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A Clockwork Orange: Restored Edition released on 5 December

A Clockwork Orange: Restored Edition released on 5 December alongside a new online resource featuring rare material from the Anthony Burgess archives.

Penguin’s A Clockwork Orange: Restored Edition – complete with a striking cover design from Barnbrook studio – hits the shelves on 5 December. To mark the paperback release of Burgess’s original text The International Anthony Burgess Foundation will launch an online resource of articles, images and podcasts covering everything you need to know about the novel and the film, and next year will host Day of the Droogs, an event offering new perspectives on cinema, gang culture and young masculinity.

A ‘terrifying and marvellous book’ (Roald Dahl), this fully restored edition reinstates the author’s original text, and includes a Nadsat glossary, explanatory notes, extracts from Anthony Burgess’s illustrated manuscript, author interviews and a foreword by Martin Amis.

The authentic, back-to-basics attitude of the publication is also reflected in the cover design from Barnbrook. Jonathan Barnbrook, the designer of David Bowie’s recent albums and the acclaimed Penguin Modern Classics cover for George Orwell’s 1984, describes his cover creation as ‘bold and uncompromising’ with Penguin’s Art Director, Jim Stoddart, stating Barnbrook’s design makes this latest edition ‘a book you just have to own’.

A Clockwork Orange Online Resource (5 December 2013)

In addition to the Penguin paperback release, the International Anthony Burgess Foundation will be unveiling a new online resource for A Clockwork Orange.

Visit on 5 December and you’ll be able to access everything you ever needed to know about the book and the film: myth-busting facts, full bibliographies, informative articles about the evolution of the novel and the film, a gallery of book covers, podcasts and much more.

Day of the Droogs (29 January 2014)

To mark the publication of A Clockwork Orange Restored Edition the International Anthony Burgess Foundation and Manchester Metropolitan University’s Institute of Humanities and Social Science Research presents Day of the Droogs, a free day-long event focussing on the critical views surrounding a A Clockwork Orange and its legacies, including new perspectives on cinema, gang culture and young masculinity.

Full details here:


About Anthony Burgess and the International Anthony Burgess Foundation

Born in Manchester in 1917, Burgess grew up in Harpurhey and Moss Side, went to school in Rusholme and studied at The University of Manchester. A prolific novelist, poet, playwright, composer and critic, he wrote thirty-three novels, twenty-five works of non-fiction, hundreds of musical works and vast quantities of journalism.

Based in Manchester, the Burgess Foundation has an extensive library, archive and study centre containing Burgess’s books, music and papers. It also has a performance venue where we present new work by writers, artists and musicians. The Burgess Foundation is an entirely independent charity that welcomes all individuals and institutions interested in Burgess’s work. Visit for more information.

For further information, images and interviews, please contact

Clare Preston-Pollitt

Events and Marketing Officer

International Anthony Burgess Foundation

0161 235 0776

December 9th, 2013 - 18:00pm

New PhD Studentships in Arts and Humanities at MMU

New studentships now available under the AHRC North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership (NWC DTP)

The MIRIAD/School of Art Research /Degrees Programme and the Faculty of Humanities Languages and Social Science, Manchester Metropolitan University will welcome applications through the AHRC North West Consortium Doctoral Training Programme from potential PhD students interested in research in the listed areas. The scheme will be launched on 1st December and the application deadline is 21st February. For further details about the particulars of the AHRC scheme at MMU and informal enquiries, please email Professor Jim Aulich ( For subject specific information see the named contacts below.

Funding for these studentships is conditional on attaining a place in the MMU Graduate School and successful application to the AHRC North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership. The Consortium will be awarding 200 PhD studentships over a five year period to excellent research students in the arts and humanities. It will provide research candidates with the potential for cross-institutional mentoring, expert supervision including cross-institutional supervision where appropriate, subject-specific and generic training, and professional support in preparing for and developing a career. Full details will be available from the NWCDTP website from 1st December through the link found on the Graduate School website


November 15th, 2013 - 10:15am

Spirit of Theatre Exhibition

Spirit of Theatre Exhibition: Quays Bar, Lowry, Salford.  27th September – 12th October 2013.

