Date & time

Mon, 26 Nov 2018
10:45 - 15:45


Emmanuel Centre, London
9 - 23 Marsham Street
London, SW1P 3DW

Bookings closed

Bookings are now closed for this past event.

About this day

For A-level students of the OCR specification

Expert speakers will explore the literary, historical and social perspectives of this OCR A-level option, offering comprehensive strategies for approaching set texts and providing students with invaluable insights and helpful guidance to help them achieve success in the examination. Students will enjoy relevant and lively sessions on Shakespeare’s plays, on comparing texts across time and genre and on contexts in Jacobean theatre and pre-1900 poetry.  This programme will explore a range of relevant and fascinating themes which can be applied across all set texts, addressing different interpretations of these literary texts. We are delighted that Dr Anna Beer from the University of Oxford will chair the day and give an invaluable session on exam technique.

Programme & speakers

Comparing texts: poetry and drama Anna Beer, University of Oxford

This lecture will focus on the themes of sexuality and conflict, drawing on Milton and Marlowe, and highlighting contextual and cultural influences. She will explore connections between the texts and provide invaluable advice for writing a comparative essay.

Anna Beer

About Dr Anna Beer

Author, lecturer, biographer and A-level examiner Dr Anna Beer is Visiting Fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford University. She has published widely and also contributed to a key OCR text book.


Interpreting Shakespeare's characters Nick Hutchison, Actor, Director and Lecturer

Drawing on the set texts, Nick Hutchison will explore Shakespeare’s use of language and dramatic effects, considering how his plays have been interpreted by different audiences over time and stimulating students’ grasp of how he presents characters in their chosen play.

Nick Hutchison

About Nick Hutchison

Nick Hutchison is an actor, director and lecturer who has directed Shakespeare’s plays across the globe. He lectures for Shakespeare’s Globe, LAMDA, RADA and universities worldwide on Elizabethan and Jacobean Theatre, specialising in theatre performance derived from close textual analysis. As an actor he has worked in film, TV, theatre and radio, including for the Royal Shakespeare Company and in films including About A Boy, Miss Potter, 102 Dalmatians, Fierce Creatures, The Bounty and Restoration.

Nineteenth-century poetry and drama: texts in cultural context Simon Avery, University of Westminster

In this session Simon Avery will consider how Rossetti’s ‘Goblin Market’ (1862) and Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House (1879) engage with a range of cultural contexts, including contemporary ideas about the family, gender roles, sexuality and the role of literature in society.

Students will then be able to use the wider discussion in relation to their own course texts.

Dr Avery’s research interests include the poetry of Christina Rossetti; in 2014 he published an article on gender and power in Rossetti’s poetry for the British Library.

Simon Avery

About Dr Simon Avery

Dr Simon Avery is Reader in nineteenth-century literature and culture at the University of Westminster, where he teaches courses on fiction and poetry from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His most recent publication is an anthology of queer love poetry from Sappho to the present, Hand in Hand With Love (2023). 


Gender, rank and status James Knowles, Royal Holloway, University of London

Discover contexts and comparisons between the set texts, focusing on gender, rank and status in pre-modern societies and drawing on Chaucer and Webster. Students will be able to apply what they have learned to their own chosen texts.

James Knowles

About Professor James Knowles

Professor James Knowles specialises in early modern literature and culture (1500-1700) and has published widely on early modern drama, especially Jonson, Marlowe, Marston, Middleton, and Shakespeare.

Exam technique Anna Beer, University of Oxford

Anna Beer will provide invaluable hints and tips on tackling the exam, including how to extract guidance from the questions and how best to address the Assessment Objectives.

Anna Beer

About Dr Anna Beer

Author, lecturer, biographer and A-level examiner Dr Anna Beer is Visiting Fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford University. She has published widely and also contributed to a key OCR text book.