Speeding and Braking: Navigating Acceleration Conference 12-15 May 2016

Organised by the Screen and Audiovisual Research Unit, Goldsmiths


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Birkbeck 18th Century Group – Summer 2016 Events

Public lecture:

Professor Melissa Percival, Artful Monkeys: The ‘Singeries’ of Marivaux
Tuesday 10 May, 6pm (30 Russell Square, Room 101)

Unashamedly ‘moderne’, Marivaux’s writing displays a heightened awareness of the practices of imitation. A complex yet coherent thematics of ‘singe’ and ‘singerie’ can be found in his theatre, journalism and fiction. In Marivaux’s universe Arlequin, that most simian of creatures, paradoxically embodies a powerful humanity. Singerie can be an exaggerated physical display of contorsion and grimace; but it is also a social practice, a frequently pernicious form of ingratiation. Equally it pertains to the author’s own vanities and machinations. In addition to Marivaux’s writings, this paper will make reference to Alfredo Arias’s controversial ‘monkey’ production of Le Jeu de l’amour et du hasard (1986) and to the painted singeries of Marivaux’s contemporaries Watteau, Audran and Huet

Melissa Percival is Associate Professor in French, Art History and Visual Culture at the University of Exeter.

All are very welcome!

For further information, please contact: Ann Lewis, a.lewis@bbk.ac.uk

Reading Group:

Through the Microscope: Literature, Science, and Pornography

Tuesday 7 June 6.00-9.00 (30 Russell Sq, room 101)

Core Reading: ‘The Microscope’, Female Inconstancy Display’d in three Diverting Histories (1732), pp. 41-43. Text available on request.

Introduced by Tita Chico (University of Maryland), with responses From Katy Barrett (Royal Museums Greenwich), and Richard Dunn (Royal Museums Greenwich)

Tita Chico is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Maryland. She is currently working on Experimentalism: Literary Knowledge and Science in Eighteenth-Century Britain, a study of literary celebrations of and alternatives to the epistemology of experimental philosophy. She is the author of Designing Women: The Dressing Room in Eighteenth-Century English Literature and Culture (2005), co-editor of Atlantic Worlds in the Long Eighteenth Century: Seduction and Sentiment (2012), and editor of The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, a University of Pennsylvania Press quarterly.

Katy Barrett is Curator o f pre-1800 Art, at Royal Museums Greenwich, a founder of the Things seminar at CRASSH in Cambridge, where she was part of the Board of Longitude Project, working on its cultural history through the lens of William Hogarth, on which she has published a Look First feature entitled ‘Looking for the Longitude’.

Richard Dunn
is Senior Curator for the History of Science at Royal Museums Greenwich. He was co-curator of ‘Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude’, a major international touring exhibition shown at the National Maritime Museum in 2014 and now at the Australian National Maritime Museum. Between 2010 and 2015 he worked on the history of the Board of Longitude in collaboration with the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge (www.rmg.co.uk/longitude). His publications include The Telescope: A Short History (2009) and Finding Longitude (2014, with Rebekah Higgitt).

For further information, please contact: Luisa Calè, l.cale@bbk.ac.uk

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BIRMAC Summer 2016 Programme

BIRMAC (Birkbeck Interdisciplinary Research in Media and Culture) is delighted to announce its forthcoming events for the Summer term.

Wednesday 18th May 2016 | The Apparitional: films by Barbara Hammer and Sandra Lahire | curated by Ricardo Matos Cabo and Selina Robertson | Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square | 14:00-17.00.


This event is sponsored by BIRMAC and BIMI and held as part of Arts Week 2016

Taking the concept of ‘The Apparitional’ from Terry Castle’s 1993 literary and social history The Apparitional Lesbian: Female Homosexuality and Modern Culture where she locates the ‘ghosts’ of lesbian sexualities obscured by history, together with the documentary and experimental films of Barbara Hammer, Dr Watson’s X Rays (1991) and Sanctus (1990), and Sandra Lahire’s Uranium Hex (1987) and Serpent River (1989), this event will explore the idea of ‘The Apparitional’ within the context of the X-ray as a presence of the uncanny, a ghostliness, the body as subject, illness, radiation and (film) exposure, conflicts between scientific and visual objectivity and the politics of gender and sexuality.

This screening and discussion will explore the idea of ‘the apparitional’ through the films of the radical lesbian feminist filmmakers, Barbara Hammer and Sandra Lahire. These are powerful films about the vulnerability of the body, of women’s bodies, made (in)visible by and exposed to radiation, unprotected against the effects of contamination by uranium mining, emerging as ghosts through an intense alchemy of images and sounds.

After the screening, Selina Robertson will be joined in conversation with Dr. Sophie Mayer and Sarah Pucill.

Book your free place via Eventbrite.

