Research Institute for Literature and Cultural History 2023/2024 seminars

December 2023

Wednesday 6 December
RILCH PGR Showcase

John Foster Building, 80-98 Mount Pleasant
Room JF1.27
5.30 to 7pm

November 2023

Tuesday 7 November
RILCH Symposium 2023

Building on the success of our Institute launch in 2019 and symposium in 2022, we are looking to make the RILCH Symposium an annual event.

Informed by the research focus of many of our RILCH members, the theme for this year’s symposium is Time.

The afternoon will begin with lunch and will include: talks by two keynote speakers, the first Dr Amber Regis(University of Sheffield), co-editor of Charlotte Brontë: Legacies and Afterlives (Manchester University Press,2017) and the second Jeff Young (formerly of LJMU), author of Ghost Town: A Liverpool Shadowplay (Little Toller, 2020); a series of short presentations by RILCH members; and a conversation with Professor Catherine Cole to celebrate the publication of her latest book, Slipstream: On Memory and Migration (Valley Press,2023).

Bluecoat Arts Centre, School Lane
12.30 to 5.30pm

Register via Eventbrite

Wednesday 15 November
The Nonsense Tree activity day (part of UK-wide Being Human Festival)

Organised by Dr. Kate Walchester and Dr. Jude Piesse

Sefton Park Palm House
9.30am to 5pm

Thursday 23 November
Steve Lyus, ‘Liverpool Botanic Gardens’

John Foster Building, 80-98 Mountain Pleasant
Room JF1.27
5.30 to 7pm

October 2023

Wednesday 18 October

Margaret Murphy, ‘Bodies in the Library’

The Athenaeum, 12-18 Church Alley, 7.00 to 8.30pm

Thursday 19 October

Ebroje Azanuwha Memorial Lecture by Ashleigh Nugent, ‘From LOCKS to RiseUp: Rewriting Your Story’

John Foster Building, Mount Pleasant, room JF1.21, 5.30 to 7.00pm

Wednesday 25 October

Joint Liverpool Universities English and Creative Writing Forum

Silvia Battista, ‘Queering (Wyrding) the Cross: Science Fiction Narrativesand Religious Symbolism’

Liverpool, Hope University Creative Campus, room COR 114A, 3:15 to 5.00pm

Thursday 26 October

Book Launch: Gerry Smyth, Serpent, Siren, Maelstrom & Myth: Sea Stories and Folktales from Around the World (2023)

Bluecoat Arts Centre, School Lane, 6.00 to 7.30pm

Book Launch: Gerry Smyth

Serpent, Siren, Maelstrom & Myth: Sea Stories and Folktales from Around the World (2023)

Thursday 26 October - Bluecoat Arts Centre, School Lane, 6.00 to 7.30pm

The launch

Following a wine reception, Gerry Smyth will read from his book Serpent, Siren, Maelstrom and Myth. Gerry will then be in conversation with Horatio Clare, author of Down to the Sea in Ships: Of Ageless Oceans and Modern Men (Vintage, 2014). The evening will close with a short performance by the Long-Haul Rattlers, the LJMU shanty choir. Copies of Gerry’s book will be on sale throughout the evening courtesy of News from Nowhere. There will also be time for book-signing towards the end of the event.

The book

From Norse creation myths to the Mary Celeste, and from a Polynesian trickster hero to encounters with ghost ships, the twenty-eight tales in this new collection are by turns ominous and exhilarating. They range across cultural traditions and centuries of myth-making - all retold, introduced and examined for the modern reader. The book is thoughtfully illustrated throughout with complementary paintings, engravings, manuscripts and more from the rich collections of the British Library.

Gerry Smyth

Originally from Dublin but now resident in Hoylake in the northwest of England, Gerry Smyth is Professor of Irish Cultural History at Liverpool John Moore University. He has published widely on various aspects of Irish music and literature. This is his second book with the British Library following Sailor Song: The Shanties and Ballads of the High Seas (2021). Gerry is also a playwright, actor, composer and musician and has performed numerous events across Europe.

The Former Boy Wonder

Thursday 24 March 2022, at 5.30pm in the Johnson Foundation Auditorium of the John Lennon Building

Novelist, playwright and short-story writer Robert Graham teaches Creative Writing at LJMU.

