Peltz Internship

Birkbeck’s Peltz Gallery, hosted at the School of Arts, is a flexible exhibition space for digital and material displays, small-scale performances, lectures and meetings. The space allows a constellation of research and creative activities to happen at the heart of the building.  Over the two years since it was opened, the Peltz has hosted a wide range of exhibitions based on the research interests and public engagement activities of academics and other staff at Birkbeck. Over the coming year, the range of exhibitions, and associated public events, is due to expand with plans for an artist-in-residence scheme. This provides a valuable opportunity for Birkbeck MPhil/PhD students to gain valuable experience in curating and event management processes.

We are delighted to offer MPhil/PhD students at Birkbeck the opportunity to develop their experience of working in a gallery.  We wish to appoint one intern per academic term during this academic year to work closely with the Peltz Director Annie Coombes, Dr Wendy Earle (Impact development officer), Peltz committee members as appropriate, and the Gallery Administrator and Media Technician. In particular, the interns would be involved in:

  • Supporting the curation and organisation of exhibitions at the Peltz
  • The organisation, promotion and hosting of academic and cultural events, symposia, workshops, screenings and master classes, including the artist-in-residence scheme.
  • To coordinate documentation and recording of events, audience surveys and follow up, social media practices and development, to participate in and contribute to Peltz Committee meetings and liaise across the Schools and College on behalf of the Gallery.

We need to recruit an intern for next term. The position involves a total 40 hours work paid at £15.55/hr.

The essential components of this role are:

  • Event co-ordination and promotion to target audiences (using online resources and social media)
  • Help with promotion, installation and deinstalling exhibitions in the Peltz
  • Manage design and print of event publications
  • Promotion of exhibition through social and other media
  • Monitor numbers and feedback
  • Draft evaluation report

Please note that the job requires hands on assistance and willingness to troubleshoot


Knowledge and experience required:

We are looking for a Birkbeck MPhil/PhD student with some experience of

  • working in a gallery and curating exhibitions – including installation and de-installation
  • liaising between individuals in different organisations and within different departments
  • scheduling and managing schedules


Interested individuals should send an expression of interest together with CV to by 6pm, Monday December 21.


(Funding for this post comes from Birkbeck’s Generic Skills Fund overseen by Birkbeck Graduate Research School.)

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Gender and Emotion – 6-8 January 2016. CFP deadline: 7th September 2015

Gender and Medieval Studies Conference 2016
The University of Hull

Gender and Emotion
6th – 8th January 2016

The grief-stricken faces at Edward’s deathbed in the Bayeux Tapestry; the ambiguous ‘ofermod’ in The Battle of Maldon; the body-crumpling anguish of the Virgin witnessing the Man of Sorrows; the mirth of the Green Knight; the apoplectic anger of the mystery plays’ Herod and the visceral visionary experiences of Margery of Kempe all testify to the ways in which the medieval world sought to express, perform, idealise and understand emotion.

Yet while such expressions of emotion are frequently encountered by medievalists working across the disciplines, defining, quantifying and analysing the purposes of emotion and its relationship to gender often proves difficult.  Are personal items placed in early Anglo Saxon graves a means for the living to let go of, or perpetuate emotion, and how are these influenced by the body in the grave?  Do different literary and historical forms lend themselves to diverse ways of expressing men’s and women’s emotion?  How does a character expressing emotion on stage or in artwork use body, gender and articulation to communicate emotion to their viewer?  Moreover, is emotion viewed differently depending on the gendered identity of the body expressing it?  Is emotion and its reception used to construct, deconstruct, challenge or confirm gender identities?

This conference seeks to explore the manifestations, performances and functions of emotion in the early to late Middle Ages, and to examine the ways in which emotion is gendered and used to construct gender identities.

Proposals are now being accepted for 20 minute papers.  Topics to consider may include, but are not limited to:

  • Gender and emotional expression: representing and performing emotion
  • The emotional body
  • Philosophies of emotion: theory and morality
  • Emotional objects and vessels of emotion
  • Language and emotion and the languages of emotion
  • Preserving or perpetuating emotion
  • Emotions to be dealt with: repressing, curtailing, channelling, transforming
  • Forbidden emotion
  • Living through (someone else’s) emotion
  • The emotions of war and peace
  • The emotive ‘other’
  • Place and emotion
  • Queer emotion

We welcome scholars from a range of disciplines, including history, literature, art history, archaeology and drama.  A travel fund is available for postgraduate students who would otherwise be unable to attend.

