AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership training grant: ‘The Duchess of Botany: Mary Somerset, Jacob Bobart, and the Formation of the Oxford Botanic Garden’

The Duchess of Botany: Mary Somerset, Jacob Bobart, and the Formation of the Oxford Botanic Garden

Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and the University of Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum (OBGA) are pleased to announce the availability of a fully funded doctoral grant from October 2020.

This studentship is funded for 3 years and 9 months (45 months) full time or part-time equivalent. It directly complements attention to OBGA’s heritage in preparation for celebrating the Botanic Garden’s 400th anniversary in 2021 by exploring key aspects of its early history.

Research will examine the material and intellectual networks that supported the development of its plant collections and institutional structures during the later seventeenth century, with a particular focus on two intriguing figures: the elite female botanical collector, Mary Somerset, Duchess of Beaufort; and the Botanic Garden’s second superintendent, Jacob Bobart the younger.

A full description of the project objectives and application process is available in the Further Particulars.

This doctoral training grant is funded through the AHRC’s Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) scheme. Collaboration between a Higher Education Institution and a museum, library, archive, or heritage organisation is the essential feature of these doctoral training grants. The doctoral training grant is fully funded (living stipend and tuition fees) at UKRI rates and is subject to standard AHRC eligibility, rules, and guidance for the research students whom they fund and support. AHRC’s minimum stipend rate and indicative fees rate for 2020/21 are detailed on the UKRI website. This studentship also offers generous research expenses (including support for travel between QMUL and OBGA), specialist training, and access to shared working space at both institutions.

CDP doctoral training grants fund full-time studentships for 45 months (or part-time equivalent). The studentship has the possibility of being extended for an additional 3 months to provide professional development opportunities, or up to 3 months of funding may be used to pay for the costs the student might incur in taking up professional development opportunities. The award holder will be appropriately embedded for a period on this basis within the education team at OBGA, and will be encouraged to explore possible placements with external partners, including the Natural History Museum in London and University of Padua Botanic Garden.

This project will be jointly supervised by Dr Richard Coulton (QMUL) and Professor Simon Hiscock (OBGA). The student will be expected to spend time at both QMUL and OBGA, as well as becoming part of the wider cohort of CDP funded students across the UK.

Candidates with interests in the history of science, garden and landscape studies, material history, exchange networks, and the history of collections will be especially welcome, as will those with relevant historical interests in heritage management and museum studies. Potential candidates are encouraged to contact Dr Richard Coulton (r.x.coulton@qmul.ac.uk) and Professor Simon Hiscock (simon.hiscock@obg.ox.ac.uk) before preparing an application.

The successful candidate will commence their PhD in October 2020. They will hold their doctoral training grant in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen Mary University of London, and will work in partnership with University of Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum.

Application deadline: 5pm on Wednesday 11 March, 2020

Interview date: Friday 3 April, 2020

February English and Drama Newsletter 2020

We are excited to share our English and Drama events and news with you.

Pictured above from left to right:

Dominic Johnson (Drama) gives an interview where he discusses his research which engages with LGBTQIA+ histories and practices. Read it

LGBT poetry night by the English Society for LGBT History Month.

Aida Edemariam one of the new judges for Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2020.

Lois Weaver (Drama) hosts a long table on Queer Spaces & Anti-Capitalist Resistance in Brighton this weekend.

Will Bowers (English) who has a new book published this month. Don’t forget it’s LGBT+ History Month and there’s lots going on at Queen Mary.


See the full programme


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Events

New Queers on the Block
8 Feb, Brighton

Lois Weaver (Drama) will host a Long Table on Queer Spaces & Anti-Capitalist Resistance in Brighton as part of New Queers on the Block Weekender.

Oozing Gloop (Drama graduate) will present The Gloop Show episode 2 on the same day. Karis Shearer Archiving Performance and Feminist Close Listening 12 Feb, QMUL (Graduate Centre GC202 3-5pm) Karis will be speaking about archival work and its hidden aspects, in a discussion informed by the methodology of ‘feminist close listening’. All staff and postgraduate students especially welcome for further information please contact Howard Finn at h.j.finn@qmul.ac.uk.

Drama QUORUM Postgraduate Research Seminar: Louise Owen
12 Feb, QMUL

Louise Owen will give a seminar: Social Relations: Money in Performance.

Dancing for DoVES Charity Event
12 Feb, QMUL

Vote for your favourite SED couple in this dance special organised in aid of Domestic Violence UK including special guest judge Janette Manrara (Strictly Come Dancing).

Register here

English Postgraduate Research Seminar:
Rachel Gregory-Fox

13 Feb, QMUL

Our very own Rachel Gregory-Fox will give a seminar:  Over My Dead Body: Female Dissidence, Corporeal Testimony, and Fatal Agency.

Register here

Capital Forms Reading Group: Labour
13 Feb, QMUL

Our very own Martin Young (Drama) will facilitate a session discussing artistic labour and its wider economic and cultural stakes.

Register here

National Portrait Gallery Visit
15 Feb, QMUL

To prepare for their upcoming life drawing class on 21 February, QMUL Art Society are arranging a museum trip to the National Portrait Gallery.

