Student of the week: Maximillion Chapman – BA English

Usually caught with a fantastic book in one hand and a large glass of pinot in the other.

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

Crikey, highlights at Queen Mary! Where do I begin? As its a campus based university in central London, QM has access to such experiences that really stay with you even after your time there. I’m quite a socialite and the quick route to Soho and Shoreditch were great to really embrace London culture. My course itself was a great companion for my lifestyle as some of the modules required to go out into the city and explore! A fantastic moment for me was definitely getting a lecturer taught underneath the Globe!

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

English at QMUL doesn’t restrict itself in its teachings. There is such a wide variety of subjects within the course that allow you to really explore what you truly love. This variation has been great for me in the outside world, not only in teaching me more but also as an insight to what I might want to do in my later years.

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

As said previously, I loved the social life of uni. Who doesn’t! You have one of the greatest cities in the world on your doorstep and my friends and I made sure to take great advantage of it. London was our very own playground and that’s the way it should be. I’ve made some fantastic friends that have stayed in my life even after university, we simply haven’t left London yet. Two of my very close friends loved the social aspect of the city so much that they bought a pub in Mile End!

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

I’m currently working in content creation and marketing over three companies, which I absolutely love. It’s a lot of work but it certainly keeps me on my toes. The company I mostly work with is an up and coming new dating website, so its thrilling stuff at the moment what with everything (hopefully) going back to normal.

Before this career step, I worked for a company called the Noble Collection. Some of the more film-based fanatics might have heard of them since they primarily create fine replicas and gifts from movies such as Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings. If you own a wand, chances are Noble made it! This was a researched based job and it gave me the chance to work with notorious toy store Hamleys.

During my personal time when I’m not sat at my desk, I play rugby for the Kings Cross Steelers twice a week. It’s the first all inclusive LGBT+ rugby club in the world so I get to meet, drink and play with such a wide range of interesting guys. Its also only a hop on the tube from my flat in Shoreditch!

In regards to ambitions, I have many. That doesn’t mean I set my life path towards achieving them though. My perception on life is to just enjoy every second, because if you strive for something so desperately, you can sometimes become obsessed and miss the finer things in life. Those ambitions will come to you freely.

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

I think so many professors value your journey at QMUL, and it really shows in person when you get to talk to them. Sometimes communication isn’t received as clear as it should have been, whether it be about the course or results feedback. I think a good chit chat in their office is a calming alternative to essay feedback rather than the ominous online results.

Find out more about our English

Student of the week: Katie Butler – BA English Literature

Always free for a chat

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

After joining QMUL I very quickly realised this was 100% my academic home, the lecturers and seminars are unbeatable and staff are really great at making you feel comfortable in exploring your ideas around texts. Outside of academics we have so many opportunities in terms of events and societies, having my own articles published in CUB magazine was amazing! I also have had the privilege of being elected for SED Student Rep in the SU, and the English Soc Welfare Rep for 2021-22!

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

Aside from developing my academic interests, I think that Queen Mary really helps to develop the tools you need to be confidently yourself – you come into contact with so many people and so many ideas and QM really teaches you how to lobby your own perspective. It’s also this last year at QM that’s made me realise I’d love to go on to do an English MA after my undergrad.

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

QM is one of the best places to study if you want to meet new people – we have such a diverse student body that there’s always people to make friends with and I feel like you make more every year, I’ve met some absolutely amazing people who have definitely shaped the pastoral side of my experience here and I know I wouldn’t have found that kind of friendship elsewhere.

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

I’ve been working in food retail since I was 16 and with the pandemic I get to tell everyone I’m a key worker but outside of that I’ve got a little book club with some friends (classic English student behaviour, I know) and I’m working on some submissions for a couple of indie lit mags – the absolute dream is to publish a novel! I also love cooking and baking so I’m always trying out new recipes in my spare time – I went veggie for March too and the food can be so much fun!

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

I think what would really help would be finding a way to engage all students in the QM community, every year you hear some students feel left out, like commuters or part timers, and some are totally disillusioned with the SU, especially after a year of intermittent lockdowns so I think rebuilding that relationship would be huge

Find out more about our BA English Literature

Student of the week: Emma Howes – Film Studies and Drama

That’s tough, but if I was to choose three words they would be curious, creative and collaborative.