Thursday 19 May 2016 | Ephemeral Ruins: the Fragility of Holocaust Memory | Room: G03, 43 Gordon Square | 18:00-19:30 http://www.bbk.ac.uk/birmac/2016/04/08/ephemeral-ruins-the-fragility-of-holocaust-memory/

This event is part of our Ruin/s theme (http://www.bbk.ac.uk/birmac/current-theme/), curated by Dr. Silke Arnold-de Simine, and held as part of Arts Week 2016

Since the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps the question of preservation of these sites of mass destruction has been intensely debated by national representatives of victim groups, survivors and their families as well as a diverse group of museum practitioners and educators. Key questions for debate include: Should nature overtake and completely efface the concentration camps? Will this dissolution lead to oblivion? Can preservation ensure remembrance? This talk by Dr. Diana Popescu, Research Fellow at the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, will look at these questions from the multiple perspectives offered by memorial museums, contemporary artists and visitors from Poland and Germany.

Dr. Jessica Rapson, King’s College London, will offer a response, followed by discussion.

Book your free place via Eventbrite.

Friday 27 May 2016  | What Things Are, and What Things Do | Keynes Library | 14:00-17:00 |

Followed by a free screening of Dog Day Afternoon (Sidney Lumet, 1975) | Birkbeck Cinema | 18:00 – 20:00 http://www.bbk.ac.uk/birmac/2016/03/08/what-things-are-what-things-do/

Organised by Güneş Tavmen and Hannah Barton, co-winners of the BIRMAC 2015-16 Student Competition, this interdisciplinary event seeks to debate the role of ‘structuring structures’ in media cultures, and includes presentations from Dr. Emily LaBarge (writer and researcher) and Dr Maan Barua (Somerville College, Oxford)

BIRMAC is also part sponsoring Conventions of Proximity in Art, Theatre and Performance, which combines papers, workshops from guest artists in the School of Arts’ studio space, film screenings in Birkbeck Cinema, performance installation, and an exhibition of contemporary art in the Peltz Gallery.

Thursday 5 May |  researchers and practitioners will share their work in parallel panel presentations, from which attenders can make a selection.

Friday 6 May | film screenings, panel presentations, workshops and a performance installation will run in parallel, from which attenders can make a selection.

Everyone is welcome, so please come and participate in these stimulating events.

Best wishes,

Lorraine Lim and Janet McCabe, Co-Directors of BIRMAC

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Irving Goh Masterclass : Gilles Deleuze and Community – Friday 10 June 2016, 2 to 5 pm, 112

Friday 10 June 2016, 2 to 5 pm,

Room 112, 43 Gordon Square

Dr Irving Goh is the author of The Reject: Community, Politics, and Religion After the Subject (2014). He has also published widely in journals such as  diacriticsMLNdifferences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural TheoryPhilosophy East & WestCultural CritiqueTheory & Event, and Cultural Politics.

He wrote his PhD at Cornell University under the direction of Dominick LaCapra, Timothy Murray, Jonathan Culler, and the French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy. He is currently a Newton fellow at the University of Cambridge.

Irving Goh will join us to discuss Deleuze’s understanding of the concept of community.

Refreshments will be served. To book a place, please contact Nathalie Wourm at n.wourm@bbk.ac.uk.

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Contemporary Literature and Culture Summer Term 2016 Events

Comics Studies: Beyond the Canon?


Remembering Flann O’Brien


The Contemporary: An Exhibition


Max Porter in Conversation


An Evening of American Poetry


* This event is organized by members of the Centre for Contemporary Poetics

You Must Mutate: The Future of Fiction


Prize Culture & Contemporary Publishing


Coming of Age Stories: Now & Then


True Crime Fictions



Complete listing here:


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BIMI Summer 2016 Programme

The summer programme of Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image is now available here: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/arts/research/birkbeck-institute-for-the-moving-image/events

BIMI events are free and open to all, and take place at Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD.

Highlights include

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CHASE Medical Humanities Network Inaugural Workshop – 13th May 2016

CHASE Medical Humanities Network inaugural workshop

Across the CHASE Consortium institutions, radical and innovative research within the burgeoning field of Medical Humanities is being undertaken. The aim of the CHASE Medical Humanities Network inaugural workshop is to start to generate connections and conversations between colleagues.

CHASE colleagues and students working in the field of Medical Humanities are invited to attend an CHASE Development Fund workshop to discuss current and future work, and possible CHASE collaborations, in Medical Humanities. This afternoon workshop will take place at Birkbeck, University of London on Friday 13th May 2016. The timetable will begin with introductions and a networking lunch (beginning at 1pm), followed by group discussion of individual’s research interests, discussion of shared concerns and interests and the planning of future directions of Medical Humanities within the CHASE Consortium. Participants are then invited to attend an event at Birkbeck which is part of a new research seminar, Fluid Physicalities, which starts at 6pm.

This event is funded by the CHASE Development Fund and is free to attend. Travel costs will be met by the Fund.

We very much hope you can join us, and would be grateful if you could extend the invitation to any colleagues whom you think may also be interested. If you are unable to attend, would you like us to add you to the mailing list so that you’ll be in the loop for future events?

Please do let me know if you have any questions, and we hope to meet you soon.

All very best,

Jo Winning

Birkbeck College

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Chinese Visual Festival 2016: 16 May 2016

The Chinese Visual Festival this year is going to feature a programme of shorts made by queer filmmakers from Mainland China and Hong Kong, followed by a Skype Q&A session with filmmakers Shu Kei, Tony Lin, and Dajing, hosted by Tony Rayns.

