Urban Intersections Reading Group


The Birkbeck Institute of Social Research’s Urban Intersections Working Group aims to stimulate conversations at the intersection of different disciplines, practices, spaces, media, and ways of seeing and understanding an urbanised (and urbanising) world.

Last year we inaugurated a reading group for post-graduate students (masters and doctoral) in any department of the College. Through a specific text, participants have the opportunity to reflect and discuss a particular urban topic, speaking from, but also challenging, their own research and disciplinary perspectives.

Sessions are held over Microsoft Teams and there is no limit to the number of participants. We will aim to hold at least one physical meet-up a term. We have a preliminary reading list that will be open to discussion and editing by the whole group. At the start of each session, a group member will frame the text to get the conversations going.


Our proposed reading list:
Week 1:
Alatas S. F., Sinha V: Sociological Theory Beyond the Canon, Palgrave
Macmillan, London, 2017. Introduction: Eurocentrism, Androcentrism and
Sociological Theory (1-16)
Weber, M: The City, Free Press, London, 1958
Occidental City (80-89)
Week 2:
Simmel, G: The Adventurer, “Das Abenteuer,” Phiosophische Kultur.
Gesammelte Essays, Leipzig, 1919
Jackson, S: Paranoia, The New Yoker, NY, 2013
Week 3:
Wilson, E: The Rhetoric of Urban Space, NLR, Jan-Feb, 1995
Sudjic, D: Dangerously Insane, LRB, Oct 2010
Week 4:
Nora, P: Between Memory and History, Representations, Spring 1989
Sicard, M: Eutopia, NLR, May-June 2020
Week 5:
Myambo, M, T: Africa’s Global City?, NLR, Nov-Dec 2017
Ruiz Tagle, J: Territorial stigmatization in Socially-Mixed Neighbourhoods
in Chicago and Santiago: A Comparison of Global-North and Global South Urban Renewal Problem, Social Housing and Urban Renewal (Watt and
Smets, Eds.), London: Emerald, 2017
Week 6:
Thompson, M et al: Re-grounding the City with Polanyi: From Urban
Entrepreneurialism to Entrepreneurial Municipalism, Economy and Space,
Vol. 52(6), 2020
Baibarac, C and Petrescu, D: Co-design and Urban Resilience: Visioning
Tools for Commoning Resilience Practices, CoDesign, Volume 15, 2019
Week 7:
Hatherley, M: Look at England Urban Spaces, Open Democracy, August 2011
Hatherley, M: The Occupation of Space, Open Democracy, January 2011
Self, W: It Hits in the Gut, LRB, March 2012
Other:
Adams RE: Circulation and Urbanization, Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE
Publications, 2018
Halegoua GR: The Digital City: Media and the Social Production of Place,
New York: New York University Press, 2019
Hou, J: Guerilla Urbanism: Urban Design and the Practices of Resistance,
Urban Design, Vol. 25, 2020
Massey, D: The Spatial Construction of Youth Cultures, Cool Places,
(Skelton and Valentine, Eds.), London: Routledge, 1998
Zukin S: The Innovation Complex: Cities, Tech, and the New Economy,
New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2020
We aim to hold one meeting per month, but this will be negotiated by the group
once it is formed. The first meeting will take place in the middle of December 2022.
If you would like to be involved, please contact Henry Mulhall
(Henrymulhall@gmail.com) and Sara Rodriguez (paralingual@gmail.com) with
your name, department, and course of study by 30 November 2021.

Birkbeck 3 Minute Thesis Competition 2022

The BGRS is pleased to announce the 2022 Birkbeck 3 Minute Thesis Competition, which will take place on Thursday 16 June from 6pm.
You are invited to mark this date in your diaries!

Birkbeck 3MT: Thursday 16 June 2022

Join a selection of Birkbeck PhD students as they compete to communicate their compelling thesis topics in just three minutes. This event has provided some outstanding opportunities to share and celebrate the interests and successes of PhD researchers from across the College and we will invite all current Birkbeck PhD students to take part. The winner of the Birkbeck competition will be chosen by an expert panel of judges who will award:

  • £500 to the overall winner
  • £250 to the runner up
  • The audience will also have their say by picking a people’s choice winner who’ll win a special prize.

How to compete

You can read more about what it was like to take part in the 2018 and 2019 3MT competitions in the following BGRS blog posts: 

All potential competitors for the Birkbeck Three Minute Thesis Competition will be invited to attend training sessions which will prepare them and will provide useful skills beyond the competition.

This is an international event and the Birkbeck winner will have the opportunity to continue on to the UK semi-finals later in the year.

Registration

Registration will open in 2022 and will be announced on the BGRS blog and via a BGRS email to all Birkbeck research students.

London Open Research Week 25th – 29th October 2021

A group of London-based peers working in the areas of scholarly communication, research data management, librarianship, publishing, and institutional repositories decided to collaborate across institutional boundaries for London Open Research Week 2021: having experienced frustrations with the fractures and divides across the topologies of openness, we have worked together to try and forge a broad event for practitioners and research communities.

Predicated by our experiences at and beyond the four institutions collaborating in London Open Research Week, and working with the theme of  this year’s International Open Access WeekIt Matters How We Open Knowledge: Building Structural Equity, we have curated a diverse and engaging programme of live, online sessions that are free to attend.

Feminist perspectives from Early Career Researchers, critical perspectives on openness, and the increasing tensions arising in the realm of research evaluation and (biblio)metrics and the various intersections with open research will be included, amongst a wealth of international insights from scholars and professionals across the sector.

We welcome you to join us to share in the ideas and benefits that come from commons approaches; as a rich field, working collaboratively and exchanging experiences and ideas beyond our usual operational, departmental, and institutional limitations, we hope to explore the tensions that exist between our current conception and operation of openness in direct relation to structural equity in order to build upon and challenge the equitable premise that ‘open’ is often understood to imply.

For more information and to book please visit: London Open Research Week 2021 If you have questions about any of the events, please contact Emma Illingworth e.illingworth@bbk.ac.uk

Representing hidden histories on stage and screen: Two Workshops with The CATALINA Film Team

21 & 28 September, 18.00 – 20.00

Untold Arts, in collaboration with the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies (CILAVS), at the School of Arts at Birkbeck, University of London, would like to invite you to two workshops on interpreting diverse hidden histories for the stage and screen.

Untold Arts, founded by Actor/Producer Nadia Nadif and Historian/Writer Lauren Johnston, brings true unknown stories to life, championing global majority and female characters through the creative arts, educational resources and outreach workshops.

Workshop 1

Tuesday, 21 September 2021, 6pm-8pm, online.

The first workshop aims to provide you with insights into the process of how the Untold Arts team translates hidden histories into theatre and film and introduce you to our latest project, about an Arab woman privy to some of the Tudor royals’ greatest secrets. This will include talks and discussions with the creative team (from the UK & USA) including:

6.00pm: Introduction – Professor Luciana Martins            

6.05pm: The Catalina Project – Nadia Nadif (Actress and Producer)

6.35pm: The World of Catalina – Professor Carmen Fracchia

6.55pm: How the history has informed our process as film makers – Fawaz Al-Matrouk (Director), Leah Curtis (Music Composer)

7.45pm: Preparing Workshop 2 – Nadia Nadif    

Workshop 2

Tuesday, 28 September 2021, 6pm-8pm, venue tba  

The second workshop will involve interactive activities from guest facilitator Frances Marshall from HistoryRiot who aims to connect people with the UK’s past, to inspire audiences to feel a fresh sense of identity with the place in which they live and the historical sites they visit. These activities will allow you to explore your own diverse histories and how to present them through the creative arts.

Postgraduate students are especially welcome

Carmen Fracchia 
Professor of Hispanic Art History
Co-Director of the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies-CILAVS
School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London

Latest AHRC CHASE Training Opportunities for all Arts and Humanities doctoral researchers

Material Benefits of the Immaterial: Academic Publishing in the Digisphere

Friday 10th September | 0900 – 1700 | Goldsmith’s – in person and remote

A study day will train doctoral students in the ways that the Digital Humanities have, and have not, altered academic publishing. Because art and music have led computational innovations in the Digital Humanities, their digital publications will serve as case studies; the intended audience is all arts and humanities researchers whose objects of study pose transmission challenges apposite to those in art and music. Four themes will be addressed:

  1. Output and its Transmission. How have digital and computational tools altered the creation, and the transmission, of the object of study?
  2. Remodelling Distribution. How have new formats changed distribution models?
  3. Sustainability: Are solutions to sustainability traded between digital publications?
  4. Open Access: How do emerging online publications, often staffed only by volunteers, compete with a university press publication in status, or financial resourcing?

After each speaker’s presentation, CHASE students will put questions to the speaker and their panel. For a final roundtable, CHASE students will be asked to chair and lead discussions.

During registration you will be asked whether you plan to attend remotely or in person.

Register here

CHASE Medical Humanities Network | ‘What the Book Told’: Artists’ Books and Lived Experience with Stella Bolaki

Thursday 16th September | 1700 – 1900 | Online

What is distinctive about the artist’s book as a form of creative self-exploration and communication? Since the 1960s, the artist’s book has been an innovative and versatile medium of expression, as well as a radical way of bringing art to a wider public. This talk and workshop will explore artists’ books from the ‘Prescriptions’ collection (University of Kent) that is dedicated to the topics of illness and wellbeing. We will reflect on how contemporary artists reimagine the book format to give voice to intimate experiences, craft multisensory stories about health and illness, and challenge medical hierarchies. Participants will also be guided to create a handmade book to capture aspects of their own lived experience.

About the session:

In advance of the session, you will need an A3 card paper (of any colour) and a pair of scissors. Please also gather materials that will help with crafting a handmade book (see below) or anything else that relates to the themes of health, illness and wellbeing.

If you wish, you can watch the short documentary film I Make Books by Martha A. Hall (18 min). This is a moving documentary on how American artist Martha Hall used the artist’s book format to document her illness experience and communicate with the medical community.

Indicative materials (for the making part of the workshop):

  • If you enjoy drawing or painting etc, you can have with you colouring pencils, sketches you can incorporate, illustrations and any other relevant art supplies. If you have any basic tools for bookbinding (such as a bone folder, needles/thread, pricker etc) you can bring those, but they are not essential.
  • A range of printed papers/materials with image and/or text which could be collaged or made into whole pages. E.g:
  • Packaging, wrapping paper, fabric
  • Photographs
  • Digital prints/internet printouts
  • Old books, newspapers, magazines
  • Paper with a range of textures, transparencies, uses, and contexts
  • Other materials, that could be collaged, used to produce marks/texts, or bound within, or act as pages in themselves. E.g:
  • Ribbon, strings, embroidered material, fabric, threads, cords, buttons or other small objects to glue or sew into a book or to store your book in (such as a box).
  • Stationary: staplers, rubberstamps, stickers etc.

The session will last two hours and will include a short break. Please feel free to drop in and out throughout this time – there will be no pressure to share your work or participate in discussion if you do not wish to.

Register here

Flow n Flux presents: Online Community Building – Create, Facilitate, Sustain

Thursday 23 September | 1000-1600 | Online

Have you got an idea for an online community, but you are not sure where to start?

We would like to help you bring that idea, and community, to life!

Flow n Flux presents: Online Community Building – Create, Facilitate, Sustain

Flow n Flux is an online feminist community that engages in monthly participatory workshops facilitated by Natasha Richards and Eleanor Kilroy.  

