All About Respect Paid Internship Opportunity

We have two exciting, paid student intern opportunities for students to work as part of the All About Respect team.

You can find out more about these opportunities and apply here: www.yorksj.ac.uk/internships

Closing date is midnight on Thursday 17th October.#

Get some great work experience to boost your CV and kickstart a potential future career by applying for an exclusive YSJ Student Internship.

You can find out more about the All About Respect project here

Shakespeare Trip 2019 from a non-Shakespeare Student, by Amy Langton

Amy brings to life the Shakespeare: Perspectives Trip to Stratford-upon-Avon from earlier in the year, and talks about how it inspired her to find out more about Shakespeare. Read here her response to the Royal Shakespeare Company performance of As You Like It, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust post-performance talks, visiting the house Shakespeare was was born in, and going backstage at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

This year, I went on the Shakespeare Perspectives trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon. Although I didn’t do the module itself, places opened up, and Revolution and Response students were asked if they wanted to go. Having studied Shakespeare both on this module, and in previous modules, I was really interested in going on this trip so booked as soon as possible. On the trip, we did many things packed into the short amount of space of two days, meaning it got very busy and tiring, but yet being surrounded by lovely individuals who I share my course with the two days were great. 

We went to the Royal Shakespeare Company to watch one of Shakespeare’s comedies, As You Like It. I knew nothing of the play beforehand other than the title, having not studied it or even picked it up in a shop and yet, I was excited. I was excited to delve into the world of something new and ready to have a good time. 

The company clearly used meta-theatre which was the great choice, as those who know the play well or even those like me who didn’t knew the most famous quote ‘All the world’s a stage’. Through this use, the intimacy level was upped, as the actors engaged with the audience throughout, even at one point bringing members up to the stage themselves which added greatly to the comedic effect. 

In our post-performance discussion at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust with Dr Nick Walton, many members of our group mentioned the roles of Rosalind/Ganymede and Celia in a lively discussion. While some felt Celia overpowered Rosalind, which is contradictory to what her role is supposed to do, I personally felt that Rosalind was the true star. Lucy Phelps, who portrayed her, gave the character an energy that made her easy to love and easy to sympathise with. Her humour was perfect: her character made me laugh the most because of the way that she presented this lovable person, this lovable woman.

The play defied all expectations, the characters were likeable, the actors even more so. It felt like an evening with a family rather than a crowd of strangers.

Another thing we did on the trip was visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace which was an amazing experience as the house in which he was born had so much history behind it. I could see this in the way it was presented and the ways in which the staff interacted with tourists and members of the public, giving them extra information, and really immersing them into the world and time in which this iconic playwright lived. We also got to watch amateur actors performing certain scenes from different Shakespeare plays outside in the garden. This was an amazing experience as it was brilliant to see other ways in which Shakespeare could be performed. The two actors were incredibly talented and gave off just the right emotion and power to once again immerse you into the plays.

Probably one of the most exciting things we did on the trip was get a backstage tour of the theatre. This was incredibly insightful as the way the plays are done is so incredibly clever. We saw things such as costumes, lighting and all sorts of accessories used such as fake blood! This was so amazing as you really saw how much work is put in to performing Shakespeare in a modern-day setting. In Shakespeare’s time, you can imagine the way in which it was performed is much different to how it is today, so to see the way in which time has developed is brilliant in being able to immerse yourself fully into the plays.

The trip was brilliant also in the social aspect of things as I got to be with a lot of my friends that I didn’t do modules with but that were on my course. I also met and got to talk to new people which I found really incredible. I also met Saffron properly, who I’ve never met and haven’t been taught by but it was amazing meeting her and to be inspired by her love of Shakespeare. Julie’s tremendous love of Shakespeare also inspired me and having these two incredible dedicated women leading us on this true Shakespearean journey was an incredible experience.

If anything, the trip mostly made me wish I had done the Shakespeare module and has inspired me to go on to try read other Shakespeare texts with my specific interest now being Hamlet and a Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, which I have already purchased and am ready to read!

