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An Introduction to English through World Literary Systems: Partnership Project

Warwick Research Collective, Park View, Smith’s Wood, Barr Beacon and The Brilliant Club

The Department of English’s Warwick Research Collective (WReC) is currently leading work to create a mode of analysing literature that recognises the situation of cultural products within a world-system that is ‘combined and uneven’, ‘one and unequal’.

WReC is committed to disseminating and testing its theory beyond the bounds of the English academy and, in line with this, is exploring many options for public engagement. The Collective’s first project of this nature, funded by the IAS, is a six-month, structured skills and research dissemination partnership with three Birmingham schools, Park View, Smith’s Wood and Barr Beacon with low university matriculation rates. In collaboration with the charity The Brilliant Club, the project pursues three aims.

Firstly, it seeks to develop the knowledge and abilities of gifted and talented Key Stage 4 and A-level students with an interest in English studies from the three schools. WReC is providing them with university-level lectures and seminars on world literature here and at their schools; the chance to complete an essay assessed in accordance with Warwick’s grading system; and explicit skills instruction to develop the aptitudes they need to be successful during their A-levels and beyond. The project’s second goal is to provide postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers based in the Department of English with the opportunity to develop their teaching skills. WReC and The Brilliant Club have provided comprehensive training preparing the students and researchers for work as seminar tutors for the A-level students. Lastly, by focusing instruction on the discipline of world literature, this project will disseminate the research into world literary systems to the school students, their teachers and Warwick postgraduates and postdoctoral researchers.

The project is coordinated by Dr Sorcha Gunne and Dr Malachi McIntosh. Introductory lectures were delivered by Dr Pablo Mukherjee and Dr McIntosh. Warwick postgraduate students taking part are: Michael Tsang, James Christie, Christinna Hobbs, Anna Bogdanova and Thomas Lampon-Masters; and at posdoctoral level, Joe Jackson.