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Shelf Concerns

Shelf Concerns

By Claire Allen
This podcast from the English and Creative Writing team at the University of Northampton discusses current issues through the lens of literature.
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Lockdown Finalists

Shelf Concerns

Remember, Remember the 5th of November: Moore and Lloyd’s V for Vendetta
In this episode of ‘Shelf Concerns’, Claire is joined by Dr David Simmons, Senior Lecture in English and Film and Screen Studies at the University of Northampton, and MA student, Jake Oldham.  They discuss Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s V for Vendetta, exploring the role of symbols, media, and individual vs collective responsibility as presented in the future dystopian world created in the text.
November 1, 2020
A New Start: Thriving on your English Degree
In this episode of Shelf Concerns, Dr Claire Allen is joined by two students, Jade and Ruby, who are about to start the second year of studying for their English degree at the University of Northampton. In this episode Jade and Ruby reflect on their first year of study. The podcast explores how you should prepare in the immediate run up to the start of your degree, what coping strategies can be useful when managing workloads and reading lists, and Jade and Ruby offer their top tips on how to thrive in first year. The key message is, ‘Don’t panic!’
September 22, 2020
Studying English Literature in a Second Language
Ever wanted to know what it is like to study English Literature as a non-native speaker of English? Tune in to the latest podcast from Shelf Concerns to hear Marie's experiences of studying a joint honours degree in English and Education Studies in her second language. Marie shares top tips and advice on how to qualify to study at a UK institution,  how to prepare for study, and the support that is available for EU and international students at The University of Northampton.
August 28, 2020
Results Day 2020
It's that time of the year again, A level results day. In any ordinary year this is a particularly stressful time for pupils eagerly awaiting the result of months of hard work. However results day 2020 is like no other! In this episode of the English and Creative Writing podcast from the University of Northampton Dr Claire Allen is joined by two students, Esher and Dan, to discuss their experiences of receiving their results. They explore what results can really mean long-term, advice on how to get into the university and course of your choice, and  offer their thoughts on preparing for the big day and what to do if things don't go the way you expect. Good luck everyone! 
August 11, 2020
Bronte's Birthday
To celebrate the anniversary of Emily Bronte's birthday on the 30th July, in this episode of Shelf Concerns, Claire Allen is joined by three students from the University of Northampton, Destiny, Dan and Beth, to discuss their responses to this writer and in particular one of the most famous texts in the British literary canon, 'Wuthering Heights'. They explore the continued relevance of the novel, key themes such as race and gender, as well as the use of Gothic tropes and contemporary adaptations of her work. Continuing the theme of rivalry from the previous podcast on Austen,  we also ask 'which Bronte is best'. Listeners will be pleased to hear that the eagerly anticipated result of the listeners' poll to establish their favourite Austen Adaptation from the previous podcast (conducted via Twitter @EngNorthants) is revealed. 
July 28, 2020
Jane Austen: Analysis & Adaptation
The 18th July marks the anniversary of Jane Austen’s death (1775-1817). In order to commemorate this date and to celebrate her literary accomplishments, this podcast explores why Austen remains such an important figure within the world of literary studies, but also within our wider culture. In this episode of Shelf Concerns, Dr Claire Allen is joined by Dr David Simmons, Senior Lecturer in English and Screen Studies, and Meghann Hillier-Broadley, a PhD student, to discuss their favourite Austen novels, adaptations, and to ask what  contemporary society can learn from an author who died over 200 years ago.
July 17, 2020
Literature and the Environment
In the second episode of 'Shelf Concerns', Dr Claire Allen is joined by Meghann Hillier-Broadley, a postgraduate student studying for her PhD in English Literature at the University of Northampton. As lockdown restrictions begin to ease, Claire and Meghann reflect on the two things many of us have been doing over the last few months; reading and walking. They discuss the history of the relationship between literature and the environment, from the Ancients, via the Romantics, to the present day. In so doing, they explore how texts with an environmental focus can help us to consider key contemporary societal concerns, such as feminism, the black lives matter movement, and climate change.  How might a consideration of literature and the environment help us imagine the world anew as we move into 'the new normal?’ Tune in to hear their response to such questions and recommendations for reading on this topic.
July 9, 2020
Lockdown Finalists
In this episode of Shelf Concerns we speak to students who have recently or are currently in the process of finishing their English degree at the University of Northampton. We explore what online learning is, how this works, the pros and cons, and ultimately how students found completing the final weeks of their English degree in the midst of a global pandemic. It turns out they did really well! Tune in to hear direct, first-hand accounts of their experiences.
July 2, 2020