Thursday, 22 September 2016

Social Media Intern

https://futureplan.glos.ac.uk/students/jobs/detail/279589/

Above is the link to an opportunity for students in our School, including one from English Literature. I do hope the link works okay; you should be able to find it on there anyway. Basically, every year we look for someone to help out with our online presence by twetting, tittering or blagging (oh, and taking photos) whenever an event comes up. This can be anything from Open Days to one-off lectures. You get some training, work experience and a tablet.

If you are more up to date with this sort of language than I am, then this might be for you.

Paul

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

How to land a book deal worth millions

You know how we’re always saying that nobody gets rich through writing fiction? Well, once in a while someone does. This year, that someone is publishing sensation Chloé J. Esposito. If this is the first time you’ve heard of her, rest assured it won’t be the last. Chloé has just sold the rights to her erotic thriller trilogy, Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know, in a deal that’s already worth over £2million. In addition to that, Universal have bought the film rights and there’s already speculation that Jennifer Lawrence or Emma Stone might play the protagonist. All this and the first book won’t even be released until next summer.

So how do you land a multi-million-pound book deal? Damned if I know. But Chloé does, and she’s coming to the University to share her whirlwind experience with University of Gloucestershire students. This is an extraordinary opportunity to hear first-hand one of the most sensational stories the publishing world has known in recent years, and it’s a rare chance to meet a global superstar writer before she’s insanely famous. Chloé will be talking at Francis Close Hall Campus, in TC001, at 6:30pm on Tuesday 4th October. The event is free and everyone is welcome.
You can read more about our guest here, and don’t forget to book the date!

Friday, 16 September 2016

Welcome back


Induction Week begins on Monday and we look forward to meeting our new students of English Literature. Then on the following week, we greet our current students who are about to enter levels 5 and 6 (level 6!).

We love September and all the excitement that the new academic year brings. Whether you are freshmen or returning students, a very warm welcome to you all, and best wishes for a book-filled year ahead.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Goodbye 2015-16: Humanities round-up



The new academic year is not far away. Meanwhile, in the quiet of August we can look back at a very, very busy period from May to July.  First, our Back to the Future alumni supper brought together successful alumni and current students. The English Literature and Creative Writing courses had a high profile at the Cheltenham Poetry Festival Professor John Hughes and Dr Paul Innes spoke (respectively) to the public on the songs of Dylan and Shakespeare’s history plays.

Next up, the School of Humanities contributed three major events to the University Festival. Creative Writers rioted (as usual) with original work, guest speakers, and a conference dinner, all part of the Creative Writers Riot LINK organised by Lania Knight and students.

On June 8, the schools of Humanities and Media joined forces for their first ever creative collaboration:  Alchemy: a Creative Experiment.  What would happen, we asked ourselves, if an English Literature student got together with a songwriter? An historian with a film-maker? A Creative Writer with a Radio Production student?  The student alchemists who joined the project took the creative risks such a project entails; and we found gold. Members of the public, students and staff gathered at Cheltenham’s Wilson Gallery on June 8 for a gala evening (with champagne).  Ben Cipolla won the Grand prize of £250, but all the alchemists won £50. These artists produced some staggering work, and you’ll be able to find out more about the event in September (there are some photos on the English Literature Flickr gallery). Very special thanks go to Melody Grace, BA Hons English Literature (class of 2016), for reporting and photographing the event.

And the very next morning, the Humanities Student Research Conference presented and celebrated undergraduate research from levels 5 and 6 (photos here). It was truly inspiring to be part of this conference and to hear about work of such high calibre, as you can see from the programme.  My thanks to all the students who took part, with very special thanks, and all good wishes, to our new graduates. 


I wish all new and returning students a fabulous summer. See you in September 2016. 

Friday, 29 July 2016

Romeo and Juliet








I recently saw a friend in this production of Romeo and Juliet in London (now running as part of the Camden Fringe). The relationship between the nurse and Juliet was really well done, as was Friar Lawrence's fatherly tenderness towards the young couple. The fight choreography was excellent and the scene changes were particularly good, with some scenes artfully arranged so that they started before the last one had finished. Watch out for the annoyed servant who keeps hustling the Capulets to get a move on. In some places it felt as if the comedic elements were so successful they outdid the darker aspects of the play, but overall the production was really good, full of energy and warmth.























Friday, 24 June 2016

Open Days at Francis Close Hall, Saturday June 25 and Tuesday June 28

If you're considering studying English Literature this year or next, come to one of our Open Days and ask us all about it. We're running two more Open Days in June (Saturday 25 and Tuesday 28). Book your place here:  http://www.glos.ac.uk/visit/open/Pages/undergraduate-open-days.aspx


Humanities undergraduates share their research at our recent Humanities Student Research Conference. More here.

Come and see where and how we study, chat to current students, find out about accommodation and student life in Cheltenham, and catch a glimpse of the campus cat if you're lucky.  You can also keep up to speed by following us on Facebook and Twitter. We hope to see you soon.


Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Rose Wolfe-Emery reviews 'The Handmaid's Tale' by Margaret Atwood


At first glance, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ reads like something one might happen across in a collection of fairy tales. Picture the deviant handmaid of a wealthy lady: attractive, rebellious, perhaps overcoming social class divisions by seducing a member of the gentry. In actuality, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale tells a completely different story.

The tale takes place in ‘Gilead’, a dystopian Republic in which the traditional division of labour in heterosexual marriage has been dismantled and is divided among women. The jobs historically associated with the female counterpart in a marriage – such as cooking, cleaning, bearing and raising children – are allocated to women according to their fertility. The singular role of a handmaid is to provide a child for a ruling-class family; if she fails to do so after three assignments, she is declared an ‘Unwoman’ and is sent away to inevitably die from radiation poisoning. The names of handmaids change depending on the household they are allocated to, reflecting their invariability from one another and lack of identity. For instance, the titular handmaid’s name is ‘Offred’, mirroring how her body and sexual agency are the property of Fred, the commander she was assigned to.

One of the most interesting aspects of this novel is the ideologies (largely based on biblical interpretations) that are used to justify such a regime. Offred regularly has flashbacks to the lessons given at ‘the Centre’, where prospective handmaids are trained. By ensuring that the desires of men are catered for, this has vastly reduced sexual assault cases in Gilead – yet just like rape, women’s autonomy is removed from the equation. The handmaids are required to dress in red habits that conceal their bodies in order to appear demure and professional, while the colour symbolises the nature of their profession. They also wear white wings on their heads, which obscure their vision and subsequently narrow their view of the world – reflecting the irrelevance of their thoughts in such a society. This novel also features distinctly Orwellian elements, the ‘Eyes’ (secret police) supposedly catching anyone who doesn’t behave according the rules of Gilead.

Atwood has insisted that the world portrayed in this novel is speculative rather than genuinely futuristic, simply questioning what would happen if “casually held attitudes about women” were taken to their logical ends. For anyone interested in feminism, I thoroughly recommend reading this thought-provoking novel because it continually highlights relevant, contemporary issues. Perhaps most significantly, it makes us more concerned about them.