English Literature students Jamie-Leigh Simkins, Megan Cronin, Maisie Scott and Clare Hardy reveal how an exhibition at the John Rylands Library inspired their innovative course work.
Tea with Aurora Leigh is a podcast created by Jamie-Leigh Simkins, Megan Cronin, Maisie Scott and Clare Hardy, and is about the agency that Victorian women had during the era in relation to Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s epic poem Aurora Leigh. Our podcast was created for a University of Manchester 2nd year English Literature course unit entitled ‘Victorian Manchester,’ led by Dr Michael Sanders, Dr Ingrid Hanson and Dr Clara Dawson.
The podcast is available for streaming on SoundCloud, just follow this link: https://soundcloud.com/teawithauroraleigh/femaleagency. Alternatively, search ‘Tea with Aurora Leigh’ on www.soundcloud.com.
We were heavily inspired by the John Rylands Library and more specifically the Women Who Shaped Manchester exhibit. The exhibit was incredibly interesting, well put together and inspiring, not only in regards to our project but also in general. It was wonderful to learn about so many women who have aided in political changes, scientific discoveries and artistic/cultural movements, but also because of the specificity of location. The link to Manchester made the exhibit ever more so awe-inspiring as we are students of the University of Manchester who reside in the city, and we live and breathe Manchester. Therefore, it made the whole experience even more special!
Due to the nature of the podcast being a group project, we wanted to structure this blog post as if we were interviewing ourselves, so that we can share our own personal experiences about the exhibition and the creative process of developing a podcast. You can read here the full transcript of the Tea with Aurora Leigh Interview.
Finally, we would like to thank Anne Anderton and Dr Janette Martin of the John Rylands Library for their help, encouragement, and contributions. As well as congratulate the John Rylands Library for putting on such a brilliant and thought provoking exhibition. We would also like to thank Dr Michael Sanders, Dr Ingrid Hanson and Dr Clara Dawson for their support throughout the course. And to anyone who gave the podcast a listen: thank you!