Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies – Autumn Term 2019

Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies

18 November 2019

Kirstie Blair (Strathclyde), ‘Excelsior! Inspirational Verse and the Victorian Industrial Worker’.

Our first Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies event of the new academic year takes place at 7.30 on Monday 18th November 2019, in room 106 of the School of Arts building, 43 Gordon Square. Professor Kirstie Blair (Strathclyde) will give a paper titled: ”Excelsior! Inspirational Verse and the Victorian Industrial Worker’.

This paper uses research from the ‘Piston, Pen & Press’ project to discuss the enormous popularity of inspirational, motivating verse, a genre usually critically disregarded. It examines the role such poetry played in the cultures of working-class self-improvement and mutual improvement, for both working-class writers and readers.

Prof Kirstie Blair is the author of numerous articles/chapters and three books on Victorian poetry and its wider impacts on Victorian culture: her latest study, Working Verse in Victorian Scotland: Poetry, Press and Community, has just been published by OUP. She is the PI on a 2-year AHRC project, ‘Piston, Pen & Press: Literary Cultures in the Industrial Workplace’, on which she works closely with a number of industrial heritage museums and creative partners. She is currently running a series of MOOCs on ‘Working Lives’, exploring the history of Victorian workers on the railways, in coal-mining, and in textile factories and mills.

The session is free and all are welcome, but since the venue has limited space it will be first come, first seated.

Forthcoming Events

Alison Booth (Virginia): ‘Illustrating the Life and Complete Works of George Eliot: Homes and Story-Worlds.’

Wednesday 5th February 2020, 6.00pm. The Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Square

 

Deborah Lutz (Louisville): ‘Marginalia and Other Forms of Graffiti.’

Wednesday 11th March, 2020, 6.00pm. The Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Square.

For more information on the Centre and its activities, see www.cncs.bbk.ac.uk

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Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre – Autumn 2019

Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre – Autumn 2019

Scream Queer Murder!

On Thursday 7 November, 6-7.30pm, join us for a panel and discussion considering the “gay” characters in Agatha Christie’s work and the R & D of Scream Queer Murder! by Martin Lewton, recently premiered at the International Agatha Christie Festival 2019. The evening includes readings from the play, topped off by a generous dollop of Polari – the secret language gay men used to protect themselves.

This event is free of charge to attend – book here.

Contributors:

  • Andrew McKinnon Theatre Director, and Director of Studies, Institute of the Arts Barcelona
  • Martin Lewton Fellow of Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre, Artistic Director of Theatre Northand ¡Barcelona Solo! Festival, and author of Scream Queer Murder!
  • Julius Green Fellow of Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre, Olivier award-winning theatre producer, and author of Agatha Christie: A Life in Theatre and How To Produce a West End Show
  • Dr JC Bernthal Panel Tutor, University of Cambridge and Visiting Lecturer, Middlesex University, whose books include Queering Agatha Christie: Revisiting the Golden Age of Detective Fiction

Graduate Research in Theatre

GRiT is our termly research seminar, featuring presentations by visiting scholars, faculty and graduate students. There is no need to book in advance to attend.

Wednesday 11 December, 4-5pm (Room 106), Lewis Church (Birkbeck, and independent scholar, writer and producer), ‘Unruly Access’
This presentation will discuss how research on the experimental and sometimes seemingly inaccessible topics of experimental theatre practices of the twentieth century, contemporary live art, and subcultures can sit alongside a parallel professional practice as an arts writer and editor concerned chiefly with notions of access. Both have been enriched by the other, and the attempt to address structural issues in the creative sector, (particularly in relation to gender, race, class and disability) can perhaps benefit from a commitment and attention to the uncomfortable, unconventional and occasionally unruly.

Forthcoming sessions:

  • Wednesday 11 March, 4-5pm (Keynes Library): Ian Morgan (RADA)
  • Wednesday 6 May, 4-5pm (Keynes Library): Sarah Grochala (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama)

Birkbeck Theatre Alumni

Birkbeck Theatre Alumni network was set up in 2019 to explore ways for graduates of Birkbeck theatre programmes to stay in touch and share skills, resources and opportunities.

Our first meeting will take place on Friday 29 November at 6-8 pm in G10, 43 Gordon Square. For more information, and to book, click here.

London Theatre Seminar

Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre also supports London Theatre Seminar. For the schedule of seminars for 2019-20, click here

For regular Centre news click here or follow us on Twitter @BirkbeckCCT

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Roma Stories: New Oral History Research – Thursday 14 November 2019  5.15pm

Roma Stories: New Oral History Research

Thursday 14 November 2019                                                    

5.15-7.15pm

Bancroft Building Room 3.24, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Campus, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS

All welcome, no need to book

Speakers: Tania Gessi and Ted Sale, Roma Stories Oral History Project

Respondents: Graham Smith (Newcastle University), Becky Taylor (University of East Anglia), Julia Laite (Birkbeck)

Chair: Nadia Valman, Raphael Samuel History Centre

The HLF-funded ‘Roma Stories’ Oral History Project shares experiences and stories of Roma people from Eastern and Central Europe who live in London. A series of orally transmitted histories focus on the Roma genocide in the Second World War (the Forgotten Holocaust), life in postwar communist countries, why and how individuals and families migrated to the UK. They tell us how Roma identity is perceived, how it is changing, how people experience living in London and how they belong here. Throughout the ages, Roma people’s experience has often been marginalised or written out of history altogether. This project has captured a plethora of Roma voices, which reflect the varied nature of human experience of one Europe’s most discriminated ethnic minorities.

