A key feature of our BA in English Language and Creative Writing is choice. On the Language side, whether you are interested in language structure (syntax, phonetics and phonology, morphology), how language varies according to user and context, or the teaching of language, our programme will have modules suited to you. Alongside an exciting range of modules, relating to language acquisition and change, language and gender, political discourse and argumentation, forensic linguistics, literary linguistics and psycholinguistics, we have an integrated programme of study aimed at enhancing your proficiency in written English. Alternatively, you could choose to specialise in the related areas of media, forensic and political discourse, or the ‘nuts and bolts’ of language by choosing syntax, phonology and morphology.
On the Creative Writing side, students can develop their writing in a range of genres, including short stories, poetry, plays and radio and film scripts. Our students are encouraged to develop and reflect on their own creative process and to enrich their understanding of the journey from initial idea to finished piece of writing. We strive for our graduates to be competent both in their use and knowledge of English, in such a way that they can pass on such knowledge to others. Certain modules are designed to enhance verbal and written communication skills whilst simultaneously enhancing employability. Students also get the chance to learn about careers in writing and the book trade from guest authors, literary agents, editors and publishers.
Highlights of the course:
- Explore creative writing in different genres with successful authors and poets.
- A choice of modules across different areas of language and linguistics
- Visiting speakers from a range of disciplines and professions
- Skills and employability emphasised throughout the programme.
- The opportunity to study abroad for a semester or a year.
Helen Day ‘My teaching career has been focused on finding effective and meaningful ways to blend research and teaching, employability and the subject curriculum, and language and literature. I work at the nexus where subjects, methodologies and ideologies meet and sometimes clash, which can be exhilarating as well as challenging. My current teaching passion is writing for children and young adult literature and I run the MA Writing for Children. In 2013 I was awarded a National Teaching Fellow Award. My most recent publication is ‘Simulacra, Sacrifice and Survival in The Hunger Games, Battle Royale, and The Running Man’ in Of Bread, Blood and The Hunger Games (MacFarland Press). I am currently working on lying and unreliable narrators in young adult fiction, exploring the difference between unreliable narrators and those who admit to the reader that they are liars. This involves bringing together work on lying from linguistics, psychology and sociology as well as blending cognitive stylistics and literary theory.’
Robert Duggan ‘There is a fantastic and diverse range of talent in contemporary literature and one of my favourite things about my role as a lecturer is introducing students to exciting and innovative contemporary fiction and debating and discussing the ways in which it may challenge traditional ideas about both literature and the world. It’s great to see students develop expertise in the discipline and bring their own experiences of contemporary life to bear on what they read, and I always encourage students to think about the books they read in a wider international context. My research looks at modern and contemporary British fiction and I’m particularly interested in experiments in literary form and genre in the work of writers including Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Angela Carter, Will Self, Iain Banks and Toby Litt. My book The Grotesque in Contemporary British Fiction (Manchester University Press, 2013) shows how the grotesque continues to be a powerful force in contemporary writing and provides an illuminating picture of often controversial aspects of recent fiction. My current research investigates spatiality in contemporary writing and its generic and (geo)political dimensions, exploring fiction by authors including China Miéville, Iain M. Banks and Rupert Thomson and thinking about how the manipulation of space in their books might be read politically. Part of this has involved researching recent British and American literary responses to 9/11 and the ‘War on Terror’’.
Catharine Frances ‘Learning and teaching is a collaborative experience. On our part we develop modules to capture your interests and guide you through a confident acquisition of subject knowledge and practice. On your part you challenge us about our thinking and received wisdoms frequently contributing to our research. The learning environment should be enjoyable and intellectually exciting; a place to dare to try the new and innovative. My research embraces both contemporary play writing and the histories and practises of autobiography. I examine new play writing and, in particular, plays which are produced on both sides of the Atlantic (e.g. Enron, Jerusalem, War Horse). I am interested in exploring the different critical reception the same play receives in the light of cultural, social and political contexts as well as innovations in contemporary play writing in an increasing global community. My interest in autobiography and self-representation in language embraces theory and autobiographical practices. I am particularly interested in autobiographical strategies which challenge literary and cultural convention. I am currently supervising research students for MA by practice-based research in play writing and fiction writing, and a PhD candidate in autobiography.’
