Films with a Mission – 6th June

Christian Missions in Global History Seminar
In association with
Birkbeck Institute of the Moving Image
presents a 
Workshop on Missionary Film 

Films with a Mission

Gordon Square Cinema, Birkbeck,
43 Gordon Square WC1H 0PD
Saturday 6th June, 2015. 13.30-18.00 p.m.

This half-day workshop will explore some of the key issues and questions in historically assessing missionary film collections and the significance of the ready acceptance and use of film technology by Christian missions for evangelistic purposes. The workshop includes screenings of films made in Africa and India by and about British Protestant missions: The Salvation Army, London Missionary Society and the Methodist Missionary Society, all of which produced a significant amount of film in the first half of the twentieth century. We will also screen a fiction film made by Thomas Gavin Duffy and R.S Prakash at the Pondicherry Catholic mission in South India. The presentations by academic and independent scholars will discuss how we can begin to assess the motivations, reach and impact of the production and screening of these films on local and global audiences, contemporary to their period. The workshop will thus reflect on the importance of film in the history of missionary activities and raise new perspectives for the study of collections of missionary film archive.

1.30pm Welcome
Emma Sandon (Birkbeck)

1.35pm The London Missionary Society on film in Southern Africa up to 1925
Neil Parsons (Author and Independent Film Historian)

2.20pm Methodist Missionary Society: filming conversion in Southern Africa and South India, 1920s-1940s
Emma Sandon

3.00pm Break

3.15pm The Catechist of Kil-Arni (1923), filmed at the Pondicherry mission in South India
Stephen Hughes (SOAS) 

4.30pm India’s Coral Strand: A Cinematographic Tour of Salvation Army work in the Indian Sub-continent, 1897-1929
Tony Fletcher, (Author and Independent Film Historian)

There will be discussion after each presentation and a round-up discussion.

A Wine Reception and Book Launch of Tony Fletcher’s new book will follow:
The Salvation Army and the Cinematograph 1897-1929 – A Religious Tapestry in Britain and India.
(Local History Publications, 2015)

Entrance is free and all are welcome. No booking required. There is disabled access and a café for refreshments.

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Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies Summer Term 2015 Programme

Thursday 4 June 2015, 6.00 – 8.00 pm, Birkbeck Cinema
‘Adapting “Our Mutual Friend” for TV and Radio’
Featuring Sandy Welch (screenwriter, 1998 BBC TV adaption), Mike Walker (writer, 2010 Radio 4 adaptation), Jeremy Mortimer (producer, 2010 Radio 4 adaptation)

The next event of the summer term for the Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies will take place on Thursday 4 June 2015 from 6.00pm to 8.00pm in the Birkbeck Cinema. We are very excited to welcome speakers Sandy Welch, Mike Walker, and Jeremy Mortimer to talk about the process of adapting Dickens’s final novel for screen and radio. Sandy is a screenwriter who has worked on a number of period adaptations in addition to ‘Our Mutual Friend’, including ‘North and South’ (2004), ‘Jane Eyre’ (2006) and ‘Emma’ (2009). Mike and Jeremy have produced several Dickens adaptations for BBC Radio 4, including ‘David Copperfield’ (2005), ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ (2011), and ‘Barnaby Rudge’ (2014).
Future Summer Term events include:

Thursday 16 July 2015, 4.00 – 5.30pm, Clore Lecture Theatre
Curating Feeling: A Panel Discussion with Michael Hatt (Warwick), Victoria Mills (Cambridge), Lynda Nead (Birkbeck) and Alison Smith (Tate Britain)

Thursday 16 July 2015, 6.00 – 7.30pm, Clore Lecture Theatre
Sally Ledger Memorial Lecture: Hilary Fraser (Birkbeck), ‘The Language of Mourning in Fin-de-Siècle Sculpture’

The sessions are free and all are welcome, but since the venue has limited space it will be first come, first seated.

For more information, see the Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth Century Studies website

Please email to join our mailing list or to obtain further information about the series.

