On Thursday we welcomed eleven partner schools, as well as a handful of A Level students, to the second Godolphin and Latymer A Level American Literature Conference. The conference served as useful preparation for the 260 students in attendance who would be sitting the OCR English Literature topic paper, providing inspiration for wider reading and some fascinating contextual insight into America from 1880 to 1940.
The keynote lectures by academic experts from three universities included Dr Sarah Robertson on an intriguing aspect of Steinbeck, Professor John McRae who dramatically brought to life the challenges of reading The Great Gatsby, and Professor Sarah Churchwell, Booker Prize judge with television appearances on Newsnight and Question Time, with a riveting cross-curricular approach that radically changed the topics of lunch time conversations.
Dr Stevens from the English department delighted the audience with her lecture on Kate Chopin; Mia in the Lower Sixth inspired all with her independent reading and original links to the set texts. We were also delighted to welcome two recent Old Dolphins - now studying at UCL and Oxford - who generously came back to give very helpful, student-oriented papers.
Huge thanks to everyone who helped to make this a successful and hugely enjoyable academic conference.