Another academic year begins!

A warm welcome to all our new students, and welcome back to those of you who are continuing with us. Inductions happen this week and next, and classes begin next week – I hope that on balance you’re feeling more excited than overwhelmed!

If you’re new to Birkbeck and this blog, I should tell you that I usually post every other week during term, filling you in on events and developments in the department, reporting on staff activities as well as on achievements of students past and present (please do feel free to contact me with news you’d like me to include) and lots more.

We are very excited to welcome a new member of staff to the department this term: Dr Mara Polgovsky Ezcurra joins us as Lecturer in Contemporary Art. She’s recently completed a Junior Research Fellowship at Cambridge University and is a specialist in contemporary Latin American art. This year she will be teaching mostly on first year BA modules, and is also available for dissertation supervision. You can read more about her here.

We kicked off our year of public events last weekend by opening the doors of the School of Arts for Open House London 2018. Over Saturday and Sunday, and despite the less than ideal weather, we welcomed 315 visitors on 37 tours, organised and led by a brilliant and dedicated group of student volunteers.

Take a look at this short film if you want to learn more about the fascinating School of Arts building.

Friday 19th October is a big day for us – a day of workshops and a public lecture by Tristram Hunt, rounding off the Department of History of Art’s 50th anniversary celebrations and launching the new Centre for Museum Cultures.

In two public workshops in Gordon Sq B04, on ‘The Future of Studying Old Art’ and ‘Futures for Publishing in Art History’, Birkbeck’s academics are joined by experts from the worlds of museums, media and publishing to put our collective finger on the pulse of the discipline. Each workshop focuses on an area of crisis and transformation, asking where we are now, what’s next, and why. The workshops are kindly supported by the Murray Bequest.

Then at 6pm in Beveridge Hall, Senate House we welcome Dr Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A to give the Birkbeck History of Art Anniversary Lecture,’Design for a Nation: The Victoria and Albert Museum in the 21st Century’ Dr Hunt will discuss how the museum’s founding commitment to design, education and industry continues to define it today. Tracing the museum’s genesis, from its Victorian roots in the Design School Movement of the 1830s, through the Great Exhibition of 1851, to its establishment in 1852 as the Museum of Manufactures, he considers how the V&A’s British, Germanic, Indian and Oriental origins engendered a world-class collection. In our contemporary age of Brexit, Netflix and digital technology, Dr Hunt uses this cultural lens to consider the museum’s place in the world today. Dr Hunt’s lecture will be followed by a drinks reception and the launch of Birkbeck’s new Centre for Museum Cultures.

See here for more information and links for booking. Book soon! Places are limited.