Welcome to the course blog for all students past, present and future, of English Literature at the University of Gloucestershire - guests are welcome too.
The blog is designed for discussion, messages, information, and everything else contributing to the literary life.
Students of English Literature, and English Literature and Creative Writing, work and play hard during Induction week. The highlight is a visit to Cheltenham's historic Everyman theatre. This gorgeous Victorian theatre runs a lively programme all year round and is very much at the heart of Cheltenham's cultural life.
Here are some of one student's photos of the theatre:
Photos courtesy of Emily Coleman, class of 2016.
We think there's no better way to introduce students to their new home town than to to explore its cultural history. Freshmen students research, create and present a project on the theme Literary Cheltenham: Writing the Town. Every group of students came up with something new, or a fresh insight, reminding us that research is really a matter of curiosity, noticing things, seeing anew.
Students then contributed an idea, image or, in the case of one group, a collage of words and images to an oversized map of Cheltenham; a map of cultural or psychogeographic space. Our Writer in Residence, Anna Lawrence Pietroni, and Dr Debby Thacker led this part of the project; the English Literature team joined students for a round-table discussion at the presentations.
The best thing about this project is that students devise their own ways of looking, reflecting, and working. Our thanks go to all who took part.
We are ready for another academic year. Tomorrow the new students arrive for Induction week. If you're one, we wish you a very warm welcome to the University of Gloucestershire. You'll meet your tutors and your new fellow students, join the student-run English Society, receive a Library induction, enjoy a special behind-the-scenes tour of the Everyman Theatre, collaborate on a small research project with your new colleagues, and begin the task of settling in. Our rule: if you are not sure of something, just ask us.
Everything kicks off with the first School of Humanities meeting in the Chapel at 9:00. And yes, Francis Close Hall Campus quad really does look as brightly autumnal as in the photo.
We look forward to welcoming back our current students into the next level of their degree programme. Every September, a new phase begins. We hope you are as excited about resuming your studies as the new students are about beginning theirs. We think there's nothing better than the literary life, and hope you agree.
The author Laurie Lee (Cider with Rosie) has a special place at the University of Gloucestershire. The School of Humanities sponsors the annual Laurie Lee Memorial Lecture at the Cheltenham festival of literature (stay tuned to the blog for more information shortly). This summer, a beautiful area of ancient woodland at Slad once owned by Laurie Lee was preserved as a nature reserve. It epitomises the link between writing and place that's at the centre of our research and teaching.
But that was in June, and soon Gloucestershire will look like this: