the base-line: imaginary worlds students go to see blade runner 2049

By Adam Cummings

On Tuesday the 5th of October the Literature and Media programmes organised a group free trip to see Blade Runner 2049 as part of the module 2EN440: Imaginary Worlds.  The crowd, as you arrived within the York City Screen cinema, was definitely recognisable. If someone was to say, “Imagine a group of Science Fiction Literature students grouped together, waiting to see perhaps the most anticipated science fiction sequel to be released in thirty years”, I guarantee that you would at least be able to spot some key similarities among these people.

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a cold cheeseburger & the waterstones lock-in, 2017

By Beth Davies

I’m fully aware all those reading this post right now have been sat eagerly by their phones, awaiting the tweet of a new Words Matter post. Well, I’m not one to disappoint. Here we are: grab a brew, sit and read all about my experiences at this year’s Waterstones Student Lock-In. I hope you made it to the night, but if you couldn’t attend we now use the power of literature to allow you to re-live it through words. Let’s see how it goes…

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student opportunity: be an IDAS champion

Thank you to Gemma Linfoot-King and Lizzie Hope for getting in touch to tell us about an exciting and informative experience for YSJU students. They are hosting a free lunch followed by training to be an IDAS Champion. IDAS are the largest charity in Yorkshire supporting anyone who has experiencing or affected by domestic abuse of sexual violence.

The event takes place from 12-4.30 on Thursday 16th November in SK/036, and you can book your place here.

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upcoming event: meet leading shakespearean actors alex waldmann and pippa nixon

Two of the country’s leading Shakespearean actors, Pippa Nixon and Alex Waldmann will be visiting York St John University on 1st November 2017. Pippa and Alex are cultural fellows here at YSJU and will be in conversation about their work with  our Shakespeare: Perspectives tutors.

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time to leave earth? reflections on the launch of ‘terra 2’

By Zoe Buckton

If you’ve met Liesl King you’ll know she has a very soothing voice, so when she tells a room full of people that we need to evacuate the earth, the result is surprisingly calm acceptance. Terra 2 aims to conserve earth’s culture, curating science fiction inspired works of writing, artwork, music and film to create something akin to the Voyager Golden Record we sent into space back in 1977, but with a little more artistic flare and a little less Chuck Berry.

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leave earth behind at the official launch of terra two

It is a great time to be a fan of Science Fiction. We’re weeks away from the release of a new Blade Runner movie, Channel 4 are about to debut ‘Electric Dreams’ (a new anthology show adapting the short stories of Philip K. Dick), a brand new iteration of Star Trek is about to drop on Netflix and, of course, next week will see the official launch of York St John University’s very own SF project: ‘Terra Two: An Arc(hive) for Off-World Survival.’ 

The project officially launches on Friday 29 September in Quad South Hall from 6:00 – 7:30 pm.

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student opportunity: join a live reading of the play volpone

Adam Smith is looking for performers to help him stage an informal dramatic reading of Ben Jonson’s 1606 play, Volpone, which is to be studied by first year students this semester.


“This bawdy, provocative and frankly vicious play follows the Machiavellian Volpone and his parasitic side-kick Mosca as they con and connive their way through renaissance Venice. Filled with razor sharp wit and cutting insults, Jonson’s play is and exciting, darkly comic and haunting tale, which I hope you might consider helping me bring to life in Week 5.

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big summer read: gospel, testimony or testament?

This summer, the York St John Literature programme invited students and staff to read and respond to Colm Tóibín’s 2012 novella The Testament of Mary, a study of the mother of Jesus of Nazareth as she comes to terms with her son’s crucifixion at hands of the Roman Empire. In today’s post, Adam asks: Why is it called a ‘Testament’ anyway?


By Dr Adam James Smith

Much as Margaret Atwood’s 2008 novella The Penelopiad relished the opportunity to give voice to a woman too often left silent despite her centrality to both her myth of original and subsequent literary culture, Colm Tóibín clearly delights in offering centre stage to a woman without whom there would be no New Testament. Defined and iconicized as the Mother of Christ, Mary is most often understood through her maternal relationship to the son of God, rather than as an individual in her own right. Continue reading “big summer read: gospel, testimony or testament?”