Friday, 28 March 2014

Centre for Writing, Place and History hosts a research seminar on Richard Jefferies

Richard Jefferies (1848-87) was the author of several novels and children's books, and remains a much-loved nature writer. He is perhaps best known for Wild Life in a Southern County (1879), a natural history of his native Wiltshire and in particular the countryside around Swindon. It has been said that Jefferies's 'sphere was the the fields and hedgerows around us [...] his task was to show that the unfamiliar lay near at hand' (G. Sampson).

The Centre for Writing, Place and History welcomes Rebecca Welshman (U of Exeter) for a research seminar on Richard Jefferies and his work. It promises to be a fascinating paper and discussion for anyone interested in literature, history, natural history and the environment, and everyone is welcome. Details below.



The Centre for Writing, Place and History
“The Old House at Coate”: Literary Voyages at the Birthplace of Richard Jefferies (1848-1887)
Rebecca Welshman (University of Exeter)
Wednesday 2 April at 5:15pm
University of Gloucestershire
Francis Close Hall HC202
Everyone is welcome
Image: Richard Jefferies, The Open Air (1908). Courtesy of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery.
Richard Jefferies Society:

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Postscript: Laurie Lee Read-a-Thon for World Book Day

English Literature and Creative Writing students raised nearly £138 for Booktrust . Job done. On behalf of the School of Humanities, thanks to everyone involved, some of whom appear below.

Photo: Debby Thacker.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Author, comedian and broadcaster Rob Newman speaks at the University of Gloucestershire next week

Robert Newman is an author, broadcaster, comedian, and political activist, who will be making a rare public speaking appearance at The University of Gloucestershire on March 26th 2014.
He read English at Selwyn College, Cambridge, before finding fame as a comedian on the BBC’s The Mary Whitehouse Experience. He was then half of Newman and Baddiel, described by The Guardian as "the most successful comedy duo of all time."
After a pioneering, record-breaking tour that famously sold out Wembley Arena, Newman turned his back on main-stream stadium comedy, pursuing a solo career as a novelist and political comedian. His first novel, Dependence Day, won the £10,000 Betty Trask Award, and his second novel, Manners, was published by Penguin. His return to comedy saw him produce a series of erudite politicised solo shows that have toured in Britain and America, and have seen him compared to Lenny Bruce and described as "the funniest comedian I’ve ever seen" in The Sunday Times, and "breathtakingly, heartbreakingly, goosepimplingly brilliant" in The Scotsman. In 2005, he finally returned to television comedy when his show A History of Oil screened on More4, and in 2007 the BBC screened a six-part series, A History of the World Backwards.
Newman continues to make his name as one of the most exciting and unusual of contemporary British novelists. His third novel, A Fountain at the Centre of the World, was chosen as a book of the year by Dave Eggers and described in The New York Times as "the talismanic Catch-22 of the antiglobalization protest movement." The Guardian argued it was a "wonderful, big-hearted, textured, funny, moral and deeply unfashionable book", while The Independent asked if it could "herald a resuscitation of the English "literary political novel", almost dead in the water since the best work of Malcolm Lowry and Graham Greene".
Newman will join us to discuss politics, fiction, history, and his new novel, The Trade Secret – an outrageous, continent-crossing epic that subtly blends fact and fiction, and is described by The Guardian as "a rollicking Elizabethan yarn that has much to say about the origins and nature of modern capitalism."
The event is free to staff and students of the University, but places can be reserved through the Online Shop here.

'Fiction, Politics and the Past'

A talk by Rob Newman

Humanities Public Lecture Series

University of Gloucestershire


Wednesday 26 March 2014

Francis Close Hall TC001 at 7:30pm


All are welcome


Wednesday, 19 March 2014

A new publication and a new direction in cross-disciplinary research

Bloomsbury Influences: Papers from the Bloomsbury Adaptations Conference, Bath Spa University, 5-6 May 2011
Professor Shelley Saguaro and Lucy Tyler have contributed to this new collection of essays, edited by E. H Wright. In this collaborative essay, entitled ‘”Nature Once More Had Taken Her Part”: Recuperating Anon, the Common Voice and the Uncovered Theatre’, ‘the pageant performed by the villagers in Woolf’s Between the Acts is linked to “ecoperformance”, a theoretical approach which explores the pressures places on al fresco theatre by the natural world. As well as how and why it has become an important part of British culture. Woolf, according to Saguaro and Tyler, “offers a compelling example of outdoor theatre and its practitioners’ methodologies, which can be compared (and are useful) to a contemporary practice of the art form”.’ (E.H Wright, Introduction).

Friday, 14 March 2014

Students read Cider With Rosie to raise money for Booktrust

To celebrate World Book Day and to raise money for Booktrust, our enterprising level 4 students of English Literature and English Literature and Creative Writing arranged a sponsored reading of Laurie Lee's Cider with Rosie. It also marked the centenary of this Gloucestershire writer's birth, and offered a good excuse to drink cider and eat cakes.


Siani Medlock made and decorated these splendid cupcakes.

Twelve readers started at about 3:30, egged on by a supporting crowd. By 9:30, in another location, we were flagging. But we completed the book.

The bitter end, c. 9:00 pm.

The organisers were interviewed on camera and some photos taken for the Student Union newspaper Space. We'll collect the incriminating evidence for our Flickr photo gallery, to be uploaded here soon; please check back.

Many thanks to the organising team: Charlotte Damiral, Niall Gallen, Melody Grace, Siani Medlock, Laura Nicklin and Katherine Timbury. The readers were (in no particular order) Beth Norris, Siani Medlock, Luc Wafford, Katie McDonnell, Niall Gallen, Cherie Jones, Melody Grace, Natalie Mason, Laura Nicklin, Katherine Timbury, Hilary Weeks, Debby Thacker.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Sponsored Read-a-Thon for World Book day, 4th March

English Literature students are marking World Book Day next Tuesday with a sponsored reading of Laurie Lee's Cider With Rosie. All proceeds go to the Booktrust.

The event celebrates the power of reading to change lives, and draws on the School of Humanities' many connections with Gloucestershire writers. Each year we sponsor the Laurie Lee Memorial Lecture at the Cheltenham Festival of Literature, and the University Archives have extensive holdings of Gloucestershire Poets, Writers and Artists' work.
Organiser Melody Grace writes:

Today in the UK, three in ten children are living in households that do not contain a single book. This year Booktrust have launched the Children's Reading Fund to support children with additional needs, disadvantaged children and children in care. They want to help children throughout the UK enjoy books, reading and the lifelong benefits they can bring, and your participation could make a real difference.

On the 4th March, the English Literature course hosts a sponsored Readathon of Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee. It will begin in TC001 at 3:15-and end in TC002A by 9:15 at the absolute latest. Refreshments will be provided!

Please support this student-led event and help to spread the gift of reading that we take so much for granted.
Cider with Rosie Read-a-Thon
Tuesday 4 March 2014
Francis Close Hall TC001 (Main lecture theatre)
3:15 till evening
Refreshments provided