In this student led training you will learn valuable techniques necessary for building an online community. No matter the area of interest you can apply these skills to create, facilitate and sustain a sense of community online.

Here is a little taster of what to expect on the day.


10.00-11.00: Introduction

To begin with we will welcome you all to the training and share the origins of Flow n Flux. We will also start to discuss your ideas for an online community. Do not worry if you do not have an idea before the workshop, as the session may spark some ideas.


11.00-12.00: How to build

Next we will discuss marketing and advertising, as well as the organisational development tasks necessary for getting your online community off the ground.


12.00-13.00: How to facilitate

Then we will explore the skills and knowledge necessary for planning and running the online community. We will also discuss how to respond to potential challenges


13.00-13.30: Lunch


13.30-14.30: How to sustain

After lunch we will focus on how to increase and sustain your membership. We will develop strategies for addressing common pitfalls in sustaining an online community.


14.30-16.00: Your online community

In the final section of the day participants will have the chance to share their ideas for an online community and to receive feedback from other participants.

Register here

Useful Knowledge: Conference

PhD researchers at Birkbeck working on the history of the college are organising a major conference to mark the institution’s 200th anniversary.

Useful Knowledge, to be held at Birkbeck in February 2022 (ahead of the College’s bicentenary in 2023), will feature talks by leading historians and critics including Sir Richard Evans, Sally Alexander, Jerry White and Marai Larasi.

The conference, being organised by Professor Joanna Bourke’s ‘Birkbeck Knowledge‘ research group, is set to focus on the long history of the college, but also on the past, present and future of part-time and mature higher education more broadly.

Further information will be made available shortly and information about the Call for Papers is available below.

Call for papers

Birkbeck Knowledge’s PhD researchers Jonny Matfin and Ciarán O’Donohue have also launched a Call for Papers (CfP), aimed at all academics with an interest in the history of part-time and mature higher education.

“We’re aiming to include as wide a range of academics as possible, to discuss what we believe is a vitally important area of university history.”

Jonny and Ciarán

Deadline for the Call for Papers: 5pm, Thursday 30 September

Internship Opportunity at the Essay Film Festival

CHASE placement: Essay Film Festival 2022

Placement:

Full-time placement of 6 months (FTE) which could be worked over 9 months. Work pattern to be agreed with the successful candidate and variable to meet project needs. Expected start date: October 2021.

Project description and training opportunities:

Curatorial internship at the Essay Film Festival, Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image: http://www.essayfilmfestival.com

Description:

The Essay Film Festival is a well-established film festival, taking place in London in late-March/early-April since 2015, and currently planning for its eighth iteration in spring 2022. The EFF screenings and events are held at Birkbeck Cinema, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, and other venues (e.g., Goethe-Institut, Institut Français). The EFF is a unique project in that it is a research-based film festival, created in the context of a multidisciplinary and public-facing research institute (Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image). The Birkbeck academics (Janet McCabe, Laura Mulvey, Michael Temple) involved in the EFF team consider film curating and film programming as an integral part of their research and teaching, and they share a vision of how their academic work interacts with artistic creation, political debate, and social activism.

The festival is highly focused and distinct in its aims. It does not seek to compete with or emulate any existing film festival, and this is why it has been so successful, gaining international recognition alongside strong and committed audiences at home. We focus on the essayistic in film and media practices past and present, where the “essay film” is understood as the creative and critical intersection between the documentary and the experimental: on the one hand, the ambition to engage critically with the real, the everyday, the lived experiences of communities and societies across the globe; and, on the other, a desire to challenge and explore the formal language and technical possibilities of audiovisual media, both contemporary and historical. We have also boldly expanded the understanding of essayistic film and media practice beyond the western tradition where the “essay film” once appeared to reside, and we have thus shown work and engaged with filmmakers and artists from Iran, the Lebanon, Thailand, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Korea, Mexico, Argentina – to give a few examples – as well as from various European countries and North America.

Our working method is also unique. We deliberately limit the number of screenings and events to a level that allows us to focus on quality rather than quantity. We curate each session with great care and attention, always looking for the best way to present the films and the filmmakers as part of a critical conversation – rather than the conveyor-belt of “screening plus Q&A” that typifies so many other film festivals. Thus, while our festival programme may only feature 12 to 15 sessions, stretched over a week to 10 days, most of these sessions are very substantial, lasting several hours, sometimes a whole day or more, and therefore allowing for multiple screenings, long-form screenings, and crucially the right amount of time for interventions by artists, academics, and activists, as part of a well-rounded and well-informed public conversation. Our approach to film curating is greatly appreciated by the artists themselves, who happily respond to the challenge of more open and sometimes “performative” modes of presenting and discussing their work.

This is the ambitious and dynamic environment in which we work, and the context in which we would like to offer a curatorial placement to a CHASE doctoral student willing to learn and to share our vision.

Role and responsibilities:

The successful candidate will work with the EFF programming team, currently including: EFF Director Dr Michael Temple and the BIMI Manager Matthew Barrington (also a Birkbeck doctoral student), Professor Laura Mulvey (Birkbeck), Dr Janet McCabe (Birkbeck), Catherine Grant (independent researcher and filmmaker), Ricardo Matos Cabo (independent curator and Birkbeck doctoral student), Kieron Corless (deputy editor Sight & Sound), and Raquel Morais (independent curator and Birkbeck doctoral student).

While managed and mentored by the EFF Director and BIMI Manager, the intern will be totally integrated into the programming team and will work as a full and equal member of this group, learning and receiving training on the job in all aspects of creating and curating this unique festival.

The internship duration will be the equivalent of 6 months full-time, but this could be adapted to suit the candidate, for example 2 or 3 days per week, over a longer period. For this coming year, 2021-22, we would like the placement to begin in October 2021, although we will certainly be flexible regarding the start date and the number of days worked per week. 

Applications

To apply, please send your CV and a covering letter to Dr Michael Temple, EFF Director, Birkbeck: m.temple@bbk.ac.uk and copy to bimi@bbk.ac.uk

Deadline for applications: by 1700, Friday 27 August 2021, Interviews: mid-September 2021.

CHASE: new opportunities for CHASE funded and non-CHASE funded PGRs

Placement – CHASE Researcher Networks Officer (CHASE team)

This is a placement with the CHASE team, focused on working with the various CHASE networks and supporting them in achieving their strategic aims. The placement can be worked remotely, is open to funded and non-funded students*, and the deadline is 30th June.

*Non-funded students can find out about the compensation package at the link below.

Link: https://www.chase.ac.uk/placement-opportunities

Paid part time role – Co-ordinator for CHASE Training and Development Day (Goldsmiths)

This is a part-time role to support an upcoming CHASE training programme. The programme is based at Goldsmiths but the opportunity is available to PGRs at all CHASE member institutions and can be worked remotely.

Download: Job description (PDF)

Voluntary role – Brief Encounters Peer Reviewers

The CHASE open access, peer reviewed journal ‘Brief Encounters’ is looking to expand its pool of peer reviewers. The role is voluntary but will give an excellent insight into the peer review process and training is available. Download: Further details (Word doc)

Windsor Fellowship opportunities – studentship and internship

Syncona PhD Scholarship 2021-2025

Syncona is a FTSE 250 healthcare company focused on creating global leaders in life sciences. We operate as a hands-on venture capital, working closely with world class scientists to found, build and scale companies with the aim of delivering transformational treatments to patients. We invest in all therapeutic modalities (e.g., small molecules, antibodies, nucleic acid therapies) and currently have 11 companies in our portfolio that are developing therapies to treat diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders, metabolic disorders and inherited diseases. In parallel to supporting our portfolio companies, we are also constantly looking for the next breakthroughs in science and medicine and remain actively engaged with the academic and clinician communities.