Register here

LGBT+ Poetry Reading – English Society
27 Feb, QMUL

An event open to all to celebrate LGBT+ History Month. Bring your own poem encouraged.

Register here

News

People

Will Bowers (English) launches his book The Italian Idea Anglo-Italian Radical Literary Culture, 1815–1823.

Shane Boyle (Drama) will give a presentation called The Fossil Economy of Live Art at the Glasgow Theatre Seminar.

Charlote Byrne (English/Comparative Literature) will be launching her Young Adult novel on Tuesday 3 March. Details here

Josh Fraser (English student) reveals all about the English society for Cub magazine. Read the piece


Saramarie Harvie (English student) hosted and curated Show and Tell #11 with a fantastic panel of speakers including: Sumaya Kassim Writer and Researcher (The Museum Will Not Be Decolonised) presenting inspiring intersectional mini talks.

Jen Harvie (Drama) has given a presentation on Genderqueering Time, Ageing and Relationships, with Split Britches at the

British Academy Conference: Narratives of old age and gender.

Kerry Hunt (Drama graduate pictured above in header image) is our student of the month. Read her thoughts

Dominic Johnson (Drama) is quoted in the Times Higher Education around the classroom as a safe space. Read the piece

Nisha Ramayya (Creative Writing)’s book was reviewed in The Guardian. She will be giving readings at The Serpentine Gallery, London on Friday 7 February, in Oxford on 10 Feb and on 20 Feb in Dundee. Nisha also starts a residency at John Hansard Gallery in Southampton with a group exhibition featuring Turner Prize winner Lawrence Abu Hamdan.

Matthew Rubery (English) has co-edited a new book called Further Reading, which is published today.

Lois Weaver (Drama) will host a Long Table on Queer Spaces & Anti-Capitalist Resistance in Brighton.

Announcements

Submissions are now open for the 2020 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize – enter by 1 June.

Save the date – 28 March: ‘Festival Economies: Sustaining Creative Communities of Practice’ will look at the economic impact and value of festivals with panel discussions on Outdoor Arts, Fringe, Carnival, and showcasing findings from our QMUL Centre for the Creative and Cultural Economy‘s mapping of the Durga Puja in West Bengal. Follow Network on Twitter for announcements

Follow us on Twitter for rolling updates  

Four Eye-Opening Careers Events in February 2020

Please note for all links you need to be logged in to Target Connect.

More info here

Routes into Teaching – Tuesday 11th February, 18:00-20:00

Keen to explore a career in teaching but unsure of the route to take? Join us for an exciting panel featuring multiple teaching providers. This event will give you the opportunity to hear from recent graduates, recruitment staff and senior staff who will tell you about their training programs, recruitment processes, the types of opportunities available and what it’s like to work for them. There will be an opportunity for informal networking and Q&A with the representatives.
Confirmed providers include:
Ark Teacher Training
Department of Education – Train to Teach
Burnt Mill Academy Trust
St Mary’s University
Teach First
The Thinking Schools Academy Trust

Book here

Looking for an LGBT+ friendly employer – Wednesday 12th February, 16:00-18:00

Looking for an LGBT+ friendly employer, not sure where to begin? Join us as part of the Students’ Union LGBT+ History Month and ahead of the Pride Careers Fair to find out the key aspects to look for when searching for the right employer to begin your career journey. Hear from a panel who will give invaluable advice and talk about their personal experiences.

Topics will include:

How to identify a supportive employer
How to come out at work and the benefits
How to build a network
What LGBT+ students have to offer

We’ll be hearing from:

Triona Desmond – lesbian co-parent and Senior Chartered Trade Mark Attorney at Pinsent Masons LLP. 
Sal Morton (he/they) – a queer artsperson and senior researcher and content writer for career guide Chambers Student.
Daniel Nasr – diversity & inclusion specialist for the charity and international development sectors, currently leading on Unicef’s inclusion strategy in the U.K.
Dr Lipi Begum– senior fashion and sustainability lecturer and researcher for the University of the Arts London.
Kenneth Pritchard – gay public affairs and strategic communications professional for the Post Office.

Timings for the event will be as follows:
16:00-17:00 Panel conversation
17:00-17:30 Audience Q&A
17:30-18:00 Chit chat

Book here or just turn up on the day

Media Summit – Wednesday 19th February, 17:00-19:00

Interested in the Media sector? Journalism? Publishing? Theatre? Radio? Join us to explore a variety of industries and roles. Learn why these roles are realistic to pursue and how to secure a position in your chosen sector. You will hear from professionals who will talk about their personal experience of the sector and give you top tips along the way! Come prepared with some questions and be ready to do some valuable networking.

Confirmed representatives include (with more to follow!):

Senior Editorial Manager, Penguin Random House

Radio presenter at the BBC
Head of Content for Riviera Maritime Media
Head of Strategy and Planning at Liberty Communications
Theatre Manager at Ambassador Theatre Group

Book here

Why Big Business is Interested in Humanities Students! – Thursday 20th February, 16:00-17:15

PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PwC) is a global professional services firm operating in 157 countries and employing 276,000 staff in 100s of different roles advising businesses on  areas including audit, tax, legal, consultancy, climate change, human resources, risk, deals and many more.  They are really interested in employing graduates studying Humanities and in fact already do employ a number of QM Humanities alumni.

