Women / Theatre / Justice Project Launches with Website, Twitter + Events

Our very own Caoimhe McAvinchey is part of the research team on this innovative AHRC project around Clean Break Theatre company and working with women in the criminal justice system.

Events as part of the series include Working with Incarcerated Women in the Context of COVID 19.

The aim

The Women/Theatre/Justice project aims to:

  • Examine Clean Break’s impact on contemporary British theatre and the lives of the women it works with.
  • Examine Clean Break as an organisation, run by women for women, with distinctive organisational practices characterised by learning through listening to the voices of those involved in its work. It considers the implications of these practices for management and leadership more widely. 
  • Create opportunities for artists, academics, women with experience of the criminal justice system and those who work with them, to share their expertise through seminars, training, podcasts and teaching resources. 

The research is supported by the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance and Women in Prison.

About the project

Women/Theatre/Justice is the umbrella title for research and public engagement activities that are part of Clean Break: Women, Theatre, Organisation and the Criminal Justice System (2019-2021). This interdisciplinary Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project is led by academics in theatre and performance studies and work and employment relations, in partnership with Clean Break theatre company.

Clean Break was initiated by women in HMP Askham Grange (UK) in 1977 and has since become an internationally recognised theatre, education and advocacy organisation that places stories of women, crime and punishment centre stage. 

Through seminars, conferences, training, exhibitions, podcasts and publications, the project examines wider issues including: the criminalisation of women; theatre practices with incarcerated women in different cultural contexts; gender, organisation and leadership; worker voice; the role of higher education in partnerships within the criminal justice system; implications of COVID-19 for incarcerated women and the response of arts organisations.

The Importance of Trans Rights in the Fight Against Fascism – Trans Day of Remembrance

In honour of Trans Day of Remembrance on 20 November James Queay exposes the history of the term ‘trans’ and the importance of protecting trans rights.

In the mass consciousness one may be forgiven for seeing the battle for trans rights being a modern one, or even one that only goes back as Stonewall in 1969. However, the term ‘trans’ was first coined in Berlin in 1910 (though the fight of course can be traced back even further if one looks).

Magnus Hirschfeld was a Physician and Academic who championed queer rights seeking to assert the views of it being a natural occurrence through case studies from every culture he could reach. It should be noted that the ethics of this were in no way up to modern standard, but for the period in time we will let that rest. While his vocabulary was limited compared to today’s vast lexicon of queer terms, his work to identify that trans people were separate from gay people was key in further works.

Hirschfeld led the Scientific-humanitarian committee to gather 5000 prominent signatures to overturn paragraph 175 of the section of the German penal code that, since 1871, had criminalized homosexuality. Despite his works being rejected a number of times he championed this cause making headway until the takeover of the Nazi party. Hirschfeld in his efforts to bring about change and promote queer rights additionally opened the Institute for sexual research under the Weimar Republic (A governing force far more tolerant and liberal than previously experienced). This institution not only educated in queer and heterosexual matters but also offered medical consultations to the People of Germany. Hirschfeld himself lived with his partner Karl Giese in the institute, offering himself up as an openly gay man in a world he wished to better, even when that world was not necessarily ready to hear what he had to say.

When Von Papen launched a Coup in 1932 which instated him as the Reich Commissioner the institute stayed open. Papen actively enforced paragraph 175; and in the face of this nigh on further criminalisation of Homosexuality Hirschfeld kept his doors open. However, in 1933 Hindenburg instated Adolf Hitler as the Chancellor. On the 6th May the same year a group of university students belonging to the national socialist student league stormed the institute. They began to smash what they could before the SA (Nazi Storm Troopers) arrived to systematically burn the books. Book burnings had got into full swing months earlier with April featuring the Wartburg festival one of the most prolific book burnings that would occur. Thus, the importance of Nazi suppression of Queer media cannot be overstated. Some reports suggest that the first book burned specifically was Magnus Hirschfeld’s research on Transgender Individuals, and this signifies their importance in the fight against Fascism.

Transgender rights in many ways typify everything that is wrong with Fascism. They promote self-expression, of individuality and the freedom to change and evolve into the best version of one’s self. For fascist ideologies these ideas are dangerous because they draw on how weak Fascism is, it is rigid and restraining, it cares not for its people and incites hatred.

