Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies

Dear all,

The first meeting of the Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies will take place this Thursday, 23rd October, at 6pm in the Keynes Library. Hilary Fraser will be in conversation with other Birkbeck colleagues on the subject of her new book, ‘Women Writing Art History in the Nineteenth Century: Looking Like a Woman’. To see the full programme of events for this term, and for information on other nineteenth-century events within the University of London and beyond, please email to sign up to our mailing list.

Best wishes,
Emma Curry
Events Intern for the Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies

. Reply . Category: Archived Reading Groups . Tags: ,

Ted Hughes: Dreams as Deep as England – Conference 9-12 Sept 2015

Ted Hughes: Dreams as Deep as England 

An International Conference at the University of Sheffield, 9-12 September 2015

Call for Papers: Reminder and Extension of Deadline

The University of Sheffield’s School of English has been the most productive centre of research on Ted Hughes since the 1970s, led by Neil Roberts, and more recently home to a thriving creative writing programme under the guidance of Simon Armitage. In 1990 the University awarded Hughes an honorary D.Litt. The School is proud to host the seventh International Conference on the former Poet Laureate. Hughes’s reputation has fluctuated in that period, but now stands higher than it ever did.

Hughes’s family home from the age of eight to twenty-one was the South Yorkshire mining town of Mexborough, fifteen miles from Sheffield. In the surrounding countryside he recreated the natural ‘paradise’ that he had enjoyed as a small boy on the hills above Mytholmroyd. Here is the pond celebrated in ‘Pike’, here he encountered the horse that stalks the narrator of ‘The Rain Horse’, saw his first live wild fox and heard the legend of the knight and wildcat in nearby Barnborough commemorated in ‘Esther’s Tomcat’. At Mexborough Grammar School he met the inspirational teachers Pauline Mayne and John Fisher, and his first poems were published in the school’s magazine, Don and Dearne. South Yorkshire is where Hughes became a poet.

The conference will be based at Halifax Hall, formerly home of the Victorian industrialist, philanthropist and Lord Mayor of Sheffield Sir Joseph Jonas, later a University hall of residence, now a hotel and conference centre close to the city’s recently restored Botanical Gardens.

The conference will feature a reading by Simon Armitage, a keynote lecture by Professor Seamus Perry and a conversation  with Jonathan Bate about his biography of Hughes. On the Saturday there will be a tour of Hughes’s South Yorkshire led by Steve Ely, author of the forthcoming book, Made in Mexborough: Ted Hughes’s South Yorkshire. We also plan to arrange a poetry reading by delegates.

Please send proposals for twenty-minute papers and brief biographical details to Neil Roberts at, by 30 November 2014. To be considered, proposals must be strictly no more than 300 words. Proposals for themed panels of three speakers will also be considered. Although the title refers to England specifically, all approaches are welcome. Here are some suggestions:

Hughes and Yorkshire (South and/or West)
Hughes and the Environment
Hughes and Religion
Hughes and Other Writers
Hughes as Playwright
Hughes’s Current Influence
Hughes as Writer for Children
Hughes and Feminism
Hughes as Translator
Hughes and Esoteric Knowledge
Hughes’s Prose
Hughes as Laureate
Hughes and War
The Hughes Archives

Anyone with an interest in Hughes is also very welcome to attend without offering a paper.

Please visit the conference website at

. Reply . Category: Archived Call for Papers, Archived Events . Tags:

Early Modern Reading Group

Birkbeck students run two groups that may be of interest to anyone researching or studying in the early modern period.

The first is the Early Modern Reading Group. This meets at Gordon Square about once a month to read and discuss an early modern text selected by the group. The group is very informal, the aim is to share the different perspectives that arise from our research interests, usually with a glass of wine. More information can be found on the Birkbeck Dandelion Network here: If you join the group on Dandelion you will be sent details of the next meeting and the selected text each month.

