Work, Education and Workers’ Education panel, 25 April 2016

Date: Monday 25th April
Time: 7pm-9pm
Location: Keynes Library, Birkbeck College

Organised by PhD candidate Claudia Firth (Cultural & Critical Studies) in collaboration with PhD candidate Achim Lengerer (Fine Art, Goldsmiths)

An evening panel on the changing nature of work, education and workers’ education. The shift to Post Fordist modes of production and cultural and immaterial labour have changed our relationship to knowledge and how it is produced as well as changing the nature of work itself. With the increasing presence of work in education (for example through ‘employability’ training and work placements) it seems pertinent to ask questions regarding the relationship between work and education and the organisation of higher education itself. How have these relationships changed?  Are there models from the past that could be mobilised now? What might alternative models of organisation have to offer? Birkbeck College itself comes from a history of Mechanics Institutes in the UK originally formed in the 19th Century to provide adult education to working people so seems the perfect setting in which to ask some of these questions.



Stevphen Shukatis, lecturer at Essex University. His work includes writings on Autonomia, self-organisation, class (re)composition and cultural labour.

Mike Neary from the Social Science Centre, Lincoln, who currently provide free co-operative higher education. The SSC is run as a not-for-profit co-operative, and organised on the basis of democratic, non-hierarchical principles.

Richard Clarke – until 2012, was Senior Lecturer in Conservation at Birkbeck College and Director of the University of London Centre for European Protected Area Research. Will speak about the history of Birkbeck and models of useful knowledge and ‘self-help’.

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Spiralbound Reading, 19 April 2016

Spiralbound Reading (hosted by the CPRC) – 19th April 2016

You are warmly invited to the launch of three poetry books by Spiralbound, a non-profit artists’ publishing project exploring the influence of new digital technologies on the material presence of the book.

When: 19 April 2016, 7-9pm
Where: Birkbeck College, Room 102, 30 Russell Square
Who: Ghazal Mosadeq, Andrew Spragg, Florence Uniacke

About The Readers

Ghazal Mosadeq is a writer, poet and translator. Her poems and short stories have been published in anthologies and magazines in the UK, Iran, Canada, Portugal, and Greece. She is the winner of the 2013 Bayhaqi Short Fiction Prize and her collection of poems dar jame ma (2010) was shortlisted for the 2011 Khurshid poetry award in Iran. She is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of English and Humanities at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Andrew Spragg was born in London and lives there. Recent books include Tether//Replica (Sprialbound/Susak Press, 2015), OBJECTS (Red Ceiling Press, 2014), A Treatise on Disaster (Contraband Books, 2013) and To Blart & Kid (Like This Press, 2013). Occasional

Florence Uniacke is a poet living in London.
She can be reached at

About Spiralbound
Spiralbound is a non-profit artists’ publishing project exploring the influence of new digital technologies on the material presence of the book. Strongly supported by London gallery studio1.1. and existing as an offshoot of Susak Press, we work with artists and writers who want to use the book medium to experiment beyond and challenge their usual practice. By subverting the capabilities of digital print on demand, the project’s aim is to publish book editions that can remain uncompleted and in flux as we allow our authors the opportunity to re-shape and interfere with the book’s original version.

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Call for Papers: Performance and Performativity – Actualities and Futures, deadline 15 April 2016

Performance and Performativity: Actualities and Futures

Call for Papers (Deadline: 15th April, 2016)
Conference to be held on Wednesday 15th June, 2016
Leeds Humanities Research Institute, University of Leeds
Confirmed Keynote: Professor Vikki Bell, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths

In 2011, Athena Athanasiou and Judith Butler held a series of exchanges via email that led to the book project Dispossession: The Performative in the Political (London: Polity, 2013). As the authors contest… Acts of resistance will take established orders of subjection as their resource, but they are not condemned to hopelessly reproducing or enhancing these orders. “Self-presence” is an attachment to an injurious interpellation, which becomes the condition of possibility for non-normative resignifications of what matters as presence.

Over 2015/16, the Performa research group (LHRI, University of Leeds) has explored the relation of performance, performativity and the performative in the political through a concerted programme of reading, taking on the writings of Frantz Fanon, Judith Butler, Peggy Phelan and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick among others committed to renewed possibilities for the Left. This programme will culminate on 15th June 2016 with a one-day conference, Performance and Performativity: Actualities and Futures. Performativity is a transdisciplinary concern that informs research in disparate fields; we aim to bring scholars into conversation who might not otherwise have a chance to meet. We are thrilled to welcome as the keynote speaker Professor Vikki Bell, author of Culture and Performance: The Challenge of Ethics, Politics and Feminist Theory (2007). Bell’s work on theories and critiques of performativity has particularly engaged with the implications of the performative for ethics and politics.

