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The Department of English Literature and MERL speaker series 2018
January 18, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - March 22, 2018 @ 1:00 pm

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January 18, 2018
March 22, 2018
12pm to 1pm
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The Museum of English Rural Life
The Museum of English Rural Life, Redlands Road
Reading, Berkshire RG1 5EX United Kingdom
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Black and white image of a man riding a grey working horse in a field with haystack in the background

A series of lunchtime talks organised by the Department of English Literature and the Museum of English Rural Life, in celebration of their ongoing collaborations. Events in the series feature (alternately) writers with a national profile, and academic authors showcasing new and exciting research.

18 January – Alexandra Harris – The marsh and the visitor

Alex will introduce and read from recent essays about an area of Sussex which she finds familiar from her childhood, but which she has experience increasingly as unknown territory

1 February – Clover Stroud – The wild other: on landscape and grief

Clover will read extracts from The Wild Other, her deeply confessional memoir about the role horses and the landscape of Oxfordshire have played in managing trauma in her life.

15 February – Simon Kovesi – John Clare and Place

The Romantic labouring-class poet John Clare is regarded as English literatures’s first major ecologically-concious writer. Simon discusses place as a foundation of Clare’s writing, and asks what position he should have in contemporary versions of environmentalism.

1 March – James Grande – Radical tours and rustic harangues: William Cobbett and John Thelwall

This talk will explore the radical tradition of rural writing through the work of Cobbett and John Thelwall, focussing on thier tours, agricultural experiment, political oratory, and thier thinking about the English countryside.

22 March – Jos Smith – Vibrant localism: the story of Common Ground

Jos will introduce the work of Common Ground and explore the group’s relationship to rural England, in which ideas of the local are re-energised through a close engagement with the arts.