Monthly Archives: October 2013

Baroness D’Souza, the Lord Speaker of the House of Lords, had a Q&A session with students

10 October 2013 Baroness D'Souza 15 1200On Thursday 10th October, Baroness D’Souza, the Lord Speaker of the House of Lords, came to Oxford Brookes. In some ways, Baroness D’Souza was “coming home”, as earlier in her career, she was a lecturer at Oxford Brookes. The event was organised by Dr Michael Lister, with assistance from the Faculty Marketing team, and chaired by the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor Anne-Marie Kilday.

Baroness D’Souza gave a presentation to students and staff on the role of the House of Lords in the Parliamentary process. Following this fascinating overview of the House of Lords, including intriguing insights into the way the chamber used to work, compared to contemporary working practices, students had an opportunity to ask questions. These included an analysis of the differences between the US and UK systems of government; what improvements might be made to the functioning of the House of Lords; the differences between her role as Speaker in the House of Lords, and that of the Speaker of the Commons; and what motivates her to participate in public life.

One student present, Jamie Mills, commented ‘I found Speaker D’Souza to be entertaining and stimulating. It was especially pleasing to see her allow such a vast amount of questions which enabled the event to be fluid and engaging. Overall the event was enjoyable and intellectually rewarding. I was very glad I went’. Baroness D’Souza herself thanked Oxford Brookes and the audience for ‘a thoroughly stimulating evening.’

Joanne Bailey to give talk about using social media as a resource for historians

JoanneBaileyAn Oxford Brookes Historian will be talking to a wide audience at Kingston University’s Centre for the Historical Record Seminar on History and social media.

Dr Joanne Bailey, Reader in History, will talk about social media as a resource for people interested in history, from the professional academic community, to university students, genealogists, and anyone with a general passion for the past. She argues that today’s academics need to see their research as a public resource and make every effort to engage the public with their work; opening up the past and the discipline of history to far more people.

Joanne uses social media in her teaching, writes about her work on her blog, tweets about history-related subjects, and is a member of the Advisory Board of Kudos, which helps authors and institutions maximize the impact and visibility of their publications.

Joanne Bailey co-authors (racy) popular history book on marital breakdown!

51qh7Z911vL._Dr Joanne Bailey has recently co-authored and published A Noble Affair: The Remarkable True Story of the Runaway Wife, the Bigamous Earl, and the Farmer’s Daughter with Professor Rebecca Probert, Professor of Law at Warwick University, and Dr Julie Shaffer, Professor in English at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

The three authors pooled their fascination with eighteenth-century marital breakdown to write about the scandalous marriage of Henry Cecil, heir to the earldom of Exeter. His union with Emma, the heiress of Hanbury Hall, ended in disaster when she eloped with the local curate. Heartbroken, Henry disappeared to a remote Shropshire village and married a farmer’s daughter – without having divorced his first wife… The story of Henry Cecil’s matrimonial entanglements became part of the “sex panic” literature of the 1790s before being reinterpreted by the Victorians as a classic Cinderella tale of rags to riches, and even in the twentieth century it was still being told and retold. A Noble Affair untangles fact from fiction and reveals that in some respects Henry did indeed behave nobly.

Brookes English Language & Communication student takes to the airwaves

freyaedit2Third year English Language and Communication student Freya Lee is currently participating in the Eagle Radio ‘Radio News Academy’, and using her experiences to gain credit towards her degree through the ‘Work and Community Related Learning’ module. We asked Freya to give us some more information:

Initially, I was offered a two week work experience placement in July with UKRD media and was placed at Eagle Radio in Guildford, Surrey – which is a local station which covers the Surrey and Hampshire districts. This was to be a broadcast news journalism placement and I was to be working alongside the journalists at the news desk.

Once there I worked extremely hard and I was quickly assigned tasks with lots of responsibility such as writing stories under strict deadlines. My placement also involved sourcing and writing news stories, interviewing individuals (such as local council leaders) for the audio to be then be used on air, editing audio and working on my bulletin reading abilities. I also attended the ‘Tour of Britain’ (large cycling race across the county) press conference representing Eagle.

Following this two week placement at Eagle Radio, I was invited to participate in their Radio News Academy on account of my performance during my placement. In short – this broadcast journalism academy spot with UKRD involves me returning to the station every Thursday for six months. I am the only person from a non-journalism degree they’ve ever selected to participate.

I’ve been attending the academy for a month so far and it’s involved me doing work for the news desk that needs doing like writing copy for the weekend. Two of my pre-recorded bulletins have also been broadcast on air, which was very exciting to hear! I’ve also learning more about radio news journalism (for example: researching, interviewing, writing, audio editing and reading). I’ve also recently attended a murder hearing at Guildford Magistrates Court. Ultimately, my training will lead to a ‘final project’ in which I’ll create a 4 minute story regarding a story of interest which will be broadcast on the station.

If you are interested in the Work and Community Related Learning module or would like some more information then please speak to your Academic Advisor.

Dr Katharine Craik has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize for Poetry for her poem ‘Succession’

Bridport Anth 2013Whilst Dr Katharine Craik‘s academic research examines Renaissance and eighteenth-century literature, she has been involved in the creative arts for a number of years. She is a successful librettist, and her work in this field has included a commission by ENO in 2004 and youth operas at Glyndebourne and W11 Opera. Her most recent libretto was for an opera entitled The Quicken Tree based on Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, which was written in collaboration with composer Dee Isaacs, and performed in Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens in March 2011.

She is currently working on ‘Watching’, a project on the Renaissance history of sleep science, with collaborators at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Oxford. Katharine will be writing a new piece of musical theatre to be performed in the landmark glasshouses of Edinburgh’s Royal Botanical Gardens in April 2015.

Founded by Bridport Arts Centre, Dorset in 1973, the Bridport Prize aims ‘to encourage emerging writers and promote literary excellence’, and it has established itself as one of the most significant poetry prizes in the UK, attracting thousands of entries from 70-80 different countries each year. This year’s poetry prize was judged by Wendy Cope. One previous winner was the Department’s own Tobias Hill, who won the Bridport’s poetry prize in 1994 and the short story prize in 1996.

Brookes Senior Lecturer speaks at All Party Parliamentary Group meeting

Payne_R_p0074345Rachel Payne, Senior Lecturer in Education at Oxford Brookes, was invited to speak at the June All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) meeting, which focussed on the demise of opportunities for teacher education in art, craft and design and conflicting pressures of School Direct (SD) as an alternative route into teaching. The APPG for art, craft and design education is a cross party group which aims to promote shared interests within political debate, meeting three times a year in the House of Commons.  It was established by Susan Coles, President of National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD), Lesley Butterworth, General Secretary for the NSEAD and Sharon Hodgson, Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities and includes twenty MPs and Lords from the three major political parties, as well as representatives from across all educational sectors and the creative industries. A core aim of the group is to influence and inform policy. Rachel writes:

“Having managed the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at Oxford Brookes University (OBU) from 2004-2012 which had recently closed owing to government reduction in training allocations, I conducted small-scale research across the partnership with former PGCE students, mentors and external partners.  The research findings were presented to the APPG and as a result, Susan asked me to become a permanent member of the group.  A short paper examining the research findings will be published by an NSEAD publication in January 2014 and in September I was approached to expand the PGCE research nationally, a proposal for which has been circulated at the last APPG meeting (15th October 2013).”

You can read more about the APPG here.

Oxford City Poet and Brookes’ Fellow, Kate Clanchy, tutors young poets to national success

Esme Partridge reading her poetry at the Oxford Literary Festival in March 2013

Esme Partridge reading her poetry at the Oxford Literary Festival in March 2013

Esme Partridge won the Foyle Young Poets: a huge, international competition for 11‑18 years with nearly 8,000 entrants. Her poem, I Took God With Me Camping is a witty, moving monologue about attending a Festival in the pouring rain. Esme is 16 and a student at Oxford Spires Academy. Esme’s win was announced on National Poetry Day.

On the same day, her fellow-student at Oxford Spires, Jasmine Burgess, was runner-up in the John Betjeman Competition for poems by 11‑13 year olds. Jasmine is 12, and her poem is about gazing back through the hedge at Larkrise School, and wondering what has happened to her former self.

With Azfa Ali’s win in the Tower Poetry Competition in May, this adds up to a remarkable series of successes at national level for Oxford Spires Academy. Oxford Spires Academy’s First Story Writer in Residence and Oxford City Poet Kate Clanchy attributes the success to a fantastic English Department, a wonderful librarian and a whole school culture of celebrating excellence and creativity – as well as the exceptional talents of the students.

Senior Lecturer interviewed on BBC Radio Oxford about the recent Daily Mail controversy


There has been much said on the decision made by the Daily Mail to publish an article claiming that the father of Labour leader Ed Miliband “hated” Britain. Michele Paule, Senior Lecturer in Culture, Media and Education, was invited onto BBC Radio Oxford last Friday to discuss the controversy and provide her opinion on the recent events.

You can listen to the interview here: (available until 11th October 2013)