The organisers welcome contributions that address questions of performance and performativity through the following fields of inquiry:

  • Performance art/theatre
  • Queer theory
  • Questions of gender
  • Feminisms
  • Race and Identity
  • Mourning
  • Government and Society
  • Law
  • Protest
  • Global development/Migration
  • Violence
  • History/Memory
  • Trauma studies
  • Performing the text
  • Image/visibility
  • Technology and the post-human
  • Modes of Seeing
  • Sounds and the senses

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words along with a short bio of max 100 words to Tom Hastings and Beatrice Ivey at by 15th April at the latest. Please visit for more information.

Papers will be 20 minutes in length.

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Call for Papers: Thinking through Fiction, deadline 4 March 2016

Thinking through Fiction

A conference at the University of Kent
Centre for Creative Writing
21st-22nd June 2016
Grimond Building

This 2-day conference will explore the complex relationship between fiction, writing, and thought.

How do we use fiction to explore ideas? What do we create when we create writing? In what ways can fiction offer a means of examining, questioning, understanding the world? What are the relations between text, representation, form, language and thought? Where is the boundary between creative and critical writing—and how might we test the unstable, shifting, flexible nature of that boundary? How might we consider other art forms in these terms?

Creative Writing is now widely taught at universities across the UK and beyond, and the parameters of what constitutes a valid route of academic inquiry—the furtherance of knowledge—are adjusting accordingly.

Call for Papers
For interested participants:
We welcome perspectives from creative writers both within and beyond the academy, and from other fields such as linguistics, philosophy, arts, film, and social sciences. Contributions are welcome from all: academic staff, postgraduate students, and other practitioners.

Panels might include (an indicative, not an exhaustive list):

  • The ‘novel of ideas’ past and present
  • (How) can we render thought in prose and other creative mediums?
  • Streams of consciousness
  • Philosophy and the novel
  • Writers writing about writing
  • Creative-critical boundaries
  • Experimental fiction(s)
  • Genre fiction and allegory
  • Politics and polemics

Please send a short abstract of 200-300 words for a 20-minute paper or presentation to by 4th March 2016.

We are open to creative approaches to presenting, from the formal academic paper to the performative reading.

This event is mounted by the Centre for Creative Writing at the School of English, University of Kent.
The convenor is Amy Sackville (

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Call for Papers: Embarrassing Bodies: Feeling Self-Conscious in the Nineteenth Century, deadline 22 April 2016

Embarrassing Bodies: Feeling Self-Conscious in the Nineteenth Century
Friday 17th June 2016, Birkbeck, University of London

“I begin to think that instead of being, as I once thought I was, the most self-conscious person living, I am much less self-conscious now […] than almost anybody.”
(John Stuart Mill, Letters, 1834)

Why were the Victorians so keenly aware of themselves? Why is the articulation of embarrassment such a preoccupation of nineteenth-century culture? The period is one in which both ‘embarrassment’ and ‘self-conscious’ first take on their modern meanings, and in which scientific, literary, and visual cultures seek to explore the links between the body and emotional expression. How might we approach this anxiety surrounding awkwardness? And what might be the links between embarrassment and modernity?

This one-day symposium, funded by a Wellcome Trust ISSF Grant, will explore embarrassing moments in the nineteenth century, and consider the range of ways in which the period’s writers and thinkers represent and conceptualise these experiences. From the ungainly bodies of Dickens’s greatest comic creations to the highly-charged moments of shared shyness in the novels of Eliot, and from Darwin’s explorations of the physiology of blushing to Rossetti’s red-cheeked Fair Rosamund, nineteenth-century culture is fascinated and energised by such moments of bodily preoccupation. This symposium hopes to draw together researchers from a range of disciplines, to consider these articulations of embarrassment across literary, scientific, philosophical, and visual cultures of the period.

Possible topics could include, but are not limited to:

– Shyness and awkwardness
– The physiology of embarrassment
– ‘Embarrassing’ ailments or bodily functions
– Social display and social anxiety
– Clothing and ‘embarrassing’ fashions
– The comedy of embarrassment
– Gender and embarrassment

Proposals of up to 300 words for papers of 20 minutes should be sent to by Friday 22nd April 2016.

