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.

English and Drama Newsletter – December 2019

December is here and we’re looking back to some great events this year including the recent Southall Black Sisters’ Turning the Page event celebrating 40 years of Struggle Not Submission and Show and Tell came back with a bang with speakers incluing Nafisa Bakkar (Amaliah), Neil Connolly (The Crystal Maze) and trans activist Kimberley Tatum giving students, alumni and staff priceless advice for their future.

We also got some really valuable feedback from our current students at our Pizza and Pop #2 event in our RR3.

STUDENT OF THE MONTH

Our next Student of the month will be announced soon on our Instagram.

Follow us to see if it might be someone you know!

APPLY BEFORE 15 JANUARY FOR UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMMES

We are excited to have our first offer holders and would love to receive an application before the UCAS deadline for our programmes.

We can’t wait to see you in 2020 and hear your news.

We hope you have a wonderful winter holiday!

Follow us on Instagram

Events

FEATURED – BETWEEN THE LINES

BETWEEN THE LINES: Voices from East London to Kashmir
Monday 9 December 2019, 6pm, ArtsOne Lecture Theatre  – QMUL

You are invited to a sharing of work by just some of the young people who have been participating in the Between the Lines creative writing for stage and screen workshops on Monday nights at QMUL as part of our  outreach work. The event will be at 6pm on Monday 9 December.

There will also be a screening of films about young people writing and making art ‘between the lines’ in Indian occupied Kashmir, with guest speakers from Kashmir. 
m.adebayo@qmul.ac.uk

LISTINGS

BAME Festival
Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 December, Pinter Studio, QMUL

The all-new BAME Festival returns to QMTC for the second year in a row, showcasing the best work from young BAME playwrights and directors in the university.

This year features two new shows, Flat Wars and Electric Avenue, playing on both evenings – one a light-hearted dark comedy about flatmates, and the other re-telling real events of 1981 Brixton.

Prices and details

Solitudes: Past and Present Seminar – Andrea Brady

Tuesday 10 December, 3.20 in ArtsTwo – QMUL – Mile EndOur very own Andrea Brady will present a seminar called ‘Hours of Lead: Poetry and Solitude in the Contemporary American Control Prison’.

Stages: Curating, Performing, Publishing, Reading
Wednesday 11 December 2019, Pinter Studio QMUL
‘Dear person reading this,
You are cordially invited to … *drums for dramatic effect*… ‘The Party’! There will be fun, there will be games, there will be inequality! Umm we mean, grab your party hats, get in that festive spirit and come along to a scratch performance of Stages Project’s new interactive piece! When – the 11th of December at 19:00. Where – The Pinter Studio, ArtsOne building, QMUL.
See you there!
***
By asking Who is the Stage For? People’s Palace Projects brings artists from diverse backgrounds into communities to create socially engaged theatre events, using performance to bring multiple voices together to define issues and find solutions. To learn more about this project, log on to www.peoplespalaceprojects.org.uk/en/projects/stages/. ‘

Winter Musical: RENT

Friday 13 and Saturday 14 December, Pinter Studio – QMUL – Mile End
This rock opera tells the story of one year in the life of a group of bohemians struggling in modern day East Village New York. dealing with love, loss, AIDS, and modern day life in one truly powerful story. QMTC’s first full-length musical starring our amazing musical theatre performers, this show will leave you happy, crying and singing the lyrics for weeks to come.

Prices and details

Creative Writing Masterclass: Children’s Fiction

Saturday 14 December, British Library
Ellen Wiles is teaching a creative writing masterclass to explore how your favourite child characters in fiction were created and experiment with writing fiction of your own. Whether you’re a budding author of children’s stories, writing adult fiction featuring child characters, or simply seeking some understanding of how novels are made, this course provides a supportive and creative environment to explore and develop your creative ideas.  Tell us about your event

News

Alumni profiles are now live thanks to our amazing alumni team at Queen Mary University of London including our very own English alumna Nicole Brownfield. See profiles on Miniver Theatre Company, Shola Lee and the rest here.

Mojisola Adebayo (Drama) is launching her new book Mojisola Adebayo: Plays Two on 11 December. Email m.adebayo@qmul.ac.uk to RSVP.


