Long Table on Care and Solidarity, a long table on care and how it can risk individualising responsibility and eroding our commitment to social welfare. Table quests include Dr Jaswinder Blackwell-Pal, Professor Jen Harvie and Niall Morrissey.
Blind Date with Maya Rao & Lois Weaver, two feminist performers from New York and New Delhi, making art for almost half a century in their own corners of the world, meet each other for the first time for a blind date
Jelly Live, live performance of the new album by Andrew Poppy
Please let us know if you have any suggestions for the next edition via firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t forget your careers service is open all year round and can help with finding jobs, making great applications and becoming more confident in interviews. Book an appointment or email your careers consultantFliss Bush
From QMUL, Partners & Friends
Peopling the Palaces starts this Saturday 3 June
Peopling the Palaces is back from 3-11 June with performances, talks, screenings, socials and workshops. Al for free. Everyone is welcome.
Sita Balani – Deadly and Slick: Sexual Modernity and the Making of Race (online launch) – 31 May
Published by Verso, Balani’s first book, “Deadly and Slick”, attempts to understand the making of racial categories. The trickery of race comes down to how it is embedded in everyday life through the domain we take to be most intimate and essential: sexuality.
Mad Hearts: the Arts and Mental Health – Queering Boundaries
This two-day event explores productive, radical, contemporary encounters between the arts and mental health, bringing together clinical, artistic and research perspectives that offer a re-interpretation of contemporary mental health science and practice.
Windrush 75 Festival at Bernie Grant Arts Centre a week-long programme of film, live music, art exhibitions & Caribbean/African food. Tickets from £5 | FREE for U2s / O65s: http://ow.ly/gP5g50OpXNa
Are you keen to support first years in your School succeed in their study whilst gaining beneficial and evidential employability skills? The PASS mentoring programme can help you do just that!
PASS is a subject-based mentoring scheme, run for first-year students by higher-year undergraduates. PASS is an internationally renowned programme and very well recognised by employers and other universities. Students who work on PASS gain extensive experience in organisation, team management, publicity and most of all clear and tailored communication. This is also a fantastic opportunity to make a positive impact on a new students first year experience at QMUL and share your passion about your subject area.
PASS Mentors are voluntary positions open to students commencing 2nd and 3rd year undergraduate studies. Whilst the position is voluntary, a £40 bursary is available annually for those who complete training and undertake the required number of sessions. This role gives great exposure to team work, communication and organisational skills.
PASS Student organisers is a paid position and is open to students commencing 2nd and 3rd years undergraduate studies too. This position is a paid position and requires further commitment. This role gives great exposure to team leadership and organisational skills.
The PASS programme is now recruiting for next years cohort of mentors (voluntary) and Organisers (paid), further information on the scheme can be found here
The PASS mentor application form can be found here
The PASS Student Organiser application form can be found here
Or alternatively, please do get in touch with the PASS Coordinator, Fathea Khanum on email@example.com with any questions you may have.
We look forward to welcoming you on to the PASS Team.
Sophia Thakur With Lemara Lindsay-Prince (#Merky Books): In Conversation – 14 June
A deep-dive into spoken word, poetry and the publishing industries.
Upgrade Yourself Festival at Somerset House – Free Killer Creative Careers Advice on 2 & 3 June
Connecting aspiring and emerging creatives under 30 access to trailblazing creatives and industry experts via talks, workshops and mentoring sessions including:
Stef Sword-Williams (F*ck Being Humble) – Self Promotion and Networking Masterclass Montana Hall (Run the Check) – In Conversation: How to Run the Check Gina Tonic (Polyester Zine) – Pitching Your Work to Creative Publications Montana Hall (Run the Check) – In Conversation: How to Run the Check Asher Glean – Content Creation 101 School of Bop Panel – Spinning Many Plates and Alternative Creative Pathways
Book ahead: Isabel Waidner Book Launch at London Review Bookshop
Isabel Waidner (QMUL) will be at the shop to read from and discuss their latest novel Corey Fah Does Social Mobility (Hamish Hamilton), and will be in conversation with academic, performer and activist Diarmuid Hester, whose forthcoming book Nothing Ever Just Disappears Waidner has described as ‘insightful, delightful, and enlightening: an essential entrant into the queer canon.’
– A launch event – 14 masterclass sessions led by OV Theatre Makers Director Joseph Hancock and guest practitioners from a range of theatre disciplines – A scratch night showcasing participants’ work at a professional theatre venue – Tickets to two Old Vic productions – A theatre ticket allowance for other venues
This six-month programme will run from Sep 2023–Feb 2024.
