October Newsletter

English and Drama Newsletter – October 2021 Edition

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UNDERGRADUATE OPEN DAY ON SATURDAY We have 4 exciting tasters including on Romeo and Juliet, Creative Writing, Protest and Showbusiness. Plus we have subject introductions on English and Drama to give you the   Book here | See our programme


The School of English and Drama has been named #2 for Drama, #6 for Creative Writing and #25 for English in the latest Times Good University Guide 2022. The Head of School, Scott McCracken said:“The School of English and Drama at Queen Mary is internationally recognised for its departments of Drama, Creative Writing, and English Literature. We are delighted to see this reflected in the departments’ top scores in the Times Good University Guide.


 Queen Mary University of London has committed to a major investment aimed at improving and enhancing our arts and culture facilities. The new facilities will ensure that we can continue to support teaching and research that is both world leading, inclusive and accessible to the communities we work with. The enhanced facilities, for which accessibility has been a driving principle — will include:A new cinema designed by leading architects McFarland-Latter, including the latest in surround-sound and projection technologies; The instalment of new digital technologies for motion capture and ambisonic playback in Rehearsal Room 3;A new production suite adjacent to Rehearsal Room 3 including a fully sound-proofed recording booth, and control facilities for video and audio production;Improved lighting, sound and seating in Room G.34 enabling flexible use as a seminar room, gallery or installation studio;

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This Conjuncture: After Brexit, Corbyn and Covid with Anthony Barnett, Ellie Mae O’Hagan, and Scott McCracken

Monday 4 October 2021 

Join Anthony Barnett, Ellie Mae O’Hagan and Scott McCracken to unpick the power relations and thematics at work in our current moment, from Brexit and the ascent of nationalist populism, to the devastating experience of defeat in the 2019 general election, to the implications of the pandemic for the radical left.

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Detritus: what has been worn away

Saturday 23 October 2021

Drama graduate Dani Harvey is producing a one day Live Art event  that will feature durational, interactive, momentary, and material-based artworks, that challenge what performance can and should be in gallery spaces. Lots of Drama alumni are taking part.

Book tickets

The origins of Jewish immigration social history in Manchester and London

Thursday 14 October 2021, 6.30pm – 8.30pm, online 

An illustrated talk and conversation discussing the origins of Jewish immigrant oral history from the 1970s onwards in Manchester and London featuring our very own Nadia Valman (English) 

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Anna Maguire on ‘Hostile Environments: Refugees, Asylum Seekers and the Politics of Loneliness’

Tuesday 26 October 2021 In the first paper in our 2021/22 seminar series, Anna Maguire from Queen Mary, University of London explores experiences of refugee isolation and loneliness as a weapon of the state.

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The Commune at 150: a symposium

Tuesday 2 November 2021

We celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune with an in-person symposium. The event brings together scholars specialising in literature, the visual arts, material culture, political theory, and more, for an interdisciplinary exploration of the Commune’s ongoing political and cultural significance. The conference also hopes to reinvigorate wider cross-disciplinary debates about the generative logic of insurrectionary events as well as about the formation of radical traditions.

Book tickets


Alumni Profile: Performer, Creative Director and Union Leader, José Bencosme Zayas

Theatre and Performance MA ’18

In his profile, José talks about the significance of London’s theatre scene to his growth as a performer, how the Drama department at Queen Mary welcomed and supported him throughout his studies, and about the work he is currently doing to improve working conditions for theatre artists at home in the Dominican Republic. 

Read the full interview

Expeditions Series

Emeritus Professor Susheila Nasta has made a series of must-watch short talks on:

Susheila also hosted a walk around Bloomsbury around Asian spectacles.

You can listen here

Zara Dinnen in conversation

As part of the AHRC funded network Pause for Thought (University of Lincoln and University of Warwick) Zara Dinnen (English) conversation with Niall Docherty (researcher at Microsoft) about how “the user” is a major figure in society today. The conversation has been published online here. Pause for Thought is an interdisciplinary network of principally UK-based scholars, writers, artists, and media practitioners who are invested in the future of media literacy, and modes of analysis, creative practices, and teaching strategies appropriate for our rapidly shifting media landscape.

Read the post


Ed Nesbit (QMUL composer-in-residence) has written an Antigone, in which various QMUL students have been involved (as the chorus). Abbie Jukes (English), Rachel Bryant-Davies (Comp. Lit), and Katie Fleming discussed Antigone with Ed, and this ‘pre-concert’ talk is going live this Friday 1st October at 17.00 via the link below.

Watch the premiere

News Digest

Michael Hughes has written a new piece of short fiction, ‘Marcel Marceau’, in a forthcoming anthology, The New Frontier; Reflections from the Irish Border, published October 15th from New Island Books.


Pathologies of Solitude


🦋PASSAGES🦋 ‘After a difficult period of time, this new academic year will hopefully be one of positive change and transition, and we want our first print run to reflect that. By making ‘passages’ the theme of our first print run, we are hoping it will provide an outlet to help aid the healing process this next year will bring. PEACH is open for submissions NOW. They take submissions from students for poetry, prose, short story, comics, illustration, paintings, collage, photography (including photographs of 3D art forms such as sculpture, embroidery, textile art, ect.). Deadline is the 13 October and you can send your submissions to the team at peachmagazine@qmsu.org.’

Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize Shortlist Announced

The shortlisted writers, from eight countries across four continents, are:  

Fiction judged by Hirsh Sawhney 

Kate Carne  for ‘First to Go’ | Riddhi Dastidar for ‘Fuck Marry Kill’  | Bhavika Govil for ‘Eggs keep falling from the fourth floor’ | Mónica Ibarra Parle for ‘The Claws Come First’ | Anam Raheem for ‘Tessellation’ 

Life Writingjudged by Christie Watson | Anne O’Brien for ‘Swallow’ | Dalbinder Kular for ‘The Prediction’ | Usha Rungoo for ‘The Song of Life’ | Damion Spencer for ‘Death Comes in Threes’ | Shamini Sriskandarajah for ‘Hazel and Fiver’ 

Poetry judged by Tishani Doshi 

Jordan Hamel for ‘If you read this backwards blood becomes wine’ | Asmaa Jama for ‘Autopsy’ | Shereen Leanne for ‘almost-shahrazad: part one’ | Dipanjali Roy for ‘सफ़रनामा / safarnama’ | Dorsía Smith Silva ‘Ghost Talker Poem’ 

The winners will be announced on 14 October at an event. 

Read more here

Wasafiri Magazine Craft – New Podcast & Transcriber Opportunity for Students

Wasafiri (based at QMUL) is looking for a transcriber to join the Wasafiri team, to transcribe episodes of our new podcast on international literature, Craft. Email a.nishat@qmul.ac.uk for more information. 

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All Things SED Editor

I am the Web and Marketing Administrator in the School of English and Drama. Amongst my various roles, I run the School's website (www.sed.qmul.ac.uk) and its Twitter feed (@QMULsed). I also manage the running of the School's Open Days and draft promotional materials.

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