NCRCL PhD Day 2018

Emily Corbett, PhD student with the NCRCL, reports on the 2018 PhD Day, which she organised this year.

On Thursday 17th May 2018, the NCRCL hosted its annual PhD Day at the University of Roehampton. The day was rich with stimulating doctoral research and great baking (as expected per our high NCRCL Bake-Off competition standard)!

The following papers were given by the NCRCL’s PhD candidates, enjoyed by a room full of eminent scholars, PhD peers, MA students and friends of the department:

‘Reflecting the visual world of the Victorians in a neo-Victorian young adult novel’ by Harriet Salisbury.

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Ontological Dialogues & Metaphysical Structures: NCRCL Research Talk with Lisa Sainsbury

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Illustration for Terry Pratchett’s The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Paul Kidby

“It’s not someone unless it can talk! Otherwise it’s just food!”
Ontological Dialogues and the Metaphysical Structures of Children’s Literature

Dr Lisa Sainsbury, NCRCL
Department of English and Creative Writing, University of Roehampton

In this talk I will reveal a pattern of dialogue that can be found in children’s books across different periods and cultures. The ‘ontological argument’ is a polemical vein that runs through dialogues in children’s literature from Tom’s Midnight Garden (1958) by Philippa Pearce to Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming (2014). Evaluations of power are central to dialogues that rehearse tensions between Kantian and Cartesian notions of existence as property — and I show that changing attitudes to childhood and its literature can be traced in the way these dialogues are framed. Some of these arguments are between one child and another (peer dialogues), as is the case in Pearce’s novel, while others are between adults and children (adult-child dialogues), as in The Book of Everything (2006) by Guus Kuijer. The dialogues offer a form for the working through of power relations rooted in and out of existential crisis. For the characters involved, being is at stake in the dialogue — ‘Nothing exists any longer. I don’t either’ (Kuijer 2006: 14) — and the common factor across these texts is this sort of ontological struggle. The wider significance of this existential concern is revealed by the ubiquity of such dialogue and I will suggest that close examination of the ontological argument is key to understanding the formal structures and deep concerns of children’s literature.

Wednesday 21st March 2018, 1-2pm*
Fincham Building, Fi 001
Digby Stuart College, University of Roehampton

ALL WELCOME

* Please note that this talk will be accompanied by a research talk by Dr Kate Teltscher: ‘“Gigantic children of the sun”: Kew’s Palm House and the Victorian Cultural Imagination’

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.

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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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Crossover Robinsonades: NCRCL Research Talk with Ian Kinane

NCRCL/English and Creative Writing Research Talk

‘Fairchild’s Noble Savage and the Social Contract in Several Classic Crossover Robinsonades’

 Dr. Ian Kinane, University of Roehampton

In this paper, I argue that the island trope in several Robinsonade narratives functions, in part, as a means of interrogating the relationship between individualism (the single, solitary Crusoe-figure who exists in isolation) and socialisation. I will examine the conflict between the individual castaway’s desires to subsist in isolation and the inevitable pull exerted by her/his obligation to the society or social model from whence she/he came. Using Fairchild’s concept of the noble savage (a watchful, reflective entity), I will explore the ways in which the child configures her/his relationship to others on the island, and the ways in which she/he carves out a metaphoric “I-land” for her/himself.

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Detail from Neil Gower’s 2011 cover for William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Image via Gower.

Wednesday 30th November 2016, 1 pm

Duchesne 001, Digby Stuart, University of Roehampton

ALL WELCOME

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

Memory and Rereading: Two Talks by Dr Alison Waller

alisonwaller.jpg__2_ Dr Alison Waller will be presenting her research on rereading at two international conferences this September.

Alison will talk about the relationship between memory and reading at the University of Roehampton’s Memory Network Conference, The Story of Memory, over the 4th-5th September 2014. The Story of Memory Conference: Exploring New Perspectives on the Relationship between Storytelling and Memory in the Twenty-First Century ‘seeks to pose new questions about the relationship between the senses, cognition, memory, and emotion, and to reinvigorate the debate about the return to a critical investigation of story telling in the twenty-first century’.

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At the Canon Constitution and Canon Change in Children’s Literature Conference at the University of Tubingen, Germany, over 11th-13th September 2014, she will talk about how men have remembered and reread Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden and what their memories might tell us about gender and canonicity. Her paper is titled ‘Remembering, rereading, and reviewing the canon: The case of The Secret Garden and forgotten fiction’. Secret Garden (1970)

 

 

 

These talks are part of a project been funded by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust, and is part of Alison’s ongoing research investigating the practices and processes of rereading, memory and emotion.

Alison has been a staff member of NCRCL since 2007 and more information about Alison’s work is available on the University of Roehampton website. You can also follow her on Twitter.