Surrey English Blog

The blog for English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Surrey

Isolation Insight: The Cynicism of Bukowski

“My ambition is handicapped by laziness.” Charles Bukowski: a ‘mythic roughneck’, a ‘brawler, gambler, companion of bums and whores, boozehound with an oceanic thirst’. Bukowski is the author of a wealth of literature, ranging from poetry, to short stories, to full novels. Referred to as a ‘laureate of American lowlife’, and well known for his […]

Isolation Insight: The Swan Book

“Welcome to the dystopia of dysfunction.” Taken from the pages of The Swan Book, these words are eerie in the light of the past few weeks’ events. ‘Epic political theatre’ seems to have taken the UK by storm[1]. Among other news, the Government’s most senior advisor has been accused of flouting the Coronavirus lockdown rules, […]

Isolation Insight: Navigating Change

“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” So reads Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Yet, despite the two hundred years that have passed since publication, Shelley’s words possess an unnerving weight in today’s contemporary climate. Indeed, 2020 has marked a very great and very sudden change. The world as we know […]

Blogging Victorian Literature and Culture

Showcasing blogs from my second year module: Undergraduates on my second year ‘Victorian Literature and Culture’ module have, over the past few years, been asked to submit a blog post as one of their assignments. It’s a type of assessment that gives students practice writing outside the parameters of the academic essay and helps students […]

Special Issue on the Monstrous

Dr. Donna McCormack (Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Surrey) speaks about the recent Special Issue of the journal Somatechnics that she edited with the steering committee of the Monster Network. The Monster Network has been busy doing collective work and is happy to announce the publication of a special issue of the […]

Looking Back at ‘Centennial Reflections on Women’s Suffrage and the Arts – Local, National, Transnational’

Three participants in the recent ‘Centennial Reflections on Women’s Suffrage and the Arts – Local, National, Transnational’ conference hosted at the University of Surrey reflect on the two day event. Amy Galvin-Elliott (University of Warwick) The sun was shining at the University of Surrey on Friday 29 June 2018 as we welcomed both a glorious day and […]

Monster Network Event: Strange Blood?

Strange Blood? Nordic Debates about Belonging and Otherness Dr. Donna McCormack, of the School of Literature and Languages, University of Surrey, tells of a weekend of monstrous activities in Copenhagen, funded by OPSTART, the Nordic Culture Fund. The Monster Network organised an artistic performance and panel discussion which included the visual artist Trine Mee Sook […]

Poldark: From Paper to Reality

Final Year Undergraduate Student Jessica Danielle Shenika Madanayake speaks about Comic Con and her dissertation on Poldark. As a third year student doing English Literature with Creative Writing, I found that doing my dissertation on something that I was passionate about opened up possibilities that I could never have imagined. Whilst I only wrote the […]

Lost in the Garden of Perfect Brightness: My Creative Writing PhD Fieldtrip to Beijing, China

Current PhD Creative Writing student Melissa Addey writes about her recent research trip to China. I should have known there would be trouble ahead when I watched a documentary with my husband about Beijing. The camera panned across the cityscape and I recoiled. “It’s so ugly,” I wailed. My husband laughed. “You’ve got 18th century […]

The Graduate Returns

School of English and Languages graduate Ellie Kerr-Smiley will return to chair a panel at the upcoming Surrey New Writers Festival on 6 May 2017.  In this blog post, Ellie writes about her experiences at Surrey and her development as a creative writer.   When I first attended The Surrey New Writer’s Festival as a nineteen-year-old […]

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