Enriching Our Student Experience
The corpus stylistics workshop introduced students to some free, online tools that can support research on how the English language is used by real speakers. Working through a series of exercises, using real language data and online or freely-downloadable tools, the workshop was a great success, with over 30 UG and PG students from across AEL in attendance.
“I am just writing to give you some thoughts on the Corpus workshop we had yesterday, which I thought was very interesting. I thought everything was very thoroughly explained, and the exercises given to us definitely helped me, and I am sure everyone else as well, to gain a better understanding on how we can conduct this analysis.
Since we have talked about using Corpus Stylistics in my essay, the workshop definitely taught me how I can incorporate this method into my analysis.“ -Janis Lai, UG Year 3 student in English with Creative Writing
“Really enjoyed this workshop, which provided a great introduction to using corpus methods. As a PhD student interested in using corpus methods in my thesis, this workshop was an invaluable chance to practice using CL software and searching various corpora in-person!” - Katherine Vage, PhD student in Linguistics
‘The field trip to Derry allowed students to physically and sensually experience the ‘sites of memory’ that we have been studying in our MA module ENG7365 ‘Trauma & Memory in Irish Literature’. In particular, it complemented our analysis of Seamus Deane’s Reading in the Dark, which is set in Derry, spanning the period from 1920s to the outbreak of the Troubles. The novel details specific sites of memory which contain the post-memory of traumatic events; these include the An Grainan fort, which we visited and, in its location, architecture and mythological resonances, it made a notable impressions on the students. Given the importance of post-memories in our curriculum and this year’s Bloody Sunday anniversary, we also visited the Museum of Free Derry, and students were able to encounter the post-memories of that important event in Northern Irish history through the materials, footage, and testimonials exhibited therein. Overall, this trip productively complemented our curriculum by offering the students important insights and understandings into post-memories of recent Northern Irish history, as reflected and represented through literature.’ Dr Stefanie Lehner, MA Module Convenor and SL in Irish Literature
‘The train journey to Derry allowed us to see some of the best sights the North Coast offers. An Grianán Ailigh was one of the highlights of the trip. After leaving the Fort we experienced an incredible contrast; leaving one of the most ancient sights in the North West to visit the Museum of Free Derry. The museum chronicles the more recent, living and tragic history of the city. The group was extremely grateful to Dr Stefanie Lehner for organising the trip.’ - Thomas Murphy, MA in Irish Studies
‘I really enjoyed my day trip to Donegal and Derry! I loved the time at Grianan fort and really connected with the other students who went too! I think it really put some of the texts on my module into perspective by experiencing the history of the north as well.’ – Danielle Blee, MA in English Literary Studies
‘The Masters Seminar field trip to Derry/Londonderry gave me the exciting opportunity to underpin my studies for my Masters Thesis in Media Design with the context of the history of Northern Ireland. Especially the excursion to the Museum of Free Derry and the old hillfort "Grianan of Aileach" above Belfast gave me deeper insights into the history of Northern Ireland. The surroundings and landscape around the city, unknown to me until then, unfolded before my eyes as we took a taxi after our arrival at the train station up to a hill on which "Grianan of Aileach" stands. Dr. Lehner had previously given us an excerpt from the novel „Reading in the Dark“ by Seamus Deane in which exactly this fort and the area were featured. This novel had been part of the seminar literature of her Master's course. After a short drive back to the city centre, we went over the city wall down to the so-called "Bogside" neighbourhood. Here we walked past the historic crossing with the wall that says "You are now entering free Derry" and visited the Museum of free Derry. At the museum we were given an intensive introduction to the history of Derry/Londonderry and a tour of the museum embedded with very easy comprehensible videos, short lecture, texts and impressive photos to learn about the events of Bloody Sunday. All in all, I am very happy to have had the experiences and impressions of that day and I am glad that they are helpful for my further progress in my Master's thesis.’ - Lisanne Conradt, Visiting MA Student from Germany, Bergische Universität Wuppertal
Final year students in Professor McCusker's Caribbean Cultures module were delighted to talk to Dr Emily Zobel Marshall @EmilyZMarshall, granddaughter of Joseph Zobel and Reader in Postcolonial Literature at Leeds Beckett. We discussed Emily's relationship with her grandfather, the importance of La Rue Cases-Nègres in Caribbean literature, and the pernicious effects of the pigmentocracy. We also reflected on the continuing legacies of slavery, all highly relevant against the backdrop of Kate and William's tour in Barbados. Thanks so very much to Emily for her fascinating insights.
A successful day out was had on the Trail with expert guides Deidre Galway (guitar), Jason O’Rourke (concertina) and Annette Collins (dancing). Deirdre is the guitarist for the well-known Belfast band Realta while Jason is a grandee of the local scene with several successful albums to his name over the years. Annette is a dancing instructor with Belfast Trad, based at the Crescent Arts Centre.
We began our trip in The Second Fiddle in the Cathedral Quarter before taking in a stop at Belfast’s Assembly Rooms (home of The Belfast Harpers’ Assembly of 1792). The guides told the students about the route of the Farset river, under High Street, which gave Belfast its name. In McHugh's Basement we had a dance demo from Annette and some of our students learned how to dance the polka set.
MA and PhD students from the Centre for Translation and Interpreting braved the weather on their way to Titanic Belfast on the 9 March 2022. Facilitated by the AEL Education Fund, the trip was designed to enable Translation and Interpreting students to learn about audio description and audiovisual translation in a real-life context.