Convened by the Raphael Samuel History Centre, this seminar will present findings from the project, followed by responses from scholars in oral history and Roma studies.

Tania Gessi, Roma Oral History Project Coordinator, has worked for the Roma Support Group since 2010 leading various cultural and educational projects. She studied Violence, Conflict and Development at SOAS and is particularly interested in international politics and migration.

Ted Sale has been working with Roma Stories since May 2018. He read history at the University of Edinburgh, then migration and diaspora studies at SOAS.

Graham Smith is a Professor of Oral History and Newcastle University and has, since the mid-1980s, facilitated oral histories with a range of marginalised people. He is currently engaged in enabling a series of international projects on global environmental challenges.

Becky Taylor is Reader in Modern History at the University of East Anglia. Her research, which combines archival research and oral histories, is centrally concerned with the relationship between states and peoples at the margins, including Gypsies, Roma and Travellers, refugees, migrants and the marginalised poor.

Julia Laite is a Reader in Modern History at the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck, University of London.  She researches and teaches on the history of women, crime, sexuality and migration in the nineteenth and twentieth century British world.

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CHASE and UoL Screen Studies Group Training Day – 19 October 2019

We write to invite you to the annual Screen Studies Group Training Day on:

19 October, 2019 at Goldsmiths.

We attach a programme with a registration link.

https://www.chase.ac.uk/screen-studies-group

This is a one-day session presenting research methods for all new and returning doctoral students. We will address a variety of topics that now concern Screen and Film Studies such as online research, social media; installation work; music videos, production cultures, media industries, creative practice, and live cinema.  The day will include a roundtable on interdisciplinarity.

This event is funded by CHASE, however ALL Screen Studies researchers from ALL institutions are welcome.

Looking forward to greeting you there,

Rachel Moore, SSG coordinator, Goldsmiths College

Who we are:  The University of London Screen Studies Group was founded in 2001 to serve the varied interests of academic staff and postgraduate students who work on screen-related research across the University of London.

Screen Studies Today has two major goals.  The first is to bring together all new film and screen studies doctoral students in London and the environs. It will enable network building around shared specialisms beyond your home department.  Second, it will provide foundational training in methods that are relatively new to this field and which home institutions often cannot provide.

SSG website: https://www.gold.ac.uk/media-communications/research/screen-studies-group/

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Booker at Birkbeck: Creative Writing Competition – deadline 25 October 2019

As part of events relating to this year’s Booker Prize at Birkbeck, a Creative Writing competition has been opened to Birkbeck students from any School and Department, on the theme of ‘Adaptation’. Prizes will be awarded by celebrated novelist Ian McEwan.

McEwan is giving this year’s Booker Prize lecture on the 7 November; with Christopher Hampton, he will be discussing his novel Atonement and its film adaptation by Hampton.

Tickets for the event are available here: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/events/remote_event_view?id=7388.

Students are invited to submit up to 3,000 words of creative writing prose (fiction or non-fiction), by 5pm on October 25, at this link: http://mironline.org/bookerprizecompetition/. The theme of ‘adaptation’ can be interpreted according to its many resonances, whether literary, biological, psychological, or social (amongst others).

The winner, and two runners-up, will be presented with a prize of book tokens by Ian McEwan, and will have their writing published on the Mechanics’ Institute Review online.

We look forward to receiving your submissions!

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The London Renaissance Seminar – Tudor Times: Places, Families, Books – 26 October 2019

The London Renaissance Seminar – Tudor Times: Places, Families, Books

Saturday 26th October, 1-4pm

Keynes Library (Room 114), 43 Gordon Square, Birkbeck

Join us for an afternoon of papers and discussions of the archaeology of the Grey house, the places of the Grey family, book ownership and book-crafting.

Speakers and topics include:

  • Lou Horton (Birkbeck), ‘A Grey Are: the Library of Lady Mary Grey’
  • Michelle O’Callaghan (Reading), ‘Household Recreations: Crafting Poetry Anthologies in Renaissance England’
  • Richard Thomas (Leicester), ‘Remains of the Grey: discovering the Childhood Home of the Nine-Day Queen’

Contact: s.wiseman@bbk.ac.uk or ‘lauenstein.eva@gmail.com’

The London Renaissance Seminar is a forum for the discussion of all aspects of early modern history, literature, and culture. It meets regularly at Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square.

Anyone with a serious interest in the Renaissance is welcome and no registration is necessary.

For further information about LRS, contact Sue Wiseman (s.wiseman@bbk.ac.uk).