Overview

Syncona are offering one PhD scholarship available to students conducting their doctoral research within Life Sciences at an accredited UK university. The scholarships are aimed at those from a Black African, Black Caribbean or Mixed Black heritage to support diversifying the talent pipeline in the sector.

Offer
  • Funding to cover
    • PhD fees at the home / UK rate
    • Maintenance stiped of £18,000 per annum for up to three years (£19,500 for Universities inside London)
    • Materials, consumables and running expenses up to £3,000 per annum for up to three years
  • Mentoring support from senior Syncona staff
  • Pastoral support from a Windsor Fellowship Mentor
  • Paid internship for six months with Syncona in the fourth year. This will include some dedicated time for writing up your PhD thesis if necessary.
  • Windsor Fellowship Leadership Programme in the fourth year of the programme

Eligibility
  • From a Black African, Black Caribbean or Mixed Black heritage
  • Secured a Full Time PhD programme for 2021 entry within Life Sciences
  • Have the right to work in the UK (Syncona will not be able to offer visa sponsorship)

Apply
  • Complete an online application
  • Stage 1 – Interview with the Windsor Fellowship between 12-14 July
  • Stage 2 – Final interview with Syncona on either 22 or 23 July
  • Stage 3 – Offers August 2021

If you have any questions about the opportunity please email scholarships@windsor-fellowship.org

Syncona Internship 2021 

Syncona is a FTSE 250 healthcare company focused on creating global leaders in life sciences. We operate as a hands-on venture capital, working closely with world class scientists to found, build and scale companies with the aim of delivering transformational treatments to patients. We invest in all therapeutic modalities (e.g., small molecules, antibodies, nucleic acid therapies) and currently have 11 companies in our portfolio that are developing therapies to treat diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders, metabolic disorders and inherited retinal disorders. In parallel to supporting our portfolio companies, we are also constantly looking for the next breakthroughs in science and medicine and remain actively engaged with the academic and clinician communities.

Overview

During this internship, the individual will take part in Syncona’s full operating rhythm, attend internal meetings and be exposed to all new investment opportunities explored by the team. The individual will work closely with experienced members of the team to develop Syncona’s investment strategy in specific biological, technological and clinical areas of interest, as well as contribute to the diligence of active new opportunities. Examples of currently active opportunities include novel antibody-based therapies for auto-immune diseases, cell therapies for cancer and novel nucleic acid therapies for metabolic disorders.

Experience

We are looking for applicants who have a passion for science and a desire to learn, as well as be excited by the opportunity to contribute to the development of novel life changing therapies. Syncona operates in a very dynamic and demanding environment and the successful applicant will be expected to behave as a member of the Syncona team and collaborate with other members, be proactive, and be able to work independently. The intern will be paired with a Syncona team member who will be their buddy and provide guidance. We  want to make sure that this experience is as fulfilling as possible and will therefore work with the individual to agree on the areas of focus prior to the beginning of the internship.

Location: London (Syncona office and/or remote, depending on COVID-19 restrictions)

Timing: 6 months full time, from August/September 2021

Salary:  £34,000 p.a., (pro rata £17,000 for six months)

Eligibility
  • From a Black African, Black Caribbean or Mixed Black heritage
  • Have the right to work in the UK (Syncona will not be able to offer visa sponsorship)
  • Doctorate degree graduate and excellent academic record in biological sciences or a related (sub-) discipline
  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Enthusiasm, entrepreneurial drive and a genuine desire to learn

Apply
  • Apply via online application form by Monday 5 July 2021 at 9am (BST)
  • Shortlisted candidates will have an interview with the Windsor Fellowship between 12-14 July
  • Final interview with Syncona on either 22 or 23 July

If you have any questions please email scholarships@windsor-fellowship.org