ACT UP Thirty Years Fighting AIDS – 1-2 June 2017

The registration for the conference “ACT UP: Thirty Years Fighting AIDS” is now open!

Register at:

ACT UP Thirty Years Fighting AIDS

University of York (UK)

June 1st – 2nd, 2017 

2017 is the 30th anniversary of the founding of ACT UP, the international advocacy group fighting to end the AIDS crisis. During the AIDS crisis ACT UP played a fundamental part in the fight against AIDS, promoting a social awareness of the disease. Today, the organization continues to fight, leading educational campaigns all over the world. To coincide with the anniversary of its foundation, we are please to organise the conference “ACT UP: Thirty Years Fighting  AIDS”.

The conference will take place on June 2nd, 2017 at the Bowland Auditorium, Berrick Saul Building, University of York (UK).

Keynote speaker: Dr. Monica Pearl.

The conference will be preceded by a screening of “United in Anger: A History of ACT UP” (2012) followed by a conversation with director Jim Hubbard and Dr. Monica Pearl.

During the event a selection of interviews from The ACT UP Oral History Project will be on displayed.

For the conference programme visit:

Sign up at our Facebook event at:

Register now at!


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London 18th-Century Postgraduate Reading Group, 24 March 17 – High Art and Low Art

London 18th-Century Postgraduate Reading Group, 24 March – High Art and Low Art

Join us for the next session of the London 18th-Century Postgraduate Reading Group, 3.30-5 pm on Friday 24 March, in Room 106, School of Arts, Birkbeck (43 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD).

The hierarchies of art at the Royal Academy and the Society of Arts’ system of awards for excellence in drawing and design meant that most forms of artistic endeavour were categorised, ranked and compared in increasingly complex ways during the second half of the eighteenth century. However, the categories were permeable: many artists made careers both in high art and in the commercial world of product catalogues, advertising everyday goods. This session will look at some prints of ‘everyday’ items made by William Blake and John Bacon, with readings and images put together by Miriam Al Jamil (PhD candidate, Arts and Humanities, Birkbeck).

Guided by Granger’s category of ‘Painters, Artificers, Mechanics, and all of inferior professions’, we will look at Wedgwood’s catalogue – with its assertion that he would ‘rather give up the making of any particular article altogether, than suffer it to be degraded’ – together with an article by Anne Puetz, which discusses artisan instruction and 18th-century concerns about England’s competitiveness in the luxury goods trade. How did artists, designers and producers negotiate and engage with the status of artisanal work, and attempt to elevate and improve it? Did artists successfully straddle the divide or was there a penalty?

The readings are:

Josiah Wedgwood, Catalogue of Cameos, Intaglios, Medals, Bas-Reliefs, Busts and Small Statues (Etruria, 1787), pp. 63-73 – available here.

James Granger, A Biographical History of England […] consisting of Characters Disposed in Different Classes, and Adapted to a Methodical Catalogue of Engraved British Heads, 4 vols. (1769; 4th edn. London, 1804), I, ‘Plan of the Catalogue’, ‘Preface’, and  pp. 277-83 – available here.

Anne Puetz, ‘Design Instruction for Artisans in Eighteenth-Century Britain’, Journal of Design History, 12 (1999), 217-39 – available here.

And the images are:

  1. William Blake, Creamware Shapes, from the Wedgwood Catalogue (1817).
  2. William Blake, River God, from Eleanor Coade, Coade’s Lithodipyra, or, Artificial Stone Manufactory: for all kind of statues, capitals, vases, tombs, coats of arms, & architectural ornaments &c. &c (London, 1784)
  3. John Bacon, Stock Classical Figures to hold candelabra [etching], from Coade’s Lithodipyra
  4. John Bacon, Further Classical Statuary [etching] from Coade’s Lithodipyra

These are all available here.

The London 18th-Century Postgraduate Reading Group is a student-run reading group organised in collaboration with the Centre for Enlightenment Studies at King’s and Birkbeck Eighteenth-Century Research Group. Staff and students at all London universities are very welcome. The reading group concentrates on a different theme each academic year, with an emphasis on primary texts and recent criticism. For more information, view the reading group’s blog.

If you have any queries about the readings or the reading group, please contact Robert Stearn ( or Miriam Al Jamil (

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CFP and expressions of interest: BIMI-Pitt Research Workshop – deadline 6 April 2017

Call for proposals and expressions of interest: BIMI-Pitt Research Workshop

The second edition of the biennial research workshop organised by Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image (BIMI) and the University of Pittsburgh Film Studies Program will take place Tuesday 9 May to Thursday 11 May 2017.

The idea of the workshop is to bring together faculty and postgraduate students from Birkbeck and Pittsburgh to share their ongoing research, to get to know each other in person, and to develop collaborative research projects together.

The first edition, “Cinema and the City”, May 2015, was a productive and enjoyable occasion, which has already generated several joint research initiatives, including journal publications, student and staff exchanges, public lectures, curatorial projects, and study days.

