CFP: Deeper than Swords: Fear and Loathing in Fantasy and Folklore – Deadline 11 November 2016

University of Edinburgh Fantasy and Folklore Postgraduate Conference and Creative Writing Seminar

Deeper than Swords: Fear and Loathing in Fantasy and Folklore

18th-19th January 2017

School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures

University of Edinburgh


“Fear cuts deeper than swords.” A Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin

Shakespeare acknowledged that “in time we come to hate that which we often fear” (Antony and Cleopatra). Fantasy and folklore literature have long explored these themes and their interdependent relationship. From the threat of the wicked witch in traditional fairy tales to new and terrifying monsters such as A Song of Ice and Fire’s White Walkers, it is from these stories that our worst nightmares are drawn and our deepest hatreds formed. Yet what is it about these genres that make them so well suited to depicting fear and hate? How do fear and hate symbiotically engage with each other within these genres, and how do these genres use this relationship to comment on wider socio-political issues?

The University of Edinburgh’s Fantasy and Folklore Reading Group is hosting its first, interdisciplinary postgraduate student conference on the 18th and 19th January 2017. We welcome submissions for 20 minute individual papers as well as panel proposals exploring manifestations of fear and hatred throughout fantasy and folklore literature. Potential topics can include, but are not limited to:

  • Fear of the Other. Is fantasy literature particularly well placed to respond to the Other, and does it agree with or challenge normative perceptions?
  • The uncanny. How do fantasy and folklore work to make the familiar frightening?
  • Critical fear of fantasy literature. Why are fantasy and folklore still maligned within the academic community?
  • How do cultural norms dictate what is understood as frightening? How is this typified or interrogated in fantasy narratives?
  • How is death, as a concept or a real threat, handled in fantasy and folklore?
  • How do fantasy narratives engage with themes of contemporary terror and psychological warfare?
  • Fear, fantasy and psychoanalysis. Freud used fairy tales to extrapolate his theories – how can we, in turn, trace these theories through contemporary folklore?
  • Are fear and loathing gendered? How can fantasy and folklore’s engagement with these themes be refracted through feminist perspectives?
  • How do space, place and landscape influence our experiences of horror and hated?
  • Trauma and survival: how do these narratives represent the impact of that which “cuts deeper than swords”?

We are also interested in papers which explore the intersections between fantasy, folklore and

  • Cinema
  • Television
  • Theatre
  • Creative Arts

Creative Writing Seminar

On Friday 19th January, we will also be holding parallel creative writing sessions. Writers working in any genre, from both the academic and local communities, are invited to join us for a stimulating day of workshop and discussion, led by postgraduate students and professional practitioners. The discussions will be influenced by papers presented on the first day of the conference and will allow writers to incorporate elements of fantasy and folklore into their work, even if they are not writing purely within those genres. The sessions will culminate in a reading, where delegates will be invited to present short pieces of work.

What to send

Conference abstracts:

250 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 11th November 2016. Please include a short bio of up to 250 words.

Creative writing attendees:

If you are interested in presenting and taking part in the creative writing sessions, please indicate this in your email.

If you are only interested in the creative writing seminar, please email us to register your interest.

Organising chairs: Harriet MacMillan and Anahit Behrooz


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Applications invited to present at the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research (BISR) – deadline 19 October

Birkbeck Institute for Social Research (BISR).

BISR Graduate Seminar in Social Research.

PhD Students – would you like:

  • an opportunity to meet other social research PhD students ?
  • to discuss your research, and present work in progress?
  • to explore issues of methodology, research design and epistemology?
  • to develop your reflective practice as a social researcher?
  • to choose interesting visiting speakers to invite to Birkbeck?
  • to explore key theoretical debates within contemporary social research?…in a supportive and intellectually challenging environment

The BISR Graduate Seminar is a fortnightly seminar open to PhD students from across Birkbeck who are working on social research theses in the School of Social Science, History and Philosophy, School of Arts or the School of Law.

The Graduate Seminar aims to support and enhance the supervision and training students already receive in their own Schools. This year we are particularly interested in applications from doctoral students whose research can loosely connect with our theme of ‘crossing borders’.