Ashley O’Connell, a recruiter at PwC, is coming to talk about why a global business such as PwC is interested in you, what skills do you have that are valuable to a business like theirs, what kind of opportunities exist, why these are good roles for Humanities students, what they look for in students, what kind of activities they value that you get involved in and how Humanities students can do well in recruitment.

Ashley is flying over from the Channel Islands and will talk about opportunities in both London and the Channel Islands including, graduate jobs, summer internships and insight programmes.  N.B. There are still vacancies for 2020 graduates to start in the Channel Islands this summer.

If you are curious as to what you have to offer a big business operating in any sector, this is a great chance to understand how to market your degree in a way that makes you relevant and to get top tips and insights from a business recruiter.  

Book here

PASS (Peer-Assisted Study Support) in the School of English and Drama

Finding deadlines and time-management overwhelming? Requiring academic support and guidance from undergraduate students? PASS is here to help!

PASS (Peer-Assisted Study Support) is a mentoring scheme which is run by students for students, specifically first-year students who have a keen interest in gaining academic advice from upper-year undergraduate students. PASS is firmly established in 14 departments at Queen Mary, including the English and Drama department. Mentors at PASS offer invaluable and comprehensive help to students, which has proven to benefit students moving onto their final years at university. 

For English PASS, most of the sessions which run on a weekly basis are orientated around upcoming assignments and assisting students with queries related to academia. I think this scheme is a great opportunity for first-year students to consolidate their learning by discussing their queries or interests. 

For more information about PASS feel free to email the links below: 

Samrawit Elias (English PASS student organiser)

s.elias@hss17.qmul.ac.uk

Lydia (PASS Drama Student Organiser)

l.m.d.hallam@hss17.qmul.ac.uk  

Interview: Dominic Johnson – Professor of Performance and Visual Culture at QMUL

Dominic Johnson is a Professor of Performance and Visual Culture in our department of Drama. In his profile below, he discusses his research which engages with LGBTQIA+ histories and practices, his work with living artists and his connection with the Pathology Museum.

How long have you worked at Queen Mary?

I’ve been at Queen Mary as a permanent member of staff since 2006. I worked here for a year before that whilst I was finishing my PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art on the artist Jack Smith, who was a pioneer in queer theatre and performance art in New York in the 60s and 70s.

Could you tell us about your involvement in LGBT+ History month?

My research engages with LGBTQIA+ histories and practices. I’ve been documenting and historicising the relationship between performance and visual culture and sexual practices and sexual identities. I’ve been looking at artists who identify as LGBTQIA+ and whose work is critical to histories of sexuality and sexual practices.  An example of this is working on an artist who uses S&M practices in his work and thinking about the ethics and politics of trafficking a sexual practice into a performance.

I’ve also examined how representations of sexual practices invite contact with the law. For example, in my book, Unlimited Action: The Performance of Extremity in the 1970s, there is a chapter on Genesis P-Orridge who was arrested and convicted for indecency for producing and disseminating collages featuring the Queen and commercially-produced pornography.

Describe your average day/week

I teach the bulk of the week so I am busy with my students. I set up and convene the MA Live Art and I also run postgraduate taught programmes in Drama.

I also do research, which might include working directly with artists for example through studio visits, as well as work in archives and arts organisations. I’m a co-founder of the Sexual Cultures Research Group and we have put on some really exciting events. I’m also on the board of directors of the Live Art Development Agency.

In July I’ll be taking over as Head of Drama, so that will be a big change.

What’s the best thing about your job?

I enjoy working with students, especially the MA students as they really focus in on their aspirations. Teaching works best when it is an active co-creation of knowledge. When a class goes well, you go in and propose something you haven’t fully articulated and through the process of presenting and discussing it, something profound might come about.

I feel really privileged as a researcher as I get to work with and spend time with artists. For example, I recently worked with the artist Skip Arnold in Marseilles. It was really exciting to spend time with an artist who has been making important work for a really long time and to collaborate together: we ended up organising an event together in London at the Live Art Development Agency – I’m also publishing a journal article on his work later this year. I find that exciting, thrilling and joyful. I’ve had similar encounters with a lot of different artists and I get to see performances all around the world: I recently went on research trips to Mexico City, Los Angeles and Tokyo.

What do you see as your role in helping the University achieve its Strategy 2030?

The key strategies in, but also around, the published one have to be about continuing to increase Widening Participation. Universities such as this one need to encourage diversity – especially in terms of race and ability – amongst its staff and students. The other strategy I had a hand in shaping was the Arts and Culture Strategy, which runs until 2022 and is about encouraging wellbeing through the arts, enabling access to the arts, and how it enhances life for all students – and not just those studying courses in the arts and humanities.

What’s your favourite place on any of our campuses?

My favourite place is the Pathology Museum. I’ve done a few events with Carla Valentine, the Assistant Curator, including giving a lecture, and taking students there on a second year drama module to learn about the archives. I’ve been working with the Queen Mary archives to acquire live art collections. We have recently acquired archives for Ian Hinchliffe and Jon John. Jon John’s archive includes huge amounts of blood-covered canvases, piercing instruments, and other surprising materials that remind me of  the specialist artefacts in the Pathology Museum.