The forthcoming edition, entitled “Urban Change”, pursues the broad theme of cinema and the city, while addressing more precisely how moving image culture – in all its changing forms and formats, both aesthetically and technologically speaking – has responded and continues to react to the on-going economic, social and political transformation of urban environments. These environments are understood as physical spaces but also as places to live, work, love and play, both individually and in terms of interpersonal and community relationships. While Pittsburgh and London remain potential urban topics for exploration, the geographical and historical coordinates of this workshop are entirely open, and participants are invited to explore contexts and examples drawn from around the world.

The workshop is open to staff and students from across the range of research areas and disciplines that BIMI is committed to representing as part of its mission at Birkbeck: not just Film and Media, nor exclusively Arts, but equally Law, History, Philosophy, Politics, GEDS, Psychosocial Studies, Applied Linguistics, and Psychological Sciences.

If you would like to participate in the workshop please send a one-page outline of your project marked “BIMI-Pitt workshop” to by Thursday 6 April 2017.

You are encouraged to present your research as a work in progress rather than a finished “output”, and to explain how your project could be shared with and developed alongside colleagues from other disciplines and institutions.

Time-slots will be generous and there will be time for discussion and socialising during the course of the three-day event.

As the workshop will take place in Birkbeck Cinema, you may wish to suggest material that you would like to show in that setting, including 16mm and 35mm prints, as well as digital formats.

Alternatively, if you would like to attend the workshop as an audience member or potentially as a respondent or chair, please let us know by email (, as it was the quality of discussion and conversation that made the last workshop such a memorable event.

Michael Temple, Director, and Matthew Barrington, Manager, Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image and Essay Film Festival


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Exhibition El Encanto, Freddy Dewe Mathews, Peltz Gallery, Birkbeck, 6 April – 4 May

You are warmly invited to the exhibition at the Peltz Gallery, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H0PD

6 April – 4 May 2017: El Encanto

Our modern world owes a lot to a product native to Amazonia: natural rubber. As well as its contribution to the automobile and aviation industries in the form of the tyre, natural rubber is employed in a range of other products: from hoses and industrial conveyor belts to gloves, syringes, telegraph cables and condoms. A history of forced labour and brutality, however, lurks behind rubber production.

In his project El Encanto, London-based artist Freddy Dewe Mathews documents traces of the rubber industry that linger still in the Putumayo region in Colombia. His art works explore this history, bringing together the Third and First Worlds, tradition and modernity, past and present. The project comprises 16mm film, sculptures, engravings, drawings, photographs, and installations. Some works in this exhibition use latex to connect the forest directly with the city, the past with the present; other works employ used and discarded tyres that evoke their cultural and historical transformation.

This is a collaboration between the artist Freddy Dewe Mathews and Dr Luciana Martins, with the support of the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies (CILAVS)

Programme of events

6 April 2017, 6pm, Birkbeck Cinema‘Landscapes of Abandonment’ roundtable ‘Landscapes of Abandonment’ considers the histories of the Putumayo region in Colombia and the challenges of a critical artistic practice that interrogates the legacies of exploitative activities on abandoned places. After an introduction by Luciana Martins (Birkbeck), there will be short presentations by Jordan Goodman (UCL), Leslie Wylie (Leicester), and Xavier Ribas (Brighton) followed by a Q&A session and a wine reception.

7 April 2017, 6-9pm – Exhibition opening and reception at the Peltz Gallery.

8 April 2017, 2.30-5pm, Birkbeck Cinema – Screening of No Paiz das Amazonas (In the Land of the Amazons, Silvino Santos, 1922, 129’) This is a unique opportunity to see pioneering moving images of Amazonia in the early twentieth century. Using footage made on his travels of more than 10,000 kilometres throughout Amazonia, Silvino Santos produced a view of the region as a modern, productive place, ready for future investment.

3 May 2017, 7-8pm Peltz Gallery – Artist in Conversation Join artist Freddy Dewe Mathews in conversation with curator Robert Leckie as they discuss the issues of landscape, progress, international trade and local mythology that are raised by Mathews’ Peltz Gallery exhibition ‘El Encanto’

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England

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CFP: Sussex Modernists and Transformations in the Twentieth-Century Landscape – deadline 5 May 2017

Please see the attached for the Call for Papers for a one-day conference on the subject of Sussex Modernists and Transformations in the Twentieth-Century Landscape. The conference will be on June 7th 2017 and is being sponsored by the Centre for Modernist Studies at the University of Sussex .

Further details can be found on the Sussex Modernism website:

or by emailing Dr. Alistair Davies on

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CFP: Revolutionary Experiences – deadline 15 April 2017



6-7 July, 2017

Department of History and the Centre for War, State and Society

University of Exeter

Convenors: Dr Ana Antic, University of Exeter, and Dr Carl-Henrik Bjerstrom, University of Leeds

This workshop aims to explore the intersections between the personal and the political in the experiences of antifascist fighters in the 1930s and 1940s. The mid-twentieth-century wars against fascism were profoundly transformative on multiple levels; they produced seismic social, political and economic changes throughout Europe, and in many cases, they impacted forcefully on their participants’ political and cultural identities. Consequently, wartime experiences often led to radical personal transformations and left a lasting legacy on fighters’ personal trajectories.

