News And Events

News And Events

The Branch Scholars speak about their experiences this summer in the UK!

On Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 3.00 p.m. in the Kirby Arts Center of the Lawrenceville School our three British University Summer School Scholars will speak about their experiences in the United Kingdom this summer.

Matthew Campbell of Lawrenceville School went to the Globe Theatre in London, Cheryl Chambliss from Allentown High School, NJ studied Modernism or Contemporary Literature at Edinburgh University and Margaret McDonald from Holmdel High School in NJ studied Contemporary Literature Theater and Performance also at Edinburgh University. In the past the teacher's experiences have been fascinating and we realize how life changing these Scholarships are for them. The ESU is the ONLY organization in the US who offers such Scholarships!

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Becoming the Beatles

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Professor David Venturo

On Sunday, October 16, 2016 at 3.00 p.m. in the Kirby Arts Center at the Lawrenceville School, Professor David Venturo will trace the early musical influences on the Fab Four. Professor Venturo is a Professor of English at the College of New Jersey and holds a Ph.D from Harvard University. He writes and teaches about British Literature from 1600 - 1850, baseball and American culture and the Beatles and pop culture. When asked why he teaches the popular "The Beatles and their World" course at the College level, Professor Venturo stated that the Beatles offer a window into the 1960's, the most dynamic, complicated and controversial decade of the last century. 

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Jane Austen: Miracle of Means and Ends

On Sunday, November 13, 2016, at 3.00 p.m. at the Kirby Arts Center at the Lawrenceville School, Professor Anne Waldron Neumann will examine "Pride and Prejudice" for clues as to why Jane Austen fascinates devoted readers and scholars alike. Professor Neumann writes both fiction and non-fiction and has a Ph.D from Johns Hopkins. She has taught English at Johns Hopkins, Ohio State University and Melbourne University in Australia where she lived for 7 years. Selected works include "Should You Read Shakespeare?", "Literature, Pop Culture and Morality" as well as "Reading and Writing with Jane Austen" - a handbook for fiction writers and "Jane Austen: Writing Teacher". Professor Neumann currently lives in Princeton where she teaches creative writing and to add to her considerable talents she is a practiced storyteller.

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Annual New Year's party

On Monday, January 2, 2017 (a holiday as New Year's Day is on a Sunday!) the Branch will hold its Annual New Year's party. Our party is always fun and there is plenty of food and drink for all to enjoy. Details of time and venue will be provided to members nearer the date .

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The Real World of Sherlock Holmes

On Sunday, January 15 2017, at 3.00 p.m. at the Kirby Arts Center at The Lawrenceville School Professor B.J. Rahn, an expert on British Crime fiction will explain how Conan Doyle's stories tell us about crime and detection in the Victorian era. Professor Rahn formerly taught English at Hunter College in New York and she has been teaching, researching and writing about crime fiction for over two decades. She also gives courses at the Renaissance Academy in Naples, Florida. Her works include "The Armchair Detective" and "The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writers". Professor Rahn leads walking tours focusing on various stories of crime and mystery writers such as Agatha Christie, Arthur Canon Doyle, Dorothy L. Sayers in the UK and Edgar Allen Poe, amongst others, in the USA.

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Annual Shakespeare Competition for High School students

On Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 2.00 p.m. the Annual Shakespeare Competition will be held at the Kirby Arts Center at Lawrenceville School. Although the actual competition is not until 3.00 p.m. or later, the students are encouraged to come earlier for the warm-up exercises. More information may be found on the actual competition nearer the date.

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Politics in the Garden: Development of the English Naturalistic Landscape Movement in the 17th Century

On Sunday, March 26, 2017, at the Kirby Arts Center at the Lawrenceville School, Peter Ham will talk about the extraordinary period in the second half of the 18th century that gave rise to the naturalistic English landscape garden style. This style was made famous by Charles Bridgman, William Kent, Lancelot "Capability" Brown and Humphrey Repton. The talk looks closely at key landscape gardens and focuses on the politics of the time that drove these style changes and led to interesting political messaging in certain well-known gardens. Mr. Ham will look at key Dutch, Italian and French gardens that set the stage for the English landscape movement and focus on several English estates that reflected the movement's development. The talk will be illustrated with some wonderful photos of the gardens!

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England and New England influences in the Colonial Architecture of Southern New Jersey

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On Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 3.00 p.m. at the Kirby Arts Center at the Lawrenceville School, Joan Berkey, who is an architectural historian with over 30 years of experience working with historic buildings, will talk on the English influence on the architecture of southern New Jersey historic houses. Her expertise is in heavy timber frame—also known as post and beam—construction, with an emphasis on those buildings erected before 1750.  She prepares nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, conducts historic site surveys, and helps towns create historic districts.  With degrees in English and Historic Preservation, she has published five books about historic sites and buildings.  Joan and her husband live in Cape May County, in a ca. 1790 heavy timber frame house they restored.

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Unheard Musick and Eighteenth Century British Literature

On Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 3.00 p.m. at the Kirby Arts Center at the Lawrenceville School, John Burkhalter and Sheldon Eldridge will discuss the role of social harmony as but one of the many subjects in Eighteenth Century English novels and plays  that  oft has been critically remarked upon.  Curiously, quite specific references to music, a conduit for social harmony, in the works of Henry Fielding, Fanny Burney, and Oliver Goldsmith amongst others is still surprisingly  little explored. This lecture will also include some delightful musick on recorder and harpsichord!

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A Message from the Princeton Branch President

WELCOME to the Princeton Branch of the English-Speaking Union! The Branch is one of 68 local branches of the English-Speaking Union of the United States, a non-profit, non-political, educational organization formally organized in 1920. It shares a mission with over 50 nations with English-Speaking Union organizations, both in the developed and developing world and its primary goal is one of educational outreach and the usage of the English language to promote international understanding, friendship and goodwill. English is the international language of business, travel and technology and offers different races and cultures a means of shared communication.

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The English-Speaking Union

Princeton Branch

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Welcome to the ESU

The ESU celebrates English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members.

To find out more about our programs click here.