English and Drama Newsletter – February 2021 Edition

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Quick updates from us:

RESEARCH SEMINARS:
4 Feb English Postgraduate Research Seminar: Nadia Atia

Representing Iraq from Afar: Muhsin al-Ramli’s Scattered Crumbs


18 Feb QUORUM Drama: Lola Olufemi  (Writer of Feminist Interrupted – picture from seminar flyer above left)
Imaginative-Revoluntionary Potential: how, what, where

VOTE ONLINE TO SUPPORT ALUMNA THEATRE SHOW: Fraciska Éry has been nominated for an award for her Hamlet production. Vote to help her win.

WHAT WE’RE READING: We’re publishing an LGBT+ History Month special of our new column What We’re Reading. Be sure to contribute by recommending a book.

THE POWER OF POETRY: Read poetry by our students as we are inspired to celebrate the medium after hearing Amanda Gorman’s powerful work.

STAY CONNECTED: Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / Youtube

Online Events

OFFER HOLDER INTERVIEW DAY
Sat 13 Feb, Online
We have our next opportunity in January for our 2021 entry offer holders to hear an overview of their course, meet a member of staff for an interview and do a taster session.
Email us for information

TASTERS FOR YEAR 12/13 STUDENTS & TEACHERS

We’ve just launched 2 new tasters on Sat 13 Feb:

Drama Year 12/13 Taster: Theatre & The Supernatural

English Yr 12/13 Taster: Contemporary Middle Eastern Writing

LISTINGS

Public Space and the Geography of Loneliness
4 Feb, Online Our very own Matthew Ingleby will speak on Public Space and the Geography of Loneliness is the first event in our series of The English Association’s special interest group on Loneliness and Technology.


PEACH Creative Workshop
9 Feb, Online

“In honour of #lgbtqhistorymonth, we have decided to theme our first creative workshop of 2021  on love! The prompts for this workshop will be shaped around the works of queer writers and artists, using their pieces as inspiration for creative creation”.

Diaspora Speaks – February Events
From 10 Feb, Online

Check out the Instagram for all the details

POETRY OPEN MIC NIGHT
10 Feb, Online

A night organised by our very own student Jasmine Rothon that is open to everyone – beginners and pros! Reading and performing original work and covers of poems we love. Do a reading or just watch.

Sign up here

Book Launch: The Network Turn: Changing Perspectives in the Humanities
on 11 Feb at 4pm GMT

Celebrate the launch of Ruth Ahnert’s co-authored book with a conversation hosted by Jo Guldi and Zoe le Blanc on Zoom.

You can register here

Chang and Eng and Me (And Me)
16 Feb, online
A short performance by PhD student Tobi Poster-Su for puppets in 3 acts followed by a post-show discussion.More information and tickets

Pathologies of Solitude Seminar Series
From 16 Feb, Online

The series continues online this term, with an exciting line up of speakers from literary scholars and historians to neuroscientists. The seminars take place on Tuesdays at 5pm (UK time). All are welcome but booking is required. You can see the full line-up of speakers here and register for attendance here.

Wasafiri Writing workshops

Wasafiri Writing Workshops
Various Dates from February-April 2021

Find out more here

News & Links

Alumni Profiles:

  • Lucy Dear (Drama BA, 2006), Applied Theatre Practitioner, Director and Community Producer.
  • Evie Lewis (English Literature MA), PhD Researcher.
  • Annabelle Sami (English Literature MA), Children’s Author.

Bechdel Theatre co-run by Drama graduate Pippa Sa has received Arts Council funding to help develop the pioneering platform from a 2-person passion-project into a sustainable, equitable company, supporting, amplifying & connecting women, trans & non-binary people who work in & care about theatre & live performance.

Desi Delicacies

Rosie Dastgir (English) has a short story in an anthology of fiction and non fiction and recipes called Desi Delicacies: Food Writing from Muslim South Asia – about south Asian Muslim foodways – edited by Professor Claire Chambers at York University and just published by Picador India.  Her story is called A Brief History of the Carrot – !

Figs in Wigs

Figs in Wigs (Drama alumni) publish a new printed version of their Little Wimmin through Salamander Street.

Buy it here

Postmil

Rachel Gregory Fox (English)’s co-edited book Post-Millennial Palestine – Literature, Memory, Resistance has been published by Oxford University Press.

Quest Radio and The Museum of London project saw two groups of QM students listening back to recordings of London in the past.

Very exciting news is that the group that explored recordings from London’s LGBTQ+ Club Scene is going to be included in Museum of London’s online content for LGBT History Month!

Students in the LGBT research group include Eve Bolton, Kirsten Johnson, Georgia Wood and Keir McEwan.

Afternoon Deelight

Martin O’Brien (Drama) is interviewed for Afternoon Deelight podcast  by Jordy Deelight. He says ‘it was brilliant to talk about Cystic Fibrosis and my work with someone else with it. We dig into early performance work in Poland, illness, Bob and Sheree, and survival.’

Listen here

Sunday Skool

Martin has just launched a project with Shabnam Shabazi and Joseph Morgan Schofield. It’s The Sunday Skool for Misfits, Experimenters, and Dissenters. It will be a free 12 week course, every Sunday for artists in the early part of their practice: The Sunday Skool – VSSL studio (vssl-studio.org)

Susheila Nasta (English/Wasafiri Magazine) will be one fo the judges for the David Cohen Prize for a full life’s work only awarded every two years. Fellow judges include: Hermione Lee (Chair), Reeta Chakrabarti (BBC), Peter Kemp (The Times lead fiction critic) and Maura Dooley (poet, Prof at Goldsmith’s, previous Director of Southbank Literature). Previous winners of this illustrious include: Edna O’Brien, Tom Stoppard, Harold Pinter, Hilary Mantel, David Holroyd, Julian Barnes, Tony Harrison, Seamus Heaney, VS Naipaul. Read more here

Matthew Rubery (English) writes about how maintaining a critical distance with books might not be around for long on Public Books:

“Scholars have been conditioned to respond to talk of likes and dislikes with embarrassment, if not outright contempt. But the facade of critical detachment may be on the way out,”

Read the article here

People’s Palace Projects (Based at QMUL) has been featured in a UKRI Impact Case Study here.

Vote to Help Alumna Franciska Éry’s Nominated Production of Hamlet Get Recognised in the 2020 Highlights of Hungary

Vote to Help Franciska get recognised. Voting starts on 4 Feb 2021 (today) and will be open for two weeks. Here is the link: https://www.highlightsofhungary.hu. The show is listed in the last category as ‘Nagyerdei Stadion – Hamlet

We caught up with Franciska and here’s what she said…

About her nomination

“I am writing to you because I directed a socially distanced Hamlet last summer and it has been named as one of the top 55 creative achievements in 2020 by Highlights of Hungary. I am incredibly happy as this was my first time directing in my home country in my mother tongue, and it was especially difficult to create a show in the middle of the pandemic that was safe for audiences and creatives/cast alike. 

The nomination itself is a huge honour, but this week Highlights of Hungary will open their voting system to the public, and it would mean a lot to me if my QMUL community could help me get Hamlet to the finish line.

About Hamlet:

“Hamlet is a 80-minute long reduced version of Shakespeare’s classic. We also added our own texts and even a Hungarian poem – it is very much the company’s version. In the first half of the performance the audience is sitting outside the Stadium of Debrecen, while the performers are inside the building behind glass. The audience listens to the actors’ mics through headphones, safely distanced from each other. In the second half of the show the actors leave the building and the show turns into a promenade performance outside the stadium, ending with the fencing scene in the stadium’s concourse. It is a piece about responsibility, death, grief and feeling stuck, which resonated with a lot of our audiences. Here is a trailer to give you a taste of the show:

We received great reviews, sadly all in Hungarian:) http://csokonaiszinhaz.hu/muvek/hamlet/

About Highlights of Hungary:

“Every year Highlights of Hungary nominates 55 creative achievements in the country without categories. This year the line-up includes the National Ambulance Service, Lili Horváth’s award-winning movie which will probably be Oscar nominated, and many other achievements in sports, community service, environmentalism, innovation and architecture, to name a few. The aim is to celebrate achievements without labels and competition, to raise awareness and connect people across sectors. This is the Csokonai National Theatre’s first time being nominated.

I will be shouting from the rooftops on Twitter at @Franciska_E if anyone wants to come and support. Our hashtags are #vitrinhamlet #hamletinheadphones. As an English and Drama graduate, QM has been a huge influence on the way I work and the way I see performance. If there is interest I am happy to talk more about this and the challenges of making socially distant work if that is of any interest for current students.

Thank you so much for supporting us. Let’s celebrate something that happened in this very bleak 2020.

Best,

Franciska

www.franciskaery.com

Careers Sessions for SED Students in Semester 2 – 2021

There’s some unmissable events coming up for you to get valuable insight and develop your confidence in these uncertain times.

  • Media & Creative Industries Summit

Thursday 28 January, 5.30 – 7pm

An online panel session of speakers in publishing, media and journalism, with the aim of helping students broaden their connections and knowledge within this field. Speakers – all alumni of SED – work at organisations including the BBC, Orion, Al Jazeera, and Sky.

Students can sign up for this event here: https://qmul.targetconnect.net/leap/event.html?id=7697&service=Careers+Service

  • Making the most of Semester B and finding opportunity in a challenging job market

Friday 29 January, 12-1pm

This is a talk exclusively for Humanities and Social Science students, particularly those not sure how to start or progress their career thinking and planning during Covid. This session will focus on the opportunities and events available right now to explore career options, make plans, and gain experience.

Students can sign up for this event here: https://qmul.targetconnect.net/leap/event.html?id=8073&service=Careers+Service

  • SED-exclusive workshop series in February

Tailored specifically to the SED cohort, this short series of three workshops aims to help students understand the skills they are gaining from their English and Drama degrees; make decisions about avenues they would like to explore and pursue; get an introduction to working for themselves (which may be of particular interest to those interested in a writing or arts career); and engage with ways of presenting themselves to prospective employers, connections, and clients.

They can find more information and sign up here:

Wednesday 3 February: SED Careers: Making choices: https://qmul.targetconnect.net/leap/event.html?id=7837&service=Careers+Service

Wednesday 10 February: SED Careers: Working for yourself: https://qmul.targetconnect.net/leap/event.html?id=7839&service=Careers+Service

Wednesday 17 February: SED Careers: Presenting yourself: https://qmul.targetconnect.net/leap/event.html?id=7841&service=Careers+Service

  • Humanities careers events in March

Starting off with online speed networking with QM Humanities alumni, this series of events aims to demonstrate to Humanities students the broad range of options available to them, and arm them with the knowledge and skills to allow them to follow their chosen path.

Further details are in PDF which you can download via the button below…

Don’t forget you can book careers appointments

Students can book appointments with Careers by calling 02078828533, and find resources, events and information on our website: https://www.qmul.ac.uk/careers.

Interview: Tilly Bungard on her magazine FEAR NAUT made by women on boats

We are excited to catch up with Tilly Bungard about her magazine project Fear Naught, her work in diversity & inclusion and her time at Queen Mary studying Drama.

What are your best memories of your time at QMUL?

Like most Drama alumni, my fondest memories take place in the Pinter Studio, where most of our performances happened.

These vary hugely from the absolute terror (and then elation) of exam pieces to the hilarity of watching my housemates perform ridiculous sketches at the student run variety evening “Slappin’ da Bass”. It’s mad to think of what’s taken place over the years in that studio for so many students. There was a tradition for doing a slightly tipsy last run-through of QMTC plays the night before public performances opened to attempt to shed any nervousness of messing it all up on the night (to varying degrees of success).

   My absolute favourite night of the whole three years was during the “Performance Composition” module (if you’re a current Drama student, this is one you absolutely must sign up for). Run at the time by the wonderful Stacey Makishi, whose practice combines radical mutual openness with the bizarre and surreal.

During this module students performed 5-10 minutes solo shows every week to the public, providing a constant state of terror and adrenaline for everyone enrolled on it. On the last week, after the graded performances had been completed, we each performed “in the style of” one of our class mates, treading the fine line between caring for and honouring our peers’ creativity whilst performing some of the most bizarre pieces I’ve ever seen, to hilarious effect.

Tell us about Fear Naut. How did it come about and how can people get involved?

Fear Naut is a magazine conceived and created from start to finish by women who live on boats.

One year after graduating from QMUL I moved onto a narrow boat on in London, something many students will have considered living and studying right next to the Regents! It wasn’t exactly new to me, I was born on a barge in Bristol and have always worked on boats, but I loved it immediately. What I loved most were the people I met. The boating community is so supportive, caring and full of huge personalities. I found quickly that so many of us were creative in some way, but living on a boat is like a part time job, and so many of my friends rarely had the time to give their creativity the attention it deserved.

We stand for the empowerment of women and non-binary folk, strong community, DIY, and the freedom to live as you please. Boat women are creative, brave and independent. We have a wealth of creativity and experience with a unique and special view of the world and we want to share that with you. This is a magazine for people living on the water, for those interested in alternative ways of living – from creatives and dreamers, to activists and environmentalists and many more.”

   Boat Women had such a unique view of the world, and the creativity to translate that to something that a much wider audience would find interesting and inspiring.

   Once I’d had the idea the rest happened so organically, I posted on the London Boat Women Facebook group (best FB group in the world!) and 15 women came to the initial meeting wanting to be involved. This was slightly terrifying, but the numbers quickly shrunk to three, Asha, Estelle (who luckily owns a Risograph printing studio in Hackney Wick!), and me.

   We’ve just published Issue 2 and already can see how much the magazine will grow and develop with each Issue. We’re both learning as we go along. Issue three is on “Growth” and will come out in early summer. If you’re a boating lady or non-binary person you can email us your ideas for contributions at fearnautmag@gmail.com.

Who or what are your inspirations?

   My friends and community inspire me more than anything, those people who have an idea and make it happen. It’s those people that have turned me from someone who would read a book and think “How does anyone have the time and tenacity to put so much work into something?” to someone who thinks that if you want to do something, you can, and that’s the only way it will happen.

You work as a Diversity and Inclusion Facilitator. How can arts and culture be genuinely more inclusive?

   It has to start from the top down. I don’t think an organisation run by straight white men can ever be truly inclusive, we need people in power within the arts who are black, trans, non-binary and neurodivergent to be making the big decisions, and only then will we get to the place we need to be. 

What advice would you give to Drama students about making their own projects and life after QM?

   You’ll all go through that period of time when you’re applying for every job on ArtsJobs that comes through (and definitely do this!) but you don’t have to wait for someone to employ you to do something worthwhile. Whether it’s a community project, creative project, or skill you’d like to learn more about, do it! Say yes to as many things as you can, you never know where they’ll lead.

English and Drama Newsletter – January 2021 Edition

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Join 5,681 other subscribers.

Happy New Year 2021


We wish you a safe and supported 2021. We’re here to help if you need us this year and would love to hear from you.

Quick updates from us:

UCAS DEADLINE EXTENSION: Undergraduate applicants for September 2021 entry now have until 29 January to apply. Watch our IG Live or ask a question.

7 DAY GRACE PERIOD: The School has agreed a 7-day grace period for all SED assignments due in January 2021. Details here

HOW TO CONTACT US:  Our physical office is currently closed but we are available to contact via these methods including live chat.

WASAFIRI MAGAZINE: Psst. exciting events are coming very soon so please do sign up to their newsletter via the link in the top right corner of the website.

STAY CONNECTED: Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / Youtube

Pictured: Wonderer Literary Journal, Romeo & Juliet featuring student Emily Redpath, Decolonising Sloane’s herbarium and our latest Instagram Live.

Online Events

OFFER HOLDER INTERVIEW DAY
Wednesday 20 January 2021

We have our next opportunity in January for our 2021 entry offer holders to hear an overview of their course, meet a member of staff for an interview and do a taster session.

Email us for information


POSTGRADUATE OPEN EVENTS

We have two online open events planned for the following courses:

MA English Literature – 3 Feb – 5-6pm UK Time
MSc Creative Arts and Mental Health – 3 Feb – 6.30-8pm UK Time

Sign up here to get invited

LISTINGS

Welcome to The Last Breath Society: Mortality, Care, and Solidarity in Zombie Time
Thursday 14 January 2021 6.30pm-8.15pm on Zoom

Our very own Martin O’Brien will talk about his practice and research in relation to ideas of care, community, and solidarity in times of illness. He will discuss his notion of Zombie Time, or the temporal experience of living on longer than expected, as a way of understanding mortality and chronic illness.

Get tickets

Power to the People – a digital festival by Phakama
Sunday 17 January 2021

Join Project Phakama (arts organisation based at QMUL) on Sunday 17th January 2021 for Project Phakama’s very first Digital Festival! To kick off Phakama’s 25th birthday celebrations they’ll be hosting a day’s festival called Power to the people, exploring the theme of ‘resistance‘.

Over the course of a day participants will come together to explore the things we are resisting. You’ll be able to choose from a range of workshops exploring movement, art therapy, creative writing and photography, sharing your ideas and building a small piece of performance to showcase to the group.Come along to revel in Phakama’s brilliant philosophy and people, feel inspired and explore something new.

Book a free ticket here

News & Links

Sloane Herbarium in the Natural History Museum, London
Portrait of Sir Hans Sloane in the Museum’s Historical Collections Room which holds Sloane’s herbarium (along the wall) and his Vegetable Substances (in the drawers). The latter are mostly botanical objects, numbered and sealed in decorative glass boxes. Sloane carefully catalogued where they came from, who had sent them to him and what they were used for.

AHRC LAHP Collaborative Doctoral Award: ‘Decolonising the Sloane Herbarium’

Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and the Natural History Museum (NHM) are pleased to announce the availability of a fully funded doctoral grant from October 2021.

This studentship is funded for 3.5 years full time (or part-time equivalent). The project will investigate provenance information for the botanical specimens in the Sloane Herbarium, a foundation collection of NHM, to re-imagine our understanding of its global and imperial dimensions.

Julie Rose Bower (Drama) has been commissioned by Victoria & Albert Museum to make ASMR videos. These will be released throughout this first quarter of 2021 and she hopes they will provide some stress relief deep in the cloister of the archive.

The last films were featured in Elephant magazine and described Julie Rose as one of the artists you need to know ‘carving out space to reflect on the world today’: https://elephant.art/these-are-the-artists-you-need-to-know-05042020/

Submissions are open

Feather Pen Submissions Open

Feather Pen Blog is a creative writing platform managed by SED student Aysel Dilara Kasap that welcomes any type of writing and writers from all backgrounds. Our mission is to offer a creative space for all writers and aspiring writers to unleash their creativity. We want to help fellow writers to share their work, in this age in which rejections are more common than acceptance.

We’re open for submissions for all of our categories which include fiction (short stories and scripts), poetry and lifestyle (includes most kinds of non-fiction from articles, book reviews, film reviews, personal blog entries to travel accounts to anything you want to share). We especially encourage submissions for the fiction section. We’re also open to discuss any column ideas. Send your submissions or pitches to featherpen-blog@hotmail.com.

Vanessa Damilola Macaulay (Drama) Photography and memory, ritual and writing come together in Vanessa Damilola Macaulay’s inquiry into racialised experiences of breath and breathlessness, from violent anti-blackness to Fanon’s revolution.

Read it here

Elliot Morsia (English Alumnus) has published a ground-breaking new study of D. H. Lawrence with Bloomsbury Academic  Exploring draft manuscripts, alternative texts and publishers’ typescripts, The Many Drafts of D. H. Lawrence reveals new insights into the writings and writing practices of one of the most important writers of the 20th century. Focusing on the most productive years of Lawrence’s writing life, between 1909 and 1926 – a time that saw the writing of major novels such as Women in Love and the controversial The Plumed Serpent, as well as his first major short story collection – this book is the first to apply analytical methods from the field of genetic criticism to the archives of this canonical modernist author.

The book unearths and re-evaluates a variety of themes including the body, selfhood, the sublime, trauma, death, depression, and endings, and includes original transcriptions as well as reproductions from the manuscripts themselves. By charting Lawrence’s writing processes, the book also highlights how the very distinction between ‘process’ and ‘product’ became a central theme in his work. 

Read more and order here
Follow Elliott on Twitter: @EMorsia

Nineteenth

Nineteenth-Century Religion, Literature and Society: Disbelief and New Beliefs, edited by Clare Stainthorp (a new Leverhulme ECF in the School of English and Drama) and Naomi Hetherington was published in December as part of a four-volume Routledge resource. The volume explores the transformation of the religious landscape of Britain and its imperial territories during the 1800s as shaped by Bible criticism, science, esotericism, comparative religion, and freethought. It introduces and makes accessible diverse primary sources, from novels and poetry to sermons and pamphlets.

Emily Redpath (Drama alumna) is starring in a socially distanced and cleverly filmed version Romeo & Juliet and highlighted by the Guardian’s Chris Wiegand.⁠

Read the article in the Guardian

Tudor Networks of Power Led by Ruth Ahnert (English).

Tudor Networks works in a similar way to platforms such as Google Maps. It offers to possibility for users to view almost 100 years of history from a macro perspective. Just like Google Maps might reveal streets that had never been mapped before, this platform reveals hidden histories and network connections that were previously unknown.

Read more

Martin Welton (Drama) writes the intro and edits the publication of the first of a two-part special issue of Ambianceson Staging Atmospheres co-edited with Chloé Déchery.

Read here

Wonderer

WONDERER (SED Student Run Literary Journal) has launched it’s first issue and includes incredible examples of our students’ workincluding work on consciousness and race, South African fiction, gender displacement and much more fascinating lockdown reading.

Read it online here

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Support for SED students: General, In-Crisis and Well-being

a) General QMUL Support

  1. Your Advisor: first point of contact for help with your university life. Book an appointment by email or via the scheduler on QMPlus (during the semester). If you don’t know who your advisor is find out here.
  2. SED Student Support & Admin Team: If you have a general question please email us, live chat with us or reach out in the following ways.
  3. Directors of Student Support: If you need an extra person to help outside of your advisor contact Bridget Escolme (Drama) and Alfred Hiatt(English).
  4. More Sources:

b) In-Crisis & Emergency Support

  1. Emergency numbers: 999 for life or death emergencies and 111 on your phone for urgent health advice. 020 7882 3333 if you need campus emergency team.
  2. Helplines: Samaritans (crisis phone/chat support), Student Minds (tailored mental health support for students) and search for your local council’s mental health support provision. Tower Hamlets for example has a 24 hours crisis line.
  3. Mental Health First Aiders: A full list is available here or call Rupert Dannreuther to talk directly or he can put you in touch with others.
  4. Talk it out: Reach out to friends, siblings, loved ones and your course mates.

c) Well Being Tips

  1. Sleep: Read the NHS How to get good sleep guide and the Sleep Council‘s resources.
  2. Connection: Be the one who reaches out and use real talk to discuss real things going on not just. You’d be surprised how many people respond well to this. There’s still time to join societies, contact old friends and meet new ones.
  3. Exercise: Use the Couch to 5k or other similar apps to get into a routine of exercise that can improve your mood. Move around when studying to different places at home and at university if you need study space.
  4. More Wellbeing Resouces:
    • Advice and Counselling: There’s an amazing section on the Emotional Wellbeing here.
    • Local NHS services including your GP can do social prescribing including arts, mindfulness and many other well-being activities.
    • Togetherall is the student mental health platform QMUL subscribes to. Use it to do a course or connect anonymously.

If you have any tips we should add please leave a comment below…

English and Drama Newsletter – December 2020 Edition

Happy Holidays and Good Riddance to 2020

A few quick-fire updates from us:

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES – 3 DECEMBER: We are delighted to hear thatAccessibility Consultant, Journalist and Speaker, Emily Rose Yates (English BA, 2013), was recently listed among the Shaw Trust’s Power 100, an annual publication containing the 100 most influential disabled people in the UK. 

COLLEGE CLOSURE DAYS: Queen Mary is closed from 18 December 2020-4 January 2021. If you need support please get in touch before this starts.

SEMESTER 2 DATES: 25 January -16 April 2021 / Bank holidays: 2 and 5 April 2021.

STAY CONNECTED
: Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / Youtube

LEVERHULME & PhD DEADLINES: 2021 Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship scheme and PhD Studentships information on our website.

Online Events

STUDENT-RUN OPEN EVENING FOR 2021 APPLICANTS

campus

Friday 11 December 2020, 3.30 – 6.30pm (GMT)

You will also get the chance to take part in live subject panel sessions with current students, which will include a Q&A where you can ask questions about your subject of interest. The event will close with our semi-live digital tour, where you will be able to explore our Mile End campus and take part in a text Q&A session to find out more about living and studying at Queen Mary.

Book online


TASTER EVENT FOR YEAR 12/13 STUDENTS

Creative Writing Taster

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

RESEARCH SEMINAR

ENGLISH – POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH SEMINAR ‘Hear the sledges with the bells- Silver bells! What a world of merriment their melody foretells!’- Santa Poe Join the PGRS team on 10/12 for their PhD panel & ap-POE-priately festive Christmas Quiz! Sign up in teams of up to 4 now and watch here for more soon https://forms.gle/AtYYg3LJByYr1N


LISTINGS


‘Sh!t Actually’ is Backtually3-5 Dec – Rose Theatre and 12-23 at Home Manchester
QMUL Drama graduates Sh*t Theatre present their provocative and hilarious festive rework of Love Actually to prove ‘Love Actually is All Around’.

‘Best Alternative Christmas shows’ (Evening Standard).
‘No other alternative Christmas shows’ (Global Apocalypse)

Lived Religion and the Visual Arts: A Virtual Study Day4 Dec, Online, 2-4.30pm on ZoomA study day jointly hosted by the Centre for Religion and Literature in English (QMCRLE) and LERMA at Aix-Marseille Universitié.

Last Gasp WFH – Encore
6 Dec, Online – La Mama Experimental Theatre Club

Split Britches

Photo by Jingyu Lin for The New York Times

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.

Book here

“not just one of the 40-year-old company’s best pieces, but among the most evocative art to emerge from the Covid era” –
Elisabeth Vincentelli, The New York Times

Rethinking Darkness Book Launch
10 Dec, Online, 3-5pm BST – Free
Our very own Martin Welton presents his work on Theatrical uses of darkness as part of this book launch.

WHAT MATTERS TO ME
10 Dec, Online, 5pm BST – Free Centring care and wellbeing in building online spaces.Prof. Pat Healy and Zoe Gumbs

Daniel Oliver

Daniel Oliver: Weird Séance
16 Dec, 7 & 9pm Cambridge Junction

A special IRL socially distanced performance of Weird Séance by our very own Daniel Oliver.

QMUL Seminar Series 2020-2021: Crowds, Affects, Cities
Dr Ben Gook (History, University of Melbourne):
Collectivity and Affect in Crisis Times: Dancing in Berlin, 1989-2020

16 Dec, Online, 8pm BST – Free

Join via Zoom: Meeting ID: 813 2218 1471 / Passcode: 203341

“The Fall of the Berlin Wall launched a wave of ecstatic raving and clubbing across Berlin. That wave’s force has carried the city’s clubbing scene right through to today—although it has met an unforeseen break in this year of Covid restrictions. For thirty years, the thump of bass has never gone so silent. In this paper, I’ll put my previous work on ecstasy and melancholy in Berlin around 1989 in dialogue with recent developments, as clubbers, DJs and producers contend with a moment in which collectives and crowds have become sites of anxiety. I’ll consider the attempts to replicate the clubbing experience online, as well as the irrepressible raving energies that have seen illegal parties take place against stringent public health measures.”

News & Links
Alumni Profiles this month: Emily Rose Yates
(English BA, 2013), Accessibility Consultant, Journalist & Speaker. Nathan Benitez (English BA), founder of afoodible.Creative Skills Academy: Rupert Dannreuther has run 3 online creative skills workshops and 2 in-person drop-ins for students, staff and friends. These will continue in semester 2 on Wednesday afternoons. Thanks to all who have attended so far.


Decolonise QMUL hosted an event for Black and Muslim students which featured Mohamed Mohamed from Black and Muslim in Britain (must-watch Youtube series), QMUL graduate Sawda On a Screen and poet Rakaya Esime Fetuga.

Diaspora Speaks

Diaspora Speaks has launched it’s first print issue showcasing work by students of colour. Co-founder Sawdah Bhaimiya (English BA) is interviewed here.

Pick it up from the Student Union Reception
Read the issue online

Hari Marini (Admin/Drama)’s performance company PartSuspended is in this #WIP online exhibition, curated by Queer Arts Projects which is on between 15 Oct 2020-15 Jan 2021.

See the exhibition

Michael McKinnie teaching drama in the Great Hall

Michael McKinnie (Drama) gave a helpful session for first year drama students in the grand surroundings of the Great Hall in the People’s Palace.

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.

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.

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.

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  

Please note the SED physical reception is currently closed

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…