Thus, championing trans rights and queer rights as an extension of that is inexplicably linked with fighting against right extremism. There was no strategic benefit to the Nazi’s for burning Hirschfeld’s work, and he himself was abroad public speaking at the time so he was not silenced. Rather it is that the Nazis and by extension fascists fear acceptance and tolerance as it is only through suppression and manipulation that they are able to maintain control. This evidenced by the extreme lengths in all cases fascists go to, to manipulate their members; whether that is through misinformation, propaganda, or violence.

The furtherment of trans rights is key to queer people without question, but through this link I believe that simply to be on any ethical standing everyone must also believe in its messages.

Therefore, when we remember the long standing fight for queer rights so too must we remember the responsibility we have to those who have upheld that fight before us; the opposition they faced; and most importantly that we carry those opponents with us.

Memorial bench for Catherine Silverstone

A memorial bench for Catherine Silverstone was installed this morning in the First Floor garden/atrium in ArtsOne. It was organised and paid for by undergraduate students in Drama through a Crowdfunder.

Billy Bray (Drama), Leda Maiello (English) and Gwyn Lawrence (Drama graduate) organised the crowdfunder and carried out the practical work.

The following helped Billy, Leda and Gwyn spread the word and advertise for fundraising:

  • Rebecca Barton
  • Niall Loftus
  • Naz Simsek
  • Elliot Douglas
  • Sofia Renzi
  • Anca-Teodora Stoian

I’m so moved by – and proud of – the students who organised it, and those who crowdfunded it.

Dominic Johnson, Head of Drama

The quote on the plaque is from Catherine’s beautiful article on Derek Jarman. Leda (one of the students) chose it. 

Do please visit the bench and think of Catherine when you’re next on campus.

Applications for Leverhulme Trust’s Early Career Fellowship Scheme Open [Deadline 12 pm 6 January 2021]

Early career researchers seeking support for their application to the Leverhulme Trust’s Early Career Fellowship scheme are invited to get in contact with us from now [deadline 12 noon, 6 January 2021].

The School of English and Drama invites early career researchers seeking support for their application to the Leverhulme Trust’s Early Career Fellowship Scheme to submit to us:

  • An outline research proposal including title, abstract (100 words), details of past and current research (250 words), a 2-page (A4) project outline, and a statement detailing relevant research being carried out in the School of English and Drama and your reasons for choosing Queen Mary (200 words).
  • An academic CV of not more than 2 pages to demonstrate your research stature.

Please send the above to Dr Huw Marsh, Research Manager, at: sed-research@qmul.ac.uk by no later than 12 pm on 6 January 2021.

Full scheme details including eligibility criteria can be found on the Leverhulme Trust’s website: https://www.leverhulme.ac.uk/funding/grant-schemes/early-career-fellowships

All outline proposals will be considered by a School committee and applicants will be notified of the shortlisting outcome in the week of Monday 25 January 2021. Shortlisted candidates will be put forward for approval by the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty Executive, who will report their decisions by 28 January. Decisions will then be communicated to candidates, and the School will work with successful applicants to finalise their applications. The final deadline for submission of approved applications is 4pm on 25 February 2021.

The School recommends that applicants make clear the following in applications (CVs and proposals):

  • the strength of your academic record (e.g. classifications, awards, time taken to complete your PhD, etc.)
  • the strength of your research record (e.g. publications (including their length; and if forthcoming, where they are at in the process); presentations; research leadership; if you make practice as research, indicate how it is research; etc.)
  • what research you will publish/disseminate through the fellowship
  • the importance of doing your fellowship in the School of English and Drama at QMUL (e.g. synergies with staff and research centres)
  • your proposal’s importance, originality, methods, critical contexts, resources, structure and outputs.

A Season of Bangla Drama 2020 – An Unmissable British-Bengali Lockdown Treat

A Season of Bangla Drama

12-21 November – Online

Join a festival of free online events including coming of age poetry by local young people, a cook-a-long, community panels and eye-opening plays that explore the British-Bengali perspective. QMUL is a key partner and sponsor.

English and Drama Newsletter – November 2020 Edition

Remembering Catherine Silverstone

DR CATHERINE SILVERSTONE: Head of the School of English and Drama and a longstanding colleague in the Department of Drama at Queen Mary University of London, tragically passed away on Sunday 4th October 2020 at King’s College Hospital. Our thoughts are with her partner Julia, her family in New Zealand and her friends. We all loved and will miss Catherine more than we can ever say.
Read more and leave a message of remembrance

LOCKDOWN SUPPORT: We would like to remind students and staff that there is emotional support for you at the college from Mental Health First Aiders to counselling services.