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

I have really enjoyed my time at Queen Mary so far. The teaching style is very different from the one that I experienced in high school, I didn’t take Drama GCSEs or A-Levels and instead experienced conservatoire-style training, focusing on acting, rather than the wider process. I have really enjoyed learning about the more theoretical aspects of drama, as a practice and as a ‘theory’. My favourite module so far was London, Culture, Performance. Understanding the impact of performances, theatres and wider impact that they have was incredibly interesting and insightful and left me with a lot to consider.

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

The course has changed my perspective of what performance can be and the impact it has in a wider contexts. The QM drama modules are, by nature, very abstract and require you to have an open mind and whilst pushing me to creative limits, have made me reconsider the defining aspects of performance. After Queen Mary, I am hoping to go into the casting field, and I particularly want to focus on diversifying representation within the entertainment industry, both on stage and on screen. Both the drama and film departments have provided me opportunities to consider the importance of casting and representation, the pitfalls that the industry has, and ways in which these pitfalls can be properly rectified. These considerations have been furthered by the diverse student body at QM, I have been able to listen to others’ perspectives and truly understand how and where different people, cultures, communities want, and don’t want, to be perceived.

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

In my first year at QM I joined the cheerleading team, and it really helped to shape my friendship groups and my university life outside of my studies. Having never attempted the sport before, I took the opportunity to try something new, thinking, if nothing else, it could be a bit of fun to try. I ended up falling in love with it! Being part of a team and working towards a goal helped bring an aspect of community and stability to the mania of first year, meanwhile, allowing me to further challenge myself physically and mentally. This year I am captain of the All-Girl team, and am improving my leadership skills, and well as my ability to creatively problem solve everything that lockdown has thrown our way!

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

Before coming to QM I spent two summers working at an underprivileged summer camp in New York. The impact this had on me was profound, and it was incredibly inspiring to hear the stories of young people who have experienced deep hardships in their lives and to then see their resilience and optimism for their futures. Alongside having career ambitions, I hope to one day give back and provide opportunities for young people to nurture and fulfil their talents. It feels premature to say this, as I feel as though I still have my whole life ahead of me, but ultimately, they are the future, and they deserve to, alongside being safe and happy, follow their dreams.

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

I think a stronger aspect of community could be built at QM, with more opportunities to organically collaborate on a wider range of things. I think the drama department has done a great job of this, and the collaborative nature of the practical side of the course has definitely helped to foster this atmosphere. But I have felt, particularly as a joint honours student and with everything being online this year, other departments have not put the same emphasis on such a crucial aspect of university life.

Find out more about our Film Studies and Drama

Student of the week: Salma Ali – BA English with Creative Writing

An indecisive creative who’s passionate about most things.

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

So far at QMUL, being surrounded by like minded people has been a highlight. As well as this, being able to fully explore in depth and analyse texts, or being able to study new theories and schools of thought in detail has also been a highlight.

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

Queen Mary has provided me with a lot of opportunities that I don’t think I would have been aware of if I was elsewhere – I’ve taken part in QMentoring, and this has helped me a lot to understand the world of employment in my specific field, and how I could progress beyond my BA into potentially further study, or what career paths I could take.

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

One of the best elements of studying at QMUL has been the people that I’ve met and the friendships I have formed. It has also been enjoyable to join societies that are about things I am interested in, and being able to meet new people through this.

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

I’ve been involved in the Harper Collins Author Academy, which has been amazing to be a part of and has been a great experience as a whole, giving invaluable insights into the publishing industry as well as helping me to understand what I’d have to do if I wanted to get my work published.

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

I think that the university has a good support system as it is, but perhaps making these more known to students could help enhance the experience of future students.

Find out more about our BA English with Creative Writing

Student of the week: Joshua Lowes – BA Drama

Big. Fun. Loveable.

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

Highlights have included: creating a dress out of Greggs career bags in Making Theatre, perfuming as sex therapist Dr Dodo in Performance Composition, and working/creating alongside a talented group of people (both staff and colleagues).

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

It has allowed myself to become an independent artist, exposing me to new arts and ways of creating. Hopefully my research into the world of “drama” continues in time and my love for the subject only grows, I would love to do my Masters and PhD if at all possible. Or even gain a following in my art and work.

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

QMBL Swim, I started off as a Fresher, became Social Sec, and finally president in my final year. I have made many friends in not just drama but other fields of study.

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

Boots (Christmas Customer Assistant; Customer Assistant, No7 Advisor)
The Alcobox (Server)
The Alchemist (Busser)
Clarins (Skincare Specialist)
The Grapes (Barman/Server)
Wilton’s Music Hall (Usher)
NTW Solutions (NHS Service Assistant)
NHS (Housekeeping Assistant)

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

Paying for shows/trips that we are required to see as part of a module.

Find out more about our BA Drama

Performance Possession & Automation Event Series

Performance, Possession & Automation – a collaborative research project led by Nick Ridout and Orlagh Woods, in collaboration with Dhanveer Singh Brar – invites you to two online conversations.

Possession & Modern Acting

Friday 4th June, 6-8pm (BST)

Online

Shonni EnelowJulia Jarcho and Nicholas Ridout 

Possession: an actor seems to have been taken over by someone else.

Automation: an actor is someone whose actions are not their own.

In this public conversation, Shonni Enelow, Julia Jarcho and Nicholas Ridout explore ideas about possession and automation in relation to 20th and 21st century experiences of acting, theatre and the movies. Do they hold clues to the roles that both possession and automation play in contemporary life, and to how we might think and feel about them.

Click here, to book your place and for further information.

I was born a loser

Friday 11th June, 6-8 pm (BST)

Online

Edward George and Dhanveer Singh Brar 

What occurs when “lose her” is recast as “loser”, and covered over once more to become “winner”? And why in each reversioning does “pride” persist, but never in the same guise? These are questions which arise from listening to the Jamaican essayist of the song form, Alton Ellis.

By losing ourselves in Alton Ellis’s losses and revisions, Edward George and Dhanveer Singh Brar believe it is possible to begin to open up an auditory dimension to the question of spirit in Jamaica, the Caribbean, the diaspora, and in turn, modernity itself, as it was being rendered towards the end of the twentieth century.

Click here, to book your place and for further information.

Performance, Possession & Automation is a research project exploring automation and possession as two ways of thinking about what happens to human subjects who act in ways that they do not themselves fully control. How can making and thinking about performance contribute to thinking about these ideas?

In partnership with Fierce Festival, performingborders and Transform Festival

This project is supported by:

Collaborations Fund of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL)
The Centre for Public Engagement, QMUL
Strategic Research Initiative, School of English and Drama, QMUL

Queen Mary Conversation Week

Dear Colleagues, we can in theory sit outdoors with friends now, but it is threatening to snow. So instead I just wanted to invite you to some more events taking place this week involving our colleagues and collaborators:

On Data in Motion: A Conversation – This conversation will explore the overlaps between the work of data scientists and mathematicians in using data to predict motion, and the ways in which dancers and sports scientists map movement.  The commissioned conversation will have Alexander WhitleyThomas Prellberg, Professor Dylan Morrissey, Andy ReynoldsIoannis Patras of  and Dr Elisabetta Versace (QMUL School of Biological and Chemical Sciences). The panel will be chaired by Dr Martin Welton, Reader in Theatre and Performance.

On the Art of Boxing in the East End: A Conversation – The celebrated East End prize-fighter Daniel Mendoza revolutionised boxing in the late 18th and early 19th century. As a Jewish boxer, Mendoza experienced and challenged antisemitism throughout his life. Mendoza’s body was buried in the Novo Jewish Cemetery at Queen Mary, which still contains a plaque commemorating his life. Chaired by QMUL’s Dominic Johnson, Professor of Performance and Visual Culture. The conversation will include Professor Nadia Valman (QMUL), a artist named Jake Boston, and with other guests from the boxing world, TBC. They are joined by Ian Gatt, a sports scientist and Upper Limb injury specialist of the English Institute of Sport, who is Head of Performance Support for GB Boxing.

On the Art of Teeth: A Conversation – This conversation explores the practices of dentistry and the histories of teeth and asks: what has art got to do with it?  Colin Jones, author ofThe Smile Revolution in Eighteenth Century ParisJanetka Platun and David Mills. They are joined by Professor of Applied Performance Practice Ali Campbell (QMUL Drama) and Head of Paediatric Dentistry Ferranti Wong (QMUL), who will discuss their collaboration on the child-led research project The Dental Detectives to explore dental anxiety and possible solutions in paediatric dentistry.

I’m Thirsty: On Reclaiming Water and the Arts as Universal Common Goods – This conversation starts from the premise that as much as water is indispensable to our survival, so are the arts. And yet, both are dangerously devalued in our society. To start the conversation, a social anthropologist named Megan Clinch, and a artist named Ruth Levene will introduce their research exploring the impact of flooding on the communities that live in the Calder Catchment, Yorkshire. After this, the co-directors of the MSc Creative Arts and Mental Health, Bridget Escolme (Professor of Theatre and Performance, QMUL) and psychiatrist and theatre scholar Maria Grazia Turri (Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, QMUL), will come in as well.

On Storytelling, the Child and Public Health: A Conversation – This panel will explore the critical work of storytelling in communicating public health messages to children or about children. Professor Tina Chowdhury (QMUL Engineering) will talk about her work using immersive tech to visualise foetuses in the womb – a practice that both treats foetal illness, and inspires women to experience agency around preventative health measures during their pregnancies.

On Promoting Wellbeing Through Music: A Conversation – This conversation delves into the incredible power of music to support wellbeing in social and educational settings. Hattie Rayfield of the London Chamber Orchestra introduces the LCO’s Music Junction programme, which works with children and young people from a wide range of backgrounds to provide them with opportunities to develop artistic and social skills through shared music making. Kerstin-Gertrud Kärblane joins the panel to discuss her work with Music Junction as a mental health practitioner through Queen Mary’s MSc in Creative Arts and Mental Health. Professor Paul Heritage of Queen Mary’s People’s Palace Projects will speak on his collaborations with María Claudia Parias Durán, Director of the Fundación Nacional Batuta in Colombia, who make music with 40,000 young people each year – many of them displaced by the civil war. Director of Music Paul Edlin (QMUL), who has created an online space for student musicians at Queen Mary to share their experiences and music throughout lockdown, chairs the panel.

On the Arts and Creative Sector after Covid: An East End Town Hall Conversation on Diversity – This closed workshop invites local arts, creative, community and heritage organisations to join with Arts Council England and other funding and advocacy organisations at an East End Town Hall.  

New team member – Stephanie Lopez

My name is Stephanie Lopez, an intern who will be working in the English and Drama department for the next three months. In my previous rotation, I worked with the law department, as well as well as dozen of teams such as the undergraduate team, the advice centre, the marketing team, and many more where I helped with their posters, spreadsheets and other tasks.

As for my career goal, I wish to work in an art department of a company where I can finally utilise my drawing skills.

I normally focus on creating fiction stories with elements of fantasy, and science-fiction with a bit of romance elements as a sub-genre, but I am open to other type of genres as well.

My most common themes in my stories are tragedies, defying destiny/fate, mythologies, mysteries, hardships and making the hardest choices.

Such as my new idea (As in, I just recently came up with it), which involving a Filipino/American policewoman named Joanna joining the DAS (Deacsas Assault squad), a special task force that is assign to take down Deacsas (Dee-ca-sas), who are strange quantum made, and invisible monsters who have pushed the surviving humanity into a big enough island called Tecumboia (Tea-come-boia) Haven since year 2272.

All DAS members were injected with the Deacsas serum that would allow them to see the Deacsas and create weapons made of quantum materials, but only a small population of humanity could handle the injection so they must go a DNA analysis to get the serum and join DAS. But Joanna has a unique ability of copying certain Deacsas’ DNAs into weapons, unlike everyone else who are stuck with only one type of weapons.

So, as you see, I am capable of making stories. However, I also done drawings of mostly characters, but I have been recently practicing backgrounds right now, with two examples: (The Mountain one is the most recent one):

Waterfall with bubbles and colourful fireflies in a cave
A mountain surrounded by trees and a starry night