To coincide with the opening of the Library Theatre Company’s autumn season of plays at the Quays Theatre, in the Lowry at Salford Quays, we present an Exhibition of The Spirit of Theatre research project, in which Library Theatre Audience members tell us what they value and enjoy about seeing a play and their memories of the Library Theatre Company’s programme since it began in 1952.  Featuring original drawings by artist and MMU PhD student Simon Woolham, the display will be on show in the Quays Bar for the duration of the run of Chris Honer’s production of Educating Rita.

The Spirit of Theatre is a project run by Manchester Metropolitan University and the British Theatre Consortium, in which researchers, and students of the Department of English interviewed Library Theatre Company audiences, actors and other staff.  Over a hundred audience members filled out our questionnaires, investigating how we remember and value theatrical performances.  Others took part in creative workshops to invent imaginary spirits or characters that might belong in the Library Theatre’s new home.   The findings reflect the importance audience members attribute to the Library Theatre Company’s role in the cultural life of Manchester and the North West, at a time when the company is on the move.  The Library Theatre is merging with the Cornerhouse to form a new organisation, Greater Manchester Art Centre Ltd., (GMAC), due to move into a brand new venue for the City, ‘Home’, currently under construction at First Street, off Whitworth Street.  The exhibition includes highlights of our interview with the Architect of the new building, Ernst Ter Horst of Mecanoo.

Julie Wilkinson, playwright, Senior Lecturer and leader of the research project has curated the exhibition.  Julie says, “The response from Library audiences to our questions has been amazing; we hope to give you a flavour of the range and depth of their answers in our exhibition.  Library theatre-goers are thoughtful, critical, enthusiastic and knowledgeable about theatre and the Library Company’s work.  For many audience members the company’s work links generations in the same family; some audience members saw their very first play at the Library as children or teenagers and enjoy being introduced to new plays and new writers in the company’s programme. They tell us that theatre could not be more important to them.  At a time when many arts organisations are under threat of cuts, our study demonstrates in the audience’s own words the true value of our unique regional artistic culture.’

Our project is still open for contributions from Library Theatre staff and audience members via our interactive website at

Some quotations from our respondents:

“…you’re asking me about the theatre, and theatrical experience and speaking about ghosts….You’re asking me about life and living because the theatre’s all about living life…”

“What really got me thinking is what the theatre ghost might look like…that’s going to keep

me thinking for a while as it’s about old and new coming together and making sure that

the trusted audience don’t walk away thinking it’s all new and it’s not for us. I think the

Library Theatre more than anyone can do this, to be able to retain the loyal theatre

support but bring in new audiences as well…”

Seeing Mother Courage and her Children:  “It has broadened my outlook. What could be more valuable than that to me?”

The Exhibition is designed by Johnny Clifford.  The research project is managed by Chris Bridgman.  Contributing academics at Manchester Metropolitan University include historians Fiona Cosson and Dr.Faye Simpson; artist Professor John Hyatt; and Dr.Jane Tonge of MMU’s Business School.

The British Theatre Consortium is a small co-operative of Theatre writers and academics based at MMU, Warwick University and Royal Holloway University of London.  More information about BTC and about the Spirit of Theatre project can be found at

Contacts: mobile:  07957 142109

Chris Bridgman:


September 30th, 2013 - 12:47pm

Emma Jane Unsworth joins the dots between Humanities and science

Speech delivered to ‘Humanities in Public’ Grand Launch attendees, Thursday 19th September 2013:

It’s always been one of my major bugbears that you’re forced to make yourself either arty OR science-y. This starts back at school. The disciplines are presented as being mutually exclusive; as though creative and analytical thought always fits neatly in just one of two camps. And then you find that if you’re bad at one, it somehow makes you better at the other… You hear people saying things like I’m a writer, I’m rubbish with numbers! But why should this be true? I always think of Leonardo da Vinci and how he was a great mathematician, engineer, architect, painter… the list goes on. Where would they plonk him for his A-levels? In my opinion, constructing novels and short stories – and more on stories shortly – involves a kind of maths. You have x’s and y’s, point A’s and point B’s. If x happens at one point then y will be more effective at a later point. Things like pacing and drama are not moments of wild, arty abandon; they are strategic and technical.

