Digital Aesthetics Reading Group: 9 December 2016 3pm

The next meeting of the Vasari Research Centre hosted Digital Aesthetics Reading Group will take place on 9 December from 3pm to 5pm in the Vasari.

For this meeting we will be reading two essays from the recent Postdigital Aesthetics: Art, Computation And Design collection (edited by David Berry and Michael Dieter).

The two essays – “Aesthetics of the Banal: ‘New Aesthetics’ in an Era of Diverted Digital Revolutions” by Christian Ulrik Andersen and Søren Bro Pold and “The Genius and the Algorithm: Reflections on the New Aesthetic as a Computer’s Vision” by Stamatia Portanova – are available upon request and all are very welcome to join us.

All best wishes,

Joel McKim


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CFP: Metropolis 2017 Deadline – Monday 16 January 2017

Metropolis 2017
Monday, 26 – Thursday, 29 June 2017
Venue: IMLR, University of London, Senate House, Malet Street, WC1E 7HU

The DAAD Postgraduate Summer School is an opportunity for postgraduate students of German, both from the UK and abroad, to gather together for several days of papers, discussions, and social events. In 2017, this 4-day conference will take place between 26 and 29 June at the Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR) in London, and will be (appropriately) themed around the concept of ‘metropolis’.

Keynote speakers: Erica Carter (King’s College London); Ruth Dawson (Hawaii/IMLR); Matthew Gandy (Cambridge); Esther Leslie (Birkbeck College, London); Martin Swales (University College London). In addition to the conference panels, the summer school will include a number of other stimulating events, such as a screening of Fritz Lang’s 1927 expressionist epic Metropolis, walking tours exploring the ‘hidden’ sides of London’s history and infrastructure, and an opportunity to respond creatively to the ‘metropolis’ theme.

Postgraduates working on any aspect of German Studies (literature, cinema, cultural studies, history, politics, philosophy, visual arts, architecture and planning) are invited to submit abstracts (maximum 200 words) on the theme of ‘metropolis’ for 20-minute papers (in English or German) via the submission form to by Monday, 16 January 2017.

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CFP: Acting Out: The IV International Flann O’Brien Conference Deadline 1 Feb 2017

Please see below the call for papers for:

Acting Out: The IV International Flann O’Brien Conference, an international conference on the theme of performance, theatricality, and illusion in Flann O’Brien’s writing, to be hosted by the Department of English Studies at Salzburg University, 17-21 July 2017.

CFP: Acting Out

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Performing Greece 2016 – Saturday 3 December 2016

We are pleased to announce Performing Greece 2016: 2nd Annual International Conference on Contemporary Greek Theatre, which will take place at Keynes Library, School of Arts, Birkbeck College, University of London on Saturday 3 December 2016, and is organised by Dr. Christos Callow Jr (Associate Lecturer, Department of English and Humanities, Birkbeck, University of London) and Andriana Domouzi (PhD Candidate, Royal Holloway, University of London).

Following the successful Performing Greece 2015, the 1st Annual International Conference on Contemporary Greek Theatre in the UK, the conference returns to Birkbeck, University of London in 2016. This year has seen a rise of theatrical interest in contemporary Greece, judging from the National Theatre production of the Greek-British Alexi Kaye Campbell’s play, Sunset at the Villa Thalia, which explored the tense relations of UK and US with Greece at the time of the Junta, but also highlighting issues of immigration and cultural appropriation; and also with the Royal Court’s staging of The Things you Take with You by Greek playwright Andreas Flourakis, a play that responds to the refugee crisis and Greece’s involvement. In addition, we see an increasing number of Greek artists based in the UK who explore, through their art, contemporary issues that reflect on Greek and European identity, Brexit, immigration, and respond to the socio-political issues of our times. This conference is therefore an invitation for people, both academics and theatremakers to come together and reflect on the rise and significance of contemporary Greek theatre and its relation to European and global culture.

10:00-10:30: Registration & Coffee

10:30-11:30  Keynote

Evi Stamatiou (Lecturer in Musical Theatre, University of Portsmouth): “An Artist’s Belonging and otherness in Post-Brexit Britain”

11:30-12:45  Performance, Philosophy and Identity in the 21st Century

  • Dr. Stella Keramida (University of Reading): ‘‘Performance narratives and Representations of the Greek identity: An examination of the genre of Performance in Greece’’
  • Lizeta Makka (PhD Candidate, Brunel University): ‘‘The necessity of a figure: the philosopher as performer’’
  • Presentation of Purged by playwright Chris Vlachopoulos

12:45-13:45: Lunch break

13:45-15:00  Contemporary Reception of Ancient Greek Myth and Drama

  • Dr. Ioannis Souris (University of Exeter): ‘‘The river Lethe: an English and Greek interpretation of the myth’’
  • Andriana Domouzi (Royal Holloway, University of London): ‘‘The Metahuman in Greek Theatre: science fiction motifs in Medea by Vasilis Ziogas’’
  • Performance with actress Lia Kostinou (Drama Centre London)

