School of Advanced Study Research Training Programme 2021/22

TERM 3 

Registration is now open for the School of Advanced Study free research training programme for Term 3. These sessions are open to researchers at all levels in the UK and beyond. Advance registration is essential. Use the links below for more information and to book your place.

Monday 9th May 2022, 14:00 – 15:00: Managing your Time as a Researcher – Optimise the Summer

Wednesday 11th May 2022, 14:30 – 16:00: Visual Culture and Modern Languages Research

Monday 16th May 2022, 14:00 – 15:00: Overview of Books Publishing

Wednesday 18th May 2022, 14:00 – 16:00: Grounding World Literature

Wednesday 25th May 2022, 11:00 – 12:00: Writing for Different Audiences: Academic Blogging and Other Formats 

Wednesday 1st June 2022, 11:00 – 12:00: Research as Storytelling: Retelling your Research in Different Ways

Wednesday 8th June 2022, 11:00 – 13:00: Public Speaking

Wednesday 15th June 2022, 14:00 – 16:00: Teaching Skills for the PhD Student

Wednesday 22nd June 2022, 14:00 – 16:00: Languages Research in Schools

Wednesday 29th June 2022, 15:00 – 17:00: Decolonial Theory for Modern Languages Researchers

Transnational Solidarity, Patronage, and Politicking: Egyptian-Southern African Relations in the Global Cold War – CHASE Studentship

Applications are invited for a fully-funded three-year CHASE doctoral studentship, jointly supervised within the Departments of Politics and International Studies (SOAS University of London), History, Classics and Archaeology (Birkbeck College, University of London), and the Arab and African Research Center (AARC) in Egypt. 

Project

The studentship will support interdisciplinary (Politics and History) research examining the dynamics and dilemmas of transnational solidarity as exemplified in Egypt’s role as sponsor of South ern African liberation movements during the 1960s. This will be one of the first studies of its kind, contributing to scholarship on the Cold War, Afro-Asian decolonisation, and African liberation struggles’ contemporary legacies. 

This project’s overall aims are to retrieve and analyse the shifting motivations, power balances, and mutual influences driving relations between the Egyptian state and the southern African liberation movements which it sponsored during the era of decolonisation, and to engage with theories of solidarity in politics and historical geography to evaluate these.

The successful candidate might focus specifically on one or a combination of the following questions: the nature of Egyptian diplomatic, financial support to, and influence on Southern African liberation movements; the place of Egypt in the political imaginaries of nationalist liberation activists’; the implications of the case study for theories of transnational solidarity; the role of Cairo as a Cold War city.

Supervision  

The three supervisors will be Dr Reem Abou-El-Fadl (Politics, SOAS), Dr Hilary Sapire (History, Birkbeck) and Professor Helmi Sharawy (Director, AARC). This is an opportunity to work with two disciplinary/regional experts, and with both a scholar and former co-ordinator of African liberation movements in Egypt’s presidency (1958-1971).

Requirements  

The PhD will commence in October 2022. The student will spend at least three months each at the AARC, and at archives in South Africa. Fluency in Arabic, a capacity to travel freely in Africa, and a first-class degree in Politics/History are essential.

Benefits

The candidate will benefit from two world-leading Departments, enjoying specialisms in Middle East and African politics at SOAS, with its internationally renowned research library, and expertise in global history, transnationalism, and African History at Birkbeck. Rigorous methods training will be offered at both institutions. The candidate will join the AARC’s Africanist research network and gain special access to its archives/publications. They will also participate in the University of London Southern African seminar series events and workshops.

Funding Amount

For the academic year 2022-23, the stipend will be £18,612 with London weighting. This includes enhanced stipend to cover additional travel costs relating to the project. The funding will cover UK fees.

How to Apply

Applications for this studentship must be made via the SOAS University of London application form, available at this link , by Friday 6 May 2022 at 12 noon. Applicants must provide two references in support of their application.

Candidates will be assessed by a shortlisting process, and shortlisted candidates will be interviewed. Interview outcomes will be received by the Management Board for approval.

Please click here to apply

2022 LONDON CRITICAL THEORY SUMMER SCHOOL

Our internationally renowned London Critical Theory Summer School returns on Birkbeck’s campus in central London this summer from 27 June to 8 July. The LCTSS may revert to either a hybrid model or a full-scale online programme if Covid-related restrictions globally require us to do so.

Throughout the two weeks, attendees will be immersed in a substantial programme of study with the acclaimed critical thinkers Jodi Dean, Achille Mbembe, Sarah Nuttall, Etienne Balibar, Costas Douzinas, Stephen Frosh, Esther Leslie, Jacqueline Rose and Slavoj Žižek. We are also welcoming Sisonke Msimang as part of our strengthening connections to the WISER institute (Johannesberg).

The Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities are pleased to offer three bursaries to Birkbeck students and one bursary to an international student to cover the full cost of fees, travel and accommodation during the period of the Summer School in central London. 

This year, there will also be a LCTSS Virtual Programme, an educational experience for those: unsure whether they are ready for the full in person course; with concerns about travel; or on a reduced budget.

The deadline for applications is Friday 18 March. Application forms are available here.

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.

Highlighted Birkbeck Research Centre: Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies (CILAVS)

Overview

CILAVS, the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies, is based in the School of Arts and brings together Birkbeck researchers from the departments of Cultures and Languages, History of Art, Film Media and Cultural Studies, Geography, Law, Politics and Psychosocial Studies. Created in 2007, it is now an established hub for research networks in the UK and overseas, promoting the best research on the history and theory of visual culture in the Hispanic and Lusophone worlds and supporting research in the cultures of Iberia, Latin America and the Afro-Hispanic and Afro-Lusophone continent.

The Centre has attracted very substantial research grants from AHRC, British Academy, Leverhulme Trust and other bodies, including private donors, and enabled collaborative doctoral partnerships with organisations outside of higher education, including the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Royal Society and Victoria and Albert Museum.  CILAVS has also brought to London some of the most important artists, filmmakers and scholars in the Iberian and Latin American fields: Carlos Monsiváis, Pedro Costa, Luis Camintzer, Roger Bartra, Jean Franco, Cecilia Vicuña, John Beverley, Karim Aïnouz and Trifonia Melibea Obono Ntutumu, to name just a few.

Opportunities for PhD students

CILAVS offers a rich and varied programme of activities including talks, workshops, film screenings and festivals. It has also organized conferences, book launches, exhibitions at Birkbeck’s Peltz Gallery and many other public events in collaboration with other Research Centres in the School of Arts, Birkbeck Institutes and beyond.

The Centre is very keen to involve interested Research students from across the College in its activities and will offer support in the organisation of student-led activities including, for example, reading groups, workshops, talks and conferences. Javier Vicente Arenas, currently CILAVS’ student representative and member of its steering committee, says:

Doctoral research can be a very solitary undertaking. However, for those working or interested in the fields of Iberian and Latin American Studies, CILAVS offers a unique opportunity to meet other students, share our ideas and interests, and showcase our research and academic achievements. This can lead to unexpected synergies among students while having a positive impact on our research and CV. Moreover, CILAVS is keen to support students’ initiatives, so do get involved! 

We will love to hear from any Research students at Birkbeck working on any aspect of the cultures of Iberia, Latin America and the Afro-Hispanic and Afro-Lusophone continent. If interested, our contact details are below.

Contact