#SEDweekly – Events and Opportunities Digest – 18 January 2017

Here’s our list of events and opportunities we’ve just discovered and that are coming up in the next week.

If you’d like to add anything to next week’s digest then please email us.




Booking now open for Theatre, Performance and Employment happening on 23-24 February 2017

The event Queen Mary University of London, bringing together scholars, artists, and activists from the theatre and performance industries.



Emily Vine: ‘Death, remembrance and religious ritual – examples from the Huntington Library’ | Wed 25 Jan | 12:45 | ArtOne 3.17, QMUL Mile End Campus

All are welcome to this lunchtime work-in-progress seminar next week jointly hosted by CEMMN.net  and the Queen Mary Centre for Religion and Literature in English.


Jane Chapman: “Double the Work, but Double the Scope? Researching Comparative and Interdisciplinary Media History” | Tue 24 Jan | 18:00 | Senate House (Room 243), University of London

Comparative media history using content from beyond the English-speaking world and the British Empire is still relatively unexplored as a field for publication. This presentation proposes a way forward, by identifying the existence of transnational themes that emerged from the reality of print communications during the long 19th century: modernism, “orientalist” trade, cultural and scientific exchange, design, and fashion. Focusing on Germany, France and Japan, the pros and cons of an interdisciplinary approach are discussed in relations to science periodicals in Europe, women’s uses of periodicals in the late nineteenth century, periodicals for ex-patriot communities and satirical publications.


For more SED events see our calendar here


Jobs & Paid Internships


Communications & Marketing Administrator at Queen Mary University of London | Deadline: Mon 23 Jan

This exciting role will support the administration and coordination of the Communications and Marketing department at Queen Mary Students’ Union.


Opportunities & Volunteering

Contemporary Women’s Writing Essay Prize

The journal of Contemporary Women’s Writing (Oxford University Press) is delighted to announce the launch of the 2017 Essay Prize.  The Contemporary Women’s Writing Essay Prize aims to encourage new scholarship in the field of contemporary women’s writing, recognise and reward outstanding achievement by new researchers and support the professional development of next generation scholars.

Entry deadline: 1 February 2017



Calls for Papers


Bodily Extensions and Performance (Avatars, Prosthetics, Cyborgs, Posthumans) | Deadline for manuscripts to be considered for publication: Tue 31 Jan

The International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media is seeking contributions for a special issue on Bodily Extensions and Performance.

The journal is looking for full essays of between 5,000 and 8,000 words that might consider (but are not limited to) the following topics:
– The politics of bodily extension in performance
– Cultural representations of extended bodies
– Ethics and bodily extensions in performance
– Bodies in cyborg performance
– Performing avatars as extended bodies
– Posthuman performance
– Designing the extended body for performance
– Prosthetics, disability, and performance
– Bodily extension and the performance of social identity
– Augmented bodies and superhumans in performance
– Choreographing for extended bodies
– Performing with bodily extensions
– Spectating extended bodies in performance

Essays should be formatted according to the Routledge journal style.

Please contact Sita Popat at s.popat@leeds.ac.uk if you have any queries.


KATHERINE MANSFIELD AND VIRGINIA WOOLF – Journal of Mansfield Studies – Call for Papers | Deadline: Thu 31 Aug

For volume 10 of Katherine Mansfield Studies, we invite comparative essays that explore aspects of the manifold relationship between these writers and their works, from their early meetings to the simultaneous launch of Prelude and the Hogarth Press through Mansfield’s early death and Woolf’s reflections on reading Mansfield’s published and posthumous oeuvre.

To add a listing to next week’s digest or to help us update this edition please email us by Friday 20 January 2017 at 5pm

We try and keep these listings as accurate as possible but errors can occur. Please check with the relevant party before going to an event or taking up an opportunity.

SED explores the new Queen Mary Graduate Centre!

Our roving reporters Jenny Gault (Director of Administration) and Hari Marini (Student Administrator: Research Student Support) have been to explore the new Graduate Centre. The seven-storey building includes 7,700 square metres of new learning and teaching space.

Here’s a quick collage of what they found:

Untitled design (13)

Clockwise from top left:
  1. Jenny outside the front of the new graduate centre.
  2. Hari in her favourite new room the Debating Chamber.
  3. Jenny taking pictures of the grassy roof and wooden roof terrace.
  4. ‘Pretty in Purple’ chairs in the postgraduate common room.


We spotted some more lovely pictures of the new building by our student Adam on Twitter:

Here’s another lovely one at dusk of the view from the Graduate Centre:

#SEDweekly – Events and Opportunities Digest – 7th December

Here’s our list of events and opportunities we’ve just discovered and that are coming up in the next week.

To get an email alert when the new digest is live please sign up using the form below. If you’d like to add anything to next week’s digest then please email us.

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BUILDING AN ANTI-FASCIST MOVEMENT | Thu 8 Dec | 6-8pm | Skeel Lecture Theatre, People’s Palace, QMUL Mile End Campus

This is the first in a series of events aimed at bringing together a campus network to fight against fascism in all its forms. We will discuss how to survive and resist the reality which the US election has imposed on us for the next four years, which is an intensification of the violence unleashed by Brexit, and the product of much longer historic forces. We aim to share knowledge, fears, hopes, practical and emotional support, among students, staff, the local community, activists and others.


Meet the Editors – Orion Publishing | Thu 8 Dec | 6pm | G.E. Fogg Lecture Theatre, QMUL Mile End Campus

Thinking about entering the world of publishing after you graduate, or just curious about what editors get up to behind closed doors? The Queen Mary English Society is very excited to announce that we have two editors coming to talk to us in the Fogg lecture theatre at 6pm on Thursday the 8th of December!


London-Paris Romanticism Seminar: The Poetics of the Letter | Fri 9 Dec | 5.30pm | Woburn Room (G22), Senate House

This will be an international panel on The Poetics of the Letter featuring our very own Pamela Clemit together with Jeremy Elprin of the University of Caen. Pam’s talk is entitled Difficult to Make and Difficult to Fake: Signalling in Romantic-Period Letters. The title of Jeremy Elprin’s paper is ‘Qui me néglige me désole’: The Neglected Countenance of Keats’s Letters. Abstracts below.