The Birkbeck Early Modern Society is a thriving student society affiliated to the Students Union. It welcomes a variety of early career and senior academic speakers once a month who speak on early modern topics, very broadly defined. Our first speaker is Brodie Waddell on 10 October, and further events can be found on the Society’s website here: The Society cost £7 to join for the year, or you can come for a single event for a small charge. Meetings are usually held at 6.30pm on a Friday and wine and refreshments are served and there is always an opportunity to ask questions of the speaker afterwards. Other events such as visits to galleries and museums are organised from time to time. Please email Laura Jacobs, the Secretary at if you would like to be added to the mailing list and follow us on Birkbeck EMS @Twitter.

If you would like any further information on either of these groups please feel free to get in touch with Sue Jones( or me  (

I hope to meet you soon,
Becky Tomlin

. Reply . Category: Archived Reading Groups . Tags:

The Brilliant Club: Teaching Opportunities for doctoral and post-doctoral researchers

The Brilliant Club is an award winning charity that recruits, trains and places doctoral and post-doctoral researchers in low participation schools to deliver programmes of university-style tutorials to small groups of high performing pupils. 

The Club is offering autumn placements, for PhD Tutors to work with twelve high-performing 10-13 year old pupils, delivering a series of six tutorials that takes them beyond the curriculum and helps them to develop the knowledge, skills and ambition necessary to secure places at top universities. Successful candidates typically deliver a pre-designed course and modify it to include aspects of their own research interests. Courses include ‘Evolution’, ’Turning Points in English History’ and ‘Could the stars float in the bath?’

The training programme is delivered by qualified teachers and focuses on learning theory and teaching technique. The first tutorial takes place at the Club’s launch trips, where tutors accompany pupils on a visit to a highly-selective university. The in-school tutorials are each one hour long, and pupils complete the programme with an extended assignment which tutors mark before delivering the final tutorial.

Tutors are paid £450 for a single placement, and there are opportunities to take part in more than one placement in the autumn and over the following terms with older pupils.

If you would like to apply to work as a Brilliant Club tutor, please fill in their online application form here 

To find out more, have a look at their Tutor Brochure, or send an email to

Please see linked below two case studies from Birkbeck students who have participated in the programme.
Case Study – Linda Grant – Birkbeck – August 2014,
Case Study – Emily Williams – Birkbeck – 08.2014

. Reply . Category: Archived Vacancies . Tags:

Free student membership and launch of the PBS National Student Poetry Competition

The PBS has just launched this year’s free student membership. You’ll be able to log in and browse the online quarterly Bulletin available in the members’ area of the new site, and order books with your 25% members’ discount.

On 5 November we’re also launching this year’s PBS National Student Poetry Competition, the only nationwide competition of its kind, and will email student members with all the details then. There will be a First Prize of £200, with a second prize of £50 and third prize of £25. All three will receive Full PBS memberships. Eight highly commended poems will receive Associate membership of the PBS and a selection of books. The 20 best poems will be published in a free ebook available to download from our website and we hope to arrange a reading at the winner’s university.

The PBS will keep you up-to-date with the Bulletin, our review of the latest new poetry, with the best new collections chosen by our Selectors, John Burnside and Deryn Rees-Jones, and the poets’ own comments on their work.

To join go to and enrol online by sending a scanned proof of your student identity.

The Poetry Book Society was founded by T S Eliot and friends in 1953 to support poetry and the PBS also awards the T S Eliot Prize for Poetry – this year’s shortlist will be announced on 23 October at


The PBS is also running the Next Generation Poets 2014 promotion with 23 events around the country and a British Council tour to follow. Details of the events and fantastic video footage of the poets can be found at

. Reply . Category: Archived Funding . Tags:

Navigate: a reading group for the discussion of Travel Writing

Anna Brownell Jameson’s Winter Studies and Summer Rambles in Canada (1838)
facilitated by Honor Rieley, Oxford
Tuesday 28th Oct, 7:30-8:45pm
Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Square

Please join us for the first 2014 meeting of Navigate: a reading group for the discussion of Travel Writing.

Selected passages of the book will be circulated online in advance. Please email to get a copy, or check the dandelion page at closer to the date.


Read full post

. Reply . Category: Archived Reading Groups . Tags: