Monday, December 22, 2014


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 (

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.


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