PRESENTING… THE ENGLISH REVIEW SERIES: MONSTERS!

BA English at Middlesex University is hosting the ‘English Review Series’ of monthly conversations on Monsters in cultural texts. Come and have a monster time with us chatting about popular culture! It’ll be fun. We’ll be talking tv, film, comics, the news and books (all different ‘cultural texts’).
All meetings can be accessed via Zoom: https://mdx-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/96567350722?pwd=L1Q3dVNOWkttWHhkSUtIZDM2ZkVuUT09

Topic: Monsters and fear3:30-4:30pm, Monday 19 October 2020, on Zoom

  • Why do different cultures have similar monsters?
  • What monsters are you scared of? Where did that fear first come from – listening to fairy tales? Watching something? Listening to the news and hearing about a serial killer?
  • Are you more scared of real monsters (like the serial killer Dennis Nilsen, played by David Tennant in a new series) or mythical monsters (like zombies)? But why?
  • Why is horror now a popular genre, when sales of horror (tv and film) were at rock-bottom in the 90s?

Topic: Witches – 3:30-4:30pm, 16 November 2020, on Zoom

  • Witches are wicked, right? What about Sabrina, Hermione, the good witch in The Wizard of Oz, and Maleficent?
  • How did the wicked witch come about, then?
  • Do any of us know anyone who’s a ‘white witch’?
  • Why are there so many UK witch groups on Facebook?·        

Topic: Vampires and devils –  3:30-4:30pm, 7 December 2021, on Zoom

  • Dracula in the novel and Hammer movies was Satanic, right? How come he’s a good guy in the 2013-14 tv show? And why are vampires goodies in True Blood, Buffy (sometimes) and Twilight?
  • Is the Dark Lord a sympathetic character in today’s world? But why?
  • Aren’t vampires just silly and made-up, or is there some real aspect to them?
  • Would you like to be immortal?

Topic: Zombies –  3:30-4:30pm, 18 January 2021, on Zoom

  • Why on Earth are zombies still popular?
  • Is it cos of covid?
  • Or immigration?
  • Are they still making The Walking Dead? Sheesh. How many series?

Topic: Werewolves and shape-shifters – 3:30-4:30pm, 15 February 2021

  • Is there a ravening beast hiding inside you?
  • Jekyll and Hyde is still popular. Why is that?
  • Why does every vampire series always end up with a bunch of werewolves as enemies?

Topic: Frankenstein and A.I.s – 3:30-4:30pm, 15 March 2021

  • Do the sciences of cloning and A.I. mean we are about to create a new Frankenstein? Is that really a good idea?
  • Are Pinocchio, The Blade Runner, Avengers: Age of Ultron, West World, etc, all the same story?
  • Is it horror, sci-fi or actually happening?

WANT TO PARTICIPATE? RESERVE YOUR PLACE FOR ONE OR MORE SESSIONS BY EMAILING DR ADAM DALTON (a.dalton@mdx.ac.uk) OR DR ANNA CHARALAMBIDOU (a.charalambidou@mdx.ac.uk)! YOU CAN ALSO RESERVE PLACES FOR FRIENDS!

BA English student profiles: Natalie Rose

Natalie Rose (third-year BA English student) describes her experience of studying at Middlesex:

Natalie Rose BA English.png“Being a student is about indecisiveness and experimentation. It’s about trying everything possible so that, once you graduate, you know exactly which path is right for you. It’s about figuring things out, and then changing your mind and having to figure it all out again.

English at Middlesex University epitomised this experience for me. The course was so widespread that not only did we journey through the depths of language, we uncovered the definitive rules of genre, and marvelled at the complexity and importance of literature, both old and new. Each topic covered was not only interesting to learn, but with each class it revealed to me something new I could be capable of. Every experiment was a test – could this be what my future is made up of? And each lesson learnt was an accomplishment, an experience I had gained, something new to push me over and beyond what other students from other universities had to show.