If you could tell a prospective student one thing about Queen Mary, what would it be?

It’s in the East End and that is really crucial. It is such a rich and diverse environment. Everything is on our doorstep, especially in terms of performance and live art. You can go to the Whitechapel Gallery down the road and access gems such as Live Art Development Agency in Bethnal Green, Toynbee Studios in Aldgate, and Acme Studios across the Mile End Park.

Do you have any unusual hobbies, pastimes outside of work?

I box at a gym called Blok in Clapton twice a week. I’ve been boxing for a couple of years. I just went to a class one day and totally loved it and I feel like it’s great to do a form of exercise where you are constantly learning – at the same time it clears your mind so intensely of all the things I otherwise have to worry about. It feels deeply primal.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

I published a book in 2015 called The Art of Living which included long interviews with 14 artists or groups. I would invite them because the conversations I had with them were totally thrilling and enjoyable. Three of them have passed away since – each of them were friends – so it would be really nice to talk to them again.

This interview was originally published on our staff website Connected.

Student of the month: Kerry Hunt – BA Drama (Hons)

Always willing to participate

Tell us about your time at QMUL. What have been your highlights?

Study Abroad programme, QMTC, working for the SU and student ambassadoring

How has your course at Queen Mary helped you to progress into the world outside? What’s next?

Grown my confidence, met new people, taken part in programmes which I otherwise wouldn’t have

Aside from course content what have been your favourite elements of the experience of studying here as a whole? (societies/friends/community/values)

Meeting the most amazing international friendship group

Tell us about your life outside Queen Mary including any projects, ambitions or jobs you’ve had.

Producer at Stage 3 Theatre Company, working for the SU and a bar in Aldgate, currently looking for full-time employment

What could be improved to enhance future students’ experience at Queen Mary?

Livelihoods could have included some speakers who didn’t just tell us that we would be unemployed and working for free in the future!

QMUL app | SED Social Media | 3 things to do to boss 2020

We’re so excited to welcome students, staff and friends to the School of English and Drama (SED).

Here’s a quick reminder of some easy ways how to connect with us online and a bonus 3 things to do this weekend:

QMUL APP

QMUL APP

The QMUL app is a good way to access all QMUL systems in one place including timetables, campus maps, email, QMPlus and key information.

Also if you’re looking for a way to read email use the OUTLOOK app (Apple/Android) and your username@qmul.ac.uk to login.

SOCIAL MEDIA

insta

3 THINGS TO START 2020 WITH A BANG!

Constellations
  1. Winter Lights 2020: You have one week left to see a mesmerising free festival of outdoor light art in Canary Wharf – 10 minute bus from QMUL.
  2. See an Oscar nominee for £5 in our People’s Palace Great HallDavid Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck; Lincoln) presents a unique performance for Holocaust Memorial Day.
  3. See a free epic CLIMATE CHANGE art exhibition at Mile End Arts Pavilion: The exhibition will showcase the work of emerging artists and designers alongside protest artefacts, exploring the immediate challenges of the climate crisis and beyond, to the new way of living. Throughout the exhibition there will be a range of associated events, talks and workshops from organisations such as Women’s Environmental Network, Client Earth and Extinction Rebellion as well as from featured artists.

Drama alumna Corinna Bordoli on her new creative babysitting start-up ToddlerTunez & how you can help

We caught up with creative entrepreneur Corinna Bordoli to talk about her new adventures in babysitting with ToddlerTunez after studying Drama at Queen Mary.

Tell us about ToddlerTunez. What’s the idea and how did it come about?

 After graduating in Drama at Queen Mary, I started a Master in Arts and Cultural Management at King’s College. There I met Lea – my co-founder. One of the first things I remember about her is that she told me she had been babysitting on the side during her undergraduate degree in Music. She had created a company to better sell her services as musical babysitter, but at the time it was her alone doing the babysitting. I straight-away related to her as I also did babysitting on the side of my studies, and thinking about it, it had also been creative, mostly focusing on crafts and all families loved it.  After completing my masters, we both went off to careers in arts administration. In December 2018, Lea asked me to join her as a co-founder of ToddlerTunez as she wanted to scale the business and give it a bit of a shake!

At the time, ToddlerTunez was basically musical babysitting to 0-5 year olds. When Lea and I started brainstorming together, we realised that we could do so much more with it! Now ToddlerTunez has a growing pool of sitters and we have recently started our first official marketing campaign. We cater for children from 0 to 15 with three different services – ToddlerTunez still 0 to 5 year olds, RocketTunez for children 6-10 years old, and FineTunerz for 11 to 15 year olds. ToddlerTunez combines two services in one: babysitting with creativity. All sitters help families with the usual babysitting chores – picking children up from school, taking them home, occasionally cooking meals. But they also provide creative sessions during those times, completely tailored to the families’ requirements. We match families with the perfect sitter for them – we also cater for different foreign languages and specific skills. Our sitters are all DBS checked and are professionals in their craft – we have actors, dancers, choreographers, musicians, singers and also puppeteers, mask makers, and more!

What are your favourite things about starting up a business?