Cinema Comrade

Date: 16 May 2016 (Monday)

Time: 19:00 Screening; 21:45 Skype Q&A Session with Directors Shu Kei, Tony Lin, and Dajing, Hosted by Tony Rayns

Venue: Safra Lecture Theatre, Strand, King’s College London

Short Film Programme:

The Death of Lesbians (Dajing, 2015, 10 mins., documentary)

A City of Two Tales (Tony Lin, 2015, 30 mins., documentary)

I am Going to Make a Lesbian Porn  (Dajing, 2015, 29 mins., documentary)

Thin Dream Bay (Dajing, 2015, 30 mins., fiction)

Festival Schedule and Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cinema-comrade-cvf-2016-queer-session-tickets-24168970040

Chinese Visual Festival is an annual film and art festival supported by King’s College London. It features cutting-edge independent films from Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other Chinese-speaking and Sinophone regions including Tibet, Mongolia, and Singapore.

Our selection of films this year addresses these intricate issues. Dajing’s I am Going to Make a Lesbian Porn and The Death of Lesbians use an experimental docudramatic format to explore female same-sex eroticism and its expression, or repression, in the PRC.

Shu Kei is one of Hong Kong’s most famous (and well established) independent filmmakers and Chair of School of Film and Television, Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts. His short film, Thin Dream Bay, is based on a short story written by Yi Wen, a Shanghai intellectual who migrated to Hong Kong and became one of the most influential screenwriters and directors of Hong Kong Mandarin cinema in the 1950s and 1960s.

Thin Dream Bay is about a Shanghai émigré in Hong Kong, an intellectual woman who experiences her sexual awakening and identity reconfiguration as someone who occupies the in-between-space between the local, the colonial, and the national. Finally, the documentary A City of Two Tales uses the perspective of two Hong Kong residents – one Hong Kong Chinese, one white Briton – to explore different experiences of aging and homosexuality in the city from the late twentieth century to the present day. In doing so the film maps out both a local and a transnational history connected, inevitably, to the story of British colonialism.

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Animate Assembly – 9/10 May and 10 June 2016

Animate Assembly

Animate Assembly 1:

9/10 May and 10 June 2016, Goldsmiths

Animation may be understood as a discrete set of experiential and technological possibilities, on the one hand, and a generalised politico-economic set of conditions on the other. Drawing on the crossovers and proliferations afforded by this doubling, the Animate Assembly network aims to debate the currency and significance of analogue and digital animation studies in view of the fundamental transformations occurring in cultural knowledge.

Through the first five sessions across Goldsmiths and Birkbeck the polemics and poetics of animation are explored by means of research screenings and collective work toward the first entries for a glossary of animation. WJT Mitchell will contribute a seminar and keynote on relevant themes in June.

Session 1: Histories (May 9), 6–9pm, Ian Gulland lecture theatre, Goldsmiths

Some simple questions: What is animation? What was it and what can it come to be? Does it possess one or more histories, and, conversely, does history have animation or animations? The question of history also contains all the other points of excavation that follow in the symposium: ghosts, technologies, infrastructure.

The event consists of commented film screenings

Session 2: Technologies (May 10), 10–11.30am, Studio a, Barriedale Buildings, Goldsmiths

Technologies, of whatever type, broker a link between individuals, collectives and outputs. These might be the technologies of cel animation, stop motion, pixel, print, 3D, or those of the camera, the computer, TV, cinema, book, the tablet, the touchscreen, glasses, colour. But in the encounter with animation, we point also to the technologies of eyes and bodies and ambiences and anything else that contributes to its mediation. What is the work of technologies in mediating animation, and what entanglements does it unleash? If animation is thought through its technologies, what becomes of it?

Session 3: Ghosts (May 10), 11.45–13.15, Studio a, Barriedale Buildings, Goldsmiths

Animation is full of ghosts. It is an exercise of the spirits, giving liveliness to the inanimate, sometimes historically recursive – sometimes projecting into a future, reanimating again and again its stock characters, its gags and tropes and never averse to mobilising magic against the law. Animated ghosts meet contemporary systems of production and projection to raise anew the question of what it means to be animate and be animated.

Session 4: Infrastructures (May 10), 14.15–15.45, Studio a, Barriedale Buildings, Goldsmiths

Infrastructures indicate the various matrices within which animation and animated practices take place: machinic production, labour codes, competencies, the economic-political, the Cloud, the cinema, ​arts and the academy. Is the infrastructure of animation itself animated in various ways – perhaps by ghosts, technologies, histories, or by other things?

Session 5: Interim Resume (May 10), 16.00–17.00, Studio a, Barriedale Buildings, Goldsmiths

Session 6: Image Science, seminar and public lecture by WJT Mitchell (June 10), details tbc  

Animate Assembly is propelled by Verina Gfader, Esther Leslie, Edgar Schmitz and Aylish Wood. The assembly is funded by CHASE and the Department of Art, Goldsmiths.


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