A year abroad can really open up new opportunities and give you valuable life experience to take into your future career.
According to the UK Universities International Report (March 2017):
Graduates who were mobile during their degree were less likely to be unemployed (3.7% compared to 4.9%), and more likely to have earned a first class or upper second class degree (80.1% compared to 73.6%) and be in further study (15% compared to 14%).
Those in work were more likely to be in a graduate level job (76.4% compared to 69.9%) and earn 5% more than their non-mobile peers.
The study abroad experience is intense, and because of this special quality and the quality of emotional investment in this period students are likely to make particularly strong friendships and have particularly memorable experiences. There are all sorts of opportunities that students will find access to because of location or circumstance that they wouldn’t necessarily get in London- one former student was offered a role in a professional production in New York, students on exchange with Howard University have inbuilt work experience and opportunities on Capitol Hill with the US government, students in New York might seek out opportunities with the UN.
We’re delighted to announce that the following undergraduate BA (Hons) programmes now have a year abroad:
Please note we are still offering our Semester Abroad in the second year of all of our courses with the following institutions:
Columbia University, New York; Howard University, Washington DC; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; The George Washington University, Washington DC; University of Miami, FL; University of Richmond, VA; The University of Texas at Austin; University of Melbourne; University of Sydney; The University of Toronto; University of Ottawa, Canada; The University of Auckland, NZ; University of Hong Kong; Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; Seoul National University; Waseda University, Tokyo; Renmin University, Beijing.
Advice and Guidance
If you would like any advice on Study Abroad opportunities within the School of English and Drama please contact:
In my second year I took Renaissance Drama with the wonderful Kirsty Rolfe and for a weeks we had the pleasure to be lectured by Jerry Brotton. His speciality being maps, we had fascinating lectures in regards to mapping the renaissance globe and how early modern london viewed foreigners in plays such as Tamburlaine The Great. In June earlier this summer I went travelling through Italy for three weeks visiting cities from Naples to Rome, Pompei to Venice and while I was in Florence I came across a familiar face, or rather name. In the book shop inside the famous Uffizi Gallery, home to Botticelli’s ‘The Birth of Venus’ and Caravaggio’s ‘Medusa’, I came across our very own Jerry Brotton and his publication ‘A History of the World in Twelve Maps’. I couldn’t believe it! My travelling partner and another tourist we had met at the gallery didn’t believe me either that I had been taught by the man himself however on the first page it read ‘Professor at Queen Mary, University of London’. Of course I had to buy the book, and thoroughly enjoyed reading it on the train between Florence and Venice. I could hear Jerry’s voice as I read to myself, recognising his turn of phrase. No matter where you go in the world, QM apparently will go with you!
Thanks to QM & Air Supply, I now work for artists & organisations that I admired & studied during my time there. Love you QM! #SEDstories ❤️
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Eleanor Rose Morrissey
One of my best QM memories: seeing Antony & Cleopatra with brilliant friends at the Globe, laughing as the heavens opened on us in true British style #theatre #shakespeare #theglobe #britishweather
Studying English Literature i knew I would come across amazing novels written in periods beyond my life time and in places I never knew existed. I was always amazed by the novels I learnt each year and the beautiful stylistic techniques that each author individually created towards their work. However one book that resonated with me was My Place by Sally Morgan that I studied in Postcolonial Literatures in second year. The autobiography explores the young protagonist Sally telling us about the moment she discovered her aboriginal heritage, and understanding the decisions her mother and grandmother took to provide a safe home for their children. This book explores relationships, something I realised was so important during university, and female empowerment which I am pleased to have discovered a great department that continues to strengthen women (and men) to reach their greatest potential. Sally had an amazing support network with her family and I realised that I have one too with not only my family but the friends I made at university and also in the academics I met across the three years. I learnt a lot about myself but also others around me. My fellow students all see the literary works differently and it amazed me that one book can create hundreds of perspectives. I started university young and naive and looking for a place to belong. Sally at the end of the novel had discovered her place within a community that many have ignored for decades. She cemented the history of Aboriginals and the stolen generations into the public sphere, with Australian school children reading her book in their school curriculum. I discovered my place within the amazing SED community and the school of english and drama have cemented this new breadth of understanding and knowledge into my mind and heart. #SedStories
Books, glorious books! One of the best things about studying English Literature is that so much of our time is spent just reading books, something that we would do as a pastime! Seeing some of the books I’ve read during my time at Queen Mary really makes me realise how far we’ve all come. You don’t always realise how day by day, your thinking is changing, but when I look back at the kind of thinker I was when I first came to QM and how my thinking is now, I realise that a lot has changed.
Besides the books, I love how I’m surrounded by teachers and students who love books and literature just as much as I do, and most of all, that they love to think critically. On no other course could you possibly have passionate, heated discussions about fictional characters! My best memories are having really meaningful discussions which left me thinking long after the lecture/seminar is over. Thank you to all the staff and students who make SED what it is and who have helped me to give expression to my thoughts, feelings and ideas through your inspiration in lectures and seminars.
There was so much reading to do, my cat learnt to become a living bookmark.
Anna Lily Dean
Drama at Queen Mary has taught me to never apologise for my own work. If you come to study here, expect to make pieces that you’re embarrassed to tell your mum about but excited to tell your friend about. For example – An exhibition showcasing 52 vomit images captured on the streets of London. A.k.a. ‘London is Vomit’. ???????????????? #sedstories #bacstransfer #londonisvomit #qmul
After spending a year abroad, being a part of QMTC really helped me settle back into QM and meet new people. Being on the committee added a whole new dimension- it was like a full time internship, with all the responsibility that comes with it. Despite countless moments of thinking ‘oh my gosh, Edinburgh isn’t going to happen. I’m going to be the first treasurer in 22 years to not take everyone to Edinburgh fringe’, I managed it! The best thing about the trip was the people. We truly are like a family and certainly made a million memories. I promised myself that during my MA at QM I wouldn’t get involved with QMTC because of the time it takes up but I’m not sure I’ll be able to resist! Now over with the cringey stuff! Let’s end with a few of my favourite quotes from the fringe: ‘I’m on me holibobs’, ‘you can basically do everything’, ‘wooooow’. ❤ u guys xxx #SEDstories #fringe #Edinburgh #qmul #QMTC
The time that the Arthurian Lit lecture had GoT spoiler slides. And that time Run the Jewels explained Hegel. Brilliant. #sedstories https://t.co/EJxuACdk5W
In this event, Dr Matthew Ingleby will lead a panel discussion exploring the role urban geography has played historically in revising the bounds of human sympathy. Bloomsbury has been associated with philanthropic innovation since 1739, when Thomas Coram established the Foundling Hospital in fields on what was then the northern edge of London. The Foundling was followed by a plethora of pioneering charitable organisations, such as Great Ormond Street Hospital for children (founded 1852), the first of its kind in the UK. Both of these institutions popularised new ways of thinking about the recipients of their care, and each became fashionable within London society partly through their endorsement by cultural celebrities, including the composer Handel and the novelist Dickens.
The dramatic backdrop of Waterloo Station, point of arrival in London for Caribbean migrants in the 1950s, provides the setting for this guided walk. Experience the vibrant writing of Trinidadian-born novelist Sam Selvon, who evokes the expectations and apprehensions of new arrivals at Waterloo, as well as feelings of loss and nostalgia. Our stroll around the station and its environs will take in Selvon’s lyrical and witty reflections on London Transport, on railway travel and waiting in stations, on the pleasure of chance meetings and the alienation of encountering a city of strangers. In partnership with the Migration Museum Project.
Assemble at the Left Luggage office, Waterloo rail station. The office is located close to the Waterloo Bridge exit from the concourse.
‘The great Yiddish parade’ is a re-enactment of a protest march by Jewish immigrants in Victorian Whitechapel, demanding better conditions for all East End workers. Experience the urgency, fervour and intensity of political culture in the Victorian East End. Join a band of klezmer musicians and singers performing newly discovered Victorian Yiddish protest songs in their original setting. Participation is warmly encouraged, and song sheets will be provided (no knowledge of Yiddish is required). March from Aldgate to Mile End Waste (about 1 mile), where you will find out more about east London’s forgotten heritage of protest in poetry and song.
Book online via the event title links above for all events.
I’m a London born performer, playwright, director, producer, facilitator and teacher. I specialise in Theatre of the Oppressed and hold an MA in Physical Theatre. I have worked internationally in theatre, television and radio for over twenty-five years, from Antarctica to Zimbabwe. My work has ranged from being an actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company to co-founding VIDYA, a slum-dweller’s theatre company in Ahmedabad, India.
My theatre productions include Moj of the Antarctic: An African Odyssey (Lyric Hammersmith), Muhammad Ali and Me (Ovalhouse) and I Stand Corrected (Artscape, Cape Town). Publications include Mojisola Adebayo: Plays One (Oberon), 48 Minutes for Palestine in Theatre in Pieces (Methuen) and the co-written Theatre for Development Handbook (Pan). My (QMUL) PhD thesis is entitled Afriquia Theatre: Creating Black Queer Ubuntu Through Performance.
I am currently compiling Plays Two and working on her next production, STARS, a play, installation and club night with community based intergenerational workshops with women and girls that explores sex and space travel, orgasm and outer space, the pleasure and power of female sexuality. I am looking forward to working creatively and critically with QMUL to reflect and include the multiple identities of London, in every way. See www.mojisolaadebayo.com for more.
Zara Dinnen – Lecturer in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature
I’m joining QMUL having spent four years lecturing at University of Birmingham. Whilst I was there I was working with great colleagues to develop our teaching and research into contemporary literature and culture, and I’m excited to do more of that work here at QMUL with new great colleagues. My own research is about digital media. I am interested in how literature and popular culture tell stories of everyday life lived with new technologies, and how those stories shape the ways we live our digital lives. I write about literature, film, TV, comics, and teach with these different media too. At QMUL I am looking forward to term starting, to new teaching and new spaces and new people.
I am currently watching: all of Netflix.
I am currently reading: Paper Girls vol.3 and Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels
In the past five years, I have published three novels, the most recent of which, I Am No One, appeared in 2016. I grew up in the U.S., in California and Nebraska and New York, but have lived in the U.K. for the past sixteen years, having come to do a masters and doctorate in English at Oxford. My first degree, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Television Production, was from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Before joining Queen Mary, I spent three years as Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Reading and several years before that I was a Research Associate at the University of Sheffield, where I taught Contemporary and Modern Literature and Literary Theory.
At QM, I look forward to building the SED’s Creative Writing pathway into a rich and varied programme that will give students wide latitude to experiment with different kinds of writing over the course of their degree. The guiding principle for the pathway will be to foster a space in which experimentation is valued, and engagement with the world around us—in Mile End, in the East End, in London, in Britain, in Europe more broadly—is celebrated.
Ella Finer – Lecturer in Drama, Theatre, and Performance
I’m looking forward to being a part of this extraordinary department and school for the next year: collaborating on, discussing and sharing research, as well as teaching on modules I wish I had taken as an undergraduate. I was an undergraduate myself in Glasgow, where I also did an MPhil researching the gendering of photographic space, resulting in turning a theatre into a camera obscura, a camera and a dark room in succession. I moved back to London to study at Roehampton for a PhD researching materialities of the female voice in performance.
I make work with sound and have installed/performed this work in galleries (including Bloomberg Space, Raven Row, Focal Point, Ikon, Baltic 39) and as part of symposia of my own and others making. My interest in archival practices and “caring for the continuous” has resulted in an event curated for the upcoming British Library’s Season of Sound. Selector Responder: Sounding out the Archives will take place on December 8th with speakers including David Toop, Larry Archiampong, Holly Pester and Nina Power. I look forward to meeting more of you in classrooms and corridors and all best wishes for the new year.
I’m the new lecturer in Postcolonial and Global Literature. I’ve just finished a 3 year British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Birmingham, working on violence, advocacy and protest in graphic narratives from around the globe.
In addition to my work on comics, I am finishing a book on borders and conflict in literature from partition areas.
Before starting my postdoc I held a temporary lectureship at QM and I’m delighted to be back in the department!
David Schalwyk – Professor of Shakespeare Studies and Director of the Centre for Global Shakespeare at QMUL
I am Professor of Shakespeare Studies and Director of the Centre for Global Shakespeare at QMUL. I was formerly Academic Director of Global Shakespeare at QMUL and the University of Warwick. Director of Research at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. and editor of the Shakespeare Quarterly, and before that Professor of English and Deputy Dean at the university of Cape Town. I have published some 150 essays and chapters in books, and my monographs include Speech and Performance in Shakespeare’s Sonnets and Plays (Cambridge, 2002), Literature and the Touch of the Real (Delaware, 2004), Shakespeare, Love and Service (Cambridge, 2008), Hamlet’s Dreams: The Robben Island Shakespeare (Arden Shakespeare, 2013), The Word Against the World: The Bakhtin Circle (Skene, 2016). My latest monograph, Shakespeare, Love and Language is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press in 2017. My translation of Karel Schoeman’s Afrikaans novel, ‘n Ander Land (Another Country) will be published in a new edition in 2018.
I am interested in Shakespeare’s afterlives across the world, love and service in Shakespeare, and literary theory and philosophy, especially the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein, J.L. Austin, Jacques Derrida, Jacques Lacan, Stanley Cavell and the theory and history of emotion. I also have an interest in South African prison writing.
Since I have been at Queen Mary for three years already, having moved into SED this year from Global Shakespeare, I’m looking forward to working in the strong academic and research community that constitutes SED and working with a range of students.
At graduation we honour the work of people in our field with Honorary Degrees and Fellowships.
This year there were a record four people given these honours:
Kazi Ruksana Begum – Fellowship
Kazi Ruksana Begum is the producer of A Season of Bangla Drama, a dazzling festival of Bengali culture. Working with QMUL she has helped the university connect with the local Bengali community and form partnerships with students, researchers, policymakers and artists.
Peggy Shaw – The award of Doctor of Letters (DLitt)
New York born Peggy Shaw (Actor, writer and producer) is one of the most important feminist and lesbian perfomance makers of the 20th and 21st centuries. She and Lois Weaver (QMUL) have made work together since the 1970s including the WOW (Women One World) festival and with their theatre company Split Britces.
Virginia Simpson – Fellowship
Virginia (Gini) Simpson is an arts strategist who hot houses new artists through initiatives such as ‘The Sick of the Fringe’. She was Head of Learning and Participation at the Barbican, Head of Media Arts at SPACE in Hackney and has been a pioneer in bringing new-media arts to the forefront of the creative industries.
Daljit Nagra – Fellowship
Daljit is one of contemporary Britain’s most successful, well-known, and critically acclaimed poets. His fourth collection British Library, was published by Faber and Faber in 2017.
Queen Mary student and Tower Hamlets citizen journalist Seren Morris was awarded Third Prize in the 2017 London Voices journalist competition sponsored by The Media Society and London Learning Consortium at a high profile event at the London Reform Club last week.
Seren’s written entry considers the problems of London students trying to earn a living wage, and was part of a competition designed to encourage new talent into journalism.
Dubbed London Voices, the competition aims to promote emerging journalism talent across the capital and to generate a range of new perspectives and ideas about London. Aspiring citizen journalists submitted articles, videos or photos which debated and challenged the ways people think about their communities. The competition was launched against a background of discussion about the proliferation of ‘fake news’, and is part of an attempt to fight back by encouraging citizens to become part of reporting ‘real’ news about their communities and issues.
Seren has just completed her second year at Queen Mary, University of London, where she studies English Lit. She interviewed six London students about the vexed issue of trying to earn a living wage for work and internships, and the problems they face surviving economically while needing to take low (or no) paying work relevant to their studies and future work prospects. Her magazine-style entry can be watched on the London Voices website at http://www.londonlc.org.uk/london-voices/.
Media Society judges Patrick Barrow and Barney Jones loved Seren’s “beautifully presented” article and felt it was, “detailed, thoughtful and clear, with some great photos and graphics”. She was presented with her award by President of The Media Society, Richard Peel.
Seren credits her interest in journalism to both the Welsh tradition of celebrating arts and literature, and her mum and grandmother’s talent for creative writing and poetry. She also values the encouragement her father gave her around photography, which has impacted on her love of media in general. She hopes one day to work in print journalism and independent magazines, concentrating on women in the arts.
MAY/HEM Festival: a curation of installation and performance works by the Final Year BA Drama students as part of their performance dissertation module.
The festival will take place at Oxford House in Bethnal Green (Tuesday, Wednesday) and at Queen Mary (Thursday).
The Sexual Cultures Research Group is pleased to announce their third event, a public lecture by Sara Ahmed entitled ‘Queer Use’:
‘The lecture draws from my current research into “the uses of use.” In this lecture I reflect on the gap between the intended function of an object and how an object is used as a gap with a queer potential. I do not simply affirm that potential, but offer instead an account of how institutional and sexual cultures are built to enable some uses more than others. Small acts of use are the building block of habit: use can build walls as well as worlds. To bring out the queerness of use requires a world-dismantling effort; to queer use is to make usage into a crisis.’
Sara Ahmed is a feminist writer, scholar, and activist. She is the author of Living a Feminist Life, Willful Subjects, On Being Included, The Promise of Happiness, and Queer Phenomenology.
You are warmly invited to the final English Postgraduate Research Seminar of 2016/17 with Nick Freeman, of Loughborough University. He will present ‘‘A middle-class and mediocre book’: Posing, Parody and the Wilde Style, 1894-1904′.
Nick Freeman is Reader in Late-Victorian Literature at Loughborough University. He has published widely on the literature and culture of the fin de siècle, and is the author of 1895: Drama, Disaster and Disgrace in Late Victorian Britain and a recent edition of Arthur Symons’ Spiritual Adventures.
“I imagine this midnight moment’s forest:
Something else is alive”
“The Thought-Fox” encapsulates Alice Oswald’s view that Ted Hughes did not perform the poem as he read, but that “the poem performed him.” Hughes, she thought, was being played by his own music.
This event, organised by Peter Howarth of the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University, London, was devised by Bernard Schwartz, director of the Poetry Center at 92Y in New York, which has been known for its recordings of poets for the past seventy years. Schwartz, a visiting fellow at Queen Mary, had wondered if it would work to have a live evening with a current poet listening and commenting on the recording of a past poet, and hence Alice Oswald was asked to speak about Hughes’ recordings from 1971 and 1986.
The first recording was from 1971 with Hughes introducing and reading “The Thought-Fox” as the first poem he felt was worth keeping. He tells us that he wrote it about two years after his infamous “departure from studies in academic English” when he dreamt that a “burnt fox” warned him that his studies were “killing us.” Two other foxes were also described – one from his childhood and another from a Swedish film. Oswald then talked about how she came to Hughes; as an undergraduate she felt she was, “narrow minded about poetry” but like Hughes she stopped her academic studies and looked for a looser style, but one which still meant that, “every brick” would count. Finding this in Hughes she called it his “compulsory inner music.” He was not a Nature poet in her opinion; rather, by fusing the different foxes, from one of which, who had human hands, the poet created a mythic fox, a metaphorical fox, Hughes was a “preternatural poet.”
“Pibroch” came next, Oswald placing it in a Beckettian world, where there were stones and wind and “A tree [that] struggles to make leaves” reminding us of Waiting for Godot. Redeeming us from this nihilism, Hughes’ “upbeat sound”, the colours of red and black and the “nobility of humans” speak of “the gift of life.” We then heard “Littleblood”, one of the Crow poems, given to Crow by an eskimo. Hughes seems to have brought together disturbing images, but finishes with hope, so after, “Sucking death’s mouldy tits”, comes, “Sit on my finger, sing in my ear, O littleblood.” It felt strange therefore that Oswald did not read at all; it would have been uplifting to hear the voice of the dead, speaking in the living. Hughes’ legacy to us is surely, not only what we have from the past, but what it stirs within us for our lives and literature now and in the future.
“How Water Began to Play” followed where water is mineral, a universal element and not a geographical feature. In a fascinating break from Hughes, there came a reading from the actress Irene Worth, who Schwartz told us appealed to Hughes not to read her any more Crow poems as she found them terrifying. Worth played Phèdre speaking to Theseus in a 1999 recording made in memory of Hughes. Other testimonies followed, first from Peter Brook who said that Hughes had the “ability to reach the active language” and then Derek Walcott who remembered that he had been in Lorca’s house when he had heard that Hughes had died.
Finally we reached the 1986 recording of “October Salmon”. Hughes had explained that when his father was dying, he stayed with him and they would walk in and around the village. The customary walk revealed the fish and through this introduction, the poem becomes yet more powerful in its observation of the great laid low; of the closeness of death, even at birth. One cannot but remember, as you listen, Hughes’ own life, the “Aurora Borealis/Of his April power” comes finally back to his October death and that “epic poise.”
Di Beddow is speaking at the Huddersfield University Ted Hughes Network Symposium in June; she is presenting on the Cambridge of Ted Hughes. Anyone interested in either the Ted Hughes Network, or joining the Ted Hughes Society should contact these links:
2015 English graduate Tierney Cowap is working in PR with fashion and gifts retailer Oliver Bonas gives us her top tips for getting into the industry.
1. Decide what you’re aiming for
There are many different sectors of PR, so do some research and get an idea of what area you’d like to work in. Would you prefer the security and in-depth approach of working for an in-house PR team, or a more broad and varied role in an agency? Do you want to PR for a food and drinks brand, or work in fashion PR? By setting your preferences and aims, you can be more specific when applying for roles or placements.
2. Build on your own experience
I got my initial placement in a PR role by emailing the relevant team in the brand I was already working for, and asking if I could do some work experience. Because I already had knowledge of the product range, of the brand ethos, and of the customer we were selling to, PR-specific skills were something I built up along the way. Your job as a PR is to make other people passionate about your product – if you can demonstrate to a recruiter that you genuinely love and know about their products, it puts you in a strong position!
3. Diversify your skills
As a PR you may be called upon to support a brand across a range of projects – from editing campaign imagery in Photoshop, to arranging catering and prop deliveries for press events, to dealing with customer inquiries on social media! The more areas in which you have prior experience, the better. Keep up to date with developments in tech and social media, read up on the relevant publications and key journalists in your field, and work on your confidence when speaking to new people. Above all, be willing to get stuck in, and show your eagerness to learn.
4. Be proactive
All brands will hold product launches or media-facing events throughout the year, but within certain areas of PR – particularly consumer, fashion or food brands – the peak season is from May through to July. The industry tradition of holding Christmas in July events (where brands showcase their Christmas ranges in summer, so that long-lead publications can plan their features) means that the summer season is especially busy. You never know what will come from a speculative email in the run-up, asking if the PR team for your favourite brand could do with an extra pair of hands over this key period!
5. Have your own ideas
PR roles are based on communication, and deciding on the best way to communicate an idea is naturally subjective. From your language choice, to the media contacts you target with certain product releases and when, it can often take discussion with your colleagues to make strategy decisions. In interview, you may well be asked to put together a presentation suggesting how the brand or agency could do better (to give an example, ‘how could our brand better target a millennial audience on social media?’) Don’t be afraid to put forward your honest ideas and thoughts, but be sure to do your research – you don’t want to make suggestions, only to find that they’ve been operating that way for months.
Join our special guest Ruth Abbott (University of Virginia) for her seminar ‘George Eliot in the Biblioteca Magliabechiana: Romola, the Florentine Renaissance, and the history of historical scholarship’.