English and Drama Newsletter – August 2020 Edition

Congratulations to our class of 2020 from all of us in the School of English and Drama

Watch our SED video | Watch Mojisola Adebayo’s talk in full

PLUS: We can’t wait to welcome our new students on A-level results day next Thursday 13 August. We have our fingers crossed for students getting results. If you’re thinking of joining one of our inspiring programmes through clearing please do join one of our catch ups and we can help. We are on UCAS embargo so can’t send batch email from tomorrow until results day but you can contact us.

NOT FORGETTING: It’s been an exciting month so far including a Booker Prize nomination for Gabriel Krauze, the launch of books by Rachael Gilmour and Huw Marsh and The Guardian reviews Lois Weaver and Daniel Oliver‘s work.


Our student of the month for August is Maria Messias Mendes English with Creative Writing.

Online Events

RESULTS DAY AND CLEARING CATCH UPS

We are hosting some English and Drama drop-in sessions for incoming students who are either offer holders, in clearing or want to make a new application. We’d love to see you there:
Results Day & Clearing Drop In #1 – 13 Aug – 11am
Results Day & Clearing Drop In #2 – 13 Aug – 4pm


Register and get reminders here

Japan

Japan Literatures of Remembering. A Panel Discussion on Fiction, Poetry and Anime
13 August, Online – Free via Japan Society

This is the online launch of the special issue of Wasafiri: Japan Literatures of Remembering, published to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the end of the World War Two in the Pacific.

It is part of the Japan-UK Season of Culture

The discussion will reflect on the transformations of Japanese identity in literature, exploring themes of time, memory and diversity. We are fortunate to be joined by Mimi Hachikai in Japan who will be reading her poetry alongside her translator Kyoko Yoshida.

Find out more

News & Links

Rachael Gilmour and Huw Marsh

Alumni Profiles Recently published by our very own alumna Nathalie Grey include:

Will Bowers (English) has added An Opening in a Holland House Dinner Book, an entry for the European Romanticisms in Association.

Bridget Escolme and Maria Turri (teach on MSc Creative Arts and Mental Health) are running writing retreats for their students.
Rachael Gilmour (English)’s book ‘Bad English: Literature, multilingualism, and the politics of language in contemporary Britain’ has been published.

Read more about the book

Aysel Dilara Kasap (English with Creative Writing)has written a thoughtful piece for CUB Magazine onClass of 2020: Things We Lost In The Fire.

Gabriel Krauze

Gabriel Krauze (English alumnus) has been longlisted for the Booker Prize 2020 for his debut novel about London gang life, Who They Was, which is published in September 2020.

Read more here | Pre-order the book

Journal

Hari Marini (Drama) is featured in a special issue of Journal of Greek Media and Culture 3.2 (Oct 2017) ‘Dramaturgies of change: Greek theatre now‘ edited by Marissia Fragkou & Philip Hager and it is now free-to-download for a month.

Huw Marsh (English) has published his book The Comic Turn in Contemporary English Fiction: Who’s Laughing Now?‘ through Bloomsbury.

Read more about the book

Aoife Monks (Drama) is published in Times Higher Education with a piece called Artistic collaborators are not there to make your research sound fun.

Network: QMUL Centre for the Creative and Cultural Economy has launched two new collaborative community projects: Developing a community led ‘Gentrification/Regeneration Policy’ for BrixtonHow does ‘The Match’ add social value?

Dadders

Daniel Oliver (Drama) has released online lockdown TV show Dadderrs with Frauke Requardt via The Place. They maintain social distancing by reimagining their 2019 stage show ‘Dadderrs’ within their own home as a digital boxset. The show has a 4 star review in the Guardian here.

Watch the show here

Horizons

PEACH Magazine has published it’s final issue for this academic year: Horizons. You can also follow PEACH on: Instagram / Twitter / Facebook.
Read it here


Karina Lickorish Quinn
(English PhD)’s debut novel Mancharisqa is to be published by Oneworld after a competitive auction.

Read more here

Website updates Check out the latest updates including:

Lois Weaver (Drama) will be talking about her history of queer performance culture and current work for one Manchester International Festival‘s online support sessions.

messy bitches

Lydia Wilcox (Live Art Master’s Student) has been announced as runner up on the Association of Art History Dissertation Prize for the essay ‘ ‘Messy Bitches: The Use of Mess in Contemporary Feminist Performance’.

Read more here

Penelope Woods (Drama) is part of a project team organising workshops on colonialism and the senses with local schools in Tower Hamlets as part of Being Human Festival in November 2020.

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme 2020-21 – Applications Invited

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 Wednesday 16 September 2020

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, sed-research@qmul.ac.uk, by no later than midday on Wednesday 16 September 2020. Please state ‘British Academy PDRF’ in the subject line.

Your application should demonstrate:

  • that you are eligible according to the BA’s criteria
  • 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 it 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 mentor, provisionally agree their support, and get some feedback from them on a draft application.

Full scheme details can be found on the British Academy website: http://www.britac.ac.uk/british-academy-postdoctoral-fellowships

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 in mid-October 2020 (precise date tbc by the British Academy).

New books published by Rachael Gilmour and Huw Marsh

The School of English and Drama are delighted to announce the publication of ‘Bad English‘ by Dr Rachael Gilmour and ‘The Comic Turn in Contemporary English Fiction‘ by Dr Huw Marsh.

Read more about the books below…

Bad English

Literature, multilingualism, and the politics of language in contemporary Britain

Dr Rachael Gilmour

Bad English investigates the impact of increasing language diversity, precipitated by migration, globalisation, and new forms of communication, in transforming contemporary literature in Britain. Considering writers whose work engages experimentally, playfully, and ambivalently with English’s power, while exploring what it means to move between forms of language, it makes the case for literature as the pre-eminent medium to probe the terms of linguistic belonging, and for a diverse and growing field of writing in Britain defined by its inside/outside relationship to English in its institutionalised forms.

Bad English offers innovative readings of writers including James Kelman, Tom Leonard, Suhayl Saadi, Raman Mundair, Daljit Nagra, Xiaolu Guo, Leila Aboulela, Brian Chikwava, and Caroline Bergvall. Drawing on insights from applied linguistics and translation studies as well as literary scholarship, it will appeal to students and academics across these disciplines.

The Comic Turn in Contemporary English Fiction

Who’s Laughing Now?

Dr Huw Marsh

The Comic Turn in Contemporary English Fiction explores the importance of comedy in contemporary literature and culture. In an era largely defined by a mood of crisis, bleakness, cruelty, melancholia, environmental catastrophe and collapse, Huw Marsh argues that contemporary fiction is as likely to treat these subjects comically as it is to treat them gravely, and that the recognition and proper analysis of this humour opens up new ways to think about literature. Structured around readings of authors including Martin Amis, Nicola Barker, Julian Barnes, Jonathan Coe, Howard Jacobson, Magnus Mills and Zadie Smith, this book suggests not only that much of the most interesting contemporary writing is funny and that there is a comic tendency in contemporary fiction, but also that this humour, this comic licence, allows writers of contemporary fiction to do peculiar and interesting things – things that are funny in the sense of odd or strange and that may in turn inspire a funny turn in readers. Marsh offers a series of original critical and theoretical frameworks for discussing questions of literary genre, style, affect and politics, demonstrating that comedy is an often neglected mode that plays a generative role in much of the most interesting contemporary writing, creating sites of rich political, stylistic, cognitive and ethical contestation whose analysis offers a new perspective on the present.

