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School of English News - Summer 2018

New Book Publications

CommonProfessor Neil Rhodes' Common: The Development of Literary Culture in Sixteenth-Century England has been published by Oxford University Press. Common explores the relationship between the Reformation in the first half of the sixteenth century and the Renaissance in the second, and addresses the question of why the Renaissance arrived so late in England through analysis of the 'common' in its double sense of something shared and something base.

 The PoemProfessor Don Paterson's new book, The Poem: Lyric, Sign, Metre, is an investigation into how poetry works through close consideration of its music, manner of making meaning and rhythm and is published by Faber.

Aesthetics book coverDr Augustine's book Aesthetics of Contingency: Writing, Politics and Culture in England 1639-1689 is a study of how literature responds to conditions of political uncertainty, and rewrites much of what we thought we knew about the English civil war and Restoration literature. It is published by Manchester University Press.

Radio Awards

John BurnsideProfessor John Burnside has won the The Hörspielpreis der Kriegsblinden (War Blinded Audio Play Prize), also known as the Kriegsblindenpreis (War Blinded Prize), the most important literary prize granted to playwrights of audio plays written in the German language. The award was established in 1950 by the Bund der Kriegsblinden Deutschlands (BKD), a German organization for soldiers and civilians blinded during war, whether from working with munitions or explosives or from a bomb attack or while in flight from an attack.

Olly EmanuelOliver Emanuel has won an award from the International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases for his play The Truth About Hawaii, broadcast earlier this year on BBC Radio 4. The award recognises the impact of Oliver’s play on current urgent global health challenges; its far reaching public engagement through effective use of fact, fiction and emotion; the contribution to a set of communication tools boosting awareness and education around anti-microbial resistance and its place in global health priorities; as well as its role in a broader advocacy movement to place global health at the forefront of the international agenda.

School Conferences

On Friday 11 May the School of English and the Theoria Research Group organised a one-day symposium on 'Critical Theory and Marxism'. Professor Esther Leslie from Birkbeck, University of London and Dr Drew Milne from the University of Cambridge were keynote speakers. Colleagues from the School of English and the School of Modern Languages also spoke. The talks and discussion focussed on Marxism and ecology, avant-garde theatre, performance of emergencies, popular television and literary resistance.

On Friday 11 and Saturday 12 May the School hosted 'John Keats in Scotland' to celebrate the bicentenary of Keats' epic walking tour of Scotland in the summer of 1818. Speakers included Professors John Barnard, John Cox, Nigel Leask, Nicholas Roe and Sarah Wootton, as well as Dr Katie Garner.

On Friday 22 June the School will host 'Man of the House: Masculinity and domesticity from 1800 until the present day', an interdisciplinary conference examining the relationship between masculinity and the domestic sphere. Opening with a keynote lecture by Professor Gill Plain, the day will include a number of panels exploring the interconnections of art, literature, history, and sociology from the nineteenth to the twentieth century, and a roundtable discussion about what masculinity means in relation to the home. This will be followed by an evening event at Martyrs Kirk featuring an exhibition of items from the University's Special Collections and a poetry reading by Professor Robert Crawford. For further information please contact the conference organisers at or download the poster.

New Chair for Middle English Prose Index

Dr Margaret ConnollyDr Margaret Connolly has been appointed as Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Index of Middle English Prose, with effect from 1 July 2018. The Index of Middle English Prose was established in 1977 with the aim of identifying all instances of prose writing in English between 1100-1500, organised by major repositories. To date twenty-three handlists have been published.

Margaret has also recently published an essay on medieval translation entitled 'The Representation of 'King Conred's Knight' in the Miroir and the Mirror' in volume 14 of the Medieval Translator series, Booldly bot meekly: Essays on the Theory and Practice of Translation in the Middle Ages in Honour of Roger Ellis, edited by Catherine Batt and Rene Tixier and published by Brepols.

New Zealand Fellowship

Lesley GlaisterLesley Glaister is currently in New Zealand on a Scottish Writers Fellowship at the Pah Homestead, which includes The TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre and the largest collection of large and rare exotic rare trees in Auckland.