Our annual design competition is back and we’re looking for a new design for our 2023 tote bag and other merch, which we give away at open days, events like graduation and to new students joining the School. You have until 5 June to enter your work!
It’s time to get arty and inspire the next generation of SED students.
What we’re looking for
Inspiring quotes, imagery and designs that merge the worlds of literature, drama and creative writing.
No bigger than A5 size (or shrinkable to this size)
How to enter
To enter send your design as a black line based PDF, JPG, PNG or EPS file to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To enter you must be a School of English student, staff member or one of our alumni.
What you’ll win
If you win:
Your bag will be put into production for our 2023 open days and events.
You’ll also win a £50 LovetoShop voucher.
Competition closes: Monday 5 June at midday. A vote by our SED staff team will choose the winning design.
For inspiration here are our winners of our 2022 tote bag competition, which we give away at open days, events and to new students incoming to the School.
The first people to get the bags will be our graduating students in July 2023.
Book event: From Sylhet to Spitalfields by Shabna Begum – 19/5, 7pm
Using oral history interviews and archival research, From Sylhet to Spitalfields looks at the Bengali community’s contribution to this little-known episode of East End history, and how it can inform present-day housing struggles.
Shabna Begum is Head of Research at the Runnymede Trust, the UK’s leading race equality think tank.
Jumanah Younis is books editor at Lawrence Wishart and a trainee therapist.
People’s Palace Projects at Queen Mary University of London, in partnership with the ICA, are proud to present the second edition of ECHOES Indigenous Film Festival.
19-21 May 2023
Featuring 18 thought-provoking works from 21 filmmakers, representing 13 ethnic groups across 10 regions in Brazil and neighbouring countries Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, and Argentina. Almost three-quarters of the featured filmmakers are women.
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.
Peston Lecture Theatre, Graduate Centre, Mile End Campus.
Hunker in Your Bunker: Doomsday Prepping in the United States School of Politics and International Relations
In the middle of the 20th century, the United States asked people to build domestic fallout shelters in case of nuclear war. But the US never had to use these bunkers for their intended purpose. This led to the phenomenon of “bunkerization,” where people started thinking of their homes as bunker spaces. This talk explores the political implications of this trend. Wed, 24 May 2023 5:30pm, The Hitchcock Theatre, Arts One Building, Room G.19, Mile End Campus.
Free online workshop: Career Planning for Screen Industries
Mon 15 May | Zoom
Join us online to learn how best to begin planning your career in the screen industries. Industry expert Sue Russo will talk about where to look for work and the different routes in, shining a light on the networks that you should be a part of. Free to attend.
FACET is an innovative nine-month project, presented by VSSL Studio in partnership with Arts Council England, designed to centre and elevate queer people and art. From May 2023 to January 2024, VSSL Studio will collaborate with five contemporary visual artists to co-produce a series of five exhibitions, exploring the ever-evolving and myriad spectrum of contemporary queer expression.
Voted ‘Best Fair’ by the Vintage Guide to London. Doing away with expensive replicas and focusing on quality and affordability, the Flea provides an antidote; a celebration of mid-century living from the 50s and beyond, the event offers up top vintage traders, all offering furniture and homewares without costing the earth.
One ticket for 14 May gets you into the events at both pavilions.
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.
LEO BAECK INSTITUTE LONDON LECTURE SERIES 2023 THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY: MYTHS, IMAGES AND IMAGININGS ABOUT JEWS
THE VIRTUOUS JEWESS – PROFESSOR NADIA VALMAN
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.
THE QUEEN MARY CENTRE FOR RELIGION AND LITERATURE IN ENGLISH SYMPOSIUM – ‘FORMS OF (UN)BELIEF’
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.
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?
C19 LEGACIES & LIABILITIES: RELIGION, SCIENCE, AND TECHNOLOGY 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.
A DAY WITH MICHÈLE BARRETT 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.
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
Cultural Heritage and the Climate Emergency In Debate
Live on People’s Palace Projects Youtube on Tuesdays 9, 16, 23 at 14:00 BST
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).
‘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.’
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.
MOJISOLA ADEBAYO (Drama)‘s shows STARSand 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’.
Moving to the UK was the most challenging part of my life. My mother is English and my father is Iraqi but immigrated to the UK, so by definition, I am British. However, living in Lebanon from the age of seven to seventeen has instilled in me a hybrid culture that is definitely more Lebanese than it is British, despite my lack of Lebanese heritage.
When I moved to the UK it was to complete my final year of A Levels, and my brother and I were sponsored by a boarding school while my parents and other brother stayed in Lebanon. During that year, my mum gave me a very helpful comparison to process my culture shock. She said moving cultures kind of works the same as the five stages of grief, which is what I’ll be using to outline my journey.
Whether you have lived in the UK your whole life or are experiencing culture shock yourself, I hope this illuminates something to you, and makes you think about what culture means in your life.
The first thing I thought was, ‘this can’t be happening.’ I told myself that this unfriendly, unwelcoming, self-serving culture was something that could never get to me. I refused to interact with it, refused to acknowledge it. I also refused to take it seriously.
There were so many moments when I first got to the UK that felt surreal because I was in denial. One thing I noticed the most was the way people approached friendship here. It was almost as if I had to prove myself as worthy of people’s friendship because I was new, rather than being accepted into friendship groups immediately, and then judged as to whether I was worth sticking with.
My denial made me think that something was wrong with me. That people here worked the same as they did in Lebanon, they just hated me, which is why I wasn’t making friends easily, or on the deep level that I wanted.
Once the denial dissipated, the anger took over. I recognised that British culture was real, and that my culture shock was real, but instead of accepting it, I despised it.
My hate extended towards everything. Bland British food, cold British weather, unfriendly British people, highly regulated British systems. I was constantly comparing England to Lebanon, and it made me angry that they were different because I didn’t know how to function. I blamed my surroundings for the feeling of being out of my comfort zone.
I was also angry at the fact that I had no choice but to eventually accept British culture. I didn’t want to give in – it made me feel like a traitor. With hindsight, though, that was definitely the unhealthiest way of looking at it.
It was a constant back and forth of whether I swallowed my pride and tried to accept British culture or kept my head in the sand and stayed hateful.
The anger was a much longer phase than the bargaining. Most of the bargaining I did in my head connects to what I said about feeling like a traitor – it was a constant back and forth of whether I swallowed my pride and tried to accept British culture or kept my head in the sand and stayed hateful.
It’s so interesting revisiting these feelings now, over a year later, when I am in such a better place. I’ve come to love certain things about British culture, and I’ve adopted them myself. Going to uni and meeting people outside the small bubble of my school has opened my heart to so many new experiences and stories.
I love British people. Yes, I still have frustrations, but I’ve learned so much from my culture shock. And the biggest lesson has been understanding that being British doesn’t take anything away from my 10 years in Lebanon – having a new culture does not erase any of your original one.
The fourth stage of grief is depression, but with culture shock, I think it’s more of a deep sadness, a feeling of loss for everything you’ve left behind and what you have to embrace.
Like anger, sadness was a long phase, lasting months. But it got better and better as time went on, unlike anger. Despite being sad, I found rays of light that took shape in special friends I made, new hobbies and interests, even planning my university choices. The sadness got lesser and lesser, and my pride started to crack.
I finally began focussing on the good things about the UK. Fish and chips. Systems that worked. High quality of living; never having to think of electricity shortages or clean water. Public transport. Green grass. Responding to every emotion with a cup of tea. It was looking up, and I am happily in the final stage of culture shock now.
To anyone who is struggling with British culture: it gets better. I promise you. You will learn to love it eventually, and what I have found fascinating is that although it can be hard initially making British friends, once they are friends with you, they are friends for life.
I saw a quote on Pinterest by Clifton Fadiman that said, “When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.”
“When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.”
This has resonated with me. And I am proud to say I have two cultures now. Having one does not take away any of the validity or worth of the other.
Please let us know if you have any suggestions for the next edition via email@example.com
Don’t forget your careers service is open all semester and can help with finding jobs, applications and interviews. Book an appointment or email your careers consultant Fliss Bush
3 unmissable updates
See Mojisola Adebayo’s ★★★★★ shows STARS at ICA – closes 4 May and Family Tree at Brixton House – closes Sunday 23 April
Don’t miss Nil Palayik’s free book launch for Silent Teachers: Turkish Books and Oriental Learning in Early Modern Europe, 1544–1669’ Sign up for the Book launch and roundtable discussion on Wednesday 26 April 2023, 5:00PM – 7:30PM online or in person at The Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB.
Education: Reimagination, Decolonisation, and Change
Tue, 25 Apr 2023 19:00 – 20:30 BST
This event expands on ‘Reimagining Education’,a special issue of Wasafiri guest edited by Darren Chetty, Angelique Golding, and Nicola Rollock that explores this sociocultural moment. From government interventionism to widespread industrial action, how are the forces of change and continuity playing out in education in Britain today?
Chaired by Wasafiri’s Editor and Publishing Director Emily Mercer, we’ll hear from guest editor Angelique Golding and contributors including Sita Balani and Marvin Thompson: artists and educators who work at the site of this tension, whose work goes against the grain, challenges the status quo, and sits within a wider critical praxis of reimagination, decolonisation, and change.
Two exciting volunteering opportunities at GoodWork
As we prepare to launch Cohort Two of our Early Careers Programme this September, we are looking for volunteers to help with candidate assessments, once young people applications close on 2nd June!
These opportunities will be virtual and require a time commitment of 4 hours minimum. By volunteering, you will be supporting us to make our programme happen and also gain valuable insight into inclusive hiring processes.
Join leading theatre industry practitioners to discuss representation and diversity in the arts, and how current developments have impacted theatre, challenging assumptions, and celebrating new visions. Will include a Q&A.
London Arts and Health – Creativity and Wellbeing Week curated headline events!
Want to be a part of the UK’s largest festival for young, emerging filmmakers? Want to see your film on the big screen at BFI Southbank? Want to kickstart your career with cash prizes and industry mentoring up for grabs? Submit your short film now to next year’s BFI Future Film Festival! Your film can be any genre, it just needs to have been made in the last two years, be 10 minutes or under in length, and you must have been aged 16-25 when you made the film. If you have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re looking for bold, authentic and first-person-led stories that explore the theme of pleasure through art, food, design, architecture, gender and sexuality from women, non-binary and other marginalised genders.
Calling all 18-25 year-old performing artists! Apply to the Roundhouse Resident Artist Programme to develop your artistry, gain industry connections, perform on incredible stages, and level up your career in the creative industries.
“We are excited to announce The Space Crone Prize for speculative and science short fiction. The special one-off prize, established by Silver Press in collaboration with The Ursula K. Le Guin Literary Trust, celebrates the publication of Space Crone by Ursula K. Le Guin, a selection of essays edited by So Mayer and Sarah Shin. “
Skilled Summers are still looking for talented and enthusiastic UK students who are looking to have a life changing experience this summer to get paid to teach their skills, sport or hobby to children at top American summer camps.
This is the last week that the students can apply and we just wanted to put the word out to your university again to see if you have any students who would be interested in taking part for this summer 2023?
Included with the placement:
Minimum salary of $2,000
Accommodation, food and medical insurance
Minimum placement of 9 weeks at camp
Travel for 30 days around America after camp
Visa paperwork and assistance
Living and working at an American summer camp is a unique experience and can help the students develop their personal skills by putting themselves out of their comfort zones, immersing themselves into a different culture and it is also a great way to boost their CVs and make friends with their fellow campers from all over the world.
We are looking for students with skills in many areas such as land based sports, water sports, outdoor adventure, arts and crafts, mixed media, performing arts, singing, dancing etc. You can pretty much teach anything at summer camp!
Please if you have any students who you think would be interested can you ask them to fill in this interest form via our website – www.skilledsummers.co.uk/apply. Once they have filled in the form they will receive a ‘Welcome’ email with everything they need to know about this opportunity.
English literature is often looked down on as a degree, but it’s actually incredibly versatile, transferrable and interesting. It teaches you original thought, critical thinking, deep analysis and so many other skills you can use in later life.
Like every degree, however, it has its challenges, and there are several things I wish I’d been told before starting my degree that would’ve made the process a lot smoother.
The biggest takeaway and piece of advice I’ll give, though, is enjoy it. Even when it feels like your teachers and peers are talking gibberish in your seminars, sit there and enjoy the fact that you are in an incredibly privileged position and in a degree that puts you rather than academics first.
1. Your lectures will not teach you your texts
When people tell you uni isn’t the same as school, they aren’t kidding. Lectures are not at all like lessons. Yes, you’re being talked at by a teacher for an hour, but lectures don’t have the same goals as school lessons do in the slightest. You come into lectures having already done extensive reading for the class, so you technically already ‘know’ the material. At school, you’re taught the material. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise this until I got to my first few lectures.
Advice: do at least SOME of the reading. I certainly haven’t done all of my required work for my lectures, but I’ve understood them the best when I’ve at least onced-over the texts that have been assigned. Lectures are all about encouraging further thinking that often deviates from the texts’ orginal intents and purposes. You bring in secondary thinkers to analyse literary works or apply today’s age to the text, not go through it line by line. Going into your lectures with this mindset can make a serious difference.
2. EVERYTHING is your responsibility
It was a shocker when I realised I had to buy all of the set texts myself. It was even more of a shocker when I realised my lecturers and seminar leaders were completely relying on me to show face in their classes and put in the work myself.
The dangerous part of uni is the ability we have to slack off and not actually do anything required of us. I wish someone had told me beforehand the extent of responsibility that was on me going into my degree. If you miss a class, you’re not going to be chased by your lecturers and seminar leaders. If you don’t do the reading, you’re not going to be punished. If you don’t have the material – tough.
The dangerous part of uni is the ability we have to slack off and not actually do anything required of us.
All this makes it so easy to let yourself go, and I certainly have, so if you are about to start your degree, consider the level of responsibility you have to uphold beforehand and seriously think about whether you can hack it or not, because you have to step up for yourself. No one else is going to.
3. Plan your assignments early
I have written some of my assignments the night before they’re due, and trust me, it’s not a fun experience. What is ironic about this point is that I WAS told by many people to start my assignments early, I just ignored them. But from experience, I assure you – it’s worth looking at them before their due date. Or at least deciding what you want to write about before you start writing.
Planning takes the stress and pressure off, and genuinely makes you feel so much better as a student. You feel productive which puts you in a better mood to write. Planning is just a good decision in general and I wish I did it more!
4. Original thinking > ‘correct’ thinking
I was properly shook when my seminar leader told me that they are more likely to give a first to an essay that tried to have original thought and didn’t do it very well over an essay that was very well executed but was not original. English degrees are seriously all about forming your own opinions and arguments, and about reacting to the texts put in front of you, rather than just absorbing them.
If I’d been told this earlier on, my essays will have looked so much better and I would have enjoyed my classes way more, because especially in first year, it’s about training your brain to think originally, not about getting it right.
If you’re going into your first year of an English degree or even just feel like you wanted a refresher, I hope these four things were helpful, but like I said, my biggest piece of advice is to enjoy the moments while they last. Uni is a special time and you can learn so much from it, both inside the classroom and out.
My attitude before going into uni was probably just like everyone else’s: “I’m going to university for my degree, with a side of life.” What I quickly realised as soon as I moved into halls of residence was that reality is the complete opposite of this.
All of a sudden, I had to learn how to cook, how to budget, how to do laundry, how to de-clog a sink, how to book a doctor’s appointment, how to fix a toilet flush, and countless other things that had never even been on my radar before moving out (far too many plumbing-related for my liking).
This new lifestyle quickly overtook my plans for an academic comeback. I definitely struggled with balancing my responsibilities and my academics, but I also realised that having a life on campus and learning to be an adult was a lot more important than getting full marks on my assignments. The biggest positive takeaway for me has been letting go of academic achievement as my source of validation. Hopefully I can encourage you through my experience to do the same!
1. Living in halls
Moving into my flat at Queen Mary, I immediately knew I was lucky. I bonded with my flatmates instantly and have made some of my best friends through living in halls. A lot of people don’t have the same experience, which is definitely a difficult position to be in. But I think most people can agree that living in halls teaches you core life lessons almost instantly.
Living in halls teaches you core life lessons almost instantly.
I’ve really understood the importance of personal space balanced with hanging out with friends through living communally. I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone in a way that’s helped me get to know my preferences as an extravert, but also empathise with people who are introverted and need more social boundaries.
My confidence has skyrocketed since moving into halls. I’m so much more expressive with my wants and needs because of an increased need for communication with my flatmates. And having a space to invite people over to has helped with my confidence for making friends. My anxiety has really gone down because of living in halls and I know many others who would agree with me!
2. Becoming my own person
Campus life has really forced me to rely on myself. As a result, who I am as a person has had to grow accordingly, especially my self-sufficiency. I don’t have my parents around to wake me up for classes – I have to get myself places on time. I don’t have someone to make decisions for me – I have to accept that my actions, whether wise or stupid, have consequences, and they’re mine to deal with.
Separating from the safety of living at home to live on campus has consequently helped guide me toward who I want to become in the future. True independence comes with becoming your own person, seperate from the expectations of other people, and I have found that campus life has fostered a new identity for me in the most positive way.
Becoming an adult is most often achieved through trial and error, and university campus life is the best environment for that.
I’ve had so many new experiences that I wouldn’t be exposed to if I was living at home. And I’ve made mistakes that have also shaped who I am so I can become the best version of me. Becoming an adult is most often achieved through trial and error, and university campus life is the best environment for that.
3. Learning true responsibility
More often than I would like to admit, I’ve snoozed my alarm and skipped the lecture I promised myself I’d go to the night before. But I’ve learned what responsibility looks like on a truly human level. The are so many opportunities at uni to lack integrity, like ‘forgetting’ to pay someone back after they’ve bought you something, leaving a mess on the kitchen counter for someone else to clean up, even leaving the toilet seat up.
