Screen Studies Research in a Pandemic

Annual Postgraduate Training Event by the UoL Screen Studies Group, co-funded by CHASE and LAHP

23rd and 24th October & 20th November

Day 1: Friday 23 October, 14:00-20:00

Day 2: Saturday 24 October, 10:00-13:00

Day 3: Friday 20 November 14:00-17:00

Register on Eventbrite

Teaching Creative Writing

Image by Fred Merchán, taken from Flikr and used under Creative Commons licence

Creative writers teach in schools, universities and the community, on retreats, in theatres and in workshops. Teaching is often a key part of a writer’s career, and there are rich possibilities creative arts education across a huge range of contexts. But how do you teach creative writing? Can you? This series offers anyone considering teaching creative writing as part of their career development the opportunity to look in detail at the theory and practice of creative writing pedagogy in a variety of institutional and community settings.

The series will address the historical principles and contemporary critiques of creative writing pedagogy, and how these are responding to wider institutional and societal developments. It will consider in detail the theory and practice of employing these pedagogical skills both within and outside higher education. Attendees will be invited to reflect on future possibilities and challenges for the development of creative writing teaching, enabling a deeper awareness and knowledge of creative writing as a subject of study, a future career, and a creative practice.

Students are not expected to attend all the sessions, but the series has been designed to allow for an arc of learning from theoretical principles to practical engagement.

The sessions will take place online via Microsoft Teams, once a month for the 2020/21 academic year.

You can sign up for individual sessions using the links below:

13 October | 1100-1200 | Creative writing pedagogy: past, present and future

25 November | 1430-1745 | Pedagogy in practice: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, screenwriting

3 December | 1100-1230 | Can you teach creative writing? Theory and practice of the creative writing workshop

19 January 2021 | 1100-1230 | Decolonisation and inclusivity in creative writing

9 February 2021 | 1100-1230 | Show don’t tell: feminist pedagogy in the creative writing classroom

9 March 2021 | 1100-1230 | Writing in the Community

Call for Doctoral Student Participation – BISR Urban Intersections Experimental Collective

Starting in academic year 2020-21, the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research is funding an Experimental Collective on Urban Intersections. This new research grouping will bring together scholars from across Birkbeck doing urban research, including postgraduate taught and research students. Through a diverse programme of activities (see below), the Experimental Collective aims to incubate joint research collaborations, provide research training, raise the public profile of urban and social research at Birkbeck, and build up the capacity for a more permanent urban research centre or institute at Birkbeck in the future.

Urban Intersections series

Towards these aims, in the coming year the Urban Intersections Experimental Collective will host (remotely, as necessary): an Urban Intersections series which may include research seminars, engagements with visiting practitioners, film screenings, focused reading discussions and (virtual) field visits; two Research Methodologies Workshops; and an end-of-year Public Research Colloquium.

We are currently seeking expressions of interest from our community of doctoral researchers to be involved in this exciting new initiative. 

Steering committee members sought

In the first instance, we would like to solicit expressions of interest for up to three Birkbeck doctoral students to join our Steering Committee. Members of the Steering Committee would help shape the overall direction of the Experimental Collective and would also help to organise or potentially lead on some of its events and activities.

We would also welcome expressions of interest from Birkbeck doctoral research students who have excellent ideas for urban-related research events that they would like to organise with the Urban Intersections annual programme.

Expressions of interest

Expressions of Interest should include your: 

  • Name
  • Department
  • Area of research (1 sentence)
  • Stage of doctoral studies (e.g. first year, upgraded to PhD, writing up)
  • A short statement (max. 200 words) outlining how you would like to contribute to the Urban Intersections Experimental Collective (e.g. whether you would like to volunteer to be on the Steering Committee, lead on a specific event idea you have, or both).

Expressions of Interest should be sent to Dr Scott Rodgers no later than 16 October 2020.

Strategies and support for Black, Indigenous, and people of colour in ecology and evolutionary biology

The article below is written from the point of view of PhD students in the United States. It describes the experiences of Black, Indigenous and people of colour within a particular field of research but it is an informative framework to consider issues of importance for postgraduate researchers in other disciplines and for the wider postgraduate research community.

Click here to view article from the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution (July 2020)

Life as a first year PhD student and NHS Mental health worker

A BGRS Blog post by Ogechi Anokwuru (PhD Psychology)

Hi my name is Ogechi, I am currently a first year PhD psychology student at Birkbeck and an NHS Mental Health worker. My previous studies are Master of Public Health (MPH) and BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science.

My PhD journey has been great so far, acquiring new skills and knowledge in psychology. I have been very lucky to be a part of the Department of Psychological Sciences, and am grateful to my supervisor and mentor. My research is on medical help-seeking behaviours amongst the BME community which crosses over to my line of work in the NHS on a daily basis.

As well as registering my systematic review on Prospero, lecturing about what I do in work gave me a sense of joy to share the knowledge and attitude around how health psychology interventions are practised in NHS and NHS Mental Health settings. In these uncertain times, it can be quite challenging, but it is very important that everyone looks after their mental health during this time. 

Balancing work and studies can be quite challenging as a mature student, but I’m determined that this will bring more benefit to the world of research and the field I am heading towards. COVID-19 has brought the world to a standstill and has shown us the possibilities of adjusting to this potential new normal. It has also highlighted the health inequalities and disparities seen in the BME community which is in line with my research, medical help-seeking and the barriers experiences by this group making it very relevant to today’s climate. 

I hope the next time I write another blog post, it will be me sharing my published systematic review for all of you to share and read.

Stay tuned and stay safe!

Ogechi 

Ogechi Anokwuru, MPH, BSc (Hons)

1st Year PhD Psychology Student

Department of Psychological Sciences

Solace in the Cracks: Drawing Weeds Ecology, Art History, Practice – a Material Witness Zoom Webinar

Friday 19 June 2020, 3-5pm

Scourges of gardeners, foes of council workers armed with tanks of glyphosate, trampled, neglected, ignored: weeds are despised, yet they flourish, succeeding where other plants fail. Tracing its etymology from Old through Middle to Modern English, the OED defines a weed as ‘Any herbaceous plant not valued for its usefulness or beauty, or regarded as a nuisance in the place where it is growing.’ Gardeners generally consider plants that grow where they are unwanted to be weeds, however much they are appreciated by the insect community.

Material Witness normally focuses on material things made by people, and how we interpret them by practical, theoretical, and historical means. This session switches emphasis, beginning with nature: the ecology of the pavement cracks, the roadside verge, the railway tracks. How have artists recognised the usefulness and beauty of weeds? How can we make the most of their vigour, tenacity, and ubiquity during this unprecedented lockdown?

This two hour webinar will begin by exploring the deep art history of weeds through medieval herbals, the plant-filled borders of books of hours, and Dürer’s extraordinary ‘Great Piece of Turf’, and some interconnections with contemporary artists’ practice. Our focus will then turn to drawing weeds, using a variety of strategies and with a view to creating expressive observational drawings.

This workshop will focus on using materials that you have ready to hand. You can use any paper, and any mark-making implements that you have to hand.

Find more and register here

BEI Research seminar series

The Department of Business, Economics and Informatics is running a series of research-focused webinars over the summer term on a weekly basis until Friday 26th June.

To attend, please join using this Collaborate link at least 10 minutes before the start of the session. This link will be used for each seminar in the series.

Schedule for upcoming talks in the series:

Friday 29th May, 12pm – 1pm

  • Dr Muthu De Silva, “Does affective evaluation matter for the success of university-business collaborations? A sentiment analysis of university-business collaborative project reports”.

Friday 5th June, 12pm – 1pm

  • Dr Pam Yeow with Dr Danielle Tucker (Senior Lecturer in Management at the University of Essex), “Rethinking, ‘Rethinking Ethical Consumerism’”.

Friday 12th June, 12pm – 1pm

  • Dr Rebecca Whiting, “Digi-Housekeeping: The invisible work of flexibility”.

Friday 19th June, 12pm – 1pm

  • Prof. Alex Poulovassilis, “Managing missing and uncertain data on the UK Museum sector”.

Friday 26th June, 12pm – 1pm

  • Prof. Almuth McDowall, “The show must go on – career penalties and work-life balance in the performing arts”.

Opportunity: Researchers In Schools

Researchers in Schools (RIS) offers PhD researchers a unique funded route into teaching that is deliberately structured to make the most of their abilities, knowledge and experience.  RIS are looking to place trainees in schools from September 2020. To support your development as a teacher and to help you make your PhD accessible to your pupils, the programme offers several features and opportunities: 

  • Gain nationally-recognised teacher training qualifications by the end of the first year 
  • Complete our Research Leader in Education Award, a fully-funded, three-year programme of professional development designed around the PhD skill set 
  • Take one day of protected time each week to work towards the RLE and deliver Uni Pathways, a university-access intervention based on your PhD, aimed at increasing target pupils’ chances of attending a highly-selective university  
  • Receive honorary academic status at a research-intensive university, providing access to research facilities and a network of academic support  
  • Benefit from a dedicated programme officer who will provide you with one-to-one mentoring and coaching throughout
  • Receive competitive financial support, including generous funding options for your training year

Find out more and apply via the website.