I’ve been following Literature Cambridge on social media for some time now so I was really pleased to meet Trudi Tate last week to find out more about this independent educational organisation which offers a range of study days and summer courses, open to all lovers of literature.
Trudi is a Fellow and Praelector at Clare Hall, a graduate college of the University of Cambridge, and an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of English where she also supervises graduate students. Trudi’s passion for literature shines through as she tells me how she came to set up Literature Cambridge late in 2015, running the first week long summer school on Virginia Woolf in 2016 at Homerton College. It was hugely successful and the programme has since gone from strength to strength.
Trudi’s aim with the residential summer courses is to offer a Cambridge style educational experience, with lectures and supervisions from senior academics and post-docs. Every morning, there’s an hour long lecture and a small group supervision or a seminar but there’s also plenty of time to socialise and chat with fellow students, lecturers and supervisors in tea breaks and at lunchtime.
Afternoons offer free time to read and reflect plus there’s a programme of visits to places like King’s College, The Wren Library at Trinity College and the Fitzwilliam Museum. All visits are led by Cambridge academics and give privileged access to places and original manuscripts not normally available to public view.
Students on the summer courses range in age from 17 – 70 years, are from every walk of life and from all over the world. They come together to share their common love of literature and to immerse themselves in it, with many students returning year on year.
Summer courses for 2019 are based at Wolfson College and include “Virginia Woolf’s Gardens” and “Fictions of Home: Jane Austen to the Present Day”, a course which explores the idea of home in literature and loss of home through the work of contemporary refugee writers, including Vietnamese-American Viet Nguyen.
Literature Cambridge also runs a programme of study days at Stapleford Granary, a study centre for the arts and music in south Cambridge. Taught by leading academics, upcoming days this autumn include “Reading A Room of One’s Own”, Virginia Woolf’s 1929 book about women and fiction, “Understanding King Lear” and “Remembering the First World War”, a new look at the literature of war including the poetry of Wilfred Owen and Ivor Gurney. Trudi is currently planning a series of events with contemporary writers for 2019.
For full details of all Literature Cambridge’s study days, summer courses and lecturers plus testimonials, which speak for themselves, from previous course participants, take a look at the website.