What makes a difference is learning to put your pride aside and take responsibility for the little things of living communally to set yourself up for integrity in the future. Campus life is such a great test for life beyond your academic years. And you get to make friends on a deeper level than ever before. The sheer amount of time you can spend with people when you live on campus is incredible.
I will confidently say that I have learned so much more from just living on campus than I have from all my uni lectures combined. For anyone who is um-ing and ah-ing over whether to live on campus or not, I will always recommend it as the best option if that is within your financial and familial capabilities. You will be so grateful for the experiences you’ve had on campus in the future!
Read our research newsletter: Find out about our world-changing research in this update. Read it here
Lebanon to London: The Creative JourneyAmaal 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 TouristsDiscover the full seriesApril 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 storyBook ticketsFamily Tree by Mojisola Adebayo 12-23 April – Brixton HouseFamily 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 storyBook 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 email@example.com
2023 IHS Programme of events: https://www.irishhistoricalstudies.ie/irish-historical-society/Sign upBook 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.
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?
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.
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 Collection. Public Domain Mark]
‘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)
Events DigestFestival 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.
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
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.
firstname.lastname@example.orgQueen Mary University of London
Whether you are enrolled in an English degree like me, or dropped the subject as soon as you reached A-Level, everyone can agree that literature is an unbelievable force for change. My (almost unintentional!) involvement in the Royal Commonwealth Society is the perfect demonstration of this. One little poem I wrote near the end of Year Thirteen amidst my A-Level revision has since taken me places I never could have imagined.
The flowers in the image above were a thank-you from the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) for a speech they asked me to give at the Commonwealth Day fundraiser banquet on the 14th of March this year. If I had said this sentence to myself in March 2022, I would have laughed in disbelief. ‘Who am I to be attending such high-profile events?’ But it isn’t me. It’s literature, and my role as a representative of the positive force it can have on the world.
The RCS’ focus on literature is representing young people (specifically from disadvantaged backgrounds), representing the under-represented, promoting education, and spreading peace across the nations. The Commonwealth was never something on my radar before I became involved with it, but seeing what they are doing with literature, especially for young people, has inspired me and given me life-changing opportunities.
The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition
The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition (QCEC) is the oldest international writing competition for schools. The RCS has been delivering it since 1883! Winners have gone on to receive Pulitzer prizes and become authors, and I came to hear about it through my English teacher last year, in my final and only year of secondary schooling in the UK.
When Mrs Whyte first emailed me about the competition, I ignored it. The criteria was to write a poem, short story or essay based on the set prompts, and in my mind, my A Level revision was far more important than a creative writing competition. However Mrs Whyte was determined I had a chance and emailed me again, encouraging me to enter. I ended up writing a poem called ‘Nursing Homes,’ which can be found next to my picture on the page at this link: https://www.royalcwsociety.org/meet-the-winners
A few months later, I received the news that I came runner-up in the senior category of the competition, and I was absolutely flabbergasted. What unfolded next felt almost like a dream. I was put up in a hotel in County Hall for a week with my parents, and the other winners of the competition were flown out from all around the Commonwealth, including places like New Zealand, India, and Uganda. Every day we visited several significant cultural sites in London, like the Tower of London, the BBC Broadcasting House and the British Library. We also met incredible people like the Speaker of the House of Commons and the High Commissioners of Singapore and Australia.
The highlight of the week was the final day when we were invited to Buckingham Palace for the awards ceremony. The people in attendance came from all different areas of the RCS. I got to chat with Dame Susan Hill about ‘The Woman in Black’ and Geri Halliwell read my poem out to the party (and gave me a hug!). Then, most importantly, I had the honour of meeting HM the Queen Consort and receiving my certificate from her. The pictures of me and Camilla featured on the Times and the Royal Family official Instagram, and it was incredible to receive screenshots of the articles from my friends who didn’t know I had won the competition!
“Each year, young people write on a theme that stems from the Commonwealth’s values and principles, developing key literacy skills whilst also fostering an empathetic and open-minded world view.”
About the QCEC, royalcwsociety.org
High Commissioners and Westminster Abbey!
What made everything even more special that day at Buckingham Palace was the fact that it was my 18th birthday. I had my first legal drink in the presence of royalty! But, also, when I turned 18, I was generously invited to become an associate fellow of the RCS because I had won the competition. I was able to choose which part of the society I wanted to involve myself in, and of course, I chose literature.
My passion for literature really started to blossom. Knowing that I was representing something so important made me think back to how lucky I was to have entered the competition. I’d grown up in Lebanon and was forced to go to a boarding school for my final year of A Levels because Lebanon’s socio-economic situation had deteriorated to the extent that I wasn’t able to do my exams there. I had never been encouraged to do creative writing at school. Reading had always been for losers throughout my childhood. The fact I’d come to this point and been recognised with such exposure and success was almost a miracle. I can’t wait to start giving back to the RCS since they’ve given me such incredible opportunities.
I can’t wait to start giving back to the RCS since they’ve given me such incredible opportunities.
A little while after the ‘Winner’s Week,’ I was invited to the High Commissioner’s Banquet at Guildhall. I got to have dinner with more people I never would have dreamed of meeting. There were most definitely over 150 guests, and though I felt out of my depth, being the youngest in the room, it built my confidence and was an honour to represent the RCS. I also got an invite to the Princess of Wales’ Carol Service at Westminster Abbey which is broadcasted on TV every Christmas Eve, and it was surreal and beautiful to see that in person.
Commonwealth Day & Banquet
I thought things couldn’t possibly go up from here, but yet again, the influence and importance of literature took me as a representative once more – this time as the ‘Mace Bearer’ for the Commonwealth Day Service on Monday the 13th of March. I had received an invite to the service already, and was unbelievably excited to attend – I might even feature as a face in the crowd on TV!
However, my socks were blown right off when a few days before the service, I received a call asking if I would be willing to take the role of Mace Bearer in the royal procession down the abbey. Essentially, I would have to walk in front of their majesties the King, Queen, and the rest of the royal family as they walked slowly down the abbey, place the mace in front of the King, bow, and lead the procession again on the way out.
I was so shocked that I wondered if they’d gotten the right person for a second. This seemed so out of my depth that I wasn’t sure if I could do it. But then I thought of all the other young people like me I could inspire if I did this – I wanted to let them know that just one little poem can be the thing to shake up their world! The link to the service is featured below – you can see me at the beginning and end wearing a blue suit and white gloves, holding the Commonwealth Mace, which is a massive solid gold stick with the flags of all the countries of the Commonwealth etched onto it. I was even name dropped by the BBC presenter at the end of the service, and it still blows my mind that I was on live TV!
Seeing my name card on the tablecloth in that dining room in the London Marriott Hotel almost brought tears to my eyes.
Not only did I get to be a part of this incredible event, but I got to connect with people all across the Commonwealth doing life-changing things for people in their countries and communities. Meeting the Royal Family was probably the highlight of my life – I’ll never forget exchanging smiles with them!
And finally, I was asked to say a speech at the Commonwealth Day Banquet the next day – again, the youngest person in the room with only a poem going for her. Seeing my name card on the tablecloth in that dining room in the London Marriott Hotel almost brought tears to my eyes. It’s amazing that my story can be a testimony to the power of literature. If you feel like your writing is insignificant, please be encouraged that it is so significant, more than you know!
Care (for your future) Cafes are an opportunity for students, graduates, and artist friends to drop in and talk about life and livelihood. It is also an opportunity to get to know Air Supply, which is an informal collection of students and graduates who meet regularly to share support, resources, and their experiences of being independent artists and producers.
Air Supply will be producing the Peopling the Palace Festival, Queen Mary University of London 5-11 June.
Café Cafes are a place for people to gather – their wits, thoughts, and comrades in action. They are a temporary venue for communitas, conversation, and activity within a spoken and visible frame of ‘care’.
The theme for 2023 is love. These can be applied in a wide variety of ways such as romantic love, love for the environment/climate change, caring or helping someone who cannot do anything back for you, love for siblings, parent and friends or self-love. We are looking for play that show kindness, generosity, gratitude and celebrating the best qualities of the human race! The possibilities are endless…
If you would like to get involved in 2023, please download the Expression of Interest form on link below. Please read the guidelines and criteria carefully before filling out and returning the form. https://bit.ly/41gveXv
It is essential that you send a 3 minute video of a scene from the play you wish to submit via a YouTube or Vimeo link, This can be a reading recorded on your phone, a recording of a Zoom meeting or rehearsal (though you must be send footage as a YouTube or Vimeo link). Use this opportunity to speak to the panel about your play. As there is a limitation on words on the form, this is your 3 minute pitch.
no cost in giving programme
Cost of Living Crisis Eased for Young Black People with poetic unity’s new initiative
Poetic Unity’s ‘No Cost in Giving’ programme launches 20th March 2023 and will provide young Black/Black mixed people aged 12-30 years old the opportunity to enjoy the cultural highlights of London. With the economic downturn and effects of the pandemic, young Black people have been cut off from experiencing London’s best events.
