This one day conference, organised by the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research (BISR) will consider questions of authorship and power within the archive, and how the materials contained within them can be mobilised from their static locations and repurposed within academic, artistic, radical or imaginary frameworks.
A series of short talks, panel discussions and performances given
by academics, students and archival professionals will consider archival
materials from various perspectives; asking what is at stake in instituting an
archives, how archives might be repurposed as political acts, and the ethical
dilemmas of dealing with sensitive sources. A series of short performances from
current and former Birkbeck students will explore the ways in which archives
can be created, imagined, and used to empower marginalised groups. Finally, a
group of archival specialists from Bishopsgate Institute, George Padmore
Institute, MayDay Rooms and Wellcome Collection will each explore their
individual collections and the ways these can be used in academic research and
Attendees are asked to apply to attend the workshop and visit with
one of the four archives, as best fits their academic research and interests.
Applications should include a brief outline of their research and some details
as to why the workshop and visit would be beneficial to them. We ask that these
applications do not exceed 700 words. Places are limited, so we advise early
application. Students will be required to give a brief presentation (5-10
minutes) during the first workshop to explain their research and interests to
their peers and the archival specialist present.
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 invitingpaper 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.
On Thursday 2 May, Birkbeck doctoral students took part in the 2019 Three Minute Thesis Competition. Gabriella McGrogan was the overall winner and received a £500 prize.
2019 3MT Competition
On Thursday 2 May around 70 people attended the Birkbeck Three Minute Thesis Competition. This competition honed and tested the presentation skills of the PhD students who took part, and provided an exciting tour of a diverse range of our current doctoral research. Despite only having 3 minutes for each presentation, contestants (representing all Schools at Birkbeck) were able to convey their research in an insightful and meaningful way, and the event provided both celebration and insight arising from their achievements.
This event, which was held in the Clore Lecture Theatre, was the third time the Three Minute Thesis competition has been run at Birkbeck.
Winner: Gabriella McGrogan
During the exciting series of talks from Birkbeck PhD students, Gabriella McGrogan (Department of Law) was chosen as the overall winner for her compelling presentation ‘Against our Community Standards’- “Outsider” Witnessing of Atrocity and Social Media Censorship’. Gabriella is in her first year as a doctoral researcher in Criminology.
Gabriella told us her reaction on winning the competition:
“It was actually quite a shock! I went last, and had spent the short break prior to the competition repeating what I wanted to say over and over. I was a little overwhelmed by the brilliant calibre of all of the other contestants.
Not only was competing an excellent opportunity to practice public speaking (which I find daunting) but winning, and the conversations invoked afterwards, has helped to give me confidence that my work is interesting to a wide audience and may prove important. It has definitely encouraged me to consider how I can present it for public engagement again in the future.
Whilst competing is a little terrifying, the training and support of everyone at BGRS makes the experience much more comfortable – definitely have a go! It has helped me to condense a plethora of ideas and research into a manageable and coherent explanation. It’s also so enjoyable to engage with students from other departments and made me very proud of the diversity and innovation happening at Birkbeck.”
The overall winner and runner up were chosen by a panel of 5 Birkbeck experts (one from each of Birkbeck’s Schools) but the audience also played a key role and were asked to use their votes to choose a People’s Choice winner. The People’s prize was awarded jointly to ‘Lexter Woodley’ (Department of Geography) for her talk ‘An exploration on how female breadwinner couples experience and manage their home lives’
and to Pernelle Lorette (Applied Linguistics and Communication) for her presentation ‘How do you think they feel? Cross-linguistic and cross-cultural perception of emotion’.
2019 3MT Talks
A list of all the competitors and their talks is provided below.
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?