He will read extracts from his novel 'The Former Boy Wonder' in conversation with Caroline Smailes (Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Liverpool and LJMU tutor).

Although this seminar will be the closing event of the 2022 APSS PGR conference, it is open to all LJMU colleagues.

Jackie Kay event: 3 June 2021

RILCH was delighted to host an evening with Professor Jackie Kay, who has just completed a five-year tenure as Scotland’s Makar (the national poet). Kay read from her work and responded generously to questions from the sixty or so participants in attendance. The online event provided the final session of ‘Jackie Kay: An International Conference’ – the first such conference on Kay’s work – which was organised by Dr Fiona Tolan (LJMU English) and Dr Tasha Alden from Aberystwyth University. The conference brought together scholars from around the world to examine and discuss Kay’s remarkable body of writing, which encompasses plays, poetry, non-fiction, children’s literature, short stories and a ground-breaking novel. The reading and Q&A provided the perfect celebratory conclusion to an incredibly productive and stimulating day of shared research and discussion and brought in a number of additional participants – readers and fans of Kay’s work – in testament to the wide and enduring reach of her writing.

The evening commenced with an introduction by Nancy Gish, Professor Emerita of English and former Director of Women’s Studies at the University of Southern Maine and author of numerous books and articles on Scottish modernism and Scottish women poets. Gish spoke of her own engagement with Kay’s writing over many years, and rightly noted that, as well as a powerful writer, Kay is also a brilliant speaker and performer of her own work. This element of performance was subsequently demonstrated in Kay’s moving readings from poems such as ‘Fiere’, about love and friendship, ‘Brendon Gallacher’, about childhood and the power of imagination, as well as some of her poems on Bessie Smith from her recently republished biography of the legendary Blues singer. These readings were interspersed with reflections and anecdotes about Scotland, family, and ideas about language and identity: all recurring themes in Kay’s work.

With great generosity and openness, Kay answered questions on a range of topics, from the changing readings of queer lives in her novel Trumpet, to the influence of other women poets on her own poetry, and the manner in which writing can function as a mode of self-reflection. Many of the questions came from students working on Kay’s writing at universities across Europe, and Kay responded to all points raised with detail and attention.

Kay’s consistently inventive writing tests the limits of genres, exploring representation, and forges, in the most intimate of tales, deeply political, philosophical examinations of identity, selfhood, and nationhood. These themes will be developed in a forthcoming collection on Jackie Kay’s work, edited by Alden and Tolan and to be published as part of Gylphi’s Contemporary Writers Series. View the RILCH event with Kay online.

Nancy Cho - Visiting Research Fellowship

From March to August 2021 Nancy Cho, Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Seoul National University, has been a Visiting Research Fellow at the Research Institute, working on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British hymns. As her time with us draws to a close, she reflects on her experiences.

“The fellowship has been a stimulating and nourishing experience. Although the unusual circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic have meant that, sadly, I have been unable to attend in-person events, I have benefitted hugely from participating in the Institute’s fascinating and inspiring online activities. Living through my first lockdown, I greatly appreciated the opportunity to connect with many scholars and writers sharing ideas on important discussions and debates. Each event added richness to my research leave. Learning about Horatio Clare’s journey through mental breakdown, treatment, recovery and healing in ‘Heavy Light: An Interview with Horatio Clare’ and hearing James Whitehead’s reflections emerging out of his expertise in the field of mental illness and literature was compelling and inspiring. I enjoyed the celebratory occasion of Jude Piesse’s The Ghost in the Garden book launch. It was excellent to hear Jude read extracts from her evocative work telling the story of Darwin’s childhood garden. Another memorable event was the Jackie Kay conference in June. Prior to the conference, I was mainly familiar with Kay’s poetry. I ended the day wanting to read her children’s writings, biography of Bessie Smith, radio plays and short stories! At Seoul National University, I sometimes have the opportunity to introduce English literature to non-major undergraduate students on general education courses. With her mastery of different genres and explorations of globally-relevant contemporary issues, I came away thinking that Jackie Kay would be an excellent writer to introduce to students in South Korea.

