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UNIClub helps local school pupils master the macabre

News Page 29th May 2018

University of Northampton PhD student Meriem Rayen Lamara, has spent the last six weeks working with a group of twelve pupils at Northampton Academy to explore Gothic Literature, as part of the UNIClub project.

Meriem brought her PhD studies into the classroom exploring everything from the origins of gothic folklore, to the popular modern takes on the genre, like Twilight. Over the six weeks, the students have discovered, read and critiqued traditional and popular gothic literature and met authors of modern tales.

Hayden, aged 14, from Northampton Academy said: “I decided to sign up for UNIClub as it was a great opportunity to learn more about Gothic literature – something I’m really into anyway. Finding out more about what studying at university might be like has been interesting, I’m interested to go to university now. I think this experience is going to look really good on my CV when I start applying to university.”

Meriem Rayen Lamara, PhD student from the Faculty of Education and Humanities said: “Over the last six weeks, I have had the chance to share with the pupils my passion for the Gothic as well as some of the findings from my PhD on Young Adult Gothic Literature. My aim was to encourage them to explore a subject that is new to them. Luckily, the pupils were very receptive to all the new information I was sharing with them and showed genuine interest in the Gothic. I have made sure to keep the workshops as entertaining and engaging as possible with activities ranging from writing Gothic short stories, Gothic Blackout Poetry, Gothic quizzes, and Skype interviews with young adult authors. Overall, the whole experience has been an absolute pleasure and a strong addition to my CV.”

The UNIClub project connects postgraduate students from the University of Northampton with ten Northamptonshire secondary schools to help prepare keen young learners, from Year 8 and 9, for the world of Higher Education. As part of the six weeks of sessions, the postgraduate students discussed the chosen subject for their PhD or MA thesis. The diverse range of subjects covered include migration and settlement in Britain, cultural identity and how social media has impacted modern language. The programme partners with schools and academies from Northamptonshire; including Northampton Academy, Abbeyfield, Kingsthorpe College, Wrenn Academy and Kettering Buccleuch Academy.

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