Birkbeck PhD Awards December 2019

Birkbeck Research Degrees awarded in December 2019

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

School of Arts

Department of Cultures and languages

Department of English, Theatre and Creative writing

School of Business, Economics and Informatics

DEPARTMENT OF Computer Science and Information Systems

DEPARTMENT OF Economics, Mathematics and Statistics

DEPARTMENT OF Management

School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy

DEPARTMENT OF Applied Linguistics and Communication

  • 1 Integrated PhD in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)

Highlighted CHASE training opportunities and calls

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. If I could also draw your attention to a couple of calls for papers/participation that are currently open.

Journal recruiting members for next Editorial Board

Brief Encounters is currently recruiting the next Editorial Board to oversee the creation of issue 5 – see below press release:

Seaside, Ruin and De-Industrialisation on the Cleveland Coast

Friday 10th to sunday 12th of January

Redcar/Cleveland

Following the critical excursion Beyond the Heartlands and building on themes of de-industrialisation, landscape and ruin, the ‘Space Place Time’ research collective are calling for participants for a two-day critical excursion to Redcar and Cleveland. Completed in 1846, the Middlesbrough and Redcar Railway hoped to attract tourism, but like much of the region, Redcar’s expansion came with the 1850 discovery of iron ore in the Eston area of the Cleveland Hills. The engine of Britain’s Industrial Revolution, Redcar was simultaneously home to a Victorian pleasure pier. The pier’s demolition in 1981 can be seen as an allegory of the decade’s slum, which saw the simultaneous decline of both industries.

Find out more here

The Frankfurt Exotic: broken objects and porous walls in Naples

Beginning of April (deadline to apply 15 Jan)

Naples, Italy

Following the critical excursion Re-mapping the Arcades Project in Glasgow, and building on the field engagement with the work and cities of Walter Benjamin, we are calling for participants in a critical excursion in Naples: The Frankfurt Exotic: broken objects and porous walls in Naples. This critical excursion will take place over 4 nights at the beginning of April 2020 and will involve a series of workshops, walking tours and screenings with the anticipated outcome of a publication recording conversations, presentations, works in progress, creative responses and translation work.

Find out more and apply here

Bookscapes

Friday 17th of January (from 12:00) – Norfolk Heritage Centre

Saturday 18th January – Blickling Estate

The second of the CHASE DTP-funded Bookscapes workshops, offering PhD students advanced training in palaeographical, codicological and bibliographical skills, will take place on 17th-18th January 2020, hosted by the University of East Anglia and led by Tom Roebuck and Sophie Butler. At the Norfolk Heritage Centre, on day one of the workshop, attending students will have the opportunity to engage with the collections of the original Norwich City Library (founded in 1618). The workshop will move to Blickling Estate on the second day, where the students will focus on the techniques and history of bookbinding and the history of the book. The second day’s workshop will be led by Nicholas Pickwoad, one of the leading experts on bookbinding and an adviser to the National Trust on book conservation.

Numbers for the workshops are strictly limited. We encourage all interested PhD students to contact bookscapes@kent.ac.uk as soon as possible. You can also follow us on twitter at https://twitter.com/bookscapes.

CHASE Essentials – Thesis Boot Camp

Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd of February

University of Sussex

Are you a mid- or late-stage doctoral researcher, struggling to make progress with your thesis? Do you keep putting off your writing? If so, Thesis Boot Camp could be the solution. Deadline to apply – 17 January.

Find out more and register here

Aural Diversity

Various dates and venues, please see below

Aural Diversity 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. 

Session #1 | Thursday 13 February | 1000-1800 | Goldsmiths, University of London – Register here

Session # 2 | Thursday 27 February | 1000-1800 | Room 264, Senate House, London – Register here

Session #3 | Thursday 12 March | 1000-1800 | Goldsmiths, University of London – Register here

Plenary | Thursday 26 March | 1500-1800 | Keynes Library, Birkbeck, University of London – Register here

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

19 Feb (14:00-20:30)

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.

Find out more and register here

Call for proposals | The Essay Film Festival: Research, Critique, Practice

As part of its new collaborative partnership with CHASE, the Essay Film Festival is inviting proposals from doctoral students for a student-led symposium exploring essayistic forms and their relationship to academic research, social critique and artistic practice.

The conference will combine research presentations and film screenings, including examples of practice-led researchers talking through, questioning and “essaying” their own work. This event will follow the sixth edition of the Essay Film Festival, which will take place at Birkbeck Cinema, ICA, Goethe-Institut and Institut Français, from 26 March to 4 April 2020.

The symposium will be held at Birkbeck Cinema in May 2020 (exact date to be confirmed), more than a month after the end of the festival. The idea of the conference is, therefore, to provide a space for critical reflection and debate, with a certain detachment from the EFF programme itself, as well as to propose and discuss new directions for the festival in the future.

