CFP: Institute of Modern Languages Research Graduate Forum, Senate House 2017-18

With the new term approaching, we are glad to invite you to join the 2017-2018 Graduate Forum hosted by the Institute of Modern Languages Research, at Senate House, London.

Each session requires two speakers, who can be from any subject related to the study of modern languages and cultures. Graduate students from departments other than Modern Languages (e.g. Anthropology, History, History of Art, Film and Media, etc.) and students working on comparative projects involving one or more Germanic or Romance language are particularly welcome to join the group to develop interdisciplinary links.

Each presentation should last roughly 20 minutes followed by a Q&A session with free wine and nibbles. The Graduate Forum is a friendly and informal space for postgraduates to present work-in-progress, or practice for that big upcoming conference, and get constructive feedback from peers across languages and institutions.

The dates for 2017-2018 are as follows (all 6-7:30pm in Senate House):

  • 12 October 2017
  • 16 Nov 2017
  • 7 Dec 2017
  • 11 Jan 2018
  • 8 Feb 2018
  • 8 March 2018
  • 12 April 2018
  • 10 May 2018

Please contact if you are interested in presenting a paper. Please include a working title/brief outline of the subject of your presentation, as well as an institutional affiliation and a short bio. Please also state whether any dates are preferable (we will try to be accommodating but cannot guarantee first choice for everyone).

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best wishes,


Guido, Thomas and Yejun

IMLR Grad Forum Co-ordinator

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Birkbeck Centre for Medical Humanities Reading Group – Autumn Term 2017

The Birkbeck Centre for Medical Humanities Reading Group will meet three times this term: on 19th October, the 23rd November and 7th December (topic and reading tbc). All meetings will be 3-4.30 in 43 Gordon Square (room to be confirmed).

The first two sessions will treat the topic of Skin.

Prior reading for Skin I (19th October):

Mechthild Fend, Fleshing Out Surfaces: Skin in French Art and Medicine, 1650-1850 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016). Introduction.

Roxann Wheeler, The Complexion of Race: Categories of Difference in Eighteenth-Century British Culture (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000). Introduction (available in the dropbox file from tomorrow).

Further reading: Jonathan Lamb, ‘Diagrams of Emotion: Hogarth’s Blush and Maori Tattoos’. Available here.

Prior reading for Skin II (23rd November):

Roger Willoughby, ‘Between the Basic Fault and Second Skin’, International Journal of Psychoanalysis 85 (2004): 179-96.

Claudia Benthien, Skin: On the Cultural Border between the Self and the World (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002). Chapter 2.

For more information about travelling to Birkbeck School of Arts, click here.

Prior reading:
This reading is available via the Reading Group’s shared Dropbox folder: for further details of how to access, please contact Isabel Davis.

Everyone is welcome. There is no need to book.

The Birkbeck Medical Humanities Reading Group aims to create a space in which academics, clinicians and students can come together to explore key readings, ideas and materials in the field of medical humanities. Our endeavour is to find ways of talking across the different disciplines of the humanities and medicine, and we welcome participation from colleagues and students interested and engaged in these areas.

For details of previous sessions, please click here.

If you would like to be removed from this mailing list just reply and ask. If you think there’s someone else who would be interested in this message do forward it on and suggest that they get in touch with me and ask to be added.


All best wishes,

Isabel Davis.

Reader in Medieval Literature and Culture

Department of English and Humanities
Birkbeck College

43 Gordon Square

London WC1H 0PD

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University of London Society of Bibliophiles Launch – 27 October 2017 7pm

The Society of Bibliophiles has had a superb inaugural year, with visits to Lambeth Palace Library, Peterhouse College in Cambridge and the Institute of Historical Research, to name but a few.

Now in its second year, the society has an exciting programme of events lined up; including a visit to the London Library, a private view of Bonhams’ spring auction and a dinner-talk at the Athenaeum Club by Mark Samuels Lasner. Please have a look at our blog for the full events listings.

We’re open to all and aim to provide an opportunity for those who are interested in book-collecting – whether it’s rare books, comics, or classic Penguins – to meet up with like-minded people. Meetings and visits will be held throughout the academic year and the full programme of events will be announced shortly.

We would be delighted if you’d join us on Friday 27th October at Lambeth Palace Library from 7-9pm for a glass of wine to celebrate the second year of this new venture.

If you have any questions or would like to sign up to our mailing list, please do not hesitate to get in contact at:


Key information:

27th October 2017, 7-9pm

Lambeth Palace Library, Lambeth Palace Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 7JU.

Please RSVP here

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Birkbeck School of Arts Research Student Collective – 11 October 2017

Looking for a place to discuss your research?

Join our informal researchers’ forum, run by research students.

Meeting monthly, the Collective gives PGR students across the school a friendly space in which to practice, present, explore and question your work in progress.


