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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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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CHASE Work Placement Opportunity – Editorial Internship in Academic Publishing Online.

CHASE Work Placement Opportunity

Editorial Internship in Academic Publishing Online

19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth CenturyVacancy

 

Starting date: Monday 13 May 2019 for 12 months

£3675 per annum or £4175 per annum (with London Weighting) [equivalent to £21.85 or £24.85 per hour, worked out as 3.5 hours per week over 48 weeks]

The electronic, open-access journal, 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century is seeking a postgraduate editorial intern in Academic Publishing Online. You will gain editorial, organizational and technical experience under the supervision of the General Editor, Dr Carolyn Burdett, and with the guidance of the Editorial Board and the journal’s publisher, the Open Library of Humanities (OLH).

Having established itself as an innovative electronic journal in 2005, amongst the earliest titles in the area of nineteenth-century studies and fully peer-reviewed and free to view, 19 is now part of the open-access world it has helped to create: it has professional typesetting and production, digital preservation, permanent identifiers, and a sustainable publisher in the OLH.

Interns have always been, and remain, integral to the journal’s developing strategies to retain quality and distinction in a rapidly changing academic publishing field. The post provides a vital service for the journal; it also provides highly enjoyable and challenging doctoral training provision, equipping humanities graduates with vital transferable skills and experience within the important industry context of academic publishing.

The internship will build skill and expertise in submitting and achieving publication of research material; editing special issues; developing publication projects in association with conferences and seminars; networking; presentation skills; and communication skills. It will equip you with real-world publishing training experience in an open-access environment.

Interns gain detailed knowledge of the entire process of article submission and peer review. They are trained by an incumbent intern and, in turn, train the next post-holder thus consolidating knowledge and communicating it effectively and in ‘real work’ environments.

The post is for 12 months part time (equivalent to a part time placement of 3 months (FTE)). Most of the work involved can take place wherever there is access to a computer. Each term there will be a team meeting held at Birkbeck, University of London (travel funding will be available).

Hours are necessarily flexible because of the nature of journal publication and work patterns will be agreed with the General Editor. However, the ‘norm’ is 3.5 hours per week, worked over a 48 week year.

Remuneration:

£3675 per annum

£4175 per annum (with London Weighting)

Eligibility

We invite applications from students with research interests in the nineteenth century.

Selection Criteria

Essential

  • Excellent literacy skills
  • Organizational and clerical skills
  • Independence and initiative
  • Research interests in Nineteenth-Century Studies

Desirable but NOT essential

  • Web authoring and design skills
  • Experience in electronic publishing
  • Editing experience
  • Organization of research activities such as Reading Groups, Seminars or Conferences

Application

Please include in your application a letter, outlining your reasons for applying for the post, and CV, together with the name of your supervisor, from whom we will require a reference, by 15 April 2019. Send to Dr Carolyn Burdett c.burdett@bbk.ac.uk  to whom queries can also be addressed

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed shortly after the deadline date.

Start date: Monday 13 May 2019

THIS POST IS OPEN TO BOTH FUNDED AND NON-FUNDED BIRKBECK RESEARCH STUDENTS IN CHASE.

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The Essay Film Festival – starting Friday 22 March

The Essay Film Festival is back… starting on Friday 22 March with the opening of our first ever exhibition in the Peltz Gallery, Art at the Frontier of Film Theory: the Work of Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen, with extra screenings, workshops and conversations… please spread the word!

 

Now in its fifth edition, the annual Essay Film Festival, is a collaboration between Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image and the Institute of Contemporary Arts, celebrating the diversity and creativity of those artists and visionaries who work in that unique zone between documentary and experimental modes of filmmaking.

 

This year’s programme features a range of bold and innovative works that cross terrain from Argentina to Hong Kong, Iran to Mexico, USA to Lebanon, Nigeria to UK, embracing themes as varied as cancer, childbirth, the Faust legend, urban decay, workers’ strikes, psychoanalysis, colonialism, natural history, and Finnegans Wake!

 

These films will challenge your perception of the world, your understanding of reality and your place within it; they will move you, surprise you, and inspire you.

 

How does film connect intimate personal choices to political commitment; the archived or forgotten past to the socially active present; the beauty of cinema to terror, injustice and despair? How does film engage with the real while questioning the established forms of film language? And how can film touch us, emotionally and viscerally, and yet maintain that vital reflective edge?

 

Directors Mania Akbari & Douglas White, Andrea Bussmann, Dora García, Christopher Harris, Mary Jirmanus Saba, Bo Wang & Pan Lu, Onyeka Igwe and Jessica Sarah Rinland, all utilise the essay film in different ways to explore these searching questions in this year’s Essay Film Festival.

 

The full programme for EFF 2019 can be found here.

 

Come and join us!

 

Michael Temple, Matthew Barrington, Kieron Corless, Catherine Grant, Janet McCabe, Ricardo Matos Cabo, Raquel Morais, and Laura Mulvey, on behalf of the Essay Film Festival

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Workshop: The Narco-Culture of Narco-Accumulation – Friday 15 March

THE NARCO-CULTURE OF NARCO-ACCUMULATION

A WORKSHOP

The Keynes Library

School of Arts

Birkbeck, University of London

43 Gordon Square

Bloomsbury

London WC1H 0PD

Find us on the map

Friday, March 15th 2019: 10.00 am – 17.00 pm

In this workshop we will discuss the social, political, cultural, as well as the capital-logics of contemporary narco-capitalism and its mobile territories (from the land in which drugs are cultivated, to the virtual world of laundering and finance in which its profits are realized and re-invested), especially as it is both juridically – and thus, militarily – constituted by and at the Mexican-US border. Violence and ‘wars’, of all kinds, are fundamental to these outlaw logics which have spawned a variety of cultural and subjectivizing forms (some of which will be highlighted by our guest speakers here). Indeed, this particular – and supposedly ‘Mexican’ – narco-cultural formation, which at first glance seems to present itself as peripheral, is in fact becoming increasingly central to contemporary forms of capital accumulation and its representation: its presence both seen and heard in the daily news as well as in contemporary art, television, film, literature and music. In this workshop we hope to throw some light on some of these processes from a variety of critical perspectives.

Open to everyone. No booking necessary.

For more information and to see the programme, click here.

This workshop is organised by Professor John Kraniauskas (j.kraniauskas@bbk.ac.uk). For any further information, please contact him.

This workshop is supported by CILAVS, Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies, and BIH, the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.

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‘Death, Afterlife and the Question of Autobiography (Biutiful, 2010)’ – Friday 15 March

The Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies, CILAVS, cordially invites you to its Seminar Series event for Spring 2019.

“Death, Afterlife and the Question of Autobiography (Biutiful, 2010)”

A talk by Prof. Cristina Moreiras-Menor, U. Of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Friday 15 March, 2019 at 6PM

Keynes Library

School of Arts

Birkbeck, University of London

43 Gordon Square

London WC1H 0PD

Find us on the map

 

The book The Inoperative Community by Jean-Luc Nancy opens with this statement, which registers the exhaustion of thinking through History as one of the tragedies of our times.  I will approach this exhaustion in regard to a Spanish film that speaks of death and extinction while at the same time proposing, through the passion of its image, and in a certain politics of the afterlife that the film emits, a reflection on the political potentiality that is the recovered through a redemptive historicity. I refer to Biutiful, by Alejandro González Iñárritu (2010), which testifies, from the story of the agony of its protagonist, Uxbal, the presence of an essential in-certainty: life as a transition and, therefore, as a new beginning and/or as a non-finitude. The film proposes a historicity of experience erased by the exhaustion of history to which Nancy refers. Biutiful explodes, in the always continuous wandering of its protagonist through a desolated city, the historicity of its experience of life, death and the afterlife. Afterlife is powerfully associated in the film with the promise and permanence of that which has been lost, and therefore with the experience of remembering. Indeed, the film plays with the idea of a recovery, through a story that I will call autobiographical: the experience of history as afterlife and as event that accumulates death. My essay will be an intervention regarding the need of rethinking the politics of life, memory and inheritance through the facticity of death.

Cristina Moreiras-Menor received her Ph.D in Spanish Literature from the University of California, Davis. Between 1996-2002 she taught Spanish Peninsular literature at Yale University. Currently she is Professor of Iberian Literature and Culture and Women’s Studies at The University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) where she was the Chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures for the last eight years and where she works in Galician and Spanish Literature, Spanish film, cultural theory, and psychoanalysis. She has published extensively on 19 and 20th century Spanish literature and film.  She is the author of Cultura herida: Literatura y cine en la España democrática (Libertarias, 2002), La estela del tiempo: historicidad e imagen en el cine español contemporáneo (Editorial Iberoamericana Vervuert,  2011), and  the editor of a monographic issue of the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies entitled Critical interventions on Violence. With historian Miguel Ángel del Arco Blanco, she is the editor of Constelaciones, a new series of the Editorial Cómares dedicated to publish outstanding work on Peninsular Cultural studies. She is currently working on two books, one on Novo Cinema Galego with particular attention to documentary, and the second one on the political and aesthetic relation between landscape and historicity in the works of some renowned Spanish writers (Juan Goytisolo, Juan Benet, Federico Sanchez Ferlosio, among others).

Entrance free but booking here necessary.

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Screening of A Fabrica de Nada (Pedro Pinho, 2017) @ Birkbeck Cinema on 6 March, 1PM-5PM, organised by CILAVS

One night, a group of workers realises that their administration has organised the stealing of machines from their factory. They soon understand that this is the first signal of a massive layoff. Most of them refuse to cooperate during the individual negotiations and they start to occupy their workplace. So when the administration vanishes to their great surprise, they’re left with a half-empty factory.

The closing of an elevator factory (one of many that close every month in the industrial outskirts of Lisbon) works in A Fabrica de Nada as a microcosm and a parable for dramatically exploring the textures and consequences of the feeling of impotence that most people felt during the years of austerity after the 2008 financial crash.

Under the shadow of bankruptcy, the characters in the film try to stay afloat and look for ways to reshape their lives. Driven by a sense of urgency and some kind of life instinct that remains, they are forced to embark, with reluctance and fear, in an unforeseen experience, a collective adventure. As the world around them collapses, new desires start to emerge…

Watch the trailer here: https://vimeo.com/218929595

The film will be followed by a discussion and Question and Answer Session led by Patricia Sequeira Bras (Birkbeck) and Luis Trindade (Birkbeck)

Wed 6 March 2019

1:00PM – 5:00PM

Birkbeck Cinema

43 Gordon Square

London

WC1H 0PD

Entrance free but booking here required.

 

This event is a collaboration of the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies (CILAVS) with Birkbeck’s Centre for the Moving Image (BIMI)

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The Short Films of Helena Solberg – Fri 8 February 2019 12:00 – 17:00

CILAVS, Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies, in collaboration with the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image, BIMI

cordially invite you to

The Short Films of Helena Solberg

Brazilian director Helena Solberg’s earlier films are contemporaneous with Brazilian Cinema Novo but her work remains uncharted to most audiences. Following her recent retrospective in São Paulo, the aim of this event is to bring into view Solberg’s earlier documentary films, such as The Interview (1966), The Emerging Woman (1974) and The Double Day (1975).

 

Documentary film genre conventionally uses oral testimonies of personal experiences but Solberg’s use of women’s testimonies suggests the deployment of a feminist practice of storytelling as a way to expose and oppose specific instruments of power. Shot 50 and 40 years ago, Solberg’s subject matters and aesthetic choices make her films current and prescient.

 

A discussion with Dr. Patricia Sequeira Bras (Birkbeck) and Prof. Catherine Grant (Birkbeck) will follow the screening.

 

Fri 8 February 2019

12:00 – 17:00

 

Birkbeck Cinema

43 Gordon Square

London

WC1H 0PD

Entrance free but booking here necessary.

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Birkbeck Eighteenth-Century Reading Group: 13 Feb 12pm Room 106

Birkbeck Eighteenth-Century Reading Group: led by Anna Jamieson, PhD Student in History of Art,  Birkbeck

‘The Sentimental Look in the Asylum: Henry Mackenzie and Sophie von La Roche at Bedlam

Wednesday 13th February, 12-2pm, room 106, School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square

Anna Jamieson will introduce two texts which describe visiting Bethlem Royal Hospital, commonly known as Bedlam, during the latter decades of the eighteenth century: Henry Mackenzie’s novel The Man of Feeling (1771) and Sophie von la Roche’s diary entry of her visit in 1786 (attached).

By comparing a literary and first-hand account of a visit to Bethlem, this session will consider the ways in which eighteenth-century tourist practices surrounding medical sites (or as Mackenzie calls them, ‘sights’) were informed by preconceived behavioural ideals. Spanning a period when Bethlem had recently put an end to its infamous practice of allowing the general public to view the mad, these sources mark a crucial turning point in the display of human suffering. Situating these texts amongst a number of key contemporary themes, discourses and debates – including emerging behavioural codes and the notion of performance within certain medical spaces, and how wider concepts such as detachment, disinterestedness and consumption may have impacted a visit and subsequent response – this session will frame Bethlem as an eighteenth-century ‘Dark Tourist’ destination, aligned with, but singular from, other spectacular sites along London’s tourist trail.

The session aims to generate further discussion about the relationship between suffering and spectacle. We will consider how wider sympathetic discourses impacted viewing society’s ‘unfortunates’, which in turn led to a proliferation of texts which instructed individuals ‘how to look’ at suffering.

  • Henry Mackenzie, The Man of Feeling (Berwick upon Tweed: John Taylor, 1800), pp.51-61
  • Sophie von La Roche, Sophie in London 1786: being the diary of Sophie v. la Roche. Translated from the German, with an introductory essay, by Clare Williams; With a foreword by G.M. Trevelyan.(London: J.Cape, 1933), pp.161-173

All very welcome! Please  contact Kate Retford – k.retford@bbk.ac.uk – for any further information.

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The Birkbeck Medical Humanities Reading Group – 31 January 2019

The Birkbeck Medical Humanities Reading Group will meet on 31st January 2019, 14:30-16:00 in the Keynes Library, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD to consider work on the topic of the politics of bodily comportment. This session will be led by Dr Harriet Cooper, Researcher in Rights-based Rehabilitation at the University of East Anglia, and the material to be discussed is as follows:

  • Iris Marion Young, ‘Throwing Like a Girl: A Phenomenology of Feminine Bodily Comportment, Motility and Spatiality’, Human Studies, 3, 137-156 (1980)

 

 

 

The readings for each session – including the Iris Marion Young essay not linked above – 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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