Monday, December 22, 2014

Monstrum

The Department of Culture is pleased to announce the launch of Monstrum - a journal for Spectral Visions Press. Monstrum is a celebration of all things monstrous and supernatural, from the doppelganger to Penny Dreadfuls; from folklore to Gothic of the Borders. Monstrum aims to publish the best articles on the latest thinking in Gothic and Literary studies.

The deadline for proposals for our inaugural issue is 31st January 2015. The Call for Papers is available for download on the Submissions page.

You can follow Monstrum on twitter or you can like Spectral Visions Press on Facebook.

Monstrum Volume 1: Issue 1 will be available late 2015. For further information contact Colin Younger (colin.younger@sunderland.ac.uk).

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Rapunzel and feminism

The importance of stories written for young readers is undisputed, and in particular the central place of the fairy story in popular culture is clearly recognized. In an article published in Children's Literature in Education, Dr Angela Smith argues that whilst most of these stories are centuries old, they have been adapted by the cultures of the tellers to be more compatible with the ideological views of the audience. She explores how feminism has influenced two versions of the same story, published by the same publisher for comparable age groups through an examination of the Ladybird versions of Rapunzel as published in 1968 and 1993. Angela shows how there are subtle changes in the text which do not affect the overall narrative structure but can offer an insight into the ways in which society has ideologically positioned men and women. Fairclough’s critical discourse analysis (CDA) is used to show how a close linguistic analysis of the text can reveal the impact of feminism on the adaptation of children’s books.

Smith, A. 2014. 'Letting Down Rapunzel: Feminism's Effects on Fairy Tales.' Children's Literature in Education.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Histories as activism

Dr Laura O'Brien
Sunderland historian Dr Laura O'Brien will be giving a paper for the Labour and Society Research Group, a forum jointly run by the Histories of Activism group, based at the universities of Newcastle and Northumbria. Her paper is entitled 'Histories as activism: writing the history of the 1848 revolution in France'. It takes place on Monday 8th December at 5pm in Room 35 of the Lipman Building (Northumbria University, Newcastle).

English Research Seminar

Ian Bassam (EAP team, University of Sunderland) will be presenting the final paper in the autumn semester series of English Research Seminars. It is entitled 'Include me out' and considers whether there is a barrier preventing European students from integrating into UK universities. When? Wednesday 10th December at 5pm. Where? Priestman 313.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

One big happy family?


Kim Willis (TESOL) has co-written an article which appears in the English Language Research (ELR) Journal. Kim and her co-author Dr Ahmad Nazari (London Metropolitan University) explore perceptions of the development of group dynamics amongst a cohort of MA TESOL students.

Ahmad Nazari and Kim Willis 2014. 'One Big Happy Family? An Investigation into Students' Perceptions of Group Dynamics on an MA TESOL Program'. ELR Journal. Issue 1: 105-128.

Angela Smith on innovation in broadcast news

Dr Angela Smith has attended a symposium at the University of Macau called 'News discourse in the digital age: dominant, residual and emerging norms of discourse practice'. Academics form all over the world were invited to speak there, and Angela's paper - 'Waving pens and windswept correspondents: live two-ways in broadcast news' - drew on the Kate Adie Collection at Sunderland University to explore how the early impact of digital technology led to innovations in the linguistic and visual features of such reports.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The New North East


On Monday 13th July 2015 the Department of Culture will be hosting a one-day symposium focused on our region entitled ‘The New North East’. This interdisciplinary gathering - which takes place in the Prospect Building, St Peter's Campus - will bring together scholars and practitioners working in the field of ‘cultural studies’ (broadly understood to include history, literature, linguistics, visual arts and media studies). It is hoped that the forum will allow participants to share developments in their disciplines, especially those which have opened up new avenues of research and/or shed new light on more traditional objects of enquiry in the study of North East England and North East Englishness. We hope the exciting range of talks will attract interest from academics, students and members of the public from across the region. The confirmed speakers are:


Registration (which is free of charge) is required. You can reserve your place by visiting the University's online shop here. A free light lunch and refreshments will be provided. If you prefer not to register online, contact Dr Michael Pearce at mike.pearce@sunderland.ac.uk and he will register on your behalf.

