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Meet the team

Who will guide you through this course? Let's meet the team.
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In this article, Dr Alexandra Kingston-Reese introduces our team.

Over the next four weeks, you will be guided through our course by a host of lecturers, critics, and poets associated with the University of York. Let’s meet the team, starting with our course educators.

Dr Alexandra Kingston-Reese: Alexandra Kingston-Reese is a Lecturer in Contemporary Literature, and an expert on the very contemporary novel, affect, and aesthetics. Look out for Alexandra in the introduction and summary videos for each week, and she’ll also tell you all about paintings and poetry in Week Three. Follow Alexandra on FutureLearn for all the latest updates.

Professor Helen Smith: An expert in early modern literature, Helen Smith is Head of the Department of English and Related Literature. Helen teaches on our Renaissance modules and is co-founder of Thin Ice Press, the Department’s in-house letterpress printing studio. Look out for Helen’s article on Vahni Capildeo’s poem, ‘Handfast’, in Week Three. Follow Helen on FutureLearn for all the latest updates.

Flora Sagers: Flora Sagers is a PhD student in the Department, supervised by Dr Kingston-Reese. Flora is particularly interested in serialisation in very contemporary literature and the politics of genre. Look out for Flora’s comments in our discussion pieces, and her article on the therapeutic uses of poetry in Week One. Follow Flora on FutureLearn for all of the latest updates.

Now that we’ve met the team, it’s time to meet our wonderful contributors. On this course, you’ll get to hear from both academics and poets from the University of York. This means that you’ll get to hear about poetry from those who teach poetry, as well as those who perform and write it. You’ll get a unique insight into poetry through the videos, articles, discussions, and quizzes created by our course contributors.

  • Dr Nicoletta Asciuto: Nicoletta Asciuto is a Lecturer in Modern Literature. She teaches a module on Modernism and Technology and is a passionate speaker of eight languages. Look out for Nicoletta’s videos and articles on translating poetry and critical writing.
  • Emeritus Professor Derek Attridge: Derek Attridge is an Emeritus Professor at the University of York. Among his research interests are South African literature, Joyce, deconstruction and literary theory, and the performance of poetry. Look out for Derek’s videos and articles on his favourite poem, poetic tradition, and the sonnet in Week One.
  • Professor Matthew Campbell: Matthew Campbell is an expert on poetry from the late eighteenth century up to the present day. Look out for Matthew’s article on writing about poetry in Week Four.
  • Professor Claire Chambers: Claire Chambers is Professor in Global Literature, interested in modern literature from South Asia, the Arab world, and their diasporas. Read Claire’s article on ‘The Ghazal’ form in Week Two.
  • Dr Kenneth Clarke: Kenneth Clarke is a Senior Lecturer in Medieval Literature and teaches on the first-year module ‘A World of Literature I’. He is particularly interested in how poetry was copied in medieval manuscripts, and how Dante was read by his contemporaries. Look out for Kenneth’s video on the classical poetic tradition in Week One, and his writing on poetic metre in Week Two.
  • Professor Brian Cummings: Brian Cummings is a Professor of Renaissance Literature. Brian teaches on our Renaissance modules, and is an expert on Shakespeare, religion and literature, and the philosophy of literature. Look out for Brian’s article on the sonnet in Week Two.
  • Professor Hugh Haughton: Hugh Haughton is Professor of Poetry, working in the field of modernism, modern poetry and poetics. Look out for Hugh’s video on poetic form, and his writing on poetic conversation, paintings and poetry, and writing about poetry in Weeks Two, Three, and Four.
  • Dr Shazia Jagot: Shazia Jagot is a Lecturer in Medieval and Global Literature. Shazia’s research interests span late medieval English literature and the Islamic world. Look out for Shazia’s video on her favourite poem in Week One, her introduction to intertextuality in Week Three, and her thoughts on writing about poetry in Week Four.
  • Dr Hannah Roche: Hannah Roche is a Lecturer in Twentieth-Century Literature and Culture. She teaches modules on queer literature and cultural history, modernist fiction and poetry, and creative writing. Watch Hannah’s video on intertextuality in Week Three.
  • Professor Gillian Russell: Gillian Russell is Professor of Eighteenth-Century Literature. She is an expert on British and Irish literature and culture of the period 1730-1830, focusing on theatre, gender, sociability, war studies, and print culture, especially the history of printed ephemera. Look out for Gillian’s article on poetic conversations, in Week Three.
  • Professor Matthew Townend: Matthew Townend is a Professor and an expert on Old Norse (Viking) language and literature. He even translated and recorded the soundtrack for the Jorvik Viking Centre in York! Read Matt’s article on the Old Norse poetic tradition in Week One.
  • Dr JT Welsch: JT Welsch is a Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Industries. His research includes twentieth-century American poetry and the contemporary poetry industry. Look out for JT’s end of week articles, as well as videos and articles on the importance of poetry, poetry and publication, writing about poetry, and a reading of his own poetry, too.
  • Dr James Williams: James Williams is Senior Lecturer in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture. His areas of interest are poetry and poetics, the literature of the long nineteenth century (British, American, and French), the literature of nonsense, formal and stylistic dimensions of writing, and the Anglo-American libretto. Look out for James’ video on reading poetry in Week Two.

To find out more about our team, head to the Department of English and Related Literature’s website – University of York, Department of English, Our Staff.

We’re very fortunate to have a number of poets and writers on this course giving us their insights into the workings of poetry, including:

  • Penny Boxall: Penny is an award-winning poet and is the University of York’s Royal Literary Fund Fellow. Look out for Penny’s videos and articles in which she discusses how she uses form and metre in her poetry in Week Two.
  • Dr Vahni Capildeo: The University of York is proud to host one of the world’s leading contemporary poets as our writer-in-residence. Look out for Vahni’s videos on reading and enjoying poetry, intertextuality, how poets use metre, and for an exciting creative exercise.
  • Kit Fan: Kit is an award-winning poet and fiction writer. Look out for York alumna Kit’s thoughts on tradition and belonging in Week One, and his poetry reading at the end of Week Four.

Are you most looking forward to hearing from poets or lecturers on this course, and why? Let us know in the comments below.

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