In many ways, the achievement of such personal transformations was an integral part of the fight against fascism. To reach this fundamental goal, anti-fascist resistance movements across Europe launched mass campaigns of political education and cultural mobilisation and experimented with various forms of radical political participation. Thus, for many participants, the war was not only a military struggle but a complex experience through which they became conscious political subjects.

This workshop will engage with core aspects of these revolutionary experiences. We invite proposals for papers addressing one or more of the following questions: What practices of political participation did antifascist resistance movements develop and how did these differ across Europe? What strategies did they adopt to enable marginalised populations to enter the political sphere? How were ideological goals reflected in resistance organisations’ educational and cultural programmes, and how were these programmes shaped by the fact of mass participation? What did ideology and political concepts mean to grassroots participants in antifascist struggles, and how did their understanding of politics change as a result of the war? Finally, how did these wartime lessons in radical political citizenship shape veterans’ post-war lives and political participation?

Please send a 300-word abstract and a brief bio (including contact details and institutional affiliation) to and/or by 15 April 2017. We will notify everyone of the outcome by the end of April.

More information to follow on:

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CILAVS and BIMI: Andrés Di Tella in conversation – 24 March 2017 Essay Film Festival

The Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies, CILAVS, and the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image, BIMI, present the screening of the film:

327 cuadernos: Los diarios de Ricardo Piglia/ 327 notebooks, written and directed by Andrés di Tella (2015).

Andrés Di Tella will be in conversation with John Kraniauskas (Birkbeck) following the screening.

24 March, 2017, 6-8:30 PM

In Spanish with English subtitles

The filmmaker will be in conversation with John Kraniauskas (Birkbeck) following the screening. This is the Opening Night of the ESSAY FILM FESTIVAL 2017: A Critical Eye For Critical Times

Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Cinema 1, The Mall, St. James’s, London SW1Y 5AH

Tickets: £7 to £11

For more information and to book go to ICA’s webpage:

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CHASE EU Conference Working Group – call for support

CHASE EU Conference Working Group

We are looking for postgraduate students at CHASE institutions to join a working group to help organise The CHASE European Conference. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain experience organising an international conference, and collaborate with colleagues from across CHASE institutions. As a member of the working group you will be involved with all stages of organisation, from helping to draft the upcoming funding application, shaping the theme, to approaching speakers and participants.

The CHASE European Conference: Thinking Through Brexit aims to bring together graduate students and academics from across the CHASE consortium to discuss the future of Arts and Humanities research in the face of the UK’s exit from the EU. Based at either the Paris or Brussels campuses of the University of Kent, the event would include two days of events on the practical and cultural consequences of the Brexit vote for HEI institutions, encouraging CHASE-European collaboration. Through keynotes, breakout sessions, workshops and practice-based / artistic responses, it is hoped that new networks form between CHASE students, academics and their EU-based colleagues to foster interdisciplinary ways of thinking through ‘Brexit’.

No specific research interests in the EU are necessary to be part of the working group, just enthusiasm for the project and willingness to get involved!

If you are interested in getting involved please email Leah Sidi:

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Call for Proposals: Satellite Exploratory Event – deadline 31 March 2017

Satellite – the School of Arts group/subcommittee focused on technology-enhanced learning, broadly defined – is has extended the deadline for Proposals for exploratory events to take place this Summer Term 2016-17.

Satellite’s ‘exploratory events’ are an opportunity to explore subject-, disciplinary- or problem-specific developments, innovations and issues related to the implications of new technologies for pedagogy. You may, for instance, want to organise an event around alternative approaches to assessment that make use of techniques such as mobile video, social media or blogging. Or an event which considers innovative ways in-class learning experiences can be blended with online activities in-between sessions. Or the ways in which the digitalisation of our research objects or methods might shift how we teach and assess our subject areas. These examples are not exhaustive, and there are many other possibilities.

Exploratory events can be proposed by School academics, teaching and scholarship staff, administrative staff, as well as postgraduate research students.

Proposals are due by 5pm on 31 March 2017 and must include the following:

  • Event Title
  • Event Convenor(s) (name and short bio / link to web profile)
  • Short Event Description
  • Requested funding amount and its purpose(s) (e.g. catering costs – please specify if Satellite funding will be complemented by other funds, e.g. from department or research centre)

Please submit your proposal to Scott Rodgers at Feel free to get in touch with Scott should you have any questions, or if you would like to discuss a potential idea further.

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Medical Humanities Reading Group: Thursday 23 March 3-4.30pm

Our next reading group will explore the relationship between portraiture and illness, and will be led by the artist Tim Wainwright.

We will meet on Thursday 23 March, 3-4.30pm in Room BO2, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square.

Set texts:

  • Transplant & Life digital guide:
  • Tamar Tembeck, ‘Selfies of Ill Health: Online Autopathographic Photography and the Dramaturgy of the Everyday’, Social Media + Society, 2:1 (2016) (available online or via the Reading Group’s shared Dropbox folder: for further details of how to access, please contact Heather Tilley).

More details can be found on our website.

Please do forward details on to interested colleagues and postgraduate students.

Kind regards


Dr Heather Tilley

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