    Monday, November 24, 2014

    The Journal of Intercultural Inquiry

    The Department of Culture, in conjunction with Scientia, is pleased to announce the launch of a new academic journal. The Journal of Intercultural Inquiry, which is edited by Drs Geoff Nash and Mike Pearce, is a refereed, peer-reviewed publication for scholars, researchers, students, and teachers who are interested in intercultural engagement in a globalized world.

    The journal offers a forum for critical debate and publication of research in the expanding field of intercultural inquiry. We see the concepts underpinning this area of study as fluid, dynamic and diverse, enlisting a variety of views and perspectives. The approach is interdisciplinary and its remit widely construed to include: language and communications, foreign languages, applied linguistics and translation, literary, historical, cultural and sociological studies, law, political science and international relations. For further information, visit the website or email jiiscientia@sunderland.ac.uk.

    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    Privacy, punishment and the press

    Patrick Low (PhD student, Department of Culture) will be giving a paper at Durham University entitled 'Privacy, Punishment and the Press'. His talk takes place at The Centre for Nineteenth Century Studies (CNCS) Postgraduate Research Conversation in the Institute of Advanced Study Seminar Room on 20th November 2014 (4-6pm). Further details can be found here.

    Monday, November 10, 2014

    English Research Seminar

    Professor Steve Walsh (School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences at Newcastle University) will be giving an English Research Seminar talk on Wednesday 12th November 2014. His topic is 'Analysing university spoken interaction: A corpus linguistics/conversation analysis approach.' The talk begins at 5pm in Priestman 313 and students and staff from all faculties are welcome.

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    'I'm against euthanasia because I'm a humanist'

    On 11th October 2014 an interview with Dr Kevin Yuill on the subject of euthanasia and assisted suicide was published in the Dutch magazine Trouw. In the interview, Kevin discusses the apparent contradiction - for some - encapsulated in the headline: 'Ik ben humanist en dus tegen euthanasie'. Kevin is the author of Assisted Suicide: The Liberal, Humanist Case Against Legalization (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

    Monday, October 20, 2014

    Geoff Nash gives the Sir Syed Memorial Lecture


    Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817–98)
    Dr Geoff Nash gave the annual Sir Syed Memorial Lecture to the Aligarh Muslim University Alumni Association (UK) at 41 Fitzroy Sq. London on October 19, 2014. His address was entitled; 'Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan and the Postcolonial Age'. Geoff discussed the conundrum of this great Victorian Indian thinker, reformer and seminal figure of Islamic Modernism being today well known but little studied. He discussed Sayyid Ahmad's attitudes toward British imperialism and modern Islam in the context of today's religious extremism and the contribution of British Muslims of South Asian origin to multicultural Britain.


    Saturday, October 18, 2014

    Twitter and its agonistic publics

    In an article co-authored with Dr Michael Higgins (University of Strathclyde), Dr Angela Smith examines forms of political and public engagement to emerge  in Web  2.0.  Focusing on the platform  Twitter, the  authors look at both antagonistic and agonistic  types  of  political engagement. Their article discusses Twitter’s capacity for direct contact with main political party leaders as part of  an antagonistic  public discourse,  geared towards creative expressions of individualised disaffiliation. However, in interventions around @EverydaySexism, the authors find collectivising practices more in keeping with an agonistic public discourse based upon involvement and the tactical use of irony and humour. While showing that the platform provides for new forms  of antagonistic engagement  with  political  elites,  the article therefore offers  support for the view that Web  2.0 gives  rise  to  new  and  shifting formations of non-institutionally-aligned political publics.


    Higgins, M. and Smith, A. 2014. 'Disaffiliation and belonging: Twitter and its agonistic publics.' Sociologia e Politiche Sociali, Vol. 17 (2): 77-89. 

    Friday, October 17, 2014

    English Research Seminar



    Philip Roth in 1973


    The first English Research Seminar of the academic year will take place at 5pm on Wednesday 22nd October in Room 313, Priestman Building. The speaker is Peter Dempsey (University of Sunderland), who will be giving a paper entitled 'Philip Roth and the Writing Life'. All staff and students are welcome.

