Gothicising the Fairy Tale: Monstrous Cinderellas in Angela Carter and Ali Shaw

The Language and Communication research cluster is delighted to welcome our new colleague Dr Carina Hart, for a presentation on Gothicising the Fairy Tale: Monstrous Cinderellas in Angela Carter and Ali Shaw.

When? Tuesday, 6th November 2018, 16.00 – 17.00

Where? Room PAG02, Middlesex University, London NW4 4BT

The emergence of the Gothic in late eighteenth-century Europe coincided with a revival of interest in traditional fairy tales, and the two forms have remained in dialogue ever since, sharing settings, narrative structures and motifs. Contemporary writers have Gothicised the fairy tale for a new generation, questioning the value of old narratives in a changed world.

This talk will examine one of Carter’s less-researched Gothic fairy tales, “Ashputtle, or The Mother’s Ghost” (1987), and the matrophobic Gothic elements it draws out of the Cinderella tale’s obscure older versions. Here the Gothic becomes a critical tool with which the text can interrogate the sociopolitical forces that have influenced the endurance or disappearance of different elements in the Cinderella tale tradition.

Carter’s re-Gothicisation of the Cinderella tale creates a feminist text interconnected with its political contexts; millennial Gothic fairy tales, however, show a clear move away from political agency into individualism, as seen in Ali Shaw’s Gothic retelling of Cinderella, The Girl with Glass Feet (2009). The monstrous feminine here is re-sublimated into silence, stillness and sexualised beauty, turning the female Gothic against the heroine in an example of a wider retreat from late-twentieth-century feminism.

Bio:

carina.jpgDr Carina Hart is a Lecturer in English Literature at Middlesex University, having previously taught at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Nottingham Trent University and the University of East Anglia, where she completed her PhD. She has published on A. S. Byatt’s fairy tale fiction, alchemy in contemporary fiction, and Romantic poetry, and is working on a monograph titled Beastly Beauties: The Contemporary Gothic Fairy Tale. Her collection of poetry, Your Brain Cells Sing When They Die, will be published by Eyewear in 2019.

The Language and Communication Research Seminars are free and open to all staff, students and guests. For any questions or if you would like to lead a session, contact Anna Charalambidou.

Click here to see all 2018-19 Language & Communication research seminars.

Launch show of Haringey Unchained magazine

We are very excited to announce the launch show of ‘Haringey Unchained‘ the creative magazine that was co-produced this year through the intense collaboration of students (and staff) at Haringey Sixth Form College and Middlesex University.
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The launch show for this year’s issue of the magazine will be on Thursday 5th July, in the evening, at Haringey Sixth Form College in Tottenham in London. This will be a celebration of London’s creative talent; writers will read out their work and dancers from the WeMove Dance Leadership project will provide interpretative dances of the magazine’s prose and poetry pieces.

There will also be an Art Exhibition at the iconic North London venue, Alexandra Palace, on the 6th July, also in the evening – and there will be additional opportunities to attend readings of the Haringey Unchained collection.

A-level English reform and English at University

In the 2018 University English meeting, Billy Clark and Andrea Macrae discussed academics’ perceptions and awareness of A-level English reform. The survey, funded by the British Academy and Leverhulme, was conducted  by the ‘Integrating English‘ dream team: Andrea, Billy, and Marcello Giovanelli. You can find a visualisation of their findings here.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, English subject leaders feel that they and their teaching staff are little informed about changes to A-levels. In fact, the overwhelming majority of English degrees in the UK are making no (55%) or minor (33%)  changes changes to the curriculum to support the transition of students who are taking the reformed A-Levels.

Professor Billy Clark at the Heads of Department & Subject Leaders’ Networking Day (13th April), University of Lancaster

On a more positive note, the Lang/Lit A-level is more positively viewed in Higher Education than in schools. 95% of university English subject leaders perceive it as useful in preparing students for English degree programmes. In fact, this is tallies with our own anecdotal evidence. A couple of days ago, at a local college visit, the Lang/Lit teacher was telling how the English Literature A-Level still carries much more prestige and is more popular with staff and pupils than the Lang/Lit A-Level.

And finally, a third of English degrees do not require any of the three English A-Levels (English Language, English Literature and English Lang/Lit). It looks like we are not that unique at Middlesex!

So what can we do in higher education to help the transition of our students from secondary to tertiary education?

Billy explained the importance of connecting with secondary teachers and students, awarding bodies, even our PGCE colleagues. He also showed the importance of helping first-year undergraduate students understand how university work differs from school-level work.

Jenny Stevens (Teacher of English and freelance writer and editor) presenting the post-16 perspective on English teaching and learning suggested that HE sector can help by:

  • Getting  involved in GCSE & A Level qualification;
  • Communicating with A-level student, parents and teachers via university website (podcasts/screencasts);
  • Cross sector collaborations on social media (e.g. linking with Centre for English & Media);
  • Joining the English Association Secondary Education Committee.

Sneak peak on this year’s ‘Haringey Unchained’ magazine

We are very happy to report that all content (poems, short fiction, illustrations, photographs etc.) that we have submitted this year has  been added to the Haringey Unchained blog.

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Please visit here: https://haringeyunchained.wordpress.com.

 

At the top of the page, there is the following link, which reflects the partnership between students and staff of English from Middlesex University and Haringey Sixth Form Centre:

https://haringeyunchained.wordpress.com/university-partnerships/

Submission on the blog are anonymised. Anything submitted by Middlesex is demarcated by a * in the title.

Over the next couple weeks, we’ll be updating the blog so that it is a premium account so the URL will eventually change to: www.haringeyunchained.com.

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Our next and final editorial session together will be Thursday 3rd May at 4:30 pm. We are going to have to be merciless about the items we cut in order to get it to fit 52 pages.  We will spent the time placing pieces along the flat plan together.

Really looking forward to seeing the finalised version of the print magazine!

Footage of conversation with Ian McGuire

Last month, Ian McGuire, author of the celebrated novel, The North Water, visited Middlesex to answer questions from BA English students. The event was sold out and a great success. If you missed it, or would like to watch it again, here’s the footage of the discussion.

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Q&A with Ian McGuire on his celebrated novel, The North Water

ian-mcguire-author-photoIan McGuire, author of the celebrated novel, The North Water, visits Middlesex to answer questions from BA English students.

The Language and Communication research cluster invites you to the conversation.

When? Tuesday 27 February 2018, 17.00 – 18.30

Where? Room C110 (College), Middlesex University, Hendon campus

51AhoORZVXL._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_The North Water is causing a literary sensation: it’s currently one of the New York Times 10 Best Books of 2016, and was longlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize. You can read more about the novel here:

http://thenorthwater.net/

A visceral and emotional piece of literary art, The North Water has been described by Andrew Haigh, the director of the forthcoming BBC adaptation of the novel, as “a darkly brilliant piece of work, propelled by a vision of the world that is both beautiful and brutal. It feels bracingly modern and is piercingly perceptive about the nature of what drives us all”.

This event offers the opportunity to hear McGuire respond to a number of searching questions about creative writing method and literary composition – all from Middlesex students.

Time will also be allotted for questions from the audience.