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Summer of literature at UCS

As part of the continuing schedule of free public talks from University Centre Shrewsbury, Dr Lucy Andrew will talk on the topic of stereotypes in children’s fiction at University Centre Shrewsbury’s Rowley’s House on Wednesday 7 June. She says: “British and American children’s literature has long been dominated by a white, middle class, heteronormative construction of childhood and has frequently been guilty of marginalising or stereotyping groups who do not fit this ideal.

“In recent years, however, children’s and young adult fiction has become increasingly committed to diversifying its representation of youth identities and experiences.”

Dr Andrew will trace the history of constructions of childhood in texts from the mid-19th century to the present day and will consider the ways in which modern children’s and young adult fiction gives a voice to previously marginalised and disempowered groups such as black and minority ethic and LGBTQ communities, the disabled, and psychologically vulnerable young people. Dr Andrew talked about her work at the Hay Festival last week as part of its Compass schedule, which is aimed at young people and teenagers.

Dr Andrew’s talk begins at 1pm at Rowley’s House.

On Wednesday 14 June at 1pm, Dr Bill Hughes will examine The Sonnet: Perfection in Miniature. Dr Hughes is chair of Chester’s new Storyhouse arts production company and a former principal lecturer in English at University of Chester. In his talk, he will explore the art and artistry of the sonnet, a form used by poets from the 16th century to the present day, including Robert Frost, Christina Rossetti and Shropshire’s own Wilfred Owen.

To book a place on either talk, email [email protected] or call 01743 297554.

Also taking place this summer is a short course, Studying English Literature, which runs from 7 June to 12 July. Taught by experts across a range of literature types, the programme is based in Shrewsbury’s Guildhall and explores such subjects as romantic poetry, ‘close’ reading, and modern drama and film. Participants can attend the entire course of 12 sessions for £120 or book individual sessions for £12 each. For further information, contact Professor Deborah Wynne at [email protected].