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History Fest and English Fest

History and English Fest 2022 ran from Monday 28 to Wednesday 30 March 2022

Attendees from schools and colleges got a taste of University lectures including Stalin’s Russia, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid's Tale and more from our expert academics, and had the opportunity to dig a bit deeper in our interactive Q&A sessions.

The events were aimed at those with, or working towards, Level 3 qualifications - but year 11 students were also welcome.

You can see details of the sessions below and watch full recordings from the sessions.

Dr Richard Carr

Monday 28 March, 10am

The Making of Modern Britain

with Dr Richard Carr, Senior Lecturer in History and Politics

Eight concepts and trends that have shaped the society we live in.

Dr Cassie Gorman

Monday 28 March, 2pm

Studying English at University

with Dr Cassie Gorman, Course Leader BA (Hons) English Literature

Find out what it will be like to study English Literature at university level, and at ARU in particular, and get the opportunity to ask all your questions before you apply.

Girl holding up a copy of The Handmaid's Tale

Tuesday 29 March, 10am

Dystopia: Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale

with Sarah Annes Brown, Professor of English Literature

This lecture will focus on Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, placing it within the context of other earlier dystopian works such as George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, and exploring its engagement with topics such as gender, race, environmentalism and religion.

Josef Stalin

Tuesday 29 March, 11.15am

Stalin’s Russia

with Dr Jon Davis, Associate Professor in Modern European History

The development of the Stalinist system in the 1930s, focusing on economics and the Communist Party’s political control.

Dr Sebastian Rasinger

Tuesday 29 March, 2pm

Good girls don’t swear: an intro to language and society

with Dr Sebastian Rasinger, Associate Professor in Applied Linguistics

In this session, we will look at the ways in which English language is influenced by various factors, such as age, gender, and socioeconomic status.

John Keats

Wednesday 30 March, 10am

John Keats

with Dr Koenraad Claes, Lecturer in Romantic-Period Literature

John Keats is now many people’s favourite Romantic poet, but in his own day he was given a hard time by critics because he was not posh, and he felt self-conscious because he would not have enough book smarts. However, nobody ever has written more passionately about their love of literature than he!

British Empire Exhibition Flag

Wednesday 30 March, 2pm

The British Empire

with Dr Sean Lang, Senior Lecturer in History

The British Empire is now the subject of heated debate, but what was it really about? What did it stand for and what are its implications for today? Above all, how, given today’s priorities and sensitivities, can we come to a reasoned, objective judgement about it?