This event is funded by a Wellcome Trust/Birkbeck ISSF Grant and is in association with the Birkbeck Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies ( Follow the conference blog at

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‘The Evidence of Images: Bosch, Beckmann, Kentridge’ lecture, 15 & 17 March 2016

Evidence of Images

The E.H. Gombrich Lecture Series on the Classical Tradition 2016 presents

‘The Evidence of Images: Bosch, Beckmann, Kentridge’

Speaker: Joseph Leo Koerner (Thomas Professor of the History of Art & Architecture, Harvard University)

Where: The Warburg Institute, University of London – Woburn Square, WC1H 0AB

15 March 2016
16.00 – 17.00 Lecture 1 Hieronymus Bosch
17.00 – 17.30 Tea break
17.30 – 18.30 Lecture 2 Max Beckmann

17 March 2016
17.30 – 18.30 Lecture 3 William Kentridge
18.30 – 19.30 Discussion & Questions
19.30 – 20.30 Reception

Lectures are followed by a reception. All welcome

For more information visit the website:

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Call for Papers: Everywhere and Nowhere: An Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Symposium on Imagined Spaces, deadline 22 April 2016

Everywhere and Nowhere: An Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Symposium on Imagined Spaces

Monday 20th June 2016
University of Nottingham

Keynote Speaker: Professor Stephen Daniels (University of Nottingham)

Imagined spaces are engaged with on a daily basis, whether they be in the novels we read, the news reports we hear, or in the forthcoming development posters we see around our towns and cities. These imagined spaces are multiple and mutable, coming into conflict with one another and the values they embody. With the physical and imaginary both influencing one another, imagined spaces have a diverse and meaningful impact on lived experience, affecting the way we conceive of and interact with the places and landscapes around us.

This symposium aims to emphasize the role of the imagination in the representation of space and place and to explore the ways these imagined spaces engage with and shape ‘real’ spaces and identities. We welcome papers that engage with imagination and space in a broad sense, across historical periods and disciplinary boundaries.

Papers are invited on – but are by no means limited to – the following themes:

  • Maps and the translation of place
  • The colonial and post-colonial imagination of space and place
  • Speculative, fantasy, and alternative spaces
  • Dramatic, literary and artistic imaginings of space and place
  • Nostalgia and the memory of landscape and place
  • Landscape design and city planning
  • The influence of technology on conceptualizing space and place
  • Theoretical approaches to the imagination of space

This is a one-day, interdisciplinary symposium that seeks to offer postgraduate students an opportunity to present related work at any stage of their research in a friendly and supportive environment. It is the tenth annual postgraduate workshop to be run by the Landscape, Space, Place Research Group and hosted by the Schools of English and Geography at the University of Nottingham.

We invite abstracts of 250-300 words for 20 minute papers from all current postgraduate students. Please send, along with a short biography, to by Friday 22nd April 2016.

Organising Committee: Alexander Harby, Hollie Johnson, Philip Jones, Mark Lambert, Sarah O’Malley and Xiaofan Xu.

Visit the LSP symposium website:

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Book launches: Alice Lyons’ ‘The Breadbasket of Europe’, 15 and 16 March 2016

Alice Lyons 2 The newest Veer book, Alice LyonsThe Breadbasket of Europe will be launched at Surrey on Tuesday 15th March, and in Birkbeck on Wednesday 16th March 2016, with readings by Alice.

Tuesday, 15th March, 7-8pm, Room TB20B (in the Teaching Block), University of Surrey, Guildford

Birkbeck, University of London
Room B18, Malet Street building
free entry, all welcome

Alice Lyons

About Alice Lyons:
‘The couple of visits she made to Ireland as a girl and a college student shook her up (in a good way): the first poems she wrote of any significance to her were written after a college term spent in Dublin. In 1996, she had the chance to return to Ireland for an artistic residency, which was a turning point. She decided to move to Roscommon in 1998 and lived in the village of Cootehall for nearly fifteen years. She now lives in Sligo.

Her poems have appeared in publications such as Tygodnik Powszcheny (Kraków) and Poetry (Chicago), as poetry films, public artworks and in gallery contexts. She likes to work across artistic disciplines and with filmmakers, visual artists and other creative thinkers/makers. Two books have been published, Staircase Poems (The Dock, 2006) and speck: poems 2002-2006 (Lapwing, 2015). Her latest collection of poems The Breadbasket of Europe is published by Veer Books, London.

Among the honours she has received are the Patrick Kavanagh Award, the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary and an IFTA (Irish Film and Television Award) nomination for ‘The Polish Language.
In 2015-16, she is a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.’

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One-Day Symposium: ‘W. S. Graham: The Far Coasts of Language’, 18 March 2016

W S Graham Symposium


One-Day Symposium: ‘W. S. Graham: The Far Coasts of Language’
Organised by the Bristol Poetry Institute, University of Bristol

Speakers: Jon Cook (UEA), Ralph Pite (Bristol), Natalie Pollard (Exeter), David Punter (Bristol), Denise Riley (UEA), William Wootten (Bristol)
When: Friday 18 March 2016
Where: Link Room 2; 3-5 Woodland Road, BS8 1TB11:00-16:30

This one-day symposium, hosted by the Bristol Poetry Institute, will feature six short talks on various poems by W. S. Graham, one of the most extraordinary poets of our time, with ample time for participation by the audience.

Admission is free but booking is required by Eventbrite; lunch will be provided:

Any enquires regarding this event please contact:

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