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Basic Instincts: Art, Women & Sexuality in the Eighteenth Century – 20 November 17

Basic Instincts: Art, Women & Sexuality in the Eighteenth Century

Monday 20 November 2017

10:00-17:00 | Keynes Library, School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London

43 Gordon Square, London. WC1H 0PD

This symposium has been organised alongside the Foundling Museum exhibition, Basic Instincts (29 September 2017 – 7 January 2018). Curated by Dr Jacqueline Riding, Historical Consultant, Author and Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Arts at Birkbeck, University of London, Basic Instincts explores Georgian attitudes to love, desire and female respectability through the radical paintings of Joseph Highmore.
The symposium will draw out some of the key themes of the exhibition, focusing on the depiction of women and sexuality in eighteenth-century culture. The confirmed speakers are: Emma Barker, Joanne Begiato (published as Bailey), Karen Lipsedge, Mary Peace, Kate Retford, Jacqueline Riding and Kirsten Tambling. Delegates will also be taken on a tour of the exhibition at the Foundling Museum.
For further details, and to book a place, please follow this link: Tickets are £40, £30 concessions & Foundling Friends.


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Dandelion Journal – Call for Editors 2017-18

Dandelion, the Postgraduate Arts Journal, seeks EDITORS to assist in the editing of the journal’s new volume. No editorial experience is necessary, although if any this will be considered an asset.

See the Call for Editors attached. Please do not hesitate to ask for any clarifications.

You can send your email to by Friday, 29th September.

I look forward to hearing from you.



Donatella Valente


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Laura Mulvey: Towards Other Cinemas – Sat 16 Sep, 6pm


Launching their series Towards Other Cinemas, writer and filmmaker Sue Clayton and film theorist and writer Laura Mulvey will present some of their early works. They will be joined by Helen de Witt to discuss these, and their recent editorial collaboration on the book Other Cinemas: Politics, Culture and Experimental Film in the 1970s. They will discuss the boundaries between making and writing, and consider the ways in which histories are reconceived over time. An anthology of essays, Other Cinemasincludes voices both established and new and explores strands, theories and politics as well as works important to this rich context. As a series, Towards Other Cinemas, aims to re-activate conversations about experimental film and video making in 1970s Britain which are both historical and new, recognising the diverse achievements of this time.

Sue Clayton and Laura Mulvey will be in conversation with Helen de Witt between screenings of AMY! and Song of the Shirt.

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Laura Mulvey: Towards Other Cinemas – Sun 17 Sep, 11:30am – 6pm

Towards Other Cinemas

Exploring the dynamic artists’ and experiential moving image work of 1970s Britain, Towards Other Cinemas is a series of screenings and discussions, exploring the renewed interest in diverse strands of experimental film and video works made in this period. Curated by Laura MulveySue Clayton, and Claire M. Holdsworth and featuring Steve PresenceLucy Reynolds, and Kodwo Eshun, we bring together works made in 1970s Britain and explore how younger generations are re-activating this recent past.

The series coincides with the publication of Other Cinemas: Politics, Culture and Experimental Film in the 1970s (IB Tauris, 2017), edited by theorist Laura Mulvey and writer and director Sue Clayton.

In partnership with LUX, London.

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CFP: Arnolfini Things –  Deadline: 15 September 2017


Call for Papers: Postgraduate Panel: Arnolfini Things

Conference: Arnolfini Histories: Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait and its Receptions (National Gallery, London, 12-13 January 2018)

 Deadline: 15 September 2017

This postgraduate panel discussion constitutes part of the conference Arnolfini Histories: Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait and its Receptions, organised in conjunction with the exhibition Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites, organised by the National Gallery, London, in collaboration with Tate (Sunley Room, National Gallery, 2 October 2017 – 2 April 2018).

Convenors: Professor Liz Prettejohn and Dr Claire Yearwood

We invite proposals from postgraduate students for papers (5-10 minutes) in the panel Arnolfini Things, which will explore the materiality of things in Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait.

While much scholarship has been devoted to iconographic interpretation of the work, the identity of the figures, and the implications of the subject-matter, the things depicted in the room, rendered with such precision, have received less attention in their own right – apart from the famous mirror. This panel is designed to articulate the roles of the other things in the paintings. We welcome proposals for ten-minute papers on any object depicted in the painting except the mirror (although presenters may wish to explore the relationship between their chosen object and the mirror). We hope to include a wide range of approaches, including papers that consider the reinterpretation, or re-presentation, of these things by Pre-Raphaelite and other artists from 1842 (the date of the painting’s entry into the National Gallery collection) onwards.

Please submit 300-word abstracts and a short c.v. to Dr Claire Yearwood (

Further information:

Conference website: forthcoming

Exhibition website:

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