Read about support for students and staff

A Season of Bangla Drama 2020

A SEASON OF BANGLA DRAMA: This year the biggest British-Bengali theatre goes online online with performances from east London as well as West Bengal, India and Sylhet Bangladesh.

See ‘A Season of Bangla Drama’ Programme

Online Events

TASTER EVENTS FOR YEAR 12/13 STUDENTS

taster

English Taster – Brave New Words: Writing Across Worlds with Wasafiri
23 Nov, 5-6.30pm – Free Online

Drama Taster – QM Futures: The Colored Museum & Writing Race
1 and 8 Dec, 5-7pm – Free Online

QMUL Creative Writing Taster Session for Year 12-13 Students
9 Dec, 4-5pm – Free Online

LISTINGS

HM Online 2020: Performance and Political Economy

6 Nov, Online, 3-5pm BST – Free
Our very own Shane Boyle and Martin Young are on the panel on performance and political economy.

English Peer Assisted Study Support (PASS)
11 Nov, Online, 3pm BST – Free
The next virtual English PASS drop-in session for First Year students takes place on Wednesday at 3pm (Week 8) via Blackboard Collaborate. Follow this link to access the module page and join the webinars: https://qmplus.qmul.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=13405. Week 8’s webinar is an open session – feel free to drop-in at any point to ask for any advice relating to your assignments or modules.

WHAT MATTER TO ME

WHAT MATTERS TO ME
11 Nov, Online, 5pm BST – Free Work and Utopia

Prof. Gerry Hanlon and Xavier De Sousa

Artists had been referred to by corporations as the ‘perfect worker’, finding enjoyment and drive in their work despite the often-long hours and low pay. Now we are moving to a world where we are being encouraged to retrain, up-skill and evolve. TAF have invited independent performance maker and curator Xavier de Sousa and Professor Gerard Hanlon from the Centre for Labour and Global Production at Queen Mary University of London to discuss, from their own viewpoints, the idea of WORK & UTOPIA. They will be working through ‘what matters’. To them, to you, and what we should be thinking about in building strategies for change in a post-COVID world.

Five Bodies

Five Bodies
12 Nov, Online, 6.30-8.30pm BST – Free
Inspired by moments of unknowingness, invention and imagination, Five Bodies brings together some of the most outstanding British and international poets including our very own Nisha Ramayya to share experiences of contemporary poetry.

Poetry vs Colonialism Series – Being Human Festival
14-22 Nov, Online – Free

Explore the histories of gold, sugar, cotton and tobacco with poets, artists, academics & museums. Join the online workshops to discover how poets can help decolonise the world.

Last Gasp WFH
21 Nov, Online – La Mama Experimental Theatre Club

Last Gasp WFH, looks for ways we might catch our breath in these times of global uncertainty, considering our ‘last acts’, whether personal, political or environmental.

Written and performed by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver of Split Britches, it is a series of verbal and physical essays that playfully dances through the dangerous intersections of permanence and impermanence, interdependence and care, knowledge and experience, narcissism and echoes.

News & Links

Alumni Profiles this month:

Pamela Clemit (English) talks to Simon Reid-Henry about William Godwin, and historical enquiry in the form of editing.

Read the 5 Questions Interview

Caleb Femi (English alumni) has published his book Poor to wide acclaim and coverage from many publications including the Guardian, Hay Festival and New Statesman.

Genna Gardini (Drama PhD)has received the 2020 CASA award to finish my play, Many Scars.

She says: ‘I’ve been working on this thing for the past two years &it’s one of the biggest endeavours of my life – to write a play about MS that is just as strange as this disease is. Thank you, CASA! ‘

Huw Marsh (English)has his essay‘Burley Cross Postbox Theft’ as Comedy is featured in Nicola Barker: Critical Essays

Scott McCracken (English)’s edits The Oxford Edition of the Works of Dorothy Richardson, Volume IV

Cecilia Muratori (Research Fellow) is featured on History of Philosophy Books in 3 minutes with her book Renaissance Vegetarianism: The Philosophical Afterlives of Porphyry’s On Abstinence.


Rodent (Drama alum) appeared at the online, inclusive and outrageous Queer House Party on 30 October.

Morag Shiach (English) has published A ‘SECTOR DEAL’ AND A CREATIVE PRECARIAT : Shaping creative economy policy in the UK since 2010.

Poetry vs Colonialism Series – Being Human Festival 2020

The events below are part of the series ‘Poetry Versus Colonialism’ which is part of the Queen Mary, University of London Being Human series ‘Navigating New Worlds’.

