Please note: we are making every effort to ensure that listings are up to date and accurate, but in these uncertain times it is always worth double checking with organisers to ensure that events are going ahead as advertised.

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Kit de Waal: Novels That Shaped My World

16 November, 2020, 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

This is an online event.

Join Professor Sarah Churchwell in conversation with writer Kit de Waal and Professor Karina van Dalen-Oskam about the benefits of a more diverse, inclusive reading ‘diet’. From Black Lives Matter to the #MeToo movement and Extinction Rebellion, we are living in a time when many vocal campaigners demand changes to the way in which society is run. These debates affect the books we read, teach in schools and that get turned into popular dramas. The English literature canon – the books that are generally agreed to be good, important and worth studying – is also under revision.


• Kit de Waal is a British/Irish writer who has written several novels including My Name is Leon (2016). De Waal acted as a panel member on the BBC’s The Novels That Shaped Our World and created a fully funded scholarship for creative writers from disadvantaged backgrounds. Amongst other topics, Kit will discuss how literature impacted her vision of the world.

• Sarah Churchwell is a Professor of American literature and has judged many literary prizes, including the 2014 Booker Prize. She has written about canon formation and American literary history in numerous places and will be discussing some of the key issues in debates around expanding and conserving the canon.

• Professor Karina van Dalen-Oskam will also give a short talk on the University of Wolverhampton’s AHRC-funded project ‘Novel Perceptions’ that aims to understand people’s reading habits. At this event she invites the public to rate the covers of books included on the BBC’s Novels That Shaped Our World list in order to see whether they influence people’s perceptions of literary quality.

Come along to find out more about the project and how you can take part in the ‘Novel Perceptions’ interactive online voting system.

This event is part of the ‘Being Human in conversation’ series. The event is brought to you by the Being Human festival, the University of Wolverhampton’s ‘Novel Perceptions’ project and The Novels That Shaped Our World; a collaboration between the BBC, Libraries and Reading Groups.

In partnership with

BBC 'The Novels That Shaped Our World'

Contact email address

Booking required?


Book your tickets


16 November, 2020
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Categories:
, ,


Online: School of Advanced Study
University of London, Senate House, Malet St
London, WC1E 7HU United Kingdom
Accessibility information
For accessibility information please contact the organiser.


Is booking required?
Contact email address
Event partners
BBC 'The Novels That Shaped Our World'
Accessibility information
For accessibility information please contact the organiser.

Accessibility information: if you have any questions, queries or requests please contact the event organiser directly.