    Wednesday, October 01, 2014

    Sunderland culture graduate receives PhD studentship

    Maria Fotiadou, who graduated with First Class honours in BA English Language and Literature in 2014, has been awarded a three-year studentship to pursue doctoral research in the Department of Culture. She will be using corpus-assisted methods to explore the discourses of employability in the context of UK higher education. Her work will be supervised by Drs Mike Pearce and Angela Smith.

    Monday, September 22, 2014

    Canny Culture



    The Department of Culture is teaming up with the ‘Canny Space’ at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Sunderland to launch 'Canny Culture' - a series of events organized by academics and students in the department. The inaugural event, which will take place on Friday 26th September 2014 between 6-10 pm., sees the launch of Spectral Visions: The Collection (ed. Colin Younger), an anthology of short stories and poetry written by our own students, staff, academics from other institutions and local (and not so local) writers. There will also be talks by Professor John Strachan (Bath Spa University) and Dr Mike Pearce (Sunderland University) on aspects of the history and dialect of the region.

    The evening also includes live music, a light buffet and a wine reception.

    Limited copies of the book will be available at the event but it can also be purchased on Amazon here

    All are welcome and admission is free. RSVP to colin.younger@sunderland.ac.uk.

    The Canny Space
    Church of the Holy Trinity
    Church Street East
    Sunderland
    SR1 2BB

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    Wednesday, September 17, 2014

    Adoption in England

    Dr Peter Hayes has co-authored an article which appears in September's edition of Family Law. He and John Hayes QC examine a recent change in the law: the repeal of the requirement in the Adoption and Children Act 2002 to give 'due consideration' to the racial and ethnic background of the child. They argue that the new 'colour-blind' law, properly construed and applied, should bring about a fundamental change to decision-making in adoption which is firmly rooted in securing the welfare of the child.

    Tuesday, September 09, 2014

    Angela Smith in Budapest


    Dr Angela Smith has given a paper at the Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines (CADAAD) conference in Budapest. In a paper entitled '@EverdaySexism, backlash feminism and the Twittersphere', Angela looked at the Twitter account set up by Laura Bates in 2012 to share women’s stories of sexist treatment. She focused on an unexpected consequence of the work of the EverydaySexism Project - the backlash against Bates herself, who has been targeted by ‘trolls’ and threatened with sexual violence. Angela contends that if we are to see Web 2.0 as being the means by which ‘Fourth Wave’ feminists are renewing their mothers’ and grandmothers’ calls for social equality, we can also see it as a place where the backlash against such arguments draws on a rehashing of age-old claims to male domination.

    Tuesday, September 02, 2014

    The North in the eighteenth century


    Dr David Fallon is co-organising The North in the Long Eighteenth Century. This one-day conference to be held at the Literary & Philosophical Society in Newcastle on 19th September celebrates the ten-year anniversary of the North East Forum in Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Studies and is organized by staff from the Universities of Newcastle, Northumbria, Durham, and Sunderland. Further information and details about how to book your place (which costs £10, or £5 for students) can be found here.  

    Thursday, August 21, 2014

    Second edition of Codex out now

    The second volume of Codex: A Journal of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship in the Humanities has been published. It contains seven articles by 2014 graduates from the Department of Culture, including Patrick Thorne's exploration of David Foster Wallace's 1996 encyclopedic novel Infinite Jest, and a study of gender and punishment in Early Modern Europe by Hollie Mitchell.



    The scold's bridal and the wooden petticoat - from The Rule of Moderation: Violence, Religion and the Politics of Restraint in Early Modern England by E.H. Shagan (Cambridge, 2011)

    Thursday, July 17, 2014

    Changing attitudes to transracial adoption

    Dr Peter Hayes has published a review essay in the journal Adoption Quarterly (Volume 17, Issue 2). The books he reviews - Adversity, Adoption and Afterwards and Rethinking Matching in Adoptions from Care - question, according to Peter, widely held beliefs about the efficacy of professional attempts at 'matching' between potential adopters and adoptees.

    Wednesday, July 16, 2014

    In the Moral Maze


    Dr Kevin Yuill has appeared on the flagship BBC Radio 4 programme Moral Maze. He was invited to be a witness in a discussion on assisted dying. What are the moral, ethical, philosophical and religious principles at stake in this debate? What happens when two moral principles collide and both sides could be right? What moral calculus can you apply to decide how to choose between right and wrong? You can listen to a podcast of the programme here.

