Saturday December 7th
The Woburn Suite, Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU
We invite you and your department to register delegates for the Ordinary General Meeting of University English, to be held on Saturday 7 December 2019 in Senate House, London. The meeting will run from 10.00am to 4.00pm and be followed by a wine reception, with proceedings closing at 5.00pm. Please join us to hear about the latest developments affecting the subject, to share experiences between departments across the sector and to have an opportunity to shape our future engagement.
Because of the UCU strike action scheduled in the run-up to the OGM we would be particularly grateful if you could please register as early as possible; registration will remain open until Friday 29th November. Registration fees are at the same level as in past years (standard rate of £60). As last year we are offering a reduced rate for postgraduate attendees (£35) and the same reduced rate for additional delegates from a member institution.
Our OGM booking page is now closed.
9:30 Registration – Tea/coffee
10:00 Panel 1: Working with Europe
11:45 Business meeting
12:30 Buffet lunch
13:15 Panel 2: English A-level: Behind the headlines
14:45 Panel 3: Decolonizing the Discipline
16:00 Wine Reception
This year’s OGM will explore a range of critical issues for English in Higher Education given the contemporary political context. Our three panels will focus on how to work with European partners in a time of radical uncertainty over Britain’s future relations with the continent, English A-level: Behind the headlines after declining numbers sitting the exam triggered media attention this summer, and what ‘decolonizing the discipline’ might mean for English studies. At our Business meeting we will update you on the activities of University English and our partner organisations: we will bring you up to date on recent meetings between the Common English Forum and the Department for Education; and hear about the Choose English campaign being run by the English Association; consider possible drivers and causes of the decline and – we hope — hear from delegates about the impact on enrolments for their own department or programme. You will also be able to hear the latest news on English: Shared Futures 2020, in Manchester and Salford. It has never been a more critical time for English to work together, across national borders, between secondary and higher education, and with other organisations in the sector representing English. Please see below for descriptions of the two panels: we will keep you updated with more information on speakers as we confirm them.
Working with Europe
In the wake of Brexit, and its likely effects on European collaboration both for students and researchers in English, what networks and partnerships have worked well in the past, and what can we do as a discipline to nurture them in the future? How can we promote the vitality of the subject throughout Europe if there are fewer opportunities for funding and placements? This panel will include contributions from Andreas Juncker, Chair of ESSE, the European Society for the Study of English, Gale Burns, former Chair of the European Association of Creative Writing, Alexandra Büchler, Director of Literature Across Frontiers, and examples of good practice from in and outside the sector.
English A-level: Behind the headlines
The continuing decline in the number of students sitting English A-level hit the headlines this summer. This panel will aim to look past the headline figures and review the state of research into the causes and drivers of the decline; discussing new survey data conducted by the English and Media Centre and the National Association for Teachers of English, and looking at the disproportionate impact on the English Language, and English Language and Literature A-levels. Speakers will be Barbara Bleiman (English and Media Centre), Rachel Roberts (University of Reading, National Association for Teachers of English) and Marcello Giovanelli (Aston University).
Decolonizing the Discipline
This panel will ask what it means to ‘decolonize the discipline’: a phrase which names both an urgent task that stretches beyond issues of curricula inclusion to highlight structural racial inequalities within English in Higher Education, and a space for possible action. We will present the first stages of a larger project being undertaken by a working group formed by University English, the Institute of English Studies, the English Association and the University of East Anglia. We will hear from departments who have begun addressing this task, and we hope to have a representative from the Royal Historical Society to talk about the impact of their 2018 report, ‘Race, Ethnicity and Equality’.
University English’s OGM 2018 was held on Saturday December 8th, in the Woburn Suite, Senate House, University of London.
9:30 Registration and Coffee
10:00 Panel 1
11:45 Business meeting
12:30 Buffet lunch
13:15 Panel 2
14:45 Panel 3
16:00 Reception: English Shared Futures Book Launch
Panel 1: Partnering up
(Organisers: Will May, Kate Walchester)
The government’s skills agenda and the increasing importance of impact in research are giving HEIs ever-more prompts to build partnerships with local and national organisations. Partnerships can be used to deliver teaching, collaborate on research, or provide work placements. What kinds of things might English studies learn from our partnerships, and how can they help support and grow our subject?
