Thursday 31 March 2011

Manchester Feminist Theory Network Workshops

The Case for Feminism
May 2011

The University of Manchester
Manchester Metropolitan University
Salford University

We are delighted to announce a second series of Feminist Theory Workshops entitled: The Case for Feminism. Hosted across three weeks in May, the workshops will centre on the theme of the case, exploring the relationship between feminist theory and research and examining how theory is generated from particular case studies. Each speaker will present a paper detailing their own engagement with individual cases, considering how these have informed their development of particular theoretical perspectives and analytical tools. Discussants will present responses to the paper and facilitate the workshop.

All postgraduate students and staff are welcome.

Timetable of workshops:

Wednesday 11th May 12.30-2.00 – University Place 4.212
Speaker: Sasha Roseneil, Birkbeck, University of London
Discussant: Jackie Stacey, University of Manchester

Tuesday 17th May 12:20-2 –  University Place 3.214
Speaker: Feona Attwood, Sheffield Hallam University
Discussant: Clarissa Smith, University of Sunderland

Wednesday 25th of May 4.30-6.00 – University Place 3.213
Speaker: Victoria Robinson, University of Sheffield
Discussant: Brian Heaphy, University of Manchester

Registration for these events is not required. However, reading materials (two articles per workshop) will be distributed in advance and so participants should submit their e-mail address to the co-ordinators in order to receive electronic copies of these.

For further information, or to be added to the mailing-list for reading materials, please e-mail or

Wednesday 30 March 2011

UCU Young and early career members meeting

Young and early career members meeting, 30 March 2011, 2.30-3.30, Bragg Lecture Theatre, Schuster Building

At a time of economic uncertainty, the challenges facing young and early career members are greater than ever. Young members face an increasingly competitive job market, and are much more likely to be on part time or temporary contracts. With pensions under attack, young/early career members stand to lose the most, and the possibility of a decline in earnings hangs over future academic careers.

You are invited to come along and hear about what the UCU is doing to support young members' issues both at Manchester and nationally.

Importantly, UCU Manchester would like to hear about the issues which matter to you, and this meeting is a chance for young members to meet colleagues, and share views.

A flyer for the meeting is attached:

And you can find out more about the UCU and young members here:

Campaigns News

Coming up this week:

Manchester Autonomous Students Meeting
Tuesday 29th, 6.30-7.30pm, Advice Centre in Students Union

A meeting to de-brief and discuss where next for the society.

Manchester Against Fees And Cuts Meeting
Wednesday 30th, 5-7pm, Meeting Room 4 in Students Union

A meeting to de-brief and discuss where next for the society.

Amanda Walters
Campaigns Officer
University of Manchester Students' Union

Tuesday 29 March 2011

Support the principle of academic freedom

Petition to remove "The Big Society" as a strategic area for AHRC funding:

Information on the controversy:

PhD Scholarship (fees only) - Shakespeare and Adaptation

English and Creative Writing, De Montfort University STARTING OCTOBER 2011

A PhD research studentship covering tuition fee costs in the area of Shakespeare and Adaptation is available to suitably qualified UK or EU students. The studentship will complement research strengths in this area within the internationally-renowned Centre for Adaptations and the Department of English and Creative Writing.

Topics could include new research in the fields of Shakespeare and the new technologies, adaptations of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, teenpic adaptations of Shakespeare, Shakespeare, race and adaptation, Shakespeare, gender and adaptation, animated Shakespeare, Shakespeare and romantic comedy, contemporary cinematic allusions to Shakespeare, Shakespeare and Hollywood, biographical adaptations of Shakespeare, or silent Shakespeare.

For more detailed information about the studentship project please contact Dr Siobhan Keenan on +44 (0)116 207 8126 or email


Applications are invited from UK or EU students with a good first degree (First, 2:1 or equivalent) in a relevant subject. Doctoral scholarships are available for up to three years full-time study starting October 2011 which will cover the cost of University tuition fees.

Applicants should contact Anne McLoughlin to receive an application pack. Please email or call +44 (0)116 250 6409/6179 for further details.

Please quote ref: DMU studentships 2011

CLOSING DATE: Monday 11 April 2011

Monday 28 March 2011

Black History Month lecture

A special lecture sponsored by the U.S. Embassy

Professor J. William Harris (Univ. of New Hampshire)

"The Hanging of Thomas Jeremiah: A Tale of Race, Slavery, and the American Revolution"
Thurs. March 31, 4 pm, A7, Samuel Alexander building

In 1775, Thomas Jeremiah was one of fewer than five hundred "Free Negros" in South Carolina and, with an estimated worth of £1,000 (approximately $200,000 today), possibly the richest person of African descent in British North America. A slaveowner himself, Jeremiah was accused by whites of sowing insurrection among slaves at the behest of the British government. Among his accusers was Henry Laurens, Charleston’s leading patriot, a slaveowner and slave trader, who would later become the president of the Continental Congress. On the other side was Lord William Campbell, Royal Governor of the colony, who believed that the accusation was unjust and tried to save Jeremiah’s life. These three are the central characters in this little-known drama of the American Revolution.

Summer School: Queer Temporalities

Registration for the 2011 Summer School: Queer Temporalities will go live on the University
of Manchester's e-store page on March 14th.
The Sexuality Summer School 2011 draws upon the success of its previous years, embracing an
interactive learning model that combines intensive workshops, discussion panels, lectures and
student-lead seminars in order to construct a supportive research community over the course of
four days. This year the conference turns towards the idea of Queer Temporalities, bringing
together researchers from diverse fields including English Studies, Cultural Studies, Sociology,
Media Studies, Performance Studies and many others to discuss and critique representations and
understandings of gender, sexuality and queerness as they relate to concepts and constructions of
the temporal. 
Note: this link will send you to a blank page until the 14th, at which time it will direct you to the
online registration site:  For more information, please e-mail
Public lectures for the Summer School are open to all: in John Casken LT (Martin Harris)
5pm Tuesday May 17th
Annamarie Jagose
(University of Sydney)
Queer Times: Heteronormativity and Simultaneous Orgasm
5pm Thursday May 19th
Laura Doan
(University of Manchester)
Disturbing Practices: What's Queer History for?

Virginia Woolf @ the RNCM

Love, Death and Virginia Woolf

A brand new play debuts on the 70th anniversary of Woolf’s death

Brian M Clarke, Tom Elliott writers and producers
Helen Parry Director

A Good Day is a dramatic love story which gives a mesmerising and compelling view of Woolf’s final hours. This tragic portrayal of life and death gives profound insight into a mind tortured by gathering depression and deepening madness.

