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School of English news - November 2015

Book on Information Culture for Dr James Purdon

Modernist Informatics

Dr James Purdon’s new book, Modernist Informatics: Literature, Information and the State, has been published by Oxford University Press. 

An innovative study of the aesthetics of information in the early twentieth century, Modernist Informatics argues that information and literary narrative have a history of entanglement as well as antagonism, and that this double relation was central to the cultural shaping of modernity.

Saltire Shortlist for Professor Robert Crawford

Young Eliot

Professor Robert Crawford has been shortlisted for a Saltire Literary Award for Young Eliot, his ground-breaking biography of T.S. Eliot.

Robert joins Kate Atkinson, Irvine Welsh, Gavin Francis, and Daniel Gray and Alan McCredie in the shortlist of authors competing for this year’s awards. The awards, run by the Saltire Society, are dedicated to celebrating literature from, and about, Scotland. Winners will be announced on 26 November.


PJ Harvey

Professor Don Paterson and the School’s writer-in-residence Reif Larson launch a new experimental series of ‘in conversation’ style events, pairing leading musicians with writers, this month.

The series, called Soundings, will launch on 4 November with PJ Harvey appearing alongside Irish poet Paul Muldoon in an intimate event at the University’s Byre theatre.

The aim of the series – which will initially see three events taking place between November and April 2015 - is to pair together internationally-renowned figures from the worlds of music and literature that are ‘spiritually or creatively influenced by one another.

Each event will include a short solo set by each performer, followed by an unscripted conversation between the two on their working process.

Public Lectures and Radio and Television appearances

Lectures graphic

A full list of public Lectures and Radio and Television appearances by various staff members

Professors Robert Crawford and Don Paterson and Dr Chris Jones took part in ‘We British’ to celebrate National Poetry Day with Andrew Marr on BBC Radio 4.

Dr Greg Tate was on BBC Radio 4 this month, explaining how TV and film have made use of the character of Jekyll and Hyde over the years.

On 19 October Dr Sara Lodge appeared on ‘The Secret Life of Books' on BBC 4, discussing Edward Lear's Nonsense Songs with Nicholas Parsons.

On 15-18 October, Professor Lorna Hutson was an invited speaker at the Folger’s ‘Theatres of Learning’ conference. Professor Hutson’s paper was entitled ‘Places of Argument and Imaginary Places: Topical Invention in 16th century drama’.

Shakespeare Library

On 20 October, Professor Hutson gave a talk at William and Mary on ‘Circumstantial Shakespeare’.

Professor Hutson will give a lecture titled ‘Circumstantial Shakespeare’ and a workshop, ‘Meanwhile, Elsewhere and Motive’, at the University of Geneva on 11 November.

On 12 November, Professor Hutson will deliver a lecture on ‘Thinking with Causes’ at the University of Fribourg. 

Professor Jane Stabler delivered a lecture on ‘Byron et ses arbres’ delivered to La Société française des études Byroniennes on 17 October 2015 in Paris. Professor Stabler is also giving a lecture on ‘Lord Byron in the hand of Mary Shelley’ to accompany an exhibition of Byron and Mary Shelley materials at Keats House in Rome 6 November.


On 12 November Professor Neil Rhodes will be the guest speaker at the London Renaissance Seminar 'Kairos' symposium. He will be speaking on 'The Timing of the English Renaissance'.

Phillip Mallett lectured on 'Ruskin and the Aesthetics of "Religious Art"' in Chieti, at a conference on ‘Estetiche vittoriane e neovittoriane’, and at the Dorset County Museum on 'Hardy, Wessex, and the Poetry of War'. A paper jointly written with Jacqueline Dillion (who took her PhD at St Andrews) has just appeared in the Thomas Hardy Journal, with the title 'The Evil Eye? Looking and Overlooking in The Return of the Native'.

Professor Don Paterson will be reading from his latest collection 40 Sonnets, which is shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize, at the Woodstock Poetry Festival on 13 November .

Professor John Burnside is giving a poetry reading at the University of York on 18 November, as part of the ‘Writers at York’ programme of readings and workshops with contemporary writers.

Ben Jonson conference announced for April 2016

Ben Jonson

‘“Dare to tell”: silence and saying in Ben Jonson’, an interdisciplinary conference to mark the 400th anniversary of the publication of Jonson’s 1616 first Folio of his Works will be held at the University of St Andrews, 1-3 April 2016.

Confirmed keynote speakers are Professor Martin Butler (University of Leeds) and Professor Julie Sanders (University of Newcastle). The conference will also feature the world premiere of Professor Brean Hammond’s play Ben and Jamie at the Byre Theatre. For further information and the Call for Papers go to

Postgraduate news

Éadaoín Lynch will be giving a paper entitled, ‘“What men set man against man?”: How Dylan Thomas’ wartime propaganda transformed his poetry,’ at the MUSA Symposium on Art of the Second World War

Claudia Daventry will be at the prizewinners' reading at the Derwent Poetry Festival (6-8 November 2015 at Matlock Bath) 

Éadaoín Lynch will be giving a paper entitled, ‘“What men set man against man?”: How Dylan Thomas’ wartime propaganda transformed his poetry,’ at the MUSA Symposium on Art of the Second World War, in the Museum, on 20 November. The symposium itself is being held to accompany two exhibitions, Recording Britain: Life and Landscape during World War II (MUSA, 9 May - 6 December 2015) and Recording Scotland (Gateway Galleries, 5 September 2016 to 27 February 2016).

Painting to accompany Derwent piece

Following the launch of Claudia Daventry’s Templar prizewinning pamphlet 'The Oligarch Loses His Patience' at Keats House this week, Claudia will be at the prizewinners' reading at the Derwent Poetry Festival (6-8 November 2015 at Matlock Bath) Copies of the pamphlet are now available direct from Templar at