Lovecraft at Groningen

“Regina Olmstead is traveling to Arkham, but ends up in Innsmouth – a town with a deep and dark history, shrouded in ominous secrecy. Regina tries to avoid the trappings of the town but finds herself inexplicably drawn in deeper and deeper, as the people, and maybe even the town itself, slowly start to turn against her.”

Show times: Friday 8th: 20:30; Saturday 9th: 20:30; Sunday 10th: 16:00.

Tickets can be purchased via
Tickets are €7 for students, €9 for non-students.

Open Access Week, Leeuwarden

One of our graduates working at the library of  NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences in Leeuwarden has organised a week of talks and workshops on Open Access. The complete programme and registration form can be found on this website:

All talks and workshops will be conducted in English.

Should anyone wish to know more about the Open Access movement, there is a documentary on the subject at:

Image result for open access

New Staff

In the last six months two new full-time members of staff have been appointed to the Modern English Literature section of the department.

Ashley Maher

Ashley Maher

Ashley begins at the department in the new academic year (September 2019). She was awarded her PhD from Washington University, St Louis and moved to Groningen from teaching at the University of Sydney. She specialises in Modernism and twentieth-century literature.

David Ashford

dr. D.M. (David) Ashford

David, who joined the department in January, mainly teaches in the third year of the BA. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge. He works on Modernism and has published three poetry collections.

John Ruskin

Cover for 

John Ruskin

Oxford University Press has just published John Ruskin’s selected prose edited by Prof. Lansdown for the 21st Century Oxford Authors series.

Ruskin (1819-1900), is one of the best known Victorian art and cultural critics. The volume includes selections from his lectures, essays and letters.

English Poetry at Noordwoord Festival

When: Friday 12 July, 8pm

Where: Prinsentuin, Groningen

Admission: 10 euros

On the opening night of Poets in the Prinsentuin, both English and Dutch speaking politically-engaged poets will present their view on the interesting times we live in. Accompanied by Jochem Braat on keys, the poets Tsead Bruinja, Simone Atangana Bekono, Doninique de Groen, Radna Fabias, Michael Tedja, Julia Lewis, Verity Spott and Juha Virtanen will recite their own and translated work. You can expect socially relevant themes, which will rapidly follow one another. Afterwards, you can shake all these acquired impulses off on the dance floor where DJ Neon Wasabi will be spinning her records.

New Chaucer Life Record

Prof. Sobecki’s discovery of a new document shedding light on Chaucer’s life has recently been covered by The Guardian.

The full article in English Literary History can be found at: which members of the university can access through their library account.

Chaucer is not the only medieval writer associated with controversy about raptus (rape, abduction). Thomas Malory may have imprisoned for rape. Rape and abduction (there’s a big difference as the latter could have been consensual or may not have involved sexual assault) remained difficult to distinguish in written records at least until the eighteenth century.

Chaucer – Shakespeare – Dickens

BBC Radio 4’s Start the Week was called ‘Icons of English Literature’ today. The podcast is available at:

Chaucer is renowned as the father of English literature. But in a new biography Marion Turner argues he is a far more cosmopolitan writer and thinker than we might assume. She tells Andrew Marr how the 14th-century author of The Canterbury Tales moved from the commercial wharves of London to the chapels of Florence, and from a spell as a prisoner of war in France to the role of diplomat in Milan.

The academic Emma Smith challenges audiences to look with fresh eyes at the plays of Shakespeare. In a series of essays she reveals how his plays have as much to say about PTSD, intersectionality and #MeToo as they do about Ovid, marriage and the divine right of kings.

When Charles Dickens started his writing career, his ambition was global: to speak to ‘every nation upon earth’. And he succeeded. His stories reached Russia, China, Australia, even Antarctica, and he was mobbed in the street when he visited America. Juliet John, co-curator of the exhibition Global Dickens, examines how Dickens’s work could travel so far, when the settings of his novels were much closer to home. [BBC]