Deadline – Friday 14 February

Full details here

Call for Papers | Critical Race Studies and the Premodern: Archive and Seminar

23rd to 24th March – University of East Anglia
8th to 9th June – University of Sussex

Universities of East Anglia and Sussex are hosting two postgraduate training workshops on critical race studies and the pre-modern. The first of these will be held at the University of East Anglia, 23-24 March 2020, and will focus on teaching and pedagogy; the second will be held at The University of Sussex, 8-9 June 2020, and will focus on research. Both events are 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).

Deadline – Friday 24 January

Find out more here

Dandelion – Call for papers

Submissions are invited on the theme of

Animals

“The main shortcoming of humanistic scholarship is its extreme anthropocentrism”, Edward O Wilson recently claimed, arguing that this was “a major cause of the alarming decline in public esteem and support of the humanities”. The humanities have begun to pay attention to the depredations of the Anthropocene and to our animality, our animal origins, in the work of Donna Harraway and Pierre Huyghe, to give two notable examples. However, it could also be argued that they have narrowed dramatically, to become obsessed with individual human identity, advancing the causes of particular, discrete groups of humans. A position one could say is hyper-Anthropocenic, one following the atomizing, conflict-generating logic of neo-liberalism, which one can in turn relate to an epidemic of self-obsession and narcissism in the mirror-world of the culture at large.

Can an increased concern in the humanities with animals and animality, and therefore with nature, and by extension science, offer a way out of this impasse? Animals are still at the centre of our culture; they have always answered out needs, and our attitude to them is as conflicted as it has always been. The anthropomorphism that still dominates our attitude to them often takes on sentimental forms, yet it developed as an entirely utilitarian way to aid hunting in prehistory. When we begin to consider animals and animality we enter a world of contradictions. We spend tens of millions on pet food, but still slaughter huge numbers of animals. We could not have survived the last Ice Age without their furs and skins, and it was increased consumption of their meat that led to the increased brain size that allowed our bipedalism to advance, and thus to the descent of the larynx, and thus language; in short, this almost-cannibalism, this never-ending slaughter, was essential to our becoming human.

George Bataille said that animals dwell in the world “like water in water”, in an unmediated, non-destructive, but utterly determined way, and that humans had also once dwelt in the world in this way. But at some point in prehistory, this changed, and our exploitation of Gaia began. Questions contributors may want to consider are where our differences from animals truly lay?  Where do we find what remains of our animalism? Are there times and privileged circumstances in which we too can dwell in the world ‘like water in water’, and how can we, and should we, create them? How much closer can we come to animals? Is there anything to be said for holding up something programmed to pursue its genetic interests, allowing nothing to stand in its way, without altruism, and beyond good and evil, as a redemptive model? What possibility is there of having genuine access to the umwelt of, and somehow experiencing the full ontological reality of what is biologically different in any case? Can insights about our animality help us exit the Anthropocene without disaster, and not just ensure our survival, but even our self-overcoming, and new way of being in the world?

The word ‘animals’ has many ramifications, various morphologies, histories, and synonyms and antonyms, all of which contributors are free to explore. Topics may be related, but are not limited, to:

  • The Animal, Gender and Sexuality
  • Representations of the Animal and Neurodivergence
  • Animal rights
  • The Anthroposcene/Post-anthroposcene
  • Anthrozoology
  • The post-human
  • The trans-human
  • Humanism and anti-humanism
  • Animal Studies
  • Animalism
  • Beastliness
  • Animal consciousness
  • The Chthulucene
  • The animal as trope
  • Anthropomorphism and totemism
  • The animal and animalism in philosophy
  • Anthropocentrism
  • Animal-human relations
  • The humanoid and the theanthropic
  • Chimeras and monsters
  • The fabular
  • The apocalyptic and the revenge of nature
  • The animal in horror and science fiction
  • Becoming animal
  • Evolution
  • Extinction
  • Human as animal, animal as human

Submission guidelines

We welcome long articles (of 5000-8000 words), or shorter ones (of 3000-5000 words). We also welcome reviews of books, films, performances, exhibitions, and festivals (of around 1500 words).

We also publish interviews that you may wish to conduct with an author/artist, and artwork including visual art; creative writing; podcasts, and video footage (up to 10 minutes).

We would be happy to discuss ideas for submissions with interested authors prior to the submission deadline.

