Schools Sessions in English

Sessions are available to book either on our campus or, in some cases, in your school. Please contact the Schools Liaison Alyson Wharton at

Schools Sessions in English

Schools sessions available in English include:

Growing Up and Growing Old 

In this session we’ll look at poems/extracts/images from the early nineteenth century depicting different stages of the life course (childhood/midlife/old age). We’ll discuss the cultural stereotypes and values attached to each and consider to what extent these ideas shape our attitudes in 21st C.

Apocalypse Now

In this session we will consider a range of extracts from post-apocalyptic texts (novel, film etc). The aim will be to evaluate how the genre reacts and responds to contemporary anxieties and fears.

Shakespeare & Masculinity

In this session we’ll look at a range of extracts from Shakespeare’s plays and consider what they might have to tell us about early modern and present day representations of masculinity. 


In this session we’ll look at short extracts taken from twenty-first century novels to discuss the complex relationship between notions of Englishness and Britishness in the public consciousness. We will also consider the importance of national identity in a globalized world. 

Gender and Genesis: Rewriting Creation

In this session we’ll look at a selection of short texts in which writers respond to the biblical creation narrative [such as Anne Carson’s poem ‘God’s Justice’ and Ursula K Le Guin’s short story ‘She Unnames Them’]. We will use these texts to think about creation, language, gender, and the relationship between humanity and the natural world.

Women Writing Lockdown

In this session we will look at some writing by women on the first phase of the COVID lockdown, considering how twenty-first-century women’s relationship with the domestic sphere was affected by the requirement to ‘Stay at Home’. We will also look at extracts from Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, written almost one hundred years ago, in which she argues that all women needed, in order to write for publication, was ‘a room of one’s own and five hundred pounds a year’. Did the lockdown make Woolf’s claims more or less credible today?

Homelessness and Trans Identity

In this session we’ll explore an article by Saint Pauli Murray, an important trans (or proto-trans) African-American legal scholar and civil rights activists. In this article Murray dresses as a man and goes train-hopping across the United States, using their cross-dressing as a way to explore their expanding sense of gender identity. Issues of racial discrimination will also be discussed.

The Victorian Woman Writer

In this session we’ll explore how Victorian women writers negotiated the cultural expectations of femininity at a time when being a female author was problematic. We’ll look at extracts of poetry and prose, alongside Victorian writings and paintings, to identify how women writers used literature to voice protest, forge identities, and redefine their social role. 

Modern Medieval

In this session we will explore the ways the medieval permeates the modern world, from architecture to politics to pop culture.

Monsters in the Middle Ages

This session examines the way bodies and space were imagined in the medieval period, looking at representations of otherness in texts, image, and cartography.

Extinction Narratives

In this session we’ll look at poems/short stories dealing with extinction. We’ll consider questions of loss, mourning and inter-species empathy.


Straying from the path: contemporary Gothic, landscape and climate change. In this session, we’ll be exploring how Gothic narratives are not just about generating fear, but about prompting us to think differently about our relationship to non-human nature.

Sessions usually last an hour and take place on campus. In some cases, staff may be able to travel to schools. For any enquiries and to book sessions please contact the School of Humanities and Heritage Schools Liaison Officer, Dr Alyson Wharton