To be placed on the LRS mailing list, contact Tom Healy (t.f.healy@sussex.ac.uk).

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Murray Seminars Autumn Term 2019

Welcome to the new academic year! We’re pleased to announce the details of this term’s Murray Seminars on Medieval and Renaissance Art at Birkbeck.  You’ll find a poster attached, which we hope will be of interest to you and your colleagues or students.  I’d be most grateful if you could display it on any noticeboards, or circulate it to any forums where you think it would be of interest.

Seminars take place at 5pm in the History of Art Department (43, Gordon Sq., London WC1H 0PD) in The Keynes Library (Room 114), unless stated otherwise.  Talks finish by 5.50pm to allow those with other commitments to leave, and are then followed by discussion and refreshments.  These talks are supported by the Murray Bequest in memory of the Department’s founder Peter Murray, and are open to all. No booking required.

This term’s papers are as follows;

Petr Uličný, 16th October, 5pm

The Origins of Renaissance Architecture in Bohemia

This seminar considers the leisure architecture of Central Europe in the Renaissance. He explores how two kings of Bohemia, Mathias Corvinus and Vladislaus Jagiello, hired foreign architects to bring the fashion for Renaissance architecture to central Europe. The Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand I, continued to do the same. As a result, palaces in Prague and Kutná Hora were built or ‘updated’ in styles which could be decades-old in their native Italy, but entirely novel in their new surroundings.

Michael Carter, 12th November, 5pm

Relics and monastic identity in late medieval England


Michael Carter, Senior Historian at English Heritage, analyses the importance of relics in the construction of monastic identities in late medieval England. Focussing on two Benedictine (Battle and Whitby) and two Cistercian (Hailes and Rievaulx) abbeys. He suggests that monasteries used relics to promote and sustain their wider religious role until the time of the Suppression, and that relics were also used to affirm relations between religious houses. The paper will also give an idea of the broad range of sources available for the study of the cult of relics at English monasteries, and show that significant material remains unexplored or capable of reinterpretation

Laura Jacobus, 4th December, 5pm

Faces and Enigmas: maker-portraits by Giotto and Giovanni Pisano

During the later middle ages, the questions ‘who makes an art-work?’ and ‘what is a portrait?’ had no simple answers.  The person who commissioned a work of art could be seen as the person responsible for its creation, and the person we call the artist could be regarded as just one of the means employed to make it. The word ‘portrait’ was not in use (at least not in its modern sense), and images of people were not expected to look like anyone recognisable. Giotto and Giovanni Pisano were two of the most famous artists working in Italy in the years around 1300 and they wanted recognition in every sense of the word. But how?

We look forward to seeing you,

The History of Art Department, Birkbeck

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Birkbeck Eighteenth-Century Research Group events: Autumn 2019

Lecture: Thursday 17th October, 6-8pm

Professor Colin Jones, Queen Mary, University of London

‘The Duchesse d’Elbeuf and the Arts of Resistance in Paris under the Terror’

The Cinema, School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD

The recent discovery of a series of private letters to a friend (1788-94) from the wealthy dowager duchess of Elbeuf in the course of the French Revolution is the starting point for a broader discussion of how, in the period of censorship and surveillance under the Terror, individuals strove to maintain freedom of expression and develop a critique of government. The lecture will be followed by questions, and a glass of wine.

Colin Jones is Professor of History at Queen Mary, University of London. He has published widely on French cultural history, particularly on the eighteenth century, the French Revolution, and the history of medicine. His many books include The Medical World of Early Modern France (with Lawrence Brockliss, 1997), The Great Nation: France from Louis XV to Napoleon (2002), Paris: Biography of a City (2004: winner of the Enid MacLeod Prize) and The Smile Revolution in Eighteenth-Century Paris (2014).

All welcome! For more information, please contact Ann Lewis: a.lewis@bbk.ac.uk

Reading Group: Wednesday 13th November, 12-2pm

Hannah Lyons, Birkbeck, University of London, and the Victoria & Albert Museum

‘Some trifling performances’: Women Printmakers in the Long Eighteenth Century. Artists or Amateurs?

Room 106, School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD

Hannah Lyons is a Collaborative Doctoral Student, working on the role, status and output of amateur and professional women printmakers in Britain during the long eighteenth century. In this reading group, she will consider the problematic categories of the ‘amateur’ and ‘professional’ in the context of her research.

For more information, please contact Kate Retford: k.retford@bbk.ac.uk

Thursday 12th December, 3-5pm

English Country House symposium

co-organised with the Birkbeck Architecture, Space and Society Research Centre 

Keynes Library, School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD

  • Professor Jon Stobart, Manchester Metropolitan University: ‘Home Comforts: Objects and Memories in the English country house, c.1750-1820’
  • Professor Abby van Slyck, Connecticut College, US: ‘Raising Royals: The Architecture of Childhood at Victoria and Albert’s Osborne House’
  • Professor Kate Retford, Birkbeck: ‘”A Family Home…not a Museum”: Marketing the English country house’

For more information, please contact Kate Retford: k.retford@bbk.ac.uk

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