All the reasons why I love starting up a business are connected to creativity. I have so many ideas every day. When you set up your own business you can actually follow all your ideas through and spend your time and energy making them happen. I love being able to set my own goals and achieve them following my own values. ToddlerTunez holds sustainability and diversity close to its heart and being the founder of a company gives you the option to operate following those values completely. Another one of my favourite things is the speed of learning.

ToddlerTunez is the first business for both my cofounder and I, and as I have been working as an employee for a while during my journey with ToddlerTunez, I have been realising that what I love most is learning. In a job as an employee, you learn intensively for the first two-three months. As an entrepreneur, you can learn at the same intensity every day. I had to quickly learn about taxes, pitching, marketing and every day it is a challenge and there is something I realise I have to learn. Which makes every day absolutely worth it.

Another one of my favourite aspects of being an entrepreneur is the connections made with people. Seeing people loving your business and being able to create a community around it is my goal. We are a business that is solving two problems in one – that of helping families save time and money by combining two services in one, and that of unemployment of creative professionals. Being able to solve those problems is definitely a reason to get out of bed every morning and work hard.

Who or what inspires you to make the project happen?

As a child, I grew up with au-pairs. The one I remember most and whom I am still friends with now – Barbara – was extremely creative. I still love doing my crafts and singing in my free time and I use creativity in my daily life – being an entrepreneur is the most creative job in my opinion. Exposure to creativity in early years is proven to help development including fine motor skills, speech, social skills etc. It also helps developing problem solving, listening, communication skills, and it gives lots of tools to develop imagination, mindfulness and concentration and to help adults never stop playing. This is what I think is most valuable for everyone and I believe all children should be granted exposure to creativity for those reasons.

With ToddlerTunez, Lea and I really want to help families in the UK, offering a service that is almost self organised as we do all the admin, so that all families can access it easily. A more mindful, creative society full of individuals who collaborate to solve problems is the world I want to see in the future. This inspires me every day to work on ToddlerTunez and I think it can contribute to the present and future happiness of families.

What would be your top tips for students to think about if they want to start a business or project?

First of all,I encourage everyone to dive into any work opportunities that come up – whatever the job is – as it will provide a lot of skills but mostly makes you realise what it is that you really want or don’t want to do. I felt a bit ‘behind’ as coming from Italy, I had never studied drama before, so during university I tried to catch up on work experience. I joined societies, found more or less paid internships, worked for catering companies, worked as a model in the fashion industry, organised events freelance and did my occasional babysitting. That helped me see so much of the world and understand a lot about myself. This helped me find the field that I love – arts administration and operations – and gain experience in it.

After you have found your field, I suggest you to share and challenge your ideas with family, friends and strangers and start testing your ideas out. If you are interested in starting up a business I suggest you to listen to entrepreneurs’ podcasts, meet up with local entrepreneurs from whom you can learn about almost anything. Entrepreneurship is a very high-responsibility activity and can often feel lonely, but it can be lived amazingly when feeling part of a community.

How could students at Queen Mary help?

ToddlerTunez is currently looking for friends who value creativity, diversity, sustainability and love our idea to join our community. We need ambassadors and volunteers to help us spread the word through marketing and help in administration. In exchange, students will gain experience in arts administration and in the startup environment. This is also an occasion to meet friends and to get inspired by other amazing creatives. Every Friday afternoon this January, we are organising meet-ups around London, so let us know if you want to join, and tell your friends!

Get in touch if you know any potential clients, are interested in gaining experience in arts administration, becoming a sitter or knowing more about us! We are also eager to hear about your ideas on key locations, events, communities where we can best spread the word about ToddlerTunez.

To get involved email at info@toddlertunez.com or check out our website at www.toddlertunez.com

Funding Information for PhD study in 2020

Here’s the latest information on applying for funding for a PhD to start in 2020/21.

London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP)

Applicants who wish to be considered for an AHRC-funded studentship must apply directly to the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP). The deadline for applications to LAHP is January 31.. Only home and EU applicants are eligible to apply for AHRC funding.

Candidates who apply to Queen Mary before 19 January 2020 will automatically be entered for the Queen Mary Principal’s Studentships (QMPS). Home, EU and international applicants are eligible for the QMPS scheme.

BAME Studentships for UK/EU candidates

We encourage applicants from BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) groups who have been previously under-represented in this process.

For 2020 entry, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences will be offering two fully funded doctoral studentships (tuition fees and stipend of £17,009 per year, or £8,505 part-time) to UK or EU applicants from a BAME background. Awards are tenable for up to three years. Applications will also be considered from students who are currently in the first year of a full-time PhD programme, or the first two years of a part-time programme.

To be eligible to apply for these studentships you must be UK or EU permanent residents from a BAME background, and eligible to pay home/EU student fees.

Candidates for the BAME studentships must make an additional application to be considered for these awards. This will consist of:

  1. Your ID number from your application to a PhD programme at QMUL
  2. Diversity monitoring information (via a questionnaire)
  3. A short statement of no more than 500 words detailing the challenges you have experienced pursuing your research.

All these elements should be entered or uploaded to an online application tool administered by QMUL’s Doctoral College, by 1700 on 19 January 2020.

What can you do with a Drama degree?