In May, I also had the privilege of presenting my own work at a research seminar. It was a happy event where I enjoyed discussing my ideas and received valuable feedback from the Research Institute’s members. My paper examined the Advent poems of Charlotte Elliott arguing that Victorian women’s poems about the second coming should be understood as theological texts of gynocentric eschatology. Written at a period when women were barred from official ministry and systematic theology, women's Advent poems explore the gendered ramifications of a new Heaven and Earth where -- finally -- wrongs will be righted and the fullness of life experienced freely. I received many thoughtful and insightful comments, questions and reflections, such as on the significance of female community, the curative nature of hymn-writing, and the strange temporality of Advent, which have helped me to think through my ideas further. Conversing with Research Institute members, I gained a strong sense of the supportive and collegial nature of the RI and English department at LJMU. I would like to express my sincere thanks to Glenda Norquay, Fiona Tolan and members of the Institute for their hospitality, kindness and encouragement throughout my fellowship.”

British Academy Showcases War Widows’ Quilt

On the 15 June 2021, Dr Nadine Muller’s War Widows’ Stories Project took centre stage at the British Academy’s Summer Showcase. The showcase is an annual free festival of ideas, bringing the best and most innovative humanities and social sciences research to life.

Focusing on the War Widows’ Quilt, a moving piece of collaborative art that relays the realities of war widowhood in Britain, past and present, the event explored the power of creativity at the centre of the War Widows’ Stories project, asking how the meditative process of stitching and sewing can offer an outlet for the memories of those we have loved and lost.

Made from second-hand armed forces shirts by more than 100 war widows and their families, its squares tell stories of love, loss and grief that connect women across generations, from the Second World War to the Falklands, Iraq, and peacetime.

Nadine, a recipient of the British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award (2018), was joined by the project’s lead artist, Lois Blackburn (arthur+martha), war widow and former Chair of the War Widows’ Association of Great Britain Mary Moreland, and Sue Prichard, Senior Curator (Arts) at Royal Museums Greenwich.

Nadine said: “It’s a wonderful opportunity to continue working with the British Academy and to showcase the work of the War Widows’ Stories project and the wonderful women at its heart.

“The War Widows’ Quilt is a really extraordinary and striking piece of art. While we were looking forward to being able to show it to people in person, it’s exciting to think that through this virtual event so many more people were able to hear about the quilt and the stories and processes behind it.”

“It was fascinating to hear from members of the audience about their own experiences of stitching and making as a means of coping with life and all the challenges it throws at us.”

You can now watch the event as well as the whole Summer Showcase programme via the British Academy’s YouTube Channel.

Book Launch: Heavy Light - an Interview with Horatio Clare

Heavy LightOn 29 April we held a launch for Horatio Clare’s new memoir,

Heavy Light This book tells the story of a breakdown: Horatio Clare’s journey through mania, psychosis and treatment in a psychiatric hospital, and onwards to release, recovery and healing. It presents an extraordinarily compelling story about the manic experience, a story shot through with the love, kindness, humour and care of those who looked after Horatio, from family and friends to strangers and professionals (social services, police and mental health workers). It is also an investigation into how we understand and treat acute crises of mental health.

Horatio was interviewed by James Whitehead in a rich and wide-ranging discussion which covered the issues surrounding writing a memoir of madness and much more.

James, a lecturer in English at LJMU, is a literary and cultural historian with a longstanding interest in the history of autobiographical narratives of mental breakdown and psychiatric treatment. He is especially interested in the relationship between literary or cultural history and psychiatric ideas, and the history of narratives of madness and mental health. James has explored these issues in his book, Madness and the Romantic Poet.

Listen to the event online

Leading the way on archival research

LJMU English research students, Katie Taylor and Lynne Wainwright, played leading roles in the most recent LJMU Research Café event, a celebration of Special Collections and Archives on 12 May.

Following an introduction by Val Stevenson, Associate Director, LJMU Library, on the amazing work of Special Collections, Katie and led spoke on their own research and use of very different kinds of archival material. Katie’s presentation was on ‘Digitised Magazines: Reading The Brownies' Book (1920-1921) Online’ and Lynne’s on ‘Tracing the Past: tangible archive research’. This led to a rich discussion of both methodological and political issues around archives, accessibility and the pandemic.

Book Launch: The Ghost in the Garden with Dr Jude Piesse

On 20 May the Research Institute held a launch for Dr. Jude Piesse's acclaimed new book: The Ghost in the Garden: in search of Darwin's lost garden (Scribe, 2021). Jude read excerpts from the book, followed by a Q & A with Dr Kathryn Walchester.