Many Hands

November 14, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

This is an online event. In this online interactive workshop, working with poets and historians, weavers and dancers, unravel the histories of weavers in Bengal and their treatment under British rule. Learn about the complex interwoven Bengali and UK histories of craft and manufacture from Dr Lipi Begum from the London College of Fashion

All That Glisters

November 15, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

This is an online event.

All that glisters may be beautiful and seductive but what surprising histories lurk beneath the shiny surface of gold? In this interactive online event, learn about the complex histories of gold mining and artistry in Ghana and the UKs role in importing gold, its use in currency and art, the role of the Goldsmiths Company in the past and future. Hear from academic Dr Pen Woods, meet the Ghanian British artist Efema Cole and try your hand (remotely) at some art work. Work with the poet Nick Makoha to put your response to the beauty and treachery of colonialism and gold into words. Discover how creating poems can help to process and articulate emotions, politics and identity.

This event is part of the series ‘Poetry Versus Colonialism’ which is part of the Queen Mary, University of London Being Human series ‘‘Navigating New Worlds’.

Book your tickets

Smoke Screen

November 21, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

This is an online event.

What is the aroma of colonialism? In this event you will be introduced to the pungent history of tobacco cultivation and trade, slavery and colonialism, by academic Professor Nick Ridout from Queen Mary University of London. Learn about the Atlantic Slave Trade and the interlinked histories of tobacco cultivation and export in the USA and the UK. Guyanese and Scottish poets Sandra Agard and Miriam Nash will guide you in an at home smelling workshop. Experience the aromas involved in the brutal tobacco trade and discover how creating poems helps process and articulate complex emotions about identity and our relationship to this aromatic and addictive product with a problematic past and future.

This event is part of the series ‘Poetry Versus Colonialism’ which is part of the Queen Mary, University of London Being Human series ‘Navigating New Worlds’.

Book your tickets

Sugar, Sugar

November 22, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

This is an online event.

It may taste delicious and sweet but how sweet is the history of sugar? Learn about the interlinked histories of slavery, sugar plantations, processing, export and consumption from academic Dr Malcolm Cocks, Dulwich College and the University of the West Indies. We’ll consider the taste of sugar in its’ different states in an at home tasting workshop and see what raw sugar cane plants and sugar beet looks like. Appreciate the art of spun sugar and sugar sculptures as created by Bahamian artist Lynn Parrotti. Meet Jamaican British poet Keith Jarrett and work with him to produce responses to the sickly taste of colonialism and dark futures of sugar.

This event is part of the series ‘Poetry Versus Colonialism’ which is part of the Queen Mary University of London Being Human series ‘Navigating New Worlds’.

Book your tickets

21 Reasons Why You Should Apply to Queen Mary to study English and Drama before the UCAS Deadline

We understand that this year is very strange and confusing time for you – but we want to outline why applying to QMUL is a positive way to end 2020 with a plan.

Here are 21 reasons why you should apply to our English and Drama courses for 2021 entry before the UCAS deadline in January.


a) Why apply now?

1. You can relax and have stress-free holidays without worrying about your university choices. More Netflix time!

Pose (Dominique Jackson and cast) on Netflix
Pose (Dominique Jackson and cast) on Netflix

2. You’ll get invited to interview for all of our courses, to help you understand whether the course is right for you and to ask questions.

3. Quicker offer (usually): Your application will be processed ahead of people who apply later.

b) Why English at Queen Mary?

4. Our values of inclusion and actually decolonising the curriculum are at the heart of what we teach.

5. Professional Support & Work Experience: Employability is at the heart of our English courses and you will gain access to more areas of employment by choosing us.

6. Student Support: We’re here to support your learning the whole way through your degree, with a dedicated advisor, peer-assisted study support, writing workshops and professional practice classes.

c) Why Drama at Queen Mary?

7. Freedom to be you: Unlike Drama schools we support your to tell your own story.

8. Teaching that pushes the boundaries.

9. Space to create: We have 3 rehearsal rooms, 2 studio theatres, and a dedicated technical team to make your ideas a reality.

d) Why Queen Mary over other Russell Group universities?

10. Our history of fighting for social change and inclusion: Listen to this podcast – featuring our very own Nadia Valman – to get insight into this unique history.

East London College (now the Queens’ Building), 1900 © QMUL Archives

11. Our support services & student union.

We are dedicated to supporting students with services like counselling, writing support, Mental Health First Aid and more.

12. Our diversity – and how you can make friends with people from around the world and from different socio-economic backgrounds.

e) Why choose to study in 2021?

13. Learn in lockdown and its aftermath.

Make the most of lockdown and beyond and learn something interesting with us. You can always choose to add a year abroad in your third year when hopefully travel will be less restricted.

14. Time to reflect.

University gives you time to reflect on the wider world, develop your values and try to change the world.

15. The experience of blended learning is benefiting students.

We work with students to improve our online and in-person teaching as much as we can. Lots of students have told us that some experiences work better online. Activities like meeting an advisor or participating in a text-based English class work really well online, so we will act on this feedback for 2021.

neon signage
Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels.com

f) Why choose to go to university rather than other options?

16. Transferable skills.

You’ll have time to perfect your transferable skills, including writing, teamwork and creating your own projects.

muslim female freelancer typing on laptop during coffee break
Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels.com

17. Time for self-development.

You will have time outside of paid-work and time for internships and other opportunities that may be difficult to fit in around full time work or apprenticeships.

18. Meet curious people and make friends for life.

Lots of our students make friends for life on our courses. We are a friendly department and encourage students to talk and socialise outside of the workshop room.

g) Why do a humanities degree at all?

19. Humanities make us human – we need stories, critique and communication to challenge and celebrate the world we live in.

20. Humanities are relevant to so many careers and make you adaptable for jobs that don’t even exist yet.

21. You’ll find it easier to commit to, read and study about something you are passionate about.

3 Things Still to Do in Black History Month

1. Diaspora Speaks and PEACH Magazine are excited to present: On Black Voices! – 22 October

2. Ankhi Mukherjee is talking about Nigerian American writer and photographer Teju Cole for our Lisa Jardine Annual English Lecture – 22 October

3. Prof Susheila Nasta MBE is in conversation with Helen Thomas

Professor Susheila Nasta MBE and Dr Helen Thomas will discuss their long histories within the world of black writing and publishing.

The event will celebrate the publication of a free e-book: Black Agents Provocateurs – 250 Years of Black British Writing, History and the Law, 1770-2020 written by Helen Thomas and also the publication of the first Cambridge History of Black and Asian British Writing, edited by Susheila Nasta and Mark Stein.

They will discuss questions around:

  • the politics of publishing and editing
  • how they created their books
  • shifting definitions of black British writing
  • he importance of decolonising the school and university curricula

Eleni Sophia in Final of £10k Gradventure Pitching Competition

Eleni Sophia from SED has made it through to the final of GradVenture, the University of London enterprise pitching competition, with her business Perspective Press Global.

She will be competing Dragon’s Den style against another Queen Mary student and six students from other University of London colleges for a share in the £10,000 prize.

The finals are online on 18 November 2020 from 2-3.30pm, and it is free to attend (although limited to 500 places) for anybody wanting to come and support the QMUL students. The link to register (by Monday 16 November) is here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/gradventure-the-finals-2020-tickets-124242959035.

Interested in entrepreneurship but not sure where to start? Join QHack – apply by 18 October 2020

Read how QHack prepared Veerna, a first year undergraduate student, launch her own business.

“QHack helped me feel confident in sharing my idea, as before QHack I used to keep my idea to myself. I was taught that it is not the idea that makes the business, but the person behind it!”

Dates: 31st October / 1st November – 7th / 8th November

Applications close on 18 October 2020, 23:59 Apply now

More information and email any questions to enterprise@qmul.ac.uk

Mad Hearts – Arts and Mental Health – 2020 Conference – Key Takeaways

by Magali Kelly Frea Scholtis, MSc Creative Arts and Mental Health

Mad Hearts 2021 is in planning now so please follow us on Twitter to find out when booking opens.

On Friday 19 June 2020, the MSc Creative Arts and Mental Health organised the Second Edition of the Mad Hearts Conference, with the theme ‘Solitude and the Encounter’.

This one-day webinar included a conversation with Professor Femi Oyebode, a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Birmingham, about the inner self and the function of imagination, drawing insights from Fernando Pessoa’s ‘The Book of Disquiet’. This was followed by Laura E. Fischer, an artist, mental health activist, and survivor-researcher who specialises in trauma. She spoke of reclaiming authorship of the trauma narrative through creative expression and she discussed how healing through art depends on three components: survivor leadership, embodiment and creativity.