The constant across the board is imagination – and by that I mean asking questions. Hypothesising is the same process wherever you find it. It’s about paying attention to what’s around you and wanting to stretch the limits, to see where things might go next, to understand more about how they’ve come to be at this point, in this particular shape.

That’s why this new festival will do great things. Empirical science might locate us in space, at one point, but the Humanities locate us in time, too. In history. In context. The Humanities give life a narrative. They satisfy the human desire for story. This isn’t just some whimsical desire, either. Things happen in the middle of other things. There is, to every story, to every “whole” – as Aristotle said – a beginning, a middle, and an end. This causality gives us our morality. It gives us our values and principles (the fear of death, of time running out – well, nothing makes you pull your socks up more than that one…). The Humanities highlight the fact that understanding is the goal of knowledge. They reveal and often dictate the decisions we make about the way we live our lives, they can expose the way we run our cities and governments – and, to boil it down to a crasser level, in this way they affect the way funding is apportioned to things like scientific research.

When Stephen Hawking said a few years ago that “philosophy is dead” I wondered – and not for the first time – what the hell he was on about. Don’t get me wrong, I love him, and I’m fascinated by so much of what he has to say, complex and brain-mashing as it is, but this seemed to me to be a problem of semantics as much as anything. He said that because philosophers aren’t using “hard evidence” provided by science they have fallen behind in terms of the credibility of their theories.

I have two issues with this:

1. What is “hard evidence”? There’s no such thing as “fact”. There are the most likely explanations for phenomena; the theories that have survived the minimum number of tests. But that’s about it. Right now it feels like were living in exciting times. The rules of physics are being questioned at a thrilling and terrifying pace. The discovery of the Higgs boson last year, or rather the “Higgs-like” boson (see how cautious scientists are? Nothing hard about them…) means we will hopefully have more of an insight into how mass and gravity operate in the universe, which is actually pretty basic and we don’t understand it, soooo you know, all bets are off. But it feels to me like we’re on the brink of a discovery so big it’ll be like when they found out the world was round instead of flat. What will that mean, though? What does anything mean, unless you can contextualise it within life and society? We only have these heads to live in, after all – these streets to walk down.

The second issue I have with the idea that “philosophy is dead” is this:

There are idiots in every profession. It’s wrong of Hawking to dismiss all philosophers as having closed their eyes to scientific developments, because it’s just not true. To me, this is old school academic snobbery. Just because the language of philosophy is everyday (as opposed to symbols), just because anyone can have an original thought, it doesn’t mean they’re any more hit and miss than the folks sitting waiting by the Large Hadron Collider.

Surely the key to understanding, to intellectual evolution (and maybe even to the way the whole shebang operates), is MULTIPLICITY – not cordoning things off, not saying “this is the only way”…

Also, and I don’t know how many of you are Star Trek fans, but science without art is just, well, a bit too much like The Borg… I want individual human responses to things, individual responses that hopefully chime in with other individual responses, or at least give other individual responses something to sound against, and come off more clearly defined. That’s why I like books – and specifically, fiction.

My first novel was called Hungry, the Stars and Everything – which is a bit of a tongue-twister. It’s a title I regret now. But I don’t regret (much) all the crazy things I put in it, ranging from Michelin-starred food, particle physics, rebound relationships, and Satan. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t easy to find a publisher. The book didn’t fit into any genre. The novel came out in the end thanks to an independent press. To me, it made sense to try and join up those seemingly random dots. The things I was passionate inter-connected in a story where characters were using these things to work out their lives and what they should do next. How finding love can feel like particles colliding Big Bang-style and creating a brand new universe to exist in – schmaltzy, but true – and molecular gastronomy can result in new sensory experiences that blow your mind. I’m still not sure how Satan fitted within it all, but you know, you live and learn.

