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 Friday 17 September 2021
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, by no later than midday on Friday 17 September 2021. Please state ‘British Academy PDRF’ in the subject line.
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 your project 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 member of staff in QMUL’s School of English and Drama who will be your nominated mentor, provisionally agree their support, and get some feedback from them on a draft application. Please note this in statement (1).
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 by 14 October 2021.
Are you interested in learning a language outside of your programme of study next year? Following a successful first round of School Scholarships in 2020-21, we are delighted to announce further round of scholarships for 2021-22.
Under the School of English and Drama’s Language Learning Scholarship Scheme, scholarships are available for returning undergraduates (second year and above in 2021–22) to take a non-credit bearing language module alongside their main degree studies.
Learning a new language or improving a language you already know is a great way of broadening your horizons and at the same time enhancing your employability. The following languages are available as non-credit bearing modules:
Registration for 2021/22 credit-bearing language modules has been completed. You will be able to make changes and/or requests for credit-bearing language module registration directly with the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film in September (if your programme requirements allow you to do this).
To be eligible for a scholarship you must submit your application form by the early bird deadline (Monday 6th September 2021).
This two-day online event explored productive, radical, contemporary encounters between the arts and mental health, bringing together clinical, artistic, and research perspectives that offered a re-interpretation of contemporary mental health science and practice, with a view of imagining a different future. This event was joined by more than 100 people including survivors, service users, mental health professionals, artists and researchers interested in how the arts can contribute to mental health.
The conference was opened by photographic artist Daniel Regan, who shared his discovery of the power of the arts in his own mental health journey. Daniel discussed the shame and stigma of living in crisis and how transforming his relationship to his lived experience turned it into his greatest asset. Consultant psychiatrist Dr Tom Cant introduced Peer Supported Open Dialogue and the ODDESSI* trial, a multicentre randomised control trial funded by the National Institute for Health Research. Developed in Finland in 1986, Open Dialogue is a social network model of mental healthcare where the person of concern is genuinely offered the power to define their recovery.
[*ODDESSI stands for Open Dialogue: Development and Evaluation of a Social Network Intervention for Severe Mental Illness]
On the second day, the artist keynote was given by playwright and theatre directorJulie McNamara, an outspoken survivor of the mental health system, who works with people from locked-in spaces, foregrounding the stories of disavowed voices from the margins of our communities. People who have lived in long-care hospitals are not ordinarily perceived as artists and storytellers with meaningful contributions to make in our cultural industries. Julie talked about her creative process, staging the voices of women who transgress, women who fail to perform femininity as constructed in this ableist, patriarchal society. Lived expert consultant Amanda Griffith introduced the Power Threat Meaning Framework (PTMF), a radical approach to understanding emotional distress and wellbeing that is attracting interest both nationally and internationally. Aimed at a wide range of stakeholders, the framework highlights the links between personal, family and community distress and wider issues arising from social inequalities and injustices. This gives particular attention to the experiences of people and groups who have been exposed to abuses of power on the basis of their race, ethnicity, gender, class, religion, nationality, age, sexuality, disability, or their status as a mental health service user, and the way these identities and associated experiences of power intersect.
Conference delegates participated in a Creative Enquiry all group activity, led by Dr Louise Younie, pioneer of the creative enquiry approach for flourishing in medical education. Moreover, selected participants were invited to present their artworks of poetry, painting and music: a delightful moment, inviting both aesthetic pleasure and reflection.
During discussions and reflections raised by this momentous event, the audience was enraptured and applauded the presented projects and innovative practices. Also, organizers and the public felt stimulated to discover new alternative approaches to mental health for future times, taking into account above all creativity, open dialogue, and direct participation from users of the health system.
It was clear that the bio-scientific, logical-rational, reductionist, and mechanistic model of mental health needs updating. An empathetic look, which gives rise to interpretive and communication abilities, is necessary to approach the idiosyncratic narratives brought by survivors and service users. In addition, the well-established hierarchy relationships within the mental health medical environment, which highlight authority and power, oppress and make stagnant the creativity and humanization that should permeate all human relationships. All this misinterpretation over mental health care leads to overly rigid and standardized models of approach, lacking human connection.
Hence, health professionals need to be open to access subjectivity and make deeper connections, giving voice and opportunity for self-expression. Ultimately, the arts seem to be a catalyst tool to materialize the inner turmoil of mental disorders, providing opportunities for representation and meaning-making, as well as being a fantastic means to well-being.
We caught up with Drama graduate and now staff member Estelle about why she thinks Queen Mary is different and an exciting place to study Drama.
Active Research university – your tutors and academics are not only delivering the highest quality teaching but are also delving deep into their own research. They find endless hours in the day to explore the topics in their specialisms, which range from verbatim theatre to foley sound work, to changing the policy of the arts in education, to award winning performance art creation and so much more.
Being the only connected campus university in London a big thing for me coming to university four years ago was wanting the full experience, having my accommodation in halls and seeing all my mates go to their rooms just a stone’s throw away. It’s great to be able to have that on the Mile End campus with very exciting and eclectic architecture and views by the canal and lots of grass all around it, and at the same time be able to look down the stretch of the Mile End road and see the big city buildings is an amazing combination.
For me, as someone who spent a lot of their university life in central London when not in class, whether that was working, seeing shows or taking full advantage of the nightlife, having an entire city on your doorstep is a huge bonus to the university experience.
Opening your mind – the things I learnt during my BA drama undergrad and things I’m now thinking about in any role based around being a practitioner drama are skills and concepts that I hadn’t even thought about before my time here, but are now integral to my thinking and creating.
The social and political basis of all artwork and the eye in which you look at that is so skillfully trained during your time here that you look at so much artistic content so differently. You bring these elements such as accessibility, agency, diversity, and relevance into play in everything you do after that, making you so much more of a well rounded and progressive creator.
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)
Shonni Enelow, Julia 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.
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
Conducting conversation / Connecting Creatively / Creating Courageously / Courageously Carrying On / and Cabaret! / Come on and join us!
Peopling the Palace is a yearly festival of performance, workshops and events that showcases the work of Queen Mary academics, artists, current students and alumni.
This year’s theme is care and features over 25 events from outrageous cabaret nights to a day exploring the rituals of care. In times of global unrest and pandemic, Peopling the Palace Festival, creates a space to explore how important caring about each other is. The festival tackles important contemporary issues of racial inequality, mental health, care provision, neurodivergence, art in a crisis, climate justice and aging.
All events are free to attend and open to all. Advanced booking required for all events.
I am Leah (13 June) A vital new play inspired by the stories of survivors of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
Dadders (19 June): Escape to the Meadowdrome with acclaimed artists Daniel Oliver and Frauke Requardt (The Place, Latitude Festival) to delve into their experiences of neurodivergent parent.
Last Gasp WFH (19 June):Playing with the fragility of technology, particularly the unpredictability of Zoom, the team found new avenues to the classic Split Britches (Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw) aesthetic of broken down theatrical conventions, exposing the self on stage.
The Tempest in English and Spanish (17 June):This interactive experience explores how the arts can break the stigma around autism.
The Possibility of Colour (12 June):Dystopian play about a new miracle cure and explores themes around mental health voice hearing, synaesthesia, neuro-diversity, Artificial Intelligence, privatised health and the illusion of choice.
Cabaret & Showcases
Alumni and Current Student Performance Showcase Nights (10,15 & 17 June): Be shocked, surprised and inspired when you support new artists and performers as they show their latest works.
Her-Pees (9 June) a comfortable, inclusive, and questioning performance night ahead of their Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club Debut.
Friday Night In (Film Night) (11 June): A small screen celebration of work from QMUL students, alumni, staff and other exciting filmmakers.
Cossy Fanny Tooty Cabaret (16 June): A cheeky performance cabaret curated by Vivian Harris.
Workshops, Conferences & Conversations
A Queer Climate Justice Workshop (16 June)by Queen Mary Theatre Company in the lead up to a new show, The Cabaret at the End of the World.
Free Creative Skills Workshops (14-15 June) to help QMUL students and the community get into the creative industries with Creative Skills Academy.
Workshop on Writing Race (16 June) for sixth-form students with acclaimed artist Vanessa MacAulay.
Enlightening Conversations and Conferences: ‘Women, Theatre, Criminal Justice’ with Clean Break, ‘Making During States of Emergency’, ‘Cults, Conspiracy and Pseudoscience’, ‘Mental Health and the arts’ and ‘How do Universities Care for Students Learning’.
LAST CALL: PAID OPPORTUNITY FOR BLACK STUDENTS: The Mending Room: We’re looking for four students who share a Black British, Caribbean or African Heritage, to support and document a unique project – part of 81 Acts of Exuberant Defiance (humanifesto pictured above) – with the legendary theatre arts activist Tony Cealy.
Led by Tony, you will work over ten Saturday mornings starting 10 April and culminating in a share event on 5 June. If you are in Second/Third Year or are a postgraduate, please contact Ali Campbell (email@example.com) ASAP to get involved, or see this blog post.
2021 UNDERGRADUATE OFFER HOLDER DAY LAST ONE OF THE YEAR
Nisha Ramayya (English/Creative Writing) is taking part in lots of events this month: Wednesday 7 April – Nisha is giving a keynote talk on multivocal poetics at ‘Un/crossing language cracks: exophonic practices and realities’, organised by the University of Montreal. Also Wednesday 7 April – Nisha is participating on a roundtable on ‘radical inclusivity, diaspora, and poetry’, hosted by Camden Arts Centre in collaboration with The 87 Press. More infoThursday 8 April – Nisha is presenting new work on mathematical romance, underwater listening, and speculative frequencies at the ‘audiograft festival of experimental music and sound art’. More infoFor more events happening across the faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences see the HSS events newsletter.
Celebrating 50 years of Bangladeshi Independence – Alumni story In this special blog post, alumna Sabiya Khatun (English BA, 2011) talks about a new exhibition in collaboration with Tower Hamlets Archives and the National Portrait Gallery, Bangladesh 50, which will explore the impact of the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, and the experience of the Bangladeshi community, many of whom came to settle in Tower Hamlets. In the post, Sabiya talks about how getting involved with the exhibition as a Citizen Researcher resonated with the topics she was interested in during her degree, and why members of the Queen Mary community should go and see it.
Costanza Casati In this profile, writer and screenwriter Costanza Casati (English and Film Studies BA, 2017) talks about her debut novel, The President Show, which follows Iris, a nineteen-year-old thief who is captured and forced to take part in the state-run President Show, a reality programme where ‘Lovers’ have to entertain politicians in a bid to win their freedom. Described as Vox meets The Hunger Games, The President Show is a story of resilience, abuse, betrayal and hope. Costanza also shares details of her “bookstagram” page @youngpeopleread, where she interviews acclaimed debut writers. Read the profile.
Miranda Burns In this profile, Radio Presenter at Capital and Capital South Coast and Ambassador for Endometriosis UK, Miranda Burns (Drama BA, 2015), reflects on how her weekly slot on QMSU’s Quest Radio allowed her to develop the skills and confidence needed for her successful career in radio, on some of her career highlights to date and how she has had to adapt her shows in response to the pandemic, and shares how she uses her social media as a safe space to talk about women’s health and her own infertility struggles. Read the profile.
Registration is now open for both a standalone keynote paper by Anne-Marie Beller and Kerry Featherstone, titled ‘“No greater spiritual beauty than fanaticism”: Women Travellers’ Encounters with Islam in the Nineteenth Century’ (Thursday 6 May) and a colloquium of six themed discussion panels on the expression and representation of religion in nineteenth-century popular culture texts of all kinds. (Friday 7 and Saturday 8 May). The events are free but registration is required. Thanks to Claire Stainthorp (English) for sharing this.
Medieval Solitude in Maria Dahvana Headley’s The Mere Wife 30 March – 5pm (online) – Online, Free SED alumna Hetta Howes will be speaking at the Solitudes Past and Present seminar about loneliness, solitude and transformative natural spaces in a contemporary re-telling of Beowulf. All are welcome but booking is required here.
News & Links
Jerry Brotton (English) launches his new BBC series Blood and Bronze. ‘Blood and Bronze’ is the story of Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571), one of the Italian Renaissance’s most controversial yet frequently overlooked artists, a man who wrote one of the most dramatic autobiographies in art history and lived and worked in the greatest courts and cities in Italy and France, from Florence, Rome, Mantua and Paris to Fontainebleau. He was a goldsmith; sculptor; painter; poet; soldier; musician; thief, priest and murderer.
Asia Khatun (English with Creative Writing Alumna) is editor of Thawra, an online literary magazine that provides a platform for minority creatives from budding short story authors to critical academic writers.
Michael Mckinnie (Drama) Michael’s new book Theatre in Market Economies is published by Cambridge University Press. The book explores the complex relationship between theatre and the market economy since the 1990s. Bringing together research from the arts and social sciences, the book proposes that theatre has increasingly taken up the mission of the ‘mixed economy’ by seeking to combine economic efficiency with social security while promoting liberal democracy.
Susheila Nasta (English) is featured on the Penguin podcast on Sam Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners.
Nisha Ramayya (English/Creative Writing) has joined the Ledbury Poetry Critics programme as a mentor. Mentors are pictured above. It is a programme to encourage diversity in poetry reviewing culture aimed at emerging critical voices.
She has also published an essay-in-progress. Listening to shadows skoosh in the ‘Sonic Continuum’ issue of The Contemporary Journal (hosted by Nottingham Contemporary). The piece is creative-critical and focusses on soundwalks, sci fi, and submarine cables.
On Wednesday 17th March, 5.30-7pm, we are holding a live online panel discussion of Drama alumni working in the theatre.
This event will give you the opportunity to hear about the career journey and experiences of our brilliant panellists, how they have adapted in the past year, and gain their advice about actions you can take now to build your career during the pandemic.
This session will not be recorded – please come along with your questions to the live event! Book your place here!
Beth Watton – Artistic Director at Poplar Union. Graduated from Queen Mary with MA Theatre and Performance, 2018.
Charlotte Potter, Freelance Producer; Marketing and Production Manager at COLAB Theatre Productions; Social Media Manager at Jury Games; Manager at Escape Rooms. Graduated Queen Mary with MA Theatre and Performance 2019.
Ellie Simpson, Producer at Pleasance Theatre. Graduated from Queen Mary with BA English and Drama 2009.
Lucy Dear – Applied Theatre Practitioner, currently working with Young Vic Theatre and Southwark Playhouse. Graduated from Queen Mary with BA Applied Drama, 2006.
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:
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.
“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”.
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.
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.
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 (Drama alumni) publish a new printed version of their Little Wimmin through Salamander Street.
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.
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.’
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 theDavid 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,”
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.
“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:
“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.
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.
Making the most of Semester B and finding opportunity in a challenging job market
Friday 29January, 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.
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.
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…