‘There is certainly a connection between research and learning/teaching. In the course of my 28-year-long career I’ve devised a number of programmes and modules in American Literature and Culture – sometimes these modules have come about through my research interests, but sometimes, too, my research interests stem from my teaching. My feeling is that the foundation of good teaching (as with research) is enthusiasm and passion – passion for the discovery and expression of new ideas, yes, but also for the rediscovery of cultural texts, practices and histories that can be read in a new light. Thus, believe it or not, there is a place for Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter on my American Literature module. I’m fortunate to be working in such a broad area – American Literature and Culture – which means that I have a wealth of research interests to pursue. I’ve written on American comedy, the culture of the 1970s, the Civil War in culture, transatlantic cultural relations, literature and psychology, and US protest music. This latter topic has led not only to my writing books such as Woody Guthrie, American Radical (2011), but also performance pieces on Woody Guthrie that I have taken all over the world, including the stage at Glastonbury. I’m now developing interests in theatre, performance and dramaturgy. Who knows where I’ll end up?’
‘In my own experience, I think a lecture or a seminar is most successful when a sentence or paragraph uttered, by any participant, can give those present a moment of lasting insight which can be applied to their immediate context for learning, but also persists as a lesson for life. My research interests, at the moment, consist of two distinct but related fields. Most of my publications have been on the work of poetry written, in the UK, Europe and the U.S., since 1945 and I am particularly interested in how it relates to other disciplines, such as philosophy and the visual arts. At the moment, I am also developing research on popular music, and the nature of the experience of listening to words intended as part of a musical performance.’
‘I was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2007 for developing innovative and stimulating teaching practice which includes active learning through drama, walking tours, museum workshops and field trips. Such activities mean that learning moves far from the confines of the classroom. My research ranges widely in terms of chronology, geography and genre. It encompasses the history of slavery and its consequences from 1700-2012. I work on literary texts, film, visual arts, local histories and museums. My books are cultural histories of the black Atlantic which work through a series of case studies – the latest, Creating Memorials, Building Identities: The Politics of Memory in the Black Atlantic (Liverpool UP, 2010), was launched at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool. I’m also involved with museums and co-curated the Trade and Empire: Remembering Slavery exhibition at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. I’ve been involved with media, including acting as advisor and talking head on the American documentary Choc’late Soldiers from the USA (2009) and in February 2013 appearing on BBC’s The One Show with Dan Snow to talk about Abraham Lincoln and the Lancashire Cotton Famine.’
Theresa Saxon ‘The best learning and teaching experience is a shared experience: when our students offer us real insights into the material we cover in taught sessions and that enhances our research activities. It’s also important that you can see how your studies contribute to your own personal and professional development – working with literature opens up so many possibilities for individual enlargement. My research explores the relationship between theatre and society: much of my focus is historical, exploring how theatre of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries replicated, or satirised social behaviours, and how those social behaviours were translated from the ‘performances’ seen on stage. I have published essays on pantomime and burlesque, and American playwright Clyde Fitch, as well as a book, American Theatre: History, Context, Form (EUP, 2011). I am currently developing an extended project on transatlantic theatre and a study of Charles Dickens as a dramatist and performer, for which I have participated in acted readings with Lancaster Theatre Productions.’
Janice Wardle ‘One of the real joys as a teacher in higher education is working with students to explore texts that I love. It is also great to help students develop their own enthusiasm for literature built on sound knowledge and understanding. My own research focuses on Shakespeare in performance and I am particularly interested in Shakespearean comedy. I also explore Literary texts on film and I am interested in the process of literary adaptation. My current project is investigating the representation of the ‘author’ in filmic texts.’