Research Institute for Literature and Cultural History

Upcoming and past events within the Institute

Take a look at our list of our upcoming and past events.

Thinking Out Loud: Shyness, Writing and the Everyday

Led by Professor Joe Moran and artist Jess Scott - 23 October, Bloom, Birkenhead

Professor Joe Moran has focused on the everyday – the history of mundane phenomena such as queuing, motorways or watching television that we mostly fail to notice or take for granted. More recently he has written on shyness, a chronic and common condition. His latest book, First You Write a Sentence, is a ‘style guide by stealth’, a celebration of how good writing can help us to notice the world and live more meaningful lives. This talk will bring together these interests as he explores the links between shyness, writing and observing the everyday.

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‘Between Land and Sea’: Launch of the Research Institute for Literature and Cultural History

The launch event for the Research Institute took place at Tate Liverpool on 20 September 2019. Keynote speaker, Professor Steven Mentz, delivered a lecture on ‘Acting Human in the Anthropocene: A Shakespearean Immersion’.

Steven Mentz is Professor of English at St. John’s University in New York City. He is both a Shakespearean scholar and and a leading figure in the development of blue (or oceanic) humanities, an exciting new area of research which brings together environmental, historiographical and literary studies.

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RISE Festival

Poet Helen Tookey has collaborated with artist Sarah Hymas to create 30 limited edition poetry pamphlets in response to Shanghai Sacred exhibition at Victoria Gallery. The work focuses on Sudley Field in south Liverpool, a space sacred to Helen. The free booklets are hidden in special places around Liverpool…so keep a look out. 

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Latest publication

The latest publication from Research Institute staff is Travelling Servants by Kathryn Walchester. Published by Routledge, it offers an account of alternative modes of writing about and experiencing the Home Tour and the Grand Tour. Kate’s other publications on travel writing include Gamle Norge and Nineteenth-Century British Women Travellers in Norway (2014) and Keywords for Travel Writing Studies (2019) with Charles Forsdick and Zoe Kinsley. Kate teaches a level 6 module on travel writing for LJMU English.

Beyond Western Eyes: South Asian Women's Writing in Contemporary Contexts

On 28 June, LJMU hosted an international symposium, ‘Beyond Western Eyes: South Asian Women’s Writing in Contemporary Contexts’. The event was part of ‘Decolonising Feminism’, a research project led by Dr Fiona Tolan (English Studies, LJMU) and Dr Rachel Carroll (Teesside University) and funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund. The symposium brought together scholars working on South Asian and contemporary women’s writing in the UK, India and Pakistan.

Rich and challenging keynote papers were delivered by Dr Navtej Purewal (SOAS) on coloniality and the imperatives of contemporary feminist scholarship, and Dr Amina Yaqin (SOAS) on feminism and the secular sacred divide in contemporary Pakistan. A particular highlight of the day was a roundtable hosted by Dr Stuti Khanna from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and Dr Nukhbah Langah from Forman Christian College, Lahore: LJMU’s international partners on the Decolonising Feminism project. The roundtable included contributions via skype from postgraduate and early career participants joining the discussion from India and Pakistan, providing for an inspiring exchange of ideas across borders.

Society for the Promotion of Urban Discussion

On 28 June [the new Research Institute for Literature and Cultural History at] LJMU hosted the fifteenth meeting of SPUD: the Society for the Promotion of Urban Discussion. The society’s aim is to bring together scholars from a variety of disciplines (urban history, cultural history, architecture, planning, literature and other areas) to discuss the interaction between the social and the physical changes that occurred in British cities during the post-war period. Each meeting of SPUD takes place in a different city. At SPUD XV on 28 June, about 30 scholars participated and responded to papers given by Dr. Phil Child (University of Birmingham), Dr. Barnabas Calder (University of Liverpool) and Lynsey Hanley (LJMU).

Lynsey is a journalist and author of the books Estates: An Intimate History (2006) and Respectable: The Experience of Class (2016). A visiting research fellow at LJMU, she is also completing a PhD here on the role of public transport in the cultural imagination in the postwar era. Her paper for SPUD was titled ‘Imagining Good Transport’.

At the end of the event, the co-founders of SPUD, Dr. Otto Suamarez-Smith (University of Warwick) and Professor Simon Gunn (University of Leicester) thanked LJMU for hosting the event and making them so welcome.