My next book, Animals (I sensibly picked a one-word title this time) is coming out next May – and once again I went to science for many of my metaphors. I set the book in the summer of 2012, when the Higgs boson was discovered, and stole the idea of there being inexplicable forces at work in the universe and applied it to human relationships, to highlight how you can never really know another person; how they are always more than the tangible sum of their parts, even if you’re best friends, or engaged to be married. Ideas of mass and gravity also intrigue me and the two main characters in the book are mostly at odds with their own physicality. The slightly daft pitch is “Withnail with Girls”, and the two girls drink and take drugs and philosophise – often pompously, and drunkenly – about life and culture as ways of trying to transcend reality – with varying results. There’s also the theme of trying to unpick your own desires. How many people make big life decisions – marriage, kids – because they’re scared they’ll feel like a failure otherwise?

My third book, which I’ve just started, features lucid dreaming – did you know there are apps to help you do this? Lucid dreaming is where you’re aware that you’re dreaming. You can get apps that play a specific sound at a certain point in your sleep – not enough to wake you, but enough to awaken part of your conscious brain to be awake inside your dream. The aim is to be able to control your dreams. It’s all very speculative and no one’s quite sure what to think about it yet – there isn’t much of that “hard evidence” to back up the theories, although some recent studies show that people have been communicating with eye movements in their sleep-state. I’ve got an app – called DREAM: On, no really – and I’m trying it. It’s interesting to me because it relates to one of the themes of the book – teenage obsession. My main character is a 15-year-old who’s obsessed with her teacher (which I took in part from a news story last year, because I’m sick of teenaged girls being slammed as either temptresses or liars or victims, and I think feminism needs to work for them too – and fast). This girl’s imagination creates emotions that are so potent, she can’t ignore them – and she believes she is able to visit her teacher in his bedroom at night when they’re asleep. It’s a power thing, ultimately. And very very creepy.

Anyway, that’s enough plugs and self-fluffing.

The main thing I wanted to say was that I can’t imagine how boring my work would be to me if I couldn’t draw from across disciplines I’ve previously felt excluded from for ideas. Language itself flips between being a frustration and a joy – trying to find the words to capture something original – this is the ongoing challenge. It’s not good enough to just say novels are “about people”. People don’t live in vacuums. Even the loneliest character usually has some awareness of that loneliness. To see why people do what they do, to see why they move in certain ways, say certain things, laugh at certain things, context is crucial – and the Humanities provide that context in a vital and inclusive way. It’s about making so-called hard evidence, if such a thing exists, actually relevant.

Curiosity is key. The importance of asking questions. Joining up the dots. It’s in the guesswork that goes on at the edges of every industry, every discipline, every group of friends in the pub dissecting the day, every family at home round the dinner table trying to work each other out, everyone who’s ever put pen to paper or paint to canvas. Trying to make something new and make it fit somehow. That might sound like I’ve gone a bit magical on you – but you know what, it is a bit magical – and it’s no less magical when there’s a belated scientific explanation. We’re all just guessing all the time. You can guess however you like – guess pretty, guess hard, guess educated, but guess often. So here’s to the Humanities. Long may they keep us all guessing – and give the results of that guessing somewhere to go.

- Emma Jane Unsworth, Novelist


September 21st, 2013 - 17:15pm

Forward Poetry prize in The Guardian

July 8th, 2013 - 11:00am

Observer/Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism

The deadline for the 2013 prize is 15 October, and the judges include Jonathan Meades, Sarah Dunant, Jane Stevenson and Robert McCrum. We are very keen for MMU students to enter!