Studying Drama might not seem like the obvious choice to start a sustainable career. But don’t worry the skills you can develop with a Drama degree are priceless and can help you to get into a career you love.

Skills you will develop


1. Creativity: Develop your creative side as you come up with ideas, arguments and projects while you study with us. Useful for: problem-solving, leading projects, researching new topics.

2. Critical Thinking & Writing: Make informed arguments verbally and in writing with skill. Useful for: analysis of text and data in many career areas, writing reports, writing copy for advertising, creating content. Useful for becoming: a lawyer, journalist, entrepreneur.

3. Confidence: Build assertiveness and stand up for what you believe in through the confidence our courses can give you. Useful for: public speaking, acting/performing, presenting ideas in any job.

4. Understanding Social Justice & Cultural History: Theatre and performance doesn’t exist in a vacuum and can be used for activism, education and heath. Useful for: working in care, NGOs, health and education settings such as been a drama teacher.

5. Teamwork & Project Management: Our courses feature collaborative working practices and lots of independent work so you can practice creating your own projects and research ideas with the support of your peers and our tutors. Useful for: creating a theatre company, directing, developing scripts and ideas and managing people.

Careers you can do

Alumni 3 x 3: From left to right (from top left): MEGANDALEX, Dushant Patel, Ema Boswood, Figs in Wigs, Moa Johansson, Raj Ghatak, Red Cape Black Cape, Edie Edmundson and Sh*t Theatre.

Here are 5 stories about what some of our Drama graduates have gone on to do:

1. ARTISTIC DIRECTOR & CEO – Liza Vallance set up and runs Studio 3 Arts which has pioneered 30 years of socially-engaged, co-created art in Barking and Dagenham.

2. THEATRE PRODUCER – Karl Taylor works as an independent producer for top alternative theatre legends including Scottee, Lucy McCormick and many more.

3. TECHNICAL MANAGER – James Dawson works for innovative warehouse performance space The Yard Theatre in Hackney Wick.

4. SOCIAL MEDIA – Anastasia Nicholl works on Brand Partnerships for TikTok.

5. USER EXPERIENCE DESIGNER AND EXPERIENCE STRATEGIST Rochelle Dancel has worked with Diageo (Malts), Disney, The Economist, Emirates Airline, Jack Daniel’s, Kellogg’s, Knight Frank, Kozel, Miller Genuine Draft, McDonald’s, MTV, National Rail, The National Trust, NHS BSA, Volkswagen and more.

Next steps


What can you do with an English degree?

Studying English Literature might not seem like a pathway directly to a career but we can prove otherwise.

The practical and critical skills you learn with an English degree are priceless and you can get into a wider not smaller range of careers if anything.

In our experience our students find it liberating to be able to start in a number of industries using transferable skills you develop during the course.

Nothing is off limits to an English graduate from traditional careers like teaching or law to the latest industries of digital content creation and changing the world through NGOs via social activism.

Skills you will develop


1. Creativity: Develop your creative side as you come up with ideas, arguments and projects while you study with us. Useful for: problem-solving, leading projects, researching new topics.

2. Critical Thinking: Make informed arguments with skill. Useful for becoming: a lawyer, journalist, entrepreneur.

3. Confidence: Build assertiveness and stand up for what you believe in through the confidence our courses can give you. Useful for: public speaking, performing, presenting ideas in any job.

4. Understanding Context: Bring literary and/or performance works to life by understanding them in their historical and contemporary contexts. Useful for: Analysing the context of how people act and work within your chosen career pathway.

5. Reading & Writing: Learn to read and interpret texts in new ways and become an articulate writer. Useful for: analysis of text and data in many career areas, writing reports, writing copy for advertising, creating content.

Careers you can do

Here are 5 stories about what some of our English graduates have gone on to do:

1. PUBLISHING – Sarah Garnham is working in publicity at Ebury Publishing a division of Penguin Random House one of the world’s biggest publishing groups. See her Twitter for what she’s up to.

2. PR – Tierney Cowap used her part-time job while studying her English degree with us to work her way up to become a PR Assistant at Oliver Bonas, a leading UK fashion and gifts retailer. Read her top five tips for starting in the world of PR.

3. LAW & BROADCAST – Raifa Rafiq works for a golden circle law firm and co-created the highly acclaimed Mostly Lit podcast.

4. CULTURAL VENUE MANAGEMENT – Dominic Madden is the CEO of Electric Brixton a hugely successful music and night club venue in South West London.

5. DIGITAL MARKETING – Nell Burnham Digital Marketing Production Officer at Tate.

Next steps


English and Drama – January 2020 Newsletter

Happy New Year from the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London

Please note: Semester 2 starts later this year on Monday 20 January 2020 but services and support will be available until then.

Email sed-information@qmul.ac.uk if you’re studying with us and have a question.

STUDENT OF THE MONTH

Our student (alumna actually) of the month is Nicole Brownfield! Discover her story here.


20 THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2020

We are excited to announce Catherine Silverstone is our new Head of School and Dominic Johnson will be our new Head of Drama from 1 July 2020. We also have lots more new faces and exciting developments, see the full list here or click the button below.


Events

APPLY BEFORE 15 JANUARY FOR UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMMES

We would love to receive an application before the UCAS deadline for our programmes.

LISTINGS

Anticolonial Hong Kong? Reflections on Revolutions of our Times
Wednesday 15 January, Institute of Advanced Study UCL

Pragya Dhital (English – British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow) chairs this urgent debate around protests in Hong Kong:

‘The 2019 Hong Kong protests have reinvigorated the city’s sense of political purpose. They are also part of a larger, global set of protests, including Beirut and Kashmir, which raise significant questions for the contemporary moment. The Hong Kong protests claim to be a ‘revolution for our times’: what does ‘revolution’ look like, and how might these protests offer a clear assessment of ‘our times’? How do the Hong Kong protests demand that we revisit the twentieth-century vocabulary of anti-imperialism — decolonisation, liberation, anticolonialism, revolution — for a twenty-first-century world? What types of revolutionary thinking is required for ‘our times’, and what role do the 2019 protests play in revising anti-imperial critique?’Book tickets

Pictland
21-22 January, Katzpace

Alumni Joseph Winer and Eilis Price are putting on their play Pictland, a political comedy which deconstructs democracy at Katzpace in January. The cast includes Alice Hope Wilson (English & Drama grad), Huw Landauer (Drama grad), Andrew Atha (Drama second year), Shavariya Padayachee (Law final year), with Caelan Oram as technical designer (Drama second year) and Roma Radford on Stage Management (History grad).

Book tickets

The Ritual Turn from Tarot to Tantra
Thursday 23 January, Tate Modern

Join our very own Nisha Ramayya (Creative Writing), Candida Powell-Williams and Sarah Shin to explore ritual practices What is driving the ritual turn in today’s poetry and art? From tarot, spells and tantra – and their relationships to today. With readings and images, the speakers will consider how mystical ideas find form in poetry and sculpture. Using the Ignota Diary, the speakers will discuss how to become more creative and focused in 2020. Nisha and Candida are contributors to the Ignota Diary 2020. The diary is a tool for everyday life, with seasonal rituals, tarot spreads and astrology charts.

Book tickets

Jay Parini Public Lecture, ‘Writing the Biographical Novel’
Thursday 23 January, Queen Mary University of London

Public lecture by acclaimed American writer Jay Parini A prize-winning novelist, biographer, poet, and critic, Jay Parini’s biographical novel about Walter Benjamin, Benjamin’s Crossing, was a New York Times Notable Book in 1997. He has written biographies of John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, Gore Vidal, and Robert Frost (which won the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize in 2000). His celebrated novel about Tolstoy’s final days, The Last Station, was adapted into a film starring Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, and James McAvoy. In 2020 Parini is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow in QMUL’s School of English and Drama; he is D. E. Axinn Professor of English and Creative Writing at Middlebury College in Vermont.

Book tickets

Holocaust Memorial Day in the People’s Palace:
A Special Preview Performance:
‘Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski’

Monday 27 January, Queen Mary University of London

Queen Mary University London is proud to be hosting the UK premiere of a virtuoso performance by the Oscar-nominated actor David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck; Lincoln) in collaboration with the international charity Human Rights Watch and prestigious US-global Georgetown University.

This timely work brings to life the legacy of Jan Karski, a Polish Catholic World War II hero, Holocaust witness, and late beloved professor at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. Together, we will explore the enduring lessons of Karski’s extraordinary life — especially his belief in humanity, even in the darkest times.

The evening includes a panel discussion and live Q&A with the Director, Actor, politician and human rights expert Baroness Arminka Helic, and Queen Mary’s Penny Green, Professor of Law and specialist in the study of genocide and state crime.

Book exclusive £5 tickets


News


Markman Ellis (English)
talks with Melvyn Bragg on the BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time about the cultural history of coffee.

Listen now


Patrick Flanery (English)
‘s new book Night for Day is reviewed in Times Literary Supplement here:

‘For those who look to the 50s as a time of American greatness, Flanery’s novel stands as a forceful corrective.’.

Suzi Lewis (Admin Team)
organised a successful reverse advent calendar collecting food for Bow Food Bank at a vital time just before Christmas.


Aoife Monks (Drama)
has made the book Costume at the National Theatre, which explores what goes into designing and creating the unique costumes seen in National Theatre productions. to accompany the free exhibition now on at the National Theatre on the South Bank.


Network (QMUL research centre)
is currently collaborating with the Indian Institute of Technology on a project: Mapping the Economic Worth of the Creative Industries in West Bengal.


Winter Graduation Congratulations to all of our students who graduated on Monday 16 December 2019. Remember that alumni can use the careers service for 2 years after you graduate. Our English and Drama careers consultant Laura Skedgell is available for appointments in 2020.


Whilst we try our hardest to make sure listings are accurate we recommend contacting the event organiser or registering before attending as mistakes can be made and we apologise for these.

Student of the month: Nicole Brownfield – BA (Hons) English (Alumna)

I am an ambitious, positive and proactive individual constantly on the move, seeking out my next challenge.

Tell us about your time at QMUL. What have been your highlights?

Becoming Editor in Chief of CUB Magazine, meeting new people that I would never have encountered had it not been for university and broadening my mind by studying modules that have changed my outlook on life completely such as all of the postcolonial based modules. Also completing my dissertation and seeing how my initial idea blossomed and having it published as an official document to be circulated in academic circles.

