BGRS Conference Poster Competition announced

Poster competition – entries now open

All current Birkbeck PhD students are invited to enter the BGRS Conference Poster Competition which will provide a fantastic opportunity to share your research interests and successes with doctoral students from across the College.

How to take part

If you are a current Birkbeck PhD student and would like to take part in this Poster Competition please complete this brief form by 31 March. All those who enter will be able to claim back up to £30 for poster printing costs from the BGRS.

Prizes

Judging of the posters will take place on day 2 of the conference (23 April) and you will be asked to attend your poster in order to answer questions while judging takes place. The following prizes will be awarded:

  • £300 for the winner
  • 3 x runners up prizes of £100 each

BGRS Conference: A call for student methodology talks

We hope you will have seen that as part of the BGRS Conference (22-23 April) there will be a session where PhD students are invited to give brief presentations (around 10 minutes each) about a methodological aspect of their research project. The aim of this session is to provide opportunities for attendees and contributors to find out about methodology they are not currently familiar with, or to hear from doctoral researchers who have an interest in a similar or related methodology.

We would like to encourage all current Birkbeck PhD students to contribute to this session in order to make it a success. We think this session will be both useful and interesting for the following reasons:

  • You will have the opportunity to present your work to your fellow students and to respond to questions in a supportive environment.
  • If you haven’t yet given a presentation on your research this would be a great opportunity to do so.
  • If you have previously given a presentation on your methodology in another setting you are welcome to use that as the basis of your talk or repeat it.
  • The session will provide the chance to engage with doctoral researchers from across Birkbeck and to receive useful feedback.
  • You would be contributing to the success of the conference and helping to build connections between research students across departments at Birkbeck.

Please do use this brief form by 24 March if you would like to take part in this session.

PhD student members of the BGRS Steering Committee

CHASE Training opportunities for all Arts and Humanities PhD Students at Birkbeck

The following events and opportunities are available via the AHRC funded CHASE Doctoral Training Programme. All of the opportunities below are open to all Arts and Humanities PhD students at Birkbeck, regardless of whether they are funded or self-funded.

Future Pathways in Medieval and Early Modern Studies: Academia and Beyond

Friday, 6 March and Friday 27 March

The aim of these two workshops is to explore the possible pathways that medieval and early modern studies can open up for future careers. Both workshops will host a group of speakers with PhDs in various aspects of medieval and early modern studies that have since pursued a wide array of careers. Their personal knowledge and experiences will provide the springboard for informal roundtable discussions and exercises. These events will encourage current postgraduate students to reflect critically on the ways in which one can communicate and curate research and teaching expertise, while they will also offer opportunities for new connections to be made with a variety of individuals, institutions and sectors.


Frames and Transitions

20 & 21 March | Birkbeck, University of London

FRAMES – Friday 20 March
The annual TRANSITIONS symposium has been extended with FRAMES, a day of workshops for CHASE researchers. The workshops are Graphic Medicine with Ian Williams and Comics as Research Practice with Nick Sousanis.

The workshops are focussed on comics and arts as part of the research process, but are open to all research students affiliated with CHASE institutions.

The day is divided into two workshop sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The morning session is Graphic Medicine with Ian Williams. The afternoon session is Comics as Research Practice with Nick Sousanis.

TRANSITIONS – Saturday 22 March

Transitions: New Directions in Comics Studies is an annual one-day symposium promoting new research and multi-disciplinary academic study  of comics / comix / bande dessinée / manga / and other forms of sequential art. The Transitions symposia have been a fixture on the UK comics scholarship landscape, with a focus on new voices and novel approaches in comics research. The programme emphasises a range of approaches in research, and especially invites participation from research students and early career researchers.



Critical Race Studies and the Premodern: Archive and Seminar

8 & 9 June | University of Sussex

Decolonising the Curriculum (Practical Funded by the CHASE Consortium, the Universities of East Anglia and Sussex are hosting two postgraduate training workshops on critical race studies and the pre-modern. This, the second of two events, will be held at The University of Sussex, 8-9 June 2020, and will focus on research. The event is designed to develop students’ professional skills. We invite expressions of interest from all postgraduates working in the Humanities (giving papers, designing and chairing sessions, attending).

Call for papers: Talking about feelings in gender and sexuality research

Friday 5 June 2020 Birkbeck, University of London


This cross-disciplinary conference provides a forum for researchers in gender and sexuality studies to discuss how we deal with feelings and emotions, including our own.

After a keynote panel discussion and a series of paper presentations, we will gather into smaller groups for discussions. Current research students at Birkbeck are invited to propose a 15-minute paper presentation or a topic for discussion, which might focus on one or more of the following:

  • Theoretical models for perceiving and interpreting emotions;
  • The methods we use to access information about emotions in texts, archives, interviews, and in the field; and how our research methods may have succeeded, failed, and produced unexpected results;
  • The interplay between research ethics and our emotions;
  • The sometimes-radical and emotionally-charged roots of our research areas (including, for example, the women’s movement and the gay liberation movement);
  • Emotionally challenging or affirming/pleasurable encounters and experiences in our research;
  • How it feels to research gender and sexuality in various institutional contexts (including, for example, universities, archives, and libraries), and at different career stages;
  • How the conditions for researching gender and sexuality may have changed over time and may vary between places (for example, national, regional or institutional contexts);
  • The more and less tangible barriers we might face and perceive as researchers in this field.

If you are a current research student at Birkbeck, please send your proposal to Ralph Day (r.day@bbk.ac.uk) by Sunday 15 March 2020.

If proposing a 15-minute paper, please send an abstract of 150-200 words together with a short biographical statement.

If proposing a topic for discussion, please send a brief explanation of the topic together with a short biographical statement. You are invited to lead the discussion session with a short reflection on the topic and to facilitate the discussion.

This conference is funded by the Birkbeck Graduate Research School. There will be no registration fee for this conference, and we expect to be able to cover domestic travel costs for participants delivering paper presentations or leading discussion sessions.

Registration now open: A celebration of 100 years of the Birkbeck PhD: Past, Present and Future

We are excited to announce that registration for the Birkbeck Graduate Research School Conference, ‘A celebration of 100 years of the Birkbeck PhD: Past, Present and Future‘ on 22-23 April, is now open. This exciting event will bring together doctoral researchers and PhD alumni from across the research student community at Birkbeck. Further details will be announced over the coming weeks including a poster competition with prizes.

As part of the conference we are opening a call for current PhD students to contribute – we are looking for volunteers to describe their research focus and methodological approach, with an aim of exposing the range of approaches available, and facilitating discussion on the ways that methodology could be viewed from an interdisciplinary perspective. If you are willing to give a talk please complete this brief form by 24 March. We will endeavour to provide as many opportunities to present as we can but please note we may need to select speakers in order to represent the range of methods.

Register here

BGRS Conference 2020

A celebration of 100 years of the Birkbeck PhD: Past, Present and Future

DAY 1 – Wednesday 22 April (18.00 – 21.00)

OPENING NIGHT: The Birkbeck PhD – Past, Present and Future

  • A history of the Birkbeck PhD

Joanna Bourke is Professor of History in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck, where she has taught since 1992. She is a Fellow of the British Academy. Joanna will speak about the history of the first doctoral research at Birkbeck.

  • Highlighted current doctoral research at Birkbeck

Some of our current PhD students will present their winning Birkbeck 3 Minute Thesis talks.

  • The future of PhDs in the UK

Dr Stephen Hill, Director of Research at Research England, will speak about the future of PhDs in the UK.

Paulette Williams, Founder & Managing Director of Leading Routes, will talk about the ‘Broken Pipeline’ report into representation and diversity at PhD level study, and the implications for doctoral research and beyond.

  • Drinks Reception

Talks will be followed by a drinks reception to celebrate the opening night of the conference.

DAY 2 – Thursday 23 April (09.30 – 19.00)

On the second day you will be able to attend a range of panels and other sessions organised by the conference steering group, which is made up of current PhD students. Sessions will involve Birkbeck staff, alumni and current research students.

SESSION THEMES

  • Methods and Disciplines

This theme will provide the chance to find out more about research methods and disciplines and will include PhD students giving brief presentations on their research methodology or an aspect of it. PhD students willing to give a talk should complete this brief form by 24 March.

  • Research impact

Discover about research impact in the context of doctoral studies and continuing research after a PhD.

  • The PhD and Beyond

This session will provide the chance to hear from former Birkbeck PhD students and staff who will speak about their careers and work beyond their PhD. 

Post-doctoral vacancy – SHaME (Sexual Harms and Medical Encounters)

Professor Joanna Bourke has asked us to make current PhD researchers aware of a three-year (full time) post-doctoral position at Birkbeck, starting in October 2020.

This position supports the SHaME project, which brings together an interdisciplinary team to investigate the medical and psychiatric aspects of sexual violence, including rape and sexual abuse.

Working in close collaboration with the team, the postdoctoral researcher will undertake research on any aspect of sexual violence that involves the medical and/or psychiatric professions.

The Fellow’s research should be linked to at least one of five research streams: medicine and the law of sexual violence; the role of medical professionals (including police surgeons, FMEs, nurses, physicians, psychiatrists, forensic scientists, and so on); psychiatric classification systems (sexual violence as conceptualized in psychiatric texts); psychiatric aftermaths of abuse; and child sexual abuse.

Please view the job listing if you are interested in this role. The application deadline is the 1st of May, for an interview date of the 8th of June.

CHASE Training opportunities for all Arts and Humanities PhD Students at Birkbeck

Auraldiversities series

Auraldiversities is a series of lectures, workshops and in-situ training sessions seeking to encourage creative and critical attention towards aural diversity within the arts and humanities, with particular focus on an ecology of the ear, designed for all those researching within the Arts and Humanities, especially those with an interest in the creative, social and political dimensions of sound and listening.

These sessions specifically address the need for further study and practice inspired by, and concerning, this specific turn in research and focus on a particular theme led by an academic/practitioner with invited guests selected to represent a range of approaches. A CHASE PhD candidate with associated research interests will also give a presentation.

Sessions are purposefully multifaceted, practical, intuitive and experimental in approach and encourage collaborative work and collective activities:

Session One – Thursday 13 February | 1000-1800 | Goldsmiths, University of London

Session Two: Thursday 27 February | 1000-1800 | Venue TBC

Session Three: Thursday 12 March | 100-1800 | Venue TBC

Plenary: Thursday 26 March | 1500-1800 | Keynes Library, Birkbeck School of Arts

Ethnography and Film. Exploring Labour, Technology and Mediation in the Egyptian Film Industry

Wednesday 19 February | University of Kent

The workshop will offer participants advanced training in ethnography, applied to the context of the Egyptian Film industry. Dr El Khachab’s workshop will outline how researchers can successfully apply ethnographic methodologies, developed in Anthropology, to research issues about arts and media, especially film. Dr El Khachab will outline the strategies he developed during his PhD research to gather observations, interviews and documentary data from creatives and technicians working in the largest and most influential media industry in the Arab world. He will also provide participants an insight into how he adapted the presentation of his findings from his PhD thesis into his forthcoming monograph, The Egyptian Film Industry: Labor, Technology, Mediation.

This workshop is aimed at CHASE students from a variety of backgrounds and developed with an interdisciplinary audience in mind. Hence, attending the training does not require any specialised prior knowledge or skills, apart from an interest in the topic of the workshop.

Find out more and register here

Translation x Creative Writing – Daniel Hahn

Monday 24 February  | UEA | 2-4pm

Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor and translator with over sixty books to his name. His work has won him the International Dublin Literary Award, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award, and been shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize, among others. He is a past chair of the Society of Authors, and on the board of a number of organisations that work with literature and free speech.

Concept: Translation for Non-Translators

Find out more and register here

Future Pathways in Medieval and Early Modern Studies: Academia and Beyond

Friday 6 & Friday 27 March | University of Kent

The intended audience for both workshops is first and foremost students currently undertaking PhDs in any aspect of medieval or early modern studies (including Archaeology, History, History of Art and Literary Studies). Students will be able to register for one or both of the workshops, both of which will be hosted at the University of Kent’s Canterbury campus. The first workshop (‘Beyond Academia’) will take place on Friday 6 March 2020. The second workshop (‘Early Career Academia’) will take place on Friday 27 March 2020.

Beyond Academia | Fri 6 March | Find out more and register here

Early Career Academia | Friday 27 March | Find out more and register

Embodied Approaches to Performing Experimental Music

This training explores embodied approaches to performing experimental music, and methods of observing and reporting on research observations that arise as a result of such performance. It employs an approach to methodological training through practical, hands-on workshops.

