UCR - University Centre Reaseheath
University Centre Reaseheath

Public Lectures and Events

University Centre Reaseheath offers a variety of public lectures and events featuring our research-active Academic Staff, to showcase some of the great research and other projects we have going on.

We also welcome local charities, community organisations and interest groups from around Cheshire and the North West to hold public events and deliver guest lectures at UCR. Do please get in touch if you want to deliver an event with us.

Photo of Clock Tower on Building
A large houd dog standing over a man who is on the floor

Beasts, Bloodhounds and Baskervilles (Oh My!): Animals in Popular Detective Fiction, c. 1840-1940.

Weds 20th April 2022 UCR8/9 Free  – Talk Starts 7.00pm (Please note: this talk contains potentially sensitive material about fictional crime cases and may not be suitable for young children).

This talk looks at the presence, influence and purpose of animals in popular detective fiction, ranging from some of its earliest incarnations in Edgar Allan Poe’s short ‘Dupin’ stories of the 1840s, through to the infamous Sherlock Holmes stories of the late Victorian era, right up to the ‘Golden Age’ of detective fiction in the early twentieth century. It explores the sheer diversity of animals’ representation in the genre, and discusses some of the impacts animals have had on its development. It also looks at the conceptualisation of the detective themselves as somehow animalistic, whereby sleuths are often depicted as ‘stalking’ their quarry or following a scent in the manner of a bloodhound, and juxtaposes this idea against the common perception of detectives as distanced, calm, rational and observant.

Dr Sam Saunders is UCR’s Teaching and Learning Coach, and a researcher of nineteenth-century literature and culture, particularly crime and detective fiction, and Victorian print culture. His research interests lie in popular fiction, genre fiction, newspaper and magazine journalism, and the city-space in crime writing. He has taught English at a number of UK and US universities, and is a regular speaker at a variety of conferences and symposia – notably those of the International Crime Fiction Association, and the Victorian Popular Fiction Association. Sam has also authored two books, the most recent of which examined the ‘sidekick’ in crime writing, which appeared with Palgrave in August 2021.


If you have any questions about our events that aren’t answered here, please email us on UCR@reaseheath.ac.uk, we’d be happy to help. 

There is free parking on campus.  You will need to use main entrance 1 on the B5074 (Main Road) and park in the car parks on the left or right as you first enter the campus.  The event is being held in Lecture Theatre UCR8/9 University Centre Reaseheath which is accessible via Reception/Centrepoint. The campus is approx. 25 minute walk from Nantwich Town Centre. We are not on any bus routes but are a short taxi ride from Crewe or Nantwich. Crewe has a busy main line train station and there is also a train station in Nantwich. 

There is a snack vending machine and a Costa Coffee machine available in the UCR building. On some occasions the Courtyard Café bar will be open and serving drinks and bar snacks. 

Please check the individual listings for each event to find out if the content of the event is suitable for children or under 18s. You can also contact us on UCR@reaseheath.ac.uk if you need further information about the event. 

Our venue is wheelchair accessible with disabled toilets. We can make other arrangements for disabilities on request, such as hard of hearing. Please contact us on UCR@reaseheath.ac.uk with your requirements and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

We do not currently record our events. Some events may be online, please check individual listings. 

There is usually time at the end of the event to ask questions and chat to the speaker.