15:00-15:15: Coffee Break

15:15-16:30  Future Theatre: Metaphysics, Ideology, and Science Fiction

  • Dr. Evangelos Konstantelos (SOAS, University of London): ‘‘Transmutation of Metaphysics into Ideology: Challenges to Theatre’’
  • Dr. Christos Callow Jr (Birkbeck, University of London): ‘‘Longing for the future in times of crisis: the rise of science fiction theatre in contemporary Greece’’
  • Presentation of Superhero by playwright Andreas Flourakis

This event is free and open to the public but places are limited. Please register to attend on Eventbrite:

For any enquiries, please feel free to contact the organisers at

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This week’s Murray Seminar: 24 November 2016

This week’s Murray Seminar, which will take place on Thursday 24th November in the History of Art Dept at Birkbeck, in Room 106, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD.  As ever, the seminar will start at 5pm, with a break at 5.50pm for those who need to leave to attend classes, and will continue with discussion and refreshments until 6.30pm.  Our speaker is Pippa Salonius, who is visiting from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, and her topic is as follows:

Authority, Nature and the Image

Medieval culture has been described as a ‘culture of authority’. Kings, princes, and city-states all sought to establish themselves as central figures of authority. The pope, as the earthly representative of divine authority and justice, strived to remain their point of reference. As the ultimate authority, God’s work could be cited in words from the Bible or as images of the natural world. In a society where the word of God reigned supreme, visual reminders of this chain of command were of vital importance. Images, after all, were the lingua franca of medieval Christendom, but given the abstract nature of the message, how was its meaning best conveyed?


We look forward to seeing you there.

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Contemporary Poetics Research Centre: Poetry Reading, 30 November

Please join us on Wednesday, 30th November, 7:30-9pm, in the Keynes Library (43 Gordon Square) for a poetry reading featuring Allen Fisher, Fran Lock and Vicky Sparrow.

This reading is hosted by the Contemporary Poetics Research Centre, including some of Birkbeck’s PhD students working on contemporary poetry, Fran, Vicky and Bronac Ferran.


Allen Fisher is a poet, artist and publisher, and the editor of Spanner magazine. He lives in Hereford, and is Emeritus Professor of Poetry and Art at Manchester Metropolitan University. Altogether Fisher has over 150 publications in his name consisting of art documentation, poetry and theory. In 2015 his book of essays Imperfect Fit: Aesthetic Function, Facture and Reception , a companion to his work with essays by contemporaries and an Allen Fisher Reader were all published.

Fran Lock is writing her practice based Ph.D. on the relationship between the epistolary form in contemporary poetry and the use of letters in therapeutic contexts. She is the author of two poetry collections Flatrock (Little Episodes, 2011) and The Mystic and the Pig Thief (Salt, 2014). A third collect, Dogtooth, will be published by Out-Spoken Press in in February 2017.

Vicky Sparrow is writing her PhD on the poet-activist Anna Mendelssohn at the CPRC. Vicky’s poems can be found in datableed, Litmus, Kakania and Intercapillary Space and she’s currently finalising a chapbook to be published by Zarf Editions this Winter.

Bronaċ Ferran is first year PhD/MPhil at Birkbeck researching the work of poet, publisher and typographer Hansjörg Mayer. She’s writing a book about Mayer’s work in concrete poetry and other fields which will be published early next year by Walther König books. She also presents radio programmes on Resonance fm.

All are very welcome to attend.

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ICA Student Placement Opportunities: Deadline 4 December 2016

The ICA are currently looking for 2 students interested in taking on placements at over the winter period for the following departments;

To apply students will need to send a CV and a covering letter, stating which of the roles above they are interested in and why, to:<>.

The deadline for applications is Sunday, 4 December 2016, and interviews will take place w/c 12 December 2016

As ever students will be expected to commit to working 2 days a week for a minimum of 3 months. The ICA can contribute to travel within London zones 1-4.

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CFP: Fantastic London: Dream, Speculation and Nightmare: Deadline 1 February 2017

Please see link below to call for papers for the next Literary London conference taking place in July 2017.

Joseph Gandy, - Bank of England as a Ruin, 1830, Oil on Canvas, Soane Museum, London

Joseph Gandy, – Bank of England as a Ruin, 1830, Oil on Canvas, Soane Museum, London

It’s the annual conference of the Literary London Society (LLS) and next year has the great title of “Fantastic London: Dream, Speculation and Nightmare”.

The CFP has specifically encouraged contributions in SF/F, horror, Gothic, Weird, YA lit. etc. Birkbeck’s Dr Caroline Edwards will be giving one of the plenary addresses.

Info here:

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