English and Drama Newsletter – October 2023 Edition

Welcome to your October newsletter from the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London.

We can’t wait to meet you this Saturday for our undergraduate open event or on Wednesday 25 October for our online postgraduate event

Ru (who compiles this communication) is moving to a new role of BLOC Venue Manager to run the new cinema/arts lab for 18 months so this will be his last newsletter for a while. Follow BLOC on Instagram to keep in touch or add Ru on Linkedin or Instagram

Things to Do in October

Come to Undergraduate Open Day Get student-designed freebies, books by our academics and tasters of our courses. Book now

Get application tips and start your UCAS application Read the No-Nonsense Applicant Guide by graduate Saarah Ahsan-Shah.

Read our research newsletter Find out about our groundbreaking research here
Book for Open Day
October Events
Lisa Jardine Annual English Lecture: Professor Alan Stewart
The First Coming of the Strangers: An Experiment in Elizabethan Immigration
Thursday 19 October – Queen Mary University of London Mile End CampusIn 1561, the town of Sandwich in Kent petitioned the Privy Council to allow a significant influx of immigrants to settle in their town, and practice their skills working with ‘says, bay and other clothe’—a model that was to spread across the south-east of England. Within six years, immigrants in Sandwich outnumbered the previous inhabitants, provoking a predictable backlash. While this immigration is often claimed as a masterstroke of state policy to introduce artisanal skills lacking in England, this paper explores it as a multi-faceted experiment, of importance not only to trade, but also to social relations, religion, education, and the period’s literature.
Alan Stewart is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and currently a Visiting Lecturer at Queen Mary, where he received his PhD, held a British Academy postdoc, and helped to found the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters with Lisa Jardine. He is the author of several books including, most recently, The Oxford History of Life-Writing, volume 2, Early Modern (2018). He is also Director of the Oxford Francis Bacon, for which he has edited volume 1, Early Writings, 1584-1596, and is now editing volume 2, Late Elizabethan Writings, 1596-1602.
Book now
‘Islamic Communities in Victorian Britain’

Monday 30 October, 2-3pm. Room 0.14, iQ East, QMUL Mile End Campus.
 Join us to hear Yahya Birt and Hamid Mahmood in conversation about some of the earliest Muslim communities in Britain. Birt and Mahmood have both written extensively on this topic, their most recent book being Our Fatima of Liverpool: The Story of Fatima Cates, the Victorian woman who helped found British Islam. 

All staff and students are welcome. 
Book ahead
All Borders Blur: Mapping Intersections and Genre Crossings in UK Spoken-Word Poetries Since 1965

11-12 November 2023
A two day hybrid (in person and online) conference at QMUL 

Keynote speakers are Joelle Taylor and Dr. Anthony Joseph. Full schedule of speakers can be found here: https://allbordersblur.univie.ac.at/?page_id=157

Book now
Events & Workshops Round Up

Wars Within Wars: Black History’s Warning to the World
Tuesday 17 October 2023 – 6pm, Peston Lecture Theatre

Register here for this event

Interdisciplinary Workshop with Vince Brown
Tuesday 17 October 

This interdisciplinary workshop will be based around the rough cuts of two films made by Professor Vincent Brown (Harvard) on the commemoration of slavery and slave revolts. Please email Miles Ogborn (Geography) on m.j.ogborn@qmul.ac.uk to confirm a place.

Bibliodiversity: A Book History Workshop 
Friday, 27 October, 12.30-6.00pm, Graduate Centre GC603, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Campus 
This workshop will explore the variety of book formats from the nineteenth century to the present day. Whereas the term ‘bibliodiversity’ is sometimes used in relation to a book’s contents, this workshop extends that term to the book’s contours. Bringing together scholars associated with the fields of literature, media history, and disability studies, it will take up the following questions: What are some of the different configurations through which books have reached audiences? What effect have these alternative designs had on their relationship to readers? What can these books contribute to our understanding of book history? 

Register here

New book by Matthew Mauger published: ‘William Blake and the Visionary Law”This book examines the difficult relationship between individual intellectual freedom and the legal structures which govern human societies in William Blake’s works, showing that this tension carries a political urgency that has not yet been recognised by scholars in the field. In doing so, it offers a new approach to Blake’s corpus that builds on the literary and cultural historical work of recent decades.’

Find out more
Professor Dominic Johnson honoured with Fulbright Scholar Award at University of Southern California’ Dominic Johnson will be based at the Roski School of Fine Art, University of Southern California in Downtown Los Angeles for four months from January 2024. His larger project is to produce the first scholarly study of the work of the British South Asian artist Hamad Butt, in the context of art and HIV/AIDS. Butt made a series of sculptures that used toxic or noxious materials in volatile-seeming setups, creating environments that threaten or provoke fear in those who encounter them. Johnson is also curating the first comprehensive retrospective exhibition of Butt’s work, which will tour to major museums in the UK and Europe in 2024-25. While in Los Angeles, Johnson will research how artists, scholars and curators approach ‘recalcitrant’ art that can be difficult to make, show, or acquire, and that rethinks what art does and why it matters.’

Find out more
Round up Graduate Carrot has been nominated for Drag AwardGraduate Joshua Young has been nominated by Pink News for Drag Artist of the Year 2023 in their annual awards.

Vote for CARROT here
SED Writer Katherine Angel to speak at New York eventKatherine will be speaking at event on Sexuality, Consent, and Trauma at the New School in New York on 30 October, with psychoanalysts Jamieson Webster and Avgi Saketopoulou.

Follow Katherine on Instagram for updates

Ruth Ahnert’s new book ‘Tudor Networks of Power’ is published on 12 October

‘Tudor Networks of Power is the product of a groundbreaking collaboration between an early modern book historian and a physicist specializing in complex networks. Together they have reconstructed and computationally analysed the networks of intelligence, diplomacy, and political influence across a century of Tudor history (1509-1603), based on the British State Papers.’

Find out more about the book

Nisha Ramayya appearances in October

 Friday 13 October: Ignota Gathering: The Spiral at St James Picadilly – Join us at  the Ignota Gathering: The Spiral to celebrate Ignota’s fifth birthday on Friday 13 October at St James’s Church, Piccadilly, London, with Ignota’s friends and family to explore the spiral through resonance, poetry and philosophy. Wednesday 25 October: Wordriver: Celebrating Ursula K Le Guin at Southbank Centre Ursula K Le Guin’s work is celebrated at this performative reading, marking the publication of  Space Crone, a new collection of her writing. Wordriver explores the confluence of the written and spoken, the currents of truth in fiction, and the flows between daughters and mothers in a matrilineal society still marked by the legacies of militarism and toxic masculinity.
For more opportunities see our regular Opportunities Digest blog post
Apologies if we missed any listings or made any errors, do let us know and we can post on social media.

Also if you have any news for our next newsletter please do reply or get in touch.

Best wishes,


Rupert Dannreuther

English and Drama Newsletter – September 2023 Edition

Welcome to your September newsletter from the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London.

Still Time to Start This Year 

Undergraduate: We still have places for this year on our undergraduate degrees. Our clearing phone line is closed but you can apply online here.

Postgraduate: The deadline for UK Home student applications is this Friday 8 September. See courses available here.

Things to Do in September

Make a last minute application Get in touch via sed-admissions@qmul.ac.uk to explain the process.

Book now for open day on 7 October Meet students, discover the career benefits of our courses and see the campus.

Talk to us Book a time to chat about your application or campus tour Sign up 

Read our research newsletter Find out about our groundbreaking research here 

Book for Open Day

Sunday 10 September – Queen Mary University of London Mile End Campus
On Sunday 10 September, Professor Nadia Valman will lead historical tours of the Mile End campus, including the Novo Cemetery, the UK’s second oldest Jewish cemetery.

Find out more and book a place on the tour on the Open House website.

Currently sold out but keep an eye for returns

Tower Hamlets Archives Bancroft Road | 15 August – 23 November 2023 | Free

‘We are thrilled to announce our first ever exhibition of sound art inspired by the amazing collections of oral history and archival audio held at Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives.

Dating back to 1962 and held on fragile cassettes and open reel audiotape, these recordings offer us tantalising fragments of the sonic past. For historians, they are especially valuable as intimate first-person accounts of daily lives. In this installation, the audio collections held at Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives are revisited by three sound artists – Alastair Levy, Emily Peasgood and Syma Tariq.

Produced in collaboration with researchers at Queen Mary, University of London and Birkbeck, University of London, who have been exploring what the East End meant to generations of migrants, Everything is different, nothing has changed uses archival audio to offer new interpretations of Tower Hamlets’ past, focussing particularly on the experiences of Jewish and Bengali/Bangladeshi migrants living here during the twentieth century.

Each artist in this show takes a different approach to the archive, but recurring themes of home, memory, dislocation and protest resonate across their work. Surprising, playful and reflective, they make magic with recorded sound, bringing the past and the present up close to one other.

The exhibition includes special events including:How Writers Remembered the Jewish East End with Nadia Valman on 28 September Find out moreA CHANGING TAPESTRY OF LIMEHOUSE

A series of free public events to coincide with Open House weekend 9 September 2023.
A Changing Tapestry of Limehouse
Saturday 9 September 10am – 5pm

Following a collaboration between Stitches in Time, Dr Shane Boyle of Queen Mary University and local art activist groups, we’ll be spending the day sharing old and new work to reflect on the past and future role of art activism in Limehouse.
This intergenerational and cross-cultural project looked at how historic art activism can inform future practice, gathered ideas on what challenges are the local community facing and created opportunities for different responses culminating in this event to see the work, create more responses and discuss the issues. Email Shane for more info

News & Opportunities 

QMUL Drama Wins at TAPRA Awards’Congrats to Maggie Inchley and the The Verbatim Formula team for receiving the award for the Transformative Research and to Seb Mylly for the Postgraduate Essay prize. It’s fantastic to see the work of colleagues and students being acknowledged by our subject and disciplinary peers, and huge congratulations are due to them.’ Professor Martin Welton – Head of Drama.

Round up 

Graduate Zainab Hassan
Graduate Zainab Hassan who delivered a session for our first year Power Plays module students last year is performing in Brassic FM at the Gate Theatre – it’s on until 30 September:

Find out more and book now

Jen Harvie
Jen has published an article on Lois Weaver’s company Split Britches in a special issue of the Journal of the British Academy on Old Age and Gender: Multidisciplinary Perspectives: “Queering Time, Ageing, and Relationships with Split Britches”, Journal of the British Academy 11 (s2) (2023): 117-146; special issue on ‘Narratives of Old Age and Gender’, eds Siân Adiseshiah, Amy Culley, Jonathon Shears; open access; https://doi.org/10.5871/jba/011s2.117 The whole issue is open access and is co-edited by former QM English colleague, Amy Culley. 

The Bloomsbury Companion to J.M. Coetzee
 Huw Marsh has a chapter in a new collection on J.M. Coetzee , as has Ed Charlton. It’s edited by Andrew van der Vlies and there are chapters by former SED PhD students (Alexandra Effe, Andrea Thorpe, Xiaoran Hu), as well as Andrew van der Vlies and Patrick Flanery.

Find out more

For more opportunities see our regular Opportunities Digest blog post

Apologies if we missed any listings or made any errors, do let us know and we can post on social media.

Also if you have any news for our next newsletter please do reply or get in touch.

Best wishes,


Rupert Dannreuther

Marketing Manager

Queen Mary University of London

English and Drama Newsletter – August 2023 Edition

Welcome to your August newsletter from the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London.

Clearing is now open for those with their exam results to apply and we’d love to hear from those getting results this year on Thursday 17 August from 8am. Register your interest

We are sending this early to avoid the UCAS embargo period where we can’t contact you. Please do get in touch with us if you have any queries. We are around all summer. 

Apply in August
BA Degrees including English if you have results via Clearing to our Undergraduate programmes Get the lowdown

MA Programmes Last Chance to apply for our MA courses in English LiteratureCreative Writing and Theatre and Performance.

Talk to us Book a time to chat about your application or campus tour Sign up
See our clearing courses
August Events

14-26 August – theSpace on the Mile 

Join our talented students for brand new work they have created at the world’s largest arts festival. The four shows are:All the Glorious Moments In BetweenDead End JobPaper WallsPark Bench
Book here

Eloina (Drama Graduate)

HIGH STEAKS (pictured above) is a show about labia, labia-shaming, cosmetic surgery and fundamentally, body lovin’. 

Please do get in touch if you have a show coming up in September  that you’d like us to mention.
Follow us on Instagram for more

Weekends in August 2023

Since the 1800s Bloomsbury has been an ideas factory! So, in these walks, facts always come with ideas.

Matt has devised these new walks after 15 years of researching, writing and speaking about the area. Each walk explores a different aspect of Bloomsbury’s intellectual & cultural identity. 

Let’s think together, on our feet…

Highlights coming up:Wartime Bloomsbury – 12 AugMurder in Bloomsbury – 12 AugGreen Bloomsbury – 13 AugQueer Bloomsbury – 19 Aug
Book now
News & Opportunities
‘Grenfell: in the words of survivors – new play is an angry demand for accountability’ – Maggie Inchley in The Conversation’Grenfell continues the tradition of verbatim theatre as an acute critical and political form that enables the National Theatre to fulfil its unofficial remit for staging “state of the nation” drama.’

Read the article
Hannah Silva launches new book written in conversation with AI technologyThe pioneering new book is described as: ‘A living exploration of undoing and redoing queer single parenting and love, in conversation with an AI algorithm and a toddler.’GET A COPY: My Child, the Algorithm is out now: Buy the bookLEARN ABOUT THE PROCESS: Read Hannah’s article for The Bookseller, ‘How – and why – I wrote a book in conversation with generative AI.’INTERACT WITH AI: Footnote Press have trained a GPT algorithm on her book, so readers can generate their own texts, and enter a competition. Learn more & read an article about the marketing campaign
New Writing Prize
Watch online: Brian Dillon & Brandon Taylor: Essay Means ‘To Try’ – Pay What You CanDifficult to define and diverse by its nature, the essay is a slippery form. It requires – according to Brian Dillon – some ‘combination of exactitude and evasion’. Join Dillon, author of a new collection of interlinked essays, Affinities, alongside Booker Prize-shortlisted author, critic, and essayist, Brandon Taylor as they discuss the form, function, and very point of the genre with Michael Williams.
Find out more
Round upDeven Parker

Deven has been awarded Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the University of Glasgow. The project title is ‘Performing Authorship: Theatre, Print, and Intellectual Property, 1774-1833.’

Lois Weaver & Peggy Shaw

Peggy and Lois will be attending the Association for Theatre in Higher Education Conference in Austin Texas were we will receive their 2022 Ellen Stewart Career Achievement in Professional Theatre award and perform Last Gasp, a Recalibration.
For more opportunities see our regular Opportunities Digest blog post
Apologies if we missed any listings or made any errors, do let us know and we can post on social media.

Also if you have any news for our next newsletter please do reply or get in touch.

Best wishes,


Rupert Dannreuther

Marketing Manager

Queen Mary University of London

English and Drama Newsletter – July 2023 Edition

Welcome to your July newsletter from the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London.

3 Things to Do in July

Queen Mary Drama graduate wins Roundhouse Poetry Slam 2023

Queen Mary alumna Annabel Fabian wins Roundhouse Poetry Slam 2023 at renowned spoken word event at the prestigious London venue, Roundhouse in Camden.

The Roundhouse Poetry Slam is one of the highlights of the Roundhouse calendar, bringing together emerging spoken word artists aged 18-25 to compete for a cash prize and the coveted title of Slam Champion.

Having made it through six national heats, the most exciting voices in spoken word put their original work to the test in front of a live audience and an esteemed panel of judges: gal-dem founder and ‘Rosewater’ author, Liv Little, T.S. Eliot Prize Winner Roger Robinson and Rachel Long, one of the UK’s most acclaimed poets and the founder of Octavia Poetry Collective for Women of Colour.

On the night Annabel’s captivating and emotionally charged performance scooped her the cash prize of £1,000 and crowned Roundhouse Poetry Slam Champion 2023.

Watch Annabel’s performance on Youtube

July & August Events


19 July – ArtsOne BLOC – Free tickets via Eventbrite
Join us for three exciting performance sharings by writer Lishani Ramanayake, poet Hasti and musician Pedro Pereira Sarmento where they explore the possibilities (and problems) of artistic collaboration with AI tools. These experiments reflect on the ethical and creative questions prompted by this rapidly evolving technology.   
After the artists’ presentations, a panel discussion will be led by writer and performer Hannah Silva, who is a Leverhulme Fellow at Queen Mary. The discussion will invite the audience to consider their own perspectives on AI and its potential impacts on creativity and culture.
Please join us for this free event, as we gain practical insights into the challenges, discoveries, and transformative potential that arise when the human imagination encounters artificial intelligence.

Book here


Run to the Nuns (Produced by Estelle Homerstone)
Until 19 July | Riverside Studios, Hammersmith | Various times

‘Run to The Nuns’ is a new, queer musical set in a fictional ‘Nunnery’.

Hannah Maxwell: Nan, Me and Barbara Pravi
19-20 July | Camden People’s Theatre, Euston | 19:15

Entirely fictional. And completely true. Voila. An epic tale of care, crisis and the Eurovision Song Contest by Hannah Maxwell (pictured above), the acclaimed creator of I, AmDram.

Lorna Vassiliades: The Suitcase 20 July | Teatro Technis, Camden | 19:30

On the anniversary of the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus, performance Artist Lorna Eleonora Vassiliades creates a ritual of grief and mnemonic resistance through the suitcase and items her family grabbed when they were forced to flee from their home in Famagusta.

Figs in Wigs: Little Wimmin’
21-27 August | Zoo Southside, Edinburgh | 22:20

Figs in Wigs are back and this time they’ve got their period (dresses). A live art, feminist “adaptation” of Louisa May Alcott’s novel Little Women.

Please do get in touch if you have a show coming up in August you’d like us to mention. 

Follow us on Instagram for more


22 July – Advance Sales Fully Booked – Tickets On Door
A spectacular exploration of death and immortality, Whitechapel Gallery Writer in Residence Martin O’Brien presents a newly commissioned performance work.

Overture For The End (An Ashen Place) transforms the gallery into a place of decay, part hellscape, part apocalyptic landscape, filled with strange bodies performing deathly actions. The performance imagines repetitive cycles of life and death, an eternity of continuation with a promise of death that never arrives. Taking on the figure of banshee and crone, legendary Los Angeles artist Sheree Rose watches over the actions and intervenes in the cycles.

Read all about it in these preview articles: 

ArtLyst | QueerGuru

Listen to Martin on Whitechapel Radio today from 1500

​​​​​​​Listen live here

Find out more

News & Opportunities 

New Centre for Contemporary Writing

We are delighted to announce that Queen Mary’s Centre for Poetry is now a Centre for Contemporary Writing. Unique in the UK, we are a practitioner-led research centre that serves as a real and virtual meeting space, hub, and archive where writers, researchers, artists, and students who are compelled by innovative forms of contemporary writing can not only work together and celebrate each other but reach broader communities. 

Activities at the Centre are led by a dynamic cluster of writer-practitioners, including Rachael Allen, Katherine Angel, Caroline Bergvall, Andrea Brady, Brian Dillon, Dominic Johnson, Nisha Ramayya, Hannah Silva, Rivers Solomon, Isabel Waidner, and Lois Weaver. Working in interdisciplinary and collaborative ways across fiction, creative nonfiction, performance, and poetry, these writers breach ‘specialisms, modes, distinctions, and genres to create a more hybrid space for work to exist’ (to borrow Rachael Allen’s words about her own practice). 

Their concerns are urgent, current, and far-reaching. From climate grief to artificial intelligence, class politics to drone poetics, our work intersects with anti-racist, queer, class, and trans politics, practice, and theory.

Please contact Susan Rudy if you’d like to get involved

Video with our very own Charlotta Salmi on street art in Nepal that displays powerful messages for women and girls

Street art, murals and graffiti can be seen all over urban areas in Nepal. Researcher Charlotta Salmi has considered how activists and agencies in Nepal use these media to raise awareness of gender-based violence (GBV) in the country. How can organisations work to create inclusive, effective, and culturally sensitive messaging around GBV awareness?
 Watch the video

Wasafiri Magazine Publishes Essential ‘Windrush: Writing the Scandal’ Issue for 75th Windrush Anniversary

Marking the 75th anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush, Wasafiri, the magazine of international contemporary writing, is excited to announce the publication of Windrush: Writing the Scandal.
 Find out more

Alumni Update: 

Um-E-Aymen Babar

Aymen is an award-winning cricket journalist and one of the few young women of colour working at the BBC on cricket coverage. Read more

Zara Joan Miller

Zara just published her first book of poetry and is performing widely and building up a nice repertoire Read more

Tomiwa Owolade

Tomiwa Owolade is an alumnus, and a Spectator columnist who has recently published ‘This is Not America: Why Black Lives in Britain Matter’.

Read the Guardian’s review of his latest book

Izzy Stuart writes about the political power of indifference/in-difference and Travis Alabanza’s play Overflow

Article title: ‘Fluidity of Feeling: Water, Gender, and the Political Potential of In-difference in Travis Alabanza’s Overflow’

Read the article

Opportunities Highlights


The School of English and Drama, Queen Mary University of London, invites expressions of interest from post-doctoral researchers considering making an application for the 2023/2024 British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship competition. Deadline 7 August.

Download the call out

For more opportunities see our regular Opportunities Digest blog post

Apologies if we missed any listings or made any errors, do let us know and we can post on social media.

Also if you have any news for our next newsletter please do reply or get in touch.

Best wishes,


Rupert Dannreuther

Marketing Manager

Queen Mary University of London

English and Drama Newsletter – May 2023 Edition

May Events




Fri 5 May 2023 – 17:00-19:30 – In-person at QMUL Mile End
 Care-experienced young people use arts to share experiences of facing the battles and slaying dragons in the care system today
 Join us to discover and celebrate a year-long project. TVF’s care-experienced co-researchers have created this event to share the important parts for them. 

Book here 



Tue 9 May 2023 – 14:30-18:30 = In-person at QMUL Mile End
A lecture series organised by the Leo Baeck Institute London in cooperation with the German Historical Institute London.
 This season’s lecture series ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Myths, Images and Imaginings about Jews’ seeks to explore the connection of visual narratives in the context of beauty, ugliness and morality with representations of Jews and Jewishness in the Western world from the Middle Ages to the present day. We aim to examine the subject from different historical, social and artistic perspectives ranging from medieval mythology to Orientalism, Zionism, Feminism or modern aesthetics, and through the lens of a selection of diverse media including painting, photography and comics. 

Book here 


Tue 9 May 2023 – 14:30-18:30 = In-person at QMUL Mile End
In this symposium, scholars working on religious belief and unbelief in Britain from the early modern period to the twentieth century (including Nil Palyabik and Suzanne Hobson) will share work-in-progress. Themes explored will include practices of belief; the uses of language; questions of translation; activities in educational and commercial settings as well as professional religious environments; accommodations and clashes between doctrine, philosophy, and everyday life; and the role of Scripture. For full details please see the Eventbrite listing.

[picture credit: Saint Thomas the Apostle puts his finger in the lance wound of the risen Christ. Etching by G. de Lairesse. Wellcome CollectionPublic Domain Mark] 

Book here



Wed 10 May 2023 – 17:30-19:00 

Let me tell you a story: Heuristic Practice, Research and Participation
 ‘In this conversation, I would like to narratively explore ways in which threads of my research and thinking may offer alternative ways to consider change in applied arts practices, and for whom. Emerging from the idea that change is founded on reflection, understanding and collaboration, I will explore seemingly disparate strands of work to evolve a practice research approach centred around partnership and collaboration – maybe even co-intention?

Thoughts from these musing include: For the practitioners/researchers what might also be at stake in terms of change, as well as the participants in work that intervenes in communities?

To what extent can practitioners genuinely be researchers? 

Book now 


Thu 11 May 2023 – 17:30-19:00 – In-person at QMUL Mile End
 Clare Hemmings (LSE) presents a lecture at Queen Mary University of London on “Accepting the Gifts: Reading Loss as Queer Feminist Method”. 

Book now


Thu 11 May 2023, 17:30-19:00 – In-person at QMUL Mile End

This research conversation event is part of the series ‘Legacies and Liabilities? Decolonial, Interdisciplinary, and Intersectional Approaches to the Nineteenth Century Now’. It will focus on interconnections between religion, science, and technology, including fact/faith binaries and links with political identity.

We are excited to be joined by a panel of expert speakers:Rachel Bryant Davies (QMUL)Simon Goldhill (Cambridge)Brian Murray (KCL)Clare Stainthorp (QMUL)Jon Topham (Leeds)The roundtable discussion will be followed by an opportunity to continue conversations over refreshments. 

Book now 

19 May 2023, 09:30-19:00 – In-person at QMUL Mile End
 A day of talks reflecting on and celebrating the pioneering research of Professor Michèle Barrett.

Contributors Include: Nadia Atia, Rachel Bowlby, Markman Ellis, Roberta Hamilton, Ann Rosalind Jones, Clara Jones, Cora Kaplan, David Lammy, Donna Landry, Gerald Maclean, David McDonald, David Olusoga, Anne Phillips, Ellen Ross, Brenda Silver, Anna Snaith, Peter Stallybrass and Victoria Walker. 

Book now



Wed 24 May 2023 – 17:00-19:00 – In-person at QMUL Mile End & OnlineFabulous filigree, garments of disease, rumours of a colossal fatberg clogging the city’s sewers…

For this special Quorum event, we celebrate the materiality of decadence on stage: its spectacular costuming, spatialisation, spillages, eccentricities, and the detailing of voluptuous rot.
 Featuring live performances from Hasard Le Sin, Sadie Sinner and Miss HerNia; screenings of work by jaamil olawale kosoko, Toco Nikaido and Angel Rose; an exhibition of decadent costume by Julia Bardsley; a performative presentation by Adam Alston – and rounded off with a roundtable discussion. Book here

Events Digest

Cultural Heritage and the Climate Emergency In Debate 

Live on People’s Palace Projects Youtube on Tuesdays 9, 16, 23 at 14:00 BST

Subscribe to the PPP channel

 Digital History and Collaborative Research – Online Panel DiscussionTue 23 May from 17:00 An online panel discussion co-hosted by Royal Historical Society and The Living with Machines Project. Speakers: Daniel Edelstein (Stanford University), Maryanne Kowaleski (Fordham), Jon Lawrence (Exeter), Katrina Navickas (Hertfordshire) and Ruth Ahnert (Queen Mary London, chair).

Book now


 New Writing Prize

‘I chose Santa Cruz as it’s close to the ocean and the campus is built into the forest.”Hi, I’m Isabella and I’m an English Literature & Creative Writing student, currently on a year abroad programme at UC Santa Cruz in California. We’re only 90 minutes away from San Francisco but we get all the joy of being surrounded by nature.’