Promoted by Beat Productions –
Brian M Clarke and Tom Elliott made their debut in 2010 with Beat Surrender , a play about Jack Kerouac , that headlined the prestigious Bakewell Festival and was chosen as one of the top shows of the year to be featured in the Replay Festival by the Library and Contact Theatres.

Event Information:

Date & Time –

Thu 14 Apr 2011, 7:30PM
Fri 15 Apr 2011, 7:30PM
Sat 16 Apr 2011, 2:30PM
Sat, 16 April 2011, 7:30PM

Venue - RNCM Studio Theatre

Friday 25 March 2011

Keele teach-in

Keele University-wide Teach In
Tuesday 29th March 4-6pm, Chancellor’s Building
CBA 1.103, University of Keele

What is a University
(and who should pay for it)?

§      What happens when universities are opened to market forces?
§      Does a university without Philosophy make sense?
§      What does the future hold for higher education?

Open to all – staff, students, members of the wider community
This is a chance for Keele to come together and reflect on the challenges that are facing the university, the higher education sector, and the country as a whole right now.

The Newton International Fellowships Scheme

1. Overview
The Newton International Fellowships Scheme is delivered by the British Academy and the Royal Society. The Scheme has been established to select the very best early stage post-doctoral researchers from all over the world and enable them to work at UK research institutions for a period of two years. The Scheme covers researchers in all disciplines covered by the two academies – physical, natural and social sciences, and the humanities.

Objectives of the Newton International Fellowships Scheme

· To ensure the UK engages with the best post-doctoral researchers, across all disciplines of physical,
natural and social sciences, and the humanities, from around the world.
· To provide an opportunity for post-doctoral researchers at an early career stage from any country outside the UK to work at a UK research institution for two years.

The Newton International Fellowship scheme will select the very best early stage post-doctoral researchers from all over the world, and offer support for two years at UK research institutions.

The long-term aim of the scheme is to build a global pool of research leaders and encourage long-term international collaboration with the UK.

The Newton International Fellowships scheme is run by The British Academy and the Royal Society.

The Fellowships cover the broad range of physical, natural and social sciences and the humanities.
They provide grants of £24,000 per annum to cover subsistence and up to £8,000 per annum to cover research expenses, plus a one-off relocation allowance of up to £2,000.

In addition, Newton Fellows may be eligible for follow-up funding of up to £6,000 per annum for up to 10 years following the completion of the Fellowship.

For more detailed information on the Newton International Fellowships please download the Scheme Notes:

Please note the deadline for this scheme is 04/04/2011. 

Why Allegory Now?

Dear all,

This is quick reminder that registration for the Why Allegory Now? conference taking place in Manchester on Friday 1st April closes today. If you would like to attend please complete the registration form and return it to whyallegorynow@GMAIL.COM

The conference is shaping up to be very interesting with papers discussing allegory in relation to a variety of subjects, including architecture, literature, film and critical theory.

Keynote speakers:
Prof. Jeremy Tambling (Manchester) and Dr. Roger Pooley (Keele).

For a programme of the day's papers please visit or, if you have any queries please contact us.

Kind regards,

Matt Whittle & Jade Munslow Ong

Thursday 24 March 2011

More from the picket line

An African Reading Group




Explore new fiction out of Africa
From May a new monthly reading group will meet regularly in Manchester ... open to all.  It is a group for anyone interested in reading new fiction from Africa and discussing the books  with others.  We all know about Achebe and Soyinka.  This is a group that seeks acquaintance with new voices from Africa.


the second Wednesday of each month, at 6.30 pm for 7.00 pm.  Finish 9.00 pm


The first session will meet at  Krobar opposite the Student Union of the University of Manchester, at 325 Oxford Road. (on the corner of Dover Street and Oxford Rd next to church).   The group will then go from there to the meeting room at the University of Manchester, Mansfield Cooper Building 2.04.  The area is well served by buses and taxis.

We’ll discuss a continuing venue after that.

The first title for May is
The book has recently been part of a W H Smith promotion and should be widely available.

Other suggested titles (all available from :
§       Oil and Water by Helon Habilia (Nigeria)
§        Voice of America by E. C. Osondu
§       No Tigers in Africa by Norman Silver
§       Whale Caller by Zakes Mda (South Africa)
§       Black Mamba Boy by Nadifa Mohamed (Somalia)
§       Tail of a Blue Bird by Nii Parkes (Ghana)


The group is in association with the journal AFRICAN WRITING and the University of Manchester.  It is led by author Jennifer Makumbi and Geoff Ryman, Senior Lecturer, University of Manchester.  CONTACT:

Manchester to charge £9000 tuition fees

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Graduate Recruitment Fair 2011, 15-16 June 2011

Picture of Armitage Centre

The 2011 Graduate Recruitment Fair in association with the Financial Times 
If you are looking for a full-time graduate position starting summer/autumn 2011, this is the fair for you! Over 160 exhibitors usually attend from a wide range of sectors, hopefully providing something of interest for students of all degree disciplines.

Although organised by the Careers Service at The University of Manchester, the fair is open to students and graduates from any institution.

The Armitage Centre, Fallowfield, Manchester
Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 June, 10:30am - 4:00pm

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Staff and students demonstrate together

Pictures from this morning's UCU picket and student demonstration against cuts and fees. Staff, postgraduates and undergraduates - the EAS community working to make Higher Education better for everyone...


Hi -
I'm an English Lit graduate from the University of Manchester, and currently work for an independent publishing house in Manchester city centre. We are looking to take on some casual day staff to carry out mainly administrative tasks. Not the most exciting work perhaps, but a good opportunity to see the industry from the inside, and make connections that could possibly lead to a more career-forward role, here or elsewhere. It’s totally casual, with no minimum hours/week or contract.

Main duties will include:
Data input
Envelope stuffing
Answering the phone
Arranging couriers
Proof-reading communications documents
Other general administrative tasks (banking, franking mail…)

This role would be particularly beneficial to someone interested in getting into publishing. The roles would suit hard-working students who are looking to improve CVs and gain some very transferable skills, without having to commit to set hours.

Thanks for your help.

Grace Denton
Subscriptions and Communications Manager

Impromptu Publishing – publishers of Gig inc IAM and the Performing Arts Yearbooks
5th Floor, Clarendon House, 81 Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3LQ, UK
T +44 (0) 161 236 9526 F +44 (0) 161 247 7978

Monday 21 March 2011

The strikes this week

Dear EAS students: I am writing to notify or remind you that the University and College Union (UCU), with the support of the National Union of Students (NUS), has scheduled a strike action and picket for Tuesday 22 March and Thursday 24 March at universities throughout England and the UK.

