English researcher is a BBC New Generation Thinker

Dr Hannah Levis, Reader in Ophthalmic Bioengineering, Eye & Vision Sciences

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Dr Sarah Peverley is a medievalist and book historian

Dr Sarah Peverley, a senior lecturer from the School of English, is one of the ten winners of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Thinkers Scheme.

It is the third year in a row that a School of English academic has been selected to take part.

The scheme is a nationwide search for the brightest academic minds with the potential to turn their ideas into fascinating broadcasts.

The War of the Roses

Dr Peverley is a medievalist and book historian, who specialises in the relationship between literature, history and political writing. Her current research focuses on texts and manuscripts produced during The Wars of the Roses.

She said: ‘I’m thrilled to have been given this opportunity to share my work with a wider audience. The story of The Wars of the Roses is often told from the perspective of the medieval kings and nobles who played a real-life ‘Game of Thrones’ for the English crown. I want to look at the conflict’s impact on literature and consider how men of lower rank responded to the political, economic and ideological crises that blighted fifteenth-century England.

”I want to look at the conflict’s impact on literature and consider how men of lower rank responded to the political, economic and ideological crises that blighted fifteenth-century England”

“Many of the writers tackled emotive issues that still resonate with a twenty-first century audience, such as Anglo-Scottish relations, the legitimacy of those in power, and government finance. Their narratives often capture the emotions felt by ordinary people as they lived through protracted periods of instability and they offer unique insights into the cultural and intellectual shifts that brought about the end of the Middle Ages and the emergence of the Tudor state.”

Sarah is one of ten winners who will make their debut appearance on Radio 3’s arts and ideas programme, Night Waves, on successive editions beginning Monday 3 June and will be invited to make regular contributions to the network throughout the year.

The winners will each deliver talks at Radio 3’s annual Free Thinking Festival of Ideas at the Sage, Gateshead in October 2013.  The academics will also have an opportunity to develop their ideas for television, including working with BBC Television Arts to make short taster films to be shown on www.bbc.co.uk/arts.

Hat-trick for School of English

This is the third year in a row that the School of English has been successful in the New Generation Thinkers Scheme – Dr Alexandra Harris was one of the winners in the inaugural competition and Dr Nandini Das was a New Generation Thinker last year.

Professor Andrew Derrington, Executive Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, said: “This is an exciting scheme that showcases some of the country’s brightest young scholars; I am particularly delighted that, for a third year running, a researcher from the University’s Department of English has been chosen.”

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