About this day
A programme to inspire, support and entertain…
Five expert speakers will explore the literary, historical and social perspectives of this OCR A-level option, offering comprehensive strategies for approaching set texts and providing students with invaluable insights and helpful guidance to ensure they achieve their very best in the examination. Students will enjoy relevant and lively sessions on Shakespeare’s plays, on comparing texts across time and genre and on contexts in Jacobean theatre and pre-1900 poetry. The programme will explore a range of relevant and fascinating themes which can be applied across all set texts.
Programme & speakers
Interpreting Shakespeare's characters Nick Hutchison, Actor, Director and Lecturer
Nick Hutchison will explore Shakespeare’s use of language and dramatic effects, considering how his plays have been interpreted by different audiences over time and stimulating students’ grasp of how he presents characters in their chosen play. He will draw on Coriolanus, Hamlet, Measure for Measure, Richard III, The Tempest and Twelfth Night.
About Nick Hutchison
Nick Hutchison is an actor, director and lecturer who has directed Shakespeare’s plays across the globe. He lectures for Shakespeare’s Globe and at universities worldwide and on Jacobean Theatre for LAMDA and RADA.
Comparing texts: poetry and drama Anna Beer, University of Oxford
In this session, Anna Beer will focus on the themes of sexuality and conflict, drawing on Milton and Marlowe, and providing invaluable advice for writing a comparative essay.
About Anna Beer
Dr Anna Beer is Visiting Fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford University. She is an author, lecturer and biographer with a particular interest in the work of John Milton and other Early Modern authors. She has published widely and contributed to a key OCR text book on comparative essay writing.
Cultural and contextual influences in Victorian literature Michael Meeuwis, University of Warwick
Dr. Michael Meeuwis will examine how literary texts from the mid to late nineteenth century address the mental life of social consensus: what it meant to live as men, and as women, in the midst of a newly-intense push towards conformity. He will explore how two distinct literary genres, lyric poetry and drama, addressed this topic in different ways. For the drama, the focus will be on Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and Wilde’s An Ideal Husband; for poetry, Tennyson’s Maud and a selection of Christina Rossetti’s poetry. This session will highlight a range of issues which students can apply to their own course texts.
About Michael Meeuwis
Dr Michael Meeuwis is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Warwick. His research interests include nineteenth-century British literature, Romantic and Victorian poetry and nineteenth-century drama and performance studies.
Gender, rank and status: Chaucer and Webster James Knowles, Brunel University
Professor Knowles will explore contexts and comparisons between the set texts, focusing on gender, rank and status in pre-modern societies and drawing on Chaucer and Webster. Students will be able to apply what they have learned to their own chosen texts and there will be an opportunity for questions.
About James Knowles
James Knowles is Vice-Dean of Research and Professor of Renaissance Literature and Culture at Brunel University. He specialises in early modern literature and culture (1500-1700) and has published widely on early modern drama, especially Jonson, Marlowe, Marston, Middleton, and Shakespeare. He is an internationally recognised expert on the court masque and civic pageantry and has written on literary and cultural geographies, orientalism, patronage and collecting, manliness and sexuality, verse libel and manuscript culture. He also retains a wider interest in gender, sexualities, and book culture including modern and contemporary gay writing and queer theory.
Love and disappointment in Goldsmith and Coleridge John Mullan, University College London
Professor John Mullan will explore cultural and contextual influences in eighteenth century literature, drawing on Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer and selected poems by Coleridge, with a particular focus on the themes of love and disappointment.
About John Mullan
A renowned specialist in 18th century literature, John Mullan is Professor of English and Head of Department at UCL. He is a literary journalist, writing regularly for the Guardian, and was a Man Booker Prize judge in 2009. He broadcasts regularly for TV and radio. His most recent book is What Matters in Jane Austen?