Careers and professional development training

The following CHASE Career and Professional development training opportunities are available to all Arts and Humanities PhD students at Birkbeck (regardless of whether you are funded by the AHRC/ CHASE).

Further details about each of the sessions below, and information about how to register, is available here.

 

Creating (and) the Critical
The critical component of practice-based PhDs

14 June 2018, Goldsmiths, University of London

What is the relationship between the creative and critical strands of practice-led PhDs? How should the critical commentary be thought of, when should it be written?

This CHASE training event will consider this relationship and the questions, challenges and, sometimes, anxieties that it causes, both for students and supervisors.

Join for a day of discussion, debate and reflection, open to all research students but especially aimed at those involved in creative practice.

 

Find out more and register here

 

 

Critical Excursion: Remapping the Arcades Project
25 & 26 June | Glasgow

This two-day critical excursion, organised by the Space, Place and Time Research Group and led by researcher Sam Dolbear will consist of workshops, walks and film-screenings that focus around Walter Benjamin’s The Arcades Project (1927-40).

This short course will aim to give a panoramic sense of this panoramic text. The first day will cohere around the themes of history, historiography, temporality, and methodology. The morning will explore these themes through a workshop, followed by a walk and a screening of films on related themes. The second day will follow the same structure, but the focus will shift to the spatial configurations of the city: to processes of urban generation and regeneration, the subterranean spaces of the city, the notion of the threshold, the street and the interior, as well as building materials and construction techniques.

Travel and accommodation will be organised by Space, Place and Time group.

 

Find out more and register here

 

 

Feminist Research Ethics in Practice
Thursday 12 July | University of East Anglia

This free one-day event provides an opportunity for researchers to discuss the process of building safe, productive spaces for both researchers and participants and asks what can institutions do to best support them. In so doing, this training event seeks to build a community of support, share experiences and document best practice.

Places are limited – Find out more and register here

 

 

CHASE writing summer school workshops and residential

Monday 16 July | SOAS, University of London
Behind the mystique: what academic writing is, and how to get better at it
This one-day workshop is for any student who wants to write more clearly and stylishly within their discipline. It strips down academic writing to its fundamentals.

Tuesday 17 July |  SOAS, University of London
Story time: how to create a narrative through your literature review
This one day workshop helps students to create a narrative by heightening their awareness of their relationship with the reader.

Thursday, 19 July | SOAS, University of London
Reaching out: writing about your research for non-specialist audiences
Many postgraduate students struggle to explain complex research, in writing, to people outside their discipline, or outside academia.

Thursday 26 July to Friday 27 July  | Birkbeck, University of London
Thinking, Writing, Advancing: a 2 day, residential writing retreat for mid- to late stage PhD students
This two day, residential retreat offers a breathing space for PhD students, allowing them to air writing issues with their peers, share best practice and re-examine their writing process. Day 1 tackles common writing problems and gives students exercises to stimulate creativity and help them gain perspective on their project. In the evening, there is a communal dinner and networking. Day 2 is a chance to write in a quiet and supportive atmosphere and to have one-to-one consultations with two successful professional writers.

 

Find out more and register here

Birkbeck Three Minute Thesis & Poster Competition

On Wednesday, BGRS hosted the second annual 2018 Three Minute Thesis and Poster Competition at the lecture theatre and foyer within the Clore Management Centre. There was a great atmosphere of interest, enjoyment and celebration among those who attended and took part.

Keith Jarrett (Department of English and Humanities) was named overall winner for his entry, The migration of meaning: writing a new London Caribbean culture by the panel of judges, which included representatives from all five Birkbeck Schools.

Cathy Rogers (Department of Psychological Sciences) was named runner up, for her talk Freedom and control: how do children achieve their creative goals? and Pavni Kohli (Department of Geography) and  Raul Valdivia (Department of Cultures and Languages) were named joint winner of the People’s Choice Award for their talks Looking beyond fear in Delhi: Mapping women’s everyday life, and Picturing Utopia: Photography against the odds in a Peruvian sunset, respectively.

The Poster Competition was won by Ajitesh Ghose (Department of Psyhcological Sciences) for a poster titled Grounded Semantics: A Neural Network Approach.

The full News Item for the event can be found here.

Videos of the talks will be coming soon. In the meantime, you can watch videos from the 2017 competition here.

Additional CHASE Careers and professional development training

Careers and professional development training

The following CHASE Career and Professional development training opportunities are available to all Arts and Humanities research students at Birkbeck.

Further details about each of the sessions below, and information about how to register, is available here.

 

Designing and delivering effective presentations
  • 3rd and 4th May, Open University Camden campus, room 2BC (3rd May) and room 1 (4th May) [two full days]
Hands-on media training
  • 8th and 9th May, Goldsmiths, Richard Hoggart Building, room 307 [two full days]
Being an effective tutor
  • 10th May, Birkbeck, Malet Street, room 415 [one full day]
Mock academic interview session
  • 14th May, SOAS, Room G51 [afternoon] and 23rd May, SOAS, Room 4429 [morning]
Impact and research communication skills
  • 22nd June, Birkbeck, Malet Street, Room 253 [one full day]

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

Free tickets for Birkbeck Arts and Humanities PhD students: Frames of Representation 2018 @ The ICA, 20-28th April

F

CHASE is delighted to be academic partner with The ICA for Frames of Representation 2018, a global documentary cinema festival. As part of this partnership, we have arranged two exciting seminars featuring CHASE academics in conversation with film-makers whose work is showing at the festival.

We also have tickets for a one day symposium on April 28th featuring, amongst others, Oscar winning sound editor Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now).

CHASE has been given a number of free tickets for the week of events and screenings. These tickets are open to all arts and humanities PhD students at CHASE institutions and will allocated on a first come, first served basis. Have a look at the programme here and request your free tickets here.

Now in its third year, FoR is a global documentary cinema festival. The theme this year is landscape and the festival features a number of UK and European premieres, as well as masterclasses with film-makers. We have also arranged two CHASE seminars that will feature CHASE academics in conversation with film-makers whose work is screening at the festival.

Free tickets are available for ALL film screenings and masterclasses throughout the festival as well, of course, as the CHASE seminars and a half day symposium on the theme of landscape on the closing weekend of the festival. Regardless of your research interests, you are bound to find something, if not many things, of interest.

Any queries, please email enquiries@chase.ac.uk

Close Reading + Digital Humanities: A Dialogue (20 April)

Close Reading and Digital Humanities: a dialogue

20 April, 2-5pm

Erik Ketzan

Digital practices in literary studies have been at the forefront of recent debates about what it means to ‘read’ at scale. Meanwhile, conventional literary studies has followed the modernist paradigm of ‘close reading’, insisting on close textual attention.

On April 20, 2-5pm, Birkbeck School of Arts will host an afternoon event, Close Reading + Digital Humanities: A Dialogue. Space is limited — please register to attend.

This afternoon brings together scholars of close reading and digital humanities to investigate how one can inform the other, chart common goals and navigate potential tensions and anxieties. By discussing the tradition of close reading in literary studies alongside emerging digital approaches to text — such as corpus-based analysis (analysis based on electronic collections of text), detecting text re-use (automatic detection of text that appears in two texts, or multiple times within one text), semantic analysis (automatic classification of the meaning of words), automatic collation (comparison of texts, for instance variants of fiction)  — we hope to identify new research topics and find new ways to tackle old problems.

Each speaker will present for 25 minutes with Q+A, followed by a panel discussion.

Professor Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing
Birkbeck, University of London

Erik Ketzan

PhD Candidate: Digital Humanities
Birkbeck, University of London

Dr. Richard Robinson

Associate Professor, English Literature & Creative Writing
Swansea University

Dr. Gabriele Salciute Civiliene

Teaching Fellow in Digital Humanities Technologies,
Department of Digital Humanities
King’s College London

Erik Ketzan is a PhD Candidate in Digital Humanities, Birkbeck.

Thesis Boot Camp experience

Thesis Boot Camp experience

Mara Arts

Over the course of three days early April, a group of Birkbeck PhD students were able to participate in a ‘thesis boot camp’, organised by the CHASE consortium. Thesis boot camps originated in Australia and are designed to give PhD candidates a concentrated period of time to focus on their writing, and produce as many words as possible.

The boot camp was hosted by the University of Sussex on the Feltham campus, and the event was expertly facilitated by writing skills trainer Dr Catherine Pope. Around 30 doctoral students attended the whole weekend, hailing from seven different institutions.

We started at 4pm on a Friday afternoon, with introductions and a few words from Catherine to display some persistent writing myths. We were reminded that the aim of the weekend was to produce as many words as possible, and not to craft perfect prose or fully edited chapters. Catherine also taught us the ‘Pomodoro technique’ of doing 25 minutes of concentrated writing, followed by a short break. This was going to prove very useful over the course of the weekend!

Then it was time to get writing. We started with telling another student what we were hoping to achieve that session, which was followed by five minutes of ‘freewriting’ on the topic ‘What do I want to achieve this weekend?’ Freewriting is writing whatever comes into your head, non-stop, without any regard for spelling, grammar or punctuation. It helps to get the writing juices flowing. The rest of the evening, until 8pm, was spent writing.

We had two big classrooms at our disposal: one ‘writing room’ where each student had a desk, and where we were asked not to talk to create a good working environment. The room next door was the break room, which had a constant supply of drinks and snacks, and which we could use whenever we wanted to chat, relax, or play games. Lunches and dinners were also served in the breakroom. Having all meals catered for, and being away from the demands of your domestic environment, really helped to stay focused on the research. As most participants were staying in the same hotel (also generously funded by CHASE) it was easy to unwind together over a drink in the evenings.

On Saturday and Sunday the schedule was much the same. We started at 10am each day with telling our ‘accountability partner’ what that day’s goal was, and then did a bit of freewriting to get going. The rest of the days were split up in sizeable chunks of writing time. Participants could also request a one-to-one session with Catherine to discuss a particular issue they had with their research. On Saturday there was a guided walk in the fields adjacent to the campus, to get some much-needed fresh air. We also spent some time in group discussions each day, to share common PhD student problems such as tricky supervisors or managing work-related stress; and to swap writing tips.

When we finished at 4pm on Sunday, Catherine gave us some tips on how to keep our writing momentum going. Although everyone was pretty worn out after so much hard work, many participants were hoping to attend another boot camp session soon. They are a great way to get over tricky writing hurdles and start good writing habits.

Mara Arts is a PhD student in the Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies at Birkbeck.

AHRC-funded PhD studentship

AHRC-funded PhD studentship: Confronting a masculine military ideal: the experiences of LGBTQ service personnel 1914–now

This AHRC PhD Studentship is in Collaboration with Imperial War Museums (IWM) under the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership programme. The partner institutions are Birkbeck and the IWM.

The studentship will be supervised by Professor Matt Cook at Birkbeck and Rebecca Newell of IWM. This full-time studentship, which is funded for three years at standard AHRC rates, will begin on 1 October 2018.

Using material from across the IWM’s collection, including the sound collection, and with a particular focus on the museum’s private papers and oral history archives, this project will examine narratives of LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning) experience in the military for all or part of the period from 1914 to the present day.

Subject to AHRC eligibility criteria, the scholarships cover tuition fees and a grant (stipend) towards living expenses.

Deadline to apply: 8 July 2018

#vitaehangout: Making the most of PhD placements

#vitaehangout: Making the most of PhD placements

Tuesday 20 March at 12-1pm

Preparations are underway for a #vitaehangout ‘Making the most of PhD placements‘ which takes place on Tuesday 20 March at 12-1pm GMT.

The panel represents different perspectives ranging from those who have undertaken a placement to an institutional and funders view.

Panellists

  • Steve Colburn, Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE)
  • Ysabel Gerrard, University of Sheffield – placement at Microsoft
  • Rob Hardwick, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  • Rob Keegan, South West Doctoral Training Partnership (SWDTP)
  • Sarah Middle, Open University/CHASE – placement at the British Library

How to take part

The informative lunch hour will be a useful and effective investment of time. It’s very easy to take part, just register your interest and you will be emailed a live YouTube link nearer the time in readiness for the event. Questions can be posted before or during the event for the panel to answer.