Call for Doctoral Student Participation – BISR Urban Intersections Experimental Collective

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

Expressions of Interest should include your: 

  • Name
  • Department
  • 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 Art of Not Doing Conference – call for papers


In a culture that valorises busyness, productivity, pace and “progress”, stillness can be radical. Refusing, ignoring, omitting, not doing; sometimes the most political actions look like doing nothing at all. But who gets to not do? When and how is not doing a politicised, racialised, privileged, resistant or utopian act?

Through conversation, provocation, installation and self-care, we look at unproductivity as an activist practice and the ways in which caring, resting, suspending, pausing and breaking can be re/claimed as political acts by and for everyone, particularly those marginalised by the racial and gender inequalities of neo-liberal capitalism.

As part of this one-day conference, we are inviting paper proposals/provocations and interdisciplinary submissions from Birkbeck graduate students, early career researchers and individuals from wider academic, creative and activist communities. Alongside paper proposals, we welcome submissions of artworks, shorts films, and proposals for performances and acts of care. Please read the about section before submitting.

Deadline for submissions: 10th of June

Send submissions to: theartofnotdoingconf@gmail.com

Conference website

Dandelion Journal – Call for Editors for 2018-19

Dandelion (dandelionjournal.org) is the Postgraduate Arts Journal in the School of Arts, run by research students. The Journal encourages a multi-disciplinary research approach to the Arts, and provides a supportive environment to the publishing experience, offering a space to develop and showcase thoughts and ideas whilst shaping, and writing on, your research.

Current Birkbeck School of Arts Postgraduate Students are encouraged to join the Dandelion Journal Editorial Team for the academic year 2018/19. No publishing or editorial experience is necessary: you will learn editorial skills as you go. Although, if any, these will be a valuable asset.
Your research area should lie within, or across, the fields of: History of Art, Museum Cultures, Film, Media and Cultural Studies, English and Humanities, and Cultures and Languages. You can be at any stage in your research.

We are looking for:
1. General Editors (suitable for PhD students)
2. Subject Editors (suitable for MA or PhD students)

About the roles:
1. General Editors will start the production of the new Volume in December 2018 and will be responsible for the editorial supervision of the next Dandelion volume. They will be selecting the new theme and writing the Call for Papers, setting the timetable for the issue, selecting Subject Editors, commissioning articles, and sharing production management tasks.

2. Subject Editors will be required to edit and copyedit two or three articles (between 1500 – 8000 words) – the timing of this will be confirmed by the appointed General Editors (it may range, for example, between April and August 2019). You will be asked to attend two or three editorial meetings with the rest of the team during this time. You will also be welcome to contribute to events planning, design, typesetting etc. Subject Editors are assigned to articles, and therefore advise contributors, according to their subject area expertise.

If you are interested then we would love to hear from you. Please send an email expressing your interest in either editorial role, and detailing any relevant experience you may have, by Saturday 1st December to mail@dandelionjournal.org. In your email please include details of which
research programme you are enrolled in, and the research area you are focusing on. If you have any questions then please do get in touch – we will be happy to answer them.

We look forward to hearing from you.
The editors
Donatella Valente and Jenny Turner

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)

Birkbeck Intern Blog Post – Elena Shampanova

Elena Shampanova

From September 2017 to July 2018 I embarked on an internship with Peltz Gallery at the School of Arts at Birkbeck. The position was advertised through the BGRS regular emails, and immediately caught my attention. Having worked and managed events in an arts gallery before, I have never worked in a gallery in an academic setting, and saw this as a chance to apply my existing skills to the new environment, and learn more about the way Peltz Gallery operates and public engagement events are run. I applied and was very excited to have been offered this internship together with two other PhD students.

At our induction meeting we were given an overview of the Peltz Gallery annual plan, and exhibitions coming up. We were invited to support the install and de-install of exhibitions as well as some of the events, however, the focus was very much on what we were interested in doing, and what we wanted to try our hand at.

During my interview for the internship we spoke about my experience of developing evaluation frameworks for arts projects, so when I started I suggested creating one for Peltz Gallery. The idea was welcomed by the team, and I went through a series of questions with them to shape the aims of evaluation. Based on that I developed a framework and tools for collecting data throughout the year, and now I am in the process of analysing it, and writing up the report. Throughout the year evaluation process received support from all the team as it was the first pilot year, and everyone is looking forward to seeing the results. I was pleased to see that my initiative was taken on board at all levels – by peer interns and the gallery team.

Overall, I feel that this internship is a unique way to gain hands-on experience of running a gallery in an academic setting – from shaping a yearly plan of exhibitions to learning all the technicalities of lighting and sound in the space, as well as organising and running public events. I learn best by doing, so this was just right for me, and will be beneficial for my future work in academia as it gave me a lot of ideas on how my research can be presented to public in an engaging way. Being part of an interdisciplinary team and working alongside my peers, who are coming from different research backgrounds enriched our dialogues and boosted ideas – it is amazing, how you can approach a similar subject from a range of angles and disciplines. So if you are considering taking on an internship, go ahead, you will learn so much, meet new people, and will most likely see your own research in a new light.

I would like to thank everyone, who I worked with, for their professionalism, guidance, knowledge and ideas sharing, support and encouragement.

Elena Shampanova, Research Student. 

Free open basic introduction to critical realism with Priscilla Alderson

On Wednesday 27 June (11.00 am – 5.00 pm) and Thursday 28 June (9.00 am – 12.30 pm) Priscilla Alderson PhD will be delivering a basic introductory course to critical realism based on the books and doctoral seminars of Professor Roy Bhaskar (the founder of critical realism) at the Institute of Education UCL main building.

Free and open to all, the course will include: problems and contradictions in social science; how basic CR concepts help to resolve them; structure and agency; connecting macro and micro, qualitative and quantitative, local and global research; researching transformative change over time.

Critical realism can be applied to any methods and topics of social research. There will be time for students to discuss their own work during the programme.

To register for this exciting course please contact Bob: r.gist@ucl.ac.uk

 

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