Christmas Cabaret with Figs in Wigs | Sat 10 Dec | 7.30pm | Greenwich Dance

The perfect alternative to your Christmas party – with a festive line-up of dance, comedy and music, all set in Greenwich Dance’s beautiful 1930s home. The event is curated by Figs in Wigs an all-female performance collective and graduate company of Queen Mary. It’s sure to be a hoot.


English Masters Study Reception | Mon 12 Dec | 6pm | QMUL, Mile End Campus

Join us for an evening to discuss our MA English Studies and MA Poetry courses.


Drama Masters Study Reception | Tue 13 Dec | 6.30pm | QMUL, Mile End Campus

Join us for an evening to discuss our MA Theatre and Performance and MSc Creative Arts and Mental Health courses.


Historical Modernisms Symposium | Mon 12-Tue 13 Dec | Senate House

Counter to the conventional perception of modernism as ahistorical, there have been recent academic and critical efforts to historicize it. The Historical Modernism Symposium seeks to contribute to this trend by inviting readings of modern/ist literature and avant-garde art movements in the historical contexts of their production and reception, while assessing their entanglement with history and modernity transnationally.


For more SED events see our calendar here


Jobs & Paid Internships


CV Events at Queen Mary Careers | Wed 14 Dec | QMUL Mile End Campus

Improve your CV with these helpful workshops for current students and graduates. See the website on the link above for more details.


Opportunities & Volunteering


Write for LondonCalling.com

London Calling are on the lookout for students interested in writing articles for a highly-engaged arts and cultural recommendation site.

LondonCalling.com focuses on the best cultural events in the capital, from film festivals to fine dining and fringe theatre to blockbuster art exhibitions.

We’re looking for writers to contribute articles about arts and culture in London on an unpaid basis. The site receives over 50,000 hits a month so it is fantastic experience, and students will have the opportunity to go to the latest exhibitions, theatre previews, film screenings and restaurant openings for free.

Students interested in this opportunity can contact me at press@londoncalling.com



Calls for Papers


Inaugural Conference of Palgrave Studies in Mobilities, Literature, and Culture | 21st – 22nd April 2017, Lancaster University, UK

We have received a terrific international response to this CfP and look forward to welcoming colleagues from all over the globe to Lancaster in the Spring.

Due to a number of late enquiries we have decided to extend the CfP deadline to 15th December 2016. We aim to let delegates know if their paper has been accepted early in the new year, with registration commencing soon after.

We are planning to publish an edited collection of essays from the conference in the new Palgrave Studies in Mobilities Literature and Culture series http://www.springer.com/series/15385

Please email papers to: mobilitiesconf@gmail.com by 15th December 2016.

If you have any queries please contact: L.Pearce@lancaster.ac.uk or C.Mathieson@surrey.co.uk


Ladies and Gentlemen: Miss Grace Jones | A symposium at Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh, 27-28 April 2017 Call for Papers

‘Grace Jones’ contributions to multiple fields of culture over more than forty years – especially music, performance, fashion, and film – have established her as an iconic figure. To mark the 40th anniversary of her debut album, ‘Portfolio’, the University of Edinburgh is holding a two-day symposium on Jones’ diverse range of work and its enduring significance and influence.

We invite 20-minute paper contributions (or pre-constituted, three-speaker panels) on any aspects of Grace Jones’ career. Possible topics for discussion include (but are not limited to):

• Extended analyses of particular Grace Jones albums or individual tracks • Jones’ key musical collaborators (the Compass Point All Stars and others) • Jones, Compass Point studios and the cosmopolitan in contemporary popular music • Jones and the cover version as creative strategy • Jones’ influence within dance music cultures from Disco onwards • Jones and Jamaica • Jones and non-normative forms of black culture and identity within popular music • Jones, androgyny, sexuality and performativity within popular music • Jones as live performer and performance artist • Jones and the producer as auteur (Trevor Horn, Tom Moulton, Alex Sadkin and others) • Jones, Jean-Paul Goude and the performer’s public image as creative statement within post-1970 popular music • The contribution of Island Records to popular music since the 1970s • Jones and the creative cultures of NYC and other global cities • Jones’ parallel careers in fashion and film • Jones and the evolution of celebrity and celebrity cultures since the 1970s • Jones and post-1960s cultures of decadence and excess • Jones and postmodern divadom • Jones and popular music fan cultures • Jones’ influence on her contemporaries and subsequent generations of musicians and performers • Jones and the rise of reissue and legacy edition cultures in twenty-first-century popular music • Jones in the twenty-first centu

Keynote speakers at the symposium will be announced soon. The event will also include screenings and nightclubbing. You can follow updates relating to the symposium online: @onlytherhythm / gracejonessymposium.tumblr.com.

Please send all paper proposals to gracejonessymposium@gmail.com by 5pm on Monday 9 January 2017. Decisions will be made, and a provisional schedule announced, by Friday 20 January 2017. Ladies and Gentlemen, Miss Grace Jones is being co-organised by Dr Glyn Davis (glyn.davis@ed.ac.uk) and Dr Jonny Murray (jonny.murray@ed.ac.uk). We’re not perfect, but we’re perfect for you.


To add a listing to next week’s digest or to help us update this edition please email sed-web@qmul.ac.uk by Friday 9 December at 5pm

We try and keep these listings as accurate as possible but errors can occur. Please check with the relevant party before going to an event or taking up an opportunity.

5 Need to Know Questions Answered for our new BA English with Creative Writing


We’re very excited about our new programme BA English with Creative Writing launching in September 2017. See below for answers to 5 key questions about the course.

Register your interest in studying BA English with Creative Writing


1. Why should I do English with Creative Writing at QM?

Studying English with Creative Writing will help you to develop your command of both written and spoken language in a way that is useful beyond the academic contexts of literary studies. It is a degree that focuses on the communicative power of language, with a wide range of audiences and readerships in mind. Queen Mary has a strong presence in the field of contemporary writing, with particular expertise in contemporary fiction and experimental writing. We are also committed to new and emerging contexts for creative expression, including new media, the creative industries and non-fictional writing.


2. What sort of jobs are available for graduates with a BA in English with Creative Writing ? How will Creative Writing help in the job market?

Some graduates from English with Creative Writing will succeed as published writers. But Creative Writing graduates are also sought by employers for their skills in effective communication. Creative Writing modules require high levels of collaboration, including responses to and editing of the written output of others. Many Creative Writing graduates will progress to careers in creative industries such as publishing, journalism, advertising and the new media industries. More generally, English with Creative Writing graduates can present high level information and analytical skills to employers, including the ability to interpret, evaluate, synthesise and organise material, to formulate independent and critical judgements, creative solutions and articulate reasoned arguments.


3. Can you make a living as a writer?

Many people make a living as a writer. It is true that those who make a living as novelists is relatively small, but many writers combine literary production with other forms of employment, such as journalism, academic teaching or professional writing. In broader terms, the need for effective writers and communicators is at an all time high, because of the dependence of businesses on the internet, where sophisticated writing and editing skills are prized. A degree in Creative Writing prepares the graduate for both independent and collaborative textual production.


4. What can I tell my parents about why I plan to do English with Creative Writing

Doing English with Creative Writing will give me a knowledge of literary traditions, genres and conventions, but it will, more than ordinarily, train me in the production as well as the critical analysis of cultural artefacts. English with Creative Writing is like doing an English degree, but with a greater emphasis on the transferable writing skills that employers often seek in English graduates.


5. How likely am I to make it as a writer of fiction?

If you do have your heart set on writing fiction, this programme offers you invaluable contact with, and advice from those with a track record in publishing fiction. The programme helps you to make contact with literary agents,  and addresses all aspects of the contemporary literary marketplace, the relationship between literary and genre fiction, and the way to present work to publishers. The programme aims to provide you with the information that you need about the workings of the industry, the ability to set goals, self-manage and meet deadlines. These are the things that a writer needs to succeed in the marketplace.


Register your interest in studying BA English with Creative Writing

#SEDweekly – Events and Opportunities Digest – 30th November

Welcome to our third weekly digest featuring the best events and opportunities we’ve just discovered and that are coming up in the next week. To get an email alert when the new digest is live please sign up using the form below. If you’d like to add anything to next week’s digest then please email us.

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Drama Quorum Seminar Series: Margherita Laera | Wed 30 Nov | 6pm | QMUL Mile End Campus

Continuing our themes of capital and imperialism, we welcome Dr. Margherita Laera for a seminar entitled ‘A Theatre of/for Europe: Giorgio Strehler and the Dream of a United Continent’.


English PGR Seminar Series: David Nowell-Smith | Thu 1 Dec | 5.15pm | Lock-keeper’s Cottage, QMUL Mile End Campus

Dr. Nowell-Smith is Senior Lecturer in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at UEA, his main interest being in philosophical poetics. His talk is entitled ‘Eight Theses on Poiesis’.


Spoken Word with PEACH | Wed 1 Dec | 7-9pm | Drapers Lounge, QMUL Mile End Campus

PEACH is hosting the first Spoken Word Open Mic event of the year this Thursday in Drapers Lounge with professional poets: Kat Francois and Chris Redmond!


Critical Solace – A guest | Mon 5 Dec | 6-7pm | Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Literature

Our very own David James is giving a special visiting lecture at Birkbeck entitled ‘Critical Solace’. The talk relates to work that David has recently been undertaking into the consolotary powers of literature, funded by a Leverhulme Research Prize.

For more SED events see our calendar here


Jobs & Paid Internships

Development Officer | Young Vic | £25,500 – £27,500 | Deadline: Monday 5 December

The Young Vic are looking for a Development Officer to join their busy fundraising team with writing experience and a strong interest in the arts for a primarily research based job.


Opportunities & Volunteering


Student Media Conference | Weds 7 and Thu 8 Dec | QMUL, Mile End Campus

The Student Media Conference 2016 will feature a programme of talks and workshops from media industry professionals and recent alumni who were involved with Student Media during their time here. The event concludes with an evening networking sessions over drinks and nibbles.


Calls for Papers

None sent through to us this week.


To add a listing to next week’s digest or to help us update this edition please email sed-web@qmul.ac.uk by Friday 2 December at 5pm

#SEDweekly – Events and Opportunities Digest – 23rd November

Welcome to our second digest featuring the best events and opportunities we’ve just discovered and that are coming up in the next week. To get an email alert when the new digest is live please sign up using the form below. If you’d like to add anything to next week’s digest then please email us.

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SLAPPIN’ DA BASS on Wednesday 30 November – more details below…

English PGR Seminar Series: Dr Kathryn Allan | Thu 24 Nov | 5.15pm | Lock-keeper’s Cottage, QMUL Mile End Campus

A free guest seminar by Dr Kathryn Allan (UCL) as part of our Postgraduate Research series exploring ‘degrees of lexicalization’ for concepts across the history of English.


Emeritus Professor Dr Dushant Patel presents Guest Lecture Series: Marginalisation, Unmarginalisation, Extramarginalisation, Demarginalisation, Premarginalisation, Postmarginalisation.  | Wed 23 Nov | RR2 2pm – 3pm & RR2 4:30pm – 5:30pm

In this comedy lecture, taking place in the year 2100AD, Professor Patel re-examines the structural and personal protest actions that occurred in a response to racialised inequality, gentrification, and racism itself throughout the 2050s.


Location, Location, Location – A Festival by Queen Mary Theatre Company | QMUL Mile End Campus | Fri 25-Sun 27 Nov

A weekend festival of performance presented by Queen Mary Theatre Company around the themes of location.


QMUL Inaugural Lecture Series: ‘The Lion, the Children and the Bookcase: Anne Frank and C.S. Lewis’ Professor Margaret Reynolds | Tue 29 Nov | 6.30pm

Join Professor Margaret Reynolds, Professor of English, for her Inaugural Lecture at Queen Mary University of London.


