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Coffee, comics and conversation at cafe discussion series

Wed, 14 Nov 2012

Politics in comic books, vampires and the history of the Paston family are just some of the diverse topics featured in the latest University of East Anglia cafe conversations series.

Academics from the university's schools of American Studies, Language and Communication Studies and Literature, Drama and Creative Writing will lead the discussions at the White Lion Cafe in Norwich.

The series begins on November 19, when author and creative writing professor Andrew Cowan examines whether good writing can be taught, before Dr Thomas Karshan explores the idea of 'nonsense literature' - drawing on examples such as Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky - on November 28.

Philip Wilson will debate the use of adverbs in literature on December 5, while on December 14 Alex Valente looks at how comics can be used to convey political messages.

The cafes continue in the new year, with highlights including an exploration of Norfolk's medieval Paston family on February 18, and author Henry Sutton will introduce his new novel My Criminal Underworld on March 21.

The series draws to a close in May with cafes discussing monsters in books and on screen, using machines to translate literature and writing about disasters.

Series organiser Dr BJ Epstein, from UEA's School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing, said: "The cafe conversations I organised earlier this year were so popular and well-attended that I decided to arrange an even bigger, more wide-ranging series. I hope to show how interdisciplinary UEA is by getting people from a number of humanities schools to work together on this.

"I think that many people not associated with the university think that academia is a scary, intimidating place that is not relevant to real life, and with a series like this, we can show that that definitely isn't the case.

"What we do on a daily basis at the university relates to the rest of society, and café conversations and similar events allow us the chance to show people what we do and how it could affect or interest them."

Everyone is welcome to the free cafe conversations, which take place at 2pm at the White Lion Cafe in Norwich. For full listings, visit