NCRCL PhD Day 2017

Rebecca Sutton, PhD student with the NCRCL, reports on her experience of our 2017 PhD Day, which she organised this year.

travel book

Illustration by Anne Malewski

The annual NCRCL PhD Day went ahead on Thursday 18th May in the pristine new Elm Grove Conference Centre at the University of Roehampton. It was a day of eight stimulating presentations by current PhD students and one soon-to-be PhD student. Here is an overview of the presentations, in the running order of the day, so you can get an idea of our current research projects:

  • Rebecca Sutton: “Inside/Outside: Contested Space in Young Adult Literature set in Israel/Palestine”
  • Sarah Pyke: “An “archive of me”: Constructing queer adult subjectivity through an oral history of adolescent reading”
  • Aliona Yarova: “Narrating Humanity: Children’s Literature and Global Citizenship Education”
  • Erica Gillingham: “Princesses and Hard Core Lady-Types Fall In Love: Pictorial Representations of Same-Sex Attraction in All Ages Comics”
  • Sinéad Moriarty: “P-P-P Pick up a Penguin: Antarctic Penguin Stories for Children”
  • Manuela Salvi: “The Secret School of the Mooning Guerrillas: a Creative Project on Children’s Fiction, Age Banding and Censorship”
  • Anne Malewski: “Playing Adults: Camp Wildfire and KidZania”
  • Emily Corbett: “Transgendered Identity and Bio-Social Determinism in Contemporary Young Adult Fiction”

It was exciting to share our research with each other and to see the sheer diverse nature of the research projects that we as the NCRCL research community are conducting, and to observe the passion, creativity, and academic rigor with which each project is being undertaken.  I felt very proud to be part of such an innovative and inspiring research group.

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NCRCL PhD Day 2016

 

PhDday 2016 Manuela Salvi

Illustration by Manuela Salvi

NCRCL PhD Day

18th May 2016 | Duchesne 001

Digby Stuart College, University of Roehampton

10:00-10:15 Welcome

10:15-11:15 Session 1

Erica Gillingham: ‘Lip Gloss and Curling Heat: “First Kiss” Scenes & Malinda Lo’s Young Adult Science Fiction Novels’

Manuela Salvi: ‘The Secret School of the Mooning Guerrillas: Pushing the Limits of Age Banding and Storytelling’

11:15-11:45 Tea Break & 2nd Annual PhD Bake-Off

11:50-12:50 Session 2

Anne Malewski: ‘Apparent Growth: Height as an Arbitrary Signifier’

Nick Campbell: ‘Count the Stones: Earth Mysteries and Post-War Children’s Fantasy’

13:00-14:00 Lunch at The Hive

14:00-15:00 Session 3

Kay Waddilove: ‘We Need to Talk About Enid: Constructions of Motherhood in the Domestic Stories of Enid Blyton’

Sinead Moriarty: ‘The Legacy of an Antarctic Cat: Mrs Chippy’s Last Expedition and Subverting “Heroic” Antarctic Narratives’

15:00-15:15 Bake-Off Prize & Concluding Remarks

Report: NCRCL PhD Day 2015

By Kay Waddilove, PhD student

 

PhD Day 2015 delegates listens to the speakers in Session 1: Anne Malewski and Kay Waddilove.

A fascinating and eclectic set of papers, along with some innovatory events, combined to make the 2015 NCRCL PhD day an exceptionally interesting and enjoyable occasion. In Session 1 Anne Malewski offered a detailed deconstruction of the Shane Meadows’ film This is England (including a perceptive observation on the likeness between Margaret Thatcher and the puppet of Roland Rat), which led to vigorous debate and intense questioning from the audience. Kay Waddilove’s discussion of the 1950’s career novel phenomenon linked this short-lived but highly successful genre to the socio-economic changes of the post-war decade, particularly with regard to women’s lives, and postulated that such populist literature could carry important ideological messages.

Sinead Moriarty speaks about Robert Scott, J.M. Barrie, and Antarctic adventure narratives.

Nick Campbell presents on his research into Neo-Romaticism and the ‘archeological imagination’.