Please email proposals of no more than 300 words to organiser Daisy Black at by the 7th September 2015.  All queries should also be directed to this address.  Please also include biographical information detailing your name, research area, institution and level of study (if applicable).

Further details will be available on the conference website:

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Migrating Texts: Subtitling | Translation | Adaptation – 13th November

Friday 13 November 2015
Room 243 Senate House, London

Free entry: Thanks to generous funding from the London Arts and Humanities Partnership


Please save the date for the second annual Migrating Texts event, which will bring together academics, practitioners and cultural industry professionals to discuss subtitling, translation and intermedial adaptation. You are welcome to attend one, two or all three sessions. Migrating Texts is aimed at helping postgraduate students and early career researchers use their language and creative skills beyond their studies, whether that be for a future career outside of academia, or for developing public engagement projects and creating ‘impact’.

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Critical Waves on Resonance104.4FM 23rd and 30th June

Tune in to Resonance 104.4FM on Tuesday 23rd and Tuesday 30th June, 8-9pm to hear cutting-edge research from the brightest new talent in the arts and humanities.

Listen in to be inspired and intrigued by thinking off the beaten track, as researchers from across the UK explore; three-sided football, haunted mirrors, the cost of thinking, black women in space, the psychogeography of a ‘bike cemetery’, fiduciary law, the world of nocturnal music, the sound of climate change, and what happens when we analyse poetry according to Jeremy Paxman.

You can tune in at 104.4FM in London or online here

The programmes are the result of Critical Waves, an innovative series of talks and events, delivered by Birkbeck College in partnership with the ICA and Resonance 104.FM.

During spring 2015 Critical Waves brought together leading artists, academics and broadcasters for a series of talks and workshops aimed at exploring the role of radio in academic research. In response to these events postgraduate research students and early career researchers have produced short radio programmes on elements of their work. A selection of these programmes will be showcased during the broadcasts on Resonance 104.4FM in June, but you can find even more online where a complete archive of all the programmes made by Critical Waves’ participants will be available at

To listen to the programmes or for further information about Critical Waves visit

Critical Waves is generously supported by a Collaborative Development Award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council

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FreudOutLoud – 1pm Sunday June 14th

Marathon reading of Civilization and Its Discontents @ the Freud Museum,

Next Sunday afternoon there will be a verbatim reading out loud – a marathon reading – of Freud’s seminal text, Civilization and Its Discontents (1929).
A number of artists, poets, writers, psychoanalysts and academics have been invited to share this collective reading at the Freud Museum in London.

As you likely know, Freud’s text is an extraordinary extended contemplation on the nature of violence and repression. It considers the tension between the instinct or drive towards aggression and the paradox of civilization as a process whose cultural and social ideals repress our instincts, thus leading to perpetual ‘unease’ or discontent and disorder. It is without doubt one of Freud’s greatest texts; beautifully written, utterly compelling and relevant for the current times we live in.

Entry is free with admission ticket to the museum.
Details about the event and a list of the readers

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‘Tower Block Revisited: Aspects of British Public Housing Post-WWII’ – 26th June

The Architecture Space and Society Centre at Birkbeck is delighted to welcome our Summer term speaker:

Professor Stefan Muthesius
‘Tower Block Revisited: Aspects of British Public Housing Post-WWII’

Friday 26 June, 6pm, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, room B03

Tower Block public housing in Britain has been subjected to diametrically opposed viewpoints. This talk suggests approaches that may be taken by the art and architectural historian. Miles Glendinning and Stefan are at present preparing a successor to their 1994 book on the subject of Council Tower Blocks, a shorter account that tries to stay closer to the actual buildings.