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Life Remade: The Politics and Aesthetics of Animation, Simulation and Rendering – 5-6 June

Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities (June 5-6, 2015)

The aesthetics of animation has come to occupy a significantly expanded social and political role, moving well beyond the sphere of either children’s entertainment or avant-garde filmmaking. We now encounter digital animations, 3D simulations and computational models in contexts ranging from ecological activism, to human rights law, to military training regimes. As rhetorical tool, affective trigger and imaginative technique, the strategic use of the animated image has become a powerful means to both “re-animate” the past and speculatively predict or envision the future.  Digital and analogue animations intervene in life processes at both the intimate level of the body and the expansive scale of urban design and planetary phenomena.  In relation to living systems, animation may constitute an effort to capture or simulate that which already exists, or an attempt to bring into being that which could not exist otherwise. Given this apparent contemporary proliferation of animated life, this symposium will re-consider the place of animation and simulation within visual, material and political culture.

Confirmed Speakers:
Thomas Elsaesser
Eyal Weizman
Susan Schuppli
Toshiya Ueno
Pasi Väliaho
Liam Young
Sean Cubitt
Suzanne Buchan
Keisuke Kitano
Erika Balsom
Gillian Rose
Anselm Franke
Richard Squires

Screenings of Work by:
Harun Farocki
Hito Steyerl

Organised by: Esther Leslie and Joel McKim

The event is free, but booking is essential – book online now at Eventbrite

For further information, please contact:
Dr. Joel McKim
Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies
Co-Director BA Media and Culture
Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies
Birkbeck, University of London
43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD
tel: 020 3073 8364

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New issue of 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century Online Journal

19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, 20 (2015) Charting the Crimean War: Contexts, Nationhood, Afterlives

The Crimean War (1853–56) is much more culturally significant than its popular mythologies suggest. Now remembered mainly for the Charge of the Light Brigade and the Lady with the Lamp, the war is a pivotal moment in the history of modern warfare seen as both the last of the old wars and first of the new. The first total war, it inaugurated new forms of weaponry, tactics, communication, war reporting, military medicine, and new attitudes towards soldiers. The issue provides a number of new perspectives on these features of the war as it played out in the British, French, and Russian imagination. Contributors mediate the vexed issue of medical provision for the British and Russian armies; sensitivities around Britain’s military alliance with France; royal and poetic interventions into the welfare of the British soldier; the religious, commercial, and emotional investment in soldier-heroes like Captain Hedley Vicars and the Light Brigade; the memorialization of the final action of the war, the fall of Sebastopol; and, finally, the war’s continuing cultural and geopolitical relevance. Incorporating statistical analysis, journalism, photography, objects, art, film, and literature, this issue of 19 makes a case for the conflict’s wide-ranging significance.


‘Charting the Crimean War: Contexts, Nationhood, Afterlives’

Rachel Bates, Holly Furneaux, and Alastair Massie

‘Reporting the Crimean War: Misinformation and Misinterpretation’

Mike Hinton

‘Russian Medical Service During the Crimean War: New Perspectives’

Yulia Naumova

‘The French Army and British Army Crimean War Reforms’

Anthony Dawson

‘”All Touched my Hand”: Queenly Sentiment and Royal Prerogative’

Rachel Bates

‘The Afterlife of Thomas Campbell and “The Soldier’s Dream” in the Crimean War’

Tai-Chun Ho

‘Who Blew the Balaklava Bugle?: The Charge of the Light Brigade and the Afterlife of the Crimean War’

Lara Kriegel

‘The Life and Afterlives of Captain Hedley Vicars: Evangelical Biography and the Crimean War’

Trev Broughton

‘Sebastopol: On the Fall of a City’

Trudi Tate

‘Off the Chart: The Crimean War in British Public Consciousness’

  1. L. Berridge

To download the articles, see:

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Piero della Francesca and disegno – 19-20 June

Friday 19 June 2015, 12.45 – 19.30 (with registration from 12.15)
Saturday 20 June 2015, 10.00 – 17.30 (with registration from 9.30)

Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN and Sainsbury Wing Theatre, The National Gallery, London

The role of design (disegno) is fundamental to understanding the working practice of Piero della Francesca. While none of his works on paper survive, research conducted in the past decade by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure and the Sherman Fairchild Paintings Conservation Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has revealed Piero’s obsessive working and reworking of compositions. Disegno, in the period sense of the term, was also a problem-solving tool, a catalyst for invention, and an effective means of communication.