Details of the prize are here:


April 26th, 2013 - 09:12am

A Place for Words

David Cooper  (Department of English, MMU Cheshire) was an invited speaker at ‘A Place for Words’: a one-day conference, held at the University of Edinburgh on 19 April, which brought together interpretation professionals, academics, curators and heritage managers to share experiences and practices of working on literature and place. The conference formed part of the AHRC-funded ‘Ben Jonson’s Walk to Scotland’ project run by the Universities of Edinburgh and Nottingham.


April 26th, 2013 - 08:58am

Book launch: Michael Symmons Roberts

Professor Michael Symmons Roberts, Academic Director of the Manchester Writing School at MMU

**UPDATE** We are sorry to announce that Les Murray has had to return to Australia due to unforeseen circumstances, and will no longer be visiting the UK at this time. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. The event will continue with Michael reading from and talking about his work. - Carcanet Press

The Manchester Writing School at MMU, in association with the International Anthony Burgess Foundation and Carcanet, is proud to present two internationally acclaimed poets in this very special event.

When Michael Symmons Roberts published his first poetry collection Soft Keys it was Les Murray, Australia’s leading poet, who heralded him as ‘a poet for the new, chastened, unenforcing age of faith that has just dawned.’

Tonight’s event marks the launch of Drysalter, Michael’s sixth and most ambitious collection to date, and we are delighted to be bringing together both poets in Manchester to celebrate, to read from and to discuss their work. All welcome. This is event is free and there is no need to book.

Thursday 9th May 2013, 7pm

International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Chorlton Mill, Cambridge Street, Manchester, M1 5BY (0161 235 0776)

April 24th, 2013 - 17:26pm

Doonesbury collection call for papers

Doonesbury: critical and cultural essays. An edited collection (MUP).


For over four decades G.B. Trudeau’s Pulitzer prize-winning Doonesbury strip has reflected and refracted America’s national narratives, atomising and coalescing them within the strip format to a global audience. Chronicling, dramatising and defining key debates of the late-twentieth and early-twenty-first centuries, Doonesbury has also intervened in and shaped their trajectory. Using representative form as a prism through which to explore, catalogue, landmark and define its contemporary moment, Doonesbury represents both a significant artistic, cultural and critical achievement.


Doonesbury’s status as a symptomatic corollary, imaginative rendition and cultural-historical document of America, as well as the strip’s diversity of interests, global reach, and cultural reception and standing, offer fertile grounds for fresh contemporary readings hitherto unfulfilled by academic engagement. Proposals are therefore invited for an edited collection of critical and cultural essays to be published through Manchester University Press that engage with the long-running, iconic strip.


The following themes are broadly suggested as points for discussion and points of departure for submitted proposals:


-          Doonesbury: comedy and comment.

-          Doonesbury’s narrative form: fragmentation, linearity and cohesion:

-          Doonesbury 40: A Retrospective: the great American novel?

-          Doonesbury and the American pastoral: from Thoreau to Walden commune and beyond.

-          Doonesbury, representation, war and trauma: Vietnam, Iraq I, the war on terror, Iraq II, Afghanistan and the war within.

-          Doonesbury and the comic tradition: art, satire, liberty and independence.

-          Doonesbury’s and America’s political debates.

-          Doonesbury and activism: civil and/or gay rights representation.

-          Virtual Doonesbury: the daily strip and the dot com.

-          Doonesbury, the counter-culture and the baby-boomers: from protest to Gen X.

-          On the cover of Rolling Stone: Doonesbury, music, business and cultural representation.

-          Bright Lights, Big City: Doonesbury and the eighties.

-          Doonesbury and the American presidency: idealism, reality and representation.

-          Doonesbury: humour, dissidence and censorship.

It must be stressed that these are only suggested areas of discussion and that proposals dealing with any aspect of the strip, or advancing alternative disciplinary or theoretical approaches will be considered.

Proposals should be no more than 800 words in length, and should be submitted to no later than

Inquiries should also be addressed to


April 17th, 2013 - 09:30am

New Podcast: MMU post-doc Graham Foster explores Anthony Burgess’s relationship with Shakespeare

April 8th, 2013 - 12:59pm