Birkbeck 3MT Winner Gabriella McGrogan talks about the 2019 competition

Gabriella McGrogan (Department of Criminology) was overall winner of the 2019 Birkbeck 3MT competition for her entry, “Against our Community Standards’- “Outsider” Witnessing of Atrocity and Social Media Censorship”.

Birkbeck doctoral researcher Gabriella McGrogan tells us about taking part in the 2019 Birkbeck 3 Minute Thesis Competition

Trying to figure out how to condense something you’ve been passionately thinking about and shaping over many months, into around the same amount of time you spend brushing your teeth before bed, seems beyond tricky. My supervisor suggested that the Three Minute Thesis competition would be a great opportunity to refine the key points of my project and give me a handy synopsis to roll out at conferences, meetings and in the pub. This seemed worthwhile, if only to avoid the baffled looks my poor friends give me when I’m trying to explain what I do now.

Developing skills

Having worked as a TA in secondary schools in London and Paris, I thought I might have had an advantage in the public speaking stakes. What could be more terrifying than getting 35 teenagers to first, be quiet, and second, listen to you? As it transpires, academic conferences are. Put on by famous institutions and renowned journals, full of ‘grown-up’ academics who have earned themselves the blue tick on Twitter, my first attempt earlier this year was nerve-wracking. The competition was such a brilliant opportunity to develop skills and alleviate imposter syndrome!

Speakers and members of the audience at the 3MT reception
Communicating research

Almost exactly three years ago, I submitted an application to study for Birkbeck’s MSc in Global Criminology. Up until then, I had completed two degrees in Literary and Cultural Studies, but realised that I wanted a change. It’s an understatement to say that the existence of Birkbeck has changed my life for the better. I think the competition, and ensuring my research is accessible and comprehensible to as many people as possible, is a great way to embrace and celebrate the ethos of the college. My research will benefit hugely from the interaction and input of those outside of my discipline and academia in general. Most importantly, I got to engage with students from other departments and learned some fascinating things from their presentations!

I’d strongly encourage any students considering taking part in future to do so. The tips I gained from the training alone were well worth the time spent and I’ve definitely noticed I can explain my project with ease in the aftermath!

Speakers and members of the audience at the 3MT reception

You can read more about the 2019 Birkbeck 3MT Competition here.

BIMI-PITT Research Workshop: Displacement in film and visual culture

BIMI-PITT RESEARCH WORKSHOP: “DISPLACEMENT IN FILM AND VISUAL CULTURE”

WEDNESDAY 15 – FRIDAY 17 MAY 2019

The third edition of the biennial research workshop organised by Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image (BIMI) and the University of Pittsburgh Film Programme will take place Wednesday 15 May to Friday 17 May 2019 in Birkbeck Cinema.

The idea of the workshop is to bring together faculty and postgraduate students from Birkbeck and Pittsburgh to share their ongoing research, to get to know each other in person, and to develop collaborative research projects together.

Previous editions – “Cinema and the City” (2015) and “Urban Change” (2017) – have been both productive and enjoyable occasions, generating several joint research initiatives, including journal publications, student and staff exchanges, public lectures, curatorial projects, and study days.

The forthcoming edition is entitled “Displacement”, a theme that for the purposes of the workshop can be interpreted from any angle or approach, as long as there is some connection to film, moving image, or visual culture.

Free to register

The workshop is free and open to all, regardless of affiliation. However, we will be especially pleased to welcome Birkbeck staff and students from Arts, Law, SSHP, and Science, across the range of research areas and disciplines that BIMI is committed to representing as part of its mission at Birkbeck: Applied Linguistics, Cultures & Languages, English & Humanities, Film & Media, Geography, History, History of Art, Law, Philosophy, Politics, Psychological Sciences, and Psychosocial Studies.

If you would like to attend the workshop, please register here, as this will help us to know who is coming:

Alternatively, you can let us know by email (bimi@bbk.ac.uk). We look forward to seeing you there, as it is the quality of discussion and conversation that has made the previous workshops such memorable events.

The Margaret Elise Harkness Prize, application deadline 17 May 2019

Opportunity: The Margaret Elise Harkness Prize, application deadline 17 May 2019

The Margaret Elise Harkness prize is an annual award made by the Birkbeck Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies in recognition of outstanding postgraduate work on a Nineteenth-Century woman associated with the arts, social/political activism, or global travel and writing in long nineteenth century. The prize was established in 2018 to honour the work of the writer and activist Margaret E. Harkness (1854-1923). The amount of the award is £1000.

Eligibility

This prize is open to students currently enrolled in PhD programmes in the School of Arts at Birkbeck.

Application
  • Submission of an A4 page describing your project by 5pm 17thMay 2019 to Dr Ana Parejo Vadillo.
  • Jury: Dr Ana Parejo Vadillo (Chair), Dr Vicky Mills (Co-Director, Centre Nineteenth-Century Studies), Flore Janssen (ISSF Fellow)

Aaron Columbus, winner of the London History Essay Prize

L-R: Professor Vanessa Harding, Aaron Columbus and Peter Estlin (Lord Mayor of the City of London)

Congratulations to Aaron Columbus, winner of the 2018 Curriers’ Company London History Essay Prize

Aaron is a second year PhD candidate in Birkbeck’s Department of History, Classics and Archaeology. 

You can read more about Aaron’s winning essay here.

New student-led PhD network established

Connect with other Birkbeck PhD students

PhD research is often seen as a solitary activity, with long hours spent at the library and only occasional opportunities to get together with colleagues. However, making connections with fellow researchers and building a professional network is essential for identifying opportunities for collaborations, for future career prospects and even just for brainstorming and bouncing ideas off each other.

To facilitate this process, we would like to invite you to join our new PhD network. We are planning to organise regular social events and discussion groups to provide an opportunity for PhD students to meet, get to know each other better and to talk about our research in an informal setting. We know how important it is to have a relaxed and safe environment for discussion as opposed to high-pressure events such as conferences and competitions.

We are also exploring opportunities for organising small peer review groups by subject area where students can volunteer to critique each other’s work, as well as more a more informal and relaxed version of the Three Minute Thesis. As our network grows, we could also set up our own qualitative and quantitative research support groups and invite early career researchers to give talks.

Contact us and join

We would love to hear about your ideas and what you would like to see and take part in. Drop us an email at su-PhD-network@bbk.ac.uk and don’t forget to sign up!

With warm regards,

Your fellow PhD students (Meg Kiseleva, Alex Leggett and Dalila Villella)

Highlighted CHASE Training Opportunities

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.

Diverse Methodological Approaches to PhDs in Law

Thursday 2 May – Saturday 4 May 2019 | 0900-1730

Room TC 1.9, University of Essex

Legal research entails the evaluation of legal phenomena in their political, social, cultural, doctrinal or other contexts. Contemporary modes of inquiry into legal phenomena increasingly use more than one discipline in the production of interdisciplinary research and writing. Even subjects that were traditionally taught by way of the doctrinal method have opened up to socio-legal approaches. There is a much greater emphasis on the sociology of law, and the social and political forces that shape legal doctrine and institutions. Law as a social phenomenon can be understood empirically through a range of different methods. Thus, contemporary postgraduate researchers need to expand beyond the black letter law training of practitioners and be aware of major trends in the social sciences of relevance to their own research and future careers. The key idea behind the multidisciplinary workshop for law postgraduate research students is to introduce candidates to a broad range of theoretical and practical approaches to legal research.

This three day workshop will consist of workshops, and informal networking.

Find out more and register

Film Screening + Q&A: ‘Berlin Childhood around 1900’ – A Project in Progress

May 10, 2019 | Professor Stuart Hall Building, Goldsmiths

Following the success of her photography series inspired by the Berlin Childhood texts (Berlin Childhood, published by Steidl in 2001), artist and photographer Aura Rosenberg embarked on a collaborative project with filmmaker Frances Scholz, featuring Walter Benjamin’s granddaughter, Chantal Benjamin, and her daughter, Lais Benjamin Campos. The project, which is still in progress today, consists of disparate film segments based on the original textual vignettes. The short films revisit the sites of Walter Benjamin’s childhood in contemporary Berlin, resulting in an uncanny continuity of experience as they depict his great-granddaughter in the different phases of her own urban childhood.

Find out more and register

Gender (In)Equality in the Historical Professions

0930 – 1630 | Wednesday 15 May 2019

This Training and Research Workshop at the University of Essex aims to bring together historians from different stages of their careers: Masters Level students, PhD researchers, post doctoral researchers, Lecturers, Readers and Professors, together with historians who work outside of academia, to share and reflect upon experiences, develop collaborative strategies and build networks which will act to support historians facing gender bias and inequality in their chosen profession.  The workshop will be non-hierarchical, with panels being made up of historians from different stages in their career, and will focus upon small group discussion.  Participants will produce a ‘zine at the end of the workshop, and plenty of time for informal networking will be built into the day’s timetable.

Find out more and register

Gender History in a Non-Binary World: A Workshop for Doctoral Students

Friday 17 May 2019 | 1000-1700

Room GOR 124, Birkbeck, 43 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD

This workshop offers training for students in ways of researching, teaching and engaging the public in histories of gender nonconformity, non-binary and transgender experiences. The workshop will be relevant to historians of all periods and students working on gender and/or sexuality in literature and art history.

Working with leading historians, archivists and museum professionals, participants will address issues such as:

  • Working with documentary and oral sources to research gender nonconformity in the past
  • Developing techniques to recognise diverse and marginalised histories and work with sources sensitively
  • The importance of developing diverse historical narratives around gender and communicating them to the public
  • Advantages and challenges of co-production with marginalised communities
  • Complexity of teaching non-binary and transgender histories to students who identify as cis, trans and non-binary
  • Navigating historical research into trans and non-binary lives in the context of a divisive and fraught contemporary political terrain

Find out more and register

Writing for Pleasure, Writing for Publishing Workshop

Wednesday 29 May 2019 | 1000 – 1500

Wivenhoe House, Colchester Campus, University of Essex

In this two-part workshop, Professor Helen Sword and Dr Will Pooley make an evidence-based case for recuperating pleasure as a legitimate (and indeed crucial) academic emotion. Via practical exercises, they show how you can enjoy writing, and in this way become a more engaging communicator, skilful wordsmith and productive researcher.

Find out more and register

Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network (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.

GrantCraft Research Engagement Grant

GrantCraft are excited to announce the launch of their annual Research Engagement Grant. This is open to PhD students and is designed to support activities that will develop and enhance the grant recipient’s research engagement profile.
The award is for up to £1,000 to cover full or partial costs. The grant can be used for activities such as: Public engagement; for example, the production of an exhibition that engages the public in the research process or research findings or visiting another research group; for example, to deliver a seminar and interact with other researchers. Communicating and engaging with other researchers; for example, through presenting a paper/poster at a conference. Apply here

Cumberland Lodge Scholarships

Cumberland Lodge has been providing transformative experiences for students for over 70 years. From our base in the heart of Windsor Great Park, we challenge silo thinking and inspire people to think creatively about pressing issues that threaten to divide society. 
Our two-year scholarships are designed to fit around, and enhance, your doctoral studies. They provide a unique opportunity to develop the communications, public engagement and interdisciplinary skills that will really set you apart.

Applications deadline: Friday 29 March 2019.

March training opportunities

16 Mar 2019: History, Ethnography and Memory SAS
This course is designed for students in modern languages and related disciplines only. It covers historical methods and archives; introduction to oral history, fieldwork and collections; theories of cultural memory.

18 Mar 2019: Neoliberalism and science – Key Concepts in Science and Technology Studies UCL
In this workshop we see that neoliberalism is far more than a set of policy prescriptions but is a coherent worldview that has at its root a novel epistemological outlook.

21 Mar 2019: Creating and editing screencasts: Getting started with ScreenCastoMatic and Panopto LSHTM
This course will cover using different internet browsers, needs analysis, accessing ScreenCastoMatic (onsite licence) and uploading a ScreenCastoMatic video to a Moodle course.

21 Mar 2019: Media, Economics, Education – IMLR Graduate Forum SAS
Forum members meet once a month during term-time to share and discuss their work in an informal setting, and invites students to present their research and host film screenings, reading groups and workshops.

23 Mar 2019: Meeting the Challenge of the Part-Time Doctorate UCL
An introductory presentation highlighting the aims and objectives of the session will be followed by group work and plenary discussions on specific challenges and solutions.

23 Mar 2019: Essentials of Viva Preparations and Generating Grant Funding – Saturday symposia for part-time researchers UCL
This course will cover understanding the viva process, what examiners are really looking for, tips for how to pass and avoid common mistakes, experience a mock mini-viva (optional).

25 Mar 2019: Research ethics workshop UCL
This course uses case studies and group discussion to help you explore ethics related to research. It will help you articulate your own ethical framework and understand and appreciate alternate views.

28 Mar 2019: Postgraduate Funding: Considering the Alternatives UCL
This workshop explores alternative methods of funding postgraduate study- raising money for fees, maintenance, or research and conference costs.

28 Mar 2019: Giving a Seminar or Conference Paper in the Humanities or Social Sciences SAS
This session, for humanities and social science research students only, will cover the preparation and delivery of a paper for a seminar, or specialist conference audience.

29 Mar 2019: Symbolic Maths: doing maths without knowing mathematics – Bitesize Programming UCL
The course will benefit from examples of real scenarios and projects that are easy to relate for students with wide range of interests.

April training opportunities

5 Apr 2019: Symbolic Maths: doing maths without knowing mathematics – Bitesize Programming UCL
The course will benefit from examples of real scenarios and projects that are easy to relate for students with wide range of interests.

8 Apr 2019: Potential Energy – Effective Presentations UCL
By exploring and exposing what we do intellectually, emotionally and physically when we communicate effectively in more familiar and less threatening situations, the course brings to life five fundamental principles of live communication.

11 Apr 2019: Philosophy and Literary Theory – IMLR Graduate Forum SAS
Forum members meet once a month during term-time to share and discuss their work in an informal setting, and invites students to present their research and host film screenings, reading groups and workshops.

29 Apr 2019: Science and entertainment media – Key Concepts in Science and Technology Studies UCL
Forum members meet once a month during term-time to share and discuss their work in an informal setting, and invites students to present their research and host film screenings, reading groups and workshops.