End of term and some goodbyes

The humidity is rising, school sports days and concerts every night it seems – it *must* be the end of term, surely?

Hope you have firmly in your diary the department end of term party, this Friday 12 July 6pm in Gordon Sq room G01 (NOTE ROOM – I GOT IT WRONG IN MY LAST POST).  And please bring something to share (liquid or solid) if you can. We usually go on until about 8. It’d be lovely to see you there!

I’ll be making an announcement at the party asking for volunteers for our annual opening of the School of Arts building for Open House London on the weekend of 21-22 September. This is a great event, in which we show off our historically and culturally significant building to the public. The event really relies on student volunteers, who welcome visitors, give tours and/or act as stewards. It’s a fantastic experience, and there’s training providing. You just need to be available on 16 September 6pm for the training, and then for a shift on either the morning or afternoon of 21 or 22 September. Come along to the party on Friday to hear more about it, or email our wonderful volunteer coordinator Eva Hoog if you’re interested in hearing more or signing up: eva.hoog@btconnect.com

Also an important notice for our Certificate in HE and BA students (including any incoming students): the latest round of RFSA bursaries has been announced. RFSA stands for Royal Female School of Art, which was an early art school for women, and now exists as a trust supporting access for all students, no matter what gender, to visual arts education. Our department is delighted to be the recipient of a generous grant which allows us to support Cert HE and BA students experiencing financial hardship through generous bursaries. The deadline for applications is Friday 13 September 2019 and you can find more details and the application form here.

Finally, I wanted to let you all know that we’re saying goodbye to a number of colleagues in the next couple of months.

Laura Jacobus is taking early retirement at the end of this academic year after teaching and researching medieval art (with an emphasis on Giotto and late medieval Italian art) for thirty years in the department. She has been Head of Teaching Committee, the department’s rep on several School of Arts and College committees (lucky her), course director of many different team-taught modules, and organiser of the Murray Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Art (which she’s generously agreed to continue organising). A special message from her to all her current and former students: she will be at the end of year party on Friday and would love to see you there!

Gabriel Koureas is making a change of career and also leaving at the end of this academic year. Gabriel has also been at Birkbeck for many years, teaching modern and contemporary art and museum studies; his research ranges from studies of masculinity and the memorialisation of the First World War, images of terrorism in transcultural context, cosmopolitanism in the Ottoman Empire, and contemporary cultures of display. He has been MA admissions tutor, co-designer and programme director of the MA Museum Cultures, and co-founder of the Centre for Museum Cultures, among many other roles.

Liz Drew is leaving in September to focus on other commitments. Liz has most recenty directed and taught the Doing Art History module to first year BA students in the department, as well as designing and running the Step Up and Step In pre-sessional programmes in the School of Arts. But her involvement in History of Art at Birkbeck goes back many years, during which she’s had close involvement with the Vasari Research Centre among many other innovative initiatives often involving art and technology. She is also a PhD student in the department.

Nick Lambrianou is is also leaving to focus on other commitments. As long-standing Associate Lecturer, he has taught modern and contemporary art and exhibition cultures on the Certificate, BA, and the Graduate Certificate. And he’s managed to pursue both an active teaching portfolio and a fruitful research career alongside a successful career in public policy.

We will miss all four of these valued colleagues very much! We’re extremely grateful to them for everything they’ve done for the department, and very much look forward to keeping in touch with them in future.

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