Problems raised by Piero’s earliest known work, the Baptism (The National Gallery, London) which was part of the San Giovanni d’Afra triptych (Museo Civico, Sansepolcro), introduce the practical and conceptual implications of Piero’s approach to disegno and will serve to open this conference.  The following sessions will be dedicated to the composition of his frescoes, the role of underdrawings in his paintings, the use of geometrical figures in his mathematical treatises, the transmission of his style, and the place of architecture in his career.

Organised by Professor Emeritus James R. Banker (North Caroline State University), Professor Tom Henry (University of Kent), Dr Machtelt Brüggen Israëls (University of Amsterdam), Dr Scott Nethersole (The Courtauld Institute of Art), Dr Nathaniel Silver (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum), and Dr Caroline Campbell (National Gallery, London) 

Ticket/entry details: £26 (£16 students, Courtauld staff/students and concessions) Through generous support from the Society for Renaissance Studies, a limited number of complimentary places are available for research students. To apply for one of these places, please send a brief description of your studies to, Attention: Piero Organisers.

Or send a cheque made payable to ‘The Courtauld Institute of Art’ to: Research Forum Events Co-ordinator, Research Forum, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN, stating ‘Piero della Francesca’. For further information, email

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Action Writing – 3rd July

The Politics of U.S. Literature 1960s to Present

A one-day conference, sponsored by Birkbeck’s Centre for Contemporary Literature and the Department of English

Friday 3rd July 2015, 9am-7pm, Birkbeck, University of London
The Keynes Library, Room 114, 43 Gordon Square, London

Free to attend, but advance registration compulsory. Email: 

Event Schedule
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The State of Fiction: Don DeLillo in the Twenty-First Century – 10th June

10th of June 2015 at the University of Sussex

Keynote Speaker: John Duvall (Purdue University)

Writing also means trying to advance the art. Fiction hasn’t quite been filled in or done in or worked out. We make our small leaps.
– Don DeLillo, 1982

This one-day conference will address the state of fiction in contemporary American culture by focusing on the extensive oeuvre of Don DeLillo, from the 1970s to the present day and beyond. Shortly after the publication of The Names, DeLillo commented that fiction had not yet been ‘filled in,’ ‘done in,’ or ‘worked out.’ How do we read this thirty years later, in the shadow of not only DeLillo’s major works but also the events that have characterised our move into the Twenty-First Century? How have DeLillo’s small leaps between the New York of Players (1977) and the New York of Falling Man (2007) ‘filled in’ fiction? Has DeLillo’s pervasive influence across contemporary American culture ‘done in’ postmodernism? Is the novel in the Twenty First Century already ‘worked out’?

The full programme has now been announced and tickets are available at the website. For further information please visit the website, or you can email

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The Arts and Feeling in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture – 18th July

Birkbeck, University of London 16th – 18th July 2015

Keynote Speakers:

Caroline Arscott (Courtauld Institute of Art, London) Tim Barringer (Yale University) Meaghan Clarke (University of Sussex) Kate Flint (University of Southern California) Hilary Fraser (Birkbeck, University of London) Michael Hatt (University of Warwick) Lynda Nead (Birkbeck, University of London) Jonah Siegel (Rutgers) Alison Smith (Tate Britain)

This conference will explore the ways in which nineteenth-century authors, artists, sculptors and musicians imagined and represented emotion and how writers and critics conceptualised the emotional aspects of aesthetic response. It aims to map the state of the field in this growing area of interest for nineteenth-century scholars by locating recent interdisciplinary work on sentimentality and art and writing and the senses within wider debates about the relationship between psychology and aesthetics in the long-nineteenth century.

Speakers will investigate the physiology and psychology of aesthetic perception and the mind/body interactions at play in the experience of a wide range of arts. Key questions include: How did Victorian artists represent feeling and how were these feelings aestheticised? What rhetorical strategies did Victorian writers use to figure aesthetic response? What expressive codes and conventions were familiar to the Victorians? Which nineteenth-century scientific developments affected artistic production and what impact did these have on affective reactions? The conference includes a panel discussion on the topic of ‘Curating Feeling’ with speakers Michael Hatt, Lynda Nead and Alison Smith. For more information on this panel, see our website.

