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 



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: 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

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.


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