How has your course at Queen Mary helped you to progress into the world outside? What’s next?

It has given me a first class degree which will make me stand out to employers. I am actively looking to pursue a job in journalism or editorial industries.

Aside from course content what have been your favourite elements of the experience of studying here as a whole? (societies/friends/community/values)

The diverse and inclusive community at QM which welcomes everyone and also caters/puts on events for everyone. Also being affiliated with and working closely with QMSU as Editor in Chief of CUB.

Tell us about your life outside Queen Mary including any projects, ambitions or jobs you’ve had.

I had an internship writing for the UK branch of an American magazine called SOCIETY19 last summer writing mainly for the sex and relationships section. I have just started a two month placement as an Editorial Administrator for an educational company called SAM Labs. My goal is to find a permanent job doing the editorial work I love.

What could be improved to enhance future students’ experience at Queen Mary?

To really advertise the social side of the university and also the support side, especially for mental health.

20 things to look forward to in 2020

Here’s 20 things (in no particular order) that are happening in 2020 in the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London

  1. Aoife Monks (Drama) becomes the Arts and Culture Lead for QMUL in 2020.
  2. Caoimhe McAvinchey (Drama) has been awarded AHRC grant funding to work on a project around Clean Break.
  3. Our new Head of School is Catherine Silverstone (Drama).
  4. QMUL English graduate and contributor to our Poetry module, Caleb Femi will publish his new book Poor in July 2020.
  5. The New English Programme Launches – Discover the new programme involves in this PDF.
  6. We welcome Dominic Johnson (Drama) as our new Head of Drama from July 2020.
  7. New Suite of MA Courses including MA English Literature: Modern and Contemporary and MA English Literature: Literature and Culture 1700-1900 .
  8. New module London Global runs for the first time in 2020.
  9. Drama in Education module is launched and led by Maggie Inchley working with schools.
  10. Joel Grossman (English) will be hosting a widening participation event aimed at young BAME+ men.
  11. Sarah Bartley joins the Drama Department.
  12. Swati Arora also joins the Drama Department.
  13. Patrick Flanery‘s The Ginger Child: On Family, Loss and Adoption is released on paperback on 6 February 2020.
  14. Show and Tell podcast platform continues on 5 February 2020.
  15. Careers events include an LGBT+ event (12 Feb), a Media Summit (19 Feb) and an event on Law Careers for non-Law students (13 Mar TBC).
  16. Jaclyn Rajsic is the co-organiser of Brut in New Troy, which takes place from 26-29 June.
  17. We will be at English Shared Futures conference from 26-28 June 2020.
  18. Nadia Valman (English) continues her Leverhulme Research fellowship to produce the first literary history of east London – the site where key national questions such as social mobility, immigration, and urban regeneration are repeatedly contested.
  19. We are launching our Higher Education Achievement Record Awards for Arts intern and Student publication to give students extra activities on their degree record.
  20. We welcome Eoin Bentick to our English department in January 2020.

Did we miss anything? Leave a comment below with your suggestions…

Student of the month: Rebecca Barton – BA (Hons) Drama

Meet our Student of the Month! Rebecca tells us about her time at SED so far

Irish lady moves to London and now, does not sound so Irish anymore.

Tell us about your time at QMUL. What have been your highlights?

By far, my time at QM has been made incredible by the people. I know that I have met people here who will be my friends for the rest of my life. And that’s something you always hear will happen at university and hope it’s true! I’m very glad it became true for me. And it’s not just the people themselves, it’s the way they inspire me as well. The art that is being made here, particularly in the sense of theatre, is something I have never been exposed to before.

How has your course at Queen Mary helped you to progress into the world outside? What’s next?

My course has helped me in a lot of ways. Before coming here, I definitely saw myself as a strict theatre maker but I know now that’s not the case! Performance art is a whole new kind of theatre in itself that I have been exposed to through the Drama degree at Queen Mary and a kind of theatre that I find so compelling and thought provoking!

Aside from course content what have been your favourite elements of the experience of studying here as a whole? (societies/friends/community/values)

Definitely the Queen Mary Theatre Company. QMTC has been the highlight of my whole first year. I’ve been involved in it since the first festival in September and basically haven’t slowed down since then! The theatre being made in QMTC and the standard of student written work being produced there is just astounding. And the welcomeness and friendships I have made inside of QMTC are going to stick with me for life.

Tell us about your life outside Queen Mary including any projects, ambitions or jobs you’ve had.

Well, I’ve been involved in a bit of theatre outside QM. I performed in ACT 2, which is the new title for the London Student Drama Festival. That was incredible, because I got to do some great work with theatre people outside of QM. Expand my horizons, shall we say. I also worked with a fantastic company called SHITE Productions, which was making a play in a day. And I am working as FOH staff for Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds The Immersive Theatre Experience, also getting to be a standby for some of the acting roles. That opportunity has been an incredible one for me. There are so many opportunities for experiences in theatre outside QM – you just have go look!

What could be improved to enhance future students’ experience at Queen Mary?

I think less of a segregation between arts and sciences.