BRAKC presents Michaël Ferrier at Birkbeck: Mémoires d’outre-mer, or Over Seas of Memory – 18th September 2019

Based loosely on the author’s life, Mémoires d’outre-mer recounts the life of Ferrier’s Mauritius-born grandfather, Maxime, who in 1922 abruptly boarded a boat bound for Madagascar and never returned. Maxime’s adventurous and romantic life in Madagascar, which included a stint as a diver, an artist, and an acrobat in a travelling circus, is bound up with the island’s history, including its period as a Vichy-governed territory at the centre of what was called ‘Project Madagascar’, the Nazi plan to relocate Europe’s Jewish population to the island. This story in turn is interwoven with the larger story of colonialism and its lasting and complicated impact on French national and cultural identity today. Join us at Birkbeck on 18th September 2019 for a discussion of this novel and its translation, as well as of Ferrier’s other works.

Michaël Ferrier is professor of French at Chuo University in Tokyo, Japan; he is also an essayist and the award-winning author of several novels. Mémoires d’outre-mer, his most recent work, has been translated into English as Over Seas of Memory by Martin Munro, Winthrop-King professor of French and Francophone Studies at Florida State University.

And here is the link: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/events/remote_event_view?id=6709

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UNREST screening 14 June 2019 and Medical Humanities Reading Group 4 July 2019

Contested Conditions Screening: Unrest (Jennifer Brea, 2017)

Friday 14th June, 18:00-21:00, Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square

Suddenly afflicted with a debilitating illness, director Jennifer Brea is eventually diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Frustrated by doctors’ insistence that her condition is psychosomatic, Brea makes contact from her bed with an activist community engaged in lobbying for further research into the disease. Spanning the categories of documentary, personal testimony and activist intervention, Unrest offers insight into a little-understood chronic illness, and explores what role the movie camera might play in giving image and voice to people living with the condition.

The film will be followed by a panel discussion with Louise Kenward, Raju Rage and Daniella Valz Gen. Book your place here.

This event, part of the Contested Conditions screening series, is funded by an ISSF grant from Birkbeck and the Wellcome Trust, and organised in collaboration with the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image.

Medical Humanities Reading Group: Exploring deaf ways of seeing through film-making techniques and visual media technologies

Thursday 4th July 2019, 14:30-16:00, Room 106, 43 Gordon Square

Are there deaf ways of seeing? And if so, what might this mean for filmmaking by and for the deaf? In this session led by Dr Rebekah Cupitt, we will explore these questions through the following readings:

  • Anu Sharma and Hannah Glick, “Cross-Modal Re-Organization in Clinical Populations with Hearing Loss”, Brain Sciences, 2016, 6, 4.
  • Patricia Durr, “Deconstructing the Forced Assimilation of Deaf People Via De’VIA Resistance and Affirmation Art”, Visual Anthropology Review, 15.2 (Fall/Winter 1999-2000)

The readings for each session are held in a shared Dropbox folder. If you need access, email sophie.jones@bbk.ac.uk (include your Dropbox-linked email address, if you have one).

Everyone is welcome at the reading group. 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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Murray Seminar: Luca Palozzi, The Holy-Water Basin of San Giovanni Fuorcivitas in Pistoia, – 12 June 2019 5pm

On Wednesday, 12th June, Luca Palozzi will be speaking about his latest research on a strange and little-known work by Giovanni Pisano. We’ll return to our usual location in the History of Art Department at Birkbeck (43, Gordon Sq., London WC1H 0PD) in The Keynes Library (Room 114) at 5pm.  The talk will finish by 5.50pm (allowing those with other commitments to leave) and will then be followed by discussion and refreshments.

Luca Palozzi

The Holy-Water Basin of San Giovanni Fuorcivitas in Pistoia,

c. 1270: Petrography, Materiality and Function

Giorgio Vasari writes in his Lives of the Artists that Giovanni Pisano “carved in marble the holy-water font of the Church of San Giovanni Evangelista in Pistoia,” and that this work, “by reason of its having then been held very beautiful, was placed in the centre of that church as a remarkable thing (come cosa singolare).” Despite Vasari’s mention in his Lives, the Pistoia holy-water basin remains little-known. The scant literature focusses on issues of style, date and authorship, failing to address the reasons why contemporary observers considered the Pistoia holy-water basin a truly beautiful and remarkable object. This paper explores this object’s surprising materiality, considering Nicola and Giovanni Pisano’s daring technical and artistic experimentations with stones and minerals scarcely used in monumental sculpture from the period. Their knowledge of materials, as well as their awareness of liturgy, crucially informed the making of this extraordinary object. The basin casts light on the ‘material turn’ of the 1260s and 1270s in Italian sculpture–a phenomenon whose magnitude and importance still await to be assessed.

