In a prestigious survey of 4,438 universities, Drama at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) has risen, remarkably, from the 51-100 range last year to 30th in the world this year in the Performing Arts subject category. English has continued its steady ascendance since 2013, climbing this time from 35th to 32nd in the world in the English Language and Literature subject category.
The QS World University Rankings by Subject is considered to be among the most trusted of league tables. Rankings are based on academic and employer reputations and research citations per faculty (the number of times the research is credited in the work of other academics).
Professor Warren Boutcher (Head of School of English and Drama) said:
“I am delighted to see our world-class English and Drama departments continue to ascend the QS World University Rankings by Subject, now heading towards the top 30. This reflects our upward curve in terms of the excellence we are achieving in both disciplines, and promises a very bright future.”
Professor Matthew Hilton, Vice-Principal (Humanities and Social Sciences) said:
“I am especially pleased for colleagues in the Drama Department, now ranked 30th in the world.”
The Lunchtime Seminar is a friendly place for established and emerging scholars with interests in religion and literature including sacred texts and objects, theoretical writing about religion, the practices of domestic devotion, and religious writing, publishing, and reading to meet and discuss ideas. Researchers from QMUL and beyond are welcome. Please feel free to bring your lunch.
This week we welcome 2 distinguished scholars to our postgraduate seminar. Bernard Schwartz is on Wednesday with a seminar entitled “Efforts of Commemoration: Dylan Thomas and the Legacy of Literary Afterlives” and Charlotte Ribeyrol on Thursday with a seminar entitled: “The Golden Stain of Time’: Remembering the colours of Amiens cathedral”.
A line up of top speakers including our very own Prof. Bill Schwarz (Queen Mary University) and a drinks reception to celebrate the book and the establishment of a Stuart Hall Fellowship at the University of East London.
Admission is free, but tickets should be booked in advance.
Juliet Jacques has published two books: Rayner Heppenstall: A Critical Study (Dalkey Archive Press, 2007) and Trans: A Memoir (Verso, 2015). As well as contributing to several anthologies, her short fiction has appeared in Five Dials, Berfrois, 3:AM and elsewhere; her essays and journalism have featured in Granta, Sight & Sound, Wire, The Guardian and many other publications and websites. She lives in London.
Juliet will read from Trans: A Memoir and then be in conversation with Sam McBean. The event will conclude with an audience Q&A. Drinks reception to follow. The event takes place on 13 March 2017, at 6pm, in the Arts Lecture Theatre in ArtsOne Building.
It is FREE to attend and we’re not taking bookings. All welcome.
We are looking for a person with a keen interest in The Yard to lead on our marketing and communications, ensuring they embody our values and inspire audiences to see our work. The Marketing and Communications Manager will play a vital role in the delivery of The Yard’s mission and brand. Principally this involves having responsibility for growing our profile, driving audience development and box office growth and managing press relationships, print, advertising and digital communications.
Symposium: Drama Department, Queen Mary University, London (Thursday 27 April, 2017)Live Art Event: Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, London (Saturday 29 April 2017)CUNTemporary is now accepting proposals for a new episode of “Deep Trash”, the unique multi-disciplinary exhibition and performance club night in London.Calling for performances, videos and artworks to be shown on Saturday 29 April 2017. We accept proposals by artists of any artistic background and nationality. We are also keen to hear from writers and academics responding to the call either in written form (theory and cross-genre) or through a performative lecture.
Calls for Papers & Contributions
No listings this week.
To add a listing to next week’s digest please email us by Monday 13 March 2017 at 5pm
We try and keep these listings as accurate as possible but errors can occur. Please check with the relevant party before going to an event or taking up an opportunity.
On Sunday 19th February I headed off to King’s Cross Train Station to catch an 11 o’clock train up to Edinburgh for the Annual Edinburgh Undergraduate Literature Conference. The theme of this conference was “Diversion and Connection”, and Queen Mary’s School of English and Drama had generously sponsored my travel and accommodation for the event. I had four long hours alone on the train to go over, and over, and over, my presentation, getting progressively more nervous and apprehensive. Since I wasn’t presenting until the following morning I tried to take my mind off my nerves by working on other things too.
I got into Edinburgh at about 4 o’clock in the evening, dropped my things at the cheap hotel I had found 5 minutes from the station, and spent the evening walking around the city. I hadn’t been to Edinburgh before. It is beautiful! If I were to give you one piece of advice when attending conferences outside of London, aside from making the most of the intellectual and academic opportunities, it would be to be a tourist. I really enjoyed taking the time to explore the city, the university and to learn a little about the area. It was great to see where fellow students are making their work. Edinburgh has such a rich literary, artistic, and cultural landscape that it was exciting to have the chance to be there for a little bit.
I had submitted a proposal in January this year to speak about my 3rd year dissertation research into Shakespeare’s glorification of the 17th Century concept of “Englishness” in his trilogy of Henry VI plays. These plays were produced in the 1590s but stage the struggles and bloodshed of the 1420s-1470s amongst the English and between the English and French. Shakespeare emphasizes the differences and divisions between the English/ foreigners (the French); men/ women and Church of England/ Catholics. With only 15 minutes to speak, I focused on the presentation of gender and, in particular, on the characterisations of Joan of Arc and Margaret of Anjou in the plays. I considered both the Elizabethan context and the modern-day resonance of the gender and xenophobia issues. In today’s post-Brexit Trumpian world this work contributes to wider urgent conversations around cultural appropriation, nationalism, and the portrayal of other ethnicities, sexes, and religions.
The conference divided into three sections. The first section of the day consisted of two groups of undergraduates (including myself) presenting literature papers ranging from The Medieval and Shakespeare to 18th and 19th Century writers. Speakers spoke about Virginia Woolf and the progression of feminist theory; the contrast between the representation of male and female desire in Troubadour poetry; the way Merlin and King Arthur are presented in Medieval literature; as well as an exploration of the boom in children’s literature during the Victorian era. My presentation went well which was a relief. Everyone reacted viscerally to the photo montage of Trump, Farage, Wilders, May, and others, with which I concluded my presentation. I was delighted that this resonance of the ideas with current issues provoked lots of conversation and I had some really stimulating questions about crossover work and ideas from other peers presenting.
After the tea break (where I am unashamed to say I stuffed my face on all the cakes, cookies, and free coffee ), another two panels of undergraduates spoke firstly about 20th Century Literature, and then International Literature. The speakers in this section spoke about the relation between the genocide of Australian aboriginal people and Jewish people in the Holocaust through literature (with this speaker having flown in from Canada); the dichotomy between the East and West as expressed through Arab literature, with a specific focus on the work of Rabih Alameddine, Chinese language internet literature, and the struggles of national identity and sexuality in Mexican literature.
The day concluded after lunch (again free and plentiful) with a Postgraduate Panel talking about their research in Universities including Edinburgh, York, Durham, Oxford, Cambridge, Canada and Spain, the benefits of postgraduate study. We also heard from the conference Keynote Speaker, Dr Richard Walsh from the University of York, about narrative structure and wonder.
Attending this conference was beneficial in three key ways: firstly, it was great practice presenting and discussing my research with fellow literary scholars who could identify and question gaps in my research and suggest theorists and texts I could explore to broaden and deepen my research; secondly, it was a great opportunity to hear about other sections of literary research which I would have otherwise not had the opportunity to hear about; and thirdly, it is extremely enjoyable to meet with fellow literature lovers and hear about other university courses, and experiences as I go on to consider the possibility of Masters degrees and further academic study in the future. There was a lot of free food, coffee, tea, and wine to drown our nerves with, and everyone was really friendly and constructive. I have set up an online group for participants where we have already shared our written papers and exchanged messages since the conference. I hope to keep in touch with them.
It was an honour to represent Queen Mary’s English Department at the conference, which has an open application policy. I would recommend other students to make an application to attend next year.
In the meantime, The Centre for Early Modern Studies at King’s College London is holding a Bodies in Motion in the Early Modern World Conference this June. Worth trying to go to it, or there is also the opportunity to submitting a poster, linked to a paper of yours, for presentation at the conference. If you’re interested email email@example.com.
For generations race has defined interpretations of Othello. Important though this tradition has been in addressing issues like civil rights and apartheid, Jerry Brotton will argue in this talk that current preoccupations with race obscure how Elizabethan England’s religious and imperial relations with the Islamic world shaped the dramatic action of plays like Othello.
In close readings of key passages (Othello’s ‘travel’s history’, the ‘Willow song’ scene and Othello’s last speech), Professor Brotton offers a new interpretation of the play that resonates with our current anxieties about religious extremism, immigration and cosmopolitanism.
“Where better to speak about Othello and its reflection of our current global predicament than at a place called the Globe? Such predicaments are now understood as much through debates about faith and belonging as race…”
Terms and conditions: Competition closes on Tuesday 7 March at 5pm GMT. The competition is open to anyone based in the UK. 3 winners will be selected to win a prize. There are 3 prizes available of:
1 x This Orient Isle paperback + 2 x tickets to A Wheeling and Extravagant Stranger: Othello, Elizabeth and Islam event with Jerry Brotton on Thursday 9 March.
2 runners up prizes of 2 x tickets to Jerry Brotton’s event (detailed above).
“New Diorama Theatre has just launched the search for the best six graduating, or recently graduated, companies from across the UK to take part on our artist development programme 2017.
Companies taking part showcase their work at New Diorama, receiving 100% of their box office and a series of workshops lead by industry professionals on subjects such as Marketing, Access, Finances, Charity status, Fundraising and producing amongst others. They also receive the support of New Diorama Theatre’s staff team over the course of the whole year, and beyond!
Companies have gone on from the course to be part of the Emerging Companies programme, which has featured companies such as LOST WATCH, BREACH THEATRE and SMOKE AND OAKUM, who are now both regular features on the New Diorama Theatre season programme.
We are looking for the next really exciting generation of theatre companies, and your course was highlighted to us as somewhere encouraging the making of unique, exciting theatre. If you know anyone who might be interested in taking part on our Graduate Emerging Companies programme, please send them this link, or ask them to get in touch with me directly and I can advise them on how to apply. https://goo.gl/rZaKEc
“Freshly Scratched is an open platform for emerging artists to try out new ideas, in an early stage of development, in front of an audience.
We are interested in artists that push boundaries, who want to reach out to people who would not otherwise go to art centres, and we are interested in work that looks and feels new. Each idea can last anything up to ten minutes, and we usually programme six or seven pieces alongside each other, creating an evening of rough and ready flashes of inspiration.
Want to get involved? Visit our website for more information on how to apply.”
Calls for Papers & Contributions
Literary London Conference 2017 – Call for Papers | Deadline: Fri 17 Mar
Literary London Society is looking for papers around the theme of: ‘Fantastic London: Dream, Speculation and Nightmare’.
PLANES | Tue 31 Jan-Sat 4 Feb | The Yard Theatre, Hackney Wick | £15/£12 (conc)
Tell us about your new work PLANES? How did it come about?
PLANES is a “live tuning” into missing things. By that I mean it’s a live work for theatre that explores notions of remembering and processing difficult experiences, with a live accompanying score by the poet and composer Timothy Thornton. In this case, that difficulty is the suicides of people close to me. Mental Health is in crisis and more and more people seem to be suffering as services are slashed and the world becomes crueler. I suppose, as someone trying to survive, the work emerged to try and harness the truth of both what grief is and how we move forwards—but it’s a tough one! I did a couple of scratch previews of that work, with the help of Arts Council England and Battersea Arts Centre, and then The Yard invited me to present the work as part of their NOW 17 festival of new performance. So I was really chuffed about that.
Who or what inspires you to make theatre work?
Anything and everyone really. I try to make work that’s honest and not too obscured by style and posturing, although inevitably when you “make” something it always runs the risk of being perceived as such. I guess that’s the magic of any kind of art making or creativity—the multitude of ways it can be perceived. I’m not here to moderate or manipulate anyone’s feelings, although I am trying to create a world where people find some sort of connection. I’m hugely inspired by the European avant-garde and the New York experimental theatre of the 70s and 80s. The Wooster Group particularly are a huge inspiration, as is the writer and filmmaker Derek Jarman. I guess I want to make work that documents the experience of being alive, here and now, without too much thought.
What was studying English Studies at Queen Mary like? Do you have any favourite memories or tutors?
Fantastic. I have very warm memories there. The English Department is second to none: great teaching, excellent resources and the chance to really engage with literary theory—which has influenced my creative practice hugely. My favourite memory is meeting Matthew, who studied on the MA with me. He was a wonderful friend and support throughout the course, and introduced me to lots of new left-wing and radical revolutionary thought. He was a wonderful person: sensitive, vibrant and hugely caring. Sadly, Matthew took his own life in October last year. I miss him hugely. This show is partly dedicated to him.