The UoL’s first Society of Bibliophiles – 28 October 2016

The University of London’s first Society of Bibliophiles

In an attempt to knock the Kindle off its throne, a new society is being set up by a teacher/PhD researcher from North London in the hope that the society will ‘make books sexy again’. In an age where the overwhelming majority of us access print culture through electronic devices, we run the risk of losing a wealth of information that can only be discerned from the material text. And whilst the Kindle may be a backpacker’s best friend, a book’s material form provides us with an insight into the object’s material history.

The new Society of Bibliophiles will be hosted by the University of London and is sponsored by Auction House stalwarts, Bonhams, as well as the ABA and Maggs Bros Books. Over the course of the year they will run a programme of events, including talks, visits and private views that will target young people in an attempt to persuade them to fall back in love with the material text.

We’re open to all and aim to provide an opportunity for those who are interested book-collecting – whether it’s rare books, comics, or classic Penguins – to meet up with like-minded people. Meetings will be held monthly and the full programme of events is to be announced shortly; including talks and visits to Lambeth Palace Library, Peterhouse College, Cambridge and London Rare Books Week 2017.

We’d be delighted if you’d join us on Friday 28th October at the Keynes Library from 7-9pm for a glass of wine to celebrate the launch of this new venture. The society will be declared open by the actor-cum-book dealer, Mr. Neil Pearson (you may recognise him as the boss of Sit Up Britain from the Bridget Jones film franchise) and will hopefully give you an opportunity to see what we’re all about.

If you have any questions or would like to register your interest in attending the launch event, please do not hesitate to get in contact at:<>

Launch party key information:

Where? The Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Sq, WC1H 0PD.

When? 28th October 2016, 7-9pm

Bio: Kayleigh Betterton is a second-year Ph.D. student at Birkbeck College and a full-time English teacher at Bedford School. Her thesis is on the Disposal of Books and Dismantling of Book Collections at the Fin-de-Siècle and examines the practice of bibliophilia, book exchange and cult of material-culture. She was awarded the University of London’s first Anthony Davis Book Collecting Prize whilst studying for her MA in Victorian Studies, also at Birkbeck. The prize was awarded for her collection of Oscar Wilde first editions and endorsed her passionate advocacy of antiquarian books in state schools.

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Ada Lovelace Day Wikipedia Edit-a-thon 11 October 2016

Ada Lovelace Day Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

11 October 2016 2-5pm

Malet Street Room 151

Ada Lovelace Day (ALD) is an international celebration day to celebrate the achievements of women in science. It aims to increase the profile of women in STEM and, in doing so, create new role models who will encourage more girls into STEM careers and support women already working in STEM.

Come and celebrate Ada Lovelace, the founder of analytical computing, and learn new skills.

The aim of this event is to improve the coverage of women on Wikipedia and also Edit-a-thons improve the quality of the encyclopaedia and help people learn how to edit.

The event aims to sharpen up coverage of individuals, events and resources related to women in science whether that is writing an article or simply checking that articles have accurate references. In particular, participants are encouraged to prepare and bring along material related to one of Birkbeck’s alumna or to the work of an unsung scientific researcher or teacher.

Interest rather than experience is needed. Editing training is provided for new users.

We are addressing ‘Wikipedia’s woman problem’ while supporting Birkbeck’s aims of advancing the careers of women in academia.

Wikipedia sites are viewed 370 million times a month, and it can help develop the skills that courses are trying to impart: critical thinking and reasoning, the ability to convey information clearly – with references. Wikipedia  presents a unique opportunity for academics for our  knowledge to flow outside the university walls.

Open to All: students, staff, and members of Birkbeck, men and women welcome.  This is an event  organised by the College Athena SWAN SAT.

Although not necessary, if you are planning to attend it would be helpful to send a brief note to George Roussos  

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The Architectural Association presents: Pierre-Jean Giloux 21 October 2016

Pierre-Jean Giloux works with the ideas of the Japanese Metabolists who wanted to revolutionise the cities of the future along the lines of organic growth. They produced innovative architectural designs and urban planning proposals but their mega-structures remained unrealised. Pierre-Jean Giloux’s Invisible Cities reconstructs their architectural projects on video starting with images of real Japanese cities and moving towards new virtual forms. His four videos are mixtures of photographic and digital images and the sounds of four Japanese cities and their suburbs –Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka and Kyoto. He works with the composer Lionel Marchetti whose sound work parallels the pace of progressive metamorphoses of the landscape.

Pierre-Jean Giloux Details

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The Architectural Association Presents: Mark Lewis 28 Oct 2016

Mark Lewis is a Canadian artist who lives and works in London. His film and digital moving image works are frequently depictions of everyday life produced through the use of cinematographic techniques and they make subtle and often accidental allusion to the wider tradition of film, photography and painting. His most recent works include a series of films shot in the Korean DMZ and the film project Invention that imagines a contemporary city with no cinema or moving image devices. In this scenario, the city itself is the cinema, focusing on the intense concentration of moving bodies, shadows and reflections. The project culminated in a feature film entitled Invention which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in 2015.

