Guest Blog: Julia Salmerón

Thanks so much to Dr Julia Salmerón for these thoughts, written on her way home from our Women Writers course, July 2018.

Julia writes: ‘I am writing this just as I am heading back to Madrid after a most fantastic week. I signed up for the Women Writers Summer Course months ago, and despite the long wait and the high expectations, it has not disappointed me one bit!

I am a lecturer at a Spanish university and I graduated from a MA in women and Literature more than 25 years ago. Ever since I have been teaching women’s literature whenever possible and I wanted to freshen up and to revise my teaching practices – and what a better place to do that than Cambridge?

The readings were all carefully selected; the lecturers were all leading academics. Having the luxury to be in a seminar with retired fellows such as Dame Gillian Beer whom I have studied and taught for so long has been a real treat. In fact, the whole experience has felt like a treat. It was marvellous to study Katherine Mansfield’s short stories whilst listening to a cellist, to read aloud on the lawn, just reading and rereading for the pleasure of revising how the words appear on the page and then to have a final commentary by eminent scholar Alison Hennegan.

Trudi Tate runs the whole week efficiently and with incredible friendliness. Each day is carefully structured with a morning lecture, a supervision session in groups of three and various seminars. One sees the point of the different types of academic and educational approaches.

Scholars and texts were carefully selected, allowing time for exploring Cambridge, taking guided tours of Girton college (my favourite) and the Wren Library at Trinity, and even going to the cinema to watch Mary Shelley, just released. It was all a real pleasure.

I take much home to share with my students, not only in terms of contact with leading academics, but also in the form of teaching methods and approaches. Staying for a week at Homerton College was also quite an experience. Fellows are there from breakfast onwards until the evening. It is an all-round immersive experience, and an occasion to forge new friendships with people akin.

I could not have enjoyed it more.’

Dr Julia Salmerón, Lic (UCM), MA (Hull), PhD (Hull)
Professor of English Literature
Faculty of Philsophy and Literature
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Images below were taken by Jeremy Peters on our visit to Girton College.

Literature Cambridge