About The Ghost in the Garden

The Ghost in the Garden

‘A fascinating and very personal book in which Darwin’s relationship to his family’s garden reflects directly on his visionary understanding of the natural world in its entirety. A delight!’ - Julia Blackburn, author of Thin Paths

The forgotten garden that inspired Charles Darwin becomes the modern-day setting for an exploration of memory, family, and the legacy of genius.

Darwin never stopped thinking about the garden at his childhood home, The Mount, in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. It was here, under the tutelage of his green-fingered mother and sisters, that he first examined the reproductive life of flowers, collected birds’ eggs, and began the experiments that would lead to his theory of evolution.

A century and a half later, with one small child in tow and another on the way, Jude Piesse finds herself living next door to this secret garden. Two acres of the original site remain, now resplendent with overgrown ashes, sycamores, and hollies. The carefully tended beds and circular flower garden are buried under suburban housing; the hothouses where the Darwins and their skilful gardeners grew pineapples are long gone. Walking the pathways with her new baby, Piesse starts to discover what impact the garden and the people who tended it had on Darwin’s work.

Blending biography, nature writing, and memoir, The Ghost in the Garden traces the origins of the theory of evolution and uncovers the lost histories that inspired it, ultimately evoking the interconnectedness of all things.

The Ghost in the Garden is available from bookshops and online.

Watch the event online

Listen to Jude being interviewed on the BBC


‘Jude Piesse’s beautiful piece of detective work, The Ghost in the Garden, uncovers and brings to life the place that inspired the curiosity and spirit of enquiry of the boy and man who would become probably the most influential thinker and scientist in history: Charles Darwin. What makes this book so emotionally beguiling is the way the tale unfolds of an ordinary, yet handsome provincial house with a garden — and that was all it took. It moved me because inside Piesse’s book she could be describing every boy and girl free to roam and encouraged to explore, and you can feel the melancholy ghost of your own lost youth and heartbreak for those millions without the good fortune to have that freedom. It is a small story with a huge overtone that will stay with you long after the last page is turned.’ - Sir Tim Smit, Executive Vice Chair and Co-founder of The Eden Project 

‘Jude Piesse’s The Ghost in the Garden is a fascinating, beautifully written blend of biography, memoir, nature-writing, psychogeography, and history of science. Piesse shows us the human, quotidian world of the Darwin clan through the story of her discovery of their places and their stories, and the way they helped to seed Charles Darwin’s world-changing discoveries. In doing so, Piesse beautifully evokes what it is to be obsessed with a place, even when it no longer, quite, exists.’ - Emma Darwin

Book launch for The Lost Letters of Flann O’Brien February 2021

‘A fun-packed stash of missives from a motley crew of twentieth-century personages to the great blaggard.’ (Alan McMonagle)

‘The definitive antidote to 2020-21.’ (Julian Hanna)

Under his non de plume, Gerry McGown, Professor Gerry Smyth launched this book, edited with Andrew Sherlock, to an audience of 148 attendees from about 20 countries.

Discovered in a disused cupboard in a Dublin pub during lockdown, here are 107 never-before-seen letters 'written' to the Irish writer Flann O’Brien by a list of twentieth-century luminaries, including Joseph Goebbels, Walt Disney, Virginia Woolf, Marilyn Monroe, Bob Dylan and Rachel Carson. In the end the book featured 107 letters from contributors in over twenty countries worldwide. The list includes three Booker Prize winners, a Pulitzer Prize winner, an Oscar nominee, a two-time Carnegie Medal winner, a Costa Book Prize winner, a Guardian Fiction Prize winner, the co-creator of the opening ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics, and a host of distinguished writers and academics from around the world. Gerry notes, however, that ‘Some of my favourite letters are by non-specialists – ordinary people who simply like Flann’s writing and who relished the opportunity to visit his world while their own was enduring the ravages of Covid.’

Watch the event on YouTube

Shanties sensation

Gerry Smyth’s recent project, Sailor Song: the Shanties and Ballads of the High Seas (British Library Publishing, 2021) is a beautifully illustrated volume of rollicking songs, which has received even wider attention because of the TikTok phenomenon:

Gerry has been interviewed the New York Times, the Independent, the Spectator, BBC Radio Scotland, and BBC Radio 6, as well as online interviews, blogs, and such like. See, for example, this short article from the music journal Songlines.