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Symposium: Conversations on Care and/in the Community – 6 June 2019

Conversations on Care and/in the Community

 

Keynes Library, 6th June 2019, 12.30-6.30pm

Experiences and practices of care have changed dramatically in the past three decades. Since the passing of the NHS and Community Care Act (1990), healthcare, social care and short-term psychiatric care have been increasingly decentralised and delivered ‘in the community’. This shift has been both practical and discursive: altering the pathways by which care is accessed and the sites in which it is received; and changing perceptions surrounding the role of those receiving care in wider society. In the case of mental healthcare for example, it has led us to move from the ‘mental patient’ to the ‘service user’ as labels that define the relationship between persons receiving care and those providing it.

Thirty years on, community care continues to be a fraught subject. On the one hand, it has been seen as having a democratizing influence, opening up the possibility for greater patient choice, and of integrating patients’ and service-users’ voices into care provision. On the other, it continues to be viewed as a chaotic cost-cutting exercise which leaves vulnerable people to fall through the cracks.

‘Conversations on Care and/in the Community’ symposium invites researchers to engage in a series of conversations surrounding these new social and spatial conditions of care in the twenty-first century.

Register for a free space here: http://bit.ly/careandincommunity

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MIROnline Workshop – 25 May 2019: Fran Lock and Simon Coltman

MIROnline’s next workshop, poetry and meditation with Fran Lock and Simon Coltman, takes place on Saturday, May 25th. This is a free event but places are limited. You can book your place on our Eventbrite page:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/poetry-and-meditation-with-fran-lock-and-simon-coltman-tickets-60940146619

Exploring ways to improve focus, access new images and ideas, and turn those ideas into poetry, this afternoon will provide you with the tools you need to use meditation and free writing in your own poetic pursuits. Writing and editing poems will also be of great use to prose writers due to the focus on the lyric nature of language.

The workshop will begin with a mindfulness meditation session and will involve shorter and more focused mediation throughout the afternoon. There will be a series of exercises aimed at generating, structuring and editing poems. Editing meditations will provide the opportunity to view your writing as a reader would.

The afternoon will culminate in a feedback session facilitated by Fran and Melanie. All participants will be offered the opportunity for more detailed feedback via email after the session. Work produced may also be considered for publication on our website or performance at one of our live events.

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In-Jokes and outsiders: Considering internet memes as displaced performances’: GRiT (Graduate Research in Theatre) event. 8 May 2019

All are welcome to attend this year’s fourth and final GRiT (Graduate Research in Theatre) event. 

Film, Media and Cultural Studies doctoral student Hannah Barton’s talk ‘In-Jokes and outsiders: Considering internet memes as displaced performances’ will take place on Wednesday, 8 May  (4-5 pm) in Room 106 (43 Gordon Square). We look forward to seeing you there!

In-Jokes and outsiders: Considering internet memes as displaced performances’:

From LOLcats to Distracted Boyfriends, Galaxy Brain to SpongeBob, internet memes have been described as the lingua franca of social media. Commonly conceptualised as ephemeral visual (and sometimes aural) artefacts, memes tend to be ‘read’ in terms of form and content. However, memes are not simply proliferated artefacts; they are highly contextual and associative communicative events; shared as performances between creators and audiences, and mediated by technologies. As social and technological contexts iterate, so do the practices of meme production. Put otherwise, the experience of creating or encountering a meme can be markedly different from one week to the next. This dynamism poses interesting challenges for researchers. Can internet memes be comprehensively theorised once they become displaced from the technosocial conditions in which they were created? This seminar will discuss these points, and suggest that theoretical positions drawn from performance studies provide strategies for acknowledging – and where possible capturing – the technosocial context in which a meme was created and proliferated.

Hannah Barton is a doctoral student in Birkbeck’s Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies, where she is researching the cultural history of internet memes. She is also Digital Project Manager at Tate, and an occasional writer.

 

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Films with a Mission: Medical Films from the Catholic Mission Archives – 11 May 2019

Films with a Mission

Medical Films from the Catholic Mission Archives

1930s-1960s 

Saturday 11 May 2019, 1.00pm  – 5.00pm.

Birkbeck Institute of the Moving Image

Gordon Square Cinema

43 Gordon Square

London WC1H 0PD 

Films with a Mission, for its third screening event, will extend its focus this year to films on medical subjects from the Catholic missionary archives. The films were widely circulated and exhibited on their release and over subsequent decades, not only in Ireland and Britain, but also across the US. The afternoon symposium will explore some of the key issues and questions in historically assessing missionary film archives. It will discuss how we can gain new perspectives in understanding the motivations, reach and transnational impact of these productions on local and global audiences.

Screening rarely shown films from the Irish Film Institute (IFI) and the British Empire and Commonwealth collection at Bristol Museums, the symposium will discuss how Catholic medical orders used film to promote medical research and hospital practices. These films are part of a broader emergence of educational film at the time. They are significant for their involvement of filmmakers trained in documentary film in Britain during the 1930s and 1940s.