The discussion is this one: (not really) belonging in arts one. | QMUL Mile End Campus –  RR1 | Wed 30 Nov 2-6pm (come and leave as you please)

A space where students from the School of English and Drama at QMUL who experience under-representation / are not recognised (race, disability, class, neurodiversity, etc.) can talk about this issue freely and without censorship.

Please email pateldushant@gmail.com if you have access requirements.


Young Writer of the Year Showcase | Wed 30 Nov | 7-8.30pm | Second Home, Shoreditch | Free (ticketed)

A special event to celebrate the shortlist of The Sunday Times / Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award 2016 ahead of the upcoming winner announcement, join us for author readings, discussion and free beer. The event will feature readings and discussion from three of this year’s four shortlisted writers – Max Porter (Grief is the Thing with Feathers), Benjamin Wood (The Ecliptic) and Jessie Greengrass (An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw It) – plus last year’s winner, Sarah Howe (Loop of Jade), and will be chaired by The Sunday Times literary editor, Andrew Holgate.

The event opens at 6.30pm for free beer provided by Brewdog. Authors will be signing their books after the event.


SLAPPIN’ DA BASS | Wed 30 Nov | 8-10pm | Pinter Studio, QMUL

SLAPPIN’ DA BASS (pictured above) is a monthly variety night hosted by Chloe Borthwick and Livvy Lynch in the Pinter Studio, Queen Mary. The event aims to create a space where the talents of Queen Mary folk, ranging from a variety of disciplines, can come together for an evening that celebrates diversity on the stage.

For more SED events see our calendar here


Jobs & Paid Internships

Dina Roncevic, Car Deconstruction at Fierce 2014 photo by James Allan
Dina Roncevic, Car Deconstruction at Fierce 2014 photo by James Allan

Freelance Operations Manager | Fierce Festival | Application deadline: Wed 7 Dec  | Set fee: £5,000

Fierce is an international festival of cross art form performance centred in Birmingham. The Festival is looking for an experienced Operations Manager to join the team between now and April 2017 on an interim basis to help support the operational side of the business and some fundraising support. This is being offered as a freelance role based on 40 days between now and the end of April at a set fee of £5000. If you are interested in the position please request a full job description from recruitment@wearefierce.org

Production and Marketing Coordinator | Poet in the City | Application deadline: Mon 5 Dec | £18,000 (pro-rata) April-December contract

Do you have a passion for photography? Do you want to develop your skills by producing photographs for a wide range of projects and events? The Students’ Union is looking for enthusiastic students experienced in events photography to join our team as QMSU Student Photographers!

Opportunities & Volunteering

Wellcome Trust introduces new funding schemes

The Wellcome Trust has unveiled a new programme of funding for engaging the public in conversations about health-related science and research. These may be of particular interest to those studying MSc Creative Arts and Mental Health.


Calls for Papers

English Studies in Ruins | Deadline for Abstracts: Fri 16 Dec

Papers are invited for ‘English Studies in Ruins?: The Future Shape of English Studies in a Changing Academic Climate’ at next year’s English: Shared Futures conference.

Download the CfP document here

To add a listing to next week’s digest please email sed-web@qmul.ac.uk by Friday 25 November at 5pm

#SEDweekly – Events and Opportunities Digest – 16th November

This is the first of our weekly opportunities and events digests. They will be released every Wednesday.

To get an email alert when the new digest is live please sign up using the form below. If you’d like to add anything to next week’s digest please email us.

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Beyond Digitisation: Reimagining the image in Digital Humanities | Thursday 16 November | Mile End Campus | Free (booking required)

In this lecture, Melissa Terras will showcase work from projects as diverse as the Great Parchment Book, Transcribe Bentham, and the Deep Imaging Mummy Cases projects, showcasing how those in the Digital Humanities can contribute to advanced cultural heritage imaging research.



A Season of Bangla Drama | Until 27 November 2016 | Various Times and Prices

The festival continues with the women only Saree Day on Sunday and lots more events for everyone to celebrate Bangla drama and Queen Mary’s commitment to working with our local community.

Download the full programme here


Plus don’t miss these coming up:

For more SED events see our calendar here


Jobs & Paid Internships

Student Photographer Position | QMSU | Application deadline: Fri 18 Nov 2016 | Rate: £9.39 per hour | Hours: Flexible

Do you have a passion for photography? Do you want to develop your skills by producing photographs for a wide range of projects and events? The Students’ Union is looking for enthusiastic students experienced in events photography to join our team as QMSU Student Photographers!

Marketing and Communications Manager | Wilton’s Music Hall | Application Deadline: Mon 12 Dec 2016 | £26k

The Marketing and Communications Manager is a key member of Wilton’s team and will be responsible for driving all marketing and communications activity for Wilton’s including our cultural programme, learning and participation programme and our commercial offer, creating effective and creative marketing strategies across print, broadcast and new media.



Opportunities & Volunteering

QMSU Volunteering

There’s lots of opportunities coming up to volunteer in the winter months. Help make something great happen in your community!

Submissions wanted for Woolf Zine

Ramblings, responses and ruminations on Virginia Woolf. First Issue Dec 01. Published bi-monthly. Submissions always open. Submit to: woolfzine@gmail.com.

Calls for Papers

Adapting Medieval and Early Modern Culture | 3 March 2017 | Centre for Adaptations | Trinity House, De Montfort University, Leicester

The convoluted histories of medieval and early modern monarchs, reformers and rebellions have inspired plays, novels, poems, fairy tales and a recent outpouring of popular medieval and early modern adaptations in novels, film and television, such as Merlin, The Game of Thrones, The Tudors and Wolf Hall. We invite proposals that discuss the adaptation of the medieval and early modern periods in film, television, animation, plays, novels and poetry.

