The Birkbeck Institute of Social Research’s Urban Intersections Working Group aims to stimulate conversations at the intersection of different disciplines, practices, spaces, media, and ways of seeing and understanding an urbanised (and urbanising) world.
Last year we inaugurated a reading group for post-graduate students (masters and doctoral) in any department of the College. Through a specific text, participants have the opportunity to reflect and discuss a particular urban topic, speaking from, but also challenging, their own research and disciplinary perspectives.
Sessions are held over Microsoft Teams and there is no limit to the number of participants. We will aim to hold at least one physical meet-up a term. We have a preliminary reading list that will be open to discussion and editing by the whole group. At the start of each session, a group member will frame the text to get the conversations going.
Our proposed reading list: Week 1: Alatas S. F., Sinha V: Sociological Theory Beyond the Canon, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2017. Introduction: Eurocentrism, Androcentrism and Sociological Theory (1-16) Weber, M: The City, Free Press, London, 1958 Occidental City (80-89) Week 2: Simmel, G: The Adventurer, “Das Abenteuer,” Phiosophische Kultur. Gesammelte Essays, Leipzig, 1919 Jackson, S: Paranoia, The New Yoker, NY, 2013 Week 3: Wilson, E: The Rhetoric of Urban Space, NLR, Jan-Feb, 1995 Sudjic, D: Dangerously Insane, LRB, Oct 2010 Week 4: Nora, P: Between Memory and History, Representations, Spring 1989 Sicard, M: Eutopia, NLR, May-June 2020 Week 5: Myambo, M, T: Africa’s Global City?, NLR, Nov-Dec 2017 Ruiz Tagle, J: Territorial stigmatization in Socially-Mixed Neighbourhoods in Chicago and Santiago: A Comparison of Global-North and Global South Urban Renewal Problem, Social Housing and Urban Renewal (Watt and Smets, Eds.), London: Emerald, 2017 Week 6: Thompson, M et al: Re-grounding the City with Polanyi: From Urban Entrepreneurialism to Entrepreneurial Municipalism, Economy and Space, Vol. 52(6), 2020 Baibarac, C and Petrescu, D: Co-design and Urban Resilience: Visioning Tools for Commoning Resilience Practices, CoDesign, Volume 15, 2019 Week 7: Hatherley, M: Look at England Urban Spaces, Open Democracy, August 2011 Hatherley, M: The Occupation of Space, Open Democracy, January 2011 Self, W: It Hits in the Gut, LRB, March 2012 Other: Adams RE: Circulation and Urbanization, Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2018 Halegoua GR: The Digital City: Media and the Social Production of Place, New York: New York University Press, 2019 Hou, J: Guerilla Urbanism: Urban Design and the Practices of Resistance, Urban Design, Vol. 25, 2020 Massey, D: The Spatial Construction of Youth Cultures, Cool Places, (Skelton and Valentine, Eds.), London: Routledge, 1998 Zukin S: The Innovation Complex: Cities, Tech, and the New Economy, New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2020 We aim to hold one meeting per month, but this will be negotiated by the group once it is formed. The first meeting will take place in the middle of December 2022. If you would like to be involved, please contact Henry Mulhall (Henrymulhall@gmail.com) and Sara Rodriguez (email@example.com) with your name, department, and course of study by 30 November 2021.
Most of us are doing lots of reading – that’s the easy part, right? But we’re not always reading the most effective way. Although we accumulate lots of material and ideas, we struggle to turn it into academic writing.
In this interactive webinar, we’ll look at several techniques for becoming a more efficient and productive reader.
Are your notes in a mess? Do you lack an effective system for storing and organising your reading material? In this interactive webinar, we’ll explore three methods for imposing order on the chaos. Through demonstrations and discussions, you will learn how you can use them to build an effective process that’s right for you.
Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image (BIMI) is currently
planning its programme of events for 2021-22. We welcome proposals from
researchers and students working in any discipline or field across the College.
We are very happy to work in collaboration with research centres and institutes
at Birkbeck or at other institutions, both in terms of exchanging ideas and
materials and in terms of sharing costs and logistics.
We encourage our Birkbeck colleagues to utilise the
facilities of Birkbeck Cinema to foreground new or rarely screened films and
other moving image works, and/or to contribute to contemporary debates around
academic research and its relationship to social, political and cultural
questions of the day.
In normal times, all of our events take place in Birkbeck
Cinema, typically on Friday evenings 6-9pm and Saturdays 10-5pm. Birkbeck
Cinema is an exceptional resource, now equipped to project the most up to date DCP
and other digital formats, as well as traditional formats such as 35mm and
In the current circumstances, however, we cannot say for
sure when we will have full access to Birkbeck Cinema. For the autumn term,
we are therefore especially interested in proposals for events that could be
adapted, if necessary, to online presentation, with the possibility of streaming
films via our Screening Room. From January 2022, while we hope to be able to
operate from the Cinema in our usual fashion, we are aware that nothing is certain,
and so we will remain open to the possibility of adapting BIMI events to online
versions if this proves necessary.
If you would like to propose an idea for an event, please
complete this form and send it firstname.lastname@example.org the subject heading “BIMI proposals 2021-22”.The
deadline for submission is Friday 25 June.
Michael Temple, Director, Birkbeck Institute for the Moving
Image, and Essay Film Festival; Matthew Barrington, BIMI Manager
Title of proposed event:
Names of proposers and department or School:
Description of event (no more than 250 words, please):
Screening material (including technical specifications if known):
Indicative budget (film materials, speakers, travel, etc. – BIMI can typically cover up to £200 per event):
Potential collaborators (from Birkbeck or other institutions):
Dear Members and Contacts of the Birkbeck Graduate Research
We are delighted to share with you a call for papers for our
interdisciplinary AHRC Midlands4Cities-funded virtual seminar series, ‘Culture,
Things, and Empire’. We will be hosting 5 online Zoom seminars (20-minute
papers and 40 minutes of discussion) and 1 masterclass for all registered
participants surrounding issues and themes such as race, gender, class, and
materiality in the fields of imperial, colonial and global studies. The series
will take place between November 2020 and April 2021. Registration to attend
the seminars will also open soon here: https://culturethingsempire.wordpress.com/
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
of Interest should include your:
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.
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. If I could also draw your attention to a couple of calls for papers/participation that are currently open.
Journal recruiting members for next Editorial Board
Brief Encounters is currently recruiting the next Editorial Board to oversee the creation of issue 5 – see below press release:
Seaside, Ruin and De-Industrialisation on the Cleveland Coast
Friday 10th to sunday 12th of January
Following the critical excursion Beyond the Heartlands and building on themes of de-industrialisation, landscape and ruin, the ‘Space Place Time’ research collective are calling for participants for a two-day critical excursion to Redcar and Cleveland. Completed in 1846, the Middlesbrough and Redcar Railway hoped to attract tourism, but like much of the region, Redcar’s expansion came with the 1850 discovery of iron ore in the Eston area of the Cleveland Hills. The engine of Britain’s Industrial Revolution, Redcar was simultaneously home to a Victorian pleasure pier. The pier’s demolition in 1981 can be seen as an allegory of the decade’s slum, which saw the simultaneous decline of both industries.
The Frankfurt Exotic: broken objects and porous walls in Naples
Beginning of April (deadline to apply 15 Jan)
Following the critical excursion Re-mapping the Arcades
Project in Glasgow, and building on the field engagement with the work and
cities of Walter Benjamin, we are calling for participants in a critical
excursion in Naples: The Frankfurt Exotic: broken objects and porous walls in
Naples. This critical excursion will take place over 4 nights at the beginning
of April 2020 and will involve a series of workshops, walking tours and
screenings with the anticipated outcome of a publication recording
conversations, presentations, works in progress, creative responses and
Friday 17th of January (from 12:00) – Norfolk Heritage Centre
Saturday 18th January – Blickling Estate
The second of the CHASE DTP-funded Bookscapes workshops, offering PhD students advanced training in palaeographical, codicological and bibliographical skills, will take place on 17th-18th January 2020, hosted by the University of East Anglia and led by Tom Roebuck and Sophie Butler. At the Norfolk Heritage Centre, on day one of the workshop, attending students will have the opportunity to engage with the collections of the original Norwich City Library (founded in 1618). The workshop will move to Blickling Estate on the second day, where the students will focus on the techniques and history of bookbinding and the history of the book. The second day’s workshop will be led by Nicholas Pickwoad, one of the leading experts on bookbinding and an adviser to the National Trust on book conservation.
Are you a mid- or late-stage doctoral researcher, struggling
to make progress with your thesis? Do you keep putting off your writing? If so,
Thesis Boot Camp could be the solution. Deadline to apply – 17 January.
Aural Diversity is a series of lectures, workshops and in-situ training sessions seeking to encourage creative and critical attention towards aural diversity within the arts and humanities, with particular focus on an ecology of the ear, designed for all those researching within the Arts and Humanities, especially those with an interest in the creative, social and political dimensions of sound and listening.
These sessions specifically address the need for further study and practice inspired by, and concerning, this specific turn in research and focus on a particular theme led by an academic/practitioner with invited guests selected to represent a range of approaches.
Session #1 | Thursday 13 February | 1000-1800 | Goldsmiths,
University of London – Register
Session # 2 | Thursday 27 February | 1000-1800 | Room 264,
Senate House, London – Register
Session #3 | Thursday 12 March | 1000-1800 | Goldsmiths,
University of London – Register
Plenary | Thursday 26 March | 1500-1800 | Keynes Library,
Birkbeck, University of London – Register
Ethnography and Film. Exploring Labour, Technology and Mediation in the Egyptian Film Industry
19 Feb (14:00-20:30)
University of Kent
The workshop will offer participants advanced training in
ethnography, applied to the context of the Egyptian Film industry. Dr El
Khachab’s workshop will outline how researchers can successfully apply
ethnographic methodologies, developed in Anthropology, to research issues about
arts and media, especially film. Dr El Khachab will outline the strategies he
developed during his PhD research to gather observations, interviews and
documentary data from creatives and technicians working in the largest and most
influential media industry in the Arab world. He will also provide participants
an insight into how he adapted the presentation of his findings from his PhD
thesis into his forthcoming monograph, The Egyptian Film Industry: Labor,
Call for proposals | The Essay Film Festival: Research, Critique, Practice
As part of its new
collaborative partnership with CHASE, the Essay Film Festival is inviting
proposals from doctoral students for a student-led symposium exploring
essayistic forms and their relationship to academic research, social critique
and artistic practice.
The conference will combine
research presentations and film screenings, including examples of practice-led
researchers talking through, questioning and “essaying” their own work. This
event will follow the sixth edition of the Essay Film Festival, which will take
place at Birkbeck Cinema, ICA, Goethe-Institut and Institut Français, from 26
March to 4 April 2020.
The symposium will be held at Birkbeck Cinema in May 2020
(exact date to be confirmed), more than a month after the end of the festival.
The idea of the conference is, therefore, to provide a space for critical
reflection and debate, with a certain detachment from the EFF programme itself,
as well as to propose and discuss new directions for the festival in the
Call for Papers | Critical Race Studies and the Premodern: Archive and Seminar
23rd to 24th March – University of East Anglia 8th to 9th June – University of Sussex
Universities of East Anglia and Sussex are hosting two postgraduate
training workshops on critical race studies and the pre-modern. The first of
these will be held at the University of East Anglia, 23-24 March 2020, and will
focus on teaching and pedagogy; the second will be held at The University of
Sussex, 8-9 June 2020, and will focus on research. Both events are designed to
develop students’ professional skills. We invite expressions of interest from
all postgraduates working in the Humanities (giving papers, designing and
chairing sessions, attending).
Are you a Chinese student? If so please consider helping one of our Birkbeck Research students who is looking for participants in the UK for a project which aims to look at the relationship between languages and life in the UK.
Get in touch by filling out one of the questionnaires below – it takes 15 minutes to complete. There are 3 versions of the questionnaire: English, traditional Chinese, and simplified Chinese so you can choose the one that suits you best.