In conclusion, thank you to Saffron, Julie and York St John University for giving me the chance to go on this insightful, brilliant trip and also the chance to write for this blog. This trip really helped me expand my love for Literature even more!

All images (c) Amy Langton apart from the final performance image (c) RSC

YSJ Blogs Shakespeare

 

By Caroline Carlson and Charlotte Crawshaw

On May 9th 2019, York St John University kicked off the York International Shakespeare Festival with a Shakespeare Blogging workshop. University lecturer Saffron Vickers Walkling led the discussion on various blogging topics, tips, and websites and announced a unique opportunity for students to blog the upcoming festival. Thanks to Festival Director, Philip Parr of Parrabola, Students may attend most festival events for free if they review the event for the YSJ Words Matter blog. Simply turn up to the events at the pop-up Dogrose theatre and say ‘I’m here for Words Matter’ (with the exception of the Richard II film which is sold out), where Tom Straszewski has set aside a couple of tickets per performance. He’s also directed some of them. Likewise, for events at  Friargate (https://ridinglights.org/yisf/), there are review tickets for most productions. Call ahead to let them know you are coming: 01904 613000. For events at York Theatre Royal, email press officer Steve Pratt for a complimentary press ticket (subject to availability): steve.pratt@yorktheatreroyal.co.uk 

According to the festival website ‘the festival features exciting and adventurous artists both from around the world and from closer to home, with a focus on the Shakespeare of the North.’ Performances will be held from May 9th until 19th all over the city, in theatres, streets, parks, churches and wherever you would least expect. 

Visit their website at http://esfn.eu/festivals/york#full-gallery-anchor for more information.

General public tickets are available via https://www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk/whats-on/ There are student discounts available.

Festival Shows include: All’s Well That Ends Well, Sonnet Walks, Feast, The Alchemist, Boris Rex, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Love Deadline (Desdemona), Be Not Afeard, Hamlet (An Experience), The Buds of Maybe, Outrageous Fortune, The Winter’s Tale, She Wolf, Into the Breach, Ten Things I Hate About Taming of the Shrew, Battle of the Bard

‘Feast’ directed by Phillip Parr

Beyond The Walls Showcase review by Lucy Pettigrew

York Centre for Writing’s Beyond the Walls is an annual anthology celebrating York St John University’s Creative Writing students.

Lucy Pettigrew reviews this year’s launch event on 27th March 2019 as part of the York Literature Festival.

On the evening of the 27th of March, it was time for the Beyond The Walls Student Showcase, organised by second-year students undertaking the Publishing, Production and Performance module. As soon as I walked into the SU coffee lounge I knew it was going to be an amazing night as it had been transformed into a cosy, welcoming place for the third-year and MA students to share their work with us. Props to the marketing team that was behind the set-up of the coffee lounge – the place looked amazing! Plus, there were free drinks which was a bonus! Continue reading “Beyond The Walls Showcase review by Lucy Pettigrew”

LGBTQ+ Comfort Reads: Heartstopper by Alice Oseman, reviewed by Lucy Pettigrew

Review by Lucy Pettigrew

On February 7th 2019 Alice Oseman published her first graphic novel and first part of her popular young adult webcomic Heartstopper: Volume One. The webcomic has over 50,000 subscribers online, and is also available as an ebook and in traditional print format. I’m not someone who usually picks up a graphic novel or comic over a young adult novel or a modern poetry collection, but this stunning graphic novel blew me away and I can’t wait to pick up the next volume in the series when it comes out – it’s also made me want to read more graphic novels! I will read anything Oseman publishes (it could be a book filled with the word ‘potato’ and I’d still love it).

Heartstopper is a young adult comic that stars Nick and Charlie, who are both trying to navigate life as teenagers in an all-boys grammer school in the United Kingdom. Oseman describes it as an “LGBTQ+ webcomic” as almost all of the characters are part of the community.

The plot of the story is stunning and heart-warming – I quickly became attached to the characters and got so invested that I didn’t put it down in between starting and finishing it. The story combined with the cute art style was a perfect combination and even though it was sad in some parts I still smiled the whole way through because of how utterly enticing it was and how well the story was told.