    Wednesday, July 09, 2014

    The sensational mind of William Blake

    William Blake by John Flaxman (c. 1804)
    Source: Wikipedia
    'The Sensational Mind of William Blake' is the title of an essay by Dr David Fallon which appears in Réfléchir [sur] la Sensation. Volume 2: Littérature et Création dans la Monde Britannique (2014, Éditions des archives contemporaines). David explores the role of sensation in Blake's depiction of the mind's development and growth, arguing that the Blakean philosophy of mind has a much closer and nuanced relationship to Enlightenment modes of thought than has previously been recognised.  

    Sunday, July 06, 2014

    The linguistic landscape of North East England


    Dr Mike Pearce has begun a research project on the visual representation of North East dialect in the public domain. So far, most research on the language of the road signs, advertising hoardings, street names, shop signs and other written messages which make up the linguistic landscape of a given area has focused on issues surrounding multilingualism. In contrast, Mike's project will focus on the use of vernacular North East English lexis, grammar and orthography in public settings. There is a 'crowd-sourcing' element to the project: if you see any instances of dialect use, please consider sending a photo to mike.pearce@sunderland.ac.uk (with details of where it was taken) and I'll add it to the project website.

    Saturday, July 05, 2014

    Belligerent broadcasting

    Dr Angela Smith and Dr Michael Higgins (Strathclyde University) have published an article on the emerging practices of confrontation and incivility in media talk which they term 'belligerent broadcasting'. It appears in SemiotiX New Series, an online global information bulletin which aims to provide periodic snapshots of the situation of semiotic research.



    You can read 'Belligerent broadcasting: antagonism in media talk?' here.

    Friday, July 04, 2014

    New research network


    A new university-wide research network has been set up in the Department of Culture. If your research, scholarship or creative practice engages with aspects of the culture, history, geography, language, sociology, literature, architecture, politics, and visual and performing arts of North East England, then the North East Research Network (NERN) is for you. Its aim is to expand interdisciplinary links across the university in the broad field of North East Studies. NERN's website is here. The site is looked after by Mike Pearce (mike.pearce@sunderland.ac.uk).


    Thursday, July 03, 2014

    Flirtation, desire and desperation

    Dr Angela Smith will be giving a paper at the 21st annual Ross Priory Broadcast Research Seminar, held at the University of Brittany in France (1-3 July 2014). Angela will explore the everyday interactive use of persuasive devices in a popular TV programme, in a paper entitled 'Flirtation, desire and desperation: the shameless persuasive strategies of Antiques Road Trip'.

    The secret life of Britain's guns


    Dr Kevin Yuill has appeared on Voice of Russia radio to discuss the pros and cons of relaxing Britain's gun laws. You can listen to a podcast of the broadcast here.

    David Catterick workshop on video

    Dr David Catterick (Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics, Briercrest College Canada) recently delivered a guest seminar to students and staff on the MA in TESOL entitled 'Beginning beneath one's feet: the journey to finding a suitable topic for your MA TESOL dissertation'. You can view the video below.


    Monday, June 30, 2014

    Spectral Visions III on YouTube



    You can get a sense of what went on at the recent Spectral Visions III conference by visiting this YouTube channel. Highlights include Dr Alison Younger on 'Gothic Fairy Tales' and Colin Younger on 'Creating Gothic Characters'.


    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

    Hermann Broch and crisis in art

    Hermann Broch
    PhD student Janet Pearson recently presented a research paper at an international conference on Hermann Broch and crisis, at the University of Veszprem in Hungary (Hermann Broch und die Krise(n): Kunst, Äesthetik und Philosophie der Krise von Broch bis zur Gegenwart, Pannonische Universität Veszprém, 8-10 May 2014). The trip was funded by the Culture and Regional Studies Beacon. In ‘Hermann Broch and the idea of crisis in art', Janet raised the question as to whether Broch might hold an unusual and still challenging position on the role of art. Rather than providing a mirror in which the current era might be reflected, Janet argued that Broch’s depiction of art seems to be pointing to the future. His ideas indicate that crisis remains a possibility, but is not inevitable. Her paper built upon ideas set out in an article on time and spirituality in Broch’s work, published in October 2013 (details below), and also commented upon his critique of the style of individual artists.