Lectures, Summer Schools and Study Days

Maria EdgeworthDr Susan Manly will give three keynote lectures in June: 'Maria Edgeworth and Political Life' at the Eighteenth Century Ireland Society annual conference in Waterford City on 9 June; 'Maria Edgeworth's Child Heroes and Revolutionary Exchange' at 'Romantic Exchanges 1760-1840', the BARS Early Career and Postgraduate Conference 2018 at the University of Glasgow, on 15 June; and 'The Worlds of Maria Edgeworth: Networks, Influence and Reception' at the Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies, University of York, on 29-30 June.

On 2 June Dr Jane Pettegree ran a study day 'Xerxes in the Garden' in association with Music Planet, as part of the University's Byre Opera performances of Handel's Xerxes. The day offered an opportunity to explore human interactions with the natural environment and the role of gardens in encouraging biodiversity.

Robert CrawfordOn 7 June Professor Robert Crawford gave a lecture at the Oxford Centre for Life Writing on 'Biography and Eliot'; he conducted a workshop at the Rothermere Institute for American Studies in Oxford on 8 June.

Dr Emma Sutton is speaking, with Dr Charlotte de Mille (Courtauld Institute) and Prof Christine Froula (Northwestern), at the plenary panel on Woolf and Music at the 28th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf (University of Kent, June 21-24 2018). The panel precedes the concert on 22 June at Colyer-Fergusson Hall in Kent that features pianist Lana Bode and soprano Suzanne Fischer. The concert is being held by the Virginia Woolf & Music project of which Sutton and Bode are directors. In the centenary of 1918, the programme of French piano music and song includes works by Debussy, Tailleferre and Boulanger that reflect on war and pacifism. Further details

Susan SellersIn late June and early July, Professor Susan Sellers will be taking part in a series of international and sixth form summer schools, including the Hills Road Sixth Form English Conference and Literature Cambridge's Virginia Woolf Summer School.

Trip to Abbotsford

Abbotsford trip

On May 11th, Dr Emma Sutton and the Romantic & Victorian Mlitt students visited Sir Walter Scott's house at Abbotsford. This trip included a guided literary tour around Abbotsford, plus en route a visit to various Fife literary connections including the village Lower Largo - the 1676 birthplace of Alexander Selkirk, model for Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe

The Scores - Issue 4

The Scores - issue 4

In May, The School of English's online literary journal, The Scores launched its fourth issue, featuring poetry, prose, translation and reviews by new and renowned international voices, including Dorothea Lasky, Christine De Luca, Ciaran Berry, Lynn Melnick, Rickey Laurentiis, Jennifer Franklin, Alan Gilbert and Rebecca Tamás. Launch celebrations at bookstores Toppings&Co in St Andrews and Lighthouse Books in Edinburgh included readings by Issue 4 contributors Dominic Hale, Rebecca Birrell, Nicky Melville, Calum Rodger, and The School of English's own Matthew Caley. For queries please contact editor-in-chief, Patrick Errington at scorespoetry[at]

Postgraduate News

Peter SuttonPeter Sutton presented at a public engagement event at the Maltings Theatre, Berwick-upon-Tweed on 26 May which gave an insight into the creative process behind Byre Opera's forthcoming production of Handel's Xerxes. Peters’ presentation focused on eighteenth century attitudes to opera and national identity. Other speakers included Michael Downes (Director of Music), Sean Heath (School of History and Music Centre), Gregor Donnelly (professional set and costume designer) and Katie Grosset (former Scottish Opera emerging artist). The opera will be performed in St Andrews from 22-24 June before transferring to Berwick and London.

Alumna News

Rose Harris-BirtillDr Rose Harris-Birtill has won a McCall MacBain Teaching Excellence Award for her outstanding contribution to pedagogy for her invited talk at the English: Shared Futures conference held in Newcastle. Her presentation, 'Literature as 'alternative facts': the importance of English Studies in the 'post-truth' era', was commended by the judging panel for its potential to influence teaching practice by demonstrating how literary study can be used to teach contentious issues.