Celebrating Andrea Levy

'Celebrating Andrea Levy' (March 2021) was hosted by the British Library, in association with Leeds Lit Fest and the Royal Society of Literature. Michael Perfect of LJMU English was one of four panellists, and spoke about his ongoing research into Levy's archive. He discussed material from the archive that has never been seen before, as well as his forthcoming research outputs (a monograph with Manchester UP, a Special Issue of the journal ARIEL, and an article in that Special Issue). Other speakers included the award-winning poet and scholar Kwame Dawes, as well as Levy's husband. Chaired by journalist and Professor of Sociology Gary Younge, this event marked the British Library's acquisition of Levy's archive, as well as her birthday. It was watched live by more than seven hundred people around the world. 

Glenda Norquay: Visiting Research Fellowship

Glenda Norquay has been awarded a Visiting Research Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, February-July 2021. She will be working on her next monograph, Topographies of Identity in Scottish Fiction 1880-2020, to be published by Edinburgh University Press.

IASH is one of the world’s premier Institutes for Advanced Study.

It offers a range of highly competitive fellowships which give access to resources at the University of Edinburgh, an excellent working environment in its beautiful eighteenth-century building (pandemic excepting!), and the chance to become part of a vibrant interdisciplinary community.

Take a look at fellowships offered in a wide range of areas.

Book launch for Rachel Willie’s co-edited collection on early modern mobility

On 11 March 2021, The Society for Renaissance Studies hosted the book launch of Travel and Conflict in the Early Modern World, which Rachel Willie co-edited with Gábor Gelléri, a Lecturer in French at Aberystwyth University. This volume contains twelve essays from established and emerging scholars and addresses the interrelationship between travel and conflict: it traverses real and imagined geo-political spaces; language miscommunication; devious translators; dissembling travel writers; shock-jock poets surviving assassination attempts; Alpine bandits warded off by saints; disquieted diplomats; the semiotics of a turban; women on the art of travel. The book launch has so far been seen by 101 people globally and involved brief presentations from Jane Grogan (UCD), the editors and four contributors to the volume: Daniel Carey (Galway), Robert John Clines (Western Carolina University); Natalya Din-Kariuki (Warwick) and Eva Johanna Holmberg (Helsinki). It formed part of a series of online events that Rachel, in her capacity as honorary secretary of the SRS, was instrumental in setting up. At the beginning of March, John Gallagher, Lecturer in History at the University of Leeds and an AHRC BBC New Generation thinker, interviewed Rachel about setting up online scholarly events for the SRS’s Public Engagement Toolbox; this is a series of informal discussions between John and scholars that offers advice on delivering public engagement activities. Watch the interview with Rachel.

Postgraduate successes

Jennifer Cavanagh: creative publications from her PhD

Jennifer Cavanagh’s short story, ‘Office Space’, from the collection written for her PhD thesis, was published in February by Fairlight Books. Another of the stories, ‘The Daughter’, will be published in an upcoming issue of Arthropod Literary Journal. ‘Office Space’ is available to read online.

In November, she will be presenting the special online session ‘The City Speaks. How Should We Answer?’ at the international PAMLA 2021 conference.

Katie Taylor on the (virtual) conference circuit

Strange and peculiar bookKatie Taylor is currently “touring” a paper on the virtual conference circuit about a new area of her PhD research on The Brownies’ Book. The first magazine for African American children, The Brownies’ Book sought to create progressive models of citizenship and childhood for the modern black child, offering a rich variety of literature that remain important contributions to the development of black American children’s literature. Her paper ‘Strange and Peculiar: Double Consciousness, Nature, and the Black Child inThe Brownies’ Book’ considers W.E.B Du Bois’s theory of double consciousness to examine how birds and bird characters feature in the writing of Du Bois and Effie Lee Newsome as simultaneously beautiful, strange, and sometimes troubled creatures.

