Salonistas Q&A

Read at your leisure through the salonistas' responses to our questions:

1.     We’re sure lots of things helped form your decision to work in the discipline. Please can you tell us about one?

2.     Tell us about one of your formative experiences of teaching the subject.

3.     Could you recommend a couple of recent academic books or articles that you thought really interesting?

4.     If you could change one thing about the discipline of English, in the broadest sense, what would it be?

5.     You can take one book (you get Shakespeare and a religious book already), one piece of music, one work of art and one ‘critical concept’ to a desert island: what would they be?

6.     What work of literature is best sustaining you at the moment and why?

7.     Please could you speculate on one way that we might respond as a discipline to the current Coronavirus crisis?


Barbara Bleiman, FEA, is one of the most deeply-informed, thoughtful and influential commentators on teaching English in the country.  She was Co-Director of the English and Media Centre, and continues to work there as an Education Consultant and Co-Editor of emagazine. She was previously Head of English in an inner-city sixth form college and has nearly 40 years of experience of teaching English, providing CPD for teachers, publishing and contributing to educational developments and debates, including acting as a consultant to QCA and Awarding Bodies. She was the recipient of the NATE Award for Outstanding Contribution to English Teaching 2019. In addition to her work for teachers and students, her widely-read blogs and pieces in the national media, she’s also published two novels. Her most recent book is What Matters in English Teaching (2020).

David Crystal, OBE, FBA, FEA, is one of the best known and most significant linguists in the UK, author of over 100 books, ranging widely over the field and for many different audiences. He is a frequent media presenter, commentator and contributor, a consultant to many national and international bodies and a globally respected scholar. We’ve all read some of his work. Latest books are the third edition of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language (2019) and Let's Talk: How English Conversation Works (2020).Bart van Es is one of the UK’s leading Renaissance scholars, working on drama by Shakespeare and his contemporaries and on ideas of history in the Renaissance and teaches at the University of Oxford. He is also the author of a prize-winning non-fiction book, The Cut Out Girl (2018), which explores his own family history and the concealment of a Jewish girl during the occupation of Holland.

Bart van Es works on Renaissance drama by Shakespeare and his contemporaries and on ideas of history in the Renaissance and teaches at the University of Oxford. He is also the author of a prize-winning non-fiction book, The Cut Out Girl (2018), which explores his own family history and the concealment of a Jewish girl during the occupation of Holland. He will be interviewed by Tim Robertson, Chief Executive of The Anne Frank Trust UK and formerly Director of the Royal Society of Literature.

Sandeep Parmar is a prize-winning poet: her work includes The Marble Orchard (2012) and Eidolon (2014), both published by Shearsman. Based at the University of Liverpool where she teaches English Literature, she is also a critic of contemporary poetry and scholar of modernist literature, author of Reading Mina Loy’s Autobiographies: Myth of the Modern Woman (2013) and editions of poems by Nancy Cunard and by Hope Mirrlees. She is an AHRC/BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinker, has published essays and reviews internationally and is the co-director of the University of Liverpool’s Centre for New and International Writing.

Sun 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Pre-recorded