CHASE Training Opportunities

CHASE brings together 9 leading institutions engaged in collaborative research activities including an AHRC doctoral training partnership, supporting discipline-based projects, specialising in interdisciplinary research, and research in emerging fields of study and creative practice.

It is central to the ethos at CHASE that serious disciplinary research is interdisciplinary. The following training opportunities are available to research students:

The Future of Arts Research

This programme of innovative skills training is geared toward those involved in practice research, generally, and arts research, specifically. The nature of the training is inherently interdisciplinary, devised and developed by researchers across Fine Art, Performance and Poetry. The training will be suitable and beneficial to researchers at any stage of their project’s development and, while specifically relevant to artist researchers, will be open to researchers in any field.

There are four skills workshops, each dedicated to a key element of practice research. The workshops are scheduled on the following two days:

Workshops 1 & 2:        Wednesday, 14 November 2018 @ 11.00 – 18.00

Workshops 3 & 4:        Wednesday, 27 February 2019 @ 11.00 – 18.00

All of the workshops will be held at Goldsmiths College.

Participants may sign up for individual workshops, or may choose to attend the entire series.

Details of the workshops and how to sign up are here

Peer Coaching taster session (collaborative with WRoCAH DTP)

25 January 2019 | 11:00 – 16:00
London Venue TBC

Would you benefit from being part of a supportive peer group of WRoCAH doctoral researchers for a whole academic year and beyond?
Peer coaching groups that meet regularly are known as ‘action learning sets’. Groups are intended to offer mutual support and coaching. For each meeting group members are invited bring their current challenges and the group works with them to coach them towards potential solutions.

Taking part in this workshop will give you the chance to work with a group of peers to develop your coaching skills to improve collaborative working, communication and professional relationships. The skills of coaching can be applied to help you get the best out of yourself and the best out of others. This can be in your research, in your teaching or in working with or supervising of others.

 

Find out more and register here

 

MARs Session: Radiological Deep Time (by Mountain of Art Research – Goldsmiths)

Various dates, please see below
MARs Research Hub, Seminar Space (Room 5), 43 Lewisham Way London SE14 6NP

This MARs Session will investigate theoretical ideas and artistic practices concerned with radiological deep time. From nuclear landscapes of mining, test sites, and waste storage sites. The session will focus on the problems of decolonising the nuclear, through feminist and forensic analysis, rethinking nuclear landscapes at home, and the mythologies of distant test and mining sites.

Research Student Prep Session Two – 2 Nov, 3-5pm
Research Student Prep Session Three – 23 Nov, 3-5pm
MAIN SESSION / Nuclear Culture Research Symposium: 30 Nov, 10.30am – 6pm & 1 Dec, 10.30am – 2.30pm

 

Find out more and register here

 

Early Modern Matters: Materiality and the Archive & Call for papers

11-12 May 2019
University of East Anglia

From the creation of almanacs, gazettes, and paperbooks – whose ephemeral life span led to their repurposing in manifold ways – to the circulation of sermon collections, commonplace books, and annotated printed volumes, the materiality of the early modern world is unavoidable. By studying archival material texts, not only as vessels for words, but as objects created and put to use in everyday life, we can shed light both on the ‘text’ itself – written, drawn, or otherwise – and on the culture in which it was embedded.

The ‘Early Modern Matters: Materiality and the Archive’ conference will bring together scholars of all whose research intersects with the material textual culture of the early modern period (c. 1500-1700). These disciplines include, but are not limited to: the history of the book, art history, literature, the history of medicine, the history of science, and the history of law. By drawing together these strands of early modern scholarship we hope to expand our understanding of how early modern people interacted with texts as physical objects.

Read full call for papers and register here

 

City Maps – few places left on the Tuesday 21 November session

Birkbeck, Bloomsbury campus

Researching screen media and global cities.

In this workshop, Johan Anderson from King’s College London will lead a workshop with Lawrence Webb (University of Sussex), building on themes introduced in their co-edited books Global Cinematic Cities: New Landscapes of Film and Media (2016) and The City in American Cinema: Film and Postindustrial Culture (forthcoming, 2019). This will comprise a film screening and a workshop at the Birkbeck Cinema. In the workshop session, Andersson and Webb will lead a discussion on the challenges of researching cinema/screen media and cities at a time when both have become destabilized as objects of study. Students will be encouraged to draw on their own PhD projects to consider a range of research methodologies and theoretical approaches to screen media and cities. Johan Andersson and Lawrence Webb will present on their own recent research projects and talk about the challenges of interdisciplinary research and publication. Topics will vary depending on the doctoral students participating, but are likely to include: film, media and the digital turn; gentrification; landscape theory; genre; queer studies; urban history; archival research; location shooting; and urban institutions. Doctoral students working on any urban/national context or historical period are welcome to attend.

Register for this or other City Map sessions

CHASE Training Opportunity | Doctoral and Early Career Researchers

How to collaborate: an introduction to working with external partners

Monday 19 November, 11.15am-3.30pm Barbican Centre, Silk St, London EC2Y 8DS

Led by Dr Keith M. Johnston, UEA Arts & Humanities Associate Dean for Innovation & Paul Roberts, University of Sussex Head of Business Engagement

Do you want to develop your research beyond the university, but not sure where to start? Do you think your research could help an existing company or sector? Working with organisations – be they commercial, arts funded, third sector, governmental – can be an incredibly rewarding experience, helping you translate your research and/or research skills to a different environment, with different demands and expectations. Working with non-HEIs is also becoming more important across the UK research landscape, with the KEF (Knowledge Exchange Framework) being mooted to start in spring 2019.

This session will offer expert advice and practical tips on identifying, approaching and working with organisations, and on the opportunities available for collaborative work. Topics to be covered will include:

• Why work with partners – what do they add?
•  What do partners want?
•  How do you get started – who makes the first move?
•  What timescales and demands are suitable for these projects?
•  What ethical / legal implications might there be?
•  What happens if it all goes wrong?
•  Will this help me get a job?

This session, part of the CHASE Encounters conference, is open to doctoral and early career researchers from CHASE member institutions.

Register here

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Call for Papers: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region Second Biannual Postgraduate Conference

The School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics at SOAS University of London invites proposals for paper presentations at a forthcoming postgraduate conference, to be held at SOAS on the 1st and 2nd of May, 2019.

The conference is designed as a forum that brings together UK-based PhD students working on the MENA region from any perspective. MENA here is defined in the broadest possible terms and includes the countries of the Arab world, Israel, Turkey, Iran and the central Asian states. The School particularly welcomes proposals that
• adopt interdisciplinary approaches
• reflect critically on the process of conducting interdisciplinary research
• engage with a combination of textual, visual, aural and digital sources

However, the School welcomes any proposal that is pertinent to the study of MENA. Presentations will be recorded on video and uploaded to the web.
The conference will be the second on this theme organised and funded through the Consortium of the Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE), the first having been hosted by the Middle East and North Africa Centre at Sussex (MENACS) of the University of Sussex in April 2017. Faculty members from across the CHASE group of universities will participate in the conference as panel chairs and commentators. This will ensure doctoral students receive critical feedback on their work from leading scholars who work on the MENA region from a variety of viewpoints.

Abstracts of 300 words with CHASE CONFERENCE in the subject bar should be sent to Marlé Hammond (mh93@soas.ac.uk) no later than 31 December 2018. Students from CHASE institutions (The Courtauld Institute of Art, Goldsmiths, Open University, University of East Anglia, University of Essex, University of Kent, University of Sussex, Birkbeck, and SOAS) may apply for reimbursement of travel and accommodation expenses through their institutions. See https://www.chase.ac.uk/hb-funding#apply

The conference organisers will be able to offer successful candidates from other UK institutions some funding for these costs. There is no registration fee.

B R E A T H I N G

The Arts Research Dandelion Journal is pleased to announce the release of the New Autumn Issue, b r e a t h i n g.

“Through the critical reflections brought together in this issue, and beyond them — in the films, art installations, sculptures, drawings, paintings, histories, writings, videos and photographs on which they draw — Dandelion seeks to invoke a meditative journey, and a dynamic and affective encounter with  b r e a t h i n g.” (1)

With contributions from:
  • Breathing Through the Medium: Representations of Refugees in Contemporary Art, Greta Adorni
  • From Exhalation to Transformation: The Female Body in the Orientalist Romance, Pauline Suwanban
  • Mobile, Malleable, and Modified: Tapestry in Early Modern Literature, Masuda Qureshi
  • B r e a t h i n g in Apichatpong, Donatella Valente

  • Hyperventilations, Dylan Williams
  • We Can’t Breathe, Anna Jamieson and Kasia Ozga
  • Breathe: Making the Invisible Visible, Carly Robinson and Elizabeth Pimentel de Çetin
  • Breathless Rictus: Ken Currie’s Krankenhaus, Christine Slobogin
About Dandelion:

The Arts Research Dandelion Journal is based in the School of Arts at Birkbeck. The journal is for and by postgraduate research students and early-career academics, and gathers contributions not only from Birkbeck, but also from other academic institutions. It encourages a multi-disciplinary research approach to the Arts, and provides a supportive environment to the publishing experience, combined with precise editing advice by Subject Editors expert in the contributor’s area of research. Dandelion aims to offer a space to develop and showcase your many serendipitous thoughts and ideas you encounter whilst shaping, and writing on, your research. Dandelion disseminates Call for Papers generally once a year, although you are welcome to generate a specific topic and / or even guest-edit a small supplementary edition. For any contribution ideas, or if you’re interested in joining the editorial team, as a General Editor, Subject Editor, or Copyeditor you can email the Editors (Donatella Valente and Jenny Turner) on mail@dandelionjournal.org . You can follow us on Twitter @dandelionbbk

 

(1) Valente, D & Turner, J . (2018) “Editorial”, Dandelion: Postgraduate Arts Journal and Research Network. 9(1)

The British Library Doctoral Open Days

the British Library is again running a series of Open Days for Doctoral Students, running from December 2018 – March 2019.

The British Library on April 5, London, England. 

 

The British Library Doctoral Open Days are a chance for PhD students who are new to the Library to learn how to make the most of the Library’s research materials, get to grips with the practicalities of using the Library and its services, and find out how to navigate their physical and online collections. They are also a great opportunity to meet our expert and friendly staff and other researchers from all disciplines.

Each day concentrates on a different aspect of the Library’s collections and most take an inter-disciplinary approach.  Students are invited to choose the day they feel is most relevant to their studies.

All events take place in the British Library Knowledge Centre at St Pancras, London, except for the event on Wednesday 30 January 2019, which takes place at the Library’s site in Boston Spa, Yorkshire. This event is suitable for researchers of all disciplines and subject areas as speakers will also provide an overarching introduction to the Library that will be of interest to anyone planning to explore our collections for PhD research – whether that is in Yorkshire, in London or online.

For further details of the all Open Days and how to book please see the British Library website. Places cost £10.00 including lunch and refreshments.

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 

The Other Side of the Story

Melanie Jones

I decided to take my Creative Writing MA at Birkbeck because of The Mechanics’ Institute Review, an annual collection of short fiction that showcased the best writing at the college. At that time, the Review was produced by MA students as part of a publishing module.

In the first few weeks of term, it became clear that everyone wanted their story to be selected. For some, including me, it represented the first ever chance to be published. Unfortunately, the module was cancelled in my first year because not enough people signed up. Everyone wanted to be in the book, but being an editor made you ineligible.

Julia Bell, the lecturer who set up the Review ten years earlier, wouldn’t let the project die. Instead she called for volunteer editors and built a team that included Birkbeck alumni as well as current students. MIR 11 was published that year and I was fortunate enough to have my story Sowing Seeds included.

I had only written one short story before I started my MA. I had never shown my writing to anyone else. I had never called myself a writer. Seeing my name in print, going to the launch party, holding a physical copy of book that included my work was a gamechanger. It legitimised a creative spark that had, up until that point, just been a hobby. When I was a little girl in the early 80s, I felt like having my name printed out in ‘computer writing’ on a piece of paper meant I was famous. MIR 11 allowed me to live out that dream as an adult.

Julia had a vision for MIR. She didn’t want it to be a university publication that just printed work from Birkbeck students. She wanted to open it up to all UK based authors and she wanted to combine the other extra-curricular activities (like the Writers’ Hub website and the Hubbub live reading event) offered at Birkbeck under one banner. I was about to start my PhD at Birkbeck and becoming the Managing Editor for the online counterpart to the Review was the perfect way to help with my fees and to share my experiences with other budding authors.

 

At MIROnline, I manage a team of about twenty volunteers. We have readers, copy editors, bloggers, features writers, and social media experts. We publish fiction and poetry from writers across the UK and provide an in-depth copy-editing experience for those writers. We run live reading events and free writing workshops that are open to all.

I am a secondary school teacher and sometimes the combined workload is overwhelming. In theory, my weekly schedule is Monday MIR, Tuesday teaching, Wednesday PhD study at home, Thursday PhD study in the Wellcome Library, Friday and Saturday teaching, and Sunday relaxing. It doesn’t always work out that way! My research focuses on anxiety and creativity, and sometimes the stress of a MIR deadline gives me some first-hand experience of this link. That being said, I have an amazing team of volunteers who always step up when I need them. I also have the support of Julia, Toby Litt, and Sue Tyley, the experts who give us a professional sheen.

In my research, I am looking at ways for writers to use the mental barriers they might face to fuel their creativity rather than block it, and this definitely comes in to play when mentoring new writers. Of course, we publish the work of experienced authors too and I learn a lot from their methodology and practice.

My aim as Managing Editor is to offer quality university and industry level experience for anyone who wants to engage with us. For the volunteers, I hope that they learn and develop as writers and editors. For the authors and participants in our events, I hope to pass on the feeling I had when I held the physical copy of MIR 11 in my hands. You are an author now. Legitimate and celebrated.

MIROnline

MIR Anthology info

Buy Mechanics Institute Review 2017 Edition

Melanie Jones is the Managing Editor of MIR Online and a PhD student at Birkbeck University where she researches the links between anxiety and creativity. Melanie teaches at a secondary school for pupils with anxiety and other emotional barriers, autism, dyslexia and school phobia. Melanie was long listed for the 2018 Bristol Prize and shortlisted for Poetic Republic’s Short Fiction Competition. Her work can be found in the following anthologies: Kissing Him Goodbye and Other Stories, and The Mechanics’ Institute Review issues 11 and 13. Melanie is currently working on a collection of semi-true short stories.

 

Avant-Garde Study Group – Reading Groups for Research Students

Evi Heinz

The Avant-Garde Study Group was set up in 2017 and is currently co-organised by Paul Ingram, Robyn Jakeman and myself. I was keen to get involved in the running of the group because I think it provides an important forum for postgraduate students working in the general field of experimental, modern literature and art to discuss their own research and learn about that of their peers. Working on your own, very specific research project can sometimes feel quite isolating and co-organising the Avant-Garde Study Group has been a great way for me to participate in a stimulating intellectual exchange.

We meet every other week during term time to discuss different manifestations of avant-gardism in the nineteenth and twentieth century, including but not limited to such movements as Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, Vorticism, Constructivism, Dada and Surealism. All members of the study group are invited to suggest topics for discussion and lead individual sessions based on their personal interests. Reading or viewing materials are circulated in advance and each session begins with a brief introduction of the topic by the session leader, followed by an open discussion.

The open format of the study group, which is shaped by the research interests of the participants, means that it is a great way of meeting other researchers working in related fields and learning more about their work. I like the friendly and informal atmosphere at our meetings and that the group has attracted a good mix of participants, including PhD students, ECRs, independent researchers and Masters students from Birkbeck and beyond. Next academic year we hope to organise some one-off events and socials beyond the regular study group meetings. In particular, we’re planning a screening of rarely-seen avant-garde short films.

The study group has given me the opportunity to lead sessions on specific texts and topics closely related to my own research and has allowed me to interrogate my broader understanding of the (historical) avant-garde in incredibly fruitful ways. Being able to practice presenting aspects of my research and discussing them in detail with a group of my peers has been an invaluable experience and I look forward to many more exciting sessions in 2018/19!

The Avant-Garde Study Group meets during term time on alternate Tuesdays from 7-9pm and are always keen to welcome new members. For more information please contact avantgardestudygroup@gmail.com or find us on Twitter (@agstudies).

Health and Safety Training Available for Research Projects

These courses require a password to sign up. See end of post for details.

Risk Assessment using Sevron

Thursday August 30th. 10.00 – 13.00 A half-day course on general health and safety risk assessment with an introduction to the Sevron online risk assessment system. Book here

COSHH Risk Assessment using Sevron

This course is for people needing to assess the risks of the use of hazardous substances under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH). The course introduces the Sevron online risk assessment system and its use for COSHH assessments. There are several opportunities to undertake this training.

Wednesday September 12 morning session 10.00 – 13.00.

Wednesday September 12 afternoon session 14.00 – 17.00.

Thursday September 20 morning session 10.00 – 13.00.

Thursday September afternoon session 27 14.00 – 17.00.

Level 2 Award in Fire Safety

A one-day course for persons with special responsibilities for fire safety such as fire wardens. Wednesday September 19. 9.30 – 17.00. Book here.

Level 2 Award in Health and Safety at Work

A one-day course for persons with special responsibilities for general health and safety such as Departmental Safety Coordinators. September 25. 9.30 – 17.00. Book here.

Level 2 Award in Manual Handling

A one-day course for staff undertaking manual handling tasks as a regular part of their work. Monday 10 September 09.30 – 17.00. Book here.

 

These courses require a password to sign up. Follow the links and enter “BBK” at the Eventbrite page.