Results Day & Clearing Zoom Catch Ups for English and Drama Undergraduate 2020 Applicants

We are available to chat online for the following sessions for undergraduate applicants for 2020 entry.


English and Drama – Results Day – Clearing Drop In #1

Thu 13 Aug – 11am (30 mins)

Register here


English and Drama – Results Day – Clearing Drop In #2

Thu 13 Aug – 4pm (30 mins)

Register here


School of English and Drama Post Clearing Drop In

Wed 19 Aug – 11am (1 hour)

Register here

Can’t make these dates?

Email us to speak to someone: sed-web@qmul.ac.uk

Queen Mary English Alumnus Gabriel Krauze’s novel ‘Who They Was’ longlisted for Booker Prize 2020

The School of English and Drama at QMUL is delighted and proud that our alumnus Gabriel Krauze has been nominated for the 2020 Booker Prize longlist.

Gabriel studied English at Queen Mary University of London graduating in 2009 and Who They Was is his debut novel. He grew up in London in a Polish family and was drawn to a life of crime and gangs from an early age. Now in his thirties he has left that world behind and is recapturing his life through writing. He has published short stories in Vice and recently took part in our Show & Tell – inspiring mini talks series. Listen to his talk below…

Gabriel gave a talk at Show and Tell at All Points East Festival in 2019

The blurb describes the book best:

This life is like being in an ocean. Some people keep swimming towards the bottom. Some people touch the bottom with one foot, or even both, and then push themselves off it to get back up to the top, where you can breathe. Others get to the bottom and decide they want to stay there. I don’t want to get to the bottom because I’m already drowning.

This is a story of a London you won’t find in any guidebooks.

This is a story about what it’s like to exist in the moment, about boys too eager to become men, growing up in the hidden war zones of big cities – and the girls trying to make it their own way.

This is a story of reputations made and lost, of violence and vengeance – and never counting the cost.

This is a story of concrete towers and blank eyed windows, of endless nights in police stations and prison cells, of brotherhood and betrayal.

This is about the boredom, the rush, the despair, the fear and the hope.

This is about what’s left behind.’

About Gabriel

Gabriel Krauze came of age among the high rises and back streets of South Kilburn. He was not an observer on the periphery of violence. He was – personally – heavily involved in gangs, drugs, guns, stabbing and robbery – all while completing an English degree at Queen Mary University of London in 2009.

Who They Was comes directly from that experience and as such it is confronting, exhilarating, morally complex, and utterly unique. 

Quotes about the novel include:

‘An astonishingly powerful book. Krauze is an immense new talent’  Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love

‘A timely and vital exploration into London’s violence crisis by someone who experienced the sharp end of it. I cannot conjure another work which captures this culture in such depth – or with such brutal honesty – as only lived experience can tell. ’ Graeme Armstrong, author of The Young Team

‘Gabriel Krauze is an unbelievably talented writer. No one manages to blend “literary beauty” and “an uncomfortable feeling that he’s actually quite scary” like him’ Joel Golby

Pre-order the book and more links

Karina Lickorish Quinn (PhD at QMUL)’s debut novel Mancharisqa to be published by Oneworld

Creative Writing PhD Karina Lickorish Quinn’s debut novel Mancharisqa, or The Dust Never Settles will be published by Juliet Mabey at Oneworld Publications after a competitive auction.

Mancharisqa is an ambitious and formally inventive literary epic about haunting and counterhistories, adopting the traditional Andean concept of cyclical time in a manner reminiscent of One Hundred Years of Solitude, and the novels of Bolaño, suffused with the surreal atmosphere of Ishiguro’s The Unconsoled.

Mancharisqa formed part of Karina’ PhD thesis, which she completed at School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London under the supervision of Director of Creative Writing, Professor Patrick Flanery and Head of English, Dr Rachael Gilmour.

Anaïs Echeverría Gest flies to Lima to oversee the sale of her childhood home, La Casa Echeverría. It is a house full of ghosts, literal and otherwise, of her ancestors and of the maid who fell to her death from its balcony, around whom myths circulate and from whom miracles are sought. Everything that happens – in Anaïs’s childhood, her return to the house in the present day, and in all the stories in between – begins to overlap until the stories are all inextricably entwined. The novel ends with a birth, an earthquake, and the discovery of something disturbing beneath that cursed yellow house on the hill – the past will not remain silent and the ancestors demand to be reckoned with.

Juliet Mabey, the acquiring editor at Oneworld, comments, ‘I fell completely and utterly in love with this mesmerising, intense, multi-layered novel as soon as I started reading. The tone is wonderfully mystical and haunting, with echoes of other great Latin American writers without feeling remotely derivative. A stunningly original saga of an expansive, complex, troubled family in Peru, it is conveyed with a lightness of touch that belies its debut status, and I could not be more thrilled to feature Karina’s astonishing writing on my literary fiction list. There is really nothing else like it.’

“I’m thrilled to be joining Oneworld and their list of remarkable, talented authors. I have long admired Juliet Mabey and Oneworld for their commitment to introducing readers to a range of cultures and voices from across the world. And thank you to my wonderful agent, Seren Adams, for believing in me and my work. Mancharisqa could not have found a better home.”

Karina is a bilingual, Peruvian-British writer. She has a BA from Oxford University, an MA from UCL, and recently completed her PhD in Creative Writing here at Queen Mary University of London. Her short fiction is featured in Un Nuevo Sol, the first major anthology of British-Latinx writers, published by Flipped Eye Publishing. Her work has also appeared in Longitūdinēs, The Offing, Asymptote, The Journal of Latina Critical Feminism, and Palabritas. In 2016 she was shortlisted for The White Review’s short story prize.

English and Drama Newsletter – July 2020 Edition

Welcome to July 2020 from English and Drama at Queen Mary.

Virtual Celebration: Next month we’re celebrating our class of 2020 with a virtual event on 5 August. Final year students can register here

NSS: We have donated £175 each to World Wildlife Fund and Student Minds on behalf of our students for completing the National Student Survey. Thanks to everyone who completed this!

New Head of Drama: We would also like to welcome Professor Dominic Johnson (pictured above left) as our new Head of Drama. Read more about his work in the interview here.


Our student of the month for July is English student Eve Bolton.

Online Events

OPEN DAY RELOADED

Virtual Open Day – for 2021+ Applicants
Friday 17 July 2020, 1-4pm BST, Online

We’re offering another opportunity for prospective undergraduate students to explore our courses and get their questions answered.

Register here

LISTINGS

Performance, Possession & Automation

Performance, Possession & Automation Series
Read more about the series

Automation & Cultural Production
17 July, 6-8pm (BST), Online
– Free
Seb Franklin and Annie McClanahan join Nick Ridout (Drama) for a conversation about automation and cultural production.
Register here

Possession & Performance
24 July, 6-8pm (BST), Online
– Free
Paul C. Johnson and Rebecca Schneider join Nick Ridout for a conversation about possession and performance. 
Register here

Possession & Subjectivity
31 July, 6-8 pm (BST), Online – Free
Kyla Wazana Tompkins and Roberto Strongman join Nick Ridout for a conversation about possession and subjectivity.
Register here

Porch Sitting

Online Porch Sitting – Split Britches
28 July, Online – Free via Barbican
Join queer-feminist theatre icon, Lois Weaver (Drama), in this re-imagined online version of her Porch Sitting. Sit, think, dream, wonder and take part in conversation around our collective future. Photo by Alex Legge (Drama alumna).
Find out more

BOOK AHEAD

Utopian Bloomsbury
Sunday 18 October 2020, Bloomsbury

Bloomsbury has at times in its history been much associated with visionary, utopian thinking and writing. This walk with Dr Matthew Ingleby will explore that history.
From socialists and anarchists to feminists and queer artists, the neighbourhood has inspired a distinctly futural imagination, which has allowed readers to see how things might be, not only what they empirically, provably are.