How to Apply

If you are interested in attending please complete the attached application form and return it to Madisson Brown ( by 19 October 2016

The Graduate Seminar is run by Dr Karen Wells, Acting Director of the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research. Each seminar will be divided into 2 parts and students are expected to attend both. From 6-7pm there will be an open discussion of the current issues faced by members of the seminar in their research. This discussion will aim to develop students’ reflective practice as social researchers, as well as providing a regular space for skills and information sharing and peer support. After a short break, the seminar will resume from 7.15-8.15pm with a structured programme of activities, including, over the course of the year:

  • Seminars on issues of methodology and research strategy, with particular reference to new methodologies (e.g. internet-based research; visual methodologies)
  • Presentations by students of their research to each other, for critical engagement and feedback
  • Seminars on key debates in contemporary social research based around close reading of key texts (e.g. exemplary texts of ethnographic/ interview-based research; epistemology and theory in social research etc)
  • Workshops on transferable skills (such as writing for publication; presenting conference papers)

The seminars will run for 12 weeks on the following dates: 3 Nov, 17 Nov, 1 Dec, 5 Jan, 19 Jan, 2 Feb, 16 Feb, 2 March, 16 March, 4 May, 18 May, 1 June.

Students are expected to attend all sessions of the Graduate Seminar.

Dr Madisson Brown, Manager.

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Corkscrew Events – Autumn Term 2016

Dear all

This is a note regarding Corkscrew – a network for practice-based/led research students in the School of Arts at Birkbeck.

Each term, Corkscrew hosts events specifically for students pursuing their research through practice.  There will be one ‘show and tell’ session, which allows students to share and discuss examples of practice, and another event offered by a visiting speaker from across the disciplines.

Details of the events we are running this term can be found below.  Look forward to seeing you there!

Many thanks


Corkscrew events

Show and Tell

On Monday 31 October, 2-5pm, join us for the first show and tell session of the year.

Hosted by Bruno Roubicek, artist and Birkbeck PhD student, this show and tell session invites practice-based research students to present work in progress. It’s an opportunity to share your emerging practice and receive feedback in a supportive environment. Sessions through the year will consider how practice and scholarship can work together to generate insight and understanding. What is “doing knowledge” and how can practice be made evident to examiners?

Show and Tell takes place in G10, School of Arts. RSVP to Bruno here.

Breath Catalogue

On Monday 14 November, 2-5pm, join us for Breath Catalogue.

Breath Catalogue is a collaborative work by artist-scholars Kate Elswit and Megan Nicely, and data scientist/interaction designer Ben Gimpert, together with composer Daniel Thomas Davis and violist Stephanie Griffin.

The project combines choreographic methods with medical technology to externalize breath as experience. Dance artists link breathing and movement patterns in both creation and performance. Our goal is to expand the intrinsic dance connection between breath and gesture. The catalogue makes it possible to collect and retrieve different breath samples through the process of live dance, by visualizing and making audible the data obtained from the mover’s breath, and inserting this into the choreographic process to make the breath perceptible to the spectator.

The piece uses capacitance resistance sensors from StretchSense. This wearable technology gathers breath data during the Breath Catalogue performance and transmits it. Doing so is more than “tracking”; it enables the development of feedback loops that create new choreographic structures, in the process allowing the dancers to interact with their own breath in new, intimate, and palpable ways.

Kate and Megan will present a lecture demonstration version of Breath Catalogue, incorporating moments for Q&A with the audience. This event will be of interest to practice-based researchers working in the fields of performance, visual culture, medical humanities and digital humanities.

Breath Catalogue will take place in G10, Birkbeck School of Arts.  Places are free but limited – book here.

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Transitions 7 New Directions in Comics Studies – 19th November 2016

TRANSITIONS 7 – New Directions in Comics Studies

TRANSITIONS 7 – New Directions in Comics Studies

Birkbeck, University of London, Saturday November 19th 2016

Organised in collaboration with Comica – London International Comics Festival, Transitions at Birkbeck College is unique in offering a regular comics studies symposium and meeting point in London, a platform for emerging research at an event that is free of charge and open to all. Originally convened by PhD students in 2009, Transitions has become an annual fixture in the UK comics scholars’ calendar.  We are especially supportive of postgraduate and early career presenters, but open to any new and ongoing research in our field. Our aim is to provide a platform for debate and a space from which further collaborations can emerge, to further strengthen our area of study and academic community, and to support connections between comics scholars working in diverse academic departments and contexts.  This year we are running workshops as well as panel presentations.