Amongst the films shown will be:

Visitation: the Story of the Medical Missionaries of Mary (Andrew Buchanan, 1947, 60 mins) about the medical work of a women’s religious order: the Medical Missionaries of Mary, at their mission in Nigeria, Africa;

Aran of the Saints (London Catholic Film Society, 1930s, 21 mins) made on the island of Aran, Ireland, by the Missionary Sisters of the Divine Motherhood, and produced by the London Catholic Film Society, after the release of Robert Flaherty’s film Man of Aran (1934);

Ecce Ancilla Domini  (FMDM,1950s; 54 mins) a recruitment film about the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Divine Motherhood (FMDM), Ladywell, Surrey, at their medical and educational missions in Northern and S. Rhodesia (Zambia, Zimbabwe), Nigeria, Singapore and Malaysia.

Speakers include: Dr. Emma Sandon, film historian and Dr. Carmen Mangion, historian of women religious, at Birkbeck, and they are joined by independent researcher, Edel Robinson, who catalogued the films in the IFI archive, and Isabelle Smyth, Writer in Residence, Medical Missionaries of Mary.

This event is run in collaboration with the Christian Missions in Global History seminar group, Institute of Historical Research, University of London; and supported by the Birkbeck Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund.

To book on Eventbrite please follow the link:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/films-with-a-mission-tickets-60371587042

The full timetable and programme of screenings and presentations for the afternoon will be released shortly.

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Napoleon Harlequin: Theatre and the Battle for Legitimacy, 1814-15 – 10 June 2019

Lecture by Professor Katherine Astbury

 Napoleon Harlequin:

Theatre and the Battle for Legitimacy, 1814-15

 6 -7.30pm, Monday 10 June 2019

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

The Birkbeck Eighteenth-Century Research Group is delighted to announce a forthcoming lecture by Kate Astbury, Professor of French Studies, University of Warwick.

After the allies entered Paris at the end of March 1814, the city witnessed a flood of pamphlets and prints denouncing Napoleon as ‘tyrant’, ‘monster’, ‘assassin’ and ‘comedian’. This final ‘crime’ might, at first sight, seem somewhat out of place but the battle for legitimacy that was taking place hinged on who had the greater claim to rule France, Napoleon or Louis XVIII. To accuse Napoleon of being a charlatan and an actor merely playing a part was to undermine his right to reign and it thus becomes a repeated element of royalist attacks on the person of the Emperor.  It would however, also be a weapon Napoleon’s supporters could turn to their advantage and this paper will outline the ways in which theatrical metaphor was used by both sides in 1814-15.

The lecture will be followed by questions, and drinks.

All are very welcome!

For further information, please contact Dr Ann Lewis: a.lewis@bbk.ac.uk

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Thinking (about) Automata in Descartes, Shaftesbury, and Diderot – 20 May 2019

Lecture by Dr. James Fowler

Thinking (about) Automata in Descartes, Shaftesbury, and Diderot

6 -7.30pm, Monday 20 May 2019

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

The Birkbeck Eighteenth-Century Research Group is delighted to announce a forthcoming lecture by James Fowler, Senior Lecturer in French at the University of Kent.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, discussions of the soul in the secular sphere involved thinking about automata, and whether they might think. Breaking with Aristotle, Descartes uses the cultural phenomenon of automates (such as those he viewed at Saint-Germain-en-Laye) to suggest that, quite simply, all non-human animals are ‘bêtes-machines’. Shaftesbury is strongly opposed to this: refuting Descartes and Malebranche, he argues that all animals – including humans – should only be viewed as ‘clockwork’ when they are seized by fits. By contrast, Diderot (an admirer of Vaucanson) argues, in support of materialism, that humans can usefully be imagined as animal-machines – or indeed as living statues. This tendency in Diderot can be traced in his early (1747) translation of Shaftesbury, in which the automaton, as ‘automate’, is introduced where it least belongs: in the English Earl’s thought experiment concerning a ‘solitary creature’.

 

All are very welcome! Please note: this event is part of Birkbeck Arts Week 2019.

To reserve your free place, and to see the full programme of events, please go to:

http://www.bbk.ac.uk/annual-events/arts-week/arts-week-2019

 

For further information, please contact Dr Ann Lewis: a.lewis@bbk.ac.uk

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Corkscrew Podcasting Lecture – 30 May 2019

Corkscrew Podcasting Lecture
Led by Dr. Dario Llinares (d.llinares@brighton.ac.uk)
Thursday 30 May 2019, 12-13.15pm
Location: GORB03

12:00 PUBLIC LECTURE by Dr. Dario Llinares: Podcasting Praxis: Questions of Research and Knowledge through Aural Mediation.

Bio: Dario Llinares is Principal Lecturer in Contemporary Screen Media at the University of Brighton, UK. His current research focuses on the status and practice of cinema-going in the digital age, and on podcasting as a practice-research method. He is co-editor of Podcasting: New Aural Cultures and Digital Media (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) and co-founder and co-host of the very popular and esteemed Cinematologists podcast.

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