    Pearson, Janet. (2013). Time, space and no future? Time and Spirituality in Hermann Broch’s Der Tod des Vergil and Marianne Gronemeyer’s Das Leben als letzte Gelegenheit: Sicherheitsbedürfnisse und Zeitknappheit in Germanistik in Ireland. Yearbook of the Association of Third-Level Teachers of German in Ireland. Vol. 8: 27- 42. This article was based on a conference presentation at the Women in German Studies Open Conference, (‘Conceptualising and representing temporality in German, Swiss and Austrian culture,’ University College, Dublin, 28-30 June, 2012).

    New research networks

    Dr Angela Smith has set up two new research networks within the Department of Culture.



    The gender network (SunGen), which encompasses the study of feminism, masculinity and sexuality welcomes anyone with research interests in these areas around the university.  The web site is here and includes a link to Jiscmail which you can subscribe to in order to send and receive emails from people who are fellow subscribers.



    The Northern Network for Death, Dying and Memory (NNDDM) is for those in the humanities and social sciences with an interest in this broad area of study. As with the SunGen site, you can subscribe to the group email via Jiscmail (details on the web site).

    Three year PhD studentship in the Department of Culture




    The Faculty of Education and Society, Department of Culture is offering one fully funded Humanities Studentship (full fees and maintenance grant at Research Council rate) for a suitably qualified candidate. Applicants should already possess a very good BA Honours degree. A relevant Masters qualification would be an additional advantage. The scholarships are funded by the Culture and Regional Studies Beacon. Applications are invited in the following areas:


    English Literature, Linguistics and Creative Writing 

    History 

    Politics 

    Languages (MFL, TESOL, EAP) 

    University of Sunderland students who are graduating, summer 2014, and MA students who will complete their degrees in September 2014 are especially encouraged to apply. Previous applicants for studentships advertised earlier this year may re-apply. Unfortunately students already studying on a PhD programme are ineligible. 

    Closing date: 31 August 2014 
    Notifications and Interview dates: 12 September 2014 
    Start date: 1 October 2014 (this is fixed and non-negotiable)
    Further details can be found here.


    Friday, June 20, 2014

    Spectral Visions III: The Vampire Strikes Back


    The Faculty of Education and Society’s English team is holding its annual Spectral Visions Conference on 26th June 2014 at St Peter's Campus between 9am and 4pm. Sixth formers from across the region will be attending a variety of talks and workshops on topics as diverse as how monsters talk, ghosts from Goethe to Shakespeare, and angels, zombies and monsters of the First World War.

    Further information can be obtained from Caroline Noble (Faculty of Education & Society, Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions Department). Email: caroline.noble@sunderland.ac.uk. And you can read the Spectral Visions blog here.

    The First World War and its Global Legacies - keynotes on video

    Talks by keynote speakers at the recent conference on the First World War and Its Global Legacies held at Sunderland University in April 2014 are now available to view on video.


    Professor Tim Kirk (University of Newcastle)




    Professor Maggie Andrews (University of Worcester)




    Dr Martin Hurcombe (University of Bristol)



    Professor Christopher Norris (Cardiff University)

    Tuesday, June 17, 2014

    Transgenderism in the North East

    Katie Ward
    Katie Ward has received a Department of Culture Studentship to pursue PhD research under the supervision of Dr Angela Smith. She will be comparing the lived experience of transgender people in the North East with mass media portrayals of transgenderism. Katie - who holds a BA in linguistics and a Master's in Research from Northumbria University - had her interest in the topic sparked when she worked at the Albert Kennedy Trust as the Volunteer Coordinator for the North East.

    Monday, June 16, 2014

    The dying voice of the North East

    Patrick Low
    A new PhD student has started work on an historical study of executions in Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1750-1880). Patrick Low - who is a recipient of a Department of Culture Research Studentship - will examine the ways in which public executions were represented in various contexts, and the behaviour of the crowd. Patrick graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2007 and has since been a researcher for the BBC and the Creative Director of an award winning digital agency in Newcastle. Professor Peter Rushton (Department of Social Sciences) is Patrick's Director of Studies.

    Patrick keeps a blog about his research at www.lastdyingwords.wordpress.com.