Nadia Atia
(English) has been in conversation with author Saleem Haddad to a packed house as part of the Sexual Cultures Research Group seminar series at QMUL.

Hari Marini (Drama/Admin team) will be participating in Performance Poetry in the 21st-Century: Innovative Social Movements in Spain on 13 December reading from our collection 28 Paths of Her.

Susheila Nasta (English) was interviewed on BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking about William Darymple’s new book on the East India company, Romesh Gunesekera’s new novel and her work on Asian Britain and Wasafiri’s 35th birthday publication Brave New Words.

Listen here

James Vigus (English is giving a paper ‘Wilhelm Benecke (1776-1837): Theologian and Friend of Henry Crabb Robinson’, at the conference The Intercultural Zeitgeist in London, 1780-1832, School of Advanced Study (Senate House) on Wednesday 11 December.

Follow us on Twitter for news

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.

Discover The Sacred Cave of Kamukuwaká with our very own Thiago Jesus from People’s Palace Projects

We caught up with Thiago Jesus to talk about a new project discovering the Sacred Cave of Kamulkuwaká as part of an ongoing project with the Xingu tribe.

Background info: In September 2018, as part of PPP’s The Challenge of the Xingu project, an expedition to the sacred cave of Kamukuwaká organised with members of the Wauja community, specialists from Factum Foundation and an independent team of Brazilian anthropologists, found its ancient petroglyphs had been systematically destroyed (https://peoplespalaceprojects.org.uk/en/kamukuwaka/). Chisel marks, a chipped surface and scattered fragments on the ground were all that was left.

The sacred cave of Kamukuwaká, an archaeological site sacred to the Wauja and to the 15 other communities living in the Xingu Indigenous Territory (Brazilian Amazon), was listed as a heritage site in 2010 by IPHAN (Brazil’s National Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage). The destruction is likely to be a result of the ongoing tensions between indigenous and farming communities in the state of Mato Grosso.

Digitalisation and rematerialisation: In defiance of this tragedy, Factum Foundation’s team (http://www.factumfoundation.org/), employed high-resolution photogrammetry and LiDAR scanning to record the cave. Then, using cutting-edge 3D printing technologies and with reference to previous photographic documentation as well as the collective memory of the Wauja, a forensically accurate digital restoration of the rock carvings was carried out, resulting in a 1:1 facsimile of the entrance to the cave with all the petroglyphs, measuring 8x4x4m (http://www.factumfoundation.org/pag/1289/The-Sacred-Cave-of-Kamukuwak%C3%83)

The event: On the 18-19 October 2019, one year after the vandalism was discovered, Factum hosted a two-day event in their Madrid’s workshop to inaugurate the facsimile of the restored cave. It was unveiled by a leader of the Wauja community, Akari Waurá, oral historian and song carrier, and his son Yanamakakuma Waurá, alongside Takumã Kuikuro, filmmaker from the Kuikuro people, and Shirley Djukuma Krenak, leader of the Krenak people.

During the event, they explained the importance of the cave and its meaning for the preservation of indigenous cultures, and discussed ways in which the facsimile of the cave can best serve the indigenous communities in Brazil. The two-day event was co-produced in partnership with People’s Palace Projects and funded by Factum Foundation, Queen Mary University of London and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Publication: to mark the event, Factum has self-published the book The Sacred Cave of Kamukuwaká: the preservation of indigenous cultures in Brazil, which can be download here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/wndu82dpxjcnqlx/Kamukuwaka%20book_web.pdf?dl=0

Our very own Michèle Barrett works with David Lammy on Unremembered – Britain’s Forgotten War Heroes on Channel 4 on Sunday 10 November for Remembrance Day

Our very own Professor Michèle Barrett is the historical consultant on pioneering new documentary by David Lammy; to Unremembered – Britain’s Forgotten War Heroes.

Trailer

About the show

Politician David Lammy MP will learn about the Black African soldiers who gave their lives for Britain during the First World War.

To mark Remembrance Day 2019, Lammy will travel to Africa and see the mass burial sites for the untold heroes.

The hard-hitting documentary will also question the war graves commission for their decision to not individually memorialise countless Black African soldiers and porters.