Proposals of a maximum of 100 words should be sent to Cassandra Hunter by 15 December 2016. P11235624@my365.dmu.ac.uk


Theatre, Performance & Employment | 23 – 24 February 2017 | Queen Mary University of London

The conference is open to critical engagements with theatre, performance and employment across historical moments and geographical locations, including interdisciplinary approaches. We are seeking 20 minute papers and performative presentations that may be inspired by, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • representations of (un)employment in performance
  • automation / backstage labour / Front of House
  • touring / working across borders
  • familial labour / gendered experiences of labour
  • contracts / pay / unions / strikes
  • unemployment / benefits / workfare
  • voluntary work / internships
  • migration / workers’ rights
  • freelancing / the gig economy / casualisation / precarity
  • regulations / administration
  • non-professional or amateur performance
  • auditions / interviews / casting practices

Please send a 250 word abstract and short biography to: theatreandemployment@gmail.com

Deadline: 12 December 2016



To add a listing to next week’s digest please email sed-web@qmul.ac.uk by Friday 18th at 5pm

‘Flights of Oriental Fancy’ by Matthew Mauger


A print only a few inches wide depicts a man wearing a loose flowing garment and a pointed hat. He reclines against a stone pediment, apparently engaged in romantic conversation with a similarly exotically dressed woman, who holds a fan in her right hand and – like the man – a cup in her left. On the table between them rests an oval-shaped urn. To the right, a labourer waters a bush, whilst on the left – against a background of distant mountains – a many-storied pagoda rises.


A second print offers a slightly disturbing image of a large insect, with leaf-like wings, crawling across a landscape of rolling hills, with some large chests below bearing markings representing Chinese writing.




A third features an elaborate frame in which are embedded two similar chests, another man in flowing robes and pointed hat, and a cylindrical container marked ‘Finest Plain Green Tea’. The frame wraps around text naming the business of James Randall, who traded at ‘the Golden Lyon on the West Side of Charing Cross’ in the 1770s, and who ‘sells all sorts of fine teas, coffee, and chocolate at the lowest Prices’. Indeed, all three of these engraved designs are eighteenth-century advertisements for London-based grocers selling tea from China.


They are ‘trade cards’, typical of the exquisitely illustrated advertisements circulated by metropolitan retailers, many thousand of which survive thanks to the obsessions of collectors such as Sarah Sophia Banks (1744-1818) and furniture magnate Ambrose Heal (1872-1959), and now housed in the British Museum’s Department of Prints and Drawings. The mass-printing associated with the newspaper press in the nineteenth century could not accommodate designs of such intricacy, meaning that these beautiful eighteenth century survivals can be seen as an early high-watermark in advertising design, that arguably was not to be seen again until the late twentieth century.


Largely dismissed in academic study for much of the twentieth century, the awakening interest in eighteenth century consumer society in recent decades has brought new attention to these unique archives. I have identified over 300 unique cards advertising businesses selling tea, dating from the period 1730-1830. My particular interest here lies in the window these trade cards offer into how eighteenth century consumers encountered tea, a dried leaf which was delivered to London wharves – many thousands of tons a year – via the astonishing mechanics of an international trade overseen by the East India Company. What might these advertisements tell us about the ways in which British consumers were imagined to understand the distant land in which their tea had been harvested and prepared for sale? How do they script the eighteenth-century buyer’s encounter with tea? The idea that I’m exploring here is that these trade cards might be understood as an early site of cultural encounter between Britain and China, distorted through the fabricating lens of product promotion and endorsement… though no less interesting, of course, as a result.


Read more on our tea blog or get a copy of our book available at all good bookshops: Empire of Tea: the Asian Leaf that Conquered the World, with Markman Ellis and Richard Coulton


All images rights reserved by British Library.

#SEDCareers: English graduate Mary Carter on her week with Palgrave Publishing

Before my internship with Palgrave Macmillan Journals I had only four days unpaid experience in an office environment. I had met the team’s Publisher, Amy Shackleton, at a careers evening at Queen Mary a few months previously, and since exchanged several emails and had one telephone interview, which culminated in my appointment as their summer intern. I was thrilled, of course, but in the days preceding my stay with the journals team, I was nevertheless a little apprehensive. On Sunday evening various questions occurred to me as I tried to mentally prepare myself for any undesirable situations: ‘What if I’m late on my first day?’; ‘What if I don’t get along with my colleagues?’; ‘What if I can’t keep up with the work?’ The new job jitters were getting to me.

I had been told to arrive at the Glasshouse Building at 9:45am for an orientation with HR. Having looked up the location of this building beforehand and checked the underground schedule for any delays, I arrived early and so was able to sit down in the foyer and collect myself before being given a tour with some other new employees. At least now I knew I could dismiss my fear of tardiness.

As I was only being employed on a temporary basis, after the tour I was taken off into a separate conference room and shown a quick slideshow detailing the terms of my contract, how and when I was going to be paid, and a basic outline of who Springer Nature are (Springer Nature is the merged company name for the majority of brands under Macmillan Science and Education and Springer Science+Business Media, of which Palgrave Macmillan is a part ). Feeling reassured that my needs would be looked after throughout my internship, I was then returned to the Glasshouse Building’s foyer, and told to wait for Beatrix Daniel, Assistant Publishing Manager and my mentor for the week.

Meeting Beatrix and the rest of the team (Lucy Wheeler, Marta Kask, who works at their New York office, and the aforementioned Amy Shackleton) dispelled any lingering worries. I had the opportunity before lunch to speak with each of them in turn about the different aspects of their jobs, their professional backgrounds, and to ask them any questions I had. They were all extremely easy to talk to, and made me feel very welcome. Lunch brought with it a time to get to know this close-knit team a little better, and I spent a very enjoyable hour discussing various topics with them, over a lunch they had kindly bought me in the company café.

What were the highlights of my week? The first was sitting in on a meeting between Lucy Wheeler and the editorial board for the European Journal of Development Research, one of the journals for whom she is Publishing Manager. I was fortunate to experience this, as such a meeting happens only once or twice a year, and one member of the board had even flown all the way from Australia to be there! Our presence was required for the whole morning, during which the journal’s progress and ideas for its improvement were discussed while I took the minutes. When we broke for lunch the feeling in the room was one of satisfaction: significant progress had been made, I had written several pages of useful notes, and there was food left over for Lucy and I to take back to the office!