    Literary research on holocaustic regimes

    Lee White
    Lee White has recently started work on his PhD research under the supervision of Dr Fritz Wefelemeyer. He is exploring a range of literary texts, looking at how intercultural descendants of holocaustic regimes characterise the acts or complicities of their forebears. Lee - who studied at the universities of Northumbria and Georgia State - is the recipient of a Department of Culture Research Studentship.

    Monday, June 09, 2014

    Beyond Islamophobia

    Dr Geoff Nash has given an invited talk at Beyond Islamophobia, a conference held at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (June 7th and 8th 2014). Geoff's paper, entitled: 'Islamophobia, Postcolonialism, and Contemporary British Literature', probed whether contemporary British literature is Islamophobic, and what part postcolonialism plays in Islamophobic representations of Muslims in recent British writing.

    Thursday, May 15, 2014

    Function words in UK election manifestos

    Dr Michael Pearce has published an article which explores a corpus of all the UK election manifestos produced by the three main political parties in the period 1900-2010. It offers an alternative perspective on function words in corpus-assisted critical discourse analysis, placing them at the centre rather than the periphery. Michael examines the collocational and colligational profiles of four key function words (will, we, our and to) and shows how a consideration of the patterns of phraseology in which these words occur can – perhaps surprisingly – reveal aspects of party ideology, as well as pointing to generic change over time.



    Michael Pearce 2014. Key Function Words in a Corpus of UK Election Manifestos. Linguistik online 65: 23-44.




    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

    Geoff Nash addresses the IDEA conference in Turkey

    Dr Geoff Nash
    Dr Geoff Nash has given a keynote address at the 8th International IDEA Conference: Studies in English (16th-18th April 2014). Geoff's talk was entitled 'Translating The East: from Orientalism to Migrant Literature'. He scrutinised theoretical approaches to colonial translation, specifically in the context of late eighteenth and mid-nineteenth century Orientalism, and concluded by discussing the incorporation of aspects of referential systems outside standard British ones in the construction of Arab Anglophone fiction.    

    Saturday, April 05, 2014

    Culture undergraduate to speak at Chicago conference

    Chloe Campbell
    Third Year English and American Studies undergraduate Chloe Campbell has been invited to speak at a conference at DePaul University in Chicago in May 2014. The invitation to Joss Whedon: A Celebration came as a result of an article Chloe wrote for the Spectral Visions blog, which was republished in the US based Watercooler Journal. Entitled 'The Chosen Ones: Feminism and Gender Studies in Buffy the Vampire Slayer', the article is a feminist primer to the Whedonverse. Chloe has received financial support from the Department of Culture to attend the conference.

    Thursday, April 03, 2014

    First World War conference

    Helmuth von Moltke

    Several members of the Department of Culture will be taking part in an academic conference to be held at the university on the 5th and 6th April 2014. The First World War and Its Global Legacies: 100 Years On will explore the impact of this first truly global war on the history, culture, philosophy, language and politics of the century following it. The conference programme includes over twenty papers by scholars from as far afield as Russia, Algeria and the USA. Topics include landscapes and the imagination; computer games; colonial education in British West Africa; media representations of veterans of the Great War. Amongst the keynote speakers will be Professor Maggie Andrews, Professor Tim Kirk, Dr Martin Hurcombe and Kate Adie (writer and broadcaster). Sunderland's Dr Angela Smith will be giving a keynote talk entitled ‘Sympathy and Suspicion: State Surveillance of British Widows of the First World War’. Six other Department of Culture members will also be giving papers.



    • Arwa Ebrahim: 'The Impact of the First World War on the Middle East and its Effect on Arab Women'.
    • Dr Barry Lewis: 'Rechewing the Cud: Sebastian Barry's A Long Long Way and the Irish Experience of the First World War'.
    • Dr Kath Kerr-Koch: 'From Apokatastasis to Deconstruction: The Legacy of the First World War in the Transfiguration of Modern Thought'.
    • Janet Pearson: 'Drifting into the Abyss: Twilight Consciousness in Hermann Broch’s The Sleepwalkers'.
    • Dr Fritz Wefelmeyer: '"Overcome by Horror". Helmuth von Moltke, Chief of German General Staff 1906-14, in his letters and memoirs'.
    • Fadi Elhusseini: 'The Great War, the Middle East and Islam'.

