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School of English Events

The School of English hosts research events through its four research groups, Medieval and Renaissance, 18th century, Romantic and Victorian, Modern and Contemporary and Creative Writing.

Events are open to members of the School and to the public and are usually free of charge unless otherwise stated. For further information, please contact the School of English office, telephone 01334 462666.

Unless another venue is specified, events take place in the Lawson Lecture Room, Kennedy Hall.

Events, Semester 1, 2018/19


Tuesday 4 December - 7.40pm, Topping & Co, St Andrews

Dr Sara Lodge - Inventing Edward Lear book launch

Dr Sarah Lodge launches her thematic study of Lear's work across poetry, music, art and natural history. Mulled wine and mince pies will be served. Full event details and booking information is available on the Topping & Co website

Past events:

Friday 23 November - 11am, St Mary's College Hall, St Andrews
Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts (ITIA)

Dr Giulio Pertile - 'Devotional Phenomenology in the Poetry of Richard Crashaw and Giambattista Marino'

Thursday 22 November - 5.15pm, Lawson Room

Prof. Gail Marshall (University of Reading) - Writing 1859

I'll examine the processes, possibilities, and difficulties of writing a book about a year, and my decision to use George Eliot's life at that time to structure the narrative. I'll analyse some of the things I've discovered and offer thoughts about what the process has taught me, both about the Victorians, and scholarly approaches to the period.

CANCELLED: Wednesday 7 November - 5.15pm, Lawson Room 

Dr Alexandra Lawrie (University of Edinburgh) - Ben Lerner's 10:04 and Literary Antecedents of the City

Tuesday 6 November - 8pm Topping & Co, St Andrews

An evening with Don Paterson

Known widely as one of Scotland's greatest living poets, Don Paterson is also a master of the aphorism. These pithy, witty, and bitty pieces live somewhere between poetry and prose, encapsulating the full panoply of the human condition. Join us as Don launches his New and Collected aphorisms, The Fall at Home, and mixes in a few poems along the way. As a Professor in St Andrews, poetry editor at Picador, and author of many volumes of criticism and poetry, Don is not to be missed.

Saturday 3 November - 7pm, Byre Theatre


Mary Shelley: A Frankenreads Film Screening - Free (Ticketed)

Speakers: Dr Paul Flaig, Dr Katie Garner

Join the School of English and the Department of Film Studies at the University of St Andrews for a screening of Haifaa Al-Mansour's Mary Shelley (2018). The film will be prefaced by a brief introduction to Mary Shelley and to Frankenstein on film, and followed by an open audience discussion.

This is a free event but ticketed; please book in advance via the Byre website. Tickets are limited to two per person and if they are not collected by 6.55pm on the day of the performance then they will be released to other customers.

Thursday 1 November - 5.15pm, Lawson Room

Prof. Joseph Lowenstein (Washington University) - Spenserian Deformance: Editing the 'Laye of Fayre Elisa'

While this paper contributes to political commentary on The Shepheardes Calender, its chief concern is what editorial activity – in 1579 and 2018 – can contribute to such commentary. Beginning with observations on the collaborative character of Spenser's literary career, the paper fastens on the contributions of the book's editor-commentator, E.K.  The central object of scrutiny is the encomium embedded in the 'Aprill' eclogue, 'The Laye of Fayre Elisa,' the poem that initiates Spenser's career both as an Elizabethan mythologist and as a Leicesterian critic of Elizabethan policy.  Colluding with E.K., I propose what Jerome McGann would call a 'deformance' of this poem, and invite us to read an even bolder poem over the shoulder of the Calender's first editor.

Wednesday 31st October - 7pm, Lawson Room


Dr Katie Garner - Frankenstein's advertisements
Dr Susan Manly - Monsters and Frekes: creating monstrosity in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Maria Edgeworth's Belinda

Closely followed by the winning "Ghost Story Beginnings" competition entry and readings from Mary Shelley's novel.

Thursday 18 October - 6.30pm, Blackwells Edinburgh South Bridge

Blackwell's Bookshop is excited to host the launch for Aphra's Child, the latest book by award-winning and critically acclaimed author Lesley Glaister, published by Stirling Publishing, Edinburgh's newest independent publisher. 

