A Virtual Celebration for the Class of 2020

The staff on the YSJU English Literature Programme have put together a very special farewell video for the Class of 2020. The video is introduced below by Third Year Level Co-ordinator, Dr Jo Waugh. 


It is a truth almost universally not acknowledged that sometimes endings can feel a bit anticlimactic. This year, however, that feeling must be especially powerful: this was never how it was supposed to be.

We’d have liked to be doing this in person, but we’ve tried our best to express in this video how proud we are of you, how sorry we are to see you go, and how much we hope you’ll carry with you the things you’ve learnt during your time as a Literature student at YSJU.

So let us take you, just for 43 minutes, to a place of virtual celebration. If you want to recreate the atmosphere, you could place some pizza and chips nearby, but forbid yourself from queuing for them until the speeches are over. Pour yourself a glass of wine, grab a bottle of beer, or whatever you might have been drinking. When you’ve finished watching, you could play some jungle music (Fraser’s playlist last year), and imagine you’re either hiding when the camera comes near you or posing for it with your arms round your friends. Endings are important, and you should mark this one while you also think about the new beginnings that are opening up in front of you.

CURRENT STUDENTS CAN CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIRTUAL CELEBRATION ON MICROSOFT STREAM

Every day right now, something is happening that requires – demands – you to use the skills in critical thinking and analysis that we hope you’ve honed in the last three years. There are narratives circulating all around us, many with holes, gaps, and ambiguities that desperately need people like you to question and interrogate them.

This is what a degree in English Literature does for you, and this is why the world really does need you, a Literature graduate, so urgently. Recognize and embrace your power and your privilege here: as a critic, as someone who’s read about historical precedents for some of the dynamics we’re seeing unfold  right now (cough Sick Novels), who’s studied the ways in which forms of power and oppression intersect, and been invited and encouraged to question everything – and keep on questioning, arguing, thinking, critiquing, all your life.

Dr Jo Waugh, Level 6 Coordinator

Pride Month Sapphic Media Recommendations by Lucy Pettigrew

We kick off Pride Month with a great reading list with recommendations by Lucy Pettigrew. Do you have a Pride Month list you would like to share with us? If so, send it in.

In a world where sapphics (women who love women, named after the Ancient Greek poet Sappho) are still brushed under the carpet, I always find it difficult to find new media that discusses wlw relationships and feelings. So, I thought I’d compile my own short list of sapphic books, poetry, films and songs to encourage the consumption of more wlw media. Continue reading “Pride Month Sapphic Media Recommendations by Lucy Pettigrew”

Literature in Lockdown: Zooming Through The Taming of the Shrew (Estela Green)

Literature in Lockdown is a special blog series in which our students share what they’re doing whilst face-to-face teaching is suspended at YSJU. In our latest post, Shakespeare: Perspectives student Estela Green shares her review of The Show Must Go Online’s Zoom production of The Taming of the Shrew. She watched this in lieu of our cancelled trip due to the closure of theatres back in March. There are silver linings after all. 

(The Show Must Go Online Taming of the Shrew is available for free on YouTube here. Donations also welcome.)

Screenshot from: “The Show Must Go Online: The Taming Of The Shrew.” YouTube, streamed live by Rob Myles, 26 Mar. 2020

Continue reading “Literature in Lockdown: Zooming Through The Taming of the Shrew (Estela Green)”

Literature in Lockdown: Holly Black’s The Darkest Part of the Forest

Literature in Lockdown is a special blog series in which our students share what they’re reading whilst face-to-face teaching is suspended at YSJU. In our third post, recent YSJLit Graduate (of both our undergraduate and postgraduate Literature programmes!) Silje Tunes shares her reading experience of Holly Black’s The Darkest Part of the Forest, as well as talking about which TV-series she is currently watching.

Continue reading “Literature in Lockdown: Holly Black’s The Darkest Part of the Forest”

Submitted your dissertation? Reaching the end of final year? Download this HD Virtual Background of the Quad and Recreate the Famous YSJU Selfie!

Every year our students pose in our gorgeous quad for to take the famous ‘YSJU Dissertation Selfie’! Unfortunately, this year, the quad (like everything else) is closed due to Covid-19… But fear not! Download this HD Virtual Background and recreate your end of year selfie from the safety of your own home! 

Continue reading “Submitted your dissertation? Reaching the end of final year? Download this HD Virtual Background of the Quad and Recreate the Famous YSJU Selfie!”

Literature in Lockdown: Dystopia in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and our own

Literature in Lockdown is a special blog series in which our students share what they’re reading whilst face-to-face teaching is suspended at YSJU. In this post, Megan Sales discusses her initial reading of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale as a reflection of our own life under lockdown. 

Continue reading “Literature in Lockdown: Dystopia in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and our own”

Literature in Lockdown: Does studying Literature at YSJU confirm or complicate the canon?

Literature in Lockdown is a special blog series in which our students share what they’re reading whilst face-to-face teaching is suspended at YSJU. In today’s slightly different instalment, first year student Laura Ruston reflects on the texts she’s read so far this semester, and the various ways in which they’ve confirmed or complicated her understanding of the Literary Canon.  

Continue reading “Literature in Lockdown: Does studying Literature at YSJU confirm or complicate the canon?”