It is of course up to individual students, tutors, and lecturers to decide how they wish to respond to the strike. I am recommending that staff who teach on Tuesdays and Thursdays make alternative arrangements for this week's classes, so that students who wish to support the strike are not put at a disadvantage by having to miss out on any teaching and learning time. I am also asking course unit directors to consult with GTAs about seminar teaching arrangements for this week, and to notify students.

If you have questions about specific courses, lectures, or seminars, please contact the individual course unit directors. All classes will meet as usual on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Thanks and all best,

Hal Gladfelder
English and American Studies
School of Arts, Histories, and Cultures
University of Manchester

UMSU message about this week's strikes and demonstrations

Tuesday 22nd and Thursday 24th November the lecturers at our University will be picketing outside all University buildings, from 7am onwards. There will also be a rally on Tuesday at 12pm at Uni Place and Thursday at 12pm in All Saints Park.

The strikes are in protest against the destructive changes to their pensions. They protest against attacks on pay - the current pay offer is a mere 0.4% despite the rate of inflation being 5% and Vice Chancellor pay rises of up to  20%. They also stand against job cuts which could lead to an estimated 40,000 redundancies in the University sector.

Please come out and support your lecturers. This is just one part of the wider attack on higher education so we must carry on the fight and work together to save our Universities.


26th March, London

Deep spending cuts damage public services, hit the vulnerable and threaten recovery.

They're dangerous, unfair and unnecessary. But there's an alternative - one that's fair, safe and sustainable:
• A Robin Hood tax on the banks
• Close tax loopholes
• Policies for jobs and green growth

We're going to march to tell the government they need to change course.

Manchester Against Fees & Cuts has organised coaches leaving from the Union at 6am and leaving London at 8pm. They are £10 each from the Ticket Office in the Students' Union.

There will also be some minibuses going from Friday to Sunday for £20 each which you can also buy from the Ticket Office. Crash space will be organised.

But be quick! There are few tickets left!

Hopefully see you on the streets,

Amanda Walters
Campaigns Officer
University of Manchester Students' Union

Saturday 19 March 2011

Teaching the History of the Book: New Theories, Approaches, Pedagogies

A lab workshop at the Folger Institute, Washington DC
Wednesday, 20 April 2011

This day-long workshop will discuss new and emerging ways
of teaching book history and manuscript culture.
10.30-12 Session 1
Brief presentations and general discussion
Guyda Armstrong (University of Manchester), ‘Teaching and digitizing Dante’ 
Anne Coldiron (Florida State) ‘Teaching the Transitions’
Noon - 1 pm Lunch (on your own)
1-1.45 Workshop 
Jerome de Groot (Manchester), ‘Anthologising the English Revolution’
 2- 3 Session 2
            Folger perspectives
Sarah Werner (Undergraduate Program Director), ‘Old books and new technologies’
Steven Galbraith (Curator of Books), Jim Kuhn (Head of Collections Information Services), and colleagues on Folger initiatives
3- 3:30 Tea break 
3:30 – 4:30 Roundtable discussion
Ian Gadd, Peter Stallybrass, Jerome de Groot, Kathleen Lynch
Technologies of writing
Digital humanities
The importance of the book to book history

Space limited, to register:

Thursday 17 March 2011


If you are a Third Year student you are currently being asked to complete the National Student Survey online. This is an opportunity for you to reflect and comment on your time as a student in English and American Studies at the University of Manchester.

We hope that our students are appreciative of the education and support they receive at Manchester. Indeed, as you complete the survey, you might want to consider:
In last year’s NSS, 95% of our students said that staff were good at explaining things, 88% said that staff made the subject interesting, 97% said that staff were enthusiastic about what they teach, and a whopping 98% said that their course was intellectually stimulating. This gives an average of 95% - compared to a university average of 83%.

The survey only takes a few minutes, and this year, more than ever, it is absolutely vital that we have a high completion rate. The University sets great store by these tables, in a climate where all arts and humanities programmes are under enormous pressure to demonstrate their excellence and value. Your English and American Studies Department simply cannot afford not to have a healthy return from the NSS.

Please complete the NSS at

Wednesday 16 March 2011

On the upcoming strikes

Article by Tabatha O'Brien Butcher, EAS MA student, to be published in Mancunion next week

‘Strike action will not divide, students and lecturers stand side by side!’

The University and College Union (UCU) have voted to take strike action over pensions, pay and job security in the week beginning 21st March. In this same week we will see the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, present his austerity plans on Budget Day, along with a Trade Union Congress (TUC) organised national demonstration, where as many as 1 million people will march in London on Saturday 26th March to oppose the cuts—a demonstration that is set to be the most important protest since the anti war march in 2003.

Two days before this national protest however, our own university lecturers, academic staff, and senior administrators at the University of Manchester, will be staging a work stoppage—otherwise known as a strike—with an overwhelming 69.94% of our academic staff voting for strike action in the UCU ballot. Over 60 universities—mostly pre-1992 institutions which includes the entire Russell group—have voted for strike action allowing for a national wave of protest to be realised.

These strikes will stand against the destructive changes to the Universities Superannuation pension Scheme (USS) and therefore defend each lecturer’s rights to a fair and well-earned pension, protest against attacks on pay whereby the current pay offer is a mere 0.4%, despite the rate of inflation being 5% and the knowledge that Vice Chancellors awarded themselves up to 20% pay rises last year, and from job cuts which could lead to an estimated 40,000 redundancies in the university sector. Not only will these measures have a detrimental effect on our academic staff at the University of Manchester, but they will contribute to the downgrading of the role of education workers in society as part of the wider attack on education. The strikes, therefore, are to be seen as part of the wider struggle and will ultimately show solidarity with the student movement against the cuts, along with the constantly accumulating dissent of wider society with the drastic austerity measures enacted by our government. Dr. David Alderson, Lecturer of English at the University of Manchester, reiterates this solidarity by stating that: ‘Lecturers are not simply striking against worsening pay and conditions, but effectively against a co-ordinated attack on the public sector and the life we have in common. It is the same struggle as students are waging against fees, and most of us have been involved in supporting that campaign.'

So let’s support our lecturers!
The University of Manchester lecturers’ strikes will occur on the 22nd March, and again on the 24th when the steady wave of regional strikes will transform into a sea of mass discontent on this national day of action. Student support for these strikes can make a lot of difference to the lecturers’ who are simply protesting for their rights. You can support your lecturers, and other academic staff, in numerous ways: strike alongside them by walking out of your lectures, show your solidarity at the real or imagined picket lines, send emails of encouragement, find alternative educational spaces and environments in which student-led lessons can be conducted, organise teach-ins at Roscoe Occupation, or teach-outs to publicise and increase the visibility of the strikes.  

If you are still undecided as to whether you will personally be supporting the strikes, or if you are perhaps just worrying about the prospect of missing your seminars, lectures or personal tutor time on these days, here are a few things to think about:

    •    Lecturers care about their students and education as a whole— most will ensure that disruption is minimised and that appointments and lessons are rescheduled.
    •    Do you want to support the inspiring academics who have taught you, and the essential administration staff that make your university experience go smoothly in their fight for fair pay, a dignified and well earned retirement, and job safety?  
    •    If you are thinking of going into academia yourself, or any work in the university sector, there are many reasons why the lecturers’ strike benefits you—not only does the change in the USS pension scheme mean that younger and new staff cannot access the fairer final salary pension scheme, but the fight against job cuts, the delegitimization of the arts and social sciences and the removal, or drastic cutting of the teaching budget to many courses, will severely affect job opportunities in higher education. They are fighting for the rights of young academics too!      
    •    What’s missing out on a few lectures compared to supporting the general struggle against the dismantling of our education system? The tripling of university tuition fees to up to £9,000 will ensure that lots of individuals from disadvantaged or underprivileged backgrounds will never even experience a day of university education. As Postgraduate student and treasurer for Manchester Against Fees and Cuts, Sarah Kerton, puts it: ‘The battle we are facing now is so much more than one module we are in the middle of, or our end of semester grade—it’s about the future of a educational system that we have benefited from, but which our brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews may never get a chance to. We must stand united.’
    •    Let’s face it, we’ve all missed seminars or lecturers before, this time it’s for a good cause!

However you decide to support your lecturers’ during the UCU strike at the University of Manchester, your support will help to solidify the increasing camaraderie between students and lecturers. Let’s build on the successes of the student movement thus far, and ensure cohesion in our fight to save education. ‘El pueblo, unido, jamas sera vencido’—or, let’s unite and support our lecturers who are going on strike!

Tuesday 15 March 2011

CIDRA events this week

Professor Emily Martin (New York University)
'Sleepless in America'
5pm Tuesday 15 March
John Casken Lecture Theatre, Martin Harris Centre

Masterclass with Emily Martin, Jeanette Edwards and Monica Pearl
12-2pm Wednesday 16 March
Samuel Alexander A104
Readings on website:

All welcome.

Monday 14 March 2011

Exclusive Goon Squad extract published

The online Arts Journal The Manchester Review is this afternoon publishing an exclusive extract from Jennifer Egan's award-winning novel A Visit from the Goon Squad.



Volunteer of the Year

Community Service and Volunteer of the Year Awards 2011

  • Have you set up community project?
  • Are you a school governor?
  • Do you help out at your local hospital?
  • Do you visit older people who live alone?
  • Do you help deprived teenagers get involved in sport?
Many students, staff and alumni give their personal time and energy helping disadvantaged groups in the community locally, nationally and overseas. In addition, as part of its strategic vision, the university aims to encourage greater social responsibility (Goal 3 in Advancing the Manchester 2015 Agenda).

To help realise this ambition, and to recognise and celebrate the community activity of its members, in 2010 the university launched a Community Service and Volunteer of the Year Awards scheme.  We are now open for nominations for the 2011 Awards.
Awards will be given in three categories:
  • Student of the Year - open to any current undergraduate or postgraduate of the University of Manchester.  This award is in association with University of Manchester Students' Union.
  • Staff of the Year - to any current staff member of the University
  • Alumni of the Year - to any alumni of the University of Manchester (including Victoria University of Manchester and UMIST)
To be eligible for these awards, the activity must address disadvantaged groups or deprived communities. Nominations should also not be for work that is part of a nominee's job but be over and above that which is expected.

Each winner will receive a cheque, made out to the organisation that they support: £300 for the overall winner, and £200 and £100 for the 2nd and 3rd place runners up.

In addition the overall winner in each category will be put forward for the University Social Responsibility Award.

The closing date for all nominations is 21st March 2011.

We hope that as many students, staff and alumni as possible will support this initiative and will put forward nominations for themselves or for others.

Recipients of awards from the 2007 pilot scheme or 2010 Awards will not be eligible.

The Awards are organised by the MLP, Careers and Employability Division, which is part of the Directorate for the Student Experience.

William Blake has entered the building; or, stories of Blakean masterliness in British art galleries, 1876-1959

Next Monday, 21st March 2011, Colin Trodd will be giving a Centre for Museology seminar titled
'William Blake has entered the building; or, stories of Blakean masterliness in British art galleries, 1876-1959'

All are welcome - the seminar will take place in Mansfield Cooper 4.10 between 17:00 and 18:30.

William Blake has entered the building; or, stories of Blakean masterliness in British art galleries, 1876-1959

The story of how cultural institutions deal with the afterlife or reconstruction of artistic identity has for a long time been overshadowed by the symbolic value of canon formation: a tale of how styles, periods or forms of innovation or experimentation cohere into stable patterns or structures of meaning. In fact, most studies of the processes by which artistic value is institutionalised reveal a different picture: of complex critical fields coloured by a number of factors including interaction of cultural forces, social relations and modes of subjectivity. This semi-hidden world of engagement and judgement is the main focus of a paper that examines the reformative apparatus that enabled curators, critics and collectors to imagine Blake as a masterly artist. In essence, this paper sets out to answer one of the central questions in Blake studies: how can we explain his transformation from an unrepeatable or toxic subject into a complete angelus of modern culture?

CFP: Beauty

Call for Papers:

The Medieval and Renaissance Postgraduate Discussion Group at Durham University invites abstracts for its fifth annual conference on 23 and 24 June 2011 addressing the theme of “Beauty”. The interdisciplinary conference aims to offer a broad ranging forum, and will be followed by a display of Durham’s medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, introduced by staff from the University’s Palace Green Library.

Information here:

Diary of Witchfinder General trials goes online at The John Rylands Library

The English Civil War diary of Nehemiah Wallington, is part of the magnificent book collection held at Tatton Park which was digitised last year.  It has now been fully catalogued and available online for free.  You can find the full manuscript, cover to cover, here. If you would like to find a specific entry, say, about witch trials, simply search for ‘witchcraft’.

Further information:

Friday 11 March 2011

LRB essay on scholarship, research impact, the Browne report

After Browne: Iain Pears, LRB 17 March 2011

Attempts to alter the government’s policy on tuition fees have failed. Dreamed up by Labour, then embraced by the new Coalition government, the proposed reforms triggered large student demonstrations, but these had no impact on any constituency of real influence either in the universities or in politics. Many university vice-chancellors, terrified by the prospect of sizeable deficits, have backed the changes, more or less reluctantly.

It is a peculiar government which lambasts people for getting into debt, then forces them to take on much more; which goes on about the need for an educated workforce, then makes that education more expensive; which attacks bureaucracy, then introduces an even more cumbersome system for the administration of loan payments and repayments, bursaries, partial grants, transfers of money between individuals, government and universities, and so on.

But these are not the only contradictions in a policy which shows every sign of being hastily cobbled together. In both health and education, ministers are hurrying to introduce reforms before they run out of energy and time. In education, they first modified a set of measures inherited from Labour, then modified them again to keep the Liberal Democrats on board. The result is an incoherent mess. The Coalition is creating a market in higher education, but is already interfering in an attempt to rig that market. It has freed universities to charge higher fees, only to announce that it will not allow too many to do so. It is moving from setting targets for the social mix of student applications – which is allowed under Fair Access legislation – to setting quotas for admissions, even though it has no legal authority to do this. And under cover of reasserting the Haldane Principle – the century-old understanding that research should be protected from political interference – it is pursuing a stealthy policy of undermining it.

To manage this revolution, the government is contemplating creating a super-quango with powers to direct the internal affairs of universities, which are precisely the sort of extra-state, autonomous institution that it is supposed to be freeing from the shackles of regulation. The Higher Education Council proposed by Lord Browne in last October’s review would be able to define and enforce standards; fund particular courses and shape what is taught in them; specify teaching hours; take over or shut down institutions it decides are failing; impose ‘access commitments’; set targets for drop-out rates; set admission requirements and adjudicate student complaints. The market the government has in mind is one in which it will determine demand, supply, what is sold and at what price. Powers on such a scale would grossly expand a bureaucracy which already causes a great deal of work for academics and weighs heavily on university budgets. They would also extinguish all meaningful independence in higher education. These proposals have no parallel anywhere in the Western world.

On 20 December, in response to disquiet from the research agencies, the government issued a Written Ministerial Statement asserting that ‘prioritisation of an individual research council’s spending within its allocation is not a decision for ministers.’ But this was followed by so many get-outs that it offered no real safeguards at all. These allow the government to divert money to ‘key national priorities’ – which it can set – and provide for no appeal against its directives. Governments have always had priorities, of course: an administration has the right to commission, say, research into nuclear fusion. This government, however, seems to be going further, using its control of the purse strings to enforce compliance with a political agenda.

The Arts and Humanities Research Council, for example, has been instructed to direct a ‘significant’ part of its funding into six strategic research areas which have been defined for it. Some of these areas have little to do with either the arts or the humanities – ‘civic values and active citizenship’, for example. Other proposals have a political slant: of particular concern is the unelaborated instruction, in a document issued by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, that ‘AHRC will systematically address issues relating to … cultural renewal contributing to the “Big Society” initiative.’

The British Academy has also come under pressure to allocate funds according to government priorities, rather than to what it thinks are the most promising research proposals. It has also been told that it must no longer give out the small grants used to finish off individual projects, although they have proved the cheapest and most cost-effective way of funding research in the humanities (the recipients were selected by a committee of the academy’s fellows, working for free). Stopping such grants is a clear breach of the academy’s independence.

The response of the research councils to all this has been anaemic. This is true not least of their reaction to the issue of ‘impact’. Henceforth a significant part of the assessment of a researcher’s worth – and funding – will be decided according to the impact on society that his or her work is seen to have. The problem is that impact remains poorly defined; it isn’t clear how it will be measured, and the weighting given to it in the overall assessment has been plucked out of the air. It is a bad policy: it will damage research in the sciences and corrupt it in the humanities, as academics will have a strong financial incentive to become liars. Despite the doubts expressed by David Willetts, the minister for universities and science, the institutional momentum behind it has proven to be unstoppable: Hefce recently announced that the measure will go ahead unchanged. ‘Impact’ will account for 20 per cent of an academic’s assessment, but will in effect act as a ‘swing vote’ deciding who will, and who will not, receive funding.

If no one really knows what impact is, it is at least clear what it isn’t: scholarship is seen as of no significance. What the government and Hefce are interested in is work that is useful, in a crudely defined way, for business or policy-making. The effects on the sciences will be unfortunate. Last month Thomson-Reuters published a list of the top 100 chemists in the world. Only four are British, and at least one of these gained his place on the list for work that would not be found to have sufficient impact to warrant a grant under the new system. The effect of impact will be to force researchers to focus even more than they do already on research that pays off – or can be made to appear as if it does – within the assessment cycle, rather than on fundamental work whose significance might take years, even decades, to be appreciated.

Objections that these changes will accelerate the decline of British science have been met with silence. Letters to ministers have gone unanswered or produced only a brush-off; it is asserted instead, without evidence, that the proposals are supported by the academic community. A letter denouncing impact and signed by nine Nobel Prize winners and 24 members of the Royal Society has been ignored. Indeed, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council cited the physicist André Geim as a good example of the virtues of impact assessment, even though Geim had signed the letter opposing it.
Impact will be bad for the sciences, but for the humanities it will be cruel. The intellectual bankruptcy of what is coming can be gauged by a pamphlet produced by the British Academy last June. A short text published in defence of the humanities used the word ‘impact’ 64 times, and highlighted a Humanities for Business programme offering modules to companies like Unilever on topics such as Machiavelli and entrepreneurial success, Rousseau and modern marketing, and inspirational leadership in Shakespeare’s Henry V. Hefce’s pilot assessment noted with approval that one researcher had been called ‘the next David Attenborough’ in the Radio Times, and that the work of another, involving a Henry VIII Twitter feed, had led Which? magazine to name Hampton Court as a Top Heritage Day Out. The future, it seems, lies not in original research, still less in teaching, but in consultancy work, journalism and guided tours.

A less trivial approach to the humanities would involve a proper programme of reform, not tinkering designed to square Conservative wishes with Liberal Democrat needs. And it would require more directness from people in the humanities, rather than their habitual struggle to game the system as best they can. Research in the humanities has little direct economic or social impact in the crude and reductive fashion that Hefce and civil servants wish to impose, and this has to be admitted. To pretend otherwise is a fraud, and to divert resources into ‘outreach’ programmes with no purpose except to satisfy the regulators and acquire funding is a gross waste of money and a perversion of the purpose of research.

That the importance of the humanities cannot be registered on a spreadsheet shows the limitations of spreadsheets, not of the disciplines being measured. With a few exceptions, published research is not designed to be widely disseminated. If the government wanted research to have a real ‘social impact’ it would encourage the broadest possible range of inquiry, unhampered by a bureaucrat’s definition of utility; it would attack the vast and increasingly authoritarian apparatus which has come to distort research across the academic disciplines; and it would lighten the administrative burden on universities, not increase it.