FREE – but pre-booking is essential.

Register here

News & Links

Bim Adeyemi and Dee Ndumiso (Drama Master’s Students) have made a powerful video about Black Lives Matter and the Why We Kneel campaign.

Watch here

Arts & Culture at QMUL have a range of support for artists throught the Queen Mary Arts & Culture Support Centre.

Find out more

Nadia Atia (English) and Malachi McIntosh (Wasafiri Magazine based at QMUL) presented on Iraq and Teaching Migration and Empire respectively at British Empire in English Studies event at University of Kent.

Read more here

Julie Rose Bower

Julie Rose Bower has had her second ASMR video published by Victoria and Albert Museum and it features work using our Drama department’s very one ambisonic microphone. This video has costumes worn by Vivien Leigh, Sandie Shaw, PJ Harvey, Belinda Wright and Adzogbo dancers. JRB was also  named as one of the artists you need to know for ‘carving out space to reflect on the world today’ in Elephant magazine.

Watch here

Jerry Brotton

Jerry Brotton (English)’s Mapping the Future programme is on BBC iPlayer now. In the programme he navigates the transformation from paper to digital mapping, from print to pixels, asks what is being gained and lost and in whose interests the evolution serves.

Listen here

Dr Duckie

Dr Duckie aka Ben Walters (Drama PhD)’s Dr Duckie website is full of useful information about the project focused on the concept of ‘Homemade Mutant Hope Machines’ – a way of describing how people without much clout can start to build better worlds on their own terms.

See more here

Seoul Searching

Feather Pen (Blog by English student Aysel Kasap) are pleased to announce their new travel column, Seoul Searching by Ruby Punt, a QMUL student about her year abroad in South Korea! New entries are coming every month starting from July 15 on featherpenblog.com.

Georgia Haseldine (English) has written a piece called Pandemic Objects: Cash for Victoria and Albert Museum and The virtues and vices of virtual museum tours for Apollo Magazine.

Olga Kravchenko (Drama alumna) is interviewed by our alumni team on her about being CEO of Musemio, a virtual reality app that connects children with content from museums around the world and seeks to turn them into museumgoers of the future.

Read the interview

Peach July

PEACH Magazine has officially opened up for applications for their 2020/21 committee. If you are interested in being part of the only Queen Mary Student Medium that is solely dedicated to publishing students’ creative expressions, then click here to learn more about the different roles and how to apply. The deadline to apply is 31 July 2020, 11.59 pm. You can also follow PEACH on: Instagram / Twitter / Facebook.

Charlie Pullen (English PhD) shared a touching tribute by Lynsey Hanley in the 90s about English at Queen Mary in this tweet.

Nisha Ramayya

Nisha Ramayya (Creative Writing) has a short essay in Frieze Magazine: Rethinking Community in the Wake of the Pandemic and has wrote a review in Map.

Sh!t Theatre (Drama graduates)’s award-winning show Letters to Windsor House is streaming until 27 July. It costs just £4 to stream on demand and £1 from every rental goes to Shelter!

Stream now

Stage 3 Theatre Company:Stage3 Extended is a platform which continues to encourage activism through creative responses for an extended week after a commemorating event has occurred.
We believe that we should keep the activist momentum alive.
Their first project was ‘Refugee Week Extended’ and this Saturday (11 July) they are launching the next one –  ‘Remembering Srebrenica Extended’. Stage 3 Company is a performance-based activist group, tackling a vast range of political, social and humanitarian issues from immigration and discrimination to identity, belonging and empathy. Established in April 2018, as part of STAGES (PPP, QMUL), the group has since then performed at numerous venues around the UK. 

For more info follow on Facebook and Instagram

Barbara Taylor (English/History) had her Solitary Citizens: The Politics of Loneliness piece is published in the Guardian. The Solitudes blog has all new content here and for those interested in the poetry of Denise Riley, Barbara has published an open access piece here.

The Common Room

Rosie Vincent (Drama Alumna) and her organisation Roman Road Trust’s Transform The Common Room campaign successfully reached target to provide a new community space. After receiving the maximum pledge of £50,000 from the Mayor of London, they then received an amazing pledge of £10,000 from the Tower Hamlets Innovation Fund and then a brilliant pledge of £5,000 from the Centre for Public Engagement at QMUL!

Read more

Jeremy Weller (Drama Master’s Student)’s work for Beyond Walls around art and mental health including an NHS Residency and Edinburgh Festival 2018 Production: Where it hurts is available to explore online here. Find out more about his work on his website and Instagram.

No-Nonsense Applicant Guide by graduate Saarah Ahsan-Shah

Even after choosing a degree, deciding which university to do it at might seem daunting. It’s worth researching the nature of a particular degree at various universities to compare them. English at one university is not the same as English at another.

To start off your research, read on for answers to commonly asked questions about English and Drama at Queen Mary, first hand from two students; myself (an English student) and Chris Dhanjal, a joint honours English and Drama student.

Applying to Queen Mary

1. What are the entry requirements?

For English The entry requirements are typically ABB at A Level (or an equivalent qualification), with an A in English Literature / English Language and Literature. Non-standard qualifications are also sometimes accepted from well-motivated candidates who demonstrate achievement in literary study.

For Drama we typically look for BBB at A-level or equivalent in other qualifications such as BTEC Performing Arts.

See our course pages in English or Drama for more details of our entry requirements.

2. Can you combine English or Drama with another subject?

Yes! Students are able to take joint courses, and are able to take English alongside another subject such as Drama, Linguistics, Creative Writing, Film Studies and History.

Our degrees are all about giving you social capital, through work experience, modules from other schools and extra activities, so you have the skills to succeed in life in and outside of university. The QMUL Principal, Professor Colin Bailey talks about this new approach we are taking in this article in The Guardian.

Structure

1. What modules are offered in an English and/or Drama degree?

English: In first year you’ll explore six compulsory modules; Reading, Theory and Interpretation, Poetry, London Global, Shakespeare, Literatures in Time. These modules gave us a foundation in English Literature across the spectrum which becomes more specific in second year. In second year, there are three categories, ‘Medieval and Early-Modern Studies’, ‘Eighteenth-Century, Romanticism, Nineteenth-Century Studies’ and  ‘Modern, Contemporary, And Postcolonial Studies’.

We picked one module from each category and a fourth module either from one of these categories or from a “special list”, which offers a range of options. In our third year, we are given plenty more options, not bound by any categories, allowing us to pursue any field enabling us to take whatever piques our interest.  Third year modules include Postcolonial, American and Children’s literature to name a few.

Drama: In first year, all students take London/Culture/ Performance, and Practices, which help negotiate Drama at university level. Joint honours students take six compulsory modules consisting of four Drama modules which are a combination of seminar and practical based ones and two English. For second year we were given more options, but again had to take one compulsory Drama module and at least two English modules from two separate areas.

In total we were allowed five modules but had to have an equal balance of credits across English and Drama. For final year, the options become a lot more flexible, with the choice of taking seventy-five credits in Drama and forty-five credits in English. Examples of second and third year Drama modules include Choreographic Performance, Shakespeare after Shakespeare and Race and Racism in Performance .

A current list of modules can be seen here, at the English and Drama Module Directory: https://qmplus.qmul.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=2960. This list of modules changes every year.

2. How many contact hours do you have a week?

English: We have 8-10 contact hours per week, depending on whether we take 4 or 5 modules per semester. Each module has 2 contact hours; typically a 1 hour lecture followed by a 1 hour seminar. Some modules in second year may not have a lecture and only a 2 hour seminar. In third year, most modules have a 2 hour seminar. Though 8 may seem a little, we’re expected to prepare for each module with 4 hours of work, through reading, research and assignment preparation.

Drama: We typically have 10 hours a week. In third year there may be 14 hour weeks, depending on the modules taken, as Drama practical modules can be 7 hours per day.

3. What are class sizes like?

First year lectures have around 250 students in them, but seminars are smaller groups of 15-20. Lecture sizes get smaller in second and third year as there are more modules available for students to choose from.

Drama: Most seminars and practical workshops range between 10-20 people which creates a good atmosphere for independent and group work.

4. How many books do you have to read a week?

English: We usually have to read one novel per module per week, occasionally alongside some theoretical extracts, making it 4-5 texts a week. Some texts are studied over two weeks so students (particularly in first year) may sometimes only need to read a novel/play every other week.

Drama: Roughly around 2-3 primary books a week, excluding secondary reading, in first and second year. In third year we have 3-5 primary books a week, as well as secondary reading.

5. Do you have field trips?

English: We have occasional field trips, depending on the module. In first year we went to the V&A as a part of Literatures in Time as well as to The Globe to see a play and for a day of workshops for our Shakespeare module. During third year, we attended The Foundling Museum for the Children’s Literature module. Most trips are subsidised by the department so we are able to attend at reduced costs. We are also encouraged to attend museums and exhibitions in our own time.

Drama: Within Drama we had a few field trips in first year to theatres and museums, but second and third year trips vary depending on the module. London Performance Now is a second year module which consists of weekly theatre/museum visits.

Assessment

1. How many assignments do you have a year?

English and Drama: Each module has about 4-5 assignments spread throughout the academic year. So in total there’s approximately 20 assignments. For English, most of them are essays, however there are also a couple of assessed presentations and class contributions. For drama it’s a mix of written and practical work.

2.Do you have exams?

English: In first year there is a final exam for Shakespeare and Literatures in Time. Other modules in all three years are generally assessed by coursework.

Drama: We have no written exams, however, we have assessed performances which can be timed assessments within a controlled environment.

3. Do you have to write a dissertation?

English:  Yes, in third year, all single honours students must undertake a dissertation, which is a 10,000 word research project on anything of our choice so long as it falls under English Literature.

Drama: Instead of a dissertation there is a practical research module. Joint honours students have the option between the English dissertation and a Drama written project.

Support

1. What resources does the department have access to?

Students in the School of English and Drama we have access to a wide amount of literature and criticism through the Mile End campus library, as well as through the University of London inter-library loan system and Senate House Library. The university is also subscribed to many journals and periodicals, giving us access to a huge amount of material. The department has 5 Drama studio spaces including rehearsal rooms, which students have 24/7 access to. Other resources for Drama include a wide range of drama and theatre professionals lecturing on the course who have influential and current experience.

2. Is there any guidance or support for assignments?

English and Drama: As well as useful workshops,  advisers/seminar leaders/lecturers have weekly drop-in hours which  are immensely helpful for advice and guidance on academic work. There are also beneficial student organisations, such as PASS (Peer Assissted Study Support), where second and third year students offer help to first year students and a Buddy Mentoring Scheme. We also have professional Literary Fellows available to review essays before students submit them. For practical work in Drama,  consistent feedback is given by seminar leaders and peers as our work is shared with each other.

3. What’s a personal advisor?

English and Drama: A personal advisor is a teaching member of staff assigned to you in order to help and assist you with any queries you may have. Whether it’s something academic or  personal they are there to support and help you!

English and Drama Newsletter – June 2020 Edition

Welcome to June 2020 from English and Drama at Queen Mary.

Black Lives Matter: Our Head of School Catherine Silverstone has written this statement on our School’s commitment to fight racism.

We want to celebrate the work of all of our students including a special mention to our finalists, (pictured above on their first day in 2017) in these very challenging times.

Demi Whitnell

Our student of the month for May is Demi Whitnell, one of our BA English finalists, who also entered our Dissertation Hall of Fame.

Read our interview with Demi

Online Events

OPEN DAY

Webinar

Virtual Open Day – for 2021+ Applicants
Thursday 25 June 2020, 4-6.30pm BST, Online

Booking is now open for our online June open day session, which is a great chance to explore our unique English and Drama programmes, discover the QMUL campus and to meet our students.Register here
LISTINGS


‘You couldn’t make it up’ with authors Ellen Wiles & Michael Hughes
Wednesday 10 June 2020, 7pm BST, Youtube

Our very own Michael Hughes and Ellen Wiles (Creative Writing) will talk about what fiction can say and do in turbulent political times reading from their work.

Mad Hearts

Mad Hearts: The Arts and Mental Health
SOLITUDE AND THE ENCOUNTER

Friday 19 June 2020, Online

This one-day webinar hosted by our MSc Creative Arts and Mental Health explores productive, radical, contemporary encounters between the arts and mental health, bringing together clinical, artistic and research perspectives that offer a re-interpretation of contemporary mental health science and practice.

Register here


News & Links

Ruth Ahnert (English) is giving a virtual keynote lecture Networking the Early Modern Archive at the 6th Historical Network Research conference.

Julie Rose Bower (Drama PhD Researcher) has created a series of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) videos for the Victoria & Albert Museum’s YouTube channel. ASMR is a relaxing sound design technique which gives some people a ‘tingles’ response and could provide a moment of calm for people in these times. ASMR has emerged over the last 12 years and is a digital native performance medium in which performers touch objects and whisper in close proximity to microphones.

Watch the first video here

James Petiver

Richard Coulton (English) has edited a collection of essays on James Petiver, an eighteenth-century apothecary, collector and natural historian. You can read a recent interview with Richard about his research on the Royal Society blog. Image: Angola Dragonfly – James Petiver

Brian Dillon (Creative Writing) talks about Roland Barthes, obtuse meanings, descriptions of food, and the “sanatorium society” in this video for Beyond Words Festival.


Dissenting Academies
(English Research Project) recently supported BBC research for David Olusoga’s A House Through Time which explores the history of a house in Bristol which involves a Baptist minister called James Poulson found in the Dissenting Academies archive.

Dr Duckie aka Ben Walters (Drama)’s website is live showcasing the research project on Duckie’s community-centric performance projects like The Posh Club, The Slaughterhouse Club, D.H.S.S, Duckie Family and the Vintage Clubbing Sessions.

Read Ben’s introduction to the project here

Cat Fallow (Drama) took part in a discussion for the new vlog series A Bit Lit exploring contemporary theatre-making and repertory in Shakespearean theatres.
Watch the video


Matthew Ingleby (English) has released a Youtube video called Dickens in a Crisis for #Dickens150 about how Charles Dickens’ work might help us in times of crisis.

Read more about the project

Dominic Johnson (Drama) interviews Berlin-based visual artist AA Bronson in Art Monthly. It’s titled Going Viral and is in the current issue (May 2020).

Group Practical Project

Group Practical Project students Robyn Bedford, Billy Bray, Cristina Covaci and Elliot Douglas (Drama) explore gender identity using Instagram to host their enquiries.

Follow and explore the project

Live Art Development Agency (Drama) have curated Boxed-In, an online exhibition of artists who have used performance in confined spaces, often over long and painful (seemingly unendurable) durations – in self-imposed lockdown on cargo shops, freight crates, boxes, cells, or cages. The conditions of the performances – and the ways the artists survive in isolation – feel uncannily prescient in our current situation.  Dominic Johnson’s work: ‘Rudimentary Things: Becoming an Object in the Performances of Skip Arnold’ features in the exhibition.

Daniel Oliver (Drama)’s book inspires this video discussion: Why Daniel Oliver is an important artist. Neurodiversity & Arts around his book Awkwoods.

PEACH Magazine

PEACH Magazine Congratulations to Lara Jakobsen (a 2nd Year English with Creative Writing student) who has been elected as Managing Editor and Ameerah Ali (a 2nd Year English student) as Deputy Managing Editor at PEACH magazine. PEACH was also awarded the Most Improved Outlet at the Student Media Awards this year. The magazine is dedicated to showcasing the creative work of students. Students can still send in creative work (creative writing, art, etc.) throughout the summer to published on their blog.

Follow PEACH on Instagram

Eavan Boland

Peggy Reynolds (English)’s 1992 BBC Radio 4 discussion around poetry, gender and naturehood featuring the late Eavan Boland is being repeated oniPlayer to commemorate poet’s work after she passed away recently.

Listen here


Nisha Ramayya
(Creative Writing) is taking part in Ignota’s Break into the Forbidden event to mourn, witness, dream, nourish and celebrate black life.

Moj Taylor (Drama alumnus) speaks to our alumni team about his career as a Comedian, Actor, Public Speaker and Executive of Push.

Read the interview

Call for papers

Wonderer Journal Queen Mary’s new literary journal, Wonderer is now open for submissions. Don’t miss your chance to be considered for the first ever issue.

Find out more

SED Head of School Response: police killings and Black Lives Matter

Dear students studying in the School of English and Drama,

I’m writing to you in response to the recent police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in the USA and the assault on Belly Mujinga in London, and the feelings of anger, sadness, fear, and distress, among many others, across the USA, and here in the UK, including in our student and staff bodies.

On behalf of the School of English and Drama, I condemn these acts of violence and the structural and institutional racism that underpins them. I fully support the Black Lives Matter movement in challenging all forms of racism and committing to ensuring dignity, safety, liberty, and self-determination for Black, Asian, and other minority ethnic and global majority communities.

Structural and institutional racism is not confined to the USA but is very much present in the UK, and globally, and is a powerful force in preventing equal life opportunities for people of colour. The Covid-19 pandemic, for example, has both exposed and exacerbated the structural inequalities faced by many minorities, most significantly Black, Asian, and disabled people.

Universities have a key role to play in combatting racism and all forms of discrimination. I am committed to this work in the School of English and Drama. This involves continued acknowledgment and work to redress disadvantages experienced variously by our students and colleagues of colour. These manifest, for example, in differences in degree outcomes between our Black, Asian, and minority ethnic/global-majority students and white students, and significantly fewer colleagues of colour in senior leadership roles than white colleagues. It’s important, here, to acknowledge that we also have a majority white staff base in the School, and that many of us, myself included, have benefited from advantages and privileges accorded structurally, socially and culturally to white people, especially with respect to our educational and career development opportunities.

Affirming a commitment to equalities and anti-racist work is vital and action is more crucial still. We have been working to address inequalities in the School, especially in relation to race and ethnicity, through our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee, co-chaired by Zara Dinnen and myself; revisions to our curriculum; more extensive student support; a dedicated EDI student representative on our Staff Student Liaison Committees; and a commitment to equality in our research, for example. This is not the time, though, to be individually or collectively self-congratulatory or complacent. Through our work we know there is much more to be done, especially as we address the impact of Covid-19 and the decisions that we’re making for 2020-21 (and beyond) on staff and students.

We stand in solidarity with our students of colour. With my colleagues in the School Management Group, I affirm the School’s ongoing commitment to listening to students and working together across our School community, to address structural racism. This work is carried out though our department, School, Faculty and University governance structures, alongside informal conversations with, and between, staff and students. It is not the responsibility of our Black, Asian, and minority ethnic/global majority colleagues and students to bear the burden of this work. It is, rather, a collective endeavour, led by those of us entrusted with leadership positions.

For links to a wide range of excellent resources and donation funds, please visit QMSU’s Black Lives Matter webpage.

I welcome your comments and suggestions. Please be in touch at sed-information@qmul.ac.uk, or if you’d prefer to write to me directly, please email sed-hos@qmul.ac.uk.

In solidarity,

Catherine

Catherine Silverstone

Head of the School of English and Drama

Related blog posts

Taking a Stand: Letter from QMTC’s Abi Adebayo on George Floyd, #BlackLivesMatter and QMUL’s need to stand in solidarity

We have published the letter from Abi Adebayo from Queen Mary Theatre Company which we received on 1 June 2020 because we think she makes important points. Particularly around how the university can support black students and create the anti-racist university which stands up for social justice. Everyone has a responsibility to make sure our university stands up for these values.

Abi would like to recognise the following people who have helped with the creation of the posters, protests and spoken word pieces:


Good afternoon, 

I am writing to you as the Vice president of Queen Mary Theatre Society and as a black student within your university. 

As I am sure you are aware of the countless protests, wide-spread media coverage, and news headlines around the subject of institutional, systematic, and general racism around the world, there has been a nationwide call for the end of injustice towards black people in all capacities. The murder – through means of suffocation – of George Floyd in the United States by the hands of the Minneapolis police was not only barbaric it was symbolic of how black people are stifled in every aspect of our lives due to continued active and passive racism. George Floyd’s name is now on the ever-growing list (that were caught on camera and so are aware of) of black people mercilessly killed for committing the crime of nothing more than simply being black in this month alone. We have called for Justice for Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man shot while he was jogging around his neighborhood, we have called for justice for Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT who was shot up to six times by police officers who had broken into her home without knocking or announcing themselves under the claim that they were executing a search warrant for a suspected drug dealer, who not only had already been arrested but in fact, did not live at that address – Breonna lost her life and instead of charging the police officers for manslaughter, her boyfriend who was sleeping next to her fired back a single shot at what he thought were intruders, and so was charged and arrested despite the fact none of the police officers were harmed, as well as the fact he legally was allowed to put up arms of his registered gun in the state they were situated in. Black people are constantly being killed due to pre-consisting racist and prejudice bias without their murders being reprimanded further than (at most) a slap on the wrist and paid leave. 

The UK is far from innocent and although shootings are less common, the mistreatment of black people from police officers to the general public is as prevalent as ever today, as it was before. Black people being harassed, beaten, and killed for their existence did not stop or even slow down in pace after the horrific murder of Stephen Lawrence, it has continued and, in some ways, even manifested in more covert ways. Rashad Charles, Mark Duggan, Darren Cumberbatch, Edson da Costa, Adrian McDonald, Sarah Reed, Mark Duggan and more recently Belly Mujinga – who was spat at on duty by a member of the public claiming to have COVID-19 and later fell ill and died herself from the contracted virus – are just a few of the documented black people within the United kingdom that have failed to be protected by the government and society in a whole, due to the colour of their skin. We as a people are tired, we are angry, we are devastated, and we are scared.

What kept me hopeful in this time, is seeing how much as a black community we have gathered together and how our Non-Black allies have stood with us. As the committee of Queen Mary theatre society, we have dedicated all of our social media accounts to #BlackLivesMatter initiatives and in using our platform to show our unwavering support as well as educating posts surrounding institutional, systematic, and general racism for our members. SED alumni such as Ndumiso Peter Ndlovu has taken the time to gather both past and current students of QMUL (like myself) to organise a peaceful protest in LONDON, BRISTOL and MANCHESTER both physically and through Zoom to honour George Floyd and Belly Mujinga, and demand for the further investigation, arrest, and charge of their killers. Efe Uwadiae is another alumnus of QMUL who has dedicated her platform to establishing the right discourse around the #BlackLivesMatter movement. 

I was not only shocked, disheartened, and concerned to see how silent not only the Queen Mary student union has been about the racial injustice that not only affects the black members of their faculty but the black student body within QMUL. It seems as if we have no support from the university, which I find particularly interesting considering the statement made by Colin bailey and the SU surrounding the university being reprimanded for racism, to the point where students felt compelled to spray-paint their views on campus – they felt they weren’t being listened to, and it seems evidently we still aren’t being listened to. I am appalled at the lack of support given to students during this time, especially as QMUL claims to care profusely about our mental health and wellbeing. I am appalled at how despite being sent newsletters on various other subjects, none of them have been addressing the current global pandemic of racism. I have been waiting for QMSU and QMUL to use their platform to not only show solidarity instead of complacency, and still, I have yet to hear a single thing which has in turn led me to write this email. 

If the university claims to be proud of how diverse their student body is, why is it that when we need you to use your platform to not only help us but protect and encourage us to stand for what is right the voice of Queen Mary University of London is nowhere to be found? The slight change of flag creates the idea that QMUL is happy to passively support their students along as they don’t have to make a physical, undeniable stance.

Until our voices, influence and platforms as those against racism are as active as the killing and constant injustice of black people within society, we will never see change. 

In no way do I want to endorse the #alllivesmatter stance and advise the university to stay away from this rhetoric as not only does it demean and belittle the experience of black people globally it also stems as a retaliation of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. It is no secret that all lives matter, the point is there have been too many situations that reinforce the idea that black lives are discounted in the “All”. 

What next…

To conclude, I expect from both QMSU, QMUL, and Colin Bailey to not only educate their students and faculty on the #BlackLivesMatter – why it is important and what it represents. To email all students and/or release a statement on the current climate that both comforts and reassures black students that the university is a safe space for them, and their voices are heard. To boost and encourage students to stand for what is right and carefully sculpt a message that re-lays sensitively the situation of George Floyd and Belly Mujinga in unity with the #saytheirnames movement.

I expect the university and the Student union to use their LARGE platform to show their solidarity with us as black students within the university. Here is the link to the protest led by your students and alumni as well as posts I feel could be reposted by the university and student union. 

I hope to hear from you within the next few days before the protest on the 5th JUNE, with a retort, questions and further information on what can be done, what you plan to do and why the university has been silent thus far. As a university you have a duty of care, as QMTC a society within QMUL we are happy to keep the lines of communication open to ensure that duty is fulfilled. 

Kind regards, 

Abi Adebayo, VP 

Queen Mary Theatre Company

www.qmtc.co.uk


Links and resources

SED Final Years: Dissertation Hall of Fame – Win £25 Love2Shop Voucher with your Selfie or MEME #SEDHallofFame

To celebrate 🎉 our final year students handing in their final projects/dissertations we’re looking for your dissertation selfies 🤳 and memes 🤣.

You could win a £25 Love2Shop voucher for sharing your dissertation selfie or meme.

Give us the a pic with the story of your disso or make a gag-worthy MEME to win!

How to enter…

  1. Email us your picture or MEME, full name and caption to: sed-web@qmul.ac.uk
  2. Tag us @QMULSED on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #SEDHallofFame
  3. Message or post to our Facebook Page here

Entry closes on 3 July 2020 at 5pm. Our team will pick the winners on or shortly after 3 July so please get your entry in before then! There will be 2 winners one for selfie and one for meme. We will contact winners via email so keep an eye out on your inbox after 15 June.


Fahima Begum – BA English

Samiha Begum – BA English

Aysel Dilara Kasap- BA English with Creative Writing

Chloe Hocking – BA English

“I have had the most amazing time at QM over the last three years. I’ve met some soulmates. Had a few breakdowns. Hit my limit of daily replacement library cards. Spent £49000 on coffee. And had most of the happiest moments of my life. I know that this dissertation doesn’t sum up everything I’ve learnt and everything that I can do now (notably, go to the shop without having a panic attack). But it was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. And I’m proud of myself for doing it. A huge thank you to every lecturer, advisor, member of staff, and student for helping me through. From helping me choose a dissertation topic to making me a coffee with a smile. Also- to everyone who is still working on their dissertations- you can do this and you will do this. Remember not to compare your own academic achievements to other people’s because yours are just as brilliant and just as important. Okay I’m done now. Gonna go drink, eat, and watch Netflix… Until I have to start the next one.”

Hana Hussein – BA English with Creative Writing

“1 word down 9,999 to go”

Kirsten Murray – BA English

“Standing in the North Sea was not the original dissertation hand in photo I had in mind. Although I am currently some 300 miles from the bustling city of London, my time at Queen Mary has enhanced my passion for literature and developed my personal and academic confidence. The supportive SED staff have even inspired me to continue my studies at the University of Cambridge in a genre, Romanticism, I initially loathed when I arrived in London three years ago.”

Christian Richardson – BA English with Creative Writing

Christopher Smith – BA English

Eleni Sophia – BA English

View this post on Instagram

Yay! Three years & many matcha lattes later, I became a CEO, an author of three poetry collections and completed my dissertation 🙌🏼🥂 I’m so grateful for my time at Queen Mary; both, the @qmulsed & the enterprise department have helped me expand Perspective Press Global and I’m so thankful 🙌🏼 Anyone who’s starting university, please take each opportunity as it comes: go to events, make use of your careers departments — it doesn’t matter if you don’t know anybody, go alone! It can be scary but you never know what opportunities may rise ✨ I’ve also just hired my first employee & I’m super excited to see where my journey takes me 🌺 Thank you to everyone who’s purchased a copy of either book — I appreciate you all so much 💫 Lots of love, Eleni Sophia 🥂

A post shared by Perspective Press Global Ltd (@perspectivepressglobal) on

Demi Whitnell – BA English

English and Drama Newsletter – May 2020 Edition

Welcome to May 2020 from English and Drama at Queen Mary. We hope you are keeping well and staying safe in these strange times. We hope this newsletter can help provide some comfort and distraction this month.

Our student of the month for May is Yue Wang (pictured above middle, pre-lockdown), one of our English PhD students.

Read on for news on events such as the new journal Diaspora SpeaksShow and Tell podcast relaunch and projects from our students and staff.

Online Events

OPEN DAY

Virtual Open Day – for 2021+ Applicants
Friday 26 June 2020, 2-5pm BST, Online

Booking is now open for our June open day – Open Day’s are a great chance to explore the subject, discover the QMUL campus and to meet our students.

Register here

LISTINGS

What Now My Love? Care Café
Thursday 7 May 2020, 7pm BST, Online

Our very own Lois Weaver (Drama) hosts Care Café, a place for people to gather their wits, thoughts and comrades in action.

‘We are all trying to figure out how to breathe through this present moment, how to take care of ourselves and others, and find ways to keep connected to each other.’

Register here

News & Links

Sawdah Bhaimiya (Second year English Student)has co-founded a new publication, Diaspora Speaks,which strives to project the voices of students of colour.

Get involved here

Jerry Brotton 
(English) discusses English Touring Theatre’s staging of Othello in this videofrom an online event.

Charlotte Byrne (PhD English)has just published a Young Adult fantasy adventure novel called Folked Up.

Eve Bolton and Jasmine Rothon (2nd Year English Students) have become part of the Quest Radio management team. Eve will be the Station Manager next year, and Jasmine will be Head of Production. 

Joshua Fraser (2nd Year English Student) has become co-editor of CUB Magazine.

Genna Gardini (PhD Drama) took part in Keep on Writing 2020, presenting a new play via Twitter called Dress for Success. Watch it here

Jen Harvie (Drama) recommends Sally Rooney’s Normal People, adapted by Rooney and playwright Alice Birch, on the BBC iPlayer. Jen says it’s: ‘A very faithful and powerful adaptation of the novel, its really thoughtful direction (by Lenny Abrahamson and Hettie Macdonald) and nuanced acting (especially, for me, by Paul Mescal as Connell) get at the excruciating difficulties of communicating and holding self-belief.’.

Michael Hughes (Creative Writing) recommends watching this new video piece by theatre company Forced Entertainment. Recorded via a 6-way Zoom call, he says it’s: ‘The best piece of work I’ve seen in any form responding to the current crisis, and the first time in a few weeks I’ve properly laughed out loud watching something.’.

Michael is also taking part in regular literary ‘shindig’ ‘A Leap In The Dark’, hosted on Zoom by writer and critic David Collard every Friday and Saturday evening. He says: ‘It’s an eclectic mix of readings, interviews and performances, and I’m there every Friday, reading the latest instalment of the poem Spring Journal, a living record of the current crisis by writer Jonathan Gibbs, inspired by Louis McNeice’s poem ‘Autumn Journal’. Places are limited to 75 each week, so for an invitation, contact David on Twitter @DavidCollard1, or via his blog https://davidjcollard.blogspot.com/. The poem so far can be read on Jonathan’s blog here.

Maggie Inchley (Drama)’s essay ‘sticking in the throat/keyword bitch: aesthetic discharge in debbie tucker green’s stoning mary and hang’ has just been published in debbie tucker green: Critical Perspectives (Palgrave Macmillan).

Hari Marini (Drama/Admin team)’s poetry book has been reviewed here. She has also launched a new video of her Spirals project, online here. Hari’s company Partsuspended is part of Live Art Development Agency’s Something Other Live online series, which is ‘searching for queer ways of occupying the present and its differences’.

Daniel Oliver (Drama) has been running Queen Mary Arts and Culture Writing Retreatson Wednesdays. To sign up, or for more information, please contact us at qmul-arts@qmul.ac.uk.

People’s Palace Projects has been awarded £2.7 million in funding from Barts Charity to establish a Youth Resilience Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London, starting in March 2021.

Read more here

Claire Preston (English) highly recommends this FEEL GOOD DANCE video saying ‘if this doesn’t make you smile, don’t call the doctor because you’re already dead!’.

Nisha Ramayya (Creative Writing) has published a poem for May Day as part of the TENANCY project edited by poet and academic Helen Charman. Read the poem here

Matt Rubery (English) has written a blog post Audiobook highlights, which explores what goes on behind the scenes when producing an audiobook.

Show & Tell podcast is relaunched on the Anchor.fm platform, with fresh new talks from inspiring speakers in the creative industries – including a BAFTA winning TV writer and our very own Jen Harvie (in an episode is introduced by Lois Weaver).

Listen to episode #4 now

Solitude and COVID-19 Barbara Taylor (English/History)’s Solitudes project is posting a series of blogs under the heading ‘Solitude and Covid 19’. It includes pieces on self-isolation and loneliness, the treatment of the over-70s (‘Killing Off Older People), Mary Shelley’s The Last Man, Donne’s hellish sickroom solitude and more. Next to come is a blog by a former Iranian political prisoner, who spent two years in solitary confinement, on self-isolation as imprisonment.

Read the blog posts

Split Britches’ (aka Lois Weaver – Drama and Peggy Shaw – Drama Fellow) Lesbians Who Kill is available to watch online here.

Wasafiri Magazine partnered with the online Bookbound Festival 2020. Guest speakers and participants included our very own Susan Rudy and Malachi McIntosh.

Watch the recorded videos here

Whilst we try our hardest to make sure listings are accurate, we recommend contacting the event organiser or registering before attending as mistakes can be made and we apologise for these.

If you have any news or events for our June newsletter please  email us.

Free Literature Festival: Bookbound 2020 presented with Wasafiri Magazine (Based at QMUL)

BookBound 2020: an antiviral literary festival

bringing authors and readers together online for 7 days of stories and conversation

Monday 27 April to Sunday 3 May 2020

Add to Calendar

BookBound 2020 is a new, not-for-profit literary festival, bringing authors and book-lovers together online for 7 days of exciting events, including readings, story-times and live author-to-author conversations.

While the majority of BookBound 2020’s team is based in the UK, the festival’s mission is to make connections and support new voices in Britain and around the world.

Wasafiri Logo

Proudly partnered with Wasafiri Magazine (based at QMUL), BookBound 2020 offers a global platform for big names, emerging authors and all lovers of literature to come together during this period of international uncertainty and isolation.

Throughout the festival period, speakers will be championing their favourite independent bookshops, and encouraging remote support for the industry while Covid-19 restrictions remain in place.

Viewers will also be able to help their local bookshops through a special arrangement between BookBound 2020 and the online bookseller Hive.

Here’s 10 writers we’re most looking forward to hear from including some QMUL connections:

Octavia Bright

Octavia Bright

Octavia is a writer and co-host of the New York Times and Guardian-recommended literary podcast Literary Friction. She holds a PhD from UCL, where her research focused on hysteria and desire. She has written criticism, fiction, journalism and essays for a variety of publications including Elephant, Orlando, Somesuch Stories, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar and The White Review. She has written librettos for several musical collaborations, which have been performed at Snape Maltings, Kings Place London and LSO St Luke’s.

Wed 29 April | 5.30pm BST

Caleb Femi

Caleb Femi

Caleb is an acclaimed London artist. Featured in the Dazed 100 list of the next generation shaping youth culture, he uses music and film to push the boundaries of poetry. Stream SLOG, Caleb’s latest body of work, and preorder his debut collection POOR (Penguin, July 2020).

Fri 1 May | 5.30pm BST

Niven Govinden

Novelist and speaker Niven Govinden

Niven is the author of four previous novels, most recently All The Days And Nights which was longlisted for the Folio Prize and shortlisted for the Green Carnation Prize. His second novel Graffiti My Soul is about to go into film production. His third novel Black Bread White Beer won the 2013 Fiction Uncovered Prize. He was a judge for the 2017 4th Estate/Guardian B4ME Prize. This Brutal House was shortlisted for the Gordon Burns Prize 2019.

Sat 2 May | 9.15pm BST

Intisar Khanani

Author and Speaker Intisar Khanani

Intisar grew up a nomad and world traveller. She has lived in five different US states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. Her works include The Sunbolt Chronicles and Thorn.

Sun 3 May | 5.30pm BST

David Lammy

MP and author David Lammy

David was born in London to Guianese parents and has served as the MP for Tottenham since 2000. He was the first black Briton to study at Harvard Law School and before entering politics practised as a barrister. David served as a minister under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. His first book, Out of the Ashes: Britain after the Riots, was published to widespread acclaim. Tribes: How Our Need to Belong Can Make or Break Society, is out now.

Sat 2 May | 7.15pm BST hosted by Wasafiri Magazine’s Malachi McIntosh

Georgina Lawton

Georgina Lawton pic by Alicia Canter/The Guardian

Georgina is a 27-year-old author, journalist and travel writer. A former Guardian Weekend columnist, her first book, Raceless, a memoir on family and identity, will be released in September 2020 with Sphere (UK) and Harper Collins (US). Her writing and speaking has been featured in: The Independent, Sky News, Ref29, Stylist, BBC Newsnight, Travel + Leisure, VICE, Suitcase, and Time Out London.

Tue 28 April | 5.30pm BST

Amber Massie-Blomfield

Creative non-fiction writer Amber Massie-Blomfield

Amber Massie-Blomfield is a creative nonfiction writer and arts producer. She has written for titles including The Independent,The Guardian, The Stage and Exeunt. Her first book, Twenty Theatres to See Before You Die was published in 2018 (Penned in the Margins).

Wed 29 April | 7.15pm BST

Malachi McIntosh

Malachi McIntosh

Malachi is Editor and Publishing Director of Wasafiri magazine. Along with his books Emigration and Caribbean Literature, and Beyond Calypso: Re-Reading Samuel Selvon, his writing has appeared in the Caribbean Review of Books, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, the Guardian, The Journal of Romance Studies, Research in African Literatures, Under the Radar, and The Cambridge Companion to British Black and Asian Literature, among others. Prior to joining Wasafiri he was co-lead of the three-times award-winning Our Migration Story project.

Sat 2 May | 7.15pm BST

Lola Olufemi

Writer, organiser and researcher Lola Olufemi

Lola is a black feminist writer, organiser and researcher from London. Her work focuses on the uses of the feminist imagination and its relation to liberated futures. She is the co-author of A FLY Girl’s Guide to University: Being a Woman of Colour at Cambridge and Other Institutions of Power and Elitism (Verve Poetry Press, 2019), author of Feminism Interrupted: Disrupting Power (Pluto Press, 2020) and a member of ‘bare minimum’, an interdisciplinary anti-work arts collective.

Sun 3 May | 7.15pm BST

Susan Rudy

Susan Rudy

Susan is Director of the Centre for Poetry in the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London. Her research investigates the intersections between experimental writing, radical feminist theory, and gender ontoformativity. With Dr Georgina Colby, she founded SALON – LONDON: a site for responding to the present through women’s experimental writing, and is currently working with collaborators across the UK to establish a Queer Poetics Research Network at Queen Mary’s Centre for Poetry.

Thurs 30 April | 9.15pm BST

Join Alumna Christina Storey’s Instagram Book Club – Interview

We caught up with 2018 English graduate Christina Storey to talk about her brand new book club bringing a new book community to Instagram.

We asked her about the The Storey Book Club, her favourite books and her time at Queen Mary.

Tell us about your new Instagram book club. What should people expect when they join?

For ages I’ve been jealous of my mum’s ‘real life’ book club, and with everything going on at the moment I’ve seen lots of literary events move online so I thought, why not create an online book club?

I’ve been posting my own book reviews on my personal instagram for a while and got a few messages from friends and random followers saying that they liked my book recommendations and wanted more. I decided I wanted to create a little community on the internet that people can just discuss their favourite books and most recent reads.

I’m going to be posting recommendations a lot and plan to have a weekly post of a favourite book from childhood. The main point of it is, of course, the ‘club’ element of it! A book is picked every two weeks, it’s announced on the Saturday evening, and two weeks later there will be a post on the feed with some questions which (I hope!) will create some discussion in the comments! The first book is Everything I know about love by Dolly Alderton and we’ll be discussing it Sunday 26th April at 8pm.

It’s an incredibly new venture for me but I’ve had some great responses so far so I’m excited to grow it further! 

What are your 3 favourite books and why? (too hard? Maybe 3 recent books)

Yes that is a very hard question! I definitely can’t pick favourites but I’ll pick three that I love.

1)       Everything I know about love by Dolly Alderton

  • The reason I picked this as my first book club pick is just because I simply love it. Dolly writes so candidly about her experiences with everything – boys, alcohol, family, friends, loss – and it genuinely had me laughing one minute, crying the next. When I finished it all I wanted to do was text all my friends saying how much I love them!

2)       The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

  • This was the book that I always mentioned in my first year on university when I was asked what my favourite book was! It has such a unique tone of voice and narrator’s perspective, it tells such an interesting story and is very moving.

3)       A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood

  • I love young adult books so much (I even wrote my dissertation on them) and this is one of my favourites. Set in the 1920s it has the glamour and wistfulness of The Great Gatsby, is beautifully written and also has great character developments and relationships.

Tell us about your time at QMUL. What were the books that made an impression on you?

My time at QMUL was great, I split my time doing my English degree, being in the cheerleading club and working at drapers so I definitely had the full university experience. I am quite set in my ways when it comes to what to read and university definitely pushed me out of my boundaries and opened up so much great literature for me that it’s hard to pick specific books.  Some of the modules I loved were the Arthurian module, Dickens and Jane Austen modules. My favourite module was definitely Reading Childhood/ Writing Children as we analysed so many books from my childhood in a literary sense and I I found it really interesting and thought-provoking!

What advice would you give to current students at Queen Mary about life after university?

Well, my first piece of advice would be to travel! I travelled solo to Australia the January following my graduation. I travelled and worked there for a year and just had the best year of my life. I met so many people, experienced so much and although now some of my friends are ‘ahead’ in their careers compared to me, I don’t regret it at all as I had lots of great life experiences!

However, I realise in the current state of things travel may not be an option and the job market (or lack of) seems even scarier – and I get that, trust me I do! I started looking for a job in publishing when I returned from Australia, and then Corona happened and companies stopped hiring. It’s hard, it’s really hard but you have to try and make the most of it. I’ve been doing some online courses – FutureLearn and Google Digital Garage, which are both really good, and I’ve started up my book club! I’m trying to improve my employability skills so that when companies do start hiring again, I can show them what I’ve been doing with my time and try to be the best candidate possible!

I won’t lie to you, life after University is tough but it’s exciting as well. There is so much out there. Whether that’s career, travelling or your personal life – just try to look for the positives in everything and work as hard as you can!