James Urquhart (Arts Council England, Senior Manager for Literature)
Chris Gribble (Director, National Centre for Writing, Norwich)
Dominique Bouchard (Head of Interpretation, English Heritage)
Elspeth Graham (Liverpool John Moores)
Panel 2: Un-doing English
(Organisers: Natasha Alden, Dave Ellis)
This panel considers the recent rise in prominence of moves to decolonize the curriculum in English departments across the UK, exploring what this means for the syllabus: what do we teach, how, why and to whom?
Claire Chambers (University of York)
Deirdre Osborne (Goldsmiths University)
Ruvani Ranasinha (Kings College London)
Plenary Session: The Recruitment Challenge.
(Organiser: Alex Thomson)
Facing declining entries to A-level English and increased competition for undergraduates, this plenary session aims to sound out ways forward: reviewing practical suggestions arising from the recent Action on Recruitment event; asking what English might learn from the experience of disciplines which have long had to live with similar concerns; and exploring the lessons of current research on English and employability.
Gail Marshall (University English, University of Reading) & Robert Eaglestone (Royal Holloway)
Ana de Medeiros (University Council of Modern Languages, Kings College London)
Jane Nolan (Newcastle University).
Wine Reception / English:Shared Futures Book Launch
Join us in celebrating the 25th anniversary of University English / CCUE, and in toasting the launch of English:Shared Futures’ first publication, English : Shared Futures – Essays exploring the opportunities for and challenges to the discipline of English language and literature in education.
Please book here.
University English’s 2017 OGM was held in London on Saturday 2nd December 2017, at the Malet Suite, 2nd Floor, Student Central, Malet Street, University of London
If you weren’t able to pay on the day, you can use this page to submit a payment via paypal. You do not need a paypal account to do this
University English offered up to 20 free places at 2017’s Ordinary General Meeting for early career academics in English who are currently on precarious contracts. As support for early career academics is one of the topics of discussion, we wanted to involve those colleagues who have first-hand experience of these pressures and are not in a position to attend as the delegate of a department. We will also be inviting delegates to comment on a draft code of practice for the employment of temporary staff drawn up by the English Association. We want to hear your voice! If you would like to attend, please email Ben Davies at ben.davies[at]port.ac.uk with your name and any affiliation, and we will register you as a delegate, waiving the normal fee of £60.
9.30 am Registration and coffee
10.00 am Panel Session 1: Supporting Early Career Academics
(Organisers: Claire Hurley, Kathryn White)
This panel will discuss the pressures facing early career academics, including the use of precarious (temporary / part-time) and teaching-only contracts. What can English departments do to mitigate these pressures? What constitutes good practice in supporting early career staff? Whatever happened to the AHRC Oakleigh Report?
- Joanna Dunster (AHRC, Portfolio Manager for Research Careers and Training,)
- Dr Natasha Simonova (University of Oxford)
11.15 am Tea/Coffee
11.30 am Business Meeting
12.30-1.15 pm Buffet lunch
1.15 pm Panel Session 2: Back to the English: Shared Futures
(Organisers: Robert Eaglestone, Gail Marshall)
This session will reflect on English: Shared Futures. It is in three parts: first, we’ll briefly discuss the event as a whole and explore what we learned about our family of disciplines. Second, we will ask four speakers from different areas to explain what they found useful or lacking, what they took from the conference and how it might shape their plans. Finally, we will facilitate a wider conversation with the subject community to discuss any potential futures for the event.
- Clara Jones (Kings College London)
- Dr Andrea Macrea (Oxford Brookes University)
- Seraphima Kennedy (Goldsmiths / National Association of Writers in Education)
- Keith Jarrett, (Birkbeck / National Association of Writers in Education)
2.30 pm Tea/Coffee
2.45 pm Keynote: Tim Robertson (Director, Royal Society Of Literature)
‘Literature in Britain Today, and the Literature Matters campaign’
4.00 pm Wine reception
5.00 pm Finish
The event will close with a wine reception.
The venue will be Malet Suite, Student Central, Malet Street, London (please note the change from our usual venue!).