Thursday 10 March 2011

The value of the Humanities/ the virtues of History

Peter Brooks on American Universities, quality, and the humanities, from the New York Review of Books:

Richard J. Evans on History and National Identity, from the London Review of Books:

Wednesday 9 March 2011

Peer Mentoring

Peer Support is a student-to-student support programme that has been in existence for over 10 years. Peer Mentoring forms part of this programme whereby higher year students provide help and support to lower year students. Although usually of a social nature, Mentors may provide some academic help to students, e.g. advice on course options, but not academic material.

In EAS Peer Mentoring normally takes place in the first semester during the Academic Development course. Peer Mentors are part of the teaching process and being in the scheme is a good way of being part of the department, seeing how courses work from a different perspective, and, of course, for developing your CV (especially if you would like to teach or be involved in job that involves training or interpersonal skills).

If you would like to be involved next year visit:

Scholarly Reading and the Value of Library Resources: A Survey

Academic staff are encouraged to complete this short online survey

The University of Manchester is one of six UK universities participating in a research project to investigate the value academics and research associates place on having access to scholarly information resources, such as journals and other resources.

This project will help to inform the decision making factors underpinning the acquisition of these resources ensuring we achieve best value for our spend whilst also ensuring that provision is tailored to the current and future teaching and research needs of the University.

We would encourage all academic colleagues to complete the short survey, which will only take 15 minutes of your time and thank you in advance for your participation.

You can access the survey at:

Tuesday 8 March 2011

Long Essay (ENGL30002): Bibliographical Essay

Dear All,

Just a small reminder from the Long Essay Course Convenor to say that the Bibliographical Essay (which is 15% of your final mark) is due on MONDAY 14th MARCH - two copies as usual need to be submitted to the undergraduate office.

Best Wishes,
Patricia Duncker

The Arts and Humanities: Endangered Species?

A collection of seven-minute talks, in which eminent researchers from the arts and humanities explain both why their subjects matter, and how their future is threatened by current higher education reforms, is being released online by the University of Cambridge.

The short presentations were originally given at a conference, "The Arts and Humanities: Endangered Species?" at the University of Cambridge on 25 February. From today, each talk is being released via the University's YouTube Channel, enabling web users to find out for themselves exactly what was said.

View the presentations

Ten academics from five different English universities, representing subjects including English, history, philosophy, anthropology, theatre studies and modern languages, were invited to speak at the event, which was hosted by Cambridge's Centre for Research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CRASSH).

Each was allocated seven minutes to talk about why the arts and humanities matter and the cultural and social benefits that research and teaching in these fields at British universities bring.

Under the current higher education reforms, teaching budgets across the arts and humanities will be cut and, in many cases, are likely to be compensated for using student fees. Funding for research may also be reduced in real terms. The event at CRASSH was set up to examine the impact that this may have.
Many of the speakers stressed the need to focus on more than the measurable economic benefits of the arts and humanities when making the case for their continued support. They stressed these disciplines' contribution to self-knowledge, the ability and freedom to question the world around us, and the fact that modern-day values and policy-making often only exist thanks to decades of painstaking research.
Others focused more on the potential dangers of altering the present model of funding for the arts and humanities. The talks variously warn that they might become the preserve of a privileged few, that women's access to higher education may suffer, and that there is a need for more concerted academic action, both within universities and between them, to protect the future of these subjects.

Below are a few highlights from each of the presentations. The talks can also be viewed in full, along with two summarising presentations given by Professor Mary Jacobus and Professor Georgina Born, at, where a playlist dedicated to the conference has been set up.

Selected quotations from the talks:

Peter de Bolla (Professor of Cultural History and Aesthetics, University of Cambridge):
"The sciences can easily be shown to lead to improving our human predicament in all manner of ways. It is abundantly clear, for example, that human well-being and health are directly connected to advances in medical science. But perhaps it is less often remarked that such human well-being also depends on the narratives of the good life, of sociality, and responsibility for our actions and words, that are found in fictions, philosophies, histories and paintings. Even more importantly, a certain freedom for exploring and experimenting with imagined alternatives to the narratives we inherit is a central feature of what in general we think of as the humanities."

Fenella Cannell (Reader in Social Anthropology, London School of Economics):

"One might wish to argue that government had fundamentally misunderstood in what sense academic life has a duty to the public, as certainly it has. That duty is surely not to pursue the policies of this or any other administration through research, but to attempt understand the truth of the subjects of its research, and to communicate that truth as best one can. Without such process, every comparative perspective on the present order of thinking which comes from the humanities or the social sciences, will be truncated and every act of imagination from which future perspectives may emerge, will become impossible."

Stefan Collini (Professor of English Literature and Intellectual History, University of Cambridge):

"Work in the humanities cannot, despite the pressure of bureaucratic categories, be reduced either to the exercise of skills or the discovery of new findings… Just as we should not let what we do be redescribed as a bizarrely roundabout way of increasing the GDP, so we should not let it be described in terms drawn from an industrial model of research… The kinds of understanding and judgement exercised in the humanities are of a piece with the kinds of understanding and judgement involved in living a life. That, in the end, is why they interest us and seem worth doing. Perhaps we, then, need to acknowledge that any subsequent attempts at justification must start from, and build on, that recognition."

Martin Crowley (Reader in Modern French Thought and Culture, University of Cambridge):

"The relation between the humanities and our wellbeing is not to be tacked on at the end of a list of potential social contributions after all conceivable material gain. Nor is it something that concerns only the personal growth of individuals, offered to them as a tradeable good. We make meaning. We exist in our exposure to the movement of meanings. As such, if we want to flourish, both individually and collectively, it's in our interests that as many of us as possible should be involved in arguing about and celebrating that movement; not to cash it in later, but because the more intensively we are involved in these practices, the better off we are. Better off, that is, in the absolute sense."

Richard Drayton (Professor of Imperial History, King's College London)

"My own discipline, history, will continue to prosper, for it is valued by the rich and understood by those 18-year-old, perfectly informed consumers of Lord Browne's imagination. Newer and more experimental approaches to the human experience with small student numbers will shrink or be cut by philistine administrators…. While in theory academic freedom to teach and to learn will survive, scholars will come under visible and invisible pressure to work for the pirate class, or at least to perform for their entertainment, and so academics can sometimes become a kind of intellectual lapdancer, gyrating to excite the attention of the rich and to provoke small tips."

Raymond Geuss (Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge):

"If we do not have a publicly funded and institutionally distinct realm for what I am calling humanistic discussion, we can easily end up in a situation in which the 'need to know' of Rupert Murdoch and the US Department of Defense, and also their need to impose ignorance and cognitive and moral conformity on others will be even more seriously in danger of skewing our discussion than it does now. This, I submit, will have disadvantages for us that are too numerous to mention. However, in addition, many of us will not at all like the kinds of people who we and our successors will have become."