The final speaker was John Richardson, a filmmaker (see Simon Says: Psychosis) and podcast presenter (Coffee and Psychosis), who sheds light on the mental health system through his documentary work. He spoke of his encounters with the mental health system, what was helpful and unhelpful to his recovery, and how he strives to be true to his values and remain authentic despite the pressure to conform to corporate views both in mental health and in film-making.

After the talks, three artists were nominated to discuss their creative work, which were submitted to the Creative Enquiry stream of the conference, together with a reflection on the theme ‘Solitude and the Encounter’. The painting ‘Shades of Solitude’ by Grace Catchpole, uses colour to capture the nuances of the experience of loneliness, from a peaceful place to rest to a darker experience of grief. The short film ‘Sound’ by Lorna V. represents the funny side of a missed online encounter, that between a client and her therapist, when the client can’t be heard because of a technological glitch and ends up talking to herself. Finally, the short animation ‘Plastic Bag’ by Harris Nageswaran reveals the power of a plastic bag to carry goods but especially love and care to those isolated in hospitals during the lockdown. The artwork ‘Isolation, a familiar issue disguised differently’, by Muhammad Umer, was chosen as the image for Mad Hearts 2020 for its portrayal of a person seen and not seen by the viewers, through the partly deceptive reflection of a mirror. You can view all submissions on the following website: https://sites.google.com/view/mad-hearts-2020/home.

Plastic Bag by Harris Nageswaran
Plastic Bag by Harris Nageswaran

The Mad Hearts Conference ended with a group discussion that included both participants and speakers. During these conversations, we heard from people from all different backgrounds, such as specialists in mental health, users of mental health services, medical students and students of the MSc Creative Arts and Mental Health. Together we delved into contemporary encounters concerning the arts and mental health, uniting clinical, artistic and research perspectives.

During said discussions, we reflected on the contribution of the arts to mental health practice, the agency in one’s own healing, equality in mental health services and the power of isolation. These conversations are important to encourage re-interpretations of contemporary mental health science and practice. It is thus crucial that we continue these discussions!

Mad Hearts 2021 is in planning now so please follow us on Twitter to find out when booking opens.

English and Drama Newsletter – October 2020 Edition

Welcome to our new and returning students and we can’t wait to meet new prospective students this Saturday at our open day.

Current Student FAQs | Book now for our Open Day this Saturday

LISA JARDINE ANNUAL ENGLISH LECTURE 2020: Booking is now open for 2020 lecture given by Ankhi Mukhejee: ‘Open, Closed, Interrupted City’ on 22 October 2020.

NATIONAL POETRY DAY: Our English with Creative Writing student Aisha Borja is reading her poetrytonight at 5pm.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: We are hosting an exclusive event with Helen Thomas and Professor Susheila Nasta. Follow us on Twitter to get alerts when booking is live. See below for an exclusive event by Peach x Diaspora Speaks student-led media.

Online Events

VIRTUAL OPEN DAY

QMUL Undergraduate Open Day
3 Oct, Online, 10.30am-6pm BST – Free

We are hosting live English and Drama sessions on studying with us on our inclusive and innovative courses from September 2021.

Register now

RESEARCH SEMINAR SERIES

English Postgraduate Research Series

Watch the first Postgraduate Research Series Dr Yann Ryan talk below and follow on Twitter for details of the next events with Dr Jason Allen Paisant (Leeds) on 29 October.

QUORUM

Quorum is back! Autumn Virtual Quorum is excited to invite you to Dr @Kirsty Sedgman’s talk ‘How to Make the World Give a Sh*t About Theatre (Studies)’ See you on 22 October at 7:30pm, on Zoom. All welcome, request the link to our email.

Follow on Twitter for details

LISTINGS
SARU Visiting Practitioner Series: Nisha Ramayya
5 Oct, Online, 6-8pm BST – Free

In this session, Nisha Ramayya will introduce and read from her poetic sequence ‘Now Let’s Take a Listening Walk’, part of the ongoing project Crossing the Rackety Bridge Between Tantric Poetics and Black Study. These poems began during a residency at John Hansard Gallery, at the exhibition Many voices, all of them loved, curated by poet and academic Sarah Hayden.

Register here

Also check out Deep Deep Dream: Transmissions by Ignota Books is an experiment in the techniques of awakening and an invitation to touch the dreamworld, which features Nisha’s work from 14 Oct.

Peach × Diaspora Speaks Presents: On Black Voices
22 Oct, Online, 6-8pm BST – Free

Peach Magazine and Diaspora Speaks Magazine have collaborated on designing this the event: “On Black Voices”. It will be an open-mic night dedicated to Black History Month and showcasing the voices of Black artists!  

We’re currently looking for speakers for the event. If you want to join Diaspora Speaks and Peach Magazine on this night to share something powerful then sign up using the link: https://forms.gle/yjhMSqxy4VpRU8ju9.

We have time for a maximum of 10 speakers.  This will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis so make sure to sign up now! 
For any questions or queries contact: peachmagazine@qmsu.org or diasporaspeaks@qmsu.org

Instagram Live with Dominic Johnson
28 Oct, Online, 6.30-7.30pm BST – Free via Intellect Instagram

Our Head of Drama Dominic Johnson is in conversation with James Campbell at Intellect Books for its extended “Intellect Live Art” virtual conference.

News & Links

Brian Dillon (Creative Writing)’s Suppose a Sentence is out now from Fitzcarraldo Editions (and NYRB in the US). He’ll be doing some online events in the coming weeks: with Olivia Laing at the LRB Bookshop on 6 October; with Vinson Cunningham of The New Yorker for Community Bookstore in Brooklyn on 8 October; and with Stuart Kelly at Blackwells, Edinburgh on 15 October.

Jen Harvie (Drama) Catch TWO new episodes of Professor Jen Harvie’s podcast Stage Left, where she interviews performance makers on what they make and how they make it. New episodes are with FK Alexander who works with noise, pop culture, and delicate care in performances including VIOLENCE and (I Could Go on Singing) Over the Rainbow, and with Krishna Istha, discussing their stand-up comedy on trans identity, Beast.

The Stage Left back catalogue includes interviews with Split Britches (including SED’s own Professor Lois Weaver), Breach Theatre (including SED MA alumnus, director Billy Barrett), and SED alumni Sh!t Theatre (Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit).

Listen here

Lara Jakobsen (English with Creative Writing student) has launched SCHÄM Magazine, a magazine dedicated to exploring all things sex, gender, desire and taboo.

Gabriel Krauze (English alumnus) has been interviewed by Nathalie Grey (English alumna) about his writing, crime and time at Queen Mary.

Watch the video | Read the full interview

Places of Solitude The ‘Pathologies of Solitude’ project launches its first podcast series on 19 October, looking at places and experiences of solitude and how these have changed over the centuries. Topics range from gardens, cities and sanctums, to potentially perilous places like prison cells and even the human mind. The series also includes extended pop-out interviews with Shokoufeh Sakhi, a former political prisoner held in solitary confinement in Iran, and Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Listen here from 19 October

Matt Rubery (English) has been given a small British Academy grant for a project titled ‘Projected Books for Veterans with Disabilities’. This will be the first history of Projected Books, Inc., a manufacturer of vertical projectors and microfilmed books for the use of disabled veterans in hospital beds. By displaying a book’s pages on the ceiling, projected books made it possible for thousands of people with disabilities in the United States and other parts of the world to read during the 1940s-1970s. 

Studio 3 Arts

Liza Vallance (Drama graduate) CEO/Artistic Director at Studio 3 Arts Barking has raised £1.2 million for a makeover of the community centre  which includes glitter ball, flagpole and theatre made of straw.

Read more here


Lois Weaver Join AirSupply to connect, discuss, support and showcase new performance work. Email Lois to join.

How do I contact the School of English and Drama Administrative team?

THE SCHOOL ADMIN TEAM 

1) You can email us: 

2) You can contact us via Live Chat (11am-3pm): 

Find the Live Chat (tawk.to) box on our homepage (you may see it elsewhere too, e.g. on QMplus): https://www.qmul.ac.uk/sed/  

Live chat is available between 11.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m. Monday to Friday. 

3) Book a drop in session with our Student Support Officer

You can book a drop in session via QMplus with our Student Support Officer Suzi Lewis.  These sessions will be held via MS Teams.  

5) Pre-booked appointment  

Because of current social distancing restrictions in the Arts One Building, it is not possible at present to receive visitors to our Reception without a pre-booked appointment.  If you arrive in person and you have not booked an appointment, we may not be able to see you.  

We will have a small team available at the School Reception on the third floor of the Arts One building (room 3.40: follow the signs at the top of the stairs) to take brief queries from students who are unable to find the answer to their query elsewhere or via the online options available.    

The team will : 

  • Answer your queries, where possible, or direct you to the most appropriate source of advice (including the online options listed above) 
  • Recommend other University support services that can help  

In order to ensure you are seen quickly and safely please book a timed slot to see a member of the team by emailing sed-information@qmul.ac.uk. The reception will be open from 11:00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, closed Wednesdays. 

QUEEN MARY VACATIONS AND THE SCHOOL OFFICE

The School Office (where all the Administrative Staff are based) is open and staffed throughout the year, including student vacations but not including Bank Holidays and QM Closure Days.

If you need to see someone in the School urgently and your Advisor is unavailable, you should ask one of the administrative staff to see whether it is possible for you to see the appropriate Director of Student Support.

5 Things to look forward to for 2020 students – in London and online

Welcome to 2020 at Queen Mary. We want to get you excited about studying and exploring London and culture online as part of your university experience.

Here’s some suggestions:

1. Epic Exhibitions

IRL

Go to a blockbuster or tiny exhibition in London:

Online

2. Unusual London

IRL

Uncover unusual sights and experience:

Online

3. See Performance

IRL

Online

4. Give Something Back / Self Care

IRL

Online

5. Explore Industries and Careers in London

IRL

  • Get help from QMUL Careers team to secure internships, work experience and learning opportunities while you are at university
  • Sign up to the creative version of Linkedin, The Dots and follow cool companies that have free events you can attend
  • Find somewhere unusual to work here – the article is by our English graduate Lara Mills

Online

Add your suggestions in a comment below…

English and Drama Newsletter – September 2020 Edition

Welcome to our new and welcome back to our returning students 

Incoming 2020 FAQ | Welcome Week Essentials & Things You Must Do

Competition

COMPETITION TIME: Win a copy of our alumnus Gabriel Krauze’s Booker Prize longlisted book Who They Was plus selection of titles he quotes in the book including James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room.

Enter by commenting with a question on this Instagram post when our Alumni Engagement Coordinator Nathalie Grey is interviewing Gabriel.

CONGRATULATIONS: The winners of our #SEDHallofFame dissertation photo competition were Fahima Begum and Jessica Amie Cooper (pictured in main image above).

Events

OCTOBER VIRTUAL OPEN DAY & CAMPUS TOURS3 OCTOBER 2020

Book now for our virtual event online which will include subject talks, tasters and a chance to ask questions about our inspiring and inclusive courses.

Register and get reminders here

Seamus Heaney

Centre for Poetry at QMUL presents:
On Seamus Heaney: Roy Foster and Ruth Padel in conversation

24 September 2020, Online – Free

To launch and celebrate the publication of On Seamus Heaney (Princeton University Press, 2020), leading historian and biographer, Roy Foster, will appear, via Zoom, in conversation with award-winning British poet, Ruth Padel. With opening words from Miri Rubin, Professor of Medieval and Early Modern History, and Susan Rudy, Director, Centre for Poetry.

Register here

News & Links

A Season of Bangla Drama (Drama) secured a £15k emergency Arts Council England funding for A Season of Bangla Drama – an online version to be called Home Seasoning. Our technical team in Drama will be applying the pedagogical strategies developed over lockdown to this exciting new challenge: migrating all 15 companies online in blended programming, configuring prerecorded shorts (based on what would have been live pieces) with online interaction and debate.

Suppose a Sentence

Brian Dillon (Creative Writing) will read from Suppose a Sentence, a critical and personal reflection on the art of the sentence in literature at a sold out event at Bold Tendencies in Peckham on Thursday 10 September.
Read more about the book

Patrick Flanery (Creative Writing)  has recently launched a short documentary film about South African artist Kate Gottgens. It was produced with her Cape Town-based gallery, SMAC.

Watch the film

Hari Marini (Drama) is participating in Tear in the Fence Festival in September. She will be reading some of my texts from 28 Paths of her in the session Migration, Exile and Place on Saturday 12 September.

Harriet Phillips (English) was runner up for Shakespeare’s Globe Book Award 2020 with her book Nostalgia in Print and Performance, 1510–1613.

States of the Body Produced by Love

Nisha Ramayya (Creative Writing/English) Her book States of the Body Produced by Love is reviewed by The White Review:

‘Ramayya negotiates this reality by simultaneously reflecting on the horrors faced by marginalised peoples, and tying these concerns to the suffering and power of the ancient goddesses.’

Read the review

Commission

Poplar Union Our friends at local arts venue Poplar Union are organising a digital performance festival Outside In Arts Festival and you can apply to get a paid commission to be part of it.

Apply here

Lucy Sofroniou (English Alumna) is interviewed here by our alumni team on her new venture exploring wellbeing and matters of the mind; A Little Light.