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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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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Aubrey Beardsley/Mikhail Kuzmin – GRiT (Graduate Research in Theatre) event – 20 March 4pm

A talk by Dr Sasha Dovzhyk, who has recently completed her PhD on ‘The Afterlives of Aubrey Beardsley in Russia, c. 1899-1929’ in the English Department at Birkbeck, will take place on Wednesday, 20 March (4-5 pm) in Room 106 (43 Gordon Square). Sasha’s talk will focus on the playwright Mikhail Kuzmin’s response to the nineteenth-century English artist and writer Aubrey Beardsley:

Aubrey Beardsley (1872–1898), a late nineteenth-century English artist and writer, enjoyed an eventful international afterlife in the twentieth century with cameo appearances across the fields of literature, design, ballet, cinema, and fashion. In Russia, he was proclaimed ‘the first Futurist in graphic arts’, championed as a flagship Symbolist writer, and adopted as an icon of the emerging homosexual subculture. This talk will explore the theatrical aspect of the Russian ‘Beardsley Craze’, focusing on the queer modernist playwright Mikhail Kuzmin’s response to Beardsley’s legacy.

Sasha is currently a Wellcome Trust-funded postdoctoral researcher exploring the tropes of disease in the arts of Decadence. She is the organiser of the symposium La Maladie Fin de Siècle: Decadence and Disease which will take place at Birkbeck on 26 June, 2019. (For further information on the symposium, please visit: https://decadencedisease.wordpress.com)

To attend the GRiT event please email Seda Ilter directly (s.ilter@bbk.ac.uk).

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GRiT – Graduate Research in Theatre event: 28 Nov 4-5pm

I would like to invite you to this year’s first GRiT – Graduate Research in Theatre event. The talk by Prof. Alyson Campbell (University of Melbourne), whose research focuses on gender/queer theories and dramaturgies, and the experiential nature of performance, will take place on Wednesday, 28 Nov (4-5 pm) at the Keynes Library (43 Gordon Square). 

Please see the link below for further information on her work:

https://findanexpert.unimelb.edu.au/display/person10953

Please email me at s.ilter@bbk.ac.uk if you would like to attend this event.

All the Best,

Dr Seda Ilter

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GRiT: Graduate Research in Theatre 2018-19 programme of events

We would like to invite you to this year’s GRiT: Graduate Research in Theatre events. GRiT is our termly research seminars, featuring presentations by visiting scholars, faculty and graduate students.

Please note down the dates below, and let me know if you have any questions: s.ilter@bbk.ac.uk

  • 28 Nov, 4-5pm (Keynes Library): Prof Dr Alyson Campbell (University of Melbourne)
  • 13 Feb, 4-5pm (Room 106): Daragh Carville (Lecturer in Creative Writing at Bbk, playwright and screenwriter)
  • 20 March, 4-5pm (106): Sasha Dovzhyk (PhD at Bbk – working on the Victorian artist Aubrey Beardsley in early 20th century Russia)
  • 8 May, 4-5pm (106): Hannah Barton (PhD at Bbk – working on internet memes as discourse strategies within a networked culture)

It would be wonderful to see you at these events, and I’d appreciate if you could circulate it amongst your peers.

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GRiT: Jaswinder Blackwell-Pal, ‘The Value of Authenticity’ – 2 November 2017

Join us tomorrow, Thursday 2 November, 4-5pm, in G04, 43 Gordon Square for our first GRiT session of the academic year:

Jaswinder Blackwell-Pal (Birkbeck PhD candidate), ‘The Value of Authenticity’

This presentation will explore the notion of ‘the authentic’ in service and hospitality work, comparing it with the search for ‘truthful’ or ‘authentic’ performance in theatre. Using workplace training documents which provide instructions for employee’s behaviour and emotional labour, it will consider what role these social performances play in generating value, and why ‘authentic’ experience has become so prized by businesses and consumers in today’s economy.

GRiT (Graduate Research in Theatre) is Birkbeck’s research seminar series on theatre and performance research, drawing on Birkbeck’s PhD students and academics and invited speakers. Everyone is welcome, including MA students considering PhD research in future.  

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