Jen Harvie (Professor of Contemporary Theatre and Performance, Queen Mary University of London):

"Theatre and performance practices' and studies' values are manifold. They produce social change, they provide pleasure, they facilitate inter and cross-disciplinary understanding as well as cultural understanding and practice in numerous ways and they develop crucial life skills, especially in care, creativity and criticality… Education should have the instrumental aim of developing critical, creative and caring understanding of the human, the world, the self, and what things will make a valuable life - not just an economically rewarding career."

Professor Michael Kenny (University of Sheffield)

"In order to understand the key assumptions of the Browne review and the government's legislation, we need to consider the emergence of new ideas about the underlying rationale for Universities which became central from the 1960s. These focused upon these institutions' contribution to economic growth, their role in relation to social mobility and the contention that they should reflect the imperatives and logic of the market. As these ideas advanced, older notions about 'the idea' of the University gave way, in policy and political circles, with surprising rapidity."

Julia Swindells (Professor of English, Anglia Ruskin University)

"The future social and political opportunities of girls and women have often rested on access to the study of arts and humanities. This isn't to create a division with science, far from it. Despite some efforts to encourage girls and women to apply to study STEM subjects more, these disciplinary zones have often tended to operate more exclusionary processes, not always engaging rigorously with questions of system, infrastructure, and existing cultures. If the arts and humanities is an endangered species, so is the future of girls' and women's education in this country."

Simon Szreter (Professor of History and Public Policy, University of Cambridge):

"Painstaking new research conducted over 30 years has given us a much better understanding of the population dynamics of this country between 1540 and 1870 than any other country in the world. We now understand that an awful lot of what we thought of as the consequence of the Industrial Revolution is the other way round… Most importantly, something that was viewed as the great luxury that you get at the end of the process of economic growth, the welfare state, we now realise was there 200 years before the industrial revolution; the poor law operating in every parish keeping the English population uniquely free from famine. Development experts are now working on ideas of social protection for the poor in Africa because they have begun to realise that these institutions are not the product of economic growth - but could well be the source of it."

Monday 7 March 2011

UMSU Elections

The University of Manchester Students' Union (UMSU) elections take place this week, from 8-10 March. Please make sure you vote via your student portal.

The elected executives will be running the Union next year and representing the student body at a local and national level.

One of our 3rd year English Literature students, Rhona Ezuma, is running for Activities Officer. Read her manifesto here:

Friday 4 March 2011

Postcolonial Reading Group

Open to all

Our aim for this reading group is to meet fortnightly (possibly increasing to weekly) and work through key texts in postcolonial studies, taking a chronological approach.

Our first meeting is Thursday March 10th at 12pm in Samuel Alexander S1.10 where we’ll be looking at Frantz Fanon's ‘The Wretched of the Earth’; in particular Sartre’s introduction and the chapter ‘The Pitfalls of National Consciousness’. Please email if you’d like a pdf of the reading.

We  have drawn up a rough list of what we would like to read in future meetings – if there’s anything in particular that you’d like to see covered then please bring along suggestions to the first meeting, or email

Neil Gaiman talk

Neil Gaiman: Noted novelist and graphic novel author discusses his award winning A Midsummer Night’s Dream graphic novel by transatlantic link

21st March 20115pm, Arts Lecture Theatre, Samuel Alexander Building

MMU talks

in association with the

10th February, 6pm, The International Anthony Burgess Foundation,
Seeing Double: Nicholas Royle (Sussex) and Nicholas Royle (MMU) reading and in conversation
in association with Myriad Editions, Manchester University Press and the International Anthony Burgess Foundation
The Engine House, Chorlton Mill, 3 Cambridge Street, Manchester, M1 5BY

10 March, 5pm, Geoffrey Manton Building 233
Professor Dick Ellis (Birmingham)
‘Harriet Wilson, Our Nig and the Politics of Editing’

24 March, 5pm, GM 230
Dr Abigail Williams (St Peter’s College, Oxford)
'Swirls and secrets: Jonathan Swift and the mysteries of the pen’

7th April, 5pm, GM 230
Dr Andrew Moor (MMU)
‘Seascapes, Cinema and Sexual Liberation: or, What is it with Gay Men and Beaches?’

For more information, contact Nikolai Duffy:

Thursday 3 March 2011

Youth: Postgraduate Conference April 2011

Following on from the Studies in Youth Culture inaugural conference which took place at the University of Leicester in September 2010, the School of English along with the Centre for American Studies and the Studies in Youth Network are pleased to announce a postgraduate conference on the broad and interdisciplinary subject of ‘youth’. Topics that might be considered are:

    •    What do we mean by the term youth and experiences exclusive to adolescence?
    •    How does the concept of youth manifest itself in culture, literature, poetry, theatre or society at large?
    •    In what ways do the experiences/ depictions of adolescence differ from or reflect those of childhood and/or adulthood?
    •    How do the relationships between these concepts of childhood, adolescence and adulthood change over time, and are they dependent on cultural setting?

Such speculations encourage debate about the nature, experience and depiction of youth – in its broadest definition – across history, culture and disciplines. These questions are a starting point for a topic that will be explored further at the interdisciplinary postgraduate conference at Leicester on either the 4th or 5th of April 2011 (details will be finalised later in March). Papers are welcome from all disciplines on any aspect of youth with particular emphasis on, but not restricted to, theatre, religion, fantasy and popular culture.

The conference will be an invaluable opportunity to learn about other postgraduate students’ research on the subject of youth, as well as to join the Studies in Youth Network, which aims to bring together and encourage academic cooperation between researchers of various disciplines at different stages of their careers. Further details of the network can be found at:

Proposals of 250 words are welcome from all postgraduates for papers of no more than twenty minutes. A liberal approach to the theme is encouraged. Please send abstracts along with the application form to Anjna Chouhan ( by the 10th of March 2011.

Call for undergraduate participants in Drama Colloquium

North West Renaissance Drama Colloquium  
Manchester (venue tbc), 23rd June 2011 
An informal day of discussion and papers on early modern drama

Applications are invited from third year undergraduate students at the University of Manchester to present a 15 minute talk or paper on any Renaissance play. This is a great opportunity to enhance your CV and to share ideas with other students and academics in a friendly and unthreatening environment. The speaking places at the colloquium are especially aimed at students planning to go on to postgraduate study.

Your paper may be on any Renaissance drama topic and might (but does not have to) be based on an essay or work you have done for a specific module. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

-          Shakespeare and his contemporaries
-          Renaissance drama and critical theory
-          Renaissance drama in performance and adaptation

The day will include a keynote lecture by Professor Nicholas Royle (Sussex), author of The Uncanny, How to Read Shakespeare, After Derrida and a novel, Quilt.