I couldn’t get enough of the representation either – there were so many characters that were part of the LGBTQ+ community and it felt good to have that representation handled in such a well-written way. All of Oseman’s books so far (which you should also read, they’re fantastic and showcase her talent even more!) have also included LGBTQ+ characters so I was glad that this trend continued in Heartstopper.

Overall, this graphic novel was the perfect read. It was easy to follow and combined with the plotline, art style and representation it made for a really enjoyable experience. Don’t hesitate to pick it up next time you’re in a book shop (or you can get it online!).

Heartstopper is published by Hodder Children’s Books. Check out the LGBTQ+ children and YA collection in our Schools Section of the library.

“A Key Moment of Pride”: Reflections on the 2019 Literature Research Showcase

By Adam Kirkbride

On the 28th of February, the English Literature department here at York St John held a showcase exhibiting the research done by our lecturers. The event comprised of four short presentations given by various members of the department and was thoroughly enjoyable. Here is a brief rundown of the research areas that our staff are working on.

Continue reading ““A Key Moment of Pride”: Reflections on the 2019 Literature Research Showcase”

LGBT History Month Book Display launching today/God’s Own Country screening

Our very own subject librarian, Katherine Hughes, has put together a fantastic display for #LGBTHM19. We encourage you to check it out in the main library, and also to visit the School’s Library LGBT display of children and YA books.

Here’s what Katherine says:

ILE are holding a book display during the week commencing 25th February to commemorate LGBT History Month. The display includes fiction, graphic novels, films, poetry and plays by LGBT authors, from Shakespeare’s sonnets to Sarah Waters. Highlighted texts include E. M. Forster’s ‘Maurice’, a novel of gay love in the early 20th century, written in secret and remaining unpublished until after the author’s death; and Virginia Woolf’s ‘Orlando’, the story of an Elizabethan nobleman who lives for three centuries and becomes a woman. Also included in the display is ILE’s new subscription to LGBT Magazine Archive, which chronicles more than six decades of the history and culture of the LGBT community, and is available via the ILE website under Specialist Subject Resources.

The display will be launched this evening by our special LGBT History Month film screening of God’s Own Country, a queer romance between a young farmer and a Romanian migrant worker set on a struggling farm in rural Yorkshire. The film will be screened in Fountains Lecture Theatre (FT/002) for staff and students and will be introduced by Saffron Vickers Walkling, Senior Lecturer in English Literature. The screening is free of charge – just provide your YSJ email address while booking your free ticket.

Saffron says, if you want to review your favourite LGBT texts for our Words Matter blog, please contact her via email.

 

 

 

The L Word: Finding Myself in Lesbian Fiction #LGBTHistoryMonth. What are your LGBT recommended reads?

On Monday 25th February, York St John Information Learning Services will be launching their LGBT History Month display. I vividly remember, at the age of about 15, finding a book called What Comes Naturally in the Women’s section of the Salisbury Bookshop. By Norwegian writer Gerd Brantenberg, it was a hilarious description of a university student in the 1960s “finding herself” and coming out as a lesbian. As I tried to figure out my own identity at that period a number of films, books and plays helped me to see who I was. The characters were often far from me in time, place and other identities – nineteenth century Americans Patience and Sarah, the confused Cypress in Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo (a novel about an African American family in mid-twentieth century South Carolina and New York) and of course, The Colour Purple, in which Celie falls in love with Shug. Films spoke to me too, such as Hanif Kureishi and Stephen Frear’s My Beautiful Laundrette in which the characters Johnny and Omar struggled with racism, class and Thatcherism, but had no qualms about embracing each other and their sexuality.  I also got to play the delightfully ambiguous Count Orsino in an all female production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night

So come on down to the library next Monday and have a look at Katherine Hughes’ display. Contact Katherine or Thomas Peach with your recommendations, and if you want to review your favourite LGBT texts for our Words Matter blog, contact Adam Smith or myself, Saffron Vickers Walkling. 

