Elaine Jackson

Elaine pic

My teaching at the University of Birmingham and UCE (now Birmingham City University) ranged from Victorian to contemporary literature including gender and critical practice. From 2007-2010 I taught a two-hour weekly course for the University of Warwick’s Centre for Lifelong Learning, on ‘Books & Readers’, which combined the study of the history of the book with a close reading of novels in their historical context.  I also teach literature at Erdington Library.  If anyone is interested in attending a class in the Erdington area, then please contact me using the information below.

I have a BA (Hons) in English and a PhD from the University of Birmingham. My thesis was on women writers of popular romance between the wars, which analysed the writing and publishing experiences of specific authors. I am particularly interested in book history and bibliography and have contributed to the Virginia Woolf Bulletin, the Encyclopaedia of British Women’s Writing 1900-1950 (Palgrave, 2005) and Book Trade Connections from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Centuries, edited by John Hinks and Catherine Armstrong (British Library, 2008). I have also written book reviews for the Journal of the Printing Historical Society.

Summer 2018






This term we have to stretch our imaginations even further.  We will read Memoirs of a Polar Bear (2016) by Yoko Tawada carried over from last term due to inclement weather and illness and then continue with two plays:  The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde and Tom Stoppard’s Travesties (influenced by Wilde’s play).  The themes are varied but I would say that a key link through all these texts is memory and social comment through a prism of magic realism, irony and comedy.  Please join us for a close reading and lively discussion.

This is an established and friendly tutor-led discussion group where students are encouraged to come along and share their own ideas and understanding of the texts.

Recommended Texts:

Yoko Tawada, Memoirs of a Polar Bear (2016), Portobello Books (2017) ISBN: 978-1846276323

Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest – any edition

Tom Stoppard, Travesties, Faber & Faber (16 Mar. 2017) ISBN-13: 978-0571339259

Day & Time:

Fridays – 10.00 – 12.00

Start Date:

Friday, 20th April, 2018


The Women’s Institute, 745 Warwick Road, Solihull, B91 3DG


£80.00 for ten weeks (please note that there will be no break for half-term)

Course Structure:

Week 1                   Introduction and overview of the course and                                                       overview. Memoirs of a Polar Bear

Week 2-3               Memoirs of a Polar Bear

Weeks 4-6            The Importance of Being Earnest

Weeks 7– 10       Travesties

Coffee and biscuits are offered at a cost of 50p per students. This is collected weekly.

If you have any queries about the above course you may contact me by typing your message in the box below and clicking ‘submit’:

Please enter your contact details and a short message below and I will try to answer your query as soon as possible.


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