Careers and professional development training

The following CHASE Career and Professional development training opportunities are available to all Arts and Humanities PhD students at Birkbeck (regardless of whether you are funded by the AHRC/ CHASE).

Further details about each of the sessions below, and information about how to register, is available here.

 

From Field to Page: Core Skills in the Medical Humanities

Thursday 5 July & Thursday 8 November

Birkbeck, University of London


From Field to Page is two training days, which map the core skills required of medical humanities doctoral research and support doctoral researchers as they undertake their projects.

 

Medical humanities continues to emerge as a live and transforming field of enquiry.  The core work of this field seeks to explore and critique biomedical science and its histories through the various critical frameworks of the humanities disciplines.  Medical humanities research presents scholars with the particular challenges of transdisciplinary research undertaken across the radically different domains of medicine and the humanities’ academic disciplines.  Across the CHASE institutions there is a diverse cohort of medical humanities doctoral researchers that incorporates students from both clinical and non-clinical, humanities backgrounds. As such the cohort represents a broad range of skills-sets, work, academic and training experiences, and previous exposure to the critical methods central to the humanities disciplines. Clinicians come into the field of research with substantial situated knowledge of the real-life settings and practices of medicine and surgery but often with the need to acquire, through training the requisite skills of critical thinking and writing.

Conversely, non-clinicians and humanities’ scholars are much better versed in critical practice and inquiry, but lack the grounded, lived experience of clinical practice. The range of research projects undertaken in the field is markedly diverse, ranging from practice-led (examining the nature of clinical practice), to practice-based (using clinical practice as research), to purely analytic (discursive analysis) modes of inquiry but all undertake to situate medicine, disease, patient experience, clinical practice and medical education within socio-cultural and/or historical contexts in such a way that critical analysis and discursive understandings may be produced. The aims of medical humanities theses may, or may not, have the avowed intention of contributing to the practical fields of clinical practice, delivery of healthcare or medical education. All medical humanities theses must adhere to the core methodologies and practices of the humanities disciplines and this means that critical thinking and writing skills are key requirements of the medical humanities doctorate.

Find out more and register here

 

Getting Ready for Submission: Editing, Strengthening & Polishing Your Thesis

3-5 August | Cumberland Lodge, Windsor
Accommodation and dinner is provided on Friday evening, but the workshop starts at 10am on Saturday. Attendees are welcome to arrive from 6pm on Friday.

 

Are you close to a full draft of your thesis? Does it resemble a baggy monster that needs taming? If so, this two-day residential workshop is for you. Through activities and tutorials, you’ll learn techniques for getting your thesis into shape. By the end of the weekend, you’ll have a perfectly polished chapter and a clear strategy for tackling the rest of your thesis.

 

Find out more and register

The Viva and Beyond: Planning, Preparation & Performance


5-7 October | Cumberland Lodge, Windsor
Accommodation and dinner is provided on Friday evening, but the workshop starts at 10am on Saturday. Attendees are welcome to arrive from 6pm on Friday.

Have you submitted your thesis, or are you close to completion? This two-day workshop is designed to guide you through the process of preparing for your viva and to help you plan what happens post-PhD.

Through activities, discussion, and short training sessions on Day One, you’ll learn lots of techniques for successfully defending your thesis. We’ll also stage some mock vivas to get you used to the format in a supportive environment.

Day Two is all about what happens next. We’ll explore the jobs market and use some strategies for working out what career you’d like to pursue. The final session is dedicated to turning your thesis into a publication. We’ll look at the options, what’s involved, and also draft a book proposal.

 

Find out more and register

Additional CHASE Careers and professional development training

Careers and professional development training

The following CHASE Career and Professional development training opportunities are available to all Arts and Humanities research students at Birkbeck.

Further details about each of the sessions below, and information about how to register, is available here.

 

Designing and delivering effective presentations
  • 3rd and 4th May, Open University Camden campus, room 2BC (3rd May) and room 1 (4th May) [two full days]
Hands-on media training
  • 8th and 9th May, Goldsmiths, Richard Hoggart Building, room 307 [two full days]
Being an effective tutor
  • 10th May, Birkbeck, Malet Street, room 415 [one full day]
Mock academic interview session
  • 14th May, SOAS, Room G51 [afternoon] and 23rd May, SOAS, Room 4429 [morning]
Impact and research communication skills
  • 22nd June, Birkbeck, Malet Street, Room 253 [one full day]

Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference: ‘Age of Distraction’

Age of Distraction

Graduate Conference

8 + 9 June 2018

This conference explores distraction and all its meanings and implications. Distraction is commonly thought of as a growing concern or even a sickness of modern society and digital culture. From mindless scrolling to heavy consumerism, the pursuit for entertainment and satisfaction is insatiable, leaving us vulnerable to ruling corporations. Does our lack of control transform us into a conformed mass that is susceptible to tabloid media and the rise of populism? On the other hand, distraction is not necessarily steeped in negativity. In fact, it has had a long and fascinating history. Its German equivalent, ‘Zerstreuung’, comes from the idea of dispersion. At the start of the twentieth-century, Walter Benjamin defined the term as ‘floating attention’, where experience is caused by chance rather than concentration. Does lack of focus in fact allow a sense of freedom and inspiration?

Confirmed speakers include:

Food and refreshments will be available.

Call for papers (extended deadline 7 May)

Please send a 200 word abstract for papers of 15 minutes and a 50 word biography to bisr@bbk.ac.uk

Topics may include:

  • History of distraction
  • Distraction and its oppositions
  • Distraction and/in Education
  • Distraction and madness
  • Modes of Extremism: online or in reality?
  • Democracy, populism, and online social networking
  • Freedom of speech v. government and/or regulatory control
  • Misinformation and fake news
  • Dystopia/ an Orwellian society
  • Distraction and creativity
  • Escapism, dream and day-dream
  • Feigned ignorance or ‘Turning a blind eye’
  • Emotional responses
  • Procrastination, boredom and solitude
  • Wandering and ‘killing time’
  • Inspiration, chance and serendipity

Free tickets for Birkbeck Arts and Humanities PhD students: Frames of Representation 2018 @ The ICA, 20-28th April

F

CHASE is delighted to be academic partner with The ICA for Frames of Representation 2018, a global documentary cinema festival. As part of this partnership, we have arranged two exciting seminars featuring CHASE academics in conversation with film-makers whose work is showing at the festival.

We also have tickets for a one day symposium on April 28th featuring, amongst others, Oscar winning sound editor Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now).

CHASE has been given a number of free tickets for the week of events and screenings. These tickets are open to all arts and humanities PhD students at CHASE institutions and will allocated on a first come, first served basis. Have a look at the programme here and request your free tickets here.

Now in its third year, FoR is a global documentary cinema festival. The theme this year is landscape and the festival features a number of UK and European premieres, as well as masterclasses with film-makers. We have also arranged two CHASE seminars that will feature CHASE academics in conversation with film-makers whose work is screening at the festival.

Free tickets are available for ALL film screenings and masterclasses throughout the festival as well, of course, as the CHASE seminars and a half day symposium on the theme of landscape on the closing weekend of the festival. Regardless of your research interests, you are bound to find something, if not many things, of interest.

Any queries, please email enquiries@chase.ac.uk

Close Reading + Digital Humanities: A Dialogue (20 April)

Close Reading and Digital Humanities: a dialogue

20 April, 2-5pm

Erik Ketzan

Digital practices in literary studies have been at the forefront of recent debates about what it means to ‘read’ at scale. Meanwhile, conventional literary studies has followed the modernist paradigm of ‘close reading’, insisting on close textual attention.

On April 20, 2-5pm, Birkbeck School of Arts will host an afternoon event, Close Reading + Digital Humanities: A Dialogue. Space is limited — please register to attend.

This afternoon brings together scholars of close reading and digital humanities to investigate how one can inform the other, chart common goals and navigate potential tensions and anxieties. By discussing the tradition of close reading in literary studies alongside emerging digital approaches to text — such as corpus-based analysis (analysis based on electronic collections of text), detecting text re-use (automatic detection of text that appears in two texts, or multiple times within one text), semantic analysis (automatic classification of the meaning of words), automatic collation (comparison of texts, for instance variants of fiction)  — we hope to identify new research topics and find new ways to tackle old problems.

Each speaker will present for 25 minutes with Q+A, followed by a panel discussion.

Professor Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing
Birkbeck, University of London

Erik Ketzan

PhD Candidate: Digital Humanities
Birkbeck, University of London

Dr. Richard Robinson

Associate Professor, English Literature & Creative Writing
Swansea University

Dr. Gabriele Salciute Civiliene

Teaching Fellow in Digital Humanities Technologies,
Department of Digital Humanities
King’s College London

Erik Ketzan is a PhD Candidate in Digital Humanities, Birkbeck.

Thesis Boot Camp experience

Thesis Boot Camp experience

Mara Arts

Over the course of three days early April, a group of Birkbeck PhD students were able to participate in a ‘thesis boot camp’, organised by the CHASE consortium. Thesis boot camps originated in Australia and are designed to give PhD candidates a concentrated period of time to focus on their writing, and produce as many words as possible.

The boot camp was hosted by the University of Sussex on the Feltham campus, and the event was expertly facilitated by writing skills trainer Dr Catherine Pope. Around 30 doctoral students attended the whole weekend, hailing from seven different institutions.

We started at 4pm on a Friday afternoon, with introductions and a few words from Catherine to display some persistent writing myths. We were reminded that the aim of the weekend was to produce as many words as possible, and not to craft perfect prose or fully edited chapters. Catherine also taught us the ‘Pomodoro technique’ of doing 25 minutes of concentrated writing, followed by a short break. This was going to prove very useful over the course of the weekend!

Then it was time to get writing. We started with telling another student what we were hoping to achieve that session, which was followed by five minutes of ‘freewriting’ on the topic ‘What do I want to achieve this weekend?’ Freewriting is writing whatever comes into your head, non-stop, without any regard for spelling, grammar or punctuation. It helps to get the writing juices flowing. The rest of the evening, until 8pm, was spent writing.

We had two big classrooms at our disposal: one ‘writing room’ where each student had a desk, and where we were asked not to talk to create a good working environment. The room next door was the break room, which had a constant supply of drinks and snacks, and which we could use whenever we wanted to chat, relax, or play games. Lunches and dinners were also served in the breakroom. Having all meals catered for, and being away from the demands of your domestic environment, really helped to stay focused on the research. As most participants were staying in the same hotel (also generously funded by CHASE) it was easy to unwind together over a drink in the evenings.

On Saturday and Sunday the schedule was much the same. We started at 10am each day with telling our ‘accountability partner’ what that day’s goal was, and then did a bit of freewriting to get going. The rest of the days were split up in sizeable chunks of writing time. Participants could also request a one-to-one session with Catherine to discuss a particular issue they had with their research. On Saturday there was a guided walk in the fields adjacent to the campus, to get some much-needed fresh air. We also spent some time in group discussions each day, to share common PhD student problems such as tricky supervisors or managing work-related stress; and to swap writing tips.

When we finished at 4pm on Sunday, Catherine gave us some tips on how to keep our writing momentum going. Although everyone was pretty worn out after so much hard work, many participants were hoping to attend another boot camp session soon. They are a great way to get over tricky writing hurdles and start good writing habits.

Mara Arts is a PhD student in the Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies at Birkbeck.

AHRC-funded PhD studentship

AHRC-funded PhD studentship: Confronting a masculine military ideal: the experiences of LGBTQ service personnel 1914–now

This AHRC PhD Studentship is in Collaboration with Imperial War Museums (IWM) under the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership programme. The partner institutions are Birkbeck and the IWM.

The studentship will be supervised by Professor Matt Cook at Birkbeck and Rebecca Newell of IWM. This full-time studentship, which is funded for three years at standard AHRC rates, will begin on 1 October 2018.

Using material from across the IWM’s collection, including the sound collection, and with a particular focus on the museum’s private papers and oral history archives, this project will examine narratives of LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning) experience in the military for all or part of the period from 1914 to the present day.

Subject to AHRC eligibility criteria, the scholarships cover tuition fees and a grant (stipend) towards living expenses.

Deadline to apply: 5pm Sunday 22 April

New CHASE Training Opportunities

The following training opportunities are available to all Arts and Humanities research students at Birkbeck.

CHASE Creative Writing Residency

18 – 25 May | Near Kings Lynn, Norfolk

A creative writing residency to provide an opportunity for creative writers across the CHASE network to build creative writing skills, further CHASE creative writing projects, develop pedagogical skills and build relationships across the network.

The Residency is a one-week program for creative writers from 18th to 25th May at the Great Barn Farm near Kings Lynn. The week will consist of daily student led workshops and writing classes on theory and practice with a masterclass on the 19th from Sarah Hall, who has published six novels, won the Commonwealth Writers Prize and been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. The week will also include scheduled time for participants to further their own creative projects. It will conclude with a group discussion on teaching best practices and draft guidelines.

Possibilities: Media as process and actant

Title: Continuous corpo-realities <-> diagramming probabilities and possibilities!

Friday 9 March | 10.00-17.00 | University of Sussex

How do digital tools, environments and research co-construct each other? How can you trace the materiality of your research?  How might you diagram the interdependencies of your research sites? What are some of the possible re-mappings and re-imaginings that might occur?

 

 

New CHASE Training Opportunities

The following training opportunities are available to all Arts and Humanities research students at Birkbeck.

What Future for Theory?

26 March (Goldsmiths, University of London), 23 & 24 May (UEA)

‘Theory’ no longer holds the ascendancy it did in its 1980s heyday. Research has become more archive-oriented, more concerned with the production of knowledge, for which new possibilities have emerged with the advent of the ‘digital humanities’. ‘Theory’, with its specialised language, its immanent readings, became a symbol for the humanities’ inability to communicate their value; the model of the ‘output’ assures academic institutions and the culture in which they operate that humanistic research has something to show for itself. Theory also seems out of step with those contemporary political movements that aim to articulate new subjectivities and identities: theory itself had pronounced the death of the subject, and dismantled the metaphysical assumptions underpinning identity. Increasingly, theory appears a thing of the past.

But at a time when both the university and the humanities are undergoing major transformations, we wish to ask: how might theory, both its canonical past and its emerging forms, help us to make sense of our current moment, its technological/scientific developments, its forms of cultural production? And how does this current moment demand that we rethink the approaches and methods of theory? Particularly pressing are the ways digital technologies are transforming the way we conduct and disseminate research, but at the same time the limits and possibilities of the human: our present moment calls not just to be analysed, but to be theorised.

The programme will be made up of a symposium, to be held at Goldsmiths on 26 March 2018, and a roundtable, to take place at UEA on 23 May. On 24 May, participants will produce a video response to the questions that had arisen in the discussions thus far.

Find out more and apply here: Deadline to apply Wednesday 21 February

French for Academic Purposes 2

Further sessions in the series

  • Session 1: 14 February, 13.00-15.00, Courtauld Research forum
  • Session 2: 21 February, 13.00-15.00, Courtauld Seminar Room 1
  • Session 3: 27 February, 14.00-16.00, Institute of Historical Research Pollard Room
  • Session 4: 6 March, 14.00-16.00, Institute of Historical Research Pollard Room

Find out more and apply here

New AHRC CHASE Training Opportunities

The following training opportunities are available to all Arts and Humanities research students at Birkbeck.

Thought and Image: Processes of Reciprocity

Friday 2 February 2018 | Goldsmiths, University of London

The process by which an idea becomes an image and an image an idea is by no means straight forward, nonetheless this alchemy is the key task Audio Visual PhD students must perform. We are happy to announce this programme of Master Classes with leading artists who will talk about the generation of ideas and artworks in their current practice. By taking advantage of the collaborative nature of this venture between Goldsmiths, LUX and Birkbeck we will present a wide variety of subjects and approaches from both UK and internationally based artists.

The first event features Alia Syed, a London and Glasgow based filmmaker who has been making experimental films for over 25 years.

Researching Popular Music: Methods, Debates, Publics

Friday 2 – Saturday 3 March 2018 | Goldsmiths, University of London

Students are investigating music-making communities, musical-cultural identities and histories, modes of musical production and dissemination, theories of sound and sonic practice, and other musical topics. What ties almost all of these projects together is some idea of the popular: of music’s publics, and its modes of everyday musical participation. But the popular music studies canon cannot always provide methodological models for what is a set of highly innovative PhD studies. To address this, Researching Popular Music will bring together students across the CHASE institutions to present and discuss their work, both with each other, and with invited speakers working at the forefront of music and sound studies.