Respondents: Dr. Maggie Gray (Kingston); Dr. Julia Round (Bournemouth); Professor Roger Sabin (Central Saint Martins)


Attendance is free but registration is required: to book a place email

The Transitions Team

(Hallvard, John, Nina, and Tony)

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Migrating Texts: Multilingualism in Subtitling, Translation and Adaptation, 11 November 2016

Migrating Texts: Multilingualism in Subtitling, Translation and Adaptation

Friday 11 November 2016, Senate House, London

We are delighted to announce that Migrating Texts will return on Friday 11 November 2016, with a day of workshops on multilingualism in subtitling, translation and adaptation, generously supported by the European Commission in the UK, by the AHRC funded London Arts & Humanities Partnership LAHP (King’s College London, School of Advanced Study, University College London) and by the School of Arts at Birkbeck.

Multilingualism is the phenomenon of the use of many languages in a given society which affects a vast number of communities, thousands of languages and millions of language users in the UK and all over the world. Multilingualism and multilingual texts are a reality in our contemporary multicultural societies. Does multilingualism have an impact on our academic teaching and research? Do the creative industries in the UK embrace multilingualism? What kinds of relationships can we track between multilingualism and the migration of texts between different disciplines? The Migrating Texts 2016 workshops would like to bring these matters to the fore and further our understanding of multilingualism through the lens of subtitling, translation and adaptation.

By bringing together leading academics with representatives of the creative and cultural industries, these workshops provide participants with a unique opportunity to exchange knowledge and explore the opportunities for collaboration between these two, often falsely separated, worlds. The events will showcase the possibilities open to researchers with both language skills and knowledge of texts, whether you want to increase your impact and public engagement, or are looking for alternatives to an academic career.

The workshops will consist of a morning and an afternoon session. Each session will feature short presentations from a mixture of academic and industry speakers, hands-on activities and Q&A time with participants.

The subtitling session (10:00-13:00) will discuss the growing presence on our screens of multilingual audiovisual content, and observe what types of skills are needed and what strategies can be put forward by subtitlers to make multilingual texts accessible to diverse audiences. The subtitling session will include a short skills training activity to give students and researchers the opportunity to practice in small groups. Activities will include the subtitling of multilingual screen content, experimenting with translation subtitles, subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing and online subtitles.

The translation and adaptation session (14:00-17:00) will explore how texts involving more than one language are translated and/or adapted, and how texts can be translated/adapted for multilingual audiences. We will address how such processes can be an aid to social cohesion and mutual understanding in multilingual areas such as London. After presentations and discussions from both academics and practitioners, including theatre groups which specialise in plays for multilingual communities, the session will culminate in a practical exercise in which participants will work in groups under the guidance of the speakers to consider how to adapt extracts of texts from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds for a multilingual London audience.

Please see attached programme and visit our website for further details: Please note that speakers are subject to change.

To register for free please go to:

You can register for either the morning, or the afternoon, or both.

We look forward to seeing you there!

The Migrating Texts team (Katie, Carla and Kit)

Contact us

Email: migratingtexts[at]gmail[dot]com to join our mailing list.
Tweet: @MigratingTexts

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Pears Institute Lunchtime Seminar: Keeping the Memory of the Holocaust Alive – 25 October

Pears Institute Lunchtime Seminar

Keeping the Memory of the Holocaust Alive: Possibilities and Limitations of Performative Practices of Commemoration, 25 October 2016

Speaker: Diana Popescu, Pears Institute Research Fellow, Birkbeck, University of London

1.00 – 2.00pm, Dreyfus Room, 26 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DQ

Increasingly, museum curators and artists in various geographical contexts tell stories about the past using elements borrowed from theatre, digital media, religious ritual and performance art. In these diverse mise-en-scenes, members of the public take on not only the role of learners, but also of agents of commemoration – responsible for keeping the past in living memory, and for standing up to intolerance and injustice in their societies. This paper asks: What are the reasons for the rise in performative practices of commemoration? What might these practices inform us about the functions assigned to Holocaust remembrance in today’s societies? This paper will reflect critically on the impact which experiential forms of engaging with this history have upon contemporary audiences, and on the broader challenges of communicating about the Holocaust without it becoming a moral lesson, or a cultural commodity.

Free seminar for scholars. Limited places: book here.

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IT FOLLOWS: Friday 14th October


Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image

In preparation for the annual Pittsburgh lecture by Dr Adam Lowenstein (, we will be showing the film It Follows (David Robert Mitchell, 2015) in Birkbeck Cinema from 3:00 to 5:00.

