A poster for the Cheltenham Literature Festival

University of Warwick partners the The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

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The University of Warwick will be a major partner of this year’s The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival.

Exploring the 2017 theme of Who do we think we are? the festival brings the brightest most innovative thinkers to the stage – asking how we can solve the problems that divide us, and debating Britain’s new place on the world stage.

The University of Warwick will be supporting a series of specially commissioned events exploring the theme from different and thought provoking perspectives.

The festival runs from 6th to 15th October. The full festival programme can be viewed on line here

Programme details;

Friday 6th October
Peter Hennessy
How are we governed? What are the networks of influence and patronage that surround the highest in the land? With his customary wit and razor-sharp insights, our foremost constitutional historian assesses the performance of post-war prime ministers and ask: does the Prime Minister need a new job description?

Saturday 7th October
June Sarpong
In this passionate call to arms, the campaigner and broadcaster June Sarpong (‘Diversify’) illustrates how we could solve the most stubborn challenges we face as a society and reap huge rewards by overcoming our prejudices and embracing our most marginalised groups.

Friday 13th October
Paul Johnson On Making Choices
In general you can’t both have your cake and eat it. The Director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies looks at some of the economic choices we will have to make soon. From social care to immigration, the single market, and levels of taxation – what are the costs as well as the upsides of policy choices?

Saturday 14th October
Marcus Brigstocke: The Liberal Metropolitan Elite
What’s wrong with living in cities, being open-minded and doing well in life? The tabloid press love to sneer at the so-called liberal metropolitan elite, but in this typically trenchant and provocative rallying call cry the comedian Marcus Brigstocke argues that their values should be the ones we all aspire to.

Sunday 15th October
Harriet Walter On Shakespeare’s Women
How should we view the Shakespearean canon in contemporary Britain? In this specially-commissioned lecture the distinguished actor Harriet Walter discusses playing Shakespeare’s male and female leading roles and gives a remarkable account of an acting career unconstrained by tradition or expectations.
Harriet is Warwick alum.

Saturday 14th October
No Country For Young Men
Widening generational rifts, Brexit anger, a hostile housing market, zero hours contracts… it’s a tough time to be growing up in contemporary Britain. Young People’s Laureate for London Caleb Femi, editor of Rife: Twenty Stories from Britain’s Youth Sammy Jones and 95-year-old WWII veteran and political campaigner Harry Leslie Smith (Harry’s Last Stand) talk to Rick Edwards (None of the Above) about the landscape our young people are facing and – following the remarkable youth turnout in the summer’s General Election – how we can harness the desire for change.

Each year the Festival team invites a select number of people to guest curate the programme – one of this year’s prestigious invitations went to Warwick’s Associate Professor of Creative Writing Sarah Moss who described her experience as ‘ the most exciting project of my year. It’s like playing a fantasy dinner party, only for real’. Sarah’s likely guest list can be explored in her series of curated events:

The Writing Life Saturday 14th October
Virginia Woolf famously wrote: ‘A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.’ Does that mean women who don’t have money can’t write fiction? And in today’s housing market, few writers under 50 have rooms of their own; they write in cafés, trains and kitchen tables between the school run, putting the wash on and work. Festival Guest Curator Sarah Moss, travel writer Huw Lewis-Jones and poet and academic Sandeep Parmar join Alex Clark to examine the life of the contemporary writer.

Can A Feminist Live Happily Ever After? Sunday 15th October
What does a feminist happy ending look like? Austen and Brontë’s novels conclude with a walk down the aisle in a big white dress, but if a woman’s story doesn’t end on her wedding night and a man doesn’t much want to be Byronic, is there still a place for romance? Journalist Coco Khan, writer and popular Booktuber Jen Campbell join Festival Guest Curator Sarah Moss to discuss the compatibility of feminism and love stories .

Brits Abroad: Our Cultural Exports Saturday 14th October
Doctor Who and James Bond are long-running worldwide successes. Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife have gone global. Adaptations of our classic novels continue to thrive and British fiction sells around the world. We no longer have a political empire but there is still one area in which we can claim superpower status: our creative industries. Are we exporting only nostalgia? Is there any global representation of the realities of modern Britain? Guest Curator Sarah Moss, Call the Midwife writer Heidi Thomas and historian Dominic Sandbrook (The Great British Dream Factory) discuss with Rosie Goldsmith about what these exports say about us to the rest of the world.

Sarah Moss Sunday 15th October
Don’t miss the chance to hear the Festival Guest Curator discuss her own acclaimed work, including the lauded novels The Tidal Zone, Signs for Lost Children and Night Waking.

Jane Austen: Britain’s Most Beloved Author Sunday 15th October
‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.’ Few authors can capture hearts at first glance like Jane Austen. Join Caroline Sanderson in discussion with Jennie Batchelor (Women’s Writing), Sarah Moss and Lucy Worsley (Jane Austen at Home) in the bicentenary year of her death as they celebrate Austen’s impeccable work and remarkable legacy.