Urban Intersections Reading Group


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 (paralingual@gmail.com) with
your name, department, and course of study by 30 November 2021.

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.

Post-doctoral vacancy – SHaME (Sexual Harms and Medical Encounters)

Professor Joanna Bourke has asked us to make current PhD researchers aware of a three-year (full time) post-doctoral position at Birkbeck, starting in October 2020.

This position supports the SHaME project, which brings together an interdisciplinary team to investigate the medical and psychiatric aspects of sexual violence, including rape and sexual abuse.

Working in close collaboration with the team, the postdoctoral researcher will undertake research on any aspect of sexual violence that involves the medical and/or psychiatric professions.

The Fellow’s research should be linked to at least one of five research streams: medicine and the law of sexual violence; the role of medical professionals (including police surgeons, FMEs, nurses, physicians, psychiatrists, forensic scientists, and so on); psychiatric classification systems (sexual violence as conceptualized in psychiatric texts); psychiatric aftermaths of abuse; and child sexual abuse.

Please view the job listing if you are interested in this role. The application deadline is the 1st of May, for an interview date of the 8th of June.

Research Network Social

Thursday 6th February 2020 | 12:00 – 14:00 | G04, 43 Gordon Square

The Birkbeck Institute for Social Research (BISR) and the Birkbeck Social Science Methodology (BSSM) Network would like you to join us for research networking social on Thursday 6th February 2020.

This social is an opportunity for Birkbeck staff and researchers to meet up and share ideas informally over lunch. The event aims to promote discussion and collaboration, and will allow colleagues to share their own research, join or establish research groups, and learn more about the possible funding schemes available to support them.

We will have a few short talks followed by an opportunity to chat and network with colleagues.

Prof Felicity Callard will introduce the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research (BISR) and our exciting new Experimental Collective initiative, which is designed to support new interdisciplinary collaborations across the College which in some way address ‘the social.’ The deadline to apply for funding for this initiative is Friday 28th February, so please do ask on the day if you have any queries for us.

Dr Andi Fugard will introduce the Birkbeck Social Science Methodology (BSSM), which aims to encourage creative developments in methodology by bringing people together from across the social sciences, arts, and humanities. Dr Lina Džuverović will introduce the Curatorial Research Lab, a two-term initiative based in the Peltz Gallery, established to foreground curatorial research activity across Birkbeck’s School of Arts and associated research communities. Finally, we will hear about public engagement with research from Dr Belinda Brooks-Gordon, winner of the 2018 Birkbeck Public Engagement Award for Transforming Culture, which recognises exemplary research engagement activities which have aimed to stimulate change within our culture or society.

If you have an initiative or research project you would like to introduce to the group, please do let us know, and we’d be happy to add your name to our list of speakers.

Places are limited, so please RSVP to  bisr@bbk.ac.uk to reserve a seat. Lunch will be provided – do let us know when booking if you have any allergies, dietary or access requirements.

Assessors sought to assess CREST Award projects from 14 to 19-year-old students

The British Science Association’s mission is to transform the diversity and inclusivity of science; to reach under-served audiences and increase the number of people who are actively involved and engaged in science. 

They are looking to recruit CREST assessors within the fields of: STEM, Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Economics. The CREST Awards is one of their flagship programmes for young people. CREST inspires and engages young people aged 5 to 19-years old with project-based STEM activities.

CREST Assessors sought

  • CREST assessors help to develop students’ interest and attitudes towards science, along with their scientific and project skills. They do this by assessing Silver and Gold projects against the CREST assessment criteria, providing constructive feedback and encouragement, and sharing their STEM expertise with young people. Often, project assessment is the first time students’ work is seen by someone other than their parents or teachers. Students value the opportunity to share their work with someone with expertise and/or a career in the STEM sector. 
  • Assessing projects can be done on a voluntary or paid basis paid (£4 per Silver Award assessment and £6 per Gold Award assessment), with approximately 5 hours’ worth of assessments per month. All assessment and feedback are carried out via our online platform. 
  • Assessors are trained how to assess projects and give effective feedback. Also, assessing CREST projects count towards STEM Ambassador volunteer hours.  

Further details

Please see the complete details for the role here.

Those interested should register their interest in this form and will be contacted shortly afterwards. If you have any questions, would like to know more about CREST Awards or have any thoughts on who else might be interested in the CREST assessor role, please contact Claudia Linan, Education Officer: t. +44 (0)20 7019 4969

Birkbeck PhD and MPhil Awards August 2019

Birkbeck Research Degrees awarded in August 2019

Birkbeck awards over 100 PhDs each year. In August 2019, eleven Birkbeck Researchers were awarded for their work in the following areas:

School of Arts

Department of English, Theatre and Creative writing

department of film, media and cultural studies

School of Business, Economics and Informatics

Department of Computer Science and Information Systems

DEPARTMENT OF Organizational Psychology

School of Law

Department of law

School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy

DEPARTMENT OF Applied Linguistics and Communication

Department of History, classics and archaeology

Department of Politics

Department of PSYCHOSOCIAL STUDIES

  • 1 DPsych in Family and Systemic Psychotherapy



Interrogating the Archive

Thursday 18 July, 10.00 – 18.00

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 beyond.

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.

Further information

  • Further information is available below
  • Please register via the event page here.