PS I’ll be introducing my latest favourite LGBT text God’s Own Country at 5.30 that same day in a free screening for staff and students . Book tickets here.

Smith & Waugh Talk About Satire: Literature Lecturers Launch New Podcast!

Spinning out of the ongoing ‘Satire: Births, Deaths and Legacies’ project, a new monthly podcast sees Drs Adam J Smith and Jo Waugh talk about the form, function, future and history of British satire.


Satire: Deaths, Births, Legacies

Satire is both an urgent topic and one with a long history. Journalists, and satirists themselves, regularly make the claim that “satire is dead” in a world of “fake news”, or news that seems too incredible or too unpalatable to be true. Yet satire continues to emerge, in forms both professional and amateur, elitist and popular.

Satire: Deaths, Births, Legacies looks to draw together researchers and practitioners working on projects which variously historicize, problematize, theorize, teach, and perform satire and satirical material. This project seeks to contribute meaningfully to what is becoming a national conversation about the form, function, and future of satire.

Smith & Waugh Talk About Satire

In their new podcast, Jo and Adam will be joined by a range of guests, including scholars and practitioners of satire. 

The first episode, ‘What even is satire?’, comes out today, and you can listen on the project website or via Soundcloud. Adam and Jo start by talking about the biggest question of all. What is satire? What did it used to be, and what is it now in the age of Twitter, Trump and Brexit?

Forthcoming Episodes

Keep an ear out for the monthly episodes coming out between now and July:

Episode 2. Satire and Celebrity

Jo and Adam are joined by Gráinne O’Hare (Newcastle University) and Katie Snow (University of Exeter) to talk about the relationship between satire and celebrity and consider the position of the woman as satirist and the subject of satire.

Release date: 14/3/2019

 


Episode 3. Satire and the Novel 

What is the difference between a satirical novel and a novel with satire in it? Adam and Jo are joined by Dr Helen Williams (Northumbria University) to talk about one of the best known satirical novels of all time: Laurence Sterne’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gent

Release date: 11/4/2019


Episode 4. Satire and the Image

Do you need words to do satire? If a picture can say a thousand words, how much satire can it do? Adam and Jo are joined by Wendy McGlashan (University of Aberdeen) to talk about eighteenth-century print-maker, miniaturist and satire merchant, John Kay.

Release date: 9/5/2019


Episode 5. Satire and Laughter

Should satire make us laugh? Is satire always funny? Why do we laugh at things anyway? Adam and Jo are joined by Dr Kate Davison (University of Sheffield) to talk about the social history of laughter, and the various satires of the eighteenth-century tavern keeper Ned Ward.

Release date: 6/6/2019


Episode 6. Finale: Satire and the Future 

It’s a big satirepalloza as Adam and Jo talk to both returning guests and (some very special surprise guests!) about what the future holds for satire.

Let Adam and Jo know what you think either on Twitter (@SatireNoMore) or by email (SatireNoMore@gmail.com). 

Release date: 4/7/2019

LGBT History Month: School Library Display

Did you see yourself or your family reflected in the books you read as a child? Librarian Clare McCluskey-Dean contacted us recently about an exciting initiative for LGBT History Month. She has made a display of inclusive children’s and young adult books purchased by the library at York St John University in the past year or so. It will be in place throughout February, and she hopes it will evolve as people borrow the books. You can visit the display in the School Library area, on the first floor of Fountains. Please pass this on to anyone you think would be interested. Also, if you have any recommendations for other books we could buy, or ideas for future displays, she would be happy to hear those. I, for one, will be visiting to borrow some books in which I see my family reflected. Please contact her via Information Learning Services in Fountains Learning Centre: ile@yorksj.ac.uk  

Scott Trust Bursary: MA Funding Applications Now Open!

Applications are now open for the Scott Trust Bursary to study one of the following MAs:

This is open to all students with a right to work in the UK who have a 2:1 or above, in any subject. The bursary covers fees and includes £6,000 living costs, as well as 6 weeks work experience at the Guardian. There is also the possibility of a 1-year full time contract with the Guardian on completion of the course.