Our alumnus Um-E-Aymen Babar has been awarded the prestigious Hugh Cudlipp student journalism prize, for an article which includes parts of her thesis written at Queen Mary.
After graduating from our School of English with a First Class Honours, in 2021 Aymen went on to the University of Cambridge for a Masters researching sports in the South Asian subcontinent. Aymen’s studies fuelled her interest in how sport intersects with race and class, which has now become the focus of her award-winning journalism.
This month, Aymen won the Hugh Cudlipp Student Journalist Award and a £1,500 cash prize. A joint initiative of the London Press Club and Daily Mirror, the honour was created to recognise a student who has made an outstanding contribution to journalism, as well as exploring an issue of public interest or concern which exemplifies lucid and graphic communication.
Aymen was awarded the prize following her journalistic debut in The Nightwatchman, Wisden’s quarterly collection of essays and long-form articles. She wrote a hard-hitting commentary on the effects of the Azim Rafiq racism scandal, which included parts of her thesis written during her time studying at Queen Mary.
Reflecting on her journey to this achievement, Aymen said: “I had a passion for English Literature from a young age and really enjoyed studying it at Queen Mary University of London. I was able to explore texts ranging from Chaucer to post-colonial texts by Anita Desai. In my final year, when I was supervised by Professor David Colclough, I became interested in sport literature and wrote my thesis on C.L.R. James’ Beyond a Boundary.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank the School of English and Drama, and in particular my wonderful supervisor Professor David Colclough, for all his continued support. These achievements would not have been possible without them, and I would also like to extend my support to all the institutional and structural challenges that academic staff are facing in higher education.”
The Cudlipp judges called Aymen’s work “a brave, poignant, well-researched and timely piece that asks as many questions as it answers about systemic racism”. They also praised her for “preaching outside the choir, by speaking to readers of Wisden’s cricket magazine in the wake of the Azeem Rafiq racism scandal”.
Dr Suzanne Hobson, Head of the Department of English at Queen Mary, said: “This is wonderful news, and we would all like to congratulate Aymen on her very well-deserved success. English is a key part of our curriculum and research culture at Queen Mary, so it’s fantastic to see one of our graduates go on to receive this prestigious prize. We are proud to have been a part of Aymen’s journey so far and excited to see where her career goes next.”
The PGRS Committee is delighted to invite you to our final three online talks of the semester, featuring Oscar Wilde’s stories for children, the ‘cognitive ecologies’ of reconstructed theatres like Shakespeare’s Globe, and the original food, drink, and pamphlets of early modern theatre. 17 March – Prof. Michele Mendelssohn (Oxford)
‘Nasty, Brutish Short Stories: Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince Reconsidered’Register
24 March – Prof. Evelyn Tribble(UConn)
Reconstructions and Reunions: Cognitive Ecologies, Space, and Skill Register
7 April – Prof. Tiffany Stern (Birmingham)
Product Placement and Marketing in the Early Modern Theatre Register
Rediscover: queer + trans – Year 12 Study Day for Schools and Colleges
Wednesday 23 March 2022 – 2-5pm – In Person A-level/BTEC study day for year 12s to help bring in queer + trans ideas as tools to discover English literature, drama and creative writing in fresh ways.
Witnessing: Readings and Conversation, with Andrea Brady and Rachel Zolf
Wednesday 27 April – Online via Zoom with Live Captioning
Join us online for readings and conversations about witnessing. Featuring Andrea Brady and Rachel Zolf. Rachel Zolf, in No One’s Witness: A Monstrous Poetics (Duke University Press, 2021), ‘activates the last three lines of a poem by Jewish Nazi holocaust survivor Paul Celan—“No one / bears witness for the / witness”—to theorize the poetics and im/possibility of witnessing.’ Andrea Brady, in The Blue Split Compartments , ‘draws on chatroom logs, military policy manuals, pattern of life archives, and accounts by witnesses around the world to document the consequences of the perpetual and ‘everywhere war.’
Listen to the latest Craft podcast by Wasafiri Magazine
Catch English television presenter, photographer and author of Afropean: Notes from Black Europe Johny Pitts on the next episode of Craft Podcast launching very soon. Follow @craft_podcast on Twitter for episodes and updates.
Hugo Aguirre (Drama) is a contestant on Sky Arts’ new series, The Big Design Challenge. This competition will see eight creatives battle different design challenges across five episodes to be crowned “Britain’s next design superstar”. Follow @hugoaguirre_design on Instagram.
A live online panel of English alumni working in editing, librarianship, creative writing, media and law. This event will allow you to hear how graduates have progressed in their careers since leaving Queen Mary. You’ll also gain valuable advice and tips about entering the world of work. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about different roles/sectors, make connections, and have your questions answered in an informal and friendly setting.
Tomiwa Owolade – graduated with a BA in English (2018), went on to study an MA in English at UCL and is now a Writer, Critic and Contributing Editor at Unherd
Nikita Saini – graduated with a BA in English (2012) went on to complete a GDL, LPC, LLM at The University of Law and is now a Solicitor for Axis Capital
Tasha Mathur – graduated with a BA in English (2014) and now works as a Picture Editor at Sky UK.
Phoenix Alexander – graduated with a BA in English (2012), went on to a Masters in English (2013) and a PhD in English and African American Studies at Yale (2019). Now works as a Science Fiction Collections Librarian at the University of Liverpool.
Elliott Daley – graduated with a BA in English and Drama (2007) and is now an Author, Actor, Playwright, Director, Poet and Teacher at V&A, Olympics, Lyric Theatre, Brit School and TedX
Tell us about An Artificially Intelligent Guide to Love’. What should we expect?
In ‘An Artificially Intelligent Guide to Love’ I have a conversation with a machine-learning algorithm about love, dating, and my life as a single queer mum. The algorithm’s responses range from the funny and surreal, to the poetic and poignant. When I ask the algorithm questions about love it tells me: ‘I’d suggest that you find out how to answer these questions. This is not just about writing. It is about real life. The answers are in your life.’
What inspires you to write stories like this?
I always enjoy finding ways to generate material to work with. In the past I’ve used cut up writing methods a lot, where I splice together existing texts and subvert their meanings. Working with an algorithm is an extension of these procedural writing methods.
I wanted to think about love with this project because in the past I didn’t think about it, I just fell in it. I wondered what a machine-learning algorithm might be able to teach me about love.
What advice would you give to emerging writers at Queen Mary?
Prioritise reading, writing and thinking, and don’t give up.
For a few years now, I’ve been reading and re-reading six particular pages of the Babylonian Talmud, which confront some confounding questions of messianism. I’m not a scholar of Talmud; I really have no business digging around in this foundational tome of rabbinic Judaism. And yet, these six pages persist in their invitation – again and again – to consider catastrophe, caesura, mourning, and morning joe via dialogue, debate, parable, mathematical calculation, geopolitical commentary, conspiracy theory, and seemingly dadaist non-sequitur. T.MUDD is a performance-lecture with new music that moves back and forth between these varying Talmudic registers and modes of address in the hopes of moving us just a little bit closer to (or perhaps way further away from) answering the persistent questions: Just what are we waiting for? And what should we do while we wait – for the end without end?
Brandon Woolf is a theater artist and clinical associate professor at New York University, where he directs the Program in Dramatic Literature. www.brandonwoolfperformance.com
‘Vegetable monsters and curiosities’: Plant Horror in the Palm House at Kew
Thu 10 February 2022, 17:00 – Zoom
Dr Kate Teltscher
Completed in 1848, Kew’s Palm House was associated with both plant magnificence and plant monstrosity. From the start, the Palm House attracted considerable attention from journalists and the popular scientific, educational and religious press.
Dyspraxic Approaches to Teaching Live Art in a ‘Neurodivergent’/ ‘Normodivergent’ classroom
Mon 7 March – Online via Zoom with Live Captioning
a talk by Daniel Oliver and Sumita Majumdar
In this session Daniel and Sumita will be reading from, and expanding on, their co-authored chapter ‘Dyspraxic Approaches to Teaching Live Art in a ‘Neurodivergent’/‘Normodivergent’ classroom’, published in Petronilla Whitfield’s edited collection Inclusivity and Equality in Performance Training: Teaching and Learning for Neuro and Physical Diversity (NY: Routledge, 2021). They will share their experiences, detailed in the chapter, of neurodivergent/normodivergent teaching and learning, and build on their argument that these experiences and approaches are ideal when working with Live Art and experimental performance practices.
We now have a dedicated page for Craft on the Wasafiri website! Go to http://wasafiri.org/article/podcast/… for all things Craft including full transcripts of every episode and exclusive bonus outtakes.
Phakama have a new project for 16-21 year olds this February: Our Stories
Rise Up is a FREE opportunity for young people aged 16- 21 to create, learn, collaborate and express themselves. This is a unique experience for up to ten young people, who will be led by Phakama’s Young Creatives, to take part in a one-week cross-arts project. Using different art forms such as drama, music, creative writing and movement, you will have the opportunity to create your own show and share it with a live audience at Graeae Theatre in East London. No previous arts experience necessary.
In February, for Valentine’s Day, a dance film that Julie Rose has sound designed (dir. Jo Bannon for Candoco Dance Company) is going to have its international debut at Sadlers Wells Digital Stage. Candoco are a disability-inclusive dance company and she has written about my approach to creating a tactile sound design and cultivating an inclusive sound practice for Performance Research’s forthcoming issue ‘On Touch’. This is a very beautiful and erotic piece exploring relationships with objects. My sound design has an ASMR aesthetic and features innovative use of contact microphones.
References: We ask you to provide two academic references (but usually can accept 1), and there is a space on your application form to upload these. If your referees are willing to send you their references, you can upload them directly with your application. If your referees would rather not send you their references, they can send them directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. If your referees do decide to send their references themselves, you will still be expected to upload a file in the references section of your application. This can be a simple Word document stating ‘References will be sent separately’.
Academic Qualifications (e.g. Degree transcript (or interim transcript): If you don’t have this documentation please contact your university to request it. If you are a Queen Mary graduate you can get Graduate Documents here.
Statement of Purpose: Your Personal Statement is an important part of your application and should identify why you want to study the course and how your experience thus far makes you a suitable candidate.
CV/Resume: Please include an up to date CV.
If you have any trouble uploading or submitting documentation we can help via email: sed-admissions
Welcome to 2022 in the School of English and Drama.
We’re excited to welcome our students back to campus for our second semester later this month and to meet so many potential new students at our offer holder days and events.
January UCAS deadline for equal consideration is 26 January 2022. We would love to receive an application from you before this deadline. Please contact email@example.com if you need help with undergraduate admissions.
PhD application deadline January 19 for QMUL and January 28 for LAHP. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any help with these.
Martin Welton (Drama) featured issue of Ambiances Just published – co-edited by Chloé Déchery (Paris 8 Vincennes) and Martin Welton (QMUL), the second volume of a special issue on Staging Atmospheres in the journal Ambiances: The International Journal of Sensory Environment, Architecture and urban Space.
Award-winning writer and historian Professor Jerry Brotton (English) and journalist Shafi Musaddique explored Tudor links with the Islamic world with the British Library.
Links and Opportunities
I Am You Anthology Project – working with young people on the Equality Act
Happy new year and we hope you are well. We are writing to you about an exciting upcoming student opportunity. The Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre (QMLAC) http://www.lac.qmul.ac.uk/ are bringing together an inter-disciplinary student working group to run an exciting project with 9 and 10 year old children. The project will build on the current work of the QMLAC I Am You project (http://www.lac.qmul.ac.uk/clients/community-projects/i-am-you/) which runs workshops in local primary schools on the Equality Act.
This opportunity will teach students about the protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010, and support and empower them to write personal reflections (poems / stories etc.). These reflections will them be compiled into a hard copy anthology with a launch event in the spring where we will host a recital for the young people to present their work to their families.
We are looking to bring together a group of:
3 Law students
4 English students
3 Drama students
2 Marketing students
Students can be from any year of studies (post graduate or undergraduate) as long as they are committed, engaged and available for the entirety of the project.
Together the team will be trained to design and deliver;
a training video and document to launch the competition to local 9 and 10 year olds,
a judging panel to select the best contributions to for the anthology,
The first compulsory meeting for this project will be held online from 3-5pm on the 19th January where the team will come together and plan the project.
How to get involved?
If you are interested in being involved in this unique interdisciplinary opportunity please send a CV and cover email explaining why you are interested email@example.com by Monday 17th January at 10.00am. We will aim to let applicants know if they have been successful noon on the 18th January. Please be aware that the first session is compulsory and so we encourage all applying to ensure they are free 3-5pm on the 19th January.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the QMLAC team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LAHP 2022/23 Collaborative Doctoral Award Projects Recruiting
Performance-based co-creation with young people as political activism: contextualising and disseminating the work of Fevered Sleep
Collaborative Doctoral Award in collaboration with Queen Mary University of London and Fevered Sleep
Mojisola won the prestigious award for her play ‘Family Tree’ which premiered at Greenwich + Docklands International Festival 2021 in September. We took first year drama students, alumni and ambassadors to the show which tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, whose cells were harvested without her permission and used until now in science experiments.
Dr Martin O’Brien from the School of English and Drama has been announced as a winner of the 2021 Leverhulme prize. Dr O’Brien’s work explores the performance and representation of illness and disability and stems from his experience of living with a severe chronic illness.
5. Lois Weaver performed Last Gasp: A Recalibration at Barbican
‘Returning to the stage after almost two years, two icons of lesbian-feminist theatre gather us in the same room, but not as the same people. Speaking directly, they question the demise of ageing bodies, civil conversation, and a sustainable planet. Shaw’s poetic musings are interspersed with Weaver’s micro dance essays in which she wryly upends ‘how to’ mania.’
6. Warren Boutcher’s Text Dive Global projected awarded €2 Million
TextDiveGlobal will investigate multiple texts from around the continent and the world and will produce an interdisciplinary literary history of Europe and its global connections for the period between the mid-sixteenth and mid-seventeenth centuries.
Andrea Brady has had three books published in 2021 – check out her work on her website here.
Jerry Brotton’s fellowship at the University of Columbia next Autumn.
Micaela Signorelli’s CPE Large Grant of £10,000 to work with Shana Swiss and Stage 3 Company (in association with People’s Palace Projects).
Deven Parker and Michael Gamer have finally managed, amidst various Covid delays and archive closures, to finish photographing all of the playbills from the British Library that they require for the Romantic Melodrama project. The total image count is now around 160,000. Now all they have to do is find all of the melodramatic needles in that massive haystack.
Charlotte Jones ran a successful in-person Symposium on “The Paris Commune at 150” featuring a sparkling range of international speakers.
Isabel Rivers gave a paper on ‘Joseph Angus as Moral Philosophy Tutor at Stepney and Regent’s Park’ on 28 October 2021 to the online Opening the Angus Seminar at Regent’s Park College, Oxford.
Among its many successes this year, People’s Palace Projects (based at QMUL) were awarded £149,966 from AHRC for another phase of their work in Brazil’s Iron Quadrangle: “Roots of Resilience: building secure societies through preserving cultural heritage”
Did we miss a nice thing that happened in 2021? Leave a comment below…
Book Launch: Bad English: Literature, Multilingualism, and the Politics of Language in Contemporary Britain (2020) by Rachael Gilmour. A convivial conversation between Rachael, Nisha and Juliette will be followed by a reception.
Mojisola Adebayo (Drama) has been shortlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award for Best New Play of the Year for ‘Family Tree‘. Family Tree is inspired by the life of Henrietta Lacks whose cells were unlawfully used in medical trials for hundreds of years.
Alumnus Tomiwa Owolade’s book has been acquired byAtlantic and W.F. Howes This is Not America: Why We Need a New Conversation about Race. Tom studied BA English Literature and graduated in 2018 and Nathalie Grey profiled him for Black History Month last month.
Craft Podcast Over the last year, Wasafiri’s Publishing Director, Malachi McIntosh (with support by members of the Wasafiri team) has been hard at work designing and recording Craft – a literary podcast featuring a range of international writers, including Daniel Mella, Chen Chen, Bernadine Evaristo, and Raymond Antrobus. Craft removes the constraints of the interview form, allowing guests to explore their work and processes on their own terms, and creating an immersive and intimate experience for the listener. The first episode with Nina Mingya Powles launched last month. We are proud that Wasafiri Magazine is based at Queen Mary University of London.
Solitudes Project podcast Spaces of Solitude wins Lovie Silver Award for the podcast episode ‘The Mind’ won Silver in Individual Episode category! The episode was produced by Natalie Steed, presented by Hetta Howes (PhD graduate) and curated by Akshi Singh.⠀Huge thanks to contributors Sarah Garfinkel, Denise Riley and Adam Philips.
INSTAGRAM LIVE Q&A: Every Thursday at around 2pm we host a live Instagram Q&A. So far we have had a ball with Karina Lickorish Quinn, Michael Craske (and honey his pug!), Isabel Waidner and Martin Welton. Want to take part? Email us or DM on Instagram.
TIKTOK: We’re excited to launch our new social channel which we hope to give a platform to many students voices in the coming months.
The Freedom & Independence Theatre Festival runs from 5-28 November 2021 and will comprise an intercultural programme marking the 50th anniversary of Bangladeshi independence. Activities will include 12 theatrical performances, exhibitions, curated talks and seminars. Queen Mary is a proud partner and one of the highlights on campus is:
The Laboratory of Psychical Research 13-16 November | 4.30pm | Senate House The wooden panelled Court Room at Senate House will play host to a reimagining of the historic National Laboratory of Psychical Research 1925-1930 by the celebrated paranormal investigator Harry Price.
Nisha Ramayya (English/Creative Writing) will be reading poetry alongside a talk by Adham Faramwy one of the six artists shortlisted for the 2021 Film London Jarman Award. This weekend gives you the opportunity to view their films alongside a special live online programme that explores their different practices through talks and performances.
Working With Machines 17 November | Online ‘Are we just feeding machines our own biases as we “train” up living machines?’ An online discussion of the Living With Machines project at the Alan Turing Institute. Prof. Ruth Ahnert is Principal Investigator on the flagship Turing project ‘Living With Machines’, and a Professor of Literary History and Digital Humanities at Queen Mary University of London.
Alumni Angles Podcastfeaturing FAB Website Editor, Editorial Assistant at Faber & Faber, and the voice of the world’s first digital model, Ama Badu (English BA, 2018), is joined by Founder of The History Hotline podcast and Oral History and Project Officer at Wesley’s Chapel, Deanna Lyn Cook (English and History BA, 2018).
Madeleine Levy (English and Drama graduate 2011) Madeleine talks about her new book, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a Cat: Surviving the education system with Asperger’s, where she and others share their experiences of navigating the education system with autism. Madeleine also talks about why she started her own theatre company for people with autism and the important lessons she learned and shared during her time at university.
Artist-in-residence, the award-winning illustrator Sophie Burrows, has created a series of artworks in response to research stemming from our project. An online exhibition of her work, as well as sketchbooks and notes on the process, can be found here.
The Astronaut Alone In our latest blog, researcher Jeffrey Mathias writes about NASA’s isolation chamber, used to put astronauts to the test in the 1950s. Read the post
kitt price (English) and Aleksander Kolkowski recreate the experience of ‘thinking-in’, when thousands of listeners engaged in radio telepathy experiments during the 1920s and 30s on Resonance FM. Listen here
Nisha Ramayya (English/Creative Writing) and Akshi Singh Wellcome-funded project on experiences of solitude in relation to race and migration. his project is part of the bigger Pathologies of Solitude project led by Barbara Taylor. With poet Rachel Long and coordinator Tasha Pick, the team has organised a series of creative writing workshops in association with Hackney Migrant Centre and Praxis, featuring inspiring sessions on names, spaces for sleeping, and collective processes of recollection & documentation.
Nisha will also be performing as part of an encounter between poetry and music Treble Heaven at Café Oto on 30 November with sonic dramaturg MJ Harding. Find out more