Katie writes, ‘I kicked off the tour presenting at LJMU’s APSS Research Student Conference in February alongside numerous postgraduate researchers across the faculty. My paper for this was pre-recorded and is available to view on YouTube. The paper has already undergone some revisions since recording as I continue to research the new areas of nature writing and eco-literary criticism in African American writing. Giving the paper at the SASA (Scottish Association for the Study of America) conference on March 6 provided a rich discussion with my co-panellists around the significance of nature writing to African American literary traditions and folklore. I have a review of the conference upcoming which will be published on U.S Studies Online soon so watch this space! Next up, I am really excited about presenting the developing paper at the BAAS (British Association for American Studies) conference in April and the SHARP (The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing) conference in July. I will also be giving a Research Institute Seminar on 13 April alongside fellow PGRs in the faculty, and finally, I will be presenting at one of LJMU’s Research Café’s on 12 May, speaking about using digital archives to read The Brownies’ Book.

Helen Tookey awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship

In November 2020 Helen Tookey was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship 2021, to work on her third Carcanet collection (scheduled for publication in 2022). This book aims to explore a set of questions centring around the writer’s sense of the present moment as a pivot or threshold point, on various levels from the biographical to the cultural and ecological. The poems explore the ways in which we experience the present as ghosted both by the past (in terms of childhood memory, but also more broadly in terms of histories held within places and landscapes) and the future – or, increasingly, by the sense of the future as threatened or lost. Many of them focus on encounters with water (swimming, reflections, mirroring, scrying) and with landscapes, often depicted as though from a slightly fictionalised, near-future perspective. The poems draw on Helen’s encounters with places and landscapes including Nova Scotia (following a residency there in September 2019), southern France, Anglesey, northern England, and Edinburgh and its surroundings – thus continuing and developing the focus on place in her creative and critical work so far.

Teaching decolonisation and world literature in Higher Education

Dr Fillipo Menozzi will be delivering a workshop for the Anti-Racism and Decolonising the Curriculum Webinar Series on 8 December 11-12:00. Please book your place on My Kingston Events via the Kingston University website.

Robert Louis Stevenson Day - 13 November

Watch the video below with Glenda Norquay discussing her book: Robert Louis Stevenson, Literary Networks and Transatlantic Publishing as part of the celebrations for RLS day – an annual celebration of Stevenson.

New book by Dr Jude Piesse: The Ghost in the Garden: In Search of Darwin's Lost Garden

The book blends biography, nature writing, and memoir to tell the story of Darwin's childhood garden in Shrewsbury.

Find out more about the book.

Walking with a Convict

12 November, 12:00pm - 22 November, 12:00pm - Part of the Being Human Festival

Let’s go back to a period when crimes turned convicts into colonists and punishment by transportation was a fate second only to execution. Did you know that impersonating an Egyptian or stealing a shroud from a grave would result in penal servitude on the other side of the globe? As we walk through the streets of 19th-century East End London, we discover what happened at Blue gate Fields when Mary’s pocket-picking crime saw her imprisoned and transported ‘beyond the seas’ to Australia.

This family-friendly virtual walk will be intercut with details of Mary’s trial at the Old Bailey and her time at Millbank Prison. We end the tour at the only existing buttress that stands at the head of the River Thames steps, from which passengers sentenced to transportation embarked on their journey to Australia.

New book by Michael Hollows

The German Nurse is due to be published on 18 November in ebook (paperback 21 January) and is now available to pre-order (Waterstones/Amazon).

Professor Gerry Smyth of the Department of English

Professor Gerry Smyth of the Department of English is publishing three books over the coming months:

"Sailor Song: The Shanties and Ballads of the High Seas" (November 2020) is a publishing collaboration between the British Library and the University of Washington Press. As well as a large number of archive images from the British Library archives, the book includes numerous original paintings by the Scottish folk artist and former LJMU student Jonny Hannah.

"Joyces Noyces" (Palgrave Macmillian, January 2021) is a monograph on the subject of music and sound in the life and literature of James Joyce.

In "The Lost Letters of Flann O'Brien" (PenandPencil Gallery Press, February 2021) Prof. Smyth and Dr Andrew Sherlock (LJMU Drama) have recruited over 100 people from 22 different countries to compose imaginary letters written to the cult Irish writer Flann O'Brien.

New book and blog published

Lecturer in Postcolonial and World Literature, Dr Filippo Menozzi publishes World Literature, Non-Synchronism, and the Politics of Time. Read Filippo's blog in The Conversation about how 1950s Marxist writer, Ernst Bloch, can offer us hope: Militant optimism: a state of mind that can help us find hope in dark times.