Session 2 dealt with landscape matters: Sinead Moriarty used compelling images to discuss the dialogue between children’s literature and heroic-era stories, analysing the impact of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan on Robert Scott’s Terra Nova narrative, and establishing persuasive links between the Antarctic and Neverland. Nick Campbell spoke of William Mayne’s subtle use of language and his ‘archeological imagination’, using a range of paintings and illustrations to demonstrate his thesis on the representation of Neo-Romanticism in prose as well as in the more acknowledged visual medium.

Sarah Pyke speaking about her research with the Memories of Fiction project on LGBTQ adults reading practices.

Sarah Pyke reports on her research into LGBTQ adults’ reading practices, a project that is a part of Memories of Fiction: An Oral History of Readers’ Life Stories.

After a delicious (and ecologically sound) lunch at The Hive, we returned to another pair of papers in Session 3. Sarah Pyke outlined the progress of her empirical research pilot with LGBTQ adults recalling their childhood reading, illustrated by original quotes. She went on to discuss different types of reading and how reader-response theory can address the effects of the childhood reading choices of LGBTQ adults. Erica Gillingham focused on Romance studies and discussed how lesbian YA novels combine aspects of popular romance, lesbian romance, and YA conventions, proposing an original analytic model of seven narrative elements for the genre, from the introduction of the heroine to the all-important first kiss to the resolution.

The fourth session concluded the day with talks from two fortunate beings who have recently completed their PhDs. Simon Machin outlined useful practical tips for revising and submitting the final thesis, while Judy Bainbridge (Dr Bainbridge!) reflected on the final stages between submission and viva.

Altogether a memorable day, and many thanks are due to all involved. The day was enhanced by the Exhibition and the fascinating poster displays compiled by delegates. These featured several ‘bookshelves’ – ecological titles by Peter Dickinson, archival copies of Puffin Post from the 1970s, first-edition career novels of the 1950s, lesbian YA romances, as well as a Memory Wall bookshelf created by attendees, and a post-it display on being-an-adult v being-a-child. The crowning event, however, was undoubtedly the Bake-Off, featuring a splendid array of home-made goodies, all linked to children’s literature, contributed by the delegates. Thanks are due to Alison Waller who bravely agreed to judge the winner, and (channeling Mary Berry to perfection), nobly tasted every contribution – and still so slim! Offering the opportunity for speakers to be videoed added a useful learning dimension for the presenters, and for this, and the other innovations, and not least their excellent advance organization of the day, huge thanks are due to Sinead and Anne. Thanks also to the contributors for providing thought-provoking papers which illuminated the variety of research projects being undertaken in the NCRCL. And finally, a nod to the outstanding and committed staff of NCRCL who force – ooops, I mean encourage – their research students to participate in such invaluable events – sine quibus non!!

Photos by Anne Malewski.

NCRCL PhD Day 2015

From Sinead Moriarty and Anne Malewski, organisers and PhD students with NCRCL: You are warmly invited to the annual PhD day of the NCRCL on Wednesday 17th June 2015. Find out about our centre and current doctoral research & meet staff and students. There will also be an exhibition & a children’s literature bake-off!

NCRCL PhD Day 17 June 2015 | Duchesne 001

University of Roehampton

Drawing by Anne Malewski, MPhil/PhD student, NCRCL

Illustration by Anne Malewski

10:00 – 10:15 Introduction 

10:15 – 11:15 Session 1 

Anne Malewski “Which Way Is Up: Representations of Growth in This Is England

Kay Waddilove “‘A matter of extra-ordinary interest and importance’: revisiting the 1950s career novel series for girls.”

11:15 – 11:45 Tea Break & Exhibition 

11:50 – 12:50 Session 2 

Sinead Moriarty “Polar Peter: J.M. Barrie and the influence of children’s literature on Robert Scott’s Antarctic adventures”

Nick Campbell “Spirits of Place: A New Perspective on William Mayne” 

12:50 – 14:00 Lunch at The Hive 

14:00 – 15:00 Session 3 

Sarah Pyke “Spinning stories, crafting selves and reading against the grain: LGBTQ adults recall their childhood reading”

Erica Gillingham “Lesbian Young Adult Romance Novels”

15:00 – 15:40 Session 4

Simon Machin “‘Once upon a time, many year ago’ …”

Judy Bainbridge “‘Seven Years Gone’: reflections on completing the PhD.”

15:40 – 16:00 Concluding Remarks & Bake-off Prize