See Isabella’s Instagram Takeover 

I don’t know what gender is, but I do, and I can, and we all do’: An interview with Clare Hemmings
An interview with Clare Hemmings,  Professor of Feminist Theory and Head of the Department of Gender Studies at the London School of Economics given by Susan Rudy (English).

A leading figure in UK feminist theory, her research insists that we acknowledge matters of ambivalence and uncertainty in our history-making, storytelling and theorising. 

Read the article 

Brian Dillon (Creative Writing) writes ‘What does the essay do?’ article for TLS
 This article in the Times Literary Supplement focuses on ‘The role, shape and purpose of the essay today’

Read the article 

News Digest

MOJISOLA ADEBAYO (Drama)‘s shows STARS and Family Tree, both written by SED Lecturer Mojisola Adebayo have been nominated for a total of FIVE Offies awards including best play, best lead performer and best video design for STARS and best set design and best lead performer for Family Tree. Both plays tour through May and June and both play texts are now published by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama as well. 

ABBIE JUKES (English PhD Grad) publishes her first book ‘An Introduction to Kamila Shamsie’s Home Fire’. 

Order here

 Apologies if we missed any listings or made any errors, do let us know and we can post on social media.

Also if you have any news for our next newsletter please do reply or get in touch.

Best wishes,


Rupert Dannreuther

Marketing Manager

Queen Mary University of London

English and Drama Newsletter – April 2023 Edition

Welcome to your April newsletter from the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London. 6 Things to Do in April
  1. Offer Holder Day: If you’re an offer holder come to our last date of this year on 19 April 2023. Book here
  2. Summer Open Days: visit our Mile End campus on 16 & 17 June 2023. Book here
  3. Private subject-specific campus tour or 1-2-1: Talk to a human about your course interests. Register here
  4. Apply for our HSS Master’s Black and Global Majority Studentships Read more
  5. Read about how important humanities are: in the Higher Education Policy Institute report which our academic Tiffany Watt-Smith is quoted.
  6. Read our research newsletter: Find out about our world-changing research in this update. Read it here
Lebanon to London: The Creative Journey Amaal Fawzi (pictued above) from BA English with Creative Writing shares her journey in this incredible blog series. Photo from article: Skiing and Swimming: The Lebanese Winter for Tourists Discover the full series April Events Subtexts: TransfixionsWed, 12 Apr 2023 18:00 – 20:00 The Octagon At Queen Mary University Of London 327 Mile End Road London E1 4NS Subtexts: Transfixions is an evening of poetry and literary performances by four mesmerising, artfully and politically charged writers, Hasti, So Mayer, Nat Raha, and Shola von Reinhold. Organised by the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London. Free and open to all. Book your free ticket Stars by Mojisola Adebayo13 April-4 May – ICA A new afrofuturist music play about pleasure, desire and female orgasms. STARS is a hilarious and moving mix of celebratory Black queer empowerment and arousal. Performed by one woman and a live DJ, with projected animations, we join in an old woman’s search for her lost orgasm, spanning across outer space, with dustings of African mythology and folklore in an unabashedly queer, feminist rallying call.Read the QMUL news story Book ticketsFamily Tree by Mojisola Adebayo 12-23 April – Brixton House Family Tree is a beautifully poetic drama about race, health, the environment, and the incredible legacy of one of the most influential Black women of modern times. Fearlessly honest, hilarious, and ultimately transformative, this award-winning play is both a remembrance and a celebration. Henrietta Lacks is one of most remarkable people in medical history. Her cells form the basis of the most important medical research and breakthroughs happening today, from cancer to HIV to COVID. But Henrietta never knew any of this. Her cells were taken without her or her family’s knowledge or permission. Henrietta was a Black woman: she is not the only one whose body has been exploited by the medical establishment. Read the QMUL news story Book tickets ‘The Shapes of the State in Early Modern Ireland’ Dr Neil Johnston18 April – Hybrid – 19:00 Speaker: Dr Neil Johnston, Head of Early Modern Records, The National Archives, UK. Abstract: Royal government in Ireland expanded and evolved over the centuries, creating extensive paperwork in the course of its ordinary business. A significant amount of this survived until 1922, forming the core of the collection within the Public Record Office of Ireland. This paper will examine how the offices of state developed, charting their remit, function, and output. Focussing on the seventeenth century, it will consider the ways in which people in Ireland interacted with the state, what records emerged from these interactions, and what records survived down to the twentieth century. The destruction of the collection in 1922 created archival ghosts, where finding aids and publications give partial insights into what was available to researchers. By concentrating on the records of the central executive and the equity courts, this paper will endeavour to provide some insights into new or emerging research pathways for scholars of the period. The event is free and all are welcome. For further info please email IHS Secretary Dr Caoimhe Whelan caoimhe.whelan@qmul.ac.uk 2023 IHS Programme of events: https://www.irishhistoricalstudies.ie/irish-historical-society/ Sign up Book launch: Silent Teachers: Turkish Books and Oriental Learning in Early Modern Europe, 1544–1669 26 April 2023, 17:00-19:30 at The Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London, WC1H 0AB Book launch and roundtable discussion with the author Nil Palabıyık (QMUL) and guest speakers Philip Alexander (Manchester), Theodor Dunkelgrün (Cambridge) and Simon Mills (Newcastle). Silent Teachers considers for the first time the influence of Ottoman scholarly practices and reference tools on oriental learning in early modern Europe. Telling the story of oriental studies through the annotations, study notes, and correspondence of European scholars, it demonstrates the central but often overlooked role that Turkish-language manuscripts played in the achievements of early orientalists. Dispersing the myths and misunderstandings found in previous scholarship, this book offers a fresh history of Turkish studies in Europe and new insights into how Renaissance intellectuals studied Arabic and Persian through contemporaneous Turkish sources. www.routledge.com/9780367359782
Sign up
INVITATION – PRE-PREMIERE  “Vale? Is it worth it?  Five artists in the front line against Brazil’s worst environmental crime” 26 April 2023, 16:00 at BLOC Media Studio – Queen Mary University of LondonJoin People’s Palace Projects and Queen Mary University of London for the launch of the documentary Vale? The free screening will be introduced by Paul Heritage (Drama) and Leandro Valiati and followed by a Q&A. Synopsis: Through music, poetry and circus performances, five Brazilian artists talk about their grief, fears and hope four years after the Brumadinho Dam collapsed, killing 300 people. The documentary, directed by Paul Heritage and Marcelo Barbosa (Indianara, 2019)  focuses on the impact of the collapse on the artistic and cultural heritage of this rich mining region in Brazil and asks – Is it worth it?
Sign up
Book Ahead
An Ambulance to the Future (The Second Chance)Thursday 18 May 2023 – Whitechapel Gallery – £5 Join us for the first event in Martin O’Brien’s An Eternity of Nothingness trilogy made as part of his time as Whitechapel Gallery Writer in Residence. Mixing video, live performance action and parables, this performance imagines a world in which immortality is possible. Drawing on stories of immortal people, it paints the picture of life lived over and over again, a life that doesn’t need water or oxygen, a life without the promise of an end point. It is a meditation on endings and new beginnings. With his usual intensity and wit, this work continues O’Brien’s explorations of the politics of death by asking what the idea of immortality can help us understood about being mortal.
Book here
The Queen Mary Centre for Religion and Literature in English invites you to a symposium on ‘Forms of (un)belief’  Tuesday 9 May 2023, 2.30-6.30pm – Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, E1 4NS, ArtsTwo room 2.17 In this symposium, scholars working on religious belief and unbelief in Britain from the early modern period to the twentieth century (including Nil Palyabik and Suzanne Hobson) will share work-in-progress. Themes explored will include practices of belief; the uses of language; questions of translation; activities in educational and commercial settings as well as professional religious environments; accommodations and clashes between doctrine, philosophy, and everyday life; and the role of Scripture. For full details please see the Eventbrite listing. [picture credit: Saint Thomas the Apostle puts his finger in the lance wound of the risen Christ. Etching by G. de Lairesse. Wellcome CollectionPublic Domain Mark] 
Book here
‘A Day with Michèle Barrett’Friday 19 May at Queen Mary, University of London You are warmly invited to ‘A Day with Michèle Barrett’ on Friday 19 May at Queen Mary, University of London. This event brings together a range of scholars to reflect on Professor Barrett’s pioneering interdisciplinary research and celebrate her major contributions to literary studies, feminist theory and the history of the First World War. The event will include a preview of WoolfNotes, a ground-breaking project led by Prof. Barrett to digitise Virginia Woolf’s extensive reading and research notes. Contributors Include: Nadia Atia, Rachel Bowlby, Roberta Hamilton, Ann Rosalind Jones, Clara Jones, Cora Kaplan, David Lammy, Donna Landry, Gerald Maclean, David McDonald, David Olusoga, Anne Phillips, Ellen Ross, Brenda Silver, Anna Snaith, Peter Stallybrass and Victoria Walker. Download the programme Listen to Professor Michèle Barrett on A Room of One’s Own (BBC Radio 4)
Book here
Events Digest Festival of Education – 18-20 April – Online The Festival will explore the theme of Inclusive Education, addressing the visible and hidden barriers to success and exploring pedagogical approaches that open the doors of opportunity for all. Book here
How studying English Literature boosted my career prospects by our English graduate Sofiya Shazal’Fact: studying English Literature is one of the most useful things you can do for yourself — personally and professionally’Read Sofiya’s story
The long line of Black and Asian British literatureSusheila Nasta, Emeritus Professor of Modern and Contemporary Literature at Queen Mary University of London, explores Black and Asian British writing.Watch the video at Expeditions
Jerry Brotton has made 10 part BBC Radio series on the ‘other’ Tudors ‘We Other Tudors’, recounting the lives of ten men and women who settled in Tudor London, including Muslims, Jews, Africans and Native Americans. The series will be broadcast every night at 2245h starting on 24 April on Radio 3. See the programme page
News Digest SITA BALANI: SEXUAL MODERNITY AND THE MAKING OF RACE (pictured above) book launching 16 May. Preorder now ALFRED HIATT CONTESTING AUTHENTICITY: On 30 March 2023, Alfred Hiatt(English) gave a paper on Charles Bertram’s Forged Roman Map of Britain at ‘Contesting Authenticity in Literature, 1200-1700’. MATT RUBERY TALKS READING ON TIKTOK FOR WORLD BOOK DAY: Watch Matt’s TikTok Read more in this news story about Matt’s work Listen to Matt talking on BBC Radio 4 talking about The pioneering New York publisher Marianne Mantell who paved the way for audio books… CALL FOR PAPERS: Conference on UK Spoken-Word Poetries Since 1965 Find out more
Apologies if we missed any listings or made any errors, do let us know and we can post on social media. Also if you have any news for our next newsletter please do reply or get in touch. Best wishes, Ru Rupert Dannreuther Marketing Manager sed-web@qmul.ac.uk Queen Mary University of London #FutureQMUL

English and Drama Newsletter – March 2023 Edition

Welcome to your March newsletter from the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London.

3 Wonderful Things to Do in March 2023:

  1. Win a £10 book token: Tell us the book that changed your life and you could win on #WorldBookDay See our Instagram Reel to enter (Closes 17:00 GMT on Friday 3 March 2023)
  2. Come to our Master’s Open Event on 22 March to discuss: 
  3. Book a private campus tour or 1-2-1: Talk to a human about your course interests. Register here

“To this day, when speaking to my students I use Lois Weaver’s slogan, “if they don’t get it, that’s ok”, which is an absolute cornerstone of the way I approach work – and I’m very thankful for that.”

Simon Nader shares his experience of studying a
BA in English and Drama.

Photo by Lorna Fitzsimons

Read Simon’s profile

March Events

Brian Dillon ‘Affinities’ Book Launch

2 March – Burley Fisher Books

Please join us for the launch of Affinities by Brian Dillon at Burley Fisher.

What do we mean when we claim affinity with an object or picture, or say affinities exist between such things? Affinities is a critical and personal study of a sensation that is not exactly taste, desire, or allyship, but has aspects of all. Approaching this subject via discrete examples, this book is first of all about images that have stayed with the author over many years, or grown in significance during months of pandemic isolation, when the visual field had shrunk. Some are historical works by artists such as Julia Margaret Cameron, Dora Maar, Claude Cahun, Samuel Beckett and Andy Warhol. Others are scientific or vernacular images: sea creatures, migraine auras, astronomical illustrations derived from dreams. Also family photographs, film stills, records of atomic ruin. And contemporary art by Rinko Kawauchi, Susan Hiller and John Stezaker. Written as a series of linked essays, interwoven with a reflection on affinity itself, Affinities is an extraordinary book about the intimate and abstract pleasures of reading and looking.

Brian Dillon’s books include Suppose a Sentence, Essayism, The Great Explosion (shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize), Objects in This Mirror: Essays, I Am Sitting in a Room, Sanctuary, Tormented Hope: Nine Hypochondriac Lives (shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize) and In the Dark Room, which won the Irish Book Award for non-fiction. His writing has appeared in the Guardian, New York Times, London Review of Books, the New Yorker, New York Review of Books, frieze and Artforum.

Collaborative Historical Research in the Age of Big Data: Lessons from an interdisciplinary project
Living with Machines

Tue 7 Feb, 5pm
Launch of the book, ‘Collaborative Historical Research in the Age of Big Data: Lessons from an interdisciplinary project’ (available open access by Cambridge University Press as part of the Elements Series). The event will be an online roundtable discussion, led by hosts Professor Jane Winters and Professor James Smithies, with the authors, Ruth Ahnert, Emma Griffin, Mia Ridge and Giorgia Tolfo.

Living with Machines is one of the largest digital humanities projects ever funded in the United Kingdom. The project brings together a large interdisciplinary team (39 members over its lifetime to) to leverage more than twenty-years’ worth of digitisation projects in order to deepen our understanding of the impact of mechanisation on nineteenth-century Britain. In contrast to many previous digital humanities projects which have sought to create resources, the project is concerned to work with what was already there, which whilst straightforward in theory is complex in practice. This Element describes the efforts to do so. It outlines the challenges of establishing and managing a truly multidisciplinary digital humanities project in the complex landscape of cultural data in the United Kingdom and shares what other projects seeking to undertake digital history quests can learn from the experience.

This event is part of AI UK 2023. The Alan Turing Institute’s national showcase of data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence research and innovation.  

Sign up

Cutting East Film Festival 2023
Thursday 23 March, 14:30

Cutting East Film Festival 2023 takes place 10th and 11th March at Genesis Cinema in East London. Participants have programmed, designed and curated this film and arts festival with a great line-up of free activities including films, spoken word, Q&A, and exhibitions for all the family to enjoy. Come along and enjoy the launch in the evening on 10th March and the festival day on 11th March – the programme will be listed here shortly. For further details, head to Cutting East to find out more and please do follow on socials to be kept up to date with all things Cutting East! @cuttingeast

Messy Archives: a Raphael Samuel History Centre Workshop
Thursday 23 March, 14:30

In person only
Room 307, Birkbeck Central Building (formerly Students Union Central) Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY.

Book your place here (messyarchives.eventbrite.co.uk)

Archives are often central to historical production, but what counts as an archive? How have scholars and theorists of history understood the material bases of historical sources? Have these concepts changed with political, social, and environmental transformations? Can our everyday landscapes be read as historical archives? What are the archives of the future and what role do archives play in future-making? This workshop explores these questions, and others, by interrogating the experiences of working with/in various archives and by considering problematics raised in archivisation practices and theories.

kitt price (English) is Senior Lecturer in English at Queen Mary. They are the author of Loving Faster than Light: Romance and Readers in Einstein’s Universe (2012). They have also collaborated with Aleksander Kolkowski on sound installations, performances and broadcasts that reanimate archival sources using sound technologies of the past. Recent work includes ‘Mental Radio’, a radiophonic montage based on broadcast telepathy experiments of the 1920s and 30s. Listen here .

Book here

The Time of Care: Concluding Conference
The waiting is over (?)
Tuesday 28March – Wednesday 29March 2023 at Friends House, London

The Wellcome-Trust funded Waiting Times project would like to invite you to register for our end-of-grant, hybrid conference: The Time of Care: Conclusions from the Waiting Times Project

Waiting Times has explored what it means to wait in and for healthcare by examining lived experiences, representations, and histories of impeded and delayed time and has included work by our very own Martin O’Brien. Martin is the winner of the Philip Leverhulme Prize for Visual and Performing Arts 2022. He will be on research leave August 2022-August 2024. He is currently Whitechapel Gallery Writer in Residence 2023

You can register for online attendance here and in-person attendance here.   

Subversion and survival: navigations through performance and media cultures

Tue 28 March 2023 – Online

Swati Arora (Drama) will talk at this event on: 

Under Cover: Insurgent Methods of Border Crossing I draw on my forthcoming co-edited book on pluriversal conversations on transnational feminisms to assemble a few thoughts on border-crossing – disciplinary, epistemic, and linguistic. What does border-crossing in performance studies look like? The presentation offers a few insurgent methods of subterfuge and survival as we secure justice for our communities while acknowledging the colonial histories of our institutions.

Swati Arora is Lecturer in Performance and Global South Studies at Queen Mary, University of London. Her work exists at the convergence of performance and visual culture, feminist theory, Black Studies, and dramaturgies of urban space in the global South. Most recently, she published ‘Performing Refusal’ (Injury and Intimacy, MUP) and ‘A manifesto to decentre theatre and performance studies’ (STP).   Book hereNews

New Writing Prize

The Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize is now open for submissions until 5pm BST on 30 June. This year’s multi-award-winning judges are Leila Aboulela (Fiction), Diana Evans (Chair), Caleb Femi (Poetry), and Aanchal Malhotra (Life Writing).    

Since 2009 the prize has awarded some of the most exciting new voices in fiction, life writing, and poetry from around the world. Previous winners and shortlistees include Caleb Femi and @azemezi. 

The prize includes publication in Wasafiri, mentoring from The Good Agency and The Literary Consultancy and £1000. 

Find out more

Mojisola Adebayo’s Family Tree starts it’s tour in Coventry this month
“Beautifully poetic … Adebayo’s deft writing and the layered, nuanced performances allowed us to take solace in community and to look forward to a better future.”
To Do List

FAMILY TREE is a beautifully poetic drama about race, health, the environment, and the incredible legacy of one of the most influential Black women of modern times. Fearlessly honest, hilarious, and ultimately transformative, this award-winning play is both a remembrance and a celebration. 
Read more in this news piece

Find out about Mojisola’s next show STARS in April at ICA

Sign up for the Black British Queer Plays and Practitioners: An Anthology of Afriquia Theatre (Methuen Drama 2022) Free Book Launch at ICA

Call outs for Participation

Festival of Communities 10-11 June – Confirmed

The call for activities is now open and I encourage all schools, institutes and and teams to take part. It’s a fantastic opportunity to engage thousands of local residents with everything that makes Queen Mary unique: our teaching, research, and a wealth of wider initiatives – everything from environmental sustainability through to arts and culture.  

Staff and students involved in previous years have built new connections with residents and community organisations, gained new perspectives, and learned new skills – all of which can benefit their work. 

The Centre for Public Engagement team will support you in developing activity ideas. Please make use of their information webinars, 1:1 advice sessions, dedicated training, and funding of up to £500 per project. 

Please visit the Festival of Communities website for details on how you can get involved. The deadline for applications is Thursday 30 March

Peopling the Palace(s) Festival – 3-11 June TBC

Call out for performance makers, helpers, researchers and events for this innovative socially-engaged performance festival in Mile End. 

Email Ru to take part: r.dannreuther@qmul.ac.uk

Being Human

This year’s national festival of the humanities will take place 9–18 November, with the theme Rhyme or Reason

Small Awards: apply for funding of up to £3,000 to enable activities (deadline: 5pm, Friday 28 April) 

Hub Awards: apply for a larger institutional grant of £3,000–£8,000 to coordinate multiple activities as a Festival Hub (deadline: 5pm, Friday 28 April) 

Open Call: organise an activity that does not require funding from Being Human (deadline: 5pm, Friday 23 June) 

Being Human Cafés: a simple ‘off-the-shelf’ format for an activity that does not require funding from Being Human (deadline: 5pm, Friday 25 August) 

Further details, and answers to some frequently asked questions are available on the website.  

Applying to Being Human 2023: You can find out more about applying to the festival at our online information session ‘Applying to Being Human 2023’ taking place on Wednesday 15 March, 11:00-12:00. Find out more and sign up


Katherine Angel signs deal for new book: Poor Freud
Poor Freud will be an examination of the turbulent history of feminism’s feud with psychoanalysis. It will take stock, anew, of Freud and his fraught legacy in a much-changed world. And it will explore why and how we need to engage with Freud and psychoanalysis today — an engagement that is crucial if we are committed to taking sexual violence and abuses of power seriously. The book will be published by Verso in the UK and Pantheon in the USA.

See Katherine’s staff profile

News Digest

ENGLISH GRAD & ARTIST POLLY MORGAN: The Telegraph feature Polly Morgan (pictured above), who studied English at QM and is now a super successful artist.

Read the piece

Catch episode 10 of Steven Fry’s ‘Secrets of the Roaring 20s’ on Audible to hear kitt price discussing socialist time travel and queer warping of time and space as the British public attempted to get to grips with Einstein’s new theory of the universe. 

Watch here

PEN: Isabel Waidner is interviewed on PEN America. 

Read more here

AUDIOBOOK PIONEER MARIANNE MANTELL: Matt Rubery is featured in New York Times and Washington Post celebrating the life of record label founder Cadrmon Records who released spoken-word. 

NOW FESTIVAL: Daniel Oliver (Drama) shares new work at this ground-breaking festival in Hackney Wick’s The Yard Theatre.

Find out more

Rosie heads to Tokyo on a writing /research grant from the Society of Authors for a work in progress: a short hybrid memoir around a grid of IG photos I took when I was stranded in Japan during the first phase of the pandemic in 2020.  

Follow Rosie on Instagram   

Apologies if we missed any listings, do let us know and we can post on social media.

Also if you have any news for our next newsletter please do reply or get in touch.

Best wishes,


Rupert Dannreuther

Marketing Manager

Queen Mary University of London

English and Drama Newsletter – February 2023 Edition

Welcome to your February newsletter from the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London.

6 Wonderful Things to Do in February 2023:

Sign up for QM Futures: If you’re in year 12 come to our free university preparation and study skills programme. Sign Up

Want to explore your creative side? Book for our Summer Schools in:

Book a private campus tour or 1-2-1 Talk to a human about your course interests. Register here

Offer Holder Days & Free Tasters: Got an offer to study with us and want to visit our applicant days or want to come to a free taster. Get in touch

Discover our Postgraduate Taught courses in Literature, Performance or Creative Writing. Read our new blog post

Save the dates: Mad Hearts – The Arts and Mental Health – 9-10 June / Peopling the Palace(s) Festival – 5-11 June 2023. Contact Ru to get involved in this year’s events. 

“My writing has changed astronomically […]
The support of many fabulous lecturers is a testament
to the writer and person I am now.”

Naila Barrett shares her experience of studying a
BA in English with Creative Writing.

Read Naila’s profile

February Events

Guided tour and introduction to the Barts Pathology Museum collection: 4pm on Wednesday 11th January 2023.

Subtexts presents…CLASS, CHORUS and ACCESS
Tue 7 Feb, 6-8pm

Rachael Allen reading from her forthcoming poetry collection God Complex which thinks through class and what class divides perpetuate and the ways we devote ourselves to things (landscape / peoples).

Ella Berny presenting from her PhD project, The Limits and Possibilities of Abortion Storytelling in Contesting an Abortion Regime, a creative engagement with the social sciences.

Join us for readings, chat, snacks and drinks
ARTS TWO, Senior Common Floor (top floor)

Follow Subtexts on Instagram

Breaking Bread: Non-Linear Time: Writing Work
Sun 5 Feb, 1pm – Candid Arts

The programme for Breaking Bread 2023 hosted by Bread Theatre and Film Company, London is here, and it involves four creative workshops with four distinct artists. It grows out of creative collaborations with Bread London based on Ananya Mishra (English) current research on Indigenous ideas on non-linear time, intersecting with Cavendish physicist Prof Suchitra Sebastian’s explorations of novel emergent quantum matter. 

The first workshop of Breaking Bread 2023 is on 5th February (Sunday). It will be hosted by the brilliant Tatenda Matsvai (aka 2tender) at the Basement Gallery, Candid Arts Trust.

This workshop is for anyone who writes or is interested in writing spoken word poetry; for anyone interested in exploring potentially decolonial forms of creating art; for anyone who wants to connect and share ideas with our growing community of London-based artists.

Join Bread London and Tatenda at 1pm for a meet, greet and eat inside the Candid Arts Cafe, then head down with us to the Basement Gallery at 2pm for a 2-hour workshop.

Tickets are free, but we ask that you reserve in advance via the Eventbrite link so that we know what numbers to expect.

Book here

Events Digest

February Careers Events for Students

Working for yourself – Wed 8 Feb 2-3pmIf you are interested in freelancing, in being in journalism or theatre practitioner, or have a great idea for a business, this session is for you!

Presenting yourself – Wed 15 Feb 2-3pmIf you would like to learn more about how to show yourself in the best light to potential employers and clients, come along to this workshop.

Read more

Mathelinda Nabugodi (Cambridge): ‘A Chamæleonic Race’: Shelley and the Discourses of Slavery – Wed 8 Feb, 5.15pm

In this talk, Nabugodi approaches Shelley’s poetic chameleonism from a somewhat different angle. Nabugodi will examine how Shelley’s poetry is coloured by contemporary practices of racial enslavement and adjacent discourses—anti-Black prejudices propagated by the pro-slavery West India Interest as well as by abolitionists and liberal thinkers.

Read more

Isabel Waidner in Conversation with Maxe Crandall (pictured above) – Wed 8 Feb 2023City Lights in conjunction with Graywolf Press celebrate the publication of “Sterling Karat Gold” By Isabel Waidner.

Read more

Mojisola Adebayo at Glasgow Theatre Seminar (online) – Thu 9 Feb 2023

Playwright, theatre maker and researcher Mojisola Adebayo (Drama) will talk about the creation of her latest works Family Tree and STARS.

Sign up 

From the wider Queen Mary community

Inflation – Past & Present – Wed, 22 Feb, 5.00pm

Brigitte Granville will discuss the worst inflation episode in the advanced industrialised economies of the last fifty years. 

Read more

Book Launch and Roundtable for “Making Refugees in India”, by Dr Ria Kapoor – Tue 21 Feb, 4.00pm

Making Refugees in India offers a global history of India’s ideas and practices surrounding the refugee. 

Book now

Book Ahead

In Conversation with David Lammy MP – Thu 9 March,  6.30pm

Brigitte Granville will discuss the worst inflation episode in the advanced industrialised economies of the last fifty years. 

Read more

Conference: Contesting Authenticity in Literature, 1200-1700 

30-31 March 2023 | Senate House Library, Bloomsbury
Registration is now open for this 2-day conference on medieval and early modern literature dealing with various aspects of (in)authenticity. Our keynotes will be Professor Emeritus Alastair Minnis (Yale) and Professor Leah Whittington (Harvard).

The event will take place on 30-31 March 2023. The physical element of the conference is based at Senate House, University of London, with online participation possible. All forms of attendance are free, and bursaries are available to assist those wishing to attend in person.

Please see authenticity2023.wordpress.com for more conference details, including booking information, the conference programme, and bursary details.

Find out more


Caitlin O’Donnell (English Studies: Writing and Society 1700-1820 MA, 2012), who is currently working at Northeastern University as a Manager for Strategic Initiatives and Executive Projects in External Affairs.“The courses I took at Queen Mary all focused on the relationship between society and literature. I found my studies to be much more interdisciplinary than what I had experienced in the US which gave me a more comprehensive view. Plus, I was specifically researching and writing about the city in which I was living. There are some absolute rock stars on the staff—one of my favourite memories was when Markman Ellis hosted tea as we were studying coffeehouse culture.”Read Caitlin’s story

Brazil’s small utopias

People’s Palace Projects BBC World Service with our Indigenous partner, Piratá Waurá. It’s about our VR project that is taking off again. We have developed the first prototype and just secured some extra funding to start the new prototype for non-Indigenous audiences/museums. Listen to the podcast

News Digest

WORMS: Isabel Waidner is featured in Worms Issue 6 with a fiction piece from their latest novel.

Read more here

FREE VERSE REPORT: An oldie but a goodie, this report by Spread the Word looks at why so few black and Asian poets have been published in the UK. 

Read it here

ESSAYISM: Professor Brian Dillon: What does the essay do? (Times Literary Supplement)Read the article

RESEARCH NEWSLETTER: Read the latest Research updates from Alicia Barnes here. 

Read the newsletter

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: Speculative Wearable Sleep-Tracker Design Workshop. 

Find out more

LITERATURE CLOCK: Discovery of the week is this literature clock which has a quote for every minute of every day from published works.

See the clock – Pictured below

HISTORY OF ART SEMINAR AT EDINBURGH COLLEGE OF ART: Martin O’Brien gave a lecture entitled ‘Deathly Durations: Performance and the Temporalities of Decay’.

Find out more

Apologies if we missed any listings, do let us know and we can post on social media.

Also if you have any news for our next newsletter please do reply or get in touch.

Best wishes,


Rupert Dannreuther

Marketing Manager

Queen Mary University of London

English and Drama Newsletter – December 2022 Edition

A colourful paint explosion with a similing student who wears a headscarf. The caption says 'Have a fantastic winter break'

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Welcome to your December update from the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London.

We hope you have a well-deserved winter break and a fantastic 2023.

4 Things to Note this December:

Download Ryan’s Visual Guide

The cast of Hairspray in multicolour outfits hold signs that say slogans such as 'Integrate not segregate'

Image from Queen Mary Theatre Company’s Hairspray. Thanks to Jasmine B for the photo.

Read the review

Rediscover: Love – This Monday

Rediscover Love text on top of a rainbow background

Our first study day of the year is here to bring some love to December. 

Love is at the heart of literature and drama. This TED talk style event will help A-level students understand the importance of love in poems, plays, and prose from Shakespeare’s day to our own time. Based on Love Through the Ages, a unit within AQA’s A-level syllabus, these short talks will also include helpful resources for all year 12 students studying English and/or Drama. We are a Russell Group university who aims to be the most inclusive of our kind. We aim to support you with your A-level studies and help you succeed in English and Drama.

Book your place

December Events

A screenprint style image of multiple windows and the title 'Perceptions'

Perceptions – First Ever MA Creative Writing Event
Monday 10 December – 1800-2000 – Queens’ Building SCR | FREE

As the inaugural cohort of the MA Creative Writing we are extremely proud to present our work and we hope you can join us! We’ve collaborated on an excellent night on the theme of Perceptions. Explore your senses through our writing and artworks.’

Be sure to check out our Instagram / TikTok / Blog for an MA Creative Writing takeover.

Book here


News Digest
XINGU RESISTANCE: Yula Rocha from People’s Palace Projects (based at QMUL) has written a piece for Where the Leaves Fall magazine. Read it here

ECO-NVERSATION PODCAST LIVE: Eco-nversation  is a podcast that brings together activists, artists and academics to discuss  our roles and responsibilities in the climate emergency.  Listen here


AUGMENTED REALITY TEXTBOOK MADE BY DRAMA STUDENT: Emma Howes, a fourth-year film studies and drama student at Queen Mary University of London, was one of the co-founders of SmartBooks who also studied abroad at UCLA with Simone Jensen. Read more

KATE BUSH BOOK IN THE WORKS FROM BRIAN DILLON (CREATIVE WRITING): Brian Dillon on the 40th anniversary of the singer’s lesser-known record, The Dreaming writes for FRIEZE. Read the article

Lost and Foundling: The art of creative giving: As the cost-of-living crisis crunches, how can we all be artistic philanthropists? A dialogue between care-experienced young people and eighteenth-century philanthropists explores the arts and giving
Read the full blog post about the project

Third year Queen Mary University of London English Literature student stops re-reading ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ to become speed-cubing champion and claim new Guinness World Record
Read more

Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver are pictured. Peggy has short hair and glasses plus a suit. Lois has a bob with black glsasses. They both have funny expressions using their mouths.

How to write a review: Brendan Macdonald drafts some instructions for writing about Split Britches’ latest performance.
Read the review (or is it?)

Image is of a painting of a crowd with a male central speaker with a white wig on.

2022 Paris Symposium of the London-Paris Romanticism Seminar and the theme is ‘Oaths, Odes and Orations 1789-1830’
 Three of our English team are giving papers:David Duff, ‘Blake’s Public Addresses’Will Bowers, ‘The Ode Disinterred’Paul Hamilton, ‘Odes et al.’
Read more about the symposium

Four portrait paintings in a blue abstract style

**Content warning: mentions mental health and suicide**

Phakama present: We The Human: A Quiet Blue Wall, a collaborative artwork aiming to lower the number of suicides through the use of the Cultural and Creative sectors.
It’s a project supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, along with Phakama, ONCA and Cass Art.
Someone somewhere or maybe even yourself needs a quiet acknowledgement that struggles with emotional and mental health too many times come from the complexities of how society is structured.
On a 30 x 30 cm canvas board, using only White and Prussian Blue oil paint, create a painting of your face in any style and submit to arrive by the 16th of December to be included in a collective exhibition at ONCA gallery on International Human Solidarity Day, 20th December, or before the 1st of February, 2023, to be included in the photographic series for 2022.There’s no submission fee or benchmark of artistic experience you need to climb over to have your self-portrait accepted, your collaboration and involvement is the precious bit.
Find out more

Apologies if we missed any listings, do let us know and we can post on social media.

Also if you have any news for our next newsletter please do reply or get in touch.

Best wishes,


Rupert Dannreuther

Marketing Manager

Queen Mary University of London

English and Drama Newsletter – November 2022 Edition

Welcome to your November update from the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London.

5 Things to Note this November:

  1. Go to Being Human Festival: We have events including around DIY publishing, Yiddish culture on stage, experiences of care with the Foundling Museum. See our events
  2. Apply to QMUL, the University of the Year 2022 at UK Social Mobility Awards: Ask questions to our helpful admissions team and apply now for undergraduate courses – UCAS Deadline is 25 January 2023. Ask a question
  3. Support A Season of Bangla Drama: Discover Bengali culture at the largest festival in the world celebrating theatre, film and culture. See a curated selection
  4. Last Chance: Apply now for our Access to Queen Mary programme. Check your eligibility and apply online
  5. Read the new School Research newsletter by our new Research Officer Alicia Barnes Read online here

Postgraduate Research (PhD) Open Event

See what’s on offer at our event on Wednesday 15th November 2022 – 9:30am to 3:30pm

Find out about these programmes:

  • PhD English
  • PhD Drama

Book your place

A Season of Bangla Drama 2022

A Season of Bangla Drama

4-27 November – Venues all over Tower Hamlets
This month-long festival uses the powerful medium of theatre to celebrate Bangladeshi heritage in a creative and accessible way. There is a wide range of plays in the programme, many of which cross language barriers through the mediums of dance, music and physical theatre. Queen Mary University of London through our drama team is a key partner with the festival.
  This year’s theme is ‘freedom of speech’ and self-identity’. This is prevalent as some productions look back though history with topics including the Bengal famine of 1943-44; one man’s journey in the context of the 1971 genocide in Bangladesh; and the story of migration in the 70s and 80s. Crucially, as 2022 marks the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Language Movement, this momentous subject is addressed in two plays.
 Circus A playwright tries to save her theatre with a controversial play. Will it work? YOU get to decide!

How to Make Rice (pictured above) A play, about a seemingly innocuous method to make rice, takes the audience through the Bengal famine 1943-44. Features our very own Souradeep Roy.

Taking Pride in History The history of 1952s language movement comes alive in a unique craft-making and poetry translation workshop.

See the full programme

Being Human: A Festival of the Humanities – Breakthroughs


10-19 November – Various Times and Venues

Here’s a list of all the events by our team: Lost and Foundling: exploring the complex stories of people in care – Maggie Inchley (Drama) Publishing is Power! – Rehana Ahmed (English) Community Breakfast – Phakama (charity based at QMUL) Secular Celebration: Then and Now – Clare Stainthorp (English) Secrets of the London Yiddish Stage – Vivi Lachs (English) See the full programme

November Events

Writeidea Festival book talk: London Yiddishtown: East End Jewish Life in Yiddish Sketch and Story by Vivi Lachs 

Sunday 6 November. 1pm. Free. Bethnal Green Library, Cambridge Heath Rd, E2 0HL 

A talk with readings. Katie Brown’s sketches on generational conflict, Summer Lisky’s stories of combatting fascism and Arnold Kaizer’s satire of community and synagogue antics.

Book here

Subtexts: Rememory, Poetry Special

11 November – 6.30-8pm – The Octagon at Queen Mary University Of London
  Join us for an evening of poetry with Shara McCallum, Sudeep Sen, Shivanee Ramlochan, and Gboyega Odubanjo. This is an occasion to celebrate these fabulous poets and their publications – including McCallum’s No Ruined Stone, Sen’s Anthropocene: Climate Change, Contagion, Consolation, Ramlochan’s Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting, and Odubanjo’s Uncle Aunty Poems – and to gather together in listening, in reverence, in play, and in redress.
  The poetry readings will be followed by a drinks reception, and access information is available here. Free and open to all, but please book via Eventbite and contact Nisha Ramayya (n.ramayya@qmul.ac.uk) with any questions.
 This poetry extravaganza is part of Subtexts, the Creative Writing event series at Queen Mary.

Organised in partnership with Wasafiri www.wasafiri.org, and supported by the School of English and Drama, the Centre for Poetry, and Renaissance One.

Book here

QM Postcolonial Seminar: Roanne Kantor book discussion

Friday 18 November – Online
Roanne Kantor (Stanford University) will discuss “South Asian Writers, Latin American Literature and the Rise of Global English” with us. Book here

Community Lunch with Phakama and Museum of the Home

Friday 18 November – 12-4pm at Museum of the Home

Inspired by East London’s Project Phakama‘s visit to the Petit Dejeuner ‘breakfast’ event in Paris, young people from Phakama lead on a new community event lunch which will focus on welcoming new and existing East London communities to come together and share in food donated by local eateries and restaurants.
  This lunch is a family-friendly event for local families, refugees and migrants, community groups and young people. The event will be hosted by Phakama’s young people, with collaborations alongside young people from Paris Radio station Radio Raptz and dance organisation La Permanence Choregraphique. Come and take part in this Community Lunch with improvised dance creations, music performances and a strong sense of celebrating togetherness. Organisations can contact Phakama directly on any potential groups who would like to attend.
  The event will showcase and celebrate ideas around how creativity can positively effect marginalised people and communities. This event is produced alongside researchers from Queen Mary University of London whose research is themed around home, migration and creative practice. Book here

Joint Book Launch for Andrea Brady’s  Poetry and Bondage: A History and Theory of Lyric Constraint and Matt Rubery’s Reader’s Block: A History of Reading Differences

23 November 2022 – ArtsTwo SCR (4th Floor)

Please join us for drinks and conversation on 23 November at 5pm to celebrate the launch of our two new books, both written during a year’s fellowship at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina.
  RSVP Events from around QMUL & Beyond

4-6 November
Writeidea Festival – Free events with authors in Tower Hamlets


23 November
FTT Seminar: Ancestry, Exhaustion and Environmental Destruction, Mojisola Adebayo and Mariana Cunha.



News Digest

NEW BOOK: Congratulations to Dr Sarah Thomasson (Drama PhD graduate) on the publication of their book The Festival Cities of Edinburgh and Adelaide.

WELCOME TO POETRY CENTRE: Artist, writer, performer, and facilitator Caroline Bergvall, just appointed Global Professor at Queen Mary! Listen to their ‘Thoughts on Procrastination…’

REPORT JUST PUBLISHED: ‘How engaging in community action can improve the mental health and wellbeing in young people (14-25 years old)?’ Read the report

POSTDOC POSITION: AHRC-funded project ‘Remaking Britain: South Asian Connections and Networks, 1830s to the Present’ Read more

STARS NOMINATED FOR GEORGE DEVINE AWARD: Mojisola Adebayo (Drama)’s play ‘Stars’ (pictured above – Illustration by Candice Purwin) nominated. Book now for the ICA run

ANDREA BRADY: Andrea is a guest on Gareth Farmer’s new Talking Poetics podcast discussing her poetry. Listen here

Marxist Keywords for Performance

Jaswinder Blackwell-Pal and Shane Boyle will be celebrating the publication of their project “Marxist Keywords for Performance” (written with the Performance Political Economy research group) at the 19th Annual Historical Materialism London conference on 12 November. The next day, 13 November, Shane will be presenting a chapter from his forthcoming book Arts of Logistics.

Find out more

Matt Rubery interviewed on Sensation Novels for Victober

Watch the video

New Podcast on Fan Fiction Launched by Clio Doyle (English)


Clio and Mireille survived grad school together, but that was just the first step. The vast archive of fanfiction awaits and they must band together to read and analyze it, one pairing at a time. Clio’s PhD in English and Mireille’s history with AO3 should make them perfect partners. But can they overcome their differences? Or will this impossible task drive them further apart? They can talk about pairs – but can they make one?
Listen to the new podcast here

Apologies if we missed any listings, do let us know and we can post on social media. Also if you have any news for our next newsletter please do reply or get in touch.

Best wishes,


Rupert Dannreuther

Marketing Manager

Queen Mary University of London

English and Drama Newsletter – October 2022 Edition

Welcome to your October newsflash from the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London.

We can’t wait to meet prospective students at our open days this Saturday 8 October (Undergraduates) and on Wednesday 26 October (Postgraduates).

4 things to do this October:

  1. Join us at our Open Days: Booking is open for our in-person and online undergraduate open day and online postgraduate one.
  2. Come to our Lisa Jardine Annual English Lecture on 20 Oct: We are honoured to welcomed Professor Simon Gikandi.
  3. New Project SEARCH Intern, Ryan: Meet our new intern in the school who is working with Rupert in this blog post he wrote.
  4. Get closer to the latest research: Come to our friendly Research Seminars including QUORUM Drama Seminar and English Postgraduate Seminar this semester. Register for Open Day

Postgraduate Open Day

See what’s on offer at our Open Event

Find out about MA Creative Writing MA English Literature MA Theatre and Performance Book your place

Lisa Jardine
Annual English Lecture 2022

Professor Simon Gikandi: Beyond the Pleasure Principle:
Rethinking the Aesthetic Ideology

Thu 20 October
Peston Lecture Theatre in Graduate Centre
QMUL Mile End Campus
1830 – Reception to follow

The Annual lecture of the Department of English at Queen Mary is named in honour of Lisa Jardine CBE HonFRS FRHistS, who died on the 25 October 2015, at the age of just 71. With this lecture, the School of English and Drama remembers Lisa as an intellectual and a figurehead who will always be associated with its foundations and its ethos, but most especially as our friend.
  About the lecture: Beyond the Pleasure Principle: Rethinking the Aesthetic Ideology The idea of the aesthetic is one of the most privileged and vexed terms in the European tradition: It is caught, on one hand, between the promise of freedom, pleasure, and beauty and, on the other hand, the violence of modernity and what Lisa Jardine famously called worldly goods. This lecture is both a reflection on the connection between ideas of beauty and taste in the world of commodities and the possibility of aesthetic practices in a decolonized world.

Simon Gikandi is Robert Schirmer Professor and Chair of English at Princeton University.

Book now

Events in October

SI Leeds Literary Prize 2022 Shortlist Showcase with The Asian Writer11 October 2022 – Online

Rose Dastgir (Creative Writing) chairs this event  for the SI Leeds Literary Prize. The award is for unpublished fiction by UK-based Black and Asian women, aged 18 and above.

The award aims to act as a loudspeaker for fresh and original literary voices from an under-represented group, and to help them reach new audiences in mainstream culture.

The biennial prize began in 2012 and is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2022, with the sixth edition of the prize. Book a free ticket

Internal Launch Event: Centre for the Study of the Nineteenth Century and its Legacies

Wed 12 October – SCR – Queens’ Building, Mile End Campus
  The event is open to anyone with research interests related to the long nineteenth century. Follow on Twitter

Nicholas Ridout (Drama) & Dhanveer Singh Brar
Talk: Performance, Possession & Automation with performance by Eirini Kartsaki

  Join Nicholas Ridout and Dhanveer Singh Brar in conversation about their new 3-year research project, Performance, Possession & Automation.
  The project brings together academics and artists to investigate the resistant power of ‘spirit possession’, the contemporary rise of automation, and their entanglement with histories of colonial slavery. How is contemporary performance shaped by and responding to these experiences?
  This launch event will also feature a performance from the project’s commissioned artists, Eirini Kartsaki and Nicol Parkinson: anomalopteryx Anomalopteryx is a flightless bird, known as a lesser bird, only slightly taller than a turkey. A play of movement in and out of sense, in other words, speeches and sounds.

More info

Plus don’t miss NINE, a retrospective exploration of a 1998 performance by Kate Brown with Nicholas Ridout, as part of Artist Archive on 21 October. Book here

 The Parkes Institute: Tradition: The Use of Old Material in Yiddish Theatre and Music with Vivi Lachs

Thursday 20 October, 6pm. Free. Southampton venue TBC & Online via Zoom

Changes in conventions, culture, and language make performing older Yiddish material challenging. Queen Mary AHRC Research Fellow Dr Vivi Lachs on her practice of incorporating early 20thC Yiddish texts in contemporary performances, and PhD candidate Katie Power about the use of older material in mid-century productions in the London Jewish theatre world.

Plus book ahead for:

Writeidea Festival: London Yiddishtown: East End Jewish Life in Yiddish Sketch and Story by Vivi Lachs 
Sunday 6 November. 1pm. Free. Bethnal Green Library, Cambridge Heath Rd, E2 0HL 

Book here

Queen Mary/Jewish Museum: Secrets of the London Yiddish Stage 
Thursday 17 November, 7.30. Free 
Jewish Museum, Raymond Burton House, 129-131 Albert Street, NW1 7NB

Book here

Romanticism under the Volcano – Will Bowers

24 October –  Sir Victor Blank Lecture Theatre, Weston Library – Oxford
  Dr Will Bowers (Queen Mary University of London) will deliver a public lunchtime lecture exploring the significance of Vesuvius, and volcanoes more generally, to the literature and culture of the Romantic Period (1780–1830). The lecture will discuss artists such as Turner and Wright of Derby, and writers such as Cowper and the Shelleys, along with some reflections on the significance of volcanoes to the political tumult of this revolutionary age.
  This event is part of the TORCH Vesuvius 22 conference.
  Image credit: Joseph Wright of Derby, ‘Vesuvius in Eruption, with a View over the Islands in the Bay of Naples‘, c.1776–80, Photo © Tate, London 2022 Book now Events from around QMUL & Beyond

13 October
Book Launch: Highly Discriminating: Why the City isn’t Fair and Diversity Doesn’t Work
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM, Online, Zoom


15 October
The Forgotten Space: film screening – with talks from Jonathan Stafford, Liam Campling and Alex Colas

Book now

20 October:

Peter Allen and Neil Matthews – ‘“We all dream of a team of Tony Blairs”: New Labour, Manchester United, and the nostalgia trap’

If you plan on attending the sessions, please email Tom Chidwick, Manager of the MEI at t.chidwick@qmul.ac.uk to be added to the mailing list.

Westminster Confession at 375: Historical Reflections and Contemporary Relevance

More info and register

20-30 October
London Literature Festival

Book now

26 October – 5pm
Alison Gibbons, “Fictionality and Cognition: An autofiction case study”

Zoom link:  https://york-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/91474651375
Location: Seminar Room BS/007, Berrick Saul Building, University of York Heslington West Campus

27 October
Tim Bale – ‘Brexit: an accident waiting to happen?’ Book discussion.
Chair: Alvina Hoffmann

If you plan on attending the sessions, please email Tom Chidwick, Manager of the MEI at t.chidwick@qmul.ac.uk to be added to the mailing list.


Book Ahead

Publishing is Power

From 16 Nov-11 Dec 2022

This is the first in a series of three activities that celebrate the arts, activism and publishing in Tower Hamlets. ‘Publishing is Power’ offers opportunities for people to meet, share experiences, write creatively, and get involved in DIY publishing. It is a chance to reflect on the local histories of community-led politics and multilingual literary cultures, as well as explore what’s going on in the area today. Each activity in the series is open to those aged 18 or over who are interested in the local area and in breaking into poetry and publishing, with all and any kinds of experience.

Limited availability – book now to secure your place…
 See the whole series


Mojisola Adebayo: Family Tree Announces National Tour in 2023, Stars and launch of Black British Queer Plays and Practioners: An anthology of Afriquia Theatre book

Family Tree

Actors Touring Company (ATC), the UK’s leading theatre producer of international plays, today announces a major Co-Production and National Tour with Belgrade Theatre Coventry, in association with Brixton House of a new stage production of Mojisola’s Adebayo’s play Family Tree.
  Adebayo’s powerful and poetic drama explores race, health, the environment and the incredible legacy of one of the most influential Black women of modern times, Henrietta Lacks. Originally commissioned by ATC and the Young Vic in 2020, an outdoor work-in-progress piece was showcased at the 2021 Greenwich + Docklands International Festival. This new 2023 tour will be the fully-realised stage production.

More info

New Black British Queer Anthology

Mojisola Adebayo’s co-edited Black British Queer Plays and Practioners: An anthology of Afriquia Theatre (Bloomsbury Methuen), is out in October. It features a range of Black British Queer plays from the 1980s to the present, ending with STARS by Mojisola Adebayo, which premieres at ICA in April 2023, touring with Tamasha. The introduction is drawn from Mojisola’s QMUL PhD thesis supervised by Catherine Silverstone and Caoimhe McAvinchey. Launch coming soon.

More info and buy the book


Mojisola’s play Stars, ‘an Afrofuturist space odyssey‘ opens at ICA in April 2023, with Tamasha.

About the work: Meet Mrs: an old lady who goes into outer space… in search of her own orgasm. Isn’t that where all orgasms go?   Her quest is sparked by three encounters: a young neighbour who discloses a secret, an old friend who reveals she is intersex, and a would-be lesbian lover in a launderette who offers Mrs two drops of her own pressed lavender and a smile that says, ‘I handle delicates with care’. 
  Told through one woman and a live DJ, with projected animation and captions, STARS is a moving and joyful, sensitive yet funny, Afrofuturist odyssey that, on selected nights, transforms into a celebratory club night, with multiple DJs and accessible for all.  

More info Stepney Words Fifty Years On – Project Film Now Live on Youtube

Last autumn SED’s Professor Nadia Valman and journalist Alan Dein hosted a series of writing workshops at Stepney All Saints School. The workshops marked the 50th anniversary of the famous Stepney School Strike in 1971, when hundreds of students refused to go to school, protesting against the sacking of their English teacher, Chris Searle, for publishing Stepney Words, a collection of student poems that dealt with poverty, racism and urban neglect.

In this short film, Nadia and Alan bring Chris Searle and some of his former students back to their old school to tell the story of Stepney Words and its distinctive approach to writing, and to work with a new generation of young Stepney poets.
Watch the video

Isabel Waidner signs book deal with Hamish Hamilton (Penguin)

‘Hamish Hamilton has snared the follow up to Isabel Waidner’s Goldsmiths Prize-winning Sterling Karat Gold (Peninsula Press).’

Read the full article on The Bookseller


Matt Rubery talks live on BBC Radio’s Free Thinking on Reading

‘The word ‘reading’ may appear to describe something specific and universal, but in reality it’s more of an umbrella term, covering a huge range of ways in which people interact with text. Dyslexia and hyperlexia may be two of the more obvious departures from normative ideas of reading, but whether we’re neurodivergent or not we all read in different ways that can vary significantly depending on what we’re reading and why we’re reading it. Matthew Sweet is joined by Matt Rubery, Louise Creechan and poets Debris Stevenson and Anthony Anaxagorou.’
Listen now

Call for Papers: “Contesting Authenticity in Literature, 1200-1700”

30 – 31 March 2023 / Senate House, University of London

This two-day conference will explore the concept of “contesting authenticity” in later medieval and early modern literature, including both the production and ongoing reception of texts of contested authenticity. Proposals are welcome which consider literature in any language, including translations.
See the full CfP

 Alumnus Tam Hussein’s new novel is shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Journalism The book is a fictional story (inspired by Tam’s two-decades of research and reporting) weaving together the narratives of early Jihadi foreign fighters in the Syrian conflict.

Read more and buy the book Apologies if we missed any listings, do let us know and we can post on social media. Also if you have any news for our next newsletter please do reply or get in touch.

Best wishes,


Rupert Dannreuther

Marketing Manager

Queen Mary University of London

English and Drama Newsletter – September 2022 Edition

Welcome to your September newsletter from the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London and welcome to all our new students starting on 19 September.

3 things to do this September:

  1. Book now for our Open Day: We can’t wait to meet you on Saturday 8 October 2022 on our Mile End campus.
  2. Last Chance to apply for 2022: Overseas applications close on 2 September for PGT courses and Home on 9 September.
  3. New Student Information: Incoming undergraduate students should read our guidance and keep an eye out for pre-enrolment emails.

Register for Open Day

Open Day

Join us on 8 October for tasters, freebies and a chance to meet our incredible team

We will be hosting our October open day covering courses including the new:

Drama with Creative Writing
Drama and History

Plus discover why our subjects make you more employable and give you highly sought after transferable skills. Book your session

Events in September


3-24 September – Regents Park Open Air Theatre
  A blistering retelling of the epic story from the writer of Barber Shop Chronicles, Inua Ellams starring QMUL English and Drama alumna Zainab Hasan.

A torn family. A hostile state. One heroic brother. One misguided son. One conflicted sister, and the second is on the run.

Book now

Living with MachinesNow until 8 January 2023 – Leeds City Museum

What can Dickens, Lowry and Leeds factory workers teach us about the rich and powerful, work-life balance and holidays on a budget? You might be surprised.

Co-curated by Leeds City Museum and the British Library, this exhibition will reveal the surprising parallels between the Industrial Revolution and today’s world of ‘big tech’. Discover the origins of football leagues, fast fashion and the 9-to-5 working day and what they can tell us about surviving and thriving in a fast-moving city.

You’ll discover a sometimes-surprising variety of machines – from sewing machines and dobby looms, to potato peelers and tricycles. Follow the changes these contraptions brought through the atmospheric art of L S Lowry, a first edition of Elizabeth Gaskill’s North and South and Charles Dicken’s handwritten notes on his novel Hard Times.

This exhibition is inspired by the new and unexpected stories being uncovered by the AI-powered Living with Machines research project led by our very own Ruth Ahnert. The Living with Machines research programme is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) via UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Strategic Priorities Fund. This multidisciplinary collaboration is delivered by The Alan Turing Institute, the British Library and partner universities. Find out more on the  Living with Machines project website.

Find out more

Greenwich + Docklands International Festival

Continues until 11 September – Various venues around East London
  Acclaimed artistic Director and Queen Mary English alumnus Bradley Hemmings’ spectacular free festival continues with events like the inflatable garden of Unfurl (pictured above) in Bethnal Green Gardens.

See the full programme

Open House London: Queen Mary University of London History Tours

11 September – Queen Mary University of London

On Sunday 11th September, Nadia Valman (English) will be leading three historical tours of the Mile End campus, exploring the Queen’s Building (1887), Mile End Hospital (1858), and the Novo Cemetery (1733), the UK’s second oldest Jewish cemetery.

Book now

Live Archive: #nine

21 October – Siobhan Davies Studios.

A retrospective exploration of a 1998 performance by Kate Brown with Nicholas Ridout (Drama), as part of Artist Archive. Book now

Events from around QMUL & Beyond

15 September
Conversations about Research, Arts, Innovation, and Creativity (CRAIC)

Register your interest

Breaking the Glass Chamber: Women, Politics and Parliament, 1945-1997

Book now

17 September

Mendoza Mania – Exhibition

The immersive event in Paradise Gardens is a community-focused celebration of the life and times of Portuguese Jewish bare knuckle boxer Daniel Mendoza (1764-1836), who helped make the sport what it is today and was the first true sporting celebrity in Britain. A plaque honouring him is on the QMUL campus near Ground cafe.

The exhibition is a way to engage the wider community in the histories of boxing and the Jewish connection to the East End dating back to Mendoza’s time and to explore the ways in which community members from a wide range of backgrounds are today “fighting back” against racism, discrimination and other challenges they encounter.

Book now


A Season of Bangla Drama returns this November
We are delighted to announce that A Season of Bangla Drama returns in 2022 with another high calibre and diverse line-up of plays. The Festival, which is the largest diaspora celebration of Bengali culture in Europe, will run from 4 – 27 November, in venues across the borough including the Pinter Studio.

This is the tenth year of the Festival’s strategic partnership with our Drama Department. The theme for this year is Freedom of Speech and Self-determination, as this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Language Movement which was catalysed by Martyrs Day in 1952: many plays will address this topic.

Ali Campbell (Drama) and Ruksana Begum (Tower Hamlets Arts) have secured the full £30k applied for from Arts Council England, supporting 15 theatre companies artistically, financially and – notably – technically, with the involvement of Drama’s full team led by our technical director Jules Deering.

The Festival will include a fringe programme of exhibitions, talks and more, so please see www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/seasonbangladrama for full details. Find out more

Join Uncommon Now to Get Wellness Support for Neurodivergent University Students

Events coming up include How to support your young person as they start university.
Join the beta | Find out more
Alumni Special

In August our alumni team profiled lots of our English graduates as part of South Asian History Month. Read their inspiring stories via the links below.

Anum Ahmed (English BA, 2014), Policy Professional at the Department for Education.

Jennifa Chowdhury (English and History BA, 2016), Learning and Development Coordinator at the Cabinet Office.

Maansi Kalyan (English BA, 2016; English Studies: Writing in the Modern Age MA, 2019), Production at Havas, shares what the month means to her and how she is taking action via her Brown Girls Don’t Podcast.

Read the latest alumni newsletter

Discover documentation of Live Art: Histories of the Present with videos of brilliant talks from Dominic Johnson (Head of Drama) and Vanessa Macaulay (PhD Graduate)
Live Art: Histories of the Present was a two-day symposium which took place at the University of Glasgow on Wednesday 6th of April and Thursday 7th of April 2022, with presentations from Gavin Butt, Harriet Curtis, Dominic Johnson, Vanessa Macaulay, Phoebe Patey-Ferguson and Heike Roms. Staged as part of the Live Art in Scotland project, it explored the complex relationship between live art and the material, historical conditions which have enabled, fostered, and sometimes constrained the possibilities for experimental and interdisciplinary performance.

See the videos

Apologies if we missed any listings, do let us know and we can post on social media. Also if you have any news for our first Semester 1 newsletter please do reply or get in touch.

Best wishes,


Rupert Dannreuther

Marketing Manager

Queen Mary University of London
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English and Drama Newsletter – August 2022 Edition

Welcome to your August newsletter from the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London and congratulations to all of our Class of 2022!

3 things to do this August:

  1. Apply for 2022 Entry: Join our inclusive undergraduate courses through Clearing or postgraduate courses before the deadline.
  2. Share your summer: Share your adventures by tagging @qmulsed.
  3. Get support for your future: Graduates can get career support from Queen Mary to help your next steps.

Pictured above: Our Alumni Engagement Co-ordinator Nathalie Grey is pictured with Bernardine Evaristo MBE (right) who received an honorary D.Litt at our School of English and Drama graduation ceremony. Below: Some of our procession getting ready in the Green Room.

Get in touch

Summer Tours & 1-2-1s

Book a bespoke tour of Queen Mary or 1-2-1 online

We are offering bespoke tours and 1-2-1s for clearing applicants, prospective 2023+ students, offer holders and partners over the summer both online and in-person.

Book a time

Edinburgh Festivals Events

Queen Mary Theatre Company at Edinburgh Fringe 2022

13-28 August 2022

Crumbled A new writer’s foray into farce, Crumbled is a play that not only includes evil geese but also has extra layers of irony, queerness and custard.

D In this piece of new writing, will Daughter be brave enough to cut ties with D, and what will it take?

Ineffable Delve into a piece of devised, new writing with elements of physical theatre and join our main character in their attempts to rewrite their life.

A Toe Tale When faced with the drama and indignities of growing up, five toes must contend with smelly socks, ballet injuries and a dose of existential dread in their journey to discover what it means to be a family.

More info

Alumni at Edinburgh Festival A Non-Emergency

22-27 August – The Space Venues, Edinburgh

Marissa Landy (Drama, 2018 Graduate) runs Baloney Theatre a company started at QMUL, who have been shortlisted for a LET theatre award this year.

About the Show

This dark comedy follows a day in the life of two ambulance care assistants. Riss and Aadam transport 5 different patients, each with their own unique personalities and amazing stories to tell. ‘A Non-Emergency’ displays the strain on the NHS right now and aims to help raise wages for ACA’s who are earning under living wage.


Book now

Gabriel Krauze & Ryan O’Connor: Penned in the Margins – Edinburgh Book Festival

23 August – Northside Theatre, Edinburgh

Gabriel Krauze(BA English Alumnus)’s Who They Was is a visceral semi-autobiographical novel about a man living in the brutal gang world of south London while also studying for a degree. …Today, we welcome two fearless authors whose prose nods to the likes of Irvine Welsh and James Kelman. They speak to Graeme Armstrong.

Watch our exclusive interview with Gabriel

Book now

Isabel Waidner: Matadors, Spaceships and Queer Liberation – Edinburgh Book Festival

24 August – Northside Theatre, Edinburgh
  Isabel Waidner’s third novel Sterling Karat Gold won the Goldsmiths Prize in 2021. Following a non-binary migrant on a surreal adventure through the streets of London, it offers a satire of the British justice system that reads like a wild update of Kafka’s The Trial. Join Waidner for a unique exploration of how the book’s visions of matadors, spaceships and unicorns illustrate dreams of political empowerment.

Book now

Events from around QMUL & Beyond

15 September
Conversations about Research, Arts, Innovation, and Creativity (CRAIC)

Register your interest


Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw, aka Split Britches, have been awarded the prestigious Ellen Stewart Career Achievement in Professional Theatre Award
  The Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) website describes the award: “Honorees are selected on the basis of superlative contributions to the field, sustained excellence during their career, innovative work that has established new frames of reference, support for diversity in theatre, and service and advocacy on behalf of fellow theatre artists.”

Find out more about Split Britches

Read the full story

Disabled Artist Bursary £1,500 Call-Out from Phakama

For this round, they supporting artists who have never worked with Phakama before and identify as a Disabled/ Deaf/ Neurodivergent Artist.
Find out more

  Martin O’Brien is interviewed on Staging Decadence about his ‘zombiedom’

“I should be dead but I’m not. […] Now I’m existing in a different time. This is the zombie time, the time of the animated corpse. I feel immortal.”
 Read more

Nisha Ramayya (Creative Writing/Poetry Lecturer) recently performed at Cafe Oto.

She is currently working on a second poetry collection, tentatively called Now Let’s Take a Listening Walk.

Read a poem by Nisha on Granta

Will Bowers features on Benjamin Zephaniah’s BBC Radio 4 show The Original Dub Poet

Part of Percy Shelley, Reformer and Radical
  Benjamin meets experts and enthusiasts to discover more about what made Shelley tick and to breathe life into his poetry, showing that it’s as relevant now as it was when Shelley died 200 years ago.
 Listen now

Jerry Brotton chooses Marie Tharp as probably the most important woman in the mapmaking industry in the 20th century for History Extra
‘She was effectively responsible for the discovery of tectonic plate shift and development of the theory of continental drift – a seemingly heretical theory at the time, which we now accept as absolute truth.’

Listen to the full interview here

English and Drama Newsletter – July 2022 Edition

Welcome to your July round up from the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London.

This July be sure to: Come to Raging Sea tonight to celebrate Pathologies of Solitude research project. Register your interest if you’d like to join us through clearing. Apply now for our postgraduate programmes to start in September.Image above is from our 2022 tote bag winner Rosie McNamara (English student). Pick up a bag at our graduation on 29 July.

See all the winners here

Free Post-Graduation Celebration for the Class of 2022 on 29 July

Join us for a free goodie bag in the gorgeous new designs plus drinks and nibbles by the canal to celebrate our incredible class of 2022. Please register to attend.

Register now

Summer Tours & 1-2-1s

Get a tour of Queen Mary or 1-2-1 with us this Summer

We are offering bespoke tours and 1-2-1s for prospective students, offer holders and partners over the summer both online and in-person.

Book a time

Events Listings

Raging Sea: Exhibition and Event

5 July – The Old Church, Stoke Newington

This event is a celebration of art, poetry and storytelling by people with lived experience of migration. It features works created in projects organised in collaboration with Hackney Migrant Centre.

Over the past year, the ‘Pathologies of Solitude’ project (QMUL) held a series of workshops including creative writing and poetry with Rachel Long and Olumide Popoola; print making with  Dima Karout; zine making with Migrants in Culture at  Rabbits Road Press; storytelling with Stories in Transit, featuring  Wafa’ TarnowskaDebsey Wykes and  Sophie Herxheimer.

The event will also feature a performance by Singing Blankets, a project that combines musical exploration, sewing and ritual.

Book now

Humanity and technology: In conversation with Jo Guldi
Two events with Jo Guldi and Living with Machines

8 July –  15:30 – online and in-person at Queen Mary University of London
Living with Machines invites you to join us for two events with Professor Jo Guldi, where you will hear first hand from one of the world’s leading digital humanists. During this event, you will get insights into recently published historical research on global land rights and land reform and understand more about how the humanities is an area of extreme potential for growth in data science.

Event 1: Jo warns of an age of pseudo-history promoted by GPT-3 and easy algorithms, fuelling nationalism and populism. Jo will contrast the naive use of algorithms with “hybrid knowledge,” the exciting domain where data-driven analysis of large-scale textual repositories meets critical thinking from the humanities and social sciences. This event is suited for a cross-disciplinary audience. 

Event 2: Jo will present on her latest book, The Long Land War, which tells a story as old as human history: the global struggle over food, water, land, and shelter. The Long Land War focuses on technology and expertise. This event is open to the public.  This event is organised by The Alan Turing Institute, Living with Machines and the British Library. This event is virtual and free to attend. 

Book now

Keywords for Radical Organising: Community

13 July – Scape 0.14 – QMUL Mile End

How do we talk about the networks, communities, and infrastructures that arise from efforts to organise collectively? How does the language we use to describe radical organising affect the way we do it? And what productive conversations can be had when theory and practice are brought into dialogue?

This is the third of three ‘in-conversation’ workshops that bring academics from the humanities and social sciences into conversation with organisers and artists to unpack the challenges and opportunities afforded by different ways of thinking, talking, and theorizing about radical organising. This session will focus on the term ‘community’. The speakers are: Xine Yao (UCL), Regan Koch (QMUL), Phil Cohen (UEL/Livingmaps Network), and Suzanne Lee (All Change Arts).

This is a free in-person event. Full details and registration via Eventbrite.

This series of events is funded by the Raphael Samuel History Centre and School of English and Drama, Queen Mary University of London. It is organised by Charlotte Jones, Clare Stainthorp, and Katherine Stansfeld (QMUL).

Book now

More Than Skin Deep: What is Your Dream of Care?

30 July 2022 – Online (Zoom)
  More than skin deep: What is your dream of care? Using dance, music, verbatim, storytelling and sound, care experienced young people will share uplifting and challenging reflections on the care system.

The performance explores the positive potential of foster care through creative practices and hopes to change the stigma and negativity attached to being in care. This is part of a five-day participatory process with care-experienced young adults from Manchester and is led by The Verbatim Formula (project by Queen Mary academics including Maggie Inchley) with a team of artists, researchers, and performers.

Book now

Crafting Subversion: DIY and Decolonial Print

  SOAS’s Brunei Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition by Pragya Dhital (SOAS) of DIY and decolonial print and the simple duplication technology used to produce it, with focus on the ‘Gestetner’ stencil duplicator.

Find out more

Events from around QMUL & Beyond

15 September
Conversations about Research, Arts, Innovation, and Creativity (CRAIC)

Register your interest


The Drop Out - Image from Aeon featuring a colourful mix of people all posed in front of a two storey house

PGR student Izzy Richardson has published a lovely think-piece on PhD work in LAHP’s online journal Still Point.
Read the piece

Nadia Valman spoke about activism in East London at the School of Activism in Hackney Wick on 22 June.  Creative Wick and supported by QMUL’s Network Centre.
Read more

An Interview with Julia Bardsley has just been published as part of Adam Alston’s AHRC Performing Decadence project

Read it here

MA students Livonia Ayugi-Okello & Celine Basma join Matt Rubery for their exhibit on projected books at the British Academy Summer Showcase

2 Projected Books: how bedbound WWII veterans were enabled to read After the Second World War, a little-known invention made it possible for thousands of wounded soldiers to read: a compact vertical projector displayed images of microfilmed books on the ceiling to enable recuperating veterans to read while in their hospital beds. In our Lecture Room (which served as a hospital for wounded soldiers in WWI), discover the experience of reading projected books on the ceiling using one of these original vertical projectors and a collection of microfilmed books.
  Matthew Rubery, Queen Mary University of London

Research award: BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant 2019-20, with funding from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Read more about the showcase

Emma Welton has been nominated for the TaPRA Postgraduate Essay Prize 2022 for her essay ‘Let it burn: smell, participation and solidarity in Travis Alabanza’s Burgerz

Emma is also presenting work at the Soho Theatre Cabaret and Drag Lab Sharing on 16 July 2022 at 4pm.

Book here
Read more about the prize
News bites

Will Bowers (English) talks on BBC Radio 4 Percy Shelley, Reformer and Radical (Clip starts from 15:00).

Listen here

Guy Stevenson (English) reviews Jitney at the Old Vic in a piece called ‘Fear of letting go’Read the piece
Best wishes,


Rupert Dannreuther

Marketing Manager

Queen Mary University of London

English and Drama Newsletter – June 2022 Edition

Welcome to your June update from the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London.

We are delighted that the Drama department achieved the highest score* in its unit in Research Excellence Framework 2021:

“I am very proud of this assessment of Drama’s achievements in research, which confirms the vibrancy, necessity, and reach of our work in theatre and performance studies. As a department we affirm that our research is generally collaborative, socially engaged, and engaged with partners and stakeholders across higher education and the cultural industries. We are grateful to all those who support and enable our research.”

Head of Drama, Professor Dominic Johnson

More about REF2021

This June be sure to book your place for: June Undergraduate Open Days Mad Hearts – The Arts and Mental Health Peopling the Palaces Festival 2022*Ranking from highest to lowest GPA (grade point average) – direct from REF data
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Peopling the Palace(s) Festival Programme Live
Peopling the Palace(s) Festival starts soon
with fresh new live art and performance.
See the full programme
Open Events
Book now for June Open Days

17-18 June – In Person at QMUL Mile End | 18 June – Online

Come and see what makes Queen Mary special with subject talks and tasters across English, Drama and Creative Writing.
Book for our June Open Days
Events Listings
Mad Hearts Flyer
Mad Hearts – The Arts and Mental Health

10 June – In-person at QMUL Mile End and 11 June 2022 – Online (Zoom)

A 2 day event exploring arts and mental health with highlights including: Live performance: Theatre Temoin’s work ‘NHS Yarns’ comes to Queen Mary. Keynotes from Dolly Sen and psychiatrist Maria Turri. Panels on autism, resilience, masculinity and a forgotten ‘mad’ artist.
Book now
Network: QMUL’s Centre for the Creative and Cultural Economy is co-organising a workshop on ‘Creative Places and Social Territories’.

14 June – Paris

This workshop will be sharing the outcomes of research undertaken by Network and by Labex Industries culturelles et création artistique, Paris, working with a range of creative partners in Hackney Wick and Fish Island and in Saint-Denis. The workshop will be held at the University of London Institute in Paris.
Find out more
Network: QMUL’s Centre for the Creative and Cultural Economy is co-organising a workshop on 14 June in Paris on ‘Creative Places and Social Territories’.

15 June 2022 – Scape 0.14 – QMUL Mile End

How do we talk about the networks, communities, and infrastructures that arise from efforts to organise collectively? How does the language we use to describe radical organising affect the way we do it? And what productive conversations can be had when theory and practice are brought into dialogue?

This is the first of three ‘in-conversation’ workshops that bring academics from the humanities and social sciences into conversation with organisers and artists to unpack the challenges and opportunities afforded by different ways of thinking, talking, and theorizing about radical organising. This session will focus on the term ‘network’. The speakers are: Laura Forster, Oli Mould, Liv Wynter.

There will be two further events in this series – ‘infrastructure’ (Wednesday 29 June) and ‘community’ (Wednesday 13 July) – registration for these will open in due course.

This series of events is funded by the Raphael Samuel History Centre and School of English and Drama, Queen Mary University of London. It is organised by Charlotte Jones, Clare Stainthorp, and Katherine Stansfeld (QMUL).
Book now
Performance and State Violence

15-16 June 2022 – 3-4.30pm – online and in-person at Queen Mary University of London

For online tickets, book on bit.ly/PaSV-O

For in-person tickets, book on bit.ly/PaSV-IP

Performance and State Violence is a 2-day conference with panels focusing on the various ways performance has reacted to, was affected by, or intervened in state violence. The discipline of theatre and performance studies has approached issues of state violence in myriad ways – prison drama projects, the performativity of military displays, and theatrical protests against certain laws, to name a few examples. While these topics come up frequently, the actual role of the state, and how its involvement in questions of performance and theatricality relate to its broader aims, interests, constitution, and reproduction, are often overlooked, sidestepped, and under-theorised. This conference contextualises performance analysis within broader critical theories of the state and will feature two days of panels, keynote lectures from Aylwyn Walsh and Jennifer Doyle, and performances from Vanessa Macaulay and Lucy Beynon & Lisa Jeschka.

Full schedule and more information are available on our website performanceandstateviolence.wordpress.com and on our Twitter @PerfAndState.
Book now
Tea: Nature, Culture, Society, 1650-1850

Wednesday 22 – Friday 24 June 2022 – Online (Zoom)

From tea to teapots, taste to trade; this conference will explore natural histories, Chinese porcelain, tea’s impact on literature, and more.
Book now
Imprisoned Words: London Renaissance Seminar Book Talk

  Please do join us for this discussion marking the publication of Andrea Brady (English)’s Poetry and Bondage (CUP, 2021) and Judith Hudson’s Crime and Consequence in Early Modern Literature and Law (EUP 2021). Catherine Bates and Jackie Watson will introduce the two books and we will discuss crime, punishment, freedom, poetry, the law and more.
Book now
Before We Were Trans – Book Launch Event

CLAY Leeds
  Come to the launch event for new book, Before We Were Trans by Kit Heyam (English). Writer and trans activist, Kit, will give a reading and discuss their book with Gem of Sweep Hill Publishing. Kit will sign copies of their book – it will be available to purchase at the event.
  After an interval there will be an exclusive Northern premier screening of the Sundance award winning documentary, Framing Agnes followed by a Q&A with the film’s writer, Morgan M Page.
Book now
Raphael Samuel Memorial Lecture 2022:
Professor Corinne Fowler (University of Leicester)
‘Approaching British Colonial History During the Culture War’

Peston Lecture Theatre – QMUL Mile End

In this lecture, Professor Fowler addresses the origins and impacts of Britain’s current culture war. She considers how those working on British colonial history – students, activists, academics, museum and heritage professionals – can respond effectively to these fraught public discussions. Her talk will draw on her public history work on the project ‘Colonial Countryside: National Trust Houses Reinterpreted’ and her forthcoming book, The Countryside: Ten Walks Through Colonial Britain (Penguin Allen Lane, 2023).
Book now
Unexpected Solutions: Inequalities, Policy and the Cultural Sector

30 June – QMUL Mile End
  How might unexpected solutions lead to policy change locally, nationally and internationally for the arts and culture sectors?
  This event launches Queen Mary’s Arts and Culture and the Mile End Institute’s unique three-year scheme, establishing a coalition of advocates helping to make the case for the arts and cultural sectors in London and nationally.
Book now
Events from around QMUL & Beyond

7 June
Lecture – Telling true stories in virtual worlds, with May Abdalla (ANAGRAM)- Centre for Film and Ethics

Book here

History of Libraries Seminar (Institute of English Studies and Warburg Institute)

Michelle Johansen (Bishopsgate Institute & IHR): ‘”Librarians are Boring”: Popular Representations of Public Librarianship Since the 1880s’

Book here

14 June

IHSS Annual Symposium 2022: The Humanities (In and After the Pandemic)

Book here

17 June

London-Paris Romanticism Seminar, Deidre Lynch

Book here

17-18 June
The British Academy Summer Showcase 2022 including:

Projected Books: how bedbound WWII veterans were enabled to read with our very own Matthew Rubery (English) and MA students Livonia Ayugi-Okello and Celina Basma.

Book here

‘A dark pastoral’. Daisy Hildyard’s (English PhD Graduate) new novel Emergency is reviewed in the Guardian.
Read the review The Drop Out - Image from Aeon featuring a colourful mix of people all posed in front of a two storey house Isabel Waidner (Creative Writing) is a finalist for the Orwell Prize for their novel Sterling Karat Gold.
 Read more

See Isabel live at this event
Paul Heritage (Drama) was invited by the British High Commission Chennai, India to talk about building resilience through the arts.

See more on Instagram
Practice-based researcher Julie Rose Bower (Drama) has created accessible sensory space Meridians Meet – five interactive installations for the exhibition WEIRD SENSATION FEELS GOOD: The World of ASMR – now open at the Design Museum
This interactive work extends the scope of the original Arkdes exhibition by inviting museum visitors to co-create their experience through performing ASMR triggers while exploring the sensation in an offline space. This work is supported by a grant from QM’s Centre for Public Engagement to create signage supporting the visitor experience. One of Julie Rose’s ASMR videos created for the V&A museum also features in the main arena of this major new exhibition. The exhibition is open 7 days a week until October and – being themed around strangely satisfying sounds, tingling sensations and feelings of relaxation – it is the only exhibition where you are actively encouraged to take a nap.
Read more about the exhibition
Dominic Johnson (Drama) has published new article ‘“Kind of Goya-esque or Something”: Charles Ray’s Early Works’
The article has been published in Art History, on the early performance art of Charles Ray. He has large exhibitions on at the moment at the Met in New York and Centre Pompidou in Paris – so quite topical. The article is open access, so accessible to all for free.
Read the article
News bites
  Deven Parker and Michael Gamer (English) co-authored an essay for the most recent issue of European Romantic Review entitled “Keats, Incorporated: Social Authorship and the Making of a Brand.” Deven and Michael also have essays forthcoming soon in the volume The Visual Life of Romantic Theatre, ed. Terry Robinson and Diane Piccitto (University of Michigan Press, 2022). Mine’s entitled ‘The Stage in a Page: A Visual Life of Romantic Playbills,’ and Deven’s is called ‘Between Media: Harlequinade and Melodrama in Print.”

Sarah Bartley (Drama PhD graduate) is a lead researcher on Transformative justice, women with convictions and uniting communities a 2 year project funded by Nuffield Foundation.David Duff (English) launches the Prague International Summer School of Romanticism, a collaboration between QMUL and the Charles University, Prague. For graduate students from across Europe. Affiliated to the London-Paris Romanticism Seminar, with other partners Oxford, the Sorbonne and Ghent University.

Read more
Alumni Round Up

Alysha Nelson (Drama and Film 2019) 

“My time in Queen Mary was wonderful for my artistic growth, and it was also where I was able to connect with like minded individuals.

I’ve since been working as a producer – our first feature documentary Listen to Britain is having its London premier as part of the UK Asian film festival on the 10th of May. Our film is the spiritual successor to the 1942 original, exploring the vibrant yet tumultuous growth of Britishness over the past century.

The entire crew for this film is made up of recent QMUL graduates from SED and SLLF, and we even had the opportunity to interview a senior lecturer (Ashvin Devasundaram) as part of our documentary.”

Read more

Poet Caleb Femi (English alumnus) will read live his ode to a troubled yet enchanted world at Bold Tendencies in Peckham on – “rhapsodic, elegiac … reminiscent of William Blake’s visionary poetic” (Malika Booker).

Book here
Read the latest alumni newsletter
Best wishes,


Rupert Dannreuther

Marketing Manager

Queen Mary University of London