Buoyed up by the success of the morning, I settled myself at my desk and consulted the timetable Beatrix had handed me at the beginning of the week. That afternoon I was to meet with two members of the Palgrave Macmillan journals production team. These were to be the first of several meetings Beatrix had arranged for me throughout the week, each with individuals working within Springer Nature, but in different areas of publishing. These conversations were highlights because, prior to my starting at Palgrave I had told Beatrix that I wanted to learn as much about the industry as possible, and she certainly made sure of this!

Over the course of the week I spoke with people from Palgrave Macmillan books team, the Open Access team, Nature Publishing Group, and marketing, and by Friday my head was buzzing with the multitude of career possibilities afforded by academic publishing.

Another highlight for me was due to my internship coinciding with the team’s recruitment of a Publishing Assistant. Amy was conducting the interviews and, as it is an entry-level position well-suited to recent graduates, she thoughtfully obtained permission for me to sit in on one of the interviews. It was a superb opportunity for me to gain an insight into what to expect when in the candidate’s shoes, and also to get some valuable feedback from Amy regarding the dos and don’ts of first interviews.

All in all, I came away from my week with Palgrave positive that I had learnt a great deal about academic publishing, and about the individuals within Springer Nature who ensure the world is never short of interesting and varied research publications. I also left feeling as though I had had not only an informative week, but an enjoyable one too. Though the Palgrave Journals team work extremely hard, they also know how to have fun outside of work. Included in the week’s social calendar was the lovely lunch I have already mentioned, a rehearsal with the staff choir, and a post-work pub trip.

My week with Beatrix, Amy, Lucy, and (though I never met her in the flesh) Marta showed me that journal publishing is a challenging, complex, and highly rewarding line of work. From meetings with dedicated academics to troubleshooting from your desk, no two days are the same, and I would like to thank them all for ensuring I had such a valuable and fun week.

‘Pug’s Progress: PhD research leading to an exhibition’ by Stephanie Howard-Smith


Stephanie Howard-Smith is researching her doctoral dissertation in the English Department at Queen Mary on the cultural history of the lapdog in eighteenth-century Britain. Over the last year, she has also helped to curate an exhibition related to her research entitled ‘Pug’s Progress: William Hogarth and Animals’ at Hogarth’s House museum. This blog post describes some of her experiences while curating the exhibition.


images-2‘Pug’s Progress: William Hogarth and Animals’ looks at animal life in early Georgian Britain as depicted in the work of the British artist William Hogarth. Hogarth is famous for his close relationship with his pets, especially a pug called Trump. Hogarth’s House is a historic house museum in Chiswick dedicated to the works of Hogarth, who used it as a country home in the last fifteen years of his life. It also has a gallery that holds temporary exhibitions on Hogarth, local history and local contemporary artists.


My intention with the exhibition was to take the animals out of the background of the prints and paintings, and place them in the foreground, as Hogarth did himself in his 1745 self-portrait, The Painter and his Pug. One drawback when exhibiting prints is that the casual visitor may be overwhelmed by a series of similar-sized, monochrome two-dimensional images all positioned at the same height. To break up this monotony, a graphic designer magnified images of animals from other Hogarth prints and these were arranged on the walls (a guide to the original images was also provided by the Chair of the William Hogarth Trust).


‘Pug’s Progress’ is divided into four sections; Hogarth’s Pugs, Animals in the Home, Animal Cruelty and Animals in the Street and Field respectively. The first section of the exhibition, which focuses on Hogarth’s relationship with his pug dogs (and the other animals owned by his family), is closely tied to my own research on the cultural history of the lapdog in the eighteenth century – my PhD thesis, ‘The Enlightenment Lapdog’, looks at the representation of lapdogs and lapdog-owners in eighteenth-century literary, visual and material culture.

The Painter and his Pug 1745 William Hogarth 1697-1764 Purchased 1824 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N00112
The Painter and his Pug 1745 William Hogarth 1697-1764 Purchased 1824 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N00112

220px-cruelty2Hogarth was exceptional among eighteenth-century lapdog owners (both real and fictional) for a variety of reasons. Whereas lapdogs were synonymous with a feminine obsession with luxury and fashion, Hogarth was both male and he purposefully cultivated an unpretentious persona. He was interested in satirising lifestyles associated with lapdog ownership in his prints, showing them to be excessive, luxurious and corrupting. Hogarth’s affection for his pug, Trump, is shown through one of the objects on display; Hogarth’s House was very kindly loaned a souvenir broadside Hogarth had printed with Trump’s name on it when they visited a frost fair held on the frozen Thames in 1740.


Hogarth is also well known for his opposition to animal cruelty, which he featured in a major print series called The Four Stages of Cruelty (1751), which argues forcefully that animal abuse leads to violence against humans. As the series was already on display in its entirety elsewhere in Hogarth’s House, we decided not to include it in the exhibition.  In organizing the exhibition, the museum hoped to attract a younger audience, and this was considered too challenging. I was concerned that omitting The Four Stages of Cruelty might be a lacuna in a consideration of Hogarth and images-1animals, as it makes such an important argument for Hogarth. His view was very influential in the late eighteenth-century, and writers discussing animal welfare frequently referred back to Hogarth’s prints. Instead, The Cockpit (1759) is on display next to a pair of eighteenth-century cockspurs. Whereas The Four Stages of Cruelty largely focuses on the cruelty inflicted on animals by poor children and workers, cockfighting was popular among all social classes and Hogarth’s print reflects this.


img_3172Hogarth’s focus on animal cruelty was rather radical during his lifetime, but so too was the manner in which he approached animals in his work generally. He was mocked for positioning Trump in front of his self-portrait-within-a-self-portrait in The Painter and his Pug. Hogarth was perhaps the first British artist to really interest himself in animals – Stubbs only published his first horse anatomy drawings a few years after Hogarth’s death. I hoped that the exhibition would satisfy visitors who find animal history interesting, as well as others who might be surprised how tracing the lives of dairy cattle, pet monkeys or dancing bears in eighteenth-century Britain could shine a light on aspects of Hogarth’s art and its historical context.


