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.

Accommodation Guarantee for Clearing Applicants

All Clearing applicants are guaranteed a room in Queen Mary halls, or with one or our partner providers.

Applications should ideally be submitted online by Wednesday 19 August (midnight BST), because room allocations for Clearing applicants will begin on Thursday 20 August.

Room allocations are made in date order of application submission.

In order to submit your housing application you must be placed at Queen Mary, i.e. you must be holding an unconditional firm (UF) offer. 

The Admissions Office will send the login details for the housing application system to applicants, once their status is confirmed as UF on UCAS.

There may be a few hours delay in you being able to apply for housing after you receive your login details from Admissions. If you experience any significant delay, please email residences@qmul.ac.uk.

English and Drama Newsletter – August 2020 Edition

Congratulations to our class of 2020 from all of us in the School of English and Drama

Watch our SED video | Watch Mojisola Adebayo’s talk in full

PLUS: We can’t wait to welcome our new students on A-level results day next Thursday 13 August. We have our fingers crossed for students getting results. If you’re thinking of joining one of our inspiring programmes through clearing please do join one of our catch ups and we can help. We are on UCAS embargo so can’t send batch email from tomorrow until results day but you can contact us.

NOT FORGETTING: It’s been an exciting month so far including a Booker Prize nomination for Gabriel Krauze, the launch of books by Rachael Gilmour and Huw Marsh and The Guardian reviews Lois Weaver and Daniel Oliver‘s work.


Our student of the month for August is Maria Messias Mendes English with Creative Writing.

Online Events

RESULTS DAY AND CLEARING CATCH UPS

We are hosting some English and Drama drop-in sessions for incoming students who are either offer holders, in clearing or want to make a new application. We’d love to see you there:
Results Day & Clearing Drop In #1 – 13 Aug – 11am
Results Day & Clearing Drop In #2 – 13 Aug – 4pm


Register and get reminders here

Japan

Japan Literatures of Remembering. A Panel Discussion on Fiction, Poetry and Anime
13 August, Online – Free via Japan Society

This is the online launch of the special issue of Wasafiri: Japan Literatures of Remembering, published to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the end of the World War Two in the Pacific.

It is part of the Japan-UK Season of Culture

The discussion will reflect on the transformations of Japanese identity in literature, exploring themes of time, memory and diversity. We are fortunate to be joined by Mimi Hachikai in Japan who will be reading her poetry alongside her translator Kyoko Yoshida.

Find out more

News & Links

Rachael Gilmour and Huw Marsh

Alumni Profiles Recently published by our very own alumna Nathalie Grey include:

Will Bowers (English) has added An Opening in a Holland House Dinner Book, an entry for the European Romanticisms in Association.

Bridget Escolme and Maria Turri (teach on MSc Creative Arts and Mental Health) are running writing retreats for their students.
Rachael Gilmour (English)’s book ‘Bad English: Literature, multilingualism, and the politics of language in contemporary Britain’ has been published.

Read more about the book

Aysel Dilara Kasap (English with Creative Writing)has written a thoughtful piece for CUB Magazine onClass of 2020: Things We Lost In The Fire.

Gabriel Krauze

Gabriel Krauze (English alumnus) has been longlisted for the Booker Prize 2020 for his debut novel about London gang life, Who They Was, which is published in September 2020.

Read more here | Pre-order the book

Journal

Hari Marini (Drama) is featured in a special issue of Journal of Greek Media and Culture 3.2 (Oct 2017) ‘Dramaturgies of change: Greek theatre now‘ edited by Marissia Fragkou & Philip Hager and it is now free-to-download for a month.

Huw Marsh (English) has published his book The Comic Turn in Contemporary English Fiction: Who’s Laughing Now?‘ through Bloomsbury.

Read more about the book

Aoife Monks (Drama) is published in Times Higher Education with a piece called Artistic collaborators are not there to make your research sound fun.

Network: QMUL Centre for the Creative and Cultural Economy has launched two new collaborative community projects: Developing a community led ‘Gentrification/Regeneration Policy’ for BrixtonHow does ‘The Match’ add social value?

Dadders

Daniel Oliver (Drama) has released online lockdown TV show Dadderrs with Frauke Requardt via The Place. They maintain social distancing by reimagining their 2019 stage show ‘Dadderrs’ within their own home as a digital boxset. The show has a 4 star review in the Guardian here.

