Literatures, Languages & Cultures

Spotlight on... LLC at the summer festivals

As Edinburgh celebrates its 70th anniversary as a world-leading festival city, we take a look at the range of events our staff and students are involved in this summer.

How to Read a Novel

How can we best appreciate works of fiction and what makes a great novel? Find out in our Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) developed and delivered in collaboration with the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Led by Dr Alex Lawrie, a lecturer in English Literature at LLC, the course uses the 2017 James Tait Black Fiction Prize shortlist to explore its key themes (Alex is one of the Prize’s judges). The Book Festival is also running a number of author events related to the MOOC and the James Tait Black Fiction Prize.

Find out more about the MOOC and sign-up to participate on the FutureLearn website

Pre-View

Extracts from new plays by five students on our MSc in Playwriting programme. 'Pre-View' at Traverse Theatre takes place over two nights as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world. In partnership with Playwrights' Studio, Scotland, work by Sonya Hayden, Catriona Scott and Andy Moseley will be read on Monday 7th August 2017, followed, a week later, by work by Brandon Shalansky and Carolyn Yates on Monday 14th August 2017. The MSc was established in 2012 and is led by award-winning professional playwright Nicola McCartney.

Find out more in our interview with Nicola and the students (includes a link to book tickets)

The Story of Edinburgh - Journey through the literary landscape

Part of Edinburgh International Book Festival’s ‘Writing the City’ events series. Drop in for a mix of lively storytelling and readings, led by authors from Edinburgh's literary history. You can also explore the city digitally through LitLong: Edinburgh, an innovative app developed by researchers in the Universities of Edinburgh and St Andrews (including LLC’s James Loxley, Professor of Early Modern Literature) with funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The event runs on both Saturday 12th August and Saturday 19th August 2017.

Find out more on the Edinburgh International Book Festival website

Liu Zhenyun - Chinese life observed

As part of Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Confucius Institute for Scotland is delighted to welcome to Edinburgh one of China's foremost novelists, Mao Dun Prize-winning, Liu Zhenyun. In an hour-long conversation with Jenny Niven on Saturday 12th August, the author will be discussing his latest work, ‘I Did Not Kill my Husband’, a comic critique of the country's one-child law. You can also catch a special screening of ‘I Am Not Madame Bovary’ (based on the novel), with an author Q&A, the following day at Edinburgh Filmhouse (booking via the cinema).

Find out more and book for the Book Festival event on the Edinburgh International Book Festival website

Reading the city - Edinburgh's New Town

Edinburgh has inspired writers, poets and thinkers throughout the ages: from the great philosophers of the Enlightenment to gritty modern crime fiction. Listen to readings about Auld Reekie, learn about its influence on local authors and join in with a discussion exploring the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature in this Edinburgh International Book Festival event chaired by LLC’s James Loxley (Professor of Early Modern Literature) on Saturday 12th August 2017. Featuring authors Ron Butlin and Vivian French, the event is a collaboration with the City of Literature Trust.

Find out more and book on the Edinburgh International Book Festival website

James Tait Black Memorial Prize

Awarded annually by the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, the James Tait Black Prizes for Fiction and Biography are Britain's oldest literary awards and the only prizes of their kind to be judged by academic staff and students. Join Sally Magnusson, LLC staff and students, and shortlisted authors to find out who has won this year's £10,000 awards as part of Edinburgh International Book Festival on Monday 14th August 2017.

Find out more and book on the Edinburgh International Book Festival website

TalkFest 2017 - Pop goes the theatre!

Part of the Made in Scotland Showcase 2017, TalkFest is a two-day programme of engaging discussions, expertly led by Scotland’s leading playwrights and theatre-makers, on what stimulates the artists behind this year’s Edinburgh Festivals. On Monday 14th August, Nicola McCartney (Programme Director of our MSc in Playwriting) chairs Pop Goes the Theatre!, asking ‘does pop make theatre more accessible - or does it trivialise?’, with panellists Neil Cooper (arts journalist), Julia Croft ('Power Ballad'), Clare Marcie ('What Would Kanye Do?'), and Gareth Nicholls ('Letters to Morrissey').

