Newcastle Children’s Literature Master Classes 2015

The Future of the Subject: Archives
6-7 August 2015
Newcastle University and Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books

In August 2015 the Children’s Literature Unit in the School of English at Newcastle University will be hosting a series of children’s literature Master Classes concentrated in two days. The classes will be led by a distinguished, international team of children’s literature scholars. The overall subject will be “The Future of the Subject,” with a particular focus on Archives. This reflects the recent archival turn in literary studies and will focus attention on the fascinating material in the archives of Seven Stories, the UK’s national centre for children’s books, based in Newcastle and co-hosting the Master Classes. Participants will have the opportunity to work directly with material from the Seven Stories archives, and will be trained in some of the skills they will need as emerging scholars in the field of children’s literature.

The Master Classes are designed principally for high-level undergraduates and graduate students (master’s and doctoral), although anyone at an early stage in a career involving research in children’s literature is welcome to apply for a place. The classes will be delivered to a maximum of 14 participants, and selection will be competitive.

We are now inviting applications for the 2015 Master Classes. Students will be selected on the basis of a 500-word statement about their current and proposed research and interests. The Master Classes are open to fluent English-speaking students of any nationality. The selectors will be looking for outstanding students who promise to be shaping the field in the future.

Thanks to generous support from Newcastle University, each participating student will be awarded a bursary to cover the full cost of registration, meaning that the Master Classes will be free of cost. Students will, however, be required to cover their own travel and accommodation costs and evening meals.


Master Classes will include a mixture of presentation, discussion, and applied activities on a range of key themes, theories, and research methods relating to archival research. Students will be set preparatory tasks in the month prior to the classes. There will be no formal assessment but students will receive a high level of direct feedback and guidance. There will also be a roundtable and session on careers and professional development. All students will receive a certificate of participation that acknowledges the bursary element of the master classes.

Newcastle University, Seven Stories, and the city of Newcastle

The Master Classes will take place at Newcastle University and at the Archives (Design Works) of Seven Stories. Seven Stories is the UK’s national museum, archive and visitor centre for children’s literature. Its holdings date from the 1930s and contain original manuscripts, artwork, correspondence and other material relating to the creative processes that underpin children’s literature. The archives cover all ages, formats and media in which children’s literature appears.

The School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics at Newcastle University was recently ranked third best in the UK for research in English in the national Research Excellence Framework. Its “impact case study” on Children’s Literature Unit was rated 100%.

Newcastle is the cosmopolitan capital of the North East of England. It has a fascinating history and a strong cultural life, and is famous for its welcoming character. The University is situated in the heart of the city. Newcastle has excellent road, rail, and air links with major UK and international cities.

How to apply

To be considered for the 2015 Master Classes please send a description of your interests and current/proposed research of no more than 500 words to by 31 May 2015. Please use the subject headline “2015 Master Classes” and include the contact details of one referee who will be able to support your application. (You should notify the referee too.) The following information should also be included in your application: your name; your contact details; your current affiliation and status (if any). Notification of the result of your application will be made by 10 June 2015.