Open Access Week 2018: (22 – 28 October)

open access week

Throughout 22-28 October Birkbeck PhD students are invited to attend events organised by the Birkbeck Library as part of International Open Access Week.

These events will let you learn about developments which are of increasing importance to your current and future research. The programme includes the following events:

Using Open Access resources

Malet Street G20, Birkbeck, 1–2pm, Tuesday
23 October 2018

We often think about Open Access in relation to publishing and disseminating research, but this session considers how you can use open access resources in your search for information whether that’s to write an essay, complete an assignment or as part of your literature review. This session aims to give an introduction to open access resources as a source of information rather than as a publishing option.

Open Access board game

Malet Street G20, Birkbeck, 2.30–5pm, Tuesday 23 October

open access board game

Come and play the Open Access board game to get a better understanding of what Open Access is and how it works. You are welcome as a team of up to 4 people or as an individual to join others.

Open knowledge: process, ethics, possibilities – Panel discussion

Keynes Library, Gordon Square, 7-9pm, Tuesday 23 October

Open Knowledge: process, ethics, possibilities; an International Open Access Week panel of speakers from Birkbeck, SOAS and LSE, brought together by Birkbeck Library.

The speakers are drawn from academic, publishing, library and scholarly communications communities, and will investigate the practicalities and ethics of opening up access to knowledge, as well as the potential to widen engagement with research and to experiment with publishing.

Understanding Green and Gold Open Access

Malet Street B04, Birkbeck, 3–4pm, Wednesday 24 October 2018

What is Gold Open Access? How does it differ from Green? And where on earth do Diamond and Platinum fit in? We will try to clear up confusion about the range of Open Access options available to you as both a researcher and author.

Get a DOI for data, or a ORCID id for your publications

G20 Malet Street Birkbeck, 3-4pm, Thursday 25 October 2018

If you are creating data and publishing articles, you may have considered creating a researcher identifier, such as an ORCID iD.
ORCID iDs allow you to connect all your published material, back to you.
We can also help you create digital object identifiers (DOIs) for your research data.

You are welcome to this drop-in session to get a DOI for your data or to create an ORCID iD. Read more about research data management, ORCID and other researcher identifiers.

Your views: “What would the world look like if access to knowledge was free?”

open access word cloud

As part of Open Access Week, the Birkbeck Library are looking for your views on the theme above.

  • Would your research or studies be easier?
  • How would this impact the developing world?
  • Do we need to be more radical to achieve this?

To take part, you can fill out a postcard available in the library, or via Twitter using @BirkbeckLibrary #OAWeek

Are you beginning your 2nd year? The BGRS would like to hear from you!

WRITING

Are you just beginning your 2nd year as a Birkbeck PhD student?

As the new 2018/19 academic year begins we hope you are looking forward to diving back in to your research. In order to give our new intake of PhD students a better picture of what their first year might entail, we would like to hear from those of you who are just beginning your second year as a doctoral researchers at Birkbeck.

We would aim to include your answers in a profile piece on the BGRS blog during the Autumn term.

For those who are willing to take part we would ask you to reply to some of the following questions  about your first year as a research student; and you would be welcome to add any other experiences that you think are relevant:

  • Were there any aspects of beginning your PhD that you found especially challenging and how were you able to overcome this?
  • What are the key achievements or milestones from your first year and how do these fit with your aims for the second year?
  • What role has your supervisor played during your first year?
  • What advice would you give other students who are just beginning as doctoral researchers at Birkbeck or to staff who have responsibilities for supporting or supervising PhD students?
  • What were the highlights of your first year?
  • What are you looking forward to most as you begin your second year?
  • Was there any training or resource that you would particularly recommend to first year PhD students?
  • How well have you been able to balance the work required to begin your PhD with other family, work or other commitments?

Tea and coffee invitaton

Those who agree to take part will be invited to share some free tea and coffee in G20 with others who contributed to the piece, later in the term.

Contact us

Please do contact us by Friday 19 October if you would be willing to share your experiences for this blog piece, or if you have any questions.

BPSN Bulletin

bpsn logo

The following bulletin is provided by the Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network (BPSN) of which Birkbeck is a member. Our membership of the BPSN provides Birkbeck PhD students with an expanded range of training and development opportunities.

In this issue:
  • What’s New? Artificial Intelligence and First Mondays
  • Book Now! Courses Available
  • Did you know? Open Access Week
What’s new?

bpsn image

Artificial Intelligence and Automation – Implications for researchers in the social sciences

11th October at King’s College London, Strand Campus (free to attend and open to all)

There is little doubt that artificial intelligence and automation pose major economic, political and societal implications. Join us for an interdisciplinary workshop featuring six presentations by researchers from a diverse range of backgrounds who will share their thoughts and findings on what these disruptive forces mean for democracy, political preferences, ethics, healthcare, public attitudes and social justice.

For more information click here

bpsn image

First Mondays: Networking for Entrepreneurs

5 November 2018
UCL BaseKX, 103c Camley Street, London, N1C 4PF

Everyone is welcome at our monthly networking evenings. Be inspired by successful entrepreneurs and form lasting connections with peers that could help you start or grow your business.

Visit UCL Innovation & Enterprise for more information

Book now! Courses with places still available

9 Oct 2018: PhD Academic Career Planning – UCL Careers Workshops
By attending this workshop you will gain an overview of the process of academic career progression and develop an awareness of the personal qualities, experience and achievements needed to be successful.

9 Oct 2018: Facilitation: how to get the most out of your PPI activities
In this module, attendees will become familiar with skills and techniques that will help them involve patients and the public in their research in a meaningful way. These skills can be applied to any field of research.

9 Oct 2018: How to complete the PPI section of a grant form
This modules aims to give you the tools and knowledge to complete the PPI section of application forms to increase the likelihood of a successful applications. These skills can be applied to any field of research.

10 Oct 2018: Assessing student understanding with PollEverywhere
To provide digital options for tutors to assess the formative understanding of students following the transfer of information.

10 Oct 2018: A Beginner’s Guide to Negotiating – Careers researcher skills (employer-led)
The session will include and / highlight introductions to some important concepts in negotiation as well as conflict styles and why they matter.

11 Oct 2018: Data Protection and Research Data
This modules aims to give you the tools and knowledge to complete the PPI section of application forms to increase the likelihood of a successful applications. These skills can be applied to any field of research.

11 Oct 2018: Insight into Quant Finance, Banking forum with Barclays, Citi and more
Have you ever wondered about the Quantitative (Quant), Finance and Banking industry? If the answer is yes, then come along to this panel session where we will be quizzing a number of PhD holders who work in this industry.

12 Oct 2018: How to find patient partners, and keep them involved
This module is focused on finding patients/members of the public to involve in your research, and how to keep them engaged.

18 Oct 2018: IMLR Graduate Forum
This forum is run by and for graduate students from the Colleges and Institutes in and around London, working on any cultural aspect of those parts of the world where Germanic or Romance languages are spoken.

18 Oct 2018: Assessing student understanding with Moodle quiz or Microsoft Forms
This course will cover finding the Moodle Quiz creator inside Moodle creating simple surface level learning formative quizzes with instant feedback and developing Question banks.

20 Oct 2018: Research Projects in Modern Languages
An introduction to MOOCs, training guides, and resources online that can be useful for researchers. This session also looks at offerings from SAS and IMLR on the PORT website.

25 Oct 2018: Introduction to Public Engagement
his session will provide an overview of some of the pathways through which you can start to take part in public engagement activity, and the benefits that can be derived from doing so.

30 Oct 2018: Photography Workshop
This workshop will look at all aspects of a reportage-style photo shoot: making the most of shooting real people in real life scenarios.

1 Nov 2018: Using Social Media
We will discuss the benefits as well as the challenges of using social media when developing a professional online profile and communicating research as a PhD student.

5 Nov 2018: Writing Applications for Funding
Improve your knowledge and understanding of how to write a grant application, and maximise chances of obtaining research project funding.

This Bulletin provides course updates for all members of the Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network.

New CHASE Training Opportunities

The following CHASE training opportunities are available to all Arts and Humanities PhD students at Birkbeck, regardless of whether you are funded by CHASE or not.

City Maps

Various dates and venues October 2018 – July 2019, please check the website for details

City Maps is a series of workshops encouraging doctoral students to explore, discuss and experiment with different ways of conceptualising and studying cities in the arts and humanities. The main learning outcome is to equip participants with knowledge, tools and approaches for expanding their horizons and engaging the urban as an object of study in their own research.

In ordinary conversation, we often take cities for granted as distinct and identifiable places. But when the city becomes an object of study, it quickly becomes elusive, layered, interconnected and potentially boundless. A city can be a built environment of myriad structures and infrastructures, its people and their differences, a series of representations or aesthetic impressions, an object of politics or public address, a node for global flows, and many other things besides. Often going hand-in-hand with these disparate aspects of the city are specific disciplinary preferences and domains.

Doctoral students taking workshops within this series will be inspired to rise above narrowly disciplinary or highly attenuated orientations to the city. Each session will approach the urban as an inherently trans-, inter- and pluri-disciplinary object, bringing together CHASE expertise and an invited workshop leader, who will collaborate and develop a format appropriate to the workshop’s focus. This might include site-specific presentations, cases studies, reading discussions, screenings, and hands-on workshops.

The series will comprise five workshops moving from specific urban research cases to how students might situate themselves and seek publication in what has been termed urban cultural studies.

Screen Studies Group: Screen and Film Research Methods Today

Saturday 17 November | Safra Lecture Theatre, Ground Floor, Strand Campus, King’s College London

Screen and Film Research Methods Today relaunches the Screen Studies Group annual postgraduate training day. The day has two major goals. The first is to bring together all new film and screen studies doctoral students in London and the environs. It will enable network building around shared specialisms beyond your home department. Second, it will provide foundational training in methods that are relatively new to this field and which home institutions often cannot provide.

This is a one-day session presenting research methods for all new and returning doctoral students. We will address a variety of topics that now concern Screen and Film Studies such as online research, dating mining, social media; live television; installation work; music videos, gaming, AvPhDs, production cultures, media industries, creative practice, and live cinema. The day will include a panel on archives now available for under researched or previously excluded cinemas and communities.

Structure in Creative Writing

Various dates cross London and UEA venues, please check the website for schedule

A series of eight seminars by leading academics, poets, prose writers, script writers and script doctors on structure, narrative and plot in creative work. These seminars will be craft-focused and designed to help writers to plot their work and refine its structure. Prescribed texts are available to download below. The seminar leader will guide us through those texts at the seminar. You will be expected to have read the texts in advance and the seminar will be considerably more helpful if you have.
These will be hosted in London and Norwich and are scheduled at 5–7pm on the Wednesdays specified below.

Objects in Space, Subjects in Time: The Material Cultures of Postcolonial History

Various dates and venues across London please check the website for details

Please note the sessions cannot be attended individually and are part of a complete series.

A series of six workshops across the year which explore global, transnational and postcolonial pasts by engaging with material collections and texts or objects in museums and exhibition spaces across London. The journeys of objects or the changing shape and use of spaces can offer a powerful means of unpicking, understanding and then conveying meaningfully and compellingly to a range of audiences the processes and legacies of empires. Encountering the objects and spaces proposed in these workshops emphasizes not only the intellectual perspectives of post-colonial theory upon the past, but also brings to light in the most concrete terms those shadows of empire in the present that post-colonial theory was developed to expose and challenge.

These workshops will include one international conference, four object-based sessions making use of London’s unparalleled collections, and two sessions dedicated to the processes of translating research into different arenas. You will have the chance to examine a range of material and objects in dedicated study sessions with curators and experts, and over the course of the series, you will produce a video, blogpost or other public-facing reflection, drawing on your own research and the materials in these workshops. You will receive training from the Derek Jarman Lab, Birkbeck’s media department, on how to produce an effective media project and have the opportunity to contribute to a podcast with a top broadcaster, as well as present your ideas on the sessions to a non-academic audience.

Flexible Working Space: Birkbeck Postgraduate Research Students

A new resource for 2018/19

During 2018/19 all Postgraduate Research Students at Birkbeck will have timetabled access to a flexible working space within the Birkbeck Main Building. The room provides space for desk based work for up to 30 people, seminar style events for up to 40 and side offices provide quiet working spaces/ meeting rooms.

Further details

Further information about this resource is available on the BGRS Moodle site, which provides details of how the space can be used including how Birkbeck postgraduate research students can book the space. Birkbeck PGR students of staff should contact the BGRS if they have any queries about access of usage.

Objects in Space, Subjects in Time: The Material Cultures of Postcolonial History

A place reserved is for a Birkbeck Arts or Humanities PhD student on this fully funded CHASE doctoral training opportunity: Objects in Space, Subjects in Time: The Material Cultures of Postcolonial History.

This is a series of six workshops across the year which explore global, transnational and postcolonial pasts by engaging with material collections and texts or objects in museums and exhibition spaces across London, as well as training in creating vlogs and media projects. For full details see below.

Travel costs, participation costs and refreshments are all included and funded by CHASE.

How to apply

To apply for this place, please send the following to Kat Hill (Katherine.hill@bbk.ac.uk) by Monday October 15th (Midnight).

  • Max. 1000 word statement explaining why you would be a suitable candidate and how it will enhance your research.
  • Short supporting statement from your supervisor

Persona Information required:

Name
Email
Programme of Study
Year of PhD
Title/Area of Research
Supervisor

Objects in Space, Subjects in Time: The Material Cultures of Postcolonial History
  • Kat Hill and Rebecca Darley (History, Classics and Archaeology – Birkbeck)
  • Suzanna Ivanic (Kent)
  • Luke Lavan (Kent)
  • Liz James (Sussex)

A series of six workshops across the year which explore global, transnational and postcolonial pasts by engaging with material collections and texts or objects in museums and exhibition spaces across London. The journeys of objects or the changing shape and use of spaces can offer a powerful means of unpicking, understanding and then conveying meaningfully and compellingly to a range of audiences the processes and legacies of empires. Encountering the objects and spaces proposed in these workshops emphasizes not only the intellectual perspectives of post-colonial theory upon the past, but also brings to light in the most concrete terms those shadows of empire in the present that post-colonial theory was developed to expose and challenge.

These workshops will include one international conference, four object-based sessions making use of London’s unparalleled collections, and two sessions dedicated to the processes of translating research into different arenas. You will have the chance to examine a range of material and objects in dedicated study sessions with curators and experts, and
over the course of the series, you will produce a video, blogpost or other public-facing reflection, drawing on your own research and the materials in these workshops. You will receive training from the Derek Jarman Lab, Birkbeck’s media department, on how to produce an effective media project and have the opportunity to contribute to a podcast with a top broadcaster, as well as present your ideas on the sessions to a non-academic audience.

The focus in all of the workshops will, therefore, be on the complex material histories of empires, as vehicles for migration, trade, translation and the imposition of political authority, and simultaneously on developing a constant awareness of the sub-structures of knowledge creation that underpin any approach to the past. They will combine to give you fresh ways to think with objects and to challenge categories and ideologies of colonialism, not only as they were historically constructed, but also as they continue to shape the world today.

For any questions please contact Kat Hill (katherine.hill@bbk.ac.uk) or Rebecca Darley (r.darley@bbk.ac.uk)

What will you get from these sessions?

  • Engage with materiality and object-based history
  • Engage with diachronic global and transnational histories
  • Think about place and space as historical concepts
  • Develop presentation and public engagement skills
  • Broaden knowledge of heritage spaces and public museums
  • Network with other researchers, senior scholars and other stakeholders

How to Break the Glass Ceiling?

How to Break the Glass Ceiling?

18:30 – 21:00, Thursday 27 September 2018

All Birkbeck PhD students are welcome to attend this event – if you would like to attend please register using the link above.

The event purpose organised by Birkbeck University in partnership with the IoD Central London branch, is to answer all those questions through a panel discussion from a diverse panel of Academics, Entrepreneurs and Directors. This event is aimed at women who want to meet like minded people as well as learn some new development tricks. Men are most welcome to attend.

Overview

Have you ever wondered why so many companies/universities heads were not representative of their own employee/customer/student mix? What is gender culture? What are the tools and tips which can be taken from the current business and academic environment?

The evening will consist of:

18.30
Arrival and networking

18.45
Leader panel: Short presentations from the panel on their ideas of breaking the glass ceiling

19.00
All panel discussion

19.30
Question and answer session with closing remarks

19.45
Networking reception

Shut Up and Write: Day Long Retreat

“Shut up and Write! turns writing from a solitary, to a social experience.

The concept is simple: meet up with others in a cafe (hopefully one with plenty of power points), and write. The concept originated in the San Francisco Bay Area, amongst creative writers, but, thanks to social media, has spread amongst research students around the world. The idea is to make the act of writing fun and relaxing” – The Thesis Whisperer

The Graduate Research School is offering Birkbeck research students the chance to take park in a Shut Up and Write Day Long Retreat!

This session is aimed at those who would like to set aside a whole day for writing up. The format will be based on the standard Shut up and Write sessions but provides writing opportunities in both the morning and the afternoon. Tea and coffee and a sandwich lunch will also be offered to those who take part.

Sign up and see event details here!

DATE AND TIME
Wed 12th September
LOCATION
MAL631

London Science Fiction Research Community (LSFRC) – Reading Groups for Research Students

Aren Roukema

Science Fiction is simply one of the most productive and stimulating areas available for research and discussion — encountering and discussing SF texts provides opportunity for thinking (and worrying!) about the future, for struggling with ecological, social and philosophical issues of the present — in addition, of course, to new technologies and scientific advancements — and even for enjoying the continued presence of the monsters, utopian visions, and other imaginaries that have always drawn us to the fantastic.

Birkbeck has a number of faculty members who are leading SF researchers (Roger Luckhurst, Caroline Edwards) and even authors (Mark Blacklock) and has thus attracted a number of students over the years who are specifically interested in SF, whether via the MA module or as PGRs supervised by the above. As researchers whose projects are centrally concerned with SF, Rhodri Davies and I felt that setting up a Research Community with reading group could benefit both ourselves and the Birkbeck Eng and Hums community. We started slowly but have built up our average attendance at reading groups to the point where we can expect 15-20 people per session, either from the community or from universities in London and surrounding areas. We were later joined as organisers by Francis Gene-Rowe of Royal Holloway (in 2015) and Katie Stone (in 2018), who started this past year at Birkbeck.

We also hold an annual conference and host evening lectures, in tandem with Birkbeck’s Centre for Contemporary Literature. The last evening lecture we held (in February) was with SF author and critic Brian Stableford. Thus far we’ve held three of these lectures, in which we try to bring in a well-known SF author either for a lecture or a panel discussion.

Organic Systems

Our last annual conference, Organic Systems: Bodies, Cultures, Environments dealt with ecocriticism in SF. Our next conference will be held on 14–15 September, and will feature keynotes from Roger Luckhurst (Birkbeck) and Helen de Cruz (Oxford Brookes), and a round table with SF authors Jeff Noon, Justina Robson and Fiona Moore (Royal Holloway).

I’ve had many positive reading group experiences. One highlight, though, was reading Frank Herbert’s Dune in tandem with a documentary about a film adaptation by Alejandro Jodorowsky that was never made, yet went on to influence a number of now high profile SF film directors, screenwriters and illustrators. A high profile example is Star Wars, made shortly after Jodorowsky’s seven hour film project was shopped to (but not bought by) Hollywood studios. As a number of critics/conspiracy theorists have observed, Star Wars has some inventions and scenarios that seem suspiciously similar to Jodorowsky’s storyboards. The surprise for me in all this was that I enjoyed the concept of Jodorowsky’s film—the imagining of its never-fulfilled conception—more than I’ve enjoyed completed films like Star Wars; indeed, more than I enjoyed Dune itself!

It is part of LSFRC’s wider mandate to create a space for established academic researchers, students, and non-academic members of the community to discuss science fiction. Interested PGR students can contact

Aren Roukema: arouke01@mail.bbk.ac.uk;
Katie Stone: kstone03@mail.bbk.ac.uk;
Rhodri Davies: mrrhodridavies@hotmail.com

Follow @LSFRC_ on Twitter

Join the London Science Fiction Research Community on Facebook

Birkbeck Intern Blog Post – Pauline Suwanban

Pauline Suwanban

My experience starting a PhD was certainly shaped by my internship with Birkbeck Institutes.

It gave me a rich introduction into academia and public engagement. The Birkbeck Institutes of Social Research, Gender and Sexuality, and Humanities are directed by Professors Jacqueline Rose, Slavoj Zizek, Esther Leslie, Felicity Callard and Kate Maclean. The institutes promote interdisciplinary research on critical issues through public debates, lectures and workshops. They also founded the London Critical Theory Summer School, which is a two-week course where graduate students engage with internationally acclaimed academics.

I joined a group with three other PhD students from different Schools across the university, trained and supervised by the manager of the Institutes. We provided basic assistance at events. This ranged from registration (which in other words meant crowd control when it came to the Slavoj Zizek and Judith Butler talks), AV support, to being on hand in case of any technical hitches. We also promoted the events through emails and social media. This involved reaching out to specific audiences who could be interested- quite tricky for some niche events, especially in the case of one interdisciplinary stem cell and nutrition lecture. We also sourced and wrote blog posts for the website about research topics and events supported by the Institutes.

As interns we were also responsible for organising the annual graduate conference; a two-day event which encouraged MA and PhD students to present their work within a supportive environment. This was a more challenging and rewarding experience than I had anticipated. The budget had been allocated and room was pre-booked; which left the rest to our management. This included the theme, call for papers, keynote speaker invitations and the programme. This year’s theme was ‘the Age of Distraction’. We interrogated the meanings and implications of distraction, its reputation in modern societies, its potential to disrupt and to create. We had a broad range of stimulating panels which explored the role of distraction within aesthetics, politics, psychology, digital media and education. Our keynote speakers were Prof. Carolin Duttlinger from the University of Oxford, who insightfully discussed the ‘Narratives of Distraction’ from Kant to modernism, and Dr. Sophie Jones from Birkbeck’s English department, whose provocative paper explored minimalist literature and attention deficit disorder.

We also presented a mini-exhibition of Dr. Kai Syng Tan’s photographic series (BADGE-WEARING MIND WANDERING IN ACTION 2017). Dr. Tan’s work, which explored the fusion of at and mental health, was complemented with energetic drawings from the public which interpreted the concept of mind-wandering. This display was curated by Alessandra Cianetti, who joined Dr. Jones and Prof. Callard in a discussion on mind-wandering, contemporary art and day-dreams. She also presented a very arresting film by Dr. Tan, which surrounded the audience with the visual and sensory impact of attention deficit disorder.

Credit: Dr. Kai Syng Tan

 

I easily underestimated the time that had to be spent for all the logistics and unexpected obstacles, which sometimes felt like an endless checklist! But there were certainly fulfilling moments, especially from noticing the pride in fellow students and the enriched thoughts of a public audience.

I would urge anyone to apply for this internship. It ticks all the boxes in building an academic career and is a wonderful way to meet new people who could inspire your research. Keep an eye on the BIH and BISR websites for recruitment and join the mailing lists to keep up to date with upcoming activities. If you are unsuccessful, there are still ways to get involved, such as volunteering at events, writing a blog post and joining the next graduate conference as a speaker or helper.

Pauline Suwanban is a second year English PhD candidate. Follow her on Twitter @paulinesuwanban