The exhibition is open until Sunday the 16th of October. Entry is free.

For more information visit: http://www.hounslow.info/arts-culture/historic-houses-museums/hogarth-house

All images are copyright of the rights owner and are used here for educational purposes only.

Being Human Festival 2016 Programme Announced

The full programme for Being Human Festival led by University of London’s School of Advanced Study has been announced and is available to peruse to your heart’s content here.

We’ve picked out a few events that caught our eye and feature some of our School of English and Drama connections:



queen-mary-university-of-london-no-feedbackNo Feedback

People’s Palace Projects is a partner on this one…

Saturday 19 November | 18.00–19.30

No Feedback is a theatrical event highlighting the gentle pull of discrimination that tears at the fabric of everyday life. Giving an insight into human nature, it is set against the backdrop of catastrophes both historic and contemporary. By taking Genocide Watch’s groundbreaking research as the backbone of the production, No Feedback intelligently and sensitively asks audiences to consider their own place on the spectrum of how we relate to one another. Come and play your part in this new kind of theatre experience.

More info and book online here



queen-mary-university-of-london-spitalfields-winter-1892_a-guided-walkSpitalfields, winter 1892: a guided walk

Led by SED’s Dr Nadia Valman

Sunday 20 November | 16:00–17:45

Novels have a particular power to conjure the past life of a place and to make us alert to the traces of the past that are still visible all around us. See Spitalfields in a new light through the eyes of bestselling Victorian writer Israel Zangwill and his closely observed novel Children of the Ghetto. Explore the neighbourhood with the ‘Zangwill’s Spitalfields’ walking tour app created by Dr Nadia Valman with the Jewish Museum, London and Soda Ltd. This app brings together archive sources including photographs, documents and digitised objects from the Jewish Museum to create an immersive experience of the lively and fraught milieu of Jewish immigrant life in Victorian Spitalfields. Hear about the making of the app and sample its content on the streets of east London in this guided walk.

More info and book online here



queen-mary-the-museum-of-the-normalThe museum of the normal

Includes SED’s Dr Tiffany Watt Smith is presenting a talk entitled: ‘Blending in: The Lost Art of Disappearing’

Thursday 24 November | 18.00–21.00

From angst-ridden teenage letters to agony aunts to concerned posts in online parenting forums, it’s clear that as a society we are haunted by a fear of being labelled abnormal. But who gets to define what’s normal? Is it really something to aspire to? And is worrying about ‘being normal’ normal? At this drop-in late event at Bart’s Pathology Museum, led by the Queen Mary Centre for the History of the Emotions, visitors will enter the ‘land of the abnormal’: a pop-up museum of games, talks and performances addressing different aspects of the history of normality. Expect lost emotions, historical psychometric tests, themed refreshments, history of medicine talks and guided tours of the ‘museum of the normal’.

More info and book online here



See the full programme here

or why not read the curator’s highlights here

#NationalPoetryDay – Win a Place in SED History

Today, Thursday 6th October is National Poetry Day and we’re celebrating the literary form with a competition on Twitter that could make your words part of SED history.

Simply tweet us a poem with the hashtag #SEDrhymetime and your poem could be printed, framed and put somewhere special in the School.

More details on Twitter here


Here’s 3 more ways you can engage with the day:

  1. Check out Time Out’s guide to #NationalPoetryDay events today.
  2. Visit the Poetry Library in the Southbank Centre.
  3. Search for what’s happening near you on the National Poetry Day website here


We teach a variety of Poetry modules within these programmes:

#LifeAfterSED – Drama Graduate and Puppeteer Edie Edmundson talks about her latest show

We spoke to 2015 SED Drama graduate, Edie Edmundson about her time at Queen Mary, her career so far and her latest show The Old Woman Made of Stardust which is coming to Theatre N16 on 27 October 2016. 

theoldwomanmadeofstardustTell us about ‘The Old Woman Made of Stardust’ and how the project came about?

The first glimmers of the play appeared during my final year at QM, when I rediscovered a letter my Gran wrote for me before she died. It was a beautifully written letter – some of it has made it into the show! The tone of the letter perfectly struck a balance between softening the blow for a young child (I was 8 at the time), and maintaining clarity about the reality of death. I decided to turn the letter into a play!

Things sparked into life thanks to the Queen Mary Theatre Company. I was able to put the play on as part of the New Writer’s Festival and from there it was chosen for the Fuel London Student Drama Festival. I have always loved puppetry, and I wrote my dissertation on the relationship between puppetry and childhood – particularly how puppet theatre can be used to help children deal with trauma. Puppets can help break down the barriers of self-consciousness and distil complicated issues.

My research – and a puppetry course I took after leaving uni – prompted me to revisit ‘The Old Woman Made of Stardust’, to develop it into something which could help promote honest and open conversations about how the grief caused by bereavement can affect children and their families.


What can an audience expect to experience in the show?

The show is aimed at families, and I hope it will appeal to audiences of all ages. It tells the story of Lily, a little girl who loves to look at the stars. Lily and her Gran play games together, dreaming up constellations and flying like birds. What kind of bird would you be? But when Gran dies, Lily’s vivid imagination catapults her into a strange and tangled forest as she tries to find her way through the grief and make sense of death. Lily’s world is full of magic and colour, a place of paper birds, talking foxes and shooting stars. It is a world turned upside down by the loss of her Grandmother. The play uses innovative puppetry and original music to create a magical world and tell a heart warming, hopeful story or love, loss and growing up.


Puppet Theatre Barge

What else have you been up to since graduating from Queen Mary?

I’ve been very busy! Straight after uni I started training to be a puppeteer on the Puppet Theatre Barge in Little Venice (a wonderful place everyone should visit!), and I did an intensive ten week course at the Curious School of Puppetry in Bethnal Green. From there, I’ve teamed up with some fellow puppeteers to start a company called Wondering Hands who use puppetry to investigate complicated issues – our other show is about sex and consent! Alongside working part time at Wilton’s Music Hall (great local venue!) and the Barbican, I’m just about to start rehearsals as a puppeteer for The Little Match Girl at the Sam Wannamaker Playhouse this Christmas. It feels like a lot has happened since leaving QM….!


What was your favourite thing about studying at Queen Mary?

Studying Drama at QM really opened my eyes to a wide range of live art and performance I would not have come across otherwise. The work we studied and also the incredible work created by students as part of the course and through QMTC really broadened my horizons when it came to my options post uni. The course encouraged me to interrogate art and performance and place it in a wider context in a way I had never done before – something I think is very useful for anyone considering a career in the arts! I think my favourite thing about QM in general probably has to be the location… the East End has so many great venues and interesting things going on. And coming from a small town in Devon, the chance to meet people from all over the world was brilliant.


What advice would you give current students that you wish you’d known before starting at university?

Get involved in societies! It was my involvement with the Theatre Company which introduced me to some fantastic friends and helped me gain some valuable practical skills. There are so many great societies at QM, and they need students to make them grow! I wish I’d had the confidence to get more involved with political societies such as QM Equality, I was always hovering on the fringes but never quite got stuck in. I think now more than ever students need to have a voice, and it’s getting together for common goals in societies that can give people the experience and community needed to make things happen!

Autumn SED Events & Arts Preview 2016

The changing of the seasons means a whole new batch of SED students and we’re really excited to present a lot of in house events as well as champion the diverse cultural highlights London has for 2016.

Chez nous (French) / At Our Gaff (Cockney)

English Postgraduate Research Seminar

A weekly English research seminar that takes place every Thursday during the first and second semesters of the academic year.

  • 29 September: Prof Catherine Maxwell (Queen Mary), ‘Carnal Flowers, Charnel Flowers: Perfume in the Decadent Literary Imagination’
  • 6 October: Pub Quiz at the SCR bar, Queens’ Building, Mile End campus.
  • 20 October: Dr Ewan James Jones (University of Cambridge), ‘Thermodynamic Rhythm / The Poetics of Waste’
  • 27 October: Prof Nicholas Royle (University of Sussex), title TBC.
  • 3 November: Dr Clara Dawson (University of Manchester), ‘Letitia Landon: Close Reading Print Culture in the 1820s.’
  • 24 November Kathryn Allan, (UCL), title TBC.

Download the programme here


Hear about the latest developments in theatre and performance with engaging research seminars plus free drinks and nibbles at the School.

  • 5 October: Bridget Escolme – Nostalgia for empire in Shakespeare costuming – Rehearsal Room 2
  • 19 October: Philip Crispin Translating Un Tempête – Rehearsal Room 2
  • 2 November: Namita Chakrabarty [auto ethnography and Critical Race Theory in Theatre Application on disaster – Pinter Studio
  • 16 November: Aylwyn Walsh [terrorism and incarceration] – Rehearsal Room 2
  • 30 November: Margharita Laera [Giorgio Stehler and the Piccolo Teatro] – Rehearsal Room 2
  • 14 December: Joe Kelleher [Economies of Art]

All details of these events are subject to change please sign up below for the latest.

Also keep an eye out for:

  • Free taster lectures at our next Open Day
  • A Season of Bangla Drama

Everybody is welcome at these events but please do sign up here to get further details and invites to our events:

[wysija_form id=”5″]

And the best from London…

We asked folks on Twitter to send in suggestions about events happening near us (featured below) below but it’s not too late to add yours.

Tweet us your #SEDautumnwonders


Caoimhe Mader McGuinness

Station House Opera - Photo by Jospeh Buttigieg

Penelope Woods

  • Donmar Warehouse’s Shakepeare Trilogy: An all female Shakespeare season in a new 420-seat in-the-round temporary theatre at King’s Cross.



Markman Ellis



Rupert Dannreuther

  • Barbican Open Fest – Saturday 8 October: A free festival at the UK’s largest cultural hub including films, performances and a new designers’ market.
  • VISIONS at The Nunnery – 5 October-18 December: A festival on our doorstep in Bow of short films and performances.



Shane Boyle

Elections Watch: Keep an eye out for events popping up in London about the US elections in the run up to polling day on 8 November, it’s sure to be a fascinating time politically.



3 Book Launches Coming Up including Star Trek: The Human Frontier

Here’s a quick round up of some of the book launches coming up in autumn 2016 within our School and beyond…

Star Trek: The Human Frontier by Michele Barrett & Duncan Barrett

Thursday 8 September – Charterhouse Square, London EC1

RSVP here

Our very own Professor Michèle Barrett with her son Duncan Barrett is launching an updated version of Star Trek: The Human Frontier a study of humanity through the lens of the popular TV and film series.


‘Star Trek has been subject to a lot of scrutiny by literary and cultural critics … The bad conscience that many have about serious discussion of popular culture means that Star Trek can still be read simplistically, as a stalking-horse for denouncing the modernity of the American century. The Barretts are more subtle. A television series is a product of a variety of creators and so, inevitably, a rich complex of signs, hints and idealisms. There is no final reading of Star Trek, just an endless journey.’

–          Book of the Day, The Independent

Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion by Professor Gareth Stedman Jones

Tuesday 4 October from 6.30pm – ArtsTwo Lecture Theatre, QMUL Mile End Campus

Book a free ticket here

Our friends in the School of History are hosting a book launch with their tutor Professor Stedman Jones’ (author of this new Marx biography) joining Dr Tristram Hunt MP (author of a recent biography of Friedrich Engels) to debate around the issues raised in the book.


Urban Music and Entrepreneurship: Beats, Rhymes and Young People’s Enterprise by Joy White

Wednesday 19 October – Bow Arts Centre

Book a free ticket here

A local launch of a key study in grime music and its related enterprise as a key component of the urban music economy at the lovely Bow Arts Centre.


Did we miss a book launch? Please drop us an email and we’ll add in.