Welcome!

‘What is it, exactly, about genre that is unliterary—and what is it in “the literary” that resists genre? The debate goes round and round, magnetic and circular—a lover’s quarrel among literati.’ —Joshua Rothman, ‘A Better Way to Think About the Genre Debate’, The New Yorker ‘[…] once the idea of English Literature is denuded of … Continue reading “Welcome!”

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Defining ‘Fantastika’: Inviting Authors and Reviewers for Fantastika Journal

Dr Charul Palmer-Patel on the boundaries of genre and building a space for contemporary scholarship on Fantasy and Science Fiction. What is ‘Fantastika’? And why is there a need for it? Fantastika embraces the genres of Fantasy, Science Fiction (SF), and Horror, but can also include Alternate Histories, Gothic, Steampunk, Young Adult Dystopian Fiction, or … Continue reading “Defining ‘Fantastika’: Inviting Authors and Reviewers for Fantastika Journal”

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The King’s Red-head Orgy: desire, death and honesty in Stephen King’s IT

By Dr Charlie Oughton ‘Your hair is winter fire, January embers, My heart burns there, too.’ So says the love haiku that Ben Hanscom sends Beverly Marsh in Stephen King’s IT. The story follows a group of outcast children, The Losers’ Club, who become friends and lovers as they battle a murderous alien entity – … Continue reading “The King’s Red-head Orgy: desire, death and honesty in Stephen King’s IT”

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Genre Worlds: Australian Popular Fiction in the Twenty-First Century

by Eliza Murphy Australian popular fiction has been the most significant area of growth in the nation’s publishing industry since the turn of the century. What’s more, it hasn’t just grown, it’s also been successful, both nationally and internationally: this year, Claire G. Coleman’s debut fantasy novel Terra Nullius made the Stella Prize shortlist, and crime … Continue reading “Genre Worlds: Australian Popular Fiction in the Twenty-First Century”

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Star Trek: Discovery Screening and Discussion

On Friday, Oct 19th at 11:00 in Alan Walters 112 (Seminar Room 3), we’re going to screen ‘Magic to make the Sanest Man Go Mad’, the 7th episode of Discovery, and then have a chat about it. Chairing the discussion are visiting speakers Sabrina Mittermeier and Marieke Spychala, the editors of the first academic collection on … Continue reading “Star Trek: Discovery Screening and Discussion”

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Getting serious about popular literature

A new postgraduate pathway in Popular Literature at the University of Birmingham. The University of Birmingham is no stranger to the study of popular culture. Home to the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, founded in 1964, the University of Birmingham has a long and important legacy in the field of popular culture, genre, and mass … Continue reading “Getting serious about popular literature”

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‘Edgar Allan Poe: On the Value of the Popular’ by Edward O’Hare

T.S. Eliot, writing in 1948, observed that although Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) had undeniably possessed a powerful intellect it was merely that “of a highly gifted young person before puberty.” In spite of Poe’s ability to dazzle and terrify, he maintained that “[t]he forms which his lively curiosity takes are those in which a pre-adolescent … Continue reading “‘Edgar Allan Poe: On the Value of the Popular’ by Edward O’Hare”

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‘The Subtle Art of Worldbuilding’ by Jennifer Harwood Smith

Imaginary worlds are fun. They give us the imaginative scope to explore our wildest ideas. They can be places of grand adventure like the galaxy of Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek, places of great quests like J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth, fantastic realms which embrace and revel in the impossible like Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, or places of … Continue reading “‘The Subtle Art of Worldbuilding’ by Jennifer Harwood Smith”

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‘Fifty Shades of Grey and Women(’s) Writing’ by Dara Downey

Fifty Shades of Grey is boring. Charting the development of a deeply unequal relationship between a broke, sexually inexperienced English Literature graduate and a slightly older billionaire – a seasoned “dominant” who “like[s] to whip little brown-haired girls” (Fifty Shades Darker) for his own sexual pleasure – E.L. James’[1] trilogy and the resulting film versions … Continue reading “‘Fifty Shades of Grey and Women(’s) Writing’ by Dara Downey”

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Pop Lit Events!: Crime Fiction Sidekicks and Nancy Drew

  Two upcoming Pop Lit events in Shrewsbury! Saturday 31st March: Sidekicks in Crime Fiction with Sam Saunders (Liverpool John Moores University) Saturday 28th April: Representations of Nancy Drew in the 21st Century More details can be found here: https://www.ucshrewsbury.ac.uk/news/clues-red-herrings-and-whodunnits-centre-two-free-events?list=418

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