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English Literature and Creative Writing


Catch up with what's been happening in the English Literature and Creative Writing department.

Love and Its Others - Sexuality Summer School 2016
31 March 2016
Our public events programme is now confirmed for 'Sexuality Summer School: Love and Its Others', Monday 23 - Friday 27 May 2016.

Wars of Position: Communism and Civil Society
21 January 2016
Dr Ben Harker (English Literature) has recently been awarded a grant of £143k from the Arts and Humanities Research Council for a project 'Wars of Position: Communism and Civil Society' (2016-18).


Shakespeare scholar on Radio 5 Live

(27 October 2015)

Senior Lecturer in Renaissance Literature Dr Jerome de Groot was interviewed about Shakespeare on BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast on 27 October 2015. With the writer and theatre critic Andrew Dixon, he discussed Sir Ian McKellen’s claim that Shakespeare's plays should be watched live in the theatre and reading them reducing his work to an exam subject.

Presenter Clare McDonnell praised Jerome's infectious enthusiasm for the subject and ended the interview by saying that "We all wish he had taught us Shakespeare".

You can listen to the interview on BBC iPlayer Radio. The interview starts at 1:28:39:

Dr Jerome de Groot interviewed for Spanish documentary

(22 September 2015)

Dr Jerome de Groot from the Division of English, American Studies and Creative Writing was interviewed for a film produced by two historians, Maria Sánchez and Daniel Bote, from the Center for Humanities and Social Sciences of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in Madrid.

Their documentary is about Napoleonic Re-enactment in a Spanish village (entitled The 1811 Arroyo dos Molinos Affair).

The film is available to watch in full (with English subtitles) on Youtube:

Remaking History book launch, 23 August 2015

(21 July 2015)

Senior Lecturer, Jerome De Groot, launches his book 'Remaking History: The Past in Contemporary Historical Fictions' at the Hold Fast, 50 Newton Street, Manchester M1 2EA on Sunday, 23 August 2015 between 6 - 7pm.

"The book takes in Thomas Cromwell, zombies, smoking, Westerns, dancing, Anne Boleyn, and a semi-naked Michael Fassbender. Something for everyone, then." - Jerome De Groot

Remaking History considers the ways that historical fictions of all kinds enable a complex engagement with the past.

Popular historical texts including films, television and novels, along with cultural phenomena such as superheroes and vampires, broker relationships to 'history', while also enabling audiences to understand the ways in which the past is written, structured and ordered.

Drawing from popular films, novels and TV series of recent years, and engaging with key thinkers from Marx to Derrida, Remaking History is a must for all students interested in the meaning that history has for fiction, and vice versa.

A Hundred in One Hundred Minutes

(3 June 2015)

Join us for a celebration of one hundred years of working class struggles for political and social rights

'A Hundred in One Hundred Minutes' - Popular songs, poems and tales introduced by two professors of these vernacular arts:

The Langley Linnet herself, Ms Jennifer Reid, pre-eminent ballad-monger of the Manchester region - recently returned from her triumphant clog storming performance at the Venice Biennale!

And the Radical Antiquarian, Dr Michael Sanders, purveyor of literary and historical yap at some of the most elevated institutions of higher learning to be found in the country.

The whole being an entertainment in aid of that most worthy and august of our institutions, The Working Class Movement Library at 51 The Crescent, Salford where this remarkable and extraordinary spectacle will take place on the afternoon of Sunday, 5 July 2015.

Admission £10, all proceeds to the Library

Book your ticket:

My English Tongue, My Irish Heart

(30 April 2015)

Unique Manchester–Belfast artistic collaboration sees compelling new play hit UK and Irish stages.

A newly commissioned research-based play based on a book by Dr Liam Harte, Senior Lecturer in Irish and Modern Literature, is about to embark on a month-long tour of community arts venues in Ireland and the UK. The tour is jointly sponsored by the University of Manchester and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Entitled My English Tongue, My Irish Heart, this groundbreaking play is based on The Literature of Irish in Britain: Autobiography and Memoir, 1725-2001 (2009), a critically acclaimed study by Dr Liam Harte, Senior Lecturer in Irish and Modern Literature in the Division of English, American Studies and Creative Writing.

Last year, Dr Harte secured a Follow-on Funding Award from the AHRC to collaborate with the esteemed Belfast playwright, Martin Lynch, to transform the research findings of his 2009 book into a lively theatrical show that would promote debate about, and enhance the visibility of, humanities research to those outside the sector.

The resultant play opens in Belfast on Friday, 1 May, after which it will embark on a ten-venue tour, which includes a two-night run at the Irish World Heritage Centre in Cheetham Hill in Manchester on 26 and 27 May. The tour is jointly presented by the University of Manchester and Green Shoot Productions, Lynch’s not-for-profit theatre company.

As part of the project’s commitment to social responsibility and community outreach, a portion of the tour proceeds will be donated to two emigrant welfare charities, namely, the London-based Aisling Return to Ireland Project and the Safe Home Programme in County Mayo.

Queer Arts as Activism - Sexuality Summer School 2015

(16 April 2015)

Now in its eighth year and taking place between Monday, 18 and Friday, 22 May 2015, our Sexuality Summer School will bring to Manchester a combination of scholars, artists, performers, filmmakers and writers.

The theme for 2015 is 'Queer Arts as Activism' and public events will feature:

  • Gavin Butt (Goldsmiths): "Anti-Gravitas: Queer Importance in Art and Performance"
  • "Why Sing?" Roundtable discussion
  • Screening of John Greyson's Fig Trees (2009)
  • Performance lecture with photographer and artist Del LaGrace Volcano: "INTER*ME: Give me an L! G! B! T! I! Q! or How I Lived (Through) my Acronymous Identities"
  • Public Lecture with writer and filmmaker Sarah Schulman (CUNY): "Conflict is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility and the Duty of Repair"

For more information visit the Sexuality Summer School web pages or download a Public Events programme poster.

Jahan Ramazani joins as our John Edward Taylor Fellow 2015

(10 April 2015)

From 29 April - 1 May 2015, Jahan Ramazani, Professor of English at University of Virginia, author of Poetry and its Others: News, Prayer, Song and the Dialogue of Genres (Chicago, 2013), A Transnational Poetics (Chicago, 2009), The Hybrid Muse: Post-colonial Poetry in English (2001) and Poetry of Mourning: The Modern Elegy from Hardy to Heaney (1994), and editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature (8th & 9th Editions, 2012), The Princeton Encyclopaedia of Poetry and Poetics (2012) and the Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry (3rd ed, 2003), will be in the Department as our John Edward Taylor Fellow. 

More information on the aforementioned publications:

On Wednesday, 29 April he will give a masterclass based on readings from the introduction and first chapter of his book Poetry and its Others (2013) and the first and second chapters of A Transnational Poetics (2009).

On Thursday, 30 April he will give a public lecture, entitled "Close Reading, Distant Reading?: The Transnational Migration of Poetic Form."

On Friday, 1 May we are planning a roundtable discussion with other colleagues from Manchester.