Stefan Muthesius taught at the School of Art History and World Art Studies at the University of East Anglia. His publications include The English Terraced House (Yale University Press, 1982); Art, Architecture and Design in Poland 966-1990 An Introduction (Langewiesche, 1994);  Tower Block. Modern Public Housing in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (with Miles Glendinning, Yale, 1994),  The Postwar University. Utopianist Campus and College (Yale, 2000); The Poetic Home. Designing the 19th-century Interior (Thames & Hudson, 2009).

This event is free and open to the public.

Go to the website for more information on the ASSC and book a place on Eventbrite

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CILAVS – Benjamin Picado seminar – 9th June 2015

The Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies at Birkbeck warmly invites you to the Seminar

Aesthetic Experience of Eventfulness in Photojournalism: Vicarious Eyewitness and Narrative Indexicality

Benjamim Picado (Fluminense Federal University)

Tuesday 9 June 2015, 6pm, Room B01, School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

In this talk, Picado addresses the problem of pictorial systems underlying representation of historical eventfulness in photojournalism, in the context of debated claims about “indexicality” as hallmark of photographic general meaningfulness. while positioning against vindications of “pure” kinds of indexicality that typifies traditional theories of photography. He also questions the arguing strategies of new theories of photography that are mainly sustained by claims about the “artistic agency” of photographic practices. The depiction of actualities is an issue that requires a pragmatic account of visual meaningfulness, thus dependent on the interactions between images and the “beholder’s share”. In so considering, he analyses photographic depiction by means of the stylistic constraints of straightforwardness in visual presentation and two-dimensional composition, as requirements for the virtual immersive involvement of viewers, and also as operators of a narrative sense of indexicality.

Dr Benjamim Picado is a full associate professor in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies at the Graduate Program in Communications at Fluminense Federal University in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He directs the Group of Research in Analysis of Photography, Visual and Graphic Narratives (GRAFO/NAVI), in which context, he explores the expressive materials of contemporary visual media culture (visual discourses and narrative depiction in photojournalism, visual poetics in comics and graphic novels), with special attention to the methodological models for the analyses of visual discourse (Semiotics, Iconology, Visual Aesthetics and History of Art). He is the author of O Olho Suspenso do Novecento: plasticidade e discursividade visual no fotojornalismo moderno (Rio de Janeiro, Azougue/FAPERJ:2014). Currently a Visiting Fellow at Birkbeck, he is developing his project on the visual representation of conflicts in contemporary Brazil’s photojournalism. Personal homepage:

All welcome. No booking required.

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Curatorial Experiments – June 2015

Curatorial Experiments: an event series

Curatorial Experiments poster
Curatorial Experiments programme June 2015

June 2015, Birkbeck, University of London

Part of the AHRC-funded Arts of Experiment project, run by the Artless Group at Birkbeck’s School of Arts, this series of five events focuses on experimental aspects of curating and exhibition-making, as well as on the meaning of the lexicon of ‘experimentation’ when used in the field of art. Each of these features curators working in a highly experimental mode, or scholars in this field, each briefly presenting selected examples of their practice. At the end, the question of experimentation in artistic and curatorial practices will become the starting point for a moderated Q&A / panel discussion.

All events are free but booking is recommended. To book a place, please email

Manipulating variables: playing with the exhibition format 
Monday 8th June, 18.30
Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Square

If a scientific experiment tests out what happens in a given scenario when a particular factor is manipulated, similar strategies have been applied to exhibition-making time and time again in the past hundred years as curators set out to disrupt established rules or parameters governing the display and reception of art. The spatial and temporal boundaries of the exhibition format have been bent, modes of production and consumption of art blurred, the connections between artworks shifted between expository, fictitious, choreographic and contingent modes.
With Francesco Manacorda (Artistic Director, Tate Liverpool) and freelance curator Mathieu Copeland; chaired by Fiona Candlin (Birkbeck).

Constructing scenarios: re-inventing the public art gallery 
Friday 12th June, 18.30
Room 101, 30 Russell Square

An in-depth look at Eastside Projects, a “free public gallery imagined and organized by artists” which has become an extraordinary catalyst for contemporary artistic practices, based in Birmingham and reaching far beyond “the region”. Eastside Projects’ mission is to demonstrate ways in which art may be useful as part of society, providing vital infrastructure and supporting best practice by establishing and exercising new models for artists and curators to research, produce and thrive.
With Gavin Wade (Director, Eastside Projects, Birmingham); chaired by Gerrie van Noord (Birkbeck).

