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University Centre Warrington.

Lecturers and a graduate from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Chester are contributing the three compelling events on Friday, June 10 to Warrington Literature Festival's programme, to encourage discussion and creative reflection on areas of stigma and exclusion.

Taking place at Time Square, with a free bus from Chester, the events also offer the chance to see inside the University Centre Warrington building, which is part of the University of Chester’s new site, in the heart of the town.

Hannah Bacon, Professor of Feminist Theology, will present the first talk from 11am to 12 noon, asking ‘Is Christianity Feeding the Secular Commercial Dieting Industry?’


Professor Hannah Bacon.
Professor Hannah Bacon.

Professor Bacon will talk about the research behind her recent book, Feminist Theology and Contemporary Dieting Culture: Sin, Salvation and Women’s Weight Loss Narratives, published by Bloomsbury. She will explore how Christian ideas about sin and salvation are recycled within a UK secular commercial dieting organisation, to feed fears about fat and support growing levels of body dissatisfaction among women. She will look at how Christianity might help to resist fat phobia at a time when anxieties and panic about size show no sign of abating.

Dr Christopher D. Lewis, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Music, Media and Performance, will then share insights on ‘The Secret Life of Kenneth Williams’, from 1pm to 2pm.

Chris Lewis.jpg

Dr Christopher D. Lewis.
Dr Christopher D. Lewis.

Dr Lewis will discuss the life and career of the British comedian through analysis of his meticulously kept diaries. He will consider how the murder of Williams’ openly gay playwright colleague, Joe Orton, impacted his life, along with demonstrating how Williams helped bring awareness of the gay language known as 'Polari' to wider audiences, and how ultimately Williams helped play an important - if secretive - role in the development of modern British LGBT+ rights.

The last session ‘When Words Don’t Work: An Exploration of Conflict from Playground Bullies to Global Events’ will be led by Russell Pollard, University graduate and member of support staff, in commemoration of World Refugee Day, from 2.30pm to 3.30pm.

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Russell Pollard.
Russell Pollard.

Recognising that understanding and defining conflict is as abstract as defining good and evil, Russell will provide an opportunity for attendees to use poetry and creative writing to share their own lived experiences of, or perceptions of, conflict and hear how others view and experience it within their lives.

Whether the experience is of migration, displacement, or bullying in the classroom, the session will provide a safe and inclusive space for creative and mutual reflection.

Both Prof Bacon’s and Dr Lewis’s talks will be recorded.

Prof Bacon, who is co-ordinating the University’s contribution to the Festival, said: “We are excited to be part of Warrington Literature Festival, which takes place from June 4 to 11, and is bringing together a diverse range of cultural events and activities.

“It is vital to us to ensure that, through Arts and Humanities, we generate discussion and ask questions that can have a positive impact on equality and inclusion, and we look forward to highlighting a few areas of our research with Festival audiences.”

While the talks are free, people are asked to please register in advance via Eventbrite at:

A free bus service will run from Chester to Warrington town centre for the day. To book a place on the bus, please email Kathryn Leighton at:

Further information

About University Centre Warrington

The University of Chester and its partners are giving Higher Education greater prominence in Warrington and increasing opportunities with a more visible and accessible town centre presence: University Centre Warrington.

The new premises, co-designed with current students, provide high-quality, specialist spaces. Based in the heart of Warrington town centre, the Time Square and Remond House locations are only a five-minute walk apart. The central location allows students and staff easy access to public transport, as well as a range of leisure and retail facilities offered in Warrington.

Sarah Parker Remond House: A dedicated site for the majority of the Warrington teaching provision which includes Health and Social CarePolicing and Education. The building houses a student hub for the delivery of key student services, as well as social spaces for students between teaching sessions.

Time Square: The location here provides a prominent hub for the University in Warrington, offering small lecture spaces, study zones, as well as space to connect for students, businesses, schools, colleges and the local community.

For more information, visit:

Warrington Literature Festival

For the full programme of Festival events, running from June 4 to 11, please visit:


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