Tuesday 16 October - 5.15pm, Lawson Room

Prof. Supriya Chaudhuri (Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India) - Strangers on a train: modernism, cosmopolitanism and community in 1930s Calcutta

Modernist literary culture was decisively shaped by communities of practitioners sharing a writing or publishing platform – such as a press or a 'little magazine' – and linked not only by print networks but by forms of sociability. One social expression typical of Indian modernity was conversation, known in Bengali as adda. In 1930s Calcutta, a modernist community grew up around the literary journal Parichay, meeting regularly at the homes of the journal's editors for sessions of animated discussion that were recorded in a member's diary as Parichay-er Adda. The group included not only poets and artists, but also scientists, historians, nationalist politicians, disaffected colonialists, and spies – both for the colonial police and for the Communist Party of Great Britain. The 1930s was a period of literary radicalism, of shifting party allegiances and political fault-lines, linked to the fortunes of the Comintern, the rise of National Socialism and fascism in Europe, and the last phase of the struggle for modern nationhood in India. The cosmopolitanism of the Parichay circle, and its modernist affiliations, were deeply imbricated in its commitment to its 'provincial' literary culture. The talk will be illustrated with images from the Parichayarchives and related documents and correspondence.

Wednesday 3 October - 9am-5pm, The Byre Theatre

Joe Corrie (1894-1968): Miner, Poet, Playwright Anniversary Conference

This project is sponsored by the Institute of Scottish Historical Research as well as the School of English Modern and Contemporary Research Group. Download the Joe Corrie Conference programme 2018 (PDF, 251 KB)

Tuesday 2 October - 8pm, Toppings Bookshop

Robert Crawford with The Scottish Ambassador in St Andrews

Robert Crawford celebrates his latest collection of poetry, The Scottish Ambassador. In this book he, as ever, advocates for the culture, landscape, and people of Scotland, and draws upon Greek, Chinese, and Zoroastrian traditions with great lyrical energy. Spanning the intimate and the public, the local and the international, this is a book that, like St Andrews, faces and embraces the world.

Thursday 27 September - 5.30pm, Lawson Room

Prof. Michael O'Neill (University of Durham) - Poetry reading from his new book of poems

Michael O'Neill's Return of the Gift is a volume about what is given and what is lost. Writing unsentimentally and with insight about powerful subjects such as the death of his mother, caring for his father, and his own recent diagnosis of cancer, the poet speaks of and to his personal and historical life and also explores themes of elegy and friendship. Memories are woven vividly throughout a thematically varied yet coherent collection, in which a witty and moving pleasure in living and language is always to the fore.

Wednesday 19 September - 5.15pm, Lawson Room

Chris Townsend (Fleeman Fellow) - "Certain Truths, Uncertain Paths, and Words That Rhyme with 'Endymion': Some Uses of Couplets in Pope and Keats"

Asked, years after the fact, to reflect on his association with Keats and on the composition of Endymion in particular, Benjamin Bailey singled out two formal points of that poem of which he could not approve: he did not like 'many of the forced rhymes, & the apparent effort by breaking up the lines, to get as far as possible in the opposite direction of the Pope school'. Keats's verse sentences in Endymion are indeed out of step with the measures of his lines, and for this reason his poetic project is often understood within the larger Romantic rejection of Augustan heroic couplets, as exemplified by Alexander Pope. And yet, both Pope and Keats alike are remarkable in that much of the thinking in their long poems apparently occurs through the connections and comparisons stirred up by rhyming couplets. In this talk I will illustrate some of the many ways in which Pope and Keats sought to harness rhyme's ability to make or break meaning; in doing so, I highlight one area of verse in which Keats might be said to be moving in the same, and not the opposite, direction to the Pope school.



Research Events Programme, Semester 2 2017-18 (Word, 269 KB)
Research Events Programme, Semester 1 2017-18 (Word, 269 KB)
Research Events Programme, Semester 2 2016/17 (Word, 269 KB)
Research Events Programme, Semester 1 2016/17 (Word, 267 KB)
Research Events Programme, Semester 2 2015/16 (Word, 77 KB)
Research Events Programme, Semester 1 2015/16 (Word, 94 KB)
Research Events Programme, Semester 2 2014/15 (Word, 90 KB)
Research Events Programme, Semester 1 2014/15 (PDF, 112 KB)
Research Events Programme, Semester 2 2013/14 (PDF, 104 KB) 
Research Events Programme, Semester 1 2013/14 (Word, 74 KB) 
Research Events Programme, Semester 2 2012/13 (Word, 90 KB) 
Research Events Programme, Semester 1 2012/13 (PDF, 57 KB)
Research Events Programme, Semester 1 2011/12 (PDF, 98 KB)  
Research Events Programme, Semester 2 2010/11 (PDF, 82 KB)  
Research Events Programme, Semester 1 2010/11 (PDF, 73 KB)  
Research Events Programme, Semester 2 2009/10 (PDF, 86 KB) 
Research Events Programme, Semester 1 2009/10 (Word, 66 KB)
Research Events Programme, Semester 2 2008/09 (PDF, 141 KB) 
Research Events Programme, Semester 1 2008/09 (PDF, 61 KB) 
Titles and Abstracts for Seminar Series 08/09 (Word, 48 KB)
Research Events Programme, Semester 2 2007/08 (PDF, 105 KB)