To be considered to speak at the event, please write a 200 word (approx.) description of what you would like to speak about, or, if you prefer, a 200 word account of why you think studying literature is important and the name of a Renaissance text you would like to speak on. Speaking places are limited but the event will be open to all. Email applications along with your name and student number by 01/04/11 to Naya Tsentourou and James Smith at:

Wednesday 2 March 2011

CHSTM Seminar, 3rd March

Rebecca Earle (Warwick), 'Food and the colonial body in Spanish America'

Ellen Wilkinson building A.2.7 (second floor) 4pm.

John Edward Taylor Visiting Fellow: Professor Joseph Roach (Yale University)

A theater historian and performance studies scholar, Joseph Roach is the author of The Player’s Passion:  Studies in the Science of Acting (1985), Cities of the Dead:  Circum-Atlantic Performance (1996) and It (2007).  He is the editor (with Janelle Reinelt) of Critical Theory and Performance (2nd edition, revised 2007) and Changing the Subject:  Marvin Carlson and Theatre Studies, 1959-2009 (2009).

5pm Tuesday, 8 March 2011
University Place 5.210 Masterclass: "Literary New Orleans: An Ambient Poetics"
contact to reserve a place and for masterclass readings

5pm Wednesday, 9 March 2011
Samuel Alexander A4
EAS Seminar Series: "'Mistaking Earth for Heaven': Eliza Linley's Voice"

All welcome, no booking necessary
Professor Roach writes: “Linley was a child-prodigy soprano who quit singing at the height of her fame at age 19 to marry Richard Brinsley Sheridan, who prevented her from singing in public.  Even so, her image as “The Saint” continued to circulate in paintings, poetry, and gossip throughout her life and beyond. I hope the talk will interest period specialists in the eighteenth century, but it should also speak to anyone with an interest in celebrity, performance, and the myth of Philomela, who persisted in telling her story even after her tongue was cut out.”

5pm Thursday, 10 March 2011
(room TBC)
Roundtable on theatre, performance, and celebrity in the early modern and modern Anglo-Atlantic world.

All welcome, no booking necessary

For enquiries, please contact:

Roscoe Occupation: they're back

Students from the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and Salford University have taken up occupation in the Roscoe Lecture Theatre:

Wednesday 2nd March:
2pm, Roscoe Lecture Theatre B, Open Manchester talk on the possibilities and politics of an occupied space.

Thursday 3rd March:
4pm, Roscoe Lecture Theatre B, Film Showing – Teenage Riot.
5pm, Roscoe Lecture Theatre B, Talk on The Raggedy Trousered Philanthropists by Dave Harker from the Working Class Movement Library.
6.30pm, Roscoe Lecture Theatre B, Film Showing – The Dark Knight. Discussion afterwards on its relevance and resonance with the War on Terror, torture and policing the public sphere.

Discussion group on the cuts: 

The Students' Union will be in discussions with the University this week on the fee rises. Please fill in this short questionnaire today to tell us what your opinion is:

Manchester March Against the Cuts
Saturday 5 March, 12.00pm, All Saints Park, Oxford Rd

A march to Manchester Town Hall against the scale of the cuts imposed on Manchester where 2000 jobs are under threat as well as all sorts of public services.

Tuesday 1 March 2011

Research Seminar

EAS will welcome Simon Bainbridge (Lancaster) to the research seminar series on Wednesday 2nd March. 

His title is 'Romantic Mountaineering', and the seminar will begin at 4pm in the new Poetry Centre (A4). All Welcome.

North West Renaissance Drama Colloquium

A day of papers and discussion to be held in Manchester, 23rd June 2011

Proposals are invited for papers to be delivered at the first North West Renaissance Drama Colloquium. The event will bring together researchers and students from all institutions and at all career stages for a day of papers and discussion. A short list of plays being spoken on will be circulated in advance of the event and all delegates will be encouraged to come prepared to share ideas on interpretation and teaching. The venue in Manchester is to be confirmed.

A keynote lecture will be given by Professor Nicholas Royle (Sussex), author of The Uncanny, How to Read Shakespeare, After Derrida and a novel, Quilt.

To express interest in attendance or to propose a 20 minute paper on any aspect of Renaissance or Restoration drama (preferably focussing on a single play), please email a 300 word abstract by 08.04.11 to Naya Tsentourou and James Smith at:

Feminist Theory Network event: Radhika P. Seminar - March 9th - "Woman & Unreason"

Wednesday March 9th, 4.00-5.30, MMU Gaskell Room OB 101
"Woman & Unreason: Thinking a cultural history through women's writing, popular cinema and psychiatry in South India"
The presentation will attempt to trace the cultural history of 'unreason' in the post-colonial Indian context through examining the production of the 'mad woman' in the sites of women's writing, popular cinema and the psychiatric clinic.
Radhika P. is currently working as Associate Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS), Bangalore. She is currently working on the construction of the 'mad woman' in the realms of psychiatry and popular culture and is involved in the assembling of a data-base of the NIMHANS archive going back to the early twentieth century. As part of the Culture Subjectivity and Psyche (CUSP) Research Programme at CSCS, she is involved in a study on The Experience of Gendered Violence: Developing Psychobiographies. Her doctoral work examined the construction of subjectivity in post-independence regional women's writing in the context of an emerging Indian state's scientific-developmental discourse.
Erica Burman
Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies
see for free papers and downloads
Department of Psychology
Manchester Metropolitan University
Hathersage Road
Manchester, M13 0JA, UK

CIDRA: Emily Martin lecture on sleep

CIDRA: Public Lecture Series: 'Interiors'
Tuesday, 15 March, 5pm
Interiors Lecture Series:  Emily Martin, New York University
Casken Theatre, Martin Harris Centre    
‘Sleepless in America’        
Exploring historical and ethnographic materials from the U.S. since WW II, I ask how and why sleep has recently become a complex management project dependent on discipline and attention.  Even dreaming (for Freud, a chance to hear the unconscious within the interior mind) has become an activity that can be optimized for increased productivity. Research from American public health experts and sleep scientists together with incitements from the bedding industry and the pharmaceutical industry have contributed to making American sleep an enterprise that demands continuous labor rather than providing “sore labour’s bath.”

Emily Martin teaches anthropology at New York University. She is the author of The Woman in the Body: A Cultural Analysis of Reproduction (Beacon Press 1987), Flexible Bodies: Tracking Immunity in American Culture From the Days of Polio to the Age of AIDS  (Beacon Press, 1994) and Bipolar Expeditions: Mania and Depression in American Culture (Princeton University Press, 2007).

Wednesday 16 March    12-2                      
Emily Martin Masterclass
Samuel Alexander A104

for further details of the masterclass and for readings: see SAGE blog or CIDRA PG page:
or email: