Hannah Fox is from the UK and is currently a postgraduate student of English Literature here at Queen Mary University of London. She lived in Jerusalem as a child and hopes to live in the MENA region again in the future. She has recently been involved with some poetry translations that have been published on ‘Rusted Radishes: Beirut Literary and Art Journal’ (published by the American University of Beirut, Lebanon). She was the co-translator working with a Kurdish translator to translate three haiku poems from Kurdish to English.
This is the link to the journal page where the three poems are:
Actually it’s a cool website anyway with art and literature from the Middle East, more like a magazine than a journal really, so you might find other things on there that you like if you are bored and want to read something!
A nine-month celebration of Bangladeshi history, arts and culture has begun, to mark the 50th birthday of Bangladesh, formerly known as East Pakistan.
Beginning on 26 March 1971, following a declaration of independence, modern day Bangladesh was forged out of a conflict which concluded on 16 December 1971.
Celebrations lasting 265 days, the same length as the war of independence, are being coordinated by Tower Hamlets Council, working with Bangladeshi artists, the National Portrait Gallery, the Council’s Local History Library & Archives, and residents.
We are proud that our 2011 English alumna Sabiya Khatun is a Citizen Researcher on the Bangladesh 50 Years project.
“Here in Tower Hamlets, our community is strong. Diversity is one of our greatest strengths and we are proud of the role that the Bangladeshi community plays in making our borough such a vibrant and exciting place. We can look forward to celebrating the best of Bangladeshi culture throughout 2021.”
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs
Highlights from the nine-month celebration include:
The ‘Bangladesh 50 Years’ project led by the National Portrait Gallery as part of its Citizen UK programme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Art Fund and Canary Wharf Group; working with the Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives, includes:
A new, large-scale public art commission to be installed at Idea Store Whitechapel, devised by artist Ruhul Abdin with local residents (pictured above).
A series of free online events exploring the local connections and impacts of 1971 on the Tower Hamlets community
An online exhibition documenting the year-long project exploring this fascinating history
‘Liberation through a Lens’, which tells the story of the struggle for independence using ten iconic images covering the period 1970-71.
Her Excellency Saida Muna Tasneem,High Commissioner for Bangladesh said: The Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh is a significant milestone for our nation. It also marks the fiftieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and the United Kingdom. The Bangladesh High Commission takes enormous pride in the contributions made by the expatriate Bangladeshi community during our independence and their warm welcome to Bangladesh’s Founding Father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the historic Borough of Tower Hamlets. I thank the Honourable Mayor of Tower Hamlets and the Bangladesh Community for making the High Commission a part of these monumental celebrations.
Councillor Sabina Akhtar, Cabinet Member for Culture, Arts & Brexit, Tower Hamlets Council said: “Tower Hamlets is the spiritual home for many British-Bangladeshis. I’m humbled to be marking the occasion of my country’s birth from the perspective of my other home. I look forward to celebrating the best of Bengali culture and exploring what it means to be British and Bangladeshi in 2021.”
Professor Reynolds has recently been featured in The Guardian and the Telegraph and has interviews with Talk Radio, Times Radio, Monocle Radio, about the book and her experiences of adoption and writing the book with her daughter Lucy.
Here’s what she could tell us…
Tell us about your new book ‘The Wild Track: Adopting, mothering, belonging’. How did it come about and what can readers expect?
I adopted my daughter 12 years ago when she was six. And from the first, I used to jot down things that happened to us, little stories about our lives together. Then two years ago I heard a couple of things that reminded me how hard adoption can be, how often (very sadly) it does not work out. But we were still here! So I wanted to encourage others, so show how amazing and important adoption can be in helping children – who necessarily have difficult beginnings – in going on to make a success of their lives.
How has it been working with your daughter on the book? What do you think the book has to say to mothers around the world?
I showed the original version of the book to someone who said ‘don’t you think Lucy should have a voice?’. And I knew he was right! Politically, ethically it is always right to listen to the voices of children. So I asked her to write some sections. In fact, it was great doing this. We have talked a lot about our different experiences and about the things we share.
Mothers are all different. Always, everywhere. There is no such thing as one ‘motherhood’. But there might be overlaps, and there might illumination and there might be a shared understanding, a recognition and acceptance which could be a positive for both mothers and children.
What 3 books would you recommend to readers after reading your book of course?
Vote to Help Franciska get recognised. Voting starts on 4 Feb 2021 (today) and will be open for two weeks. Here is the link: https://www.highlightsofhungary.hu. The show is listed in the last category as ‘Nagyerdei Stadion – Hamlet‘
We caught up with Franciska and here’s what she said…
About her nomination
“I am writing to you because I directed a socially distanced Hamlet last summer and it has been named as one of the top 55 creative achievements in 2020 by Highlights of Hungary. I am incredibly happy as this was my first time directing in my home country in my mother tongue, and it was especially difficult to create a show in the middle of the pandemic that was safe for audiences and creatives/cast alike.
The nomination itself is a huge honour, but this week Highlights of Hungary will open their voting system to the public, and it would mean a lot to me if my QMUL community could help me get Hamlet to the finish line.
“Hamlet is a 80-minute long reduced version of Shakespeare’s classic. We also added our own texts and even a Hungarian poem – it is very much the company’s version. In the first half of the performance the audience is sitting outside the Stadium of Debrecen, while the performers are inside the building behind glass. The audience listens to the actors’ mics through headphones, safely distanced from each other. In the second half of the show the actors leave the building and the show turns into a promenade performance outside the stadium, ending with the fencing scene in the stadium’s concourse. It is a piece about responsibility, death, grief and feeling stuck, which resonated with a lot of our audiences. Here is a trailer to give you a taste of the show:
“Every year Highlights of Hungary nominates 55 creative achievements in the country without categories. This year the line-up includes the National Ambulance Service, Lili Horváth’s award-winning movie which will probably be Oscar nominated, and many other achievements in sports, community service, environmentalism, innovation and architecture, to name a few. The aim is to celebrate achievements without labels and competition, to raise awareness and connect people across sectors. This is the Csokonai National Theatre’s first time being nominated.
I will be shouting from the rooftops on Twitter at @Franciska_E if anyone wants to come and support. Our hashtags are #vitrinhamlet#hamletinheadphones. As an English and Drama graduate, QM has been a huge influence on the way I work and the way I see performance. If there is interest I am happy to talk more about this and the challenges of making socially distant work if that is of any interest for current students.
Thank you so much for supporting us. Let’s celebrate something that happened in this very bleak 2020.
In honour of Trans Day of Remembrance on 20 November James Queay exposes the history of the term ‘trans’ and the importance of protecting trans rights.
In the mass consciousness one may be forgiven for seeing the battle for trans rights being a modern one, or even one that only goes back as Stonewall in 1969. However, the term ‘trans’ was first coined in Berlin in 1910 (though the fight of course can be traced back even further if one looks).
Magnus Hirschfeld was a Physician and Academic who championed queer rights seeking to assert the views of it being a natural occurrence through case studies from every culture he could reach. It should be noted that the ethics of this were in no way up to modern standard, but for the period in time we will let that rest. While his vocabulary was limited compared to today’s vast lexicon of queer terms, his work to identify that trans people were separate from gay people was key in further works.
Hirschfeld led the Scientific-humanitarian committee to gather 5000 prominent signatures to overturn paragraph 175 of the section of the German penal code that, since 1871, had criminalized homosexuality. Despite his works being rejected a number of times he championed this cause making headway until the takeover of the Nazi party. Hirschfeld in his efforts to bring about change and promote queer rights additionally opened the Institute for sexual research under the Weimar Republic (A governing force far more tolerant and liberal than previously experienced). This institution not only educated in queer and heterosexual matters but also offered medical consultations to the People of Germany. Hirschfeld himself lived with his partner Karl Giese in the institute, offering himself up as an openly gay man in a world he wished to better, even when that world was not necessarily ready to hear what he had to say.
When Von Papen launched a Coup in 1932 which instated him as the Reich Commissioner the institute stayed open. Papen actively enforced paragraph 175; and in the face of this nigh on further criminalisation of Homosexuality Hirschfeld kept his doors open. However, in 1933 Hindenburg instated Adolf Hitler as the Chancellor. On the 6th May the same year a group of university students belonging to the national socialist student league stormed the institute. They began to smash what they could before the SA (Nazi Storm Troopers) arrived to systematically burn the books. Book burnings had got into full swing months earlier with April featuring the Wartburg festival one of the most prolific book burnings that would occur. Thus, the importance of Nazi suppression of Queer media cannot be overstated. Some reports suggest that the first book burned specifically was Magnus Hirschfeld’s research on Transgender Individuals, and this signifies their importance in the fight against Fascism.
Transgender rights in many ways typify everything that is wrong with Fascism. They promote self-expression, of individuality and the freedom to change and evolve into the best version of one’s self. For fascist ideologies these ideas are dangerous because they draw on how weak Fascism is, it is rigid and restraining, it cares not for its people and incites hatred.
Thus, championing trans rights and queer rights as an extension of that is inexplicably linked with fighting against right extremism. There was no strategic benefit to the Nazi’s for burning Hirschfeld’s work, and he himself was abroad public speaking at the time so he was not silenced. Rather it is that the Nazis and by extension fascists fear acceptance and tolerance as it is only through suppression and manipulation that they are able to maintain control. This evidenced by the extreme lengths in all cases fascists go to, to manipulate their members; whether that is through misinformation, propaganda, or violence.
The furtherment of trans rights is key to queer people without question, but through this link I believe that simply to be on any ethical standing everyone must also believe in its messages.
Therefore, when we remember the long standing fight for queer rights so too must we remember the responsibility we have to those who have upheld that fight before us; the opposition they faced; and most importantly that we carry those opponents with us.
A memorial bench for Catherine Silverstone was installed this morning in the First Floor garden/atrium in ArtsOne. It was organised and paid for by undergraduate students in Drama through a Crowdfunder.
Billy Bray (Drama), Leda Maiello (English) and Gwyn Lawrence (Drama graduate) organised the crowdfunder and carried out the practical work.
The following helped Billy, Leda and Gwyn spread the word and advertise for fundraising:
I’m so moved by – and proud of – the students who organised it, and those who crowdfunded it.
Dominic Johnson, Head of Drama
The quote on the plaque is from Catherine’s beautiful article on Derek Jarman. Leda (one of the students) chose it.
Do please visit the bench and think of Catherine when you’re next on campus.
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 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.
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…
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.’
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 Wascomes 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
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.
Performance, Possession & Automation – a collaborative research project led by Nick Ridout and Orlagh Woods, in collaboration with Joe Kelleher, Fiona Templeton and Simon Vincenzi – invites you to three online conversations.
Automation & Cultural Production
17 July, 6-8pm (BST)
Seb Franklin and Annie McClanahan join Nick Ridout for a conversation about automation and cultural production.
Instead of imagining a future in which our lives are managed for us by robots or AI, it may be time to think instead about how automation is already deeply embedded in our everyday lives. Automation is not replacing human beings, but it may be changing how we work and act, and how we think and feel about ourselves and other people.
Clickhere, to book your place and for further information.
Paul C. Johnson and Rebecca Schneider join Nick Ridout for a conversation about possession and performance.
What if possession is a totally modern idea? Could it be a way for people who live modern lives in a supposedly secular culture to describe modes of being that don’t fit with their ideas of what it is to be yourself? How does performance help us think about possession? Are performance and possession both ways of becoming an automated or programmed self?
Clickhere, to book your place and for further information.
Kyla Wazana Tompkins and Roberto Strongman join Nick Ridout for a conversation about possession and subjectivity.
Might possession and other experiences in which people seem to lose control of themselves – like intoxication or narcosis – expand our understanding of what it means to be a subject, beyond the bounded subjectivity assumed and promoted in so-called ‘Enlightenment’ thought? Do subjects always and everywhere have to fit neatly into bodies?
Click here to book your place and for further information.
Performance, Possession & Automation is a research project exploring automation and possession as two ways of thinking about what happens to human subjects who act in ways that they do not themselves fully control. How can making and thinking about performance contribute to thinking about these ideas?
This project is supported through the Collaborations Fund of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and The Centre for Public Engagement, Queen Mary University of Londonin partnership with Fierce Festival and Hampstead Theatre.
Roman Road Trust (Director is Drama Alumna Rosie Vincent) & Public Works’ Crowdfund London campaign to Transform The Common Room reached beyond target and finished with £81,721 after receiving pledges from Mayor of London, Tower Hamlets Council, Queen Mary University of London, and over 250 pledges from local people.
The campaign was launched in January 2020 to turn The Common Room from a deteriorating space into a fully-functional cultural learning facility for local people. The vision is for local people to access high quality community learning in partnership with cultural and educational organisations. The original target was £74,000.
The Common Room is a grassroots project that was initiated by the community of Roman Road in 2014. The space has been managed and led by local people for the past six years. The Common Room is a valuable resource for many groups, individuals, and surrounding organisations.
Transform The Common Room is part of Crowdfund London – the programme delivered by the Mayor of London and Spacehive aimed at backing Londoner’s ideas for improving their local area with funding and support.
After receiving over 150 pledges from local people in the first two months, Transform The Common Room was awarded the maximum pledge of £50,000 from Mayor of London in March 2020.
Following this, Transform The Common Room continued to gain momentum leading to a further 100 pledges. 15 of which were from local businesses who collectively raised £4,095 towards the campaign despite the current challenges facing businesses due to Covid-19.
During the final days of the campaign, Transform The Common Room was awarded the maximum pledge of £10k from the Tower Hamlets Innovation Fund. This was then followed by a £5,000 pledge from the Centre for Public Engagement at Queen Mary University of London on the very last day.
Rosie Vincent, Managing Director of Roman Road Trust and QMUL drama alumna said:
“We have been truly overwhelmed by the support shown by local people and neighbouring organisations.
“Receiving the maximum pledge of £50k from the Mayor of London as well as the maximum pledge of £10k from Tower Hamlets Council proves how vital this project is for our community and Roman Road high street.
“The Common Room is a project that has been trying to happen for over six years. We are very proud to know our 253 backers also agree it is time for this space to become what it truly deserves to be.”
The Common Room is scheduled to be ready in Summer 2021. Roman Road Trust is now developing the first wave of Learning Programmes to be delivered in The Common Room. If you would like to be involved or help the project please email: email@example.com
BookBound 2020 is a new, not-for-profit literary festival, bringing authors and book-lovers together online for 7 days of exciting events, including readings, story-times and live author-to-author conversations.
While the majority of BookBound 2020’s team is based in the UK, the festival’s mission is to make connections and support new voices in Britain and around the world.
Proudly partnered with Wasafiri Magazine (based at QMUL), BookBound 2020 offers a global platform for big names, emerging authors and all lovers of literature to come together during this period of international uncertainty and isolation.
Throughout the festival period, speakers will be championing their favourite independent bookshops, and encouraging remote support for the industry while Covid-19 restrictions remain in place.
Viewers will also be able to help their local bookshops through a special arrangement between BookBound 2020 and the online bookseller Hive.
Here’s 10 writers we’re most looking forward to hear from including some QMUL connections:
Octavia is a writer and co-host of the New York Times and Guardian-recommended literary podcast Literary Friction. She holds a PhD from UCL, where her research focused on hysteria and desire. She has written criticism, fiction, journalism and essays for a variety of publications including Elephant, Orlando, Somesuch Stories, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar and The White Review. She has written librettos for several musical collaborations, which have been performed at Snape Maltings, Kings Place London and LSO St Luke’s.
Wed 29 April | 5.30pm BST
Caleb is an acclaimed London artist. Featured in the Dazed 100 list of the next generation shaping youth culture, he uses music and film to push the boundaries of poetry. Stream SLOG, Caleb’s latest body of work, and preorder his debut collection POOR (Penguin, July 2020).
Fri 1 May | 5.30pm BST
Niven is the author of four previous novels, most recently All The Days And Nights which was longlisted for the Folio Prize and shortlisted for the Green Carnation Prize. His second novel Graffiti My Soul is about to go into film production. His third novel Black Bread White Beer won the 2013 Fiction Uncovered Prize. He was a judge for the 2017 4th Estate/Guardian B4ME Prize. This Brutal House was shortlisted for the Gordon Burns Prize 2019.
Sat 2 May | 9.15pm BST
Intisar grew up a nomad and world traveller. She has lived in five different US states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. Her works include The Sunbolt Chronicles and Thorn.
Sun 3 May | 5.30pm BST
David was born in London to Guianese parents and has served as the MP for Tottenham since 2000. He was the first black Briton to study at Harvard Law School and before entering politics practised as a barrister. David served as a minister under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. His first book, Out of the Ashes: Britain after the Riots, was published to widespread acclaim. Tribes: How Our Need to Belong Can Make or Break Society, is out now.
Sat 2 May | 7.15pm BST hosted by Wasafiri Magazine’s Malachi McIntosh
Georgina is a 27-year-old author, journalist and travel writer. A former Guardian Weekend columnist, her first book, Raceless, a memoir on family and identity, will be released in September 2020 with Sphere (UK) and Harper Collins (US). Her writing and speaking has been featured in: The Independent, Sky News, Ref29, Stylist, BBC Newsnight, Travel + Leisure, VICE, Suitcase, and Time Out London.
Tue 28 April | 5.30pm BST
Amber Massie-Blomfield is a creative nonfiction writer and arts producer. She has written for titles including The Independent,The Guardian, The Stage and Exeunt. Her first book, Twenty Theatres to See Before You Die was published in 2018 (Penned in the Margins).
Wed 29 April | 7.15pm BST
Malachi is Editor and Publishing Director of Wasafiri magazine. Along with his books Emigration and Caribbean Literature, and Beyond Calypso: Re-Reading Samuel Selvon, his writing has appeared in the Caribbean Review of Books, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, the Guardian, The Journal of Romance Studies, Research in African Literatures, Under the Radar, and The Cambridge Companion to British Black and Asian Literature, among others. Prior to joining Wasafiri he was co-lead of the three-times award-winning Our Migration Story project.
Sat 2 May | 7.15pm BST
Lola is a black feminist writer, organiser and researcher from London. Her work focuses on the uses of the feminist imagination and its relation to liberated futures. She is the co-author of A FLY Girl’s Guide to University: Being a Woman of Colour at Cambridge and Other Institutions of Power and Elitism (Verve Poetry Press, 2019), author of Feminism Interrupted: Disrupting Power (Pluto Press, 2020) and a member of ‘bare minimum’, an interdisciplinary anti-work arts collective.
Sun 3 May | 7.15pm BST
Susan is Director of the Centre for Poetry in the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London. Her research investigates the intersections between experimental writing, radical feminist theory, and gender ontoformativity. With Dr Georgina Colby, she founded SALON – LONDON: a site for responding to the present through women’s experimental writing, and is currently working with collaborators across the UK to establish a Queer Poetics Research Network at Queen Mary’s Centre for Poetry.
We caught up with English students Chloe Lim and Ioana Radulescu to talk about their new literary journal Wonderer, which launches very soon.
Here’s what they could tell us:
“This project is a great opportunity for budding writers, editors and students who just want to get involved to experience working together to improve writing skills, enhancing knowledge of publishing and sharing new, innovative ideas with a group of like-minded, passionate individuals.
About Wonderer and how to get published in the journal
Wonderer will accept submissions from undergraduate students enrolled in any institution of higher education
Topics of general literary interest, literary theory, dramatic theory, comparative literature, interpretative readings of texts, philosophical approaches to literary works, research into the literary context of (a) particular work(s), intersections between art history and literature, aesthetics, provided that they are based on at least one literary or non-literary work of any genre. Academic papers should be between 3,000 – 8,000 words in length, and comply with guidelines detailed in the MHRA style guide.
Grace Period: You can submit your work up to 14 days late without the need for a Late Work application. The 14-day “grace period” applies to all assignments due in Semester 2 (i.e. those with deadlines from 16 February), the Exam Period and MA dissertations (due in August). The “grace period” also now applies to the “Take-Home Examinations” for ESH101 and ESH110.
Teaching, supervision and drop-in hours: All face-to-face teaching and student support in the School of English and Drama has taken place online and/or by phone since Friday 13 March and continues like this until further notice for the 2019-20 academic year.
Access to Buildings: The Library and Arts One (including Drama’s performance spaces) have been temporarily closed. PC labs have been closed for health and safety reasons. Please consult Queen Mary’s central information for updates.
“We understand that the current coronavirus situation can be a source of uncertainty and anxiety for students due to sit assessments. However, we want to reassure you that no student will be disadvantaged as a result of this situation: all final year students will receive an award and all continuing students will be permitted to progress (see below for details).
We’ve put together the following advice to help give you certainty during this time. Please carefully read the advice that relates to your degree type and situation.
If you have a query that’s not covered by the below guidance, please contact your Advisor, Supervisor, Student Support Officer, the Student Enquiry Centre, or the Academic Advice Centre at QMSU.”
What are the general principles behind our alternative arrangements?
“Our alternative arrangements were approved after careful consideration, looking at academic quality and standards to maintain the integrity of your awards, your experience as a student, the need for institutional consistency, and external expectations from the higher education sector. At the heart of our considerations was the central ‘no detriment’ principle: that no student should be delayed in their graduation or in progressing to the next level of study as a consequence of circumstances that have been beyond anyone’s control. The arrangements were approved on the delegated authority of the Senate, our highest-level academic committee.”
How will I be assessed?
“A mark must be generated for each module that you are taking. In some cases, the Module Organiser will have determined that you have already completed sufficient assessments for us to generate a module mark without any further assessments (discounting any elements yet to be completed). In other cases, the Module Organiser has reached the decision that we cannot fairly base a mark on the assessments that students have completed so far. In this case, an additional assessment will be required. This may be submission of a further item of coursework, but in many cases, this will be submission of an ‘alternative assessment’ online (see below). Your school/institute will be able to advise which is the case for each module.”
Specific arrangements for alternative assessments (see below) have been made for any presentations (where necessary), exams and practice-based assignments. Please check the relevant QMplus assessment area for details or contact your module convenor.
The School of English and Drama is committed to ensuring that no student is disadvantaged in their assessment outcomes as a consequence of the current pandemic and the transition to online teaching. Members of staff in the School have been instructed to mark your work on the basis of the teaching you have received and the resources that you’ve been able to access, and asked to adjust their expectations as necessary.
In advance of the Subject Examination Boards in English and Drama that confirm your final marks for the year, the School will take extra measures as described in Queen Mary’s assessment changes in response to coronavirus to review student achievement and progression in order to ensure that all students are being treated equally and sympathetically.
The introduction of the 14-day “grace period” generally means that your grades and feedback will be returned 14 days later than expected return date published on QMplus. This is because staff aren’t able to start assessing your work until the “grace period” has passed. This delay is to avoid any risk of marking the wrong version of your assignment if you replace it (without penalty) during the 14-day “grace period”.
How will my year-average mark be calculated?
“Each module you take has a credit value. At the end of the year an average mark is generated, using the credit values to weight the mark. For 2019/20, in accordance with the Queen Mary approach to ensuring ‘no detriment’, the 30 credits with the lowest marks (or 15 credits, for Postgraduate Certificate awards – which are 60 credit awards – only) will not count towards the calculation of the average mark for the 2019/20 year. Your adjusted year average will then be used in turn to generate the mark used for your classification at the end of your studies. (Please note that if your lowest marks are the result of an assessment offence penalty those marks will not be excluded, and the next lowest 30 credits will be excluded instead.)”
I need to submit my work after the existing deadline. Do I need to submit a Late Work application?
Only if your assignment is more than 14 days (or 336 hours) late. In light of the coronavirus pandemic (as well as the effects of the recent industrial action), the School of English and Drama will not apply Late Work Penalties to any assignment submitted within two weeks (14 days, or 336 hours) of the deadline. You therefore do not need to submit a Late Work Report application for any written assignment submitted less than two weeks late.
This 14-day “grace-period” applies to all assignments due in Semester 2 and during the Semester 2 Exam Period. In other words, all assignments with deadlines that fall between 16 February 2020 and 31 May 2020 and MA dissertations (due in August), can be submitted up to two weeks late, without penalty. The “grace period” also now applies to the “Take-Home Examination” for ESH101 and ESH110.
I didn’t know about this change in policy and I’ve already submitted my assignment. Can I update it without penalty?
Only in particular circumstances: You can replace your assignment on QMplus up to 14 days (or 336 hours) after the deadline without needing to submit a Late Work Report application. Please take care, though: any replacement submission you make more than 14 days after the deadline will mean that the assignment is considered late (even if you had originally made an on-time submission).
What do I do if I need to submit my work more than 14 days (or 336 hours) late?
If you submit an assignment more than 14 days after the deadline, you should follow the School’s existing processes relating to late work. The latest date by which you can submit a late assignment that is due in Semester 2 or in the Exam Period is 1 June 2020at 12:00 noon.
1 June at 12.00 noon is also the deadline to submit any Late Work Report applications for assignments due in Semester 2 or in the Exam Period.
I have outstanding assignments from Semester 1 for which I had ECs accepted in January 2020. Do I also get a “grace period”?
Yes. The deadline for you to submit your outstanding assignment is now 1 June 2020 at 12:00 noon.
I’m a student resitting out of attendance, or have a resit assignment from last year. Do I also get a “grace period”?
Yes. The final deadline for you to submit your resit assignment is now 1 June 2020 at 12:00 noon.
What do I do if I miss submitting an assignment or the ‘take-home exam’ altogether due to extenuating circumstances?
Any assignments due in Semester 2 (after mid-March) and the Exam period that you are not able to submit by the 1 June deadline will be treated as having extenuating circumstances and will be awarded a first sit without penalty at the next opportunity, which is in August 2020. You do not need to submit an Extenuating Circumstances application to request this.
If you did not submit a Semester 2 assignment due before mid-March, you will need to submit an Extenuating Circumstances application to be awarded a first sit without penalty. The application process with be released shortly. It will be ‘light touch’ and the regular evidence requirements will be lifted due to the coronavirus pandemic. The important point is that you submit the application.
The submission deadline for any outstanding assignments is 12 August 2020 at 12:00 noon, and we will send you detailed submission instructions after the July Exam Board. Westrongly recommend that you continue to work on your assignments and DO NOT wait until you receive your results in July. This will ensure that the work is ready for submission in good time.
If you did not submit an assignment that was due in Semester 1, you also have until 12 August 2020 at 12:00 noon to submit any outstanding assignments, however, your module mark might be capped/uncapped depending on whether you submitted an End of Semester EC in January 2020 or not.
New ‘Fit to sit’ rule
Normally the core principle behind the extenuating circumstances policy is the 'fit to sit' rule. By taking an assessment (submitting an assignment or taking an exam), students declare themselves fit to take it; any claim for extenuating circumstances relating to that assessment is not considered, and the assessment is marked.
To recognize the difficulties students are facing during the current circumstances, the ‘fit to sit’ rules have been partially lifted and students can now submit extenuating circumstances even if you have attempted the assessment provided you do so before marks/feedback for the given assignment is released.
This new rule is in effect from Tuesday 28 April. Therefore, only claims that are submitted for assignments where grades were released on or after 28 April will be considered. Claims can only be submitted BEFORE grades are released and you will need to submit a claim for each assignment affected.
The deadline to submit a ‘Fit to sit’ claim to request an uncapped first sit of a previously submitted assignment is 1 June 2020 at 12:00 noon.
The School of English and Drama provides the following guidance, which we hope you will find helpful in calculating your averages and degree classification. The School cannot confirm your calculations, which are estimates. Results are confirmed at the Examination Boards in July.
"Your final mark for classification will be derived using all your marks from your previous years of study, as well as the best 90 credits from your final year of study (which is year three for bachelor’s degrees, and year four for undergraduate master's programmes).
In some cases, students will already have passed 90 credits (e.g., if a student has sat and passed modules adding up to 60 credits from Semester A and has a pass grade for a 30 credit research project module). In that case, your school or institute will advise you of your provisional grades and recommended award based on the 90 credits already passed. You would not then be obliged to complete the alternative assessments for the remaining 30 credits in Semester B modules. However, we strongly recommend that you take any remaining assessments available to you to give you the best chance that your 90 credits used to calculate your year average and overall degree mark are scored as highly as possible.
To be eligible for a foundation certificate or a graduate diploma, you must have completed modules to the value of 120 credits and passed at least 90 credits (including a minimum of 30 credits at the academic level appropriate to the award).
To be eligible for a bachelors degree, you need to have studied 360 credits, and to have passed a minimum of 270 credits in total with at least 30 credits passed at level 6. (These requirements may be higher for your award to be accredited by the relevant external, professional body). For an intercalated bachelors award, you must have completed 120 credits and passed a minimum 90 credits including at least 30 credits at level 6.
Remember: while it's mathematically possible for a student who passed 240 credits across years one and two to pass just 30 credits in their final year in order to receive a bachelors award, the low marks for the other, uncompleted, final year modules would have a severe negative impact on classification. This is why we encourage you to complete alternative assessments where you can, to give yourself the greatest number of opportunities for success.
To be eligible for an undergraduate masters degree, you need to have studied at least 480 credits, and to have passed a minimum 360 credits in total with at least 30 credits passed at level 7*."
"If you're studying a PGT award, the standard regulations for award will apply, except that:
a) failed modules can be condoned from zero rather than 40.0 (where condoned failure is permitted), and
b) the mark on which your award is classified will be calculated excluding the weakest 30 credits-worth of marks (or for PgCert, 15 credits).
For part-time PGT students not due to graduate in 2020 but impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the principles described will be applied in your year of graduation. The external requirements of any relevant Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) may mean that certain programmes are obliged to follow the original rules to qualify for accreditation."
You are strongly encouraged to continue working on your assignments, make use of the 14-day ‘grace period’ and submit all your assignments. It is important to remember that any work that you complete is still useful to your learning. We will give feedback on any assignments that you submit to help you prepare for your next developmental year, further studies or professional life.
Information from the University:
"All non-final year students (including students on an integrated with-foundation degree programme) will be permitted to progress, no matter the number of credits that you pass.
However, you'll be contacted by your school or institute to advise you if you have passed insufficient credits to receive an award, and you will be advised to resit assessments in the 'late summer' period.
If you weren't on track to progress – for example, if you'd already failed more than 30 credits in the Semester A exams – staff in your school/institute will discuss your options with you individually. But if you nevertheless wish to continue, you will be entitled to do so.
As continuing students, when you complete your degree programme (ie, no earlier than the summer of 2021), your final marks will be calculated both including and excluding all marks from the academic year 2019-20. Consistent with the 'no detriment' principle, you'll receive the higher of those two marks: the final mark that includes 2019/20 and the final mark that excludes any contribution from this year.
For a bachelors student currently in year one, this means calculating your final mark based on a weighting of your year averages for Years 1, 2 and 3 in the ratios 1:3:6 and of 0:3:6, and taking the better of the two outcomes
For a bachelors student currently in year two, this would mean calculating your final mark based on a weighted average (for Years 1, 2 and 3 respectively) of 1:3:6 and of 1:0:6, and taking the better of the two outcomes
For students on undergraduate masters degrees, we would use the best outcome from 1:3:6:6 and 0:3:6:6 or 1:0:6:6 or 1:3:0:6, depending on which developmental year corresponds to the academic year 2019/20.
In accordance with Queen Mary's approach to a 'no detriment' principle, the marks for the weakest credits from the year will be excluded in all cases; where the recalculated year average would still bring the final mark down, the whole year will be excluded from classification. Note that this only applies to undergraduate programmes, not part-time/multi-year postgraduate taught programmes."
Your Year Abroad does not count in the calculation of your degree classification (it’s a pass/fail element of your programme, which you only need to ‘pass’ in order to progress to your final year). All students in the School of English and Drama who are studying abroad for the 2019-20 academic year will receive a pass grade for the Year Abroad.
Details of all alternative assessments should now have been released; please contact your module convenor if you do not have these details.
Will I still need to complete assessed presentations for my modules this semester?
You will be asked to complete any assessed individual presentations via telephone or video conferencing (e.g. Skype, FaceTime), or written alternative where this has been agreed with your teacher. Your teacher will be in touch to arrange this in due course.
In the case of any assessed group presentations, you will be set an individual alternative assignment directly relating to your presentation (e.g. written script or notes, powerpoint slides, podcast, video). Again, your teacher will be in touch with further details. You will need to make your submission online to QMplus (in the same way as a written assignment) and a dedicated submission point will be set up. The deadlines for these alternative assessments will be no less than two weeks after the date on which a group presentation was due to take place.
Will I still need to complete assessed practice-based assignments for my Drama modules?
Specific arrangements for alternative assessments will be made for each practice-based Drama module this semester, where practical projects had been scheduled between 16 March—9 April and in the Exam Period (May 2020).
Will I still need to take my examination in May for ESH101 Shakespeare and/or ESH110 Literatures in Time?
Queen Mary has cancelled in-person examinations this May/June, including for ESH101 Shakespeare and ESH110 Literatures in Time. However, you will still be expected to complete an alternative assessment for these modules.
I'm supposed to be collaborating with other students on a group assignment: what should I do?
All students collaborating on group assignments will asked to make an individual submission for that piece of assessment to QMplus. Where circumstances permit, you may continue to collaborate with others in your group, in person or remotely, depending on your personal circumstances. Where you are unable to continue collaborating, please inform the rest of your group and continue working independently on the assignment instead. Where a member of your group is no longer able to collaborate, please respect their decision and continue to work with the remaining members of your group. All members of a group may make identical written submissions to a group assignment when you are drawing on collective work. Please ask your teacher for further advice if you are uncertain.
My module has a participation grade. How will I be assessed?
Your mark for participation (where this applies to a module you are taking) will be generated on the basis of the teaching you have received. Your teachers will grade your participation sympathetically, especially in cases where you may have had absences or online access difficulties.
My dissertation is due in hardcopy and e-copy. Do I still need to submit a hardcopy?
No. Undergraduate and MA dissertations are now only due electronically via QMPlus by the original deadline (date and time).
How should I submit an assignment that was due in hardcopy only?
All assignments will now be submitted electronically via QMplus. Your teacher will advise on any revisions to the assignment brief (e.g. submitting photographs of objects you have made rather than submitting the object itself).
"The Undergraduate Degree Examination Boards, which confirm awards, will be held on 24 July, and the Postgraduate Boards (for students who were expecting to complete in July) on 4 August. Students will be formally notified of outcomes a few days later."
The School will contact students with information about Late Summer Resit assignments as soon after the June Subject Examination Period as possible.
Please continue to work on your assignments you are unable to submit by the final deadline of 1 June, as assignments in the Late Summer Resit Period will be the same. If alternative assessment is needed (e.g. for a presentation) you will be sent the updated rubric as soon as possible.
The deadline to submit assignments in the Late Summer Resit period is expected to be 12 noon 12 August 2020 (TBC).
Advice from the University:
"Examination boards will occur slightly later than usual, so notifications of the need to resit assessment will also be later. There will be more information on this soon, but we expect the reassessment period to be in late August. Academic schools and institutes are likely to use alternative assessment for those assessments, too, as we do not yet know whether we will be able to open to hold invigilated exams."
All academic Schools at Queen Mary are cancelling face-to-face teaching on their programmes from 5pm on Thursday 19 March.
In place of face-to-face provision, teaching and learning activities are being migrated online, principally via QMplus. In the School of English and Drama we took the decision to stop face-to-face teaching and migrate online from Friday 13 March.
This is in order to address multiple concerns about student and staff wellbeing, and to ensure a parity of experience for all students, including those who have been forced to absent themselves from class and/or return home due to the current pandemic.
Our joint honours partner Schools have made similar decisions, replacing face-to-face teaching with online teaching: the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film has cancelled all face-to-face teaching from Monday 16 March and the School of History has cancelled all face-to-face teaching from Tuesday 17 March.
Our decision is supported by the Principal of Queen Mary, Professor Colin Bailey.
No, although the School of English and Drama has closed physically the School’s administrative team remain available to support you remotely during normal working hours (Monday-Friday, 9am-1pm and 2-5pm); please firstname.lastname@example.org. Your teachers and advisors are available remotely for you for online teaching, supervision and support.
Academic staff have been asked to make the best possible arrangements for their modules in terms of providing online content, and to be available remotely for students in their classes during the normal timetabled teaching slots. These arrangements will necessarily vary, and you will need to watch out for specific announcements from your teachers about your lectures, seminars, and practice-based classes. In general we anticipate that online teaching materials will be available for you via QMplus for each class.
Please attend online classes at the scheduled UK time. If this isn’t possible (e.g. you’re asleep), please review the work and tasks for the assigned week at a convenient time, as close to the original class as possible.
Yes, as far as possible lecture content will be made available to you. Often this will mean reviewing a lecture from last year’s module via QReview, although sometimes teaching staff may post new video or audio content, or upload scripts. Copies of lecture slides and handouts will be uploaded to QMplus as normal.
Your teachers will advise you about what will happen in particular online sessions. You might, for example, be asked to email questions, contribute to online forum discussions, work through preparation questions, complete research tasks, etc. Copies of classroom slides and handouts will be uploaded to QMplus as normal.
In the first instance please contact your seminar/workshop leader or module convenor. They will be best placed to advise you what arrangements are in place for online learning on your module. Please be patient with your teachers as they adjust to this new way of working. You shouldn’t necessarily expect to find any additional online materials for the class until the date/time at which it is due to start.
The requirements for online learning in the School of English and Drama will be the same as your normal access to QMplus. However, if you do have concerns about your capacity to participate due to technical limitations, please get in touch for advice at email@example.com. If you do not have access to a computer due to financial hardship can apply for support through the Financial Assistance Fund. Please also advise your teachers of your concerns.
Queen Mary’s Library at Mile End and the University of London’s Senate House Library have been temporarily physically closed; please review their websites for up to date opening information. Both libraries offer online resources (e.g. journals, ebooks, databases) and you are strongly encouraged to make use of these resources, along with those on QMplus and other online sources, as appropriate (e.g. museums, galleries, artists, theatres etc.). Please be in touch with your teacher if you have concerns about access to resources.
Please only travel in accordance with UK government guidelines; if you’re outside the UK, please consult local guidelines.
You are not required to attend performances, exhibitions or undertake independent fieldwork in the UK set for your modules. Your teachers will advise of alternative learning activities and any assessment-related adjustments, where appropriate.
Please only travel in accordance with UK government guidelines; if you’re outside the UK, please consult local guidelines.
Yes. All teaching staff are expected to retain their existing drop-in hours and to offer remote meetings via email, telephone, and/or video conferencing, advising of you of any changes to availability where necessary. Staff are expected to use the same mechanisms to offer dissertation supervision as normal. Please feel free to contact your advisor, teacher and/or dissertation supervisor to find out what arrangements they have made and to book a remote appointment.
Loan periods: The Library is working to extend loan periods for items already on loan. Please check the Library website for updates.
Fines: All fines have been waived as of Monday 16 March, and no further fines will be incurred during the closure period.
Holds (reservations): These have ceased as of Wednesday 18 March. See the Library website for information on access to resources (books) and further information on alternative ways to access resources during the closure period.
Please consult the Library website for more details of digital support and services.
No. Queen Mary has postponed summer graduation ceremonies, and will be communicating new dates as soon possible. Please consult QueenMary’s graduation informationandgeneral FAQsfor updates as they become available.
This guidance has been compiled in order to provide students in
the School of English and Drama with the best possible information available at
the time of writing. Please remember that the institutional, national, and
international contexts in light of the coronavirus pandemic are uncertain and
changing, and it is likely that this will continue for some time. As a consequence,
we will need to update this information from time to time. Any new decisions
that are taken will always be with the best interests of students and staff
firmly in view.
If you have a question for the School of English and Drama that is
not addressed by this page, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.