Whether you are intending to come to the lecture at 6:00 or not, please feel free to come and see the film in the afternoon.

Warning: it’s very scary!!!


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Globe Education Research Internships: Deadline 17 October 2016

Globe Education Research Internships

Birkbeck University of London and Globe Education at Shakespeare’s Globe are happy to invite postgraduate students working in a historical or literary field in the early modern period at Birkbeck to apply for a research internship at Globe Education in autumn/winter 2016-17 (running November-January inclusive).

Students taking early MAs (MA Medieval, MA Renaissance) and MPhil and Phd students working in the early periods are invited to apply for up to two research internship placements to participate in dramaturgical research for the upcoming Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and Globe Theatre seasons. The placements commence the week of Monday 7 November 2015 and end the week of Monday 23 January 2017. The successful candidates will be working on a postgraduate degree and have some prior research experience and be familiar with early modern texts.

Research interns aid all departments at Shakespeare’s Globe by providing research documents and short answers to any queries that arise. The research intern’s responsibilities include:

  • Dramaturgy and background research on aspects of early modern culture
  • Conducting and transcribing the end of season interviews
  • Answering general queries, Facebook and Twitter discussion questions
  • Supporting the Librarian and Archivist
  • Assisting at Globe Education events

The placements are of a period of up to THREE months and not less than TWO months. You will need to commit to 8 hours a week to be spent on site at the Globe, during the day Monday to Friday, with hours to be decided in consultation with Globe Education. You will be based in the Globe Library and Archive and report to Dr Will Tosh, research fellow and lecturer.

As indicated, students at MA, MPhil and PhD level may apply. In applying, please supply:

  1. 250 words outlining (a) your special area of research and how it relates to early modern theatre culture; (b) how the placement will benefit your academic study; (c) how it will develop your career skills.
  2. Full CV
  3. Name of 1 academic referee

Candidates will be interviewed and if suitable candidates are found the placement(s) will begin on 2 November.

The placements are unpaid and we cannot pay travel expenses. Successful applicants will receive a Globe staff pass that entitles them to free access to Globe Education events. Holders of Globe staff passes also receive discounts in all Swan catering outlets and the Globe gift-shop.

Submit your application with the information and documents requested above to marked GLOBE PLACEMENTS in the strapline. Please submit by 12.00pm Monday 17 October. Please not that you might be asked to work on these further. Final applications should be sent to Dr Will Tosh at Shakespeare’s Globe ( by Monday 24 October.

Interviews will take place at the Globe in the week commencing Monday 31 October (date and time to be confirmed).

To find out more and discuss applying contact Sue Wiseman on

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History and Theory of Photography Research Centre Autumn 2016 Events

History and Theory of Photography Research Centre Autumn 2016

Free and open to all, at 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

This autumn we welcome to Birkbeck Professor Steve Edwards, who will also be joining the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, and look forward to two seminars on illustrated magazines:

Monday 24 October, 6:00-7:30pm

Room 106 (was 112)

Tim Satterthwaite (Visiting Lecturer, University of Brighton)

Spiritualising the machine: the modernist photography of UHU magazine

The photo-illustrated monthly UHU was at the heart of the progressive photographic culture of Weimar Germany. In a stream of articles and photo-pages in the late 1920s, UHU showcased the work of modernist photographers, such as Albert Renger-Patzsch and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, alongside the radical new perspectives of scientific and aerial photography. UHU’s modernism offered more, however, than a simple embrace of technological modernity; like the great photographic exhibitions of the period, the magazine sought a reconciliation between the rationalising forces of the machine age and the organic principles of the natural world and traditional life. This talk describes how UHU’s modernist synthesis was expressed through a unifying aesthetic of repetition and regularity. The magazine’s photographs of microscopic plant forms, aerial landscapes, and the textures of urban life, were symbolic of alternative visions of social order – the organic or technocratic principles of an ideal future society.

Wednesday 16 November, 6:00-7:30pm

Room 116 (was 112)

Samuel Bibby (Association of Art Historians)

‘New! Art… Plus Added Social Purpose’: BLOCK and the Periodical Landscape of 1970s British Art History

Dates for next term:

Thursday 2 February 2017, 6:00-7:30pm

Marcia Pointon (Professor Emeritus in History of Art, University of Manchester, and Research Fellow, Courtauld Institute of Art)

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