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”.

CHASE Training opportunities for all Arts and Humanities PhD Students at Birkbeck

Auraldiversities series

Auraldiversities 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. A CHASE PhD candidate with associated research interests will also give a presentation.

Sessions are purposefully multifaceted, practical, intuitive and experimental in approach and encourage collaborative work and collective activities:

Session One – Thursday 13 February | 1000-1800 | Goldsmiths, University of London

Session Two: Thursday 27 February | 1000-1800 | Venue TBC

Session Three: Thursday 12 March | 100-1800 | Venue TBC

Plenary: Thursday 26 March | 1500-1800 | Keynes Library, Birkbeck School of Arts

Ethnography and Film. Exploring Labour, Technology and Mediation in the Egyptian Film Industry

Wednesday 19 February | 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, Technology, Mediation.

This workshop is aimed at CHASE students from a variety of backgrounds and developed with an interdisciplinary audience in mind. Hence, attending the training does not require any specialised prior knowledge or skills, apart from an interest in the topic of the workshop.

Find out more and register here

Translation x Creative Writing – Daniel Hahn

Monday 24 February  | UEA | 2-4pm

Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor and translator with over sixty books to his name. His work has won him the International Dublin Literary Award, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award, and been shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize, among others. He is a past chair of the Society of Authors, and on the board of a number of organisations that work with literature and free speech.

Concept: Translation for Non-Translators

Find out more and register here

Future Pathways in Medieval and Early Modern Studies: Academia and Beyond

Friday 6 & Friday 27 March | University of Kent

The intended audience for both workshops is first and foremost students currently undertaking PhDs in any aspect of medieval or early modern studies (including Archaeology, History, History of Art and Literary Studies). Students will be able to register for one or both of the workshops, both of which will be hosted at the University of Kent’s Canterbury campus. The first workshop (‘Beyond Academia’) will take place on Friday 6 March 2020. The second workshop (‘Early Career Academia’) will take place on Friday 27 March 2020.

Beyond Academia | Fri 6 March | Find out more and register here

Early Career Academia | Friday 27 March | Find out more and register

Embodied Approaches to Performing Experimental Music

This training explores embodied approaches to performing experimental music, and methods of observing and reporting on research observations that arise as a result of such performance. It employs an approach to methodological training through practical, hands-on workshops.

Event 4: 16th March 2020 14.00-18.00 with Dr Sean Williams

Event 5: Event 5: 24th April 2020 14.00-17.00 with Dr Lauren Redhead

Essay Film Festival, 2020

The Essay Film Festival, now in its sixth edition, presents a global range of contemporary and restored essayistic works, each exploring the creative zone of possibilities between experimental and documentary modes of filmmaking. 

View full programme

This year’s programme features several key themes and strands:

Image from short film: Idhi Katha Matramena (Is This Just a Story?) (India, 1983)

New work by the Otolith Group and restored essay films by Ruchir Joshi and the Yugantar Collective engage with the cultural history and politics of India, providing imaginative and insightful perspectives on the educational projects of Rabindranath Tagore, the wandering Baal musicians, the changing cities of Ahmedabad and Kolkata, and the political struggles of Indian women. A symposium on the work of author and filmmaker Joshi will take place during the festival with guests from India, France and the USA, while Yugantar member Deepa Dhanraj will join researchers from Berlin Arsenal and Goldsmiths to discuss the restoration of the collective’s films.

Image of a collapsing structure

From Argentina, France, UK and the Philippines come challenging found footage experiments by Leandro Listorti, Frank Beauvais, Sarah Wood and John Torres, which critically examine the status and uses of images today while transforming them into moving and fascinating new creations. A student-led research workshop with guest filmmakers will analyse the theory and practice of found footage in the digital age.

Still from short film: America (Garrett Bradley, USA, 2019)

US artists Garrett Bradley and Cauleen Smith investigate and celebrate the depth and diversity of African-American lives, past and present, with works that, like all good essays, both question the viewer and invite us into an ongoing conversation. Both Bradley and Smith will give lecture-workshops about their practice alongside the screenings of their films. 

Image of filmmaker Jocelyne Saab

Developing the theme of ‘the living archive’, a series of events will address the cultural politics of film restoration, featuring works by Jocelyne Saab, Mostafa Derkaoui, Ingemo Engström and Gerhard Theuring, in addition to the restored films of Ruchir Joshi and the Yugantar Collective. 

Still from short film: Home in E Major, Tamar Rachkovsky, USA, 2019

Finally, Israeli filmmaker Tamar Rachovsky will join the festival to present and discuss Home in E Major, which looks at complex questions of identity and belonging through the deceptively simple lens of the diary film.

Simple and complex, contingent and reflective, hybrid and critical, the essay film that we celebrate at our festival is a constantly renewed invitation to engage with the world and to see it in new ways.

Michael Temple (Director), on behalf of the Essay Film Festival group: Matthew Barrington (Manager), Kieron Corless, Nicolas Freeman (CHASE intern), Catherine Grant, Ricardo Matos Cabo, Janet McCabe, Raquel Morais, and Laura Mulvey.

The Essay Film Festival is a collaboration between Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image and the ICA, with support from the CHASE Doctoral Training Partnership. 

Highlighted CHASE training opportunities and calls

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

Redcar/Cleveland

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.

Find out more here

The Frankfurt Exotic: broken objects and porous walls in Naples

Beginning of April (deadline to apply 15 Jan)

Naples, Italy

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 translation work.

Find out more and apply here

Bookscapes

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.

Numbers for the workshops are strictly limited. We encourage all interested PhD students to contact bookscapes@kent.ac.uk as soon as possible. You can also follow us on twitter at https://twitter.com/bookscapes.

CHASE Essentials – Thesis Boot Camp

Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd of February

University of Sussex

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.

Find out more and register here

Aural Diversity

Various dates and venues, please see below

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 here

Session # 2 | Thursday 27 February | 1000-1800 | Room 264, Senate House, London – Register here

Session #3 | Thursday 12 March | 1000-1800 | Goldsmiths, University of London – Register here

Plenary | Thursday 26 March | 1500-1800 | Keynes Library, Birkbeck, University of London – Register here

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, Technology, Mediation.

Find out more and register here

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 future.

Deadline – Friday 14 February

Full details here

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).

Deadline – Friday 24 January

Find out more here

UPDATE – British Library Doctoral Open Days

The image “british library” by fsse8info is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 

The box office is now open for the upcoming British Library Open Days.  The days explain the practicalities of using the Library and its services – including navigating the physical and online collections. Students are encouraged to choose the event which is of most interest and relevance to their studies, from the following:

2020

British Library Doctoral Open Days

The image “british library” by fsse8info is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 

January and February 2020

The British Library has scheduled a season of Doctoral Open Days in January and February 2020.

Booking is essential and tickets will become available via their Box Office in mid-October. The Open Days are designed for first year PhD students who are new to the British Library.  The days explain the practicalities of using the Library and its services – including navigating the physical and online collections. Students are encouraged to choose the event which is of most interest and relevance to their studies, from the following:

2020

Academic Open House

The Access and Engagement Department sits at the heart of Birkbeck’s commitment to improving the access and success of non-traditional students in London. We work with groups who may otherwise feel excluded from taking a step into higher education, including trade union members without a formal qualification above level 4; FE and adult education college students; forced migrants and those who have been out of education for a number of years.

Birkbeck’s academic and research community can support our work in a range of ways, including:

  • delivering free community lectures and/or learning activities;
  • running workshops to support those facing organisational change at work;
  • helping people to develop the skills they need to successfully navigate structural inequality;
  • offering insights into community priorities through their research.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Find out more

To find out more and discuss possible collaborations, the Department is holding an Academic Open House event on Thursday 26th September from 3-5pm in Malet Street B02. The event is open to PhD candidates, Early Career Researchers and academics at Birkbeck. We will present further information about our work across London and our priorities for 2019/20, and there will be the opportunity for discussion with other academic colleagues and members of the Department.

Register to attend here

To register your interest, please complete the following short form: https://bbk.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/open-house-register-of-interest
For refreshments purposes it would be helpful to know how many are able to attend the Open House event, but even if you are unable to join us on the 26th, we’d still love to hear from you so please do complete the form so we can keep in touch about future opportunities.

IP for research Vitae webinar: realising your impact

Wednesday 17 July at 12-1pm

Vitae will be hosting a live-lecture on Wednesday 17 July at 12-1pm (UK time) to discuss why Intellectual Property (IP) matters in research.

The lecture has been developed in partnership with the UK Intellectual Property Office and is for anyone working or studying at a university or research institute who is interested in learning more about IP in their research.

The webinar provides information from a UK IP perspective, but would be useful to researchers working on international projects with an interest in understanding IP more widely.

After attending this virtual event participants will understand the value of open access research outputs and know how and where research outputs should be deposited to ensure they meet the needs of open research more widely, whilst also considering their commercial potential.  

You can find out more about this event and register here.