visit

Informal enquiries can be directed to Professor Allan Ingram:

Thursday 17 February 2011


Ordinary General Meeting Wednesday 9th March 12.30 – 1.30pm
Basement Lecture Theatre, Dover Street Building

This is a reminder about the Ordinary General Meeting on the 9th March. 
The purpose of this meeting is to discuss motions for Congress 2011. 

The Branch Executive Committee will be proposing four motions, which can be viewed at the following link:

Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey Results

The University has improved its score in this influential survey, rising from 52nd in the country to 33rd (out of 113 Higher Education Institutions in the UK).

This reflects the efforts made over the past years to improve the student experience, although there is still much work to do. The University as a whole scored 77.36 overall (number one was Loughborough University scoring 84.90). The University scored particularly well on questions relating to High Quality of Staff and Lecturers, Good Library, Good Campus Environment and Good Social Life. On a 7-point scale the average respondent scored 6.1 for 'I would recommend my University to a friend'.

Whilst such surveys are blunt instruments at analysing and gauging the student experience this does demonstrate that we have been striving to improve things over the past years, and have a set of plans in place to continue and sustain these changes.

Surveys like this and the upcoming National Student Survey are influential in encouraging applications from school and college students. They also affect the standing of the degree programme and the perception of the University nationally, and you should consider this when undertaking them.

Why Allegory Now? A One-Day Interdisciplinary Conference

Why Allegory Now?

A One-Day Interdisciplinary Conference

Registration for the 'Why Allegory Now?' conference is now open.

The conference is hosted by the University of Manchester with the support of the Royal Historical Society, the Society for Renaissance Studies, SAGE and Routledge (Taylor and Francis Group). It will take place on Friday 1st April 2011 at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester.

A provisional programme can be found at

Please email for a copy of the registration form and information regarding travel, accommodation and eating out. The registration form can either be completed electronically and emailed to the conference address or completed by hand and returned to the address on page 1 of the form. Registration closes on Friday 25th March 2011.

The conference fee is £14. Please note that there are 20 x £5 fee reduction bursaries available from the Royal Historical Society and 20 x £5 fee reduction bursaries available from the Society for Renaissance Studies. Postgraduates working in either History or Renaissance-related areas are eligible for these bursaries and they will be awarded on a first come, first served basis. Please tick the relevant box on the registration form if you would like to be considered for either of these fee reductions.

If you have any queries regarding the conference please do not hesitate to get in touch with Jade and Matt at

Wednesday 16 February 2011

Shakespeare Study Day

Students from Xaverian, Loreto and Tameside Colleges in Manchester came to the University for the annual Shakespeare Study day (pictures below). They were lectured by Jerome de Groot, then split into workshops led by EAS postgraduates. The day also involved library and campus tours, a Q&A about English at University, and the Stachniewski Memorial Lecture. If you would like to be involved in Widening Participation activities like this - as a Student Ambassador, Postgraduate Seminar Leader or Staff member - please contact


Manchester-based blog writers network and workshop:

Tuesday 15 February 2011

LGBT Month events at the Central Library

1).  Step Back In Time
A FREE quiz night with a twist!

A fun, fascinating visual journey through Manchester’s LGBT social history. From politics to partying, Canal Street has seen it all.

Manchester Archives is now on Flickr featuring photos from our city’s LGBT history. Add YOUR images, comments and reminiscences online now at:

Join us at the launch for a special retro-slideshow-quiz night with some stops along the way to share your experiences and stories.

Fabulous Prizes to be won!
No booking required!

View Bar, Canal Street, Manchester M1 3HW
Thursday 17th February,  7.30pm - 9pm

The popular Manchester Pride LGBT Heritage Trail returns with the special addition of items from Manchester Archives relating to the city's Queer History. See some of the documents & publications that gave Manchester's LGBT community a voice, then walk round key locations relating to the history & culture of local gays, lesbians, bisexuals & trans-gender people.

Don't miss this rare event!!
No booking required.

Meet in the Becker Room, 1st Floor, City Library, 151 Deansgate.
SATURDAY  19th  FEBRUARY   2.30pm - 5pm

Contact Jonathan on 0161 234 1939 or email for more details.


You are invited to the preview of:
Fri 18 Feb, 5pm, Triangle Shopping Centre, Manchester

The Electronic Superhighway: Inter-art Practice, Reality and the Information Age Postgraduate Research Forum

Saturday 19 February 2011, 10.00–13.00

To coincide with the exhibition Nam June Paik at Tate Liverpool and FACT, this postgraduate research forum features presentations by four current postgraduate researchers who explore the themes of inter-art practice, reality and the information age.

The presentations and discussions will be chaired by Dr Charlie Gere, Reader in New Media Research at Lancaster University.

