MRes English Literary Research student works with Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature to deliver ‘Nottwich 2019’

Dani Louise Olver undertook a 10-week placement to help organise the annual summit of the global network of UNESCO Cities of Literature

A group photo of the attendees of Nottwich
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A group photo of the attendees of Nottwich

MRes English Literary Research student Dani Louise Olver has helped to organise this year’s annual UNESCO Cities of Literature summit. The event was the first time the meeting has been held in England, hosted across Nottingham and Norwich, and therefore named ‘Nottwich’. Cultural leaders from 27 cities across 5 continents took part in the event, splitting their time between the two cities for the forum.

Dani’s placement came as part of a new offering on our MRes English Literary Research course, which aims to offer students with a work placement at a local literary organisation. This allows them to connect with industry during their course and put their research into practice. Dani undertook a ten-week placement at Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, helping them to organise all aspects of the Nottingham leg of ‘Nottwich’.

Dani at Robert Macfarlane's UNESCO Lecture
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Dani at Robert Macfarlane's UNESCO Lecture

The role was extremely varied and included tasks such as creating content for social media and the Nottingham City of Literature blog, managing venues and vendors, devising a Nottingham literary walking tour and recruiting and managing student volunteers for the events. This has allowed Dani to gain skills in several areas in order to help her explore career options following her Master’s degree.

When asked what she enjoyed most about her placement, Dani commented: “I have gained valuable experience in virtually all aspects of my employability due to the significance of the global event! I really enjoyed the opportunity to work with the city of literature team, but my favourite aspect of the placement was being able to attend the events I helped organise. It was also an amazing opportunity to network with UNESCO delegates from all over the world.”

The Nottingham leg of the summit included events such as the annual UNESCO Lecture from internationally acclaimed author Robert Macfarlane, an exhibition at Lakeside Arts, a literary walking tour and a dinner at Wollaton Hall. Taking part in these events has enabled Dani to connect further with the literary history and culture of Nottingham and make contacts with key organisations.

Course leader of MRes English Literary Research Dr. Catherine Clay discussed the benefits of these placements: “The placement opportunities offered by UNESCO Nottingham City of Literature have made a fabulous contribution to enriching the student experience on the MRes course. Working with a local creative organisation such as this has enabled our students to develop valuable contacts as well as the opportunity to apply their research skills in a real-world context and to develop and enhance their professional skill-set.”

MRes English Literary Research student works with Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature to deliver ‘Nottwich 2019’

Published on 5 June 2019
  • Subject area: English, history and philosophy
  • Category: Current students; School of Arts and Humanities

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