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Coombes Sixth Form

Year 12 English Lectures

On the 23rd of November, the Year 12 English Literature and English Language & Literature classes took a trip into central London for an emagazine conference.

The conference consisted of a variety of lectures and discussion panels.  Meeting at Euston station, the group had a short walk to Friends House where they were issued with the programme for the day’s events. The first lecture, delivered by Dr Eric Langley, was entitled ‘Are You Ready for Death?’ Shakespeare’s Mortal Anxieties and after apologising for such a bleak subject to open the day with, he offered intriguing insights and ideas about the fundamental reasons we are drawn to literature. Other lectures included an analysis of poetry (a student favourite) and an exploration of how to think and write critically about drama.

One of the highlights of the day was the discussion panel, led by Professor John Mullan, in which each member made a pitch about a novel to the audience on the topic of ‘Read this Now!’ The audience voted and decided that Zadie Smith’s N-W, a story based on four characters living in North-West London, sounded the most worthy of reading next. Perhaps Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (another suggestion) was not quite as contextually relevant to this particular audience of teenage Londoners.

Both Mr Radford and Mr Miller were proud of the students who attended the conference and made the most of the day as it is a fantastic opportunity to see where English can take them beyond their A-Level studies.