CFP: Open Library of Humanities Special Collection – Waste Papers on Disposability, Decay, and Depletion Abstract Deadline 5 Jan 2018

Grace Halden and Alice Burks are editing an Open Library of Humanities Special Collection entitled Waste: Papers on Disposability, Decay, and Depletion inspired by September’s conference ‘Waste: A Symposium’ (details here: You do not need to have attended the conference to submit an abstract/paper.

Submission topics for the special collections may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Literatures of waste (e.g. fiction about waste, recycling, printing)
  • Eco-criticism (e.g. exploration of the Anthropocene)
  • Pollution and toxicity (e.g. physical / metaphorical, environmental, social)
  • Junk, dirt and rubbish (e.g. the abject, hygiene, creation of)
  • Decomposition and decay (e.g. illness, corpses, physical ‘wasting’)
  • The temporality of waste (e.g. ‘wasting time’, aging and depletion)
  • The geography of waste (e.g. LULUs, derelict spaces, wastelands)
  • Human waste / Wasted humans (e.g. bodily matter, biopolitics of disposability)
  • Petrocultures and industrial waste (e.g. extraction, environmental damage of)
  • Economies of waste (e.g. commodification, the cost of waste, disposal industries).

Submission details

Attached is the official call for articles for the Open Library of Humanities Special Collection. Research articles should be approximately 8000 words in length, including references and a short bibliography. Submissions should comprise of:

  • Abstract (250 words) – due January 5th, 2018
  • Author information (short biographical statement of 200 words) – due January 5th, 2018
  • Full-length article (8000 words) – due April 30th, 2018.

The OLH is an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded open-access journal with a strong emphasis on quality peer review and a prestigious academic steering board. Unlike some open-access publications, the OLH has no author-facing charges and is instead financially supported by an international consortium of libraries.

Please read the attached call for papers in detail.

All the best,

Dr Grace Halden and Alice Burks

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Vacancy with funding: Venice Biennale 18-19 – Steward Fellowship deadline 12 Jan 2018

Dear School of Arts Student,

The School of Arts at Birkbeck is delighted to announce an exciting opportunity to all current students. We are inviting applications for two Steward-Research Fellowships at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018, running between 26 May and 25 November 2018. A background in architecture or architectural history is not a pre-requisite. These are part funded by the British Council, and by the School of Arts. The successful candidates will be responsible for making their own travel, accommodation and insurance arrangements, but will be given a grant of £1600 for the month towards these and other expenses.

The successful candidates will work four days per week as an invigilator in the British Pavilion. Their remaining time will be used for study and research around the biennale theme, Freespace, which describes a generosity of spirit and a sense of humanity at the core of architecture’s agenda, focusing on the quality of space itself. Students may wish to use this opportunity to contribute to an existing project or a dissertation – but there is no obligation to do so.

Applications are due by 5pm on 12 January 2018.

Please see the attached guidelines for further information and links:

Application Form

Application Guidelines

Statement by Farrell and McNamara

Venice Fellowships Introduction

British Council announcement


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Coming Soon to the Peltz Gallery: Replaced Lives 8 January – 16 February 2018

Replaced Lives will come to Peltz Gallery at the beginning of 2018. Commissioned by Birkbeck Research in Aesthetics of Kinship and Community (BRAKC), four artist printmakers sharing the same studio created works in the exhibition as a unique visual response to the ‘Replacement’ conference held at Birkbeck in December 2016. All four artists explored one aspect in the drama of replacement—that of replaced lives.

The launch reception of the exhibition will take place on 11th January 2018, 6:00-8:00pm. Please reserve your free place here.

If you would like to know more about the creative process behind the exhibition, come and join us in the Gallery in the Artists Q&A session on 23rd January 2018, 6:30-8:30pm. Find out more and reserve your free place here.

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Christmas PGR Research Collective – Wednesday 13 December 2017 7pm

All School of Arts research students are warmly invited to the Christmas PGR Research Collective taking place this Wednesday at 7pm.

Christmas PGR Collective Flyer

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

There will be mince pies!

Best wishes

Mara and Laura

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Murray Seminar: Mary Magdalene in Byzantium – 6 December 2018 5pm

A reminder that Cecily Hennessy will be speaking on Wednesday 6th December at the Murray Seminar at Birkbeck (43, Gordon Sq., London WC1H 0PD) at 5pm.  As ever, the talk will finish by 5.50pm (allowing those with other commitments to leave) and is then followed by discussion and refreshments.  Details of her talk  are below, and we hope to see you there.

Mary Magdalene in Byzantium

While Mary Magdalene’s relics were housed from about 900 in a most splendid church built by Leo VI in Constantinople, she is often thought to be an insignificant saint in the east, although several indications suggest a more complex situation. This paper examines the Early Christian and Byzantine imagery of Mary, explores some eastern texts that contributed to forming her identity and endeavours to understand why the two traditions, east and west, are so distinct. 

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Birkbeck Medical Humanities Reading Group – 7 December 2017

The Birkbeck Medical Humanities Reading Group meets on 7th December to consider the topic of non-conception. The meeting is preceded by a guided tour of the Conceiving Histories exhibition for those that can make it. Full details of the prior reading are below.

On Non-Conception

The Reading Group will meet on 7th December 3-4.30, Room 321, 43 Gordon Square, London. WC1H 0PD.

Led by Dr Isabel Davis

This session of the Reading Group coincides with the  Conceiving Histories Exhibition in the Peltz Gallery, 8th November-13th December. Members attending the group might like to visit the exhibtion before the Reading Group meets. A guided tour will be starting at 2pm on 7th December if you would like to join. Meet in the gallery. No need to book.

Prior reading:
Is available by following the links below. To print it out you need to download the whole file and then select the correct page numbers on your print options.

  • William Harvey, On Conception. This is added on to On Generation. You can read an English translation in The Works of William Harvey, trans. R. Willis (London: Sydenham Society, 1847), pp. 575-86. Link:
  • Robert Lyall, The medical evidence relative to the duration of human pregnancy, as given in the Gardner peerage cause, before the Committee for Privileges of the House of lords in 1825-26 (London: Burgess and Hill, 1826), footnote plan for the Experimental Conception Hospital. The whole book is interesting, but the footnote in question is on page xvii. Link:

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.

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Burlington Contemporary Art Writing Prize 2018 – Open for entries (deadline 26 Feb 2018)

The Burlington Magazine is now accepting entries for the Contemporary Art Writing Prize 2018, and am writing to ask whether it would be possible to distribute the call for entries to your students.

The aim of the Prize is to discover and encourage emerging young writers on contemporary art, with the winner receiving £1,000 and the opportunity to publish a review of a contemporary art exhibition in the Magazine. Our guest judges are the former Director of Camden Arts Centre, Jenni Lomax and the artist Fiona Banner. The deadline for submissions is Monday 26 February 2018.

Previous winners have included both undergraduate and postgraduate students (age cap is 35 years old), and all have gone on to work in the arts, continuing to write for the Magazine and holding significant curatorial positions at institutions such as Tate Modern and the Barbican in London.

The deadline for submissions is Monday 26 February 2018
The winner of the £1,000 Prize will be announced in May 2018

Please find attached for further information.

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