Event 4: 16th March 2020 14.00-18.00 with Dr Sean Williams

Event 5: Event 5: 24th April 2020 14.00-17.00 with Dr Lauren Redhead

Essay Film Festival, 2020

The Essay Film Festival, now in its sixth edition, presents a global range of contemporary and restored essayistic works, each exploring the creative zone of possibilities between experimental and documentary modes of filmmaking. 

View full programme

This year’s programme features several key themes and strands:

Image from short film: Idhi Katha Matramena (Is This Just a Story?) (India, 1983)

New work by the Otolith Group and restored essay films by Ruchir Joshi and the Yugantar Collective engage with the cultural history and politics of India, providing imaginative and insightful perspectives on the educational projects of Rabindranath Tagore, the wandering Baal musicians, the changing cities of Ahmedabad and Kolkata, and the political struggles of Indian women. A symposium on the work of author and filmmaker Joshi will take place during the festival with guests from India, France and the USA, while Yugantar member Deepa Dhanraj will join researchers from Berlin Arsenal and Goldsmiths to discuss the restoration of the collective’s films.

Image of a collapsing structure

From Argentina, France, UK and the Philippines come challenging found footage experiments by Leandro Listorti, Frank Beauvais, Sarah Wood and John Torres, which critically examine the status and uses of images today while transforming them into moving and fascinating new creations. A student-led research workshop with guest filmmakers will analyse the theory and practice of found footage in the digital age.

Still from short film: America (Garrett Bradley, USA, 2019)

US artists Garrett Bradley and Cauleen Smith investigate and celebrate the depth and diversity of African-American lives, past and present, with works that, like all good essays, both question the viewer and invite us into an ongoing conversation. Both Bradley and Smith will give lecture-workshops about their practice alongside the screenings of their films. 

Image of filmmaker Jocelyne Saab

Developing the theme of ‘the living archive’, a series of events will address the cultural politics of film restoration, featuring works by Jocelyne Saab, Mostafa Derkaoui, Ingemo Engström and Gerhard Theuring, in addition to the restored films of Ruchir Joshi and the Yugantar Collective. 

Still from short film: Home in E Major, Tamar Rachkovsky, USA, 2019

Finally, Israeli filmmaker Tamar Rachovsky will join the festival to present and discuss Home in E Major, which looks at complex questions of identity and belonging through the deceptively simple lens of the diary film.

Simple and complex, contingent and reflective, hybrid and critical, the essay film that we celebrate at our festival is a constantly renewed invitation to engage with the world and to see it in new ways.

Michael Temple (Director), on behalf of the Essay Film Festival group: Matthew Barrington (Manager), Kieron Corless, Nicolas Freeman (CHASE intern), Catherine Grant, Ricardo Matos Cabo, Janet McCabe, Raquel Morais, and Laura Mulvey.

The Essay Film Festival is a collaboration between Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image and the ICA, with support from the CHASE Doctoral Training Partnership. 

Birkbeck PhD Awards January 2020

Birkbeck Research Degrees awarded in January 2020

Birkbeck awards over 100 PhDs each year. In January, eleven Birkbeck Researchers were awarded for their work in the following areas:

School of Arts

Department of English, Theatre and Creative writing

History of Art

School of Business, Economics and Informatics

DEPARTMENT OF Economics, Mathematics and Statistics

School of Science

DEPARTMENT OF Biological Sciences

department of Psychological Sciences

School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy

DEPARTMENT OF Geography

  • 1 PhD in Geography

Department of History, Classics and Archaeology

Department of Politics



New PhD Studentships to boost diversity

5 Studentships for 2020/21 entry

Five new awards have been announced for Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) PhD students who start their studies at Birkbeck during 2020. The studentships will help address the under-representation of BAME students at PhD level in all disciplines.

Julian Swann, Pro-Vice Master of Research said:

“I am delighted that we have been able to fund these new research awards for BAME students. Birkbeck has a long history of widening access to higher education and compared with other institutions, we have a relatively high proportion of BAME students but representation at doctoral level is significantly lower than across our student population as a whole. I hope that these awards will help to address this and support more BAME students to lead research at the highest levels.”

Further information

Further information for candidates is available here.

The financial support will cover tuition fees and living expenses for UK-based BAME students for the duration of their course.

Successful candidates will need to have a strong academic background and/or exceptional research potential and to have been offered a place on a relevant doctoral programme.

Deadline for applications: Monday 11 May 2020