Mark Lewis – Invention

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Buried Things: London Renaissance Seminar 22 October

What role did the practice and figuration of burial play in producing knowledge in Renaissance England? Drawing connections between literature, natural philosophy, urban history and material culture, speakers explore the significance, uses and problems of the lost and buried in early modern culture.

All are welcome at the next London Renaissance Seminar, 12 – 5 pm, Saturday 22nd October 2016 in the Keynes Library, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square.

Buried Things Programme

For more information about this event, contact Robert Stearn ( For further information about LRS, contact Sue Wiseman ( or visit the LRS website. To be placed on the LRS mailing list, contact Tom Healy (

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Digital Aesthetics Reading Group: 14 October 2016 3pm

The next meeting of the Vasari Research Centre hosted Digital Aesthetics Reading Group will take place on 14 October from 3pm to 5pm in the Vasari (43 Gordon Square.

The topic of this meeting will be an introduction to the writings of Gilbert Simondon. Simondon is an important mid-century French philosopher of technology (an inspirational figure for Gilles Deleuze, Bernard Stiegler, Isabelle Stengers, Bruno Latour…). This is an opportune time to look at Simondon as his major texts will soon be published in English. Yuk Hui from the Leuphana University of Lüneburg will return to the Vasari to act as a guest moderator for this discussion. Yuk is a leading commentator on Simondon, so this is a nice opportunity to read alongside an authority on the subject.

Yuk has selected the following readings (please select links): an essay entitled “Technical Mentality” and a short section of Simondon’s On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects, entitled “Technical Individualization.”

I hope some of you will be able join us, but please do let me know, as spaces are limited.


All the best,


Joel McKim

Director of Vasari Research Centre for Art and Technology

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Redefining Allegory: The Meaning of Allegory Now – 24 September 2016

Please see the programme for the forthcoming Redefining Allegory Conference.

Redefining Allegory: The Meaning of Allegory Now – Saturday 24th September 2016

Queen Mary University of London

Lecture Theatre, Arts 2 Mile End Road, London E1 4NS

This one day conference aims to provide a platform to address issues surrounding the more recent definitions of allegory. What could the defining features of allegory be? Are there any possible benefits of the later definitions for more traditional historical led discussions of allegorical art? And finally, can there be a unified definition fit for interdisciplinary cross-cultural application that is both relevant to allegory and the allegorical in theory?


please register your attendance and get a free ticket on Eventbrite:


Conference Programme

10:00 ­­­– 10:30: Registration + coffee

10:30 – 10:40: Welcome + introduction

10:40 – 12:00: Keynote 1 Michael Silk

12:00 – 13:00: Panel A: Allegory and the Modern (Vladimir Brljak  + Sam Quill)

13:00 – 14:00: Lunch + coffee

14:00 – 15:00:Panel B:  Re-reading Benjamin’s Allegory (Karlien van den Beukel  + Vittoria Fallanca)

15:00 – 15:20: Coffee

15:20 – 16:20: Panel C: Metaphor and world making (Jessica Yeung + Boyarkina Iren)

16:20 – 17:20: Keynote 2 Jeremy Tambling

17:20 – 18:20: Wine reception

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Medical Humanities Lunchtime Talk: 6th October

Lunchtime talk: Anne Whitehead and Angela Woods on “What’s critical about the critical medical humanities?”

The Edinburgh Companion to the Critical Medical Humanities is a collection of thirty-six essays outlining a compelling new vision for medical humanities scholarship. In this talk, general editors Anne Whitehead and Angela Woods will discuss the different meanings and configurations of a critical medical humanities and what these open up for the future of this fast-growing field. Reflecting on contributors’ Des Fitzgerald and Felicity Callard’s notion of ‘experimental entanglement’ they will end by focusing specifically on the challenges raised by interdisciplinary and cross-sector working in the context of large collaborative research projects and in contemporary doctoral training programmes.

Please join us on Thursday 6 October in the Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Square WC1H 0PD, at 1pm. The talk will last for approximately one hour, followed by  refreshments, after which attendees are welcome to stay on for discussion. A link to the chapter (along with selected other chapters from the Companion) by Des Fitzgerald and Felicity Callard can be found by clicking on this link. There is no need to register but seats will be available on a first come, first served basis.

Please see our website for further details. We will be reading further chapters from the Companion in the Birkbeck Medical Humanities Reading Group throughout Autumn term 2016 (more details to follow shortly).

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CFP: JAWS Journal deadline 7th November 2016

JAWS, the Journal of Arts Writing by Students is the first publication of its kind in the UK, entirely written by, edited and peer reviewed by current students and first year graduates. They are primarily aimed at MA and MRes level but also welcome submissions from PhD and BA students.

The journal is published by Intellect Books and the journal’s team are currently seeking submissions for their forthcoming issue, the deadline for which is Monday 7th November 2016.  JAWS would love to invite writing and works from Birkbeck School of Arts students, especially as Dr Sophie Hope will be involved with writing the guest editorial.

Full guidelines for submissions can be found on the JAWS website 

The Call for Papers details are here.

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