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York Festival of Ideas 2020

Featuring world-class speakers, exhibitions, theatre, music, films, guided walks, family-friendly activities and much more, York Festival of Ideas offers a huge range of stimulating and diverse events for all ages and interests. Events usually take place at venues throughout the city, but for 2020 the festival will be taking place in the virtual world. 


Fictional York Twitter Reading Group

6.00pm - 7.00pm, 3 June 2020

Does the use of a specific location limit or expand the remit of a text? Is there a ‘real’ York to represent in literature?

Anyone with an interest in York and reading is invited to join a Twitter reading group looking at how York has been used in literature. Group leads Zoe Enstone and Adam Smith of York St John University begin the discussion by talking about some of their favourite York-based texts.

To take part, simply use the Twitter handle #FictionalYork. The session will be led with Tweets from @zensto and @elementaladam.

Reagan, Thatcher and Anglo-American Relations

Did Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative Party inspire Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaigns? Dr James Cooper takes you beyond Thatcher and Reagan’s ‘special relationship’ in foreign policy and focuses on the ways in which Reagan’s election campaign drew upon Thatcher and the Conservative Party’s electioneering innovations. Find out how each campaign sought to secure power in similar circumstances.

After watching the video, James would like to invite viewers to complete a feedback survey.

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I am a Woman, a Mother and an Employee

More and more women are entering the labour market, while some are also taking up the breadwinner role in the family. Dr Ernestine Gheyoh Ndzi examines why, despite this, women still receive unequal treatment to men at home and in the workplace. Once a woman becomes a mother, she is expected to breastfeed - which is crucial to both the baby and the mother - and return to work with little or no support. Join Ernestine as she discusses the position of breastfeeding mothers at work, shared parental leave and the support required.

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Google Translate - Friend or Foe?

For the amateur foreign language user, Google Translate can be a godsend. But what impact is it having on language learning and teaching, and what does the future hold? Whether you have dabbled in Google Translate for your own purposes, are trying to learn a language, have a child learning a language at school or are a language teacher yourself, join Dr Alison Organ of York St John University.

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Emergent Fiction Writers with York Centre for Writing 

In this event you’ll hear from three phenomenal emergent authors, who are making waves in the contemporary literary scene. They’ll each be giving a reading from their work, and then answering questions about the development of their work, how they got published, and what they make of the current literary landscape in the UK. This event will give you an insight into the brilliant work, and wisdom, of these exciting and original voices.

Our first writer is Sophie Mackintosh. Sophie’s debut novel The Water Cure was published by Hamish Hamilton in the UK in Spring 2018 and by Doubleday in the US in early 2019 to critical acclaim, and was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. Her second novel Blue Ticket will be published in Spring 2020. 

Our second writer is Rowan Hisayo Buchanan. Rowan is the author of Harmless Like You—the winner of The Authors’ Club First Novel Award and a Betty Trask Award. Starling Days, her second novel, is out now in the UK and forthcoming in the USA. It was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award. 

Our final writer is Livia Francini. Her debut novel, Shelf Life, was published by Doubleday in the UK in August 2019. Livia is a writer and translator from Tuscany, Italy. 

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Emergent Poets with York Centre for Writing 

Hear from three dazzling emergent poets, who are making waves in the contemporary poetry scene. They’ll each be giving a reading from their work, and then answering questions about the development of their work, how they got published, and what they make of the current poetry scene in the UK. This event will give you an insight into the phenomenal work, and wisdom, of these fresh and dynamic voices.

Our first writer is Nisha Ramayya, poet and lecturer in Creative Writing at Queen Mary University of London. Her book, States of the Body Produced by Love, was recently published by Ignota Books (2019).

Our second writer is Rachel Long. Rachel Long is a poet and leader of Octavia – Poetry Collective for Women of Colour, which is housed at Southbank Centre, London. Her first collection, My Darling from the Lions, will be published by Picador in July 2020. Long was shortlisted for Young Poet Laureate for London in 2014, and awarded a Jerwood/Arvon Foundation mentorship in 2015. 

Our final writer is Daisy Lafarge. Daisy’s first collection, Life Without Air, will be published by Granta Books in November 2020. She received an Eric Gregory Award in 2017, and a Betty Trask Award in 2019 for a novel, Paul, forthcoming with Granta. Daisy is currently working towards a PhD at the University of Glasgow.

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