Category Archives: Insights

Community and Connection: Editors in Conversation

As their tenure draws to a close, Katie Arthur and Harriet Thompson reflect on their time working together as editors of the King’s English Blog.

HT: It’s funny looking back on the time when we took over as editors in January 2019; I get that strange simultaneous feeling of it being very recent, but also a quite a while ago. A lot has happened since then! We were both in our first year studying for a PhD in the English Department at King’s and it was an exciting opportunity to be able to curate and commission such a wide range of writing from staff and students. Over two years later, I still have quite a lot of writing to do before I submit my PhD thesis. But having the blog to focus on alongside everything else has been a really nice (and productive) distraction. I didn’t imagine that we’d be spending practically a whole year inside, running the blog from our bedrooms on opposite sides of London. I think the last time we saw each other in person was in January 2020? That is so weird! I do miss the community and energy that comes with working inside the university buildings.

KA: Two years ago! I know what you mean about that odd simultaneous feeling of temporal contraction and dilation – I feel like there must be a word for it somewhere, in some language. Perhaps we should commission a blog on it! The blog has certainly been an anchor, both pre-Covid and now. Working with the department to publish publicly is really exciting, it has definitely helped me engage with the work happening here at King’s in a more thorough and thoughtful way than I might otherwise have given myself time to do. Though it was more fun conducted in the physical presence of the department as you say and it is a shame to have lost the sense of community that so often is linked to space. The blog also serves as a space of connection for the department. You did a wonderful round-up of all the work we had shared around the new year that received a very touching response from the department. Do you think that the functions of the blog have changed as our needs have moved online in the pandemic? It has always been interesting that the blog reaches out to and beyond the department but, perhaps now more than ever, it is also a meeting point of sorts when we cannot do in person.

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The Fourth Floor: A Short Story

A short story and illustration by Lee Jia-An

“This story is influenced by my reading of Borges, whose works I’ve been researching for my dissertation. I’m interested in the idea of mirrors and repetition in Borges’s short stories and how repetition is indicative of the Eternal Return. This short story is about repetition and how the secrets that we keep hidden from the gaze and the mirror are still echoes of each other. One day, we’ll have to bury them and leave them behind.”

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2021 Ellen Craft Essay Prize Awarded to PhD Student Katie Arthur

By Professor Mark Turner, PGR Lead

It is a pleasure to announce to the KCL English community that the Scottish Association for the Study of America (SASA) has awarded the 2021 Ellen Craft Essay Prize to one of our PhD students, Katie Arthur, for her brilliant essay, ‘Arousing Disgust: Visceral Configurations of Obscenity through Literal, Literary, and Governmental Bodies in William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch (1959)’.

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Bard Takes: A new podcast supported by KCL English Department

What do we really think about Shakespeare? As one of the world’s most iconic writers, we all have certain preconceptions and biases about him and his work which can impact how we watch, read and study them. The Bard Takes Podcast follows a Shakespeare Studies student exploring these preconceptions and the truth behind Shakespeare’s work, with guests including staff and students from King’s College London, Shakespeare’s Globe and beyond.

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The Joy of Reading Off-Syllabus

by Nell Prince

In his third memoir, May Week Was In June, Clive James writes of his inability to stick to the syllabus:

Out of the three terms of my second and last year as an undergraduate, one and a half had gone by before I could bring myself even to sit down and assess the magnitude of what I had not yet done in the way of preparing to satisfy the examiners. When I finally faced the issue, I quickly realised that I would have a better chance of satisfying them if I offered them my body.

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