Summer (term) is here

Hope you all had good breaks – not too dominated by essays, dissertations, revision, etc. It’s good to be back and there’s a lot to report on and look forward to (in addition to the air warming up – we live in hope).

First, there’s an imminent deadline of this Monday 30 April for 2 things:

  1. the National Student Survey for final year undergraduate students – please complete it if you haven’t already – we want to hear your views!
  2. applications for MA bursaries and studentships for students with places on MA programmes starting in September 2018. These include two Wallace studentships for programmes in our department, as well as School of Arts funding you can apply for – check out the link.

Another thing to do soon is to go to the Cultural Sniping exhibition in the Peltz Gallery before it closes. The official closing date is Saturday but a little birdy tells me there might be another chance to see it during the day on Monday. It’s been a great success, arousing lots of interest in the fascinating life and work of the photographer-activist Jo Spence and our archive here at Birkbeck – including from major London art institutions.

I’m delighted to let you know that Professor Lynda Nead has been short-listed for the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize for her book The Tiger in the Smoke: Art and Culture in Post-War Britain (Paul Mellon Centre and Yale University Press). The prize is awarded annually by English PEN for a non-fiction book of specifically historical content. More here, including a great statement from the PEN judges – here’s a taste: ‘The Tiger in the Smoke rejects the self-congratulatory narrative of Britain after the Second World War, focussing instead on shades of grey smog, bomb-sites, virulent racism, art and film, and the dreams of ordinary people.’

Congratulations and good luck as well to our students Danilo Marques dos Reis (BA History of Art with Curating) and Uli Gamper (MA Museum Cultures) who are the successful of prestigious Venice Fellowships from the British Council and Birkbeck. They’ll be off to the Venice Architecture Biennale soon and we’ll look forward to hearing from them about their experience (and the glorious weather.)

Welcome back from Berlin, those of you who went on the department field trip led by Kasia Murawska-Muthesius and Stefan Muthesius. Word is it went extremely well – a packed and fascinating itinerary and more glorious weather (ho hum). There’ll be more on that in this blog soon.

The Architecture Space and Society Centre has a really rich and varied programme of events coming up this term:

Ferdinand Opll: The Battle of Maps: Ottoman-Habsburg antagonism as mirrored in their cartography (15th – 16th century) 27 April, 5pm, Keynes Library (for more information and to book your place please visit here)

Mark Wilson Jones as part of our “Thinker in Architecture” Series, speaking on “The Origins of the Architectural Orders Revisited” 4th May, 6pm at Keynes Library

Finola O’Kane Crimmin (University College Dublin): Designed in Parallel or in Translation? Plantation Landscapes from Ireland, Jamaica and Georgia 1730-1830 25 May, 6pm, Keynes Library, School of Arts, Birkbeck (for more information and to book your place please visit here)

Mabel Wilson (Columbia University): Provisional Demos: The Spatial Agency and Tent Cities 21 June, 7pm, ICA Cinema (NB: not at Birkbeck!)

Also check out the programme for Arts Week, the School of Arts annual festival of public talks, walks, workshops, screenings, etc etc – it’s always a lot of fun, not to mention stimulating and enlightening (and an excellent excuse to take a break from revising for exams). This year it’s 14-18 May, and you’ll see several History of Art events in the programme, including a talk on ‘Floating Islands in Contemporary Art’ by our new visiting professor, Gill Perry, professor emerita at the Open University. More on her in a future blog…