There is no one path selected for you at Middlesex. You are not bound to academia, to teaching, to linguistics. You have every available option spread out before you, and you learn how to excel in whichever of these options interest you most. Extra-curricular opportunities and dedicated, friendly lecturers mean that your education does not stop when you leave the classroom. There is no limit at this university to the things you can discover, only how much time you give yourself to try each new opportunity out.”

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Read Natalie’s outstanding romance, Disengaged that she wrote for her third-year module ‘Writing for Popular Markets’, taught by Adam Dalton.

Disengaged

Chapter One

All along the bar were shimmering, giggling girls falling over their half empty drinks while chatting to greasy looking guys. Unfortunately, Bree was one of them. I was pissed – tonight was meant to be our time.

Continue reading “BA English student profiles: Natalie Rose”

Free creative writing mini-lessons

Dr Adam Dalton, lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing at Middlesex University, has been producing free creative writing mini-lessons on his website, one a day, Monday-Friday. He’s posted eight lessons so far.

https://metaphysicalfantasy.wordpress.com/ni-lessons/

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He’s producing the lessons to help those stuck at home in the current circumstances to find a routine. A routine can help with well-being. And the lessons just might help people became globally successful writers!

 

‘Don’t Mess with Mr. In-Between’: National and Sexual Identities in Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia

THE LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION RESEARCH CLUSTER IS DELIGHTED TO WELCOME Dr Yael Maurer (Tel Aviv University) FOR A seminar ON National and Sexual Identities in Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia.

When? Thursday, 10th October 2019, 16.00 – 18.00

Where? Room VG06, Vine building, Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

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In the session, Dr Maurer will be introducing the opening of Kureishi’s novel where he explores the ties between national and sexual identities in the figure of his protagonist, Karim Amir, “an Englishman born and bred, almost” as the famous opening lines of the novel put it. We’ll explore  the notion of an “in-between” state which becomes  central in  the novel’s construction of identity dilemmas, and question how Kureishi presents this option in his novel. The Buddha of Suburbia is a buildunsgroman, a novel about growing up and becoming a man. We’ll see how Kureishi interrogates notions of sexuality, masculinity and nationality in the figure of his youthful protagonist who embodies identity dilemmas  faced by many second generation immigrants in Britain.

 

Biographical Note

Dr. Yael Maurer is Lecturer at the English and American Studies Department at Tel Aviv University, Israel. Her doctoral research focused on “Living on a Broken Mirror: Imitative Modes in Rushdie’s Fiction” (Tel Aviv University, 2009).

Selected publications include:

The Science Fiction Dimensions of Salman Rushdie, McFarland Press (2014).book

Cityscapes of the Future: Urban Spaces in Science Fiction ( Co-Editor),  2018.

“The Body Politic: Philip Roth’s Vision of America”.  The Political Companion to Philip Roth.  Lee Trepanier and Claudia Fanziska Bruhwiller (Editors). University of Kentucky Press (May  2017).

“Undying Histories: Washington Irving’s Gothic Afterlives” Carol Davison (Editor) International Gothic Series, University of Manchester Press( March, 2017).

“Sometimes a Bomb is More than a Blowup; Hitchcock’s’ Sabotage” in Interdisciplinary Humanities: Hitchcock: A Series of Beneficial Shocks. Michael Howarth (Editor). Spring, 2015, Vol. 32.1

The Monstrous Feminine: Reimagining Aliens in American Horror Films”. The Devil You Know: Evil in American Popular Culture. Sharon Packer and Jody Pennington (Editors), Praeger Press. July 2014.

“Not English but Londoners’: Hanif Kureishi’s Sammy and Rosie Get Laid”, The Literary London Journal, Volume 11 Number 1 Spring/Autumn 2014

“Rage Against the Machine: Cyberspace Narratives in Rushdie’s Fury“. The Journal of Commonwealth Literature (47:1). March, 2012

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 2019-20 Language & Communication research seminars.