Watch the show here

Horizons

PEACH Magazine has published it’s final issue for this academic year: Horizons. You can also follow PEACH on: Instagram / Twitter / Facebook.
Read it here


Karina Lickorish Quinn
(English PhD)’s debut novel Mancharisqa is to be published by Oneworld after a competitive auction.

Read more here

Website updates Check out the latest updates including:

Lois Weaver (Drama) will be talking about her history of queer performance culture and current work for one Manchester International Festival‘s online support sessions.

messy bitches

Lydia Wilcox (Live Art Master’s Student) has been announced as runner up on the Association of Art History Dissertation Prize for the essay ‘ ‘Messy Bitches: The Use of Mess in Contemporary Feminist Performance’.

Read more here

Penelope Woods (Drama) is part of a project team organising workshops on colonialism and the senses with local schools in Tower Hamlets as part of Being Human Festival in November 2020.

New Undergraduate English and Drama Student Information 2020-21

We can’t wait to welcome new undergraduate students from 14 September 2020 for welcome week!

Please see below for key info for undergraduate students and do get in touch if you have any questions.

Key Information

Enrolment

For September 2020, all student enrolments will be completed online in absentia and you will not have to attend campus in order to become fully enrolled. Once you have enrolled be sure to join Senate House Library too!

More information

IT Account

Your IT account will usually be set up within 14 days so please do keep an eye out for activation emails on and after results day.

Welcome Week

Welcome Week from Monday 14 September 2020 is a time to get to know your course, personal advisor and discover all the things you can be part of at Queen Mary.

We will be publishing details of welcome week here soon.

First Week of Teaching / Your Timetable

Your timetable will begin on week commencing Monday 21 September 2020 and you should get this shortly before then along with your IT login. Be sure to check your junk mail for the email you registered with UCAS so you don’t miss anything important.

All online classes on your timetable are compulsory unless they say optional just as they would be in person.

Key Subject Preparation & Information

Drama

Also why not watch our Ask an Academic seminar with Shane Boyle…

English

Also why not watch our Ask an Academic seminar…

Questions & Contacts

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme 2020-21 – Applications Invited

Early career researchers seeking support for their application to the British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme are invited to get in contact with us as soon as possible

Deadline for applications: midday on Wednesday 16 September 2020

The School of English and Drama invites early career researchers seeking support for their application to the British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme to get in touch by submitting:

(1) an explanation of the reason(s) for your choice of Queen Mary as the host institution (150 words maximum)

(2) an outline of your proposed programme of research (1,500 words maximum)

(3) details of your planned research outputs, e.g. monograph, journal article(s), book chapter(s), digital resources, events, other (please specify) (300 words maximum)

(4) a list of existing publications (1 page maximum)

(5) a CV (2 pages maximum)

Please submit the above documents to Dr Huw Marsh, Research Manager, sed-research@qmul.ac.uk, by no later than midday on Wednesday 16 September 2020. Please state ‘British Academy PDRF’ in the subject line.

Your application should demonstrate:

  • that you are eligible according to the BA’s criteria
  • the excellence of
    • your research track record and professional track record (where relevant);
    • your academic record;
    • the research outputs you propose, how you will structure, pursue, and complete it in the time frame, and its importance;
  • the relevance of QMUL SED to your research and vice versa;
  • who you would like as a mentor and why.

You are strongly encouraged, before submitting your application and time permitting, to find a mentor, provisionally agree their support, and get some feedback from them on a draft application.

Full scheme details can be found on the British Academy website: http://www.britac.ac.uk/british-academy-postdoctoral-fellowships

All outline proposals will be considered by our Directors of Research and those that we give institutional support to will have approximately one month to finalise their online application, due in mid-October 2020 (precise date tbc by the British Academy).

New books published by Rachael Gilmour and Huw Marsh

The School of English and Drama are delighted to announce the publication of ‘Bad English‘ by Dr Rachael Gilmour and ‘The Comic Turn in Contemporary English Fiction‘ by Dr Huw Marsh.

Read more about the books below…

Bad English

Literature, multilingualism, and the politics of language in contemporary Britain

Dr Rachael Gilmour

Bad English investigates the impact of increasing language diversity, precipitated by migration, globalisation, and new forms of communication, in transforming contemporary literature in Britain. Considering writers whose work engages experimentally, playfully, and ambivalently with English’s power, while exploring what it means to move between forms of language, it makes the case for literature as the pre-eminent medium to probe the terms of linguistic belonging, and for a diverse and growing field of writing in Britain defined by its inside/outside relationship to English in its institutionalised forms.

Bad English offers innovative readings of writers including James Kelman, Tom Leonard, Suhayl Saadi, Raman Mundair, Daljit Nagra, Xiaolu Guo, Leila Aboulela, Brian Chikwava, and Caroline Bergvall. Drawing on insights from applied linguistics and translation studies as well as literary scholarship, it will appeal to students and academics across these disciplines.

The Comic Turn in Contemporary English Fiction

Who’s Laughing Now?

Dr Huw Marsh

The Comic Turn in Contemporary English Fiction explores the importance of comedy in contemporary literature and culture. In an era largely defined by a mood of crisis, bleakness, cruelty, melancholia, environmental catastrophe and collapse, Huw Marsh argues that contemporary fiction is as likely to treat these subjects comically as it is to treat them gravely, and that the recognition and proper analysis of this humour opens up new ways to think about literature. Structured around readings of authors including Martin Amis, Nicola Barker, Julian Barnes, Jonathan Coe, Howard Jacobson, Magnus Mills and Zadie Smith, this book suggests not only that much of the most interesting contemporary writing is funny and that there is a comic tendency in contemporary fiction, but also that this humour, this comic licence, allows writers of contemporary fiction to do peculiar and interesting things – things that are funny in the sense of odd or strange and that may in turn inspire a funny turn in readers. Marsh offers a series of original critical and theoretical frameworks for discussing questions of literary genre, style, affect and politics, demonstrating that comedy is an often neglected mode that plays a generative role in much of the most interesting contemporary writing, creating sites of rich political, stylistic, cognitive and ethical contestation whose analysis offers a new perspective on the present.

Student of the month: Maria Messias Mendes – BA English with Creative Writing

I’m a storyteller and my time is dedicated to do justice to the stories I tell.

Tell us about your time at QMUL. What have been your highlights?

My time at QM has been truly special. I‘ve had the chance to learn so much about literature but also the craft of writing.

How has your course at Queen Mary helped you to progress into the world outside? What’s next?

My course has given me the tools to pursue my passions and develop further even after I have left university.

Aside from course content what have been your favourite elements of the experience of studying here as a whole?

I have found theatre to be really complimenting to my studies and many of my fondest memories of the last few years have been in rehearsal rooms.

Tell us about your life outside Queen Mary including any projects, ambitions or jobs you’ve had.

I love painting, dancing and singing so I try to find time to do that.

What could be improved to enhance future students’ experience at Queen Mary?

I think being open to change is key for a more positive future. This does not mean just adapting but critically thinking about what change is positive and useful and which one might be damaging.

Find out more about our BA English with Creative Writing

Results Day & Clearing Zoom Catch Ups for English and Drama Undergraduate 2020 Applicants

We are available to chat online for the following sessions for undergraduate applicants for 2020 entry.


English and Drama – Results Day – Clearing Drop In #1

Thu 13 Aug – 11am (30 mins)

Register here


English and Drama – Results Day – Clearing Drop In #2

Thu 13 Aug – 4pm (30 mins)

Register here


School of English and Drama Post Clearing Drop In

Wed 19 Aug – 11am (1 hour)

Register here

Can’t make these dates?

Email us to speak to someone: sed-web@qmul.ac.uk

Queen Mary English Alumnus Gabriel Krauze’s novel ‘Who They Was’ longlisted for Booker Prize 2020

The School of English and Drama at QMUL is delighted and proud that our alumnus Gabriel Krauze has been nominated for the 2020 Booker Prize longlist.

Gabriel studied English at Queen Mary University of London graduating in 2009 and Who They Was is his debut novel. He grew up in London in a Polish family and was drawn to a life of crime and gangs from an early age. Now in his thirties he has left that world behind and is recapturing his life through writing. He has published short stories in Vice and recently took part in our Show & Tell – inspiring mini talks series. Listen to his talk below…

Gabriel gave a talk at Show and Tell at All Points East Festival in 2019

The blurb describes the book best:

This life is like being in an ocean. Some people keep swimming towards the bottom. Some people touch the bottom with one foot, or even both, and then push themselves off it to get back up to the top, where you can breathe. Others get to the bottom and decide they want to stay there. I don’t want to get to the bottom because I’m already drowning.

This is a story of a London you won’t find in any guidebooks.

This is a story about what it’s like to exist in the moment, about boys too eager to become men, growing up in the hidden war zones of big cities – and the girls trying to make it their own way.

This is a story of reputations made and lost, of violence and vengeance – and never counting the cost.

This is a story of concrete towers and blank eyed windows, of endless nights in police stations and prison cells, of brotherhood and betrayal.

This is about the boredom, the rush, the despair, the fear and the hope.

This is about what’s left behind.’

About Gabriel

Gabriel Krauze came of age among the high rises and back streets of South Kilburn. He was not an observer on the periphery of violence. He was – personally – heavily involved in gangs, drugs, guns, stabbing and robbery – all while completing an English degree at Queen Mary University of London in 2009.

Who They Was comes directly from that experience and as such it is confronting, exhilarating, morally complex, and utterly unique. 

Quotes about the novel include:

‘An astonishingly powerful book. Krauze is an immense new talent’  Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love

‘A timely and vital exploration into London’s violence crisis by someone who experienced the sharp end of it. I cannot conjure another work which captures this culture in such depth – or with such brutal honesty – as only lived experience can tell. ’ Graeme Armstrong, author of The Young Team

‘Gabriel Krauze is an unbelievably talented writer. No one manages to blend “literary beauty” and “an uncomfortable feeling that he’s actually quite scary” like him’ Joel Golby

Pre-order the book and more links

Karina Lickorish Quinn (PhD at QMUL)’s debut novel Mancharisqa to be published by Oneworld

Creative Writing PhD Karina Lickorish Quinn’s debut novel Mancharisqa, or The Dust Never Settles will be published by Juliet Mabey at Oneworld Publications after a competitive auction.

Mancharisqa is an ambitious and formally inventive literary epic about haunting and counterhistories, adopting the traditional Andean concept of cyclical time in a manner reminiscent of One Hundred Years of Solitude, and the novels of Bolaño, suffused with the surreal atmosphere of Ishiguro’s The Unconsoled.

Mancharisqa formed part of Karina’ PhD thesis, which she completed at School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London under the supervision of Director of Creative Writing, Professor Patrick Flanery and Head of English, Dr Rachael Gilmour.

Anaïs Echeverría Gest flies to Lima to oversee the sale of her childhood home, La Casa Echeverría. It is a house full of ghosts, literal and otherwise, of her ancestors and of the maid who fell to her death from its balcony, around whom myths circulate and from whom miracles are sought. Everything that happens – in Anaïs’s childhood, her return to the house in the present day, and in all the stories in between – begins to overlap until the stories are all inextricably entwined. The novel ends with a birth, an earthquake, and the discovery of something disturbing beneath that cursed yellow house on the hill – the past will not remain silent and the ancestors demand to be reckoned with.

Juliet Mabey, the acquiring editor at Oneworld, comments, ‘I fell completely and utterly in love with this mesmerising, intense, multi-layered novel as soon as I started reading. The tone is wonderfully mystical and haunting, with echoes of other great Latin American writers without feeling remotely derivative. A stunningly original saga of an expansive, complex, troubled family in Peru, it is conveyed with a lightness of touch that belies its debut status, and I could not be more thrilled to feature Karina’s astonishing writing on my literary fiction list. There is really nothing else like it.’

“I’m thrilled to be joining Oneworld and their list of remarkable, talented authors. I have long admired Juliet Mabey and Oneworld for their commitment to introducing readers to a range of cultures and voices from across the world. And thank you to my wonderful agent, Seren Adams, for believing in me and my work. Mancharisqa could not have found a better home.”

Karina is a bilingual, Peruvian-British writer. She has a BA from Oxford University, an MA from UCL, and recently completed her PhD in Creative Writing here at Queen Mary University of London. Her short fiction is featured in Un Nuevo Sol, the first major anthology of British-Latinx writers, published by Flipped Eye Publishing. Her work has also appeared in Longitūdinēs, The Offing, Asymptote, The Journal of Latina Critical Feminism, and Palabritas. In 2016 she was shortlisted for The White Review’s short story prize.