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

    English Research Seminar

    Students and staff from all faculties are invited to a talk by English PhD student Marjan Shokouhi on Wednesday 2nd April 2014 at 5.00pm (Priestman 313). Marjan's paper is entitled 'Love and the Big City: Patrick Kavanagh in Dublin'.


    Patrick Kavanagh by Patrick Swift (1960)

    Monday, March 17, 2014

    David Fallon on Samuel Johnson

    Samuel Johnson
    by Joshua Reynolds (1775)
    Dr David Fallon has published an article on the importance of booksellers' shops in Samuel Johnson's literary life, focusing in particular on the pivotal role played by Thomas Davies's shop in Covent Garden, the place where Johnson and James Boswell first met. The essay, which appears in The New Rambler - the journal of the Johnson Society of London - also considers wider questions about booksellers' shops in eighteenth-century London as meeting places for a range of literary and political groups.

    David Fallon (2014). 'Samuel Johnson and the Booksellers'. The New Rambler: The Journal of the Johnson Society of London. 15: 59-70.

    Sunday, March 16, 2014

    English Research Seminar

    Dr Susan Mandala (English) will be giving a talk entitled 'The Archaic in George R.R. Martin's Novel A Game of Thrones: Re-Assessing Heroic Fiction on Stylistic Grounds'. English Research Seminars are open to staff and students from all faculties. Date and time: Wednesday 19th March at 5pm. Venue: Priestman 313.

    Friday, March 07, 2014

    Sarah Hackett in the History Lab

    Dr Sarah Hackett
    At 5.00pm on Tuesday 11th March 2014 Dr Sarah Hackett of Bath Spa University will be giving a talk for the History Lab entitled '"Keeping up with the Khans": Ambition and Authority amongst Immigrant Communities in British and German Neighbourhoods c. 1960s-1990s'. Venue: Priestman 101.

    Monday, February 17, 2014

    Acclaim for historian's assisted suicide book

    A review in the journal Disability & Society has described the latest book by Sunderland historian Dr Kevin Yuill as a 'timely and welcome' volume in an area often under-analysed by academics. Susie Balderston, from the Law School at Lancaster University suggests that Assisted Suicide: The Liberal, Humanist Case against Legalization (Palgrave, 2013) 'maturely delineates a consistently well-argued path through the thorny discrepancies of polarised debates, past and present'. Balderston maintains that the author 'has a refreshing talent for injecting readability into thorny subjects', and concludes her review by stating that the volume is 'by far the best book on this subject in many years; the author should be proud of this important volume that brilliantly and eloquently tackles injustice and prejudice around assisted suicide'.

    Sunday, February 16, 2014

    English Research Seminar

    'Hypnotic Séance'. Painting by Richard Bergh, 1887.
    Source: Wikipedia
    Staff and students from all faculties are welcome to the first talk of the new season of English research seminars. Culture PhD student Jamie Spears will be speaking on 'Late Victorian and Fin de Siècle Spiritualism in the North East'. Time: 5pm on Wednesday 19th February. Place: Priestman 313. Ectoplasm not provided.

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

    Kevin Yuill on FDR, immigration and race

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933.
    Source: Wikipedia
    Franklin Roosevelt often receives accolades for pushing the USA towards a more liberal stance on race and immigration, even if his administration remained aloof from civil rights or immigration reforms. An article by Dr Kevin Yuill published in the journal Immigrants & Minorities: Historical Studies in Ethnicity, Migration and Diaspora questions that contention. Roosevelt, who presided over the period of the lowest immigration in the twentieth century, relied upon the break in immigration imposed by the 1924 Act (and the Depression) to consolidate a national culture based on ‘Nordic’ symbols, effectively carrying through the ‘Americanization’ initiated during World War I without coercion. While there is evidence of Roosevelt's liberal disposition towards those originating from Europe whose numbers were savagely restricted by the 1924 Immigration Act, and while Roosevelt was anxious to maintain cordial relations with Asian nations, he fully supported the Act's debarment of Asians from American citizenship. Moreover, he did so for strictly racial reasons.


    Yuill, K. 2014. 'In the Shadow of the 1924 Immigration Act: FDR, Immigration and Race'. Immigrants & Minorities: Historical Studies in Ethnicity, Migration and Diaspora.

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