Seeing the mass burials first-hand, Lammy considers the measures needed to be taken to give these soldiers the same dignity as the soldiers who were given gravestones regardless of background, rank or creed.

Call for Papers: Politics and Desire in a Decadent Age: 1860 to the Present

Politics and Desire in a Decadent Age: 1860 to the Present — a one-day symposium — Call for Proposals

Hosted by the Department of English and the Sexual Cultures Research Group

Queen Mary University of London

Friday 15 May 2020

Keynote Speaker: Dennis Denisoff (McFarlin Chair of English, University of Tulsa,

author of Aestheticism and Sexual Parody and Sexual Visuality from Literature to Film)

The symposium committee invites papers from a diverse range of disciplinary backgrounds, including literature, sexuality and gender studies, history, visual art, film, and environmental studies, that interpret any aspect of the symposium theme of ‘Politics and Desire in a Decadent Age’.

Topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • Urban sexual communities or conflicts
  • The sexual imagination and colonial decadence
  • Sexual identity in mass consumerism
  • Desires and the environmental humanities
  • Trans politics
  • Feminist fantasies
  • Desires and the decadent movement
  • Science and medicine of decadence
  • Gendered and erotic ecologies
  • ·ultural rot
  • Intersections of race, indigeneity, and gender
  • Ignored, invisible, and secreted desires
  • Decadent occultures

Proposals of up to 250 words for 15-minutes papers (along with a 100-word biographical note) should be submitted by 1 February 2020 to Catherine Maxwell: c.h.maxwell@qmul.ac.uk.  

English and Drama Newsletter – November 2019

November is here and is packed with unmissable events including: Wasafiri’s 35th birthday events including:

Read on for more top events and news from English and Drama at QMUL.

STUDENT OF THE MONTH

Meet our student of the month Aishah Nekiwala (pictured above centre) who graduated this yearfrom BA English. Read Aishah’s story

Events

FEATURED – EVENTS AT DR JOHNSON’S HOUSE

Our very own Jerry Brotton (English Professor) has advised on London’s Theatre of the East a new exhibition by Dr Johnson’s House and The Arab British Centre. The accompanying events programme includes: London’s Theatre of The East: Artists in Conversation Thursday 14 November 7pm featuring our very own Jerry Brotton.Irene at Dr Johnson’s House: Thursday 21 November 7pm  featuring Pen Woods and our very own Drama students.

Read more about the events here

LISTINGS

Mojisola Adebayo presents STARS: A concept album for the stage
Thursday 7 November 2019, Homotopia – Liverpool

Told through one woman and a live DJ, with projected animation, STARS tells the story of a very… very old lady who goes into outer space… in search of her own orgasm. Isn’t that where all the orgasms go?A moving, sensitive yet funny, multi-sensory and transformative space odyssey to be made aesthetically accessible for all.

Also in the Homotopia Festival Split Britches: Retro(Per)Spective (with our very own Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw) on 9 November and The Gloop Show by our graduate Oozing Gloop on Friday 8 November.

Reimagining Britain: Curating, Performing, Publishing, Reading
Friday 8 November 2019, QMUL
This one-day symposium will host a series of discussions about the current climate for artistic and cultural production in Britain. The four thematic strands are on English literature (in particular school and university curricula design), publishing, curating and performing.

An Island Full of Voices: Writing Britain Now – Wasafiri
Saturday 9 November 2019, British Library
Celebrate 35 years of Wasafiri the magazine of international contemporary writing with a day at British Library featuring writers including Bernadine Evaristo (2019 Booker Prize Winner) and Nikesh Shukla (The Good Immigrant editor and QMUL graduate).   

The Sexual Cultures Research Group at QMUL: Saleem Haddad
Tuesday 12 November 2019, ArtsTwo 3.20, QMUL

Saleem Haddad’s first novel, Guapa, published in 2016, was awarded a Stonewall Honour and won the 2017 Polari First Book Prize. His short stories have been published in a number of anthologies, including most recently in the Palestinian science fiction anthology “Palestine +100”. Haddad was also selected as one of the top 100 Global Thinkers of 2016 by Foreign Policy Magazine. His directorial debut, Marco, premiered in March 2019 and was nominated for the Iris Prize for Best British Short. He is currently based in Lisbon