Find out more and book on the Traverse Theatre website

Sabrina Mahfouz - British Muslim women today

In this Edinburgh International Book Festival event, join British-Egyptian poet, playwright and screenwriter Sabrina Mahfouz for a look at the work of over 20 women writers of Muslim heritage, from established heavyweights such as Ahdaf Soueif, Leila Aboulela and Kamila Shamsie, to young emerging artists including Asma Elbadawi, Amina Jama and Nafeesa Hamid. Chaired by Jackie McGlone, the event takes place on Wednesday 16th August and is sponsored and supported by the Alwaleed Centre.

Find out more and book on the Edinburgh International Book Festival website

David Olusoga – Black and British

In Black and British, award-winning historian and broadcaster David Olusoga offers a revealing exploration of the extraordinarily long relationship between the British Isles and the people of Africa. Chaired by Celeste-Marie Bernier (Professor of Black Studies at LLC), the event runs as part of the Age of Political Earthquakes series at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and takes place on Thursday 17th August 2017.

Find out more and book on the Edinburgh International Book Festival website

Edinburgh’s Festivals and the University of Edinburgh: 70 Years of Collaboration

In this 70th anniversary year of Edinburgh as a Festival City, join colleagues from across the University of Edinburgh on Friday 18th August to hear stories about our involvement in the Festivals. Through the work of Professor Olga Taxidou, among many others, LLC has played a key role in this relationship and we are delighted to be represented at this event by panellist, Gary West, Personal Chair in Scottish Ethnology, Director of the European Ethnological Research Centre and presenter of the BBC Radio Scotland programme, Pipeline. 

Find out more and book on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe website

Tea, Cake and Intricate Designs with Eric Broug

Eric Broug’s Islamic Design Workbook is an innovative colouring book full of intricate Islamic designs. Sponsored and supported by the Alwaleed Centre, Eric shares his tips for drawing and colouring beautiful geometric designs at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Friday 18th August, giving you the chance to get creative while indulging in a cup of tea, or juice, and a slice of cake.

Find out more and book on the Edinburgh International Book Festival website

James Tait Black Prize for Drama

The James Tait Black Prize for Drama is awarded annually for the best original play written in English, Scots or Gaelic and first performed by a professional company in the previous year. Like the book prizes of the same name, the award is judged by LLC staff and students, together with representatives from the Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland, and Traverse Theatre. Join the three shortlisted playwrights to find out who has won this year’s £10,000 prize at Traverse Theatre on Monday 21st August 2017 (events includes interviews with the playwrights and performed readings).

Find out more and book on the Traverse Theatre website  

James Loxley on The Bonniest Companie

Kathleen Jamie’s poetry collection, ‘The Bonniest Companie’, travels through her native Scotland, rural and urban, and her own childhood memories, looking forward to what this country might be. In this Edinburgh International Book Festival workshop on Tuesday 22nd August 2017, James Loxley (Professor of Early Modern Literature at LLC) explores the collection with readers in an open discussion.

Find out more and book on the Edinburgh International Book Festival website

Christopher de Bellaigue - The Islamic Enlightenment

Who are the forgotten scholars and scientists of Islam, and what has happened to their legacy? In this Edinburgh International Book Festival event, journalist and author, Christopher de Bellaigue, discusses his book, ‘The Islamic Enlightenment’, a celebration of an age of reformers in Istanbul, Cairo and Tehran. Sponsored and supported by the Alwaleed Centre, the talk takes place on Thursday 24th August 2017.

Find out more and book on the Edinburgh International Book Festival website

From Shanghai with Love

For a fringe show with a difference, join the Confucius Institute for Scotland for a combined exhibition and fashion show in the stunning Playfair Library, Old College. The catwalk show will feature contemporary and futuristic qipao designs using the latest high tech materials and techniques, while the exhibition will show qipao from the 1840s to the 1940s, as Shanghai developed from a fishing village to a major centre. Developed in partnership with the Shanghai International College of Fashion and Innovation at Donghua University, the show will run on Friday 25th August and Saturday 26th August 2017.

Find out more and book on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe website