3 Things Still to Do in Black History Month

1. Diaspora Speaks and PEACH Magazine are excited to present: On Black Voices! – 22 October

2. Ankhi Mukherjee is talking about Nigerian American writer and photographer Teju Cole for our Lisa Jardine Annual English Lecture – 22 October

3. Prof Susheila Nasta MBE is in conversation with Helen Thomas

Professor Susheila Nasta MBE and Dr Helen Thomas will discuss their long histories within the world of black writing and publishing.

The event will celebrate the publication of a free e-book: Black Agents Provocateurs – 250 Years of Black British Writing, History and the Law, 1770-2020 written by Helen Thomas and also the publication of the first Cambridge History of Black and Asian British Writing, edited by Susheila Nasta and Mark Stein.

They will discuss questions around:

  • the politics of publishing and editing
  • how they created their books
  • shifting definitions of black British writing
  • he importance of decolonising the school and university curricula

Eleni Sophia in Final of £10k Gradventure Pitching Competition

Eleni Sophia from SED has made it through to the final of GradVenture, the University of London enterprise pitching competition, with her business Perspective Press Global.

She will be competing Dragon’s Den style against another Queen Mary student and six students from other University of London colleges for a share in the £10,000 prize.

The finals are online on 18 November 2020 from 2-3.30pm, and it is free to attend (although limited to 500 places) for anybody wanting to come and support the QMUL students. The link to register (by Monday 16 November) is here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/gradventure-the-finals-2020-tickets-124242959035.

Interested in entrepreneurship but not sure where to start? Join QHack – apply by 18 October 2020

Read how QHack prepared Veerna, a first year undergraduate student, launch her own business.

“QHack helped me feel confident in sharing my idea, as before QHack I used to keep my idea to myself. I was taught that it is not the idea that makes the business, but the person behind it!”

Dates: 31st October / 1st November – 7th / 8th November

Applications close on 18 October 2020, 23:59 Apply now

More information and email any questions to enterprise@qmul.ac.uk

English and Drama Newsletter – October 2020 Edition

Welcome to our new and returning students and we can’t wait to meet new prospective students this Saturday at our open day.

Current Student FAQs | Book now for our Open Day this Saturday

LISA JARDINE ANNUAL ENGLISH LECTURE 2020: Booking is now open for 2020 lecture given by Ankhi Mukhejee: ‘Open, Closed, Interrupted City’ on 22 October 2020.

NATIONAL POETRY DAY: Our English with Creative Writing student Aisha Borja is reading her poetrytonight at 5pm.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: We are hosting an exclusive event with Helen Thomas and Professor Susheila Nasta. Follow us on Twitter to get alerts when booking is live. See below for an exclusive event by Peach x Diaspora Speaks student-led media.

Online Events

VIRTUAL OPEN DAY

QMUL Undergraduate Open Day
3 Oct, Online, 10.30am-6pm BST – Free

We are hosting live English and Drama sessions on studying with us on our inclusive and innovative courses from September 2021.

Register now

RESEARCH SEMINAR SERIES

English Postgraduate Research Series

Watch the first Postgraduate Research Series Dr Yann Ryan talk below and follow on Twitter for details of the next events with Dr Jason Allen Paisant (Leeds) on 29 October.

QUORUM

Quorum is back! Autumn Virtual Quorum is excited to invite you to Dr @Kirsty Sedgman’s talk ‘How to Make the World Give a Sh*t About Theatre (Studies)’ See you on 22 October at 7:30pm, on Zoom. All welcome, request the link to our email.

Follow on Twitter for details

LISTINGS
SARU Visiting Practitioner Series: Nisha Ramayya
5 Oct, Online, 6-8pm BST – Free

In this session, Nisha Ramayya will introduce and read from her poetic sequence ‘Now Let’s Take a Listening Walk’, part of the ongoing project Crossing the Rackety Bridge Between Tantric Poetics and Black Study. These poems began during a residency at John Hansard Gallery, at the exhibition Many voices, all of them loved, curated by poet and academic Sarah Hayden.

Register here

Also check out Deep Deep Dream: Transmissions by Ignota Books is an experiment in the techniques of awakening and an invitation to touch the dreamworld, which features Nisha’s work from 14 Oct.

Peach × Diaspora Speaks Presents: On Black Voices
22 Oct, Online, 6-8pm BST – Free

Peach Magazine and Diaspora Speaks Magazine have collaborated on designing this the event: “On Black Voices”. It will be an open-mic night dedicated to Black History Month and showcasing the voices of Black artists!  

We’re currently looking for speakers for the event. If you want to join Diaspora Speaks and Peach Magazine on this night to share something powerful then sign up using the link: https://forms.gle/yjhMSqxy4VpRU8ju9.

We have time for a maximum of 10 speakers.  This will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis so make sure to sign up now! 
For any questions or queries contact: peachmagazine@qmsu.org or diasporaspeaks@qmsu.org

Instagram Live with Dominic Johnson
28 Oct, Online, 6.30-7.30pm BST – Free via Intellect Instagram

Our Head of Drama Dominic Johnson is in conversation with James Campbell at Intellect Books for its extended “Intellect Live Art” virtual conference.

News & Links

Brian Dillon (Creative Writing)’s Suppose a Sentence is out now from Fitzcarraldo Editions (and NYRB in the US). He’ll be doing some online events in the coming weeks: with Olivia Laing at the LRB Bookshop on 6 October; with Vinson Cunningham of The New Yorker for Community Bookstore in Brooklyn on 8 October; and with Stuart Kelly at Blackwells, Edinburgh on 15 October.

Jen Harvie (Drama) Catch TWO new episodes of Professor Jen Harvie’s podcast Stage Left, where she interviews performance makers on what they make and how they make it. New episodes are with FK Alexander who works with noise, pop culture, and delicate care in performances including VIOLENCE and (I Could Go on Singing) Over the Rainbow, and with Krishna Istha, discussing their stand-up comedy on trans identity, Beast.

The Stage Left back catalogue includes interviews with Split Britches (including SED’s own Professor Lois Weaver), Breach Theatre (including SED MA alumnus, director Billy Barrett), and SED alumni Sh!t Theatre (Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit).

Listen here

Lara Jakobsen (English with Creative Writing student) has launched SCHÄM Magazine, a magazine dedicated to exploring all things sex, gender, desire and taboo.

Gabriel Krauze (English alumnus) has been interviewed by Nathalie Grey (English alumna) about his writing, crime and time at Queen Mary.

Watch the video | Read the full interview

Places of Solitude The ‘Pathologies of Solitude’ project launches its first podcast series on 19 October, looking at places and experiences of solitude and how these have changed over the centuries. Topics range from gardens, cities and sanctums, to potentially perilous places like prison cells and even the human mind. The series also includes extended pop-out interviews with Shokoufeh Sakhi, a former political prisoner held in solitary confinement in Iran, and Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Listen here from 19 October

Matt Rubery (English) has been given a small British Academy grant for a project titled ‘Projected Books for Veterans with Disabilities’. This will be the first history of Projected Books, Inc., a manufacturer of vertical projectors and microfilmed books for the use of disabled veterans in hospital beds. By displaying a book’s pages on the ceiling, projected books made it possible for thousands of people with disabilities in the United States and other parts of the world to read during the 1940s-1970s. 

Studio 3 Arts

Liza Vallance (Drama graduate) CEO/Artistic Director at Studio 3 Arts Barking has raised £1.2 million for a makeover of the community centre  which includes glitter ball, flagpole and theatre made of straw.

Read more here


Lois Weaver Join AirSupply to connect, discuss, support and showcase new performance work. Email Lois to join.

How do I contact the School of English and Drama Administrative team?

How do I contact the School of English and Drama Administrative team?

1) You can email us: 

2) You can contact us via Live Chat 

Find the Live Chat (tawk.to) box on our homepage (you may see it elsewhere too, e.g. on QMplus): https://www.qmul.ac.uk/sed/  

Live chat is often available via our website, look for the yellow box in the bottom right hand corner of your browser.

3) You can visit us at the SED Reception Desk on the Third Floor of Arts One

You can visit us in person at our reception desk on the Third Floor of Arts One.  Please ring the bell when you arrive and a member of the team will come to see you as soon as they are able to.    Please wear a face covering when you come to see us in person! Our reception desk is open Monday to Friday from 10.00 a.m. until 4.00 p.m.

4) Book a drop in session with our Student Support Officer

You can book a drop in session via QMplus with our Student Support Officer Suzi Lewis.  These sessions will be held via MS Teams.  

We will have a small team available at the School Reception on the third floor of the Arts One building (room 3.40: follow the signs at the top of the stairs) to take brief queries from students who are unable to find the answer to their query elsewhere or via the online options available.    

QUEEN MARY VACATIONS AND THE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE

The School Office is open and staffed throughout the year, including student vacations but not including Bank Holidays and QM Closure Days. Opening hours may vary during the vacation period.

If you need to see someone in the School urgently and your Advisor is unavailable, you should ask one of the administrative staff to see whether it is possible for you to see the School Director of Student Support, Professor Alfred Hiatt.

5 Things to look forward to for 2020 students – in London and online

Welcome to 2020 at Queen Mary. We want to get you excited about studying and exploring London and culture online as part of your university experience.

Here’s some suggestions:

1. Epic Exhibitions

IRL

Go to a blockbuster or tiny exhibition in London:

Online

2. Unusual London

IRL

Uncover unusual sights and experience:

Online

3. See Performance

IRL

Online

4. Give Something Back / Self Care

IRL

Online

5. Explore Industries and Careers in London

IRL

  • Get help from QMUL Careers team to secure internships, work experience and learning opportunities while you are at university
  • Sign up to the creative version of Linkedin, The Dots and follow cool companies that have free events you can attend
  • Find somewhere unusual to work here – the article is by our English graduate Lara Mills

Online

Add your suggestions in a comment below…

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

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