Free/ discounted tickets will be offered first to members on our exclusive No Cost in Giving mailing list. To sign up to this list email your name, age and contact number with the title ‘No Cost in Giving’ to email@example.com
Please note these tickets are only for young Black/Black mixed people aged between 12-30 years old. Young people under 18 years old need to be accompanied by an adult on any visit and organisations working with young Black people can also sign up to our mailing list.
The theme for the V&A Performance Festival 2023 is Musicals – inspired by current free display Re:Imagining Musicals in the Theatre and Performance Galleries. Running between the 22nd – 30th of April, the entire V&A will become a stage for contemporary practitioners to animate galleries and atmospheric spaces around the museum for diverse audiences. The wide range of over 50 events encompassing live performances, screenings, talks, tours, demonstrations, and workshops will celebrate, explore and deconstruct musical theatre, revealing the craft behind songs and stories alike.
During the week, there will be special curator tours across the collections, screenings of musicals from the National Video Archive of Performance, an evening talk with star of stage and screen Bonnie Langford, and a special ‘Sounding Futures’ Friday Late
celebrating the capacity of songs to sound new worlds.
Events free and drop in unless otherwise stated. Learn more via the online programme.
Free Podcasting Workshops with Spotify – Deadline today 5 April
Starting in April, we’re hosting workshops around the world for podcast creators to connect, create, and learn from the @SpotifyUK team.
Are you interested in learning Python, one of the most popular programming languages in the world? Do you want to learn from experienced students at one of the top universities in the UK? If so, we have great news for you!
We are excited to offer you a 6-week beginners course in Python programming taught by students at the University of Sheffield. This course is designed for people with little or no experience in coding. You will learn the basics of Python, including variables, data types, conditional statements, loops, functions, and object-oriented programming.
Our course is taught by experienced students who are passionate about teaching and helping beginners learn to code. You will receive interactive lessons and hands-on exercises to help you learn and retain the material. By the end of the course, you will have a solid foundation in Python and be ready to take on more advanced projects.
You will have access to top-quality resources and support throughout the course. Furthermore we will ensure the course is fully flexible with exams and summer approaching.
To sign up please register your interest on our website:
A creative art history workshop aimed at sharing autistic joy and the incredible life and art of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
I LOVE ACTING, BUT F*** THIS INDUSTRY 5 – 6 May & 31 May, 7.30pm A global pandemic that flipped an industry on its head. 3 close friends battling the romance between craft and the disheartening acting industry that pays for it.
Our preview screening of LOLA is happening at Genesis Cinema tomorrow!
Set in 1941, LOLA follows two music-loving sisters, Thomasina (Emma Appleton, Everything I Know About Love) and Martha (Stefanie Martini, Prime Suspect 1973), who build a machine that can intercept broadcasts from the future.
Shot on 16mm and 35mm film stock, LOLA is an inventive found-footage sci-fi that explores the making (and remaking) of history and its consequences.
Killing Joy as a Queer Project “In my recently published The Feminist Killjoy Handbook, I suggest that the feminist killjoy is a queer figure with a queer history. When you reclaim the term feminist killjoy you end up in conversation with other people who, like you, find a potential or promise in that term, how its negativity can be redirected. In this lecture, I explore the queerness of the project of killing joy as a project of redirecting negativity. I develop some of my arguments about ‘the unhappy queer’ from The Promise of Happiness (2010) as well as ‘queer use’ from What’s the Use? On the Uses of Use (2019). In giving the feminist killjoy a queer history, I also show how and why killing joy is a world-making project.” Wednesday 24th of May, 7pm.River Room, Strand Campus.King’s College London.
The most exciting research innovations happening at the moment are at the interface between the humanities and sciences. The digital humanities and computational humanities are thriving research areas.
But it’s important not to think of the sciences as the saviour of the humanities in these spaces.
The increasing prevalence of large language models mean that we need critical reading skills at scale, to understand the harmful biases that arise form the vast training data being fed to these machines.
AI initiatives desperately need more humanities graduates at the table.
Professor Ruth Ahnert (QMUL) working on Living with Machines Project at Alan Turing Institute
Cultural Historian Tiffany Watt Smith (Drama)’s work is featured in the report:
Key points from the report:
There is a strong correlation between the skills of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) graduates and key skills valued by employers.
Eight of the 10 fastest growing sectors employ more AHSS graduates than graduates of other disciplines. A Humanities training may not pay back most quickly in the workforce, but it is likely to give good resilience and longevity for longer term prospects.
The number of UK students choosing Humanities subjects suggests they continue to recognise the value of degrees that fit them not narrowly for any one particular career, but which develop the talents and skills needed for a wide range of opportunities.