Research and replication: looking back at exhibition histories
Friday 19th June, 18.30
Room 101, 30 Russell Square

In the past few years, interest in the field of exhibition histories has seen a dramatic growth, both as an academic subject and as a curatorial strategy. Reinterpreting past exhibitions in a new light has become a common practice, between reenactment and revision in the light of contemporary debates, expanding the remit of cultural history to more and more aspects of its everyday practice and intermediate stages. What happens when you reconstruct an experiment, moving backwards from supposedly known results to retrace overlooked steps and question the origins of familiar notions?
With Dr Lucy Steeds (University of the Arts, London) and Prof Victoria Walsh (Royal College of Arts); chaired by Dr Ben Cranfield (Birkbeck).

Field testing: taking the curatorial outside the gallery
Friday 26th June, 18.30
Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Square

Like the laboratory, the exhibition space is a highly controlled, closed environment, a self-contained universe that functions according to its own set of pre-determined rules, a function of the contemporary art world applied to a particular time and space. It is however possible to put art to the test in a “naturally occurring” environment, be it a rural or urban landscape, a social or political context, or any unpredictable set of confounding factors and background noises. How do notions of the curatorial change when applied to such expanded fields?
With Ele Carpenter (Associate Curator, The Arts Catalyst) and Sophie Hope (Birkbeck).

Laboratory environments: spaces for making / displaying / testing
Monday 29th June, 18.30
Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Square

The lexicon of scientific experimentation has become a source of inspiration for the growing trend of process-based, collaborative initiatives bridging the gap between the exhibition space and the studio: Paris’ Palais de Tokyo, for example, describes its residencies programme as a “creative laboratory”. The guest speakers for this event will present their positions on such hybrid spaces for the production and display of art, and discuss possible future developments for collaborative, boundary-crossing practices.
With Kate Cooper (Director, Auto Italia South East, London) and Paul Pieroni (Senior Curator, Glasgow GoMA).

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Films with a Mission – 6th June

Christian Missions in Global History Seminar
In association with
Birkbeck Institute of the Moving Image
presents a 
Workshop on Missionary Film 

Films with a Mission

Gordon Square Cinema, Birkbeck,
43 Gordon Square WC1H 0PD
Saturday 6th June, 2015. 13.30-18.00 p.m.

This half-day workshop will explore some of the key issues and questions in historically assessing missionary film collections and the significance of the ready acceptance and use of film technology by Christian missions for evangelistic purposes. The workshop includes screenings of films made in Africa and India by and about British Protestant missions: The Salvation Army, London Missionary Society and the Methodist Missionary Society, all of which produced a significant amount of film in the first half of the twentieth century. We will also screen a fiction film made by Thomas Gavin Duffy and R.S Prakash at the Pondicherry Catholic mission in South India. The presentations by academic and independent scholars will discuss how we can begin to assess the motivations, reach and impact of the production and screening of these films on local and global audiences, contemporary to their period. The workshop will thus reflect on the importance of film in the history of missionary activities and raise new perspectives for the study of collections of missionary film archive.

1.30pm Welcome
Emma Sandon (Birkbeck)

1.35pm The London Missionary Society on film in Southern Africa up to 1925
Neil Parsons (Author and Independent Film Historian)

2.20pm Methodist Missionary Society: filming conversion in Southern Africa and South India, 1920s-1940s
Emma Sandon

3.00pm Break

3.15pm The Catechist of Kil-Arni (1923), filmed at the Pondicherry mission in South India
Stephen Hughes (SOAS) 

4.30pm India’s Coral Strand: A Cinematographic Tour of Salvation Army work in the Indian Sub-continent, 1897-1929
Tony Fletcher, (Author and Independent Film Historian)

There will be discussion after each presentation and a round-up discussion.

A Wine Reception and Book Launch of Tony Fletcher’s new book will follow:
The Salvation Army and the Cinematograph 1897-1929 – A Religious Tapestry in Britain and India.
(Local History Publications, 2015)

Entrance is free and all are welcome. No booking required. There is disabled access and a café for refreshments.

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