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Past event

Whose canon is it anyway? Literature in the secondary curriculum post-Gove

As the dust begins to settle on recent curriculum and examination reform in English secondary education, we invite you to a roundtable event to discuss the after-effects on the teaching of literature in secondary schools. Three provocations on the role of non-canonical literature in the classroom ‘post-Gove’ will begin the session, allowing for discussion and debate between teachers, teacher educators, English and education researchers and anyone else who has an opinion on what and who we should be teaching in the English classroom.

What is the role of non-canonical literature in schools now?
What texts are people teaching?
What makes ‘canon’ and who gets to decide?
What is ‘powerful knowledge’ when it comes to literature?
How do we ensure fair representation and a curriculum that speaks powerfully to our students?

Chair – Professor Andy Goodwyn


  • Velda Elliott (Oxford University) – ‘The best that has been thought and written’ – sez who?
  • Lesley Nelson-Addy (Didcot Girls’ School) – Accessing literature: exclusivity and the curriculum
  • Nicole Dingwall (Oxford University) – BAME authors in the classroom
  • Gary Snapper (Oxford University) – Creativity, diversity and literature.

This event is free to attend, however please email to confirm attendance.

Other events in this series

Contesting the territory: How English teachers in England and Australia are remaining resilient and creative in constraining times
17 May 2018