Stachniewski Memorial Lecture, 16 February, 5pm - a reminder

This year's Stachniewski Memorial Lecture will take place on the 16 February at 5pm, in the Arts Lecture Theatre, Samuel Alexander Building, University of Manchester. This lecture commemorates one of our late colleagues in Manchester English and American Studies and is held jointly each year with the UCU.

The speaker this year is Professor Kate Chedgzoy, from the University of Newcastle. Her title is  ‘Boys’ own stories: Children as poets and storytellers in Shakespeare’s England’. All welcome.

Monday 14 February 2011

Sad news

Dear students and staff in English and American Studies:

I am very sorry to have to tell you that Rory Topping, one of our third year American Studies students, died last week at his home in Manchester. All of us who knew Rory are deeply saddened , and I know you will join us in offering our condolences to Rory’s family and friends.

It can be very difficult to deal with the loss of a friend or classmate, and if you would like to speak to someone, Fiona Fraser and Laura Prescott in Student Support are very willing to talk. I have included their addresses below, as well as contact information for Counselling Services, should you wish to contact them.

Hal Gladfelder

The importance of the library

Dr Mike Sanders appeared on BBC Radio 4's You and Yours programme to talk about public funding for libraries

Friday 11 February 2011

Celebrate International Women’s Day 1911-2011

Come and watch Made in Dagenham, 1st March 2011, Printworks, Manchester.

Doors Open 6.30pm, Suggested Donation £2.00

Introduction by Cllr Suzanne Richards, Betty Tebbs, Terri Marsland.

Open to all – places limited. Put your name/contact on guest list. phone/text
07984 870 602.

Organised by Unite the Union, Manchester Trades Union Council.

Other events here:

Thursday 10 February 2011

Good exhibitions in the city

Mary Kelly Projects, Whitworth Art Gallery:

Death and the Working Class, People's History Museum:

The People You're Not, Cornerhouse:

90 degrees East, Chinese Arts Centre:

Nam June Paik, Tate Liverpool (not strictly Manchester, agreed):

Butler, Clark, Batuman lectures at the BL

Judith Butler on Kafka/ TJ Clark on Picasso/ Elif Batuman on Cervantes:

CIDRA Public Lecture Series 2010-11: 'Interiors'

All lectures begin at 5pm in the John Casken Lecture Theatre, Martin Harris Building, and are followed by a wine reception.  All welcome, no booking required.

Postgraduate masterclasses accompany the lecture series, please contact for details.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Charles Rice, Kingston University

'Interior/Urban c.1974'
Francis Ford Coppola's 1974 film The Conversation provides the context to chart an urban interiority defined through acoustic space. The lecture will actively 'resplice' Coppola's film, working backward and outward from professional eavesdropper Harry Caul's domestic interior (and his destruction of it), to the urban interiority his listening-in creates. In this way the film and the lecture will provide a material figure and an historical moment for the emergence of a very current concern - the formation of the inhuman, sensate urban environment.

This event, and the associated masterclass, are co-sponsored by the Manchester Architecture Research Centre (MARC).

Charles Rice is Professor of Architectural History and Theory and Head of the School of Art and Design History at Kingston University, London. He is author of The Emergence of the Interior (2007).

CIDRA Masterclasses
Each of the lecturers in the CIDRA Public Lecture Series will take part in accompanying masterclasses.  All MA, PhD and Postdoctoral fellows welcome (no need to sign up, just come).

10-12noon, Wednesday, 16 February, 2011
University Place, Room 4.214
Charles Rice (Kingston) in conversation with:
Simon Guy (Manchester Architecture Research Centre, MARC)
and Mark Crinson (Art History and Visual Studies, AHVS)

The two readings are:
Charles Rice, 'The Inside of Space: Some issues concerning heterogeneity, the interior, and the weather', in Michael Hensel, Achim Menges and Christopher Hight (eds), Space Reader: Heterogeneous Space in Architecture, pp. 185-193. London: Wiley, 2009
Reyner Banham, 'Environmental Management', in The Architecture of the Well-tempered Environment, pp. 18-29. London: Architectural Press, 1984.

These are available at SAGE blog:
or at:

Wednesday 9 February 2011

UCU Early Careers Event


Young academics face numerous challenges:
  • Unequal and unfair rates of pay
  • Pensions changes will hit young members hardest
  • Fixed-term contracts and barriers to permanent work
  • Competition for jobs and a lack of job security
  • And more!
Join UCU: Unite and Be Heard.

1.30-2.30pm, Wednesday 23rd February, Blackett Lecture Theatre, Schuster Building

Details of the day are here

Lecture by Steven Pincus: TODAY!

Steven Pincus, Yale University: 'The Memory of the Treaty of Utrecht and Imperial Contestation in Hanoverian Britain'5pm, Samuel Alexander Lecture Theatre, All welcome

Nicky Wire celebrates libraries/ Library demo blog

Guardian blog on the various actions around the country:

Nicky Wire on the importance of libraries:

Plus a reminder about the grim future for the British Library:

Celebrating Henry Watson

A special exhibition marking the centenary of Henry Watson’s death will run from Monday, 10 January until 21 February.

Dr. Henry Watson, a renowned composer and teacher was born in Accrington in 1846. In 1902 he donated the contents of his private library to the care of Manchester City Council.

Manchester Libraries and the Royal Northern College of Music are marking the centenary with a joint exhibition displaying original documents such as letters and photographs from the extensive Henry Watson archive.

Thursday 3 February 2011

Richard III and Comedy of Errors at the Lowry

Productions of both plays by Propeller Theatre Company 9-12 March:

Go to Lectures!

Every Thursday from February, Islington Mill will be hosting a series of talks, performance lectures, exhibition openings and events by a range of local, national and international artists:

Visiting Professor in History - events and lectures

Prof. Andreas Fahrmeir
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universit├Ąt, Frankfurt-am-Main
Hallsworth Visiting Professor

Programme of events

Still embarrassed by the nineteenth century? The marginalisation of nineteenth-century European History
Friday, 11 February Samuel Alexander Building, A.116 16.00 CultMEP roundtable

Conceptions of Citizenship from 1789 to the present
Thursday, 17 February, Ellen Wilkinson Building, A.2.7, 16.00 for 16.10 History Research Seminar

Economics as the driving force of political change
Monday 21 February Samuel Alexander Building, A 201, 17.00

For further information contact David Laven (

Save a Library, or just love it...

Protests against Library closure around the country:

'Love Your Library' month in February:

Also - do a course on hacking, crowd-sourcing, blogging or publishing at MadLab:

Wednesday 2 February 2011

All change

There are several administrative changes in the department this semester:

Dr Alan Rawes is now EAS Undergraduate Progamme Director, replacing Dr Jerome de Groot (
Dr Monica Pearl is now EAS Assessment Officer,replacing Dr Kaye Mitchell (
Dr Eithne Quinn is now In charge of AS Undergraduate matters (

Dr Robert Spencer is now in charge of PG Taught issues (

Tuesday 1 February 2011

Samuel Beckett Auditions

This spring, The Unholy Mess will be putting on a production of Samuel Beckett's Endgame at Joshua Brooks in Manchester.

Come along and audition to be in this exciting independent production. No previous experience necessary, we are looking for enthusiastic, creative people with ideas to bring to the roles. We want to emphasise the play as a comedy, so actors should aim to draw out the pitch-black comedy in their auditions.

The roles:

Hamm: MALE. Protagonist. A blind tyrant, fallen from wealth and greatness, who is confined to a chair in the middle of the stage. He wavers from flashes of rage and brutality aimed at his parents Nagg and Nell and his servant Clov to simpering bouts of vulnerability.

Clov: MALE. Hamm’s beleaguered servant, Clov cannot sit down. He limps around the set, begrudgingly following Hamm’s orders. He repeatedly threatens to leave, but seems unable to do so; they are mutually reliant on each other in the waste-land they inhabit. He, like Hamm, seems to have lost his mind.

Nagg: MALE. Nagg is Hamm’s father and spends the entirety of the play in a metal bin because he has no legs. He reminisces mainly about the past and bemoans his current position.

Nell: FEMALE. Hamm’s mother. This is a small part. Nell, like Nagg, spends her time in a metal bin and has no legs. She is more morose than Nagg; whilst he spends his time trying to get her to remember when times were better, she cannot overcome her grief and dies.

Arrive any time from 5pm-7pm, extracts will be provided. Arrive early to avoid waiting. All the information (including the audition pieces) is on our blog at

Give Blood!

Manchester Donor Walk-in Centre - just the other side of the Manchester Royal Infirmary, Plymouth Grove

Map (PDF, 172K)

Stachniewski Memorial Lecture, 16 February, 5pm

Stachniewski lecture - a reminder

This year's Stachniewski Memorial Lecture will take place on the 16 February at 5pm, in the Arts Lecture Theatre, Samuel Alexander Building, University of Manchester. This lecture commemorates one of our late colleagues in Manchester English and American Studies and is held jointly each year with the UCU.

The speaker this year is Professor Kate Chedgzoy, from the University of Newcastle. Her title is  ‘Boys’ own stories: Children as poets and storytellers in Shakespeare’s England’. All welcome. Please circulate details.