To register for the conference, please visit:

Places are limited.

Please address any questions to Dr. Victoria Mills at

More information will be available soon at

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Beckett and Europe – 28th to 29th October – CFP deadline: 8th June

28th – 29th October 2015 – MERL, University of Reading
Abstract Deadline: 8th June 2015 

Keynote Speaker: Dr David Tucker (Chester University) 

The Beckett at Reading Postgraduate group is pleased to announce a new postgraduate and Early Careers two-day conference with the theme of Beckett and Europe. We will be hosting two on-site archival workshops on manuscripts and performance during the conference. There will also be a public lecture on Happy Days by Professor James Knowlson. This will be followed by the Beckett International Foundation Seminar on 30th October.

We invite postgraduates and Early Career Researchers to submit abstracts under the general theme of ‘Beckett and Europe’. The aim of the conference is to engage postgraduates and ECRs in research exchange with an interdisciplinary and cross-media focus. Born in Ireland in 1906, Beckett wrote in English, French and German and directed his own theatrical work in London, Berlin and Paris. The span and influence of Beckett’s work in 20th Century Europe is essential to many questions that inform Beckett scholarship: How do we frame Beckett nationally/internationally and has this changed? What influence did Beckett have on European artists, writers and thinkers? How has Beckett’s work entered the European tradition?

All disciplines are welcome including philosophy, linguistics, theatre and performance, archival research, art, science, cultural studies, politics, history, music, theology and literature. We also invite submissions that contest and interrogate a Eurocentric focus on Beckett. Issues to consider may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Beckett, History and the Politics of Europe
  • Beckett and World War II
  • Beckett’s European Legacy
  • Beckett and the City
  • Beckett and European Theatre: Performance and Practice
  • Beckett and the Archive
  • Beckett, Nation and Translation
  • Beckett and Culture: e.g. Music, Art, Architecture
  • Beckett and European Philosophy
  • Beckett and Traditions: Prose, Poetry, Drama
  • Different modes of Beckett criticism in the various European traditions

Please send abstracts, in English, of 300 – 500 words to with a short bio of no more than 150 words before 8th June 2015.

Beckett at Reading Postgraduates (BARP)

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(Editors: Lorraine Lim and Hye-Kyung Lee)

The proposed book Routledge Handbook of Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) in Asia intends to provide readers with a broad understanding of the growth and transformation of the CCIs in Asia that have led to its current state, providing the groundwork that will serve as a key reference point for further scholarship in this area. The book proposes that the CCIs in Asia can be more holistically comprehended when we look at the cycle of stages involved – production, distribution and consumption. Although the boundaries between them are becoming increasingly blurred, these three stages of CCIs’ operation constitute the focal points of our analysis. The editors are seeking work that draws attention to the participants of these industries, their strategies and networks, and the organisation of their activities and continually question if it is possible to find approaches that can be described as region-specific or ‘Asian’.

This book includes in Asia both East and Southeast Asia (including but not limited to the following countries: Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand) and adopt a broad view of what constitutes the ‘cultural and creative industries’ (including but not limited to arts markets, music, film, television, digital platforms such as online literature and blogs, comics, fashion, video games, and festivals)

The editors are interested in receiving:

  1. Academic contributions of 5,000- 7000 words corresponding to one of the following themes: governance, production, consumption, technology and distribution.
  2. Reflective chapters of 3000-4000 words with a ‘practice-led’ dimension that highlights the complex dynamics in the operation of the CCIs and gives insight into the Southeast Asian contexts.

Submission Process:

Please submit abstracts of 250 words to Lorraine Lim ( by 12 June 2015. Please include a brief biography for each author as well as corresponding contact details.


Submission of abstract:               12 June 2015
Notification of decisions:             30 June 2015
Deadline for Chapters:                30 November 2015
Redraft of Chapters:                    March and April 2016
Deadline for Revised Chapters:  31 July 2016
Manuscript Submission Date:     1 October 2016

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