Please send your submissions to mail@dandelionjournal.org by 1st August, 2020

Birkbeck PhD and MPhil Awards November 2019

Birkbeck Research Degrees awarded in November 2019

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

School of Arts

Department of Cultures and languages

Department of English, Theatre and Creative writing

School of Business, Economics and Informatics

DEPARTMENT OF Economics, Mathematics and Statistics

  • 2 PhDs in Economics, Finance and Mathematical Finance

DEPARTMENT OF Management

School of Science

department of biological sciences

DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCES

School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy

DEPARTMENT OF Applied Linguistics and Communication

  • 1 Integrated PhD in Intercultural Communication

BBSRC LIDo – Teaching Week: February 2020

Current Birkbeck PhD students are invited by the BBSRC-funded LIDo PhD programme to attend events in their multi-disciplinary Teaching Week in February 2020. The sessions are open to all University of London PhD students regardless of their subject area.

This year the week consists of a series of separate day-long workshops on themes of Drug Discovery, Software Development in Biology & Medicine, The Psychology of Wellbeing, Insects in Agriculture and Ethics in Health Sciences .

PhD students should express their interest in attending each event by clicking here and completing a short form, full details of locations (London – UCL) and speaker biographies will follow in the new year.

Places are limited so please let us know as soon as you can.

Drug Discovery: Monday 17 February 2020

  • Translational Genomics in Drug Discovery
  • Data-driven drug discovery
  • AI and Drug Discovery
  • Data mining in Drug Discovery
  • Computer-Aided Drug Discovery

Software: Tuesday 18 February 2020

  • Development and implementation of intelligent patient monitoring systems
  • Information Management in Systems Biology
  • Software Solutions for Research Communication
  • Software Engineering for Research Computing
  • Problems of uncertainty in Sensor System Software 

Psychology: Wednesday 19 February 2020

  • The Impact of Social Identity on Mental Health Outcomes
  • Emotion Regulation and the Brain
  • Psychological wellbeing following atypical prenatal hormone environments
  • Big Data Psychology: measuring well-being in transactional data
  • Impact on brain anatomy of allele risk for mental disorders

Entomology: Thursday 20 February 2020

  • Applied Ecology: making fundamental research relevant to real-world problems
  • Understanding and mitigating arthropod vectors and vector-borne diseases as ecosystem disservices
  • The use of biocontrol as an alternative to pesticide
  • Impact of climate change on vector-borne diseases
  • The impacts of agrochemicals on bees

Ethics: Friday 21 February 2020

  • Ethical Issues in Reproductive Technologies
  • Vaccination Ethics
  • Ethics and Gene Editing
  • The Ethics of Antibiotic Resistance
  • Ethical considerations of emerging technologies

Assessors sought to assess CREST Award projects from 14 to 19-year-old students

The British Science Association’s mission is to transform the diversity and inclusivity of science; to reach under-served audiences and increase the number of people who are actively involved and engaged in science. 

They are looking to recruit CREST assessors within the fields of: STEM, Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Economics. The CREST Awards is one of their flagship programmes for young people. CREST inspires and engages young people aged 5 to 19-years old with project-based STEM activities.

CREST Assessors sought

  • CREST assessors help to develop students’ interest and attitudes towards science, along with their scientific and project skills. They do this by assessing Silver and Gold projects against the CREST assessment criteria, providing constructive feedback and encouragement, and sharing their STEM expertise with young people. Often, project assessment is the first time students’ work is seen by someone other than their parents or teachers. Students value the opportunity to share their work with someone with expertise and/or a career in the STEM sector. 
  • Assessing projects can be done on a voluntary or paid basis paid (£4 per Silver Award assessment and £6 per Gold Award assessment), with approximately 5 hours’ worth of assessments per month. All assessment and feedback are carried out via our online platform. 
  • Assessors are trained how to assess projects and give effective feedback. Also, assessing CREST projects count towards STEM Ambassador volunteer hours.  

Further details

Please see the complete details for the role here.

Those interested should register their interest in this form and will be contacted shortly afterwards. If you have any questions, would like to know more about CREST Awards or have any thoughts on who else might be interested in the CREST assessor role, please contact Claudia Linan, Education Officer: t. +44 (0)20 7019 4969

Birkbeck PhD Awards October 2019



Birkbeck Research Degrees awarded in October 2019

Birkbeck awards over 100 PhDs each year. In October 2019, six Birkbeck Researchers were awarded for their work in the following areas:

School of Arts

Department of English, Theatre and Creative writing

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 Applied Linguistics and Communication

Call for participation; Chinese follows English

Are you a Chinese student? If so please consider helping one of our Birkbeck Research students who is looking for participants in the UK for a project which aims to look at the relationship between languages and life in the UK.

Get in touch by filling out one of the questionnaires below – it takes 15 minutes to complete. There are 3 versions of the questionnaire: English, traditional Chinese, and simplified Chinese so you can choose the one that suits you best.

Thank you very much for your help!

UPDATE – British Library Doctoral Open Days

The image “british library” by fsse8info is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 

The box office is now open for the upcoming British Library Open Days.  The days explain the practicalities of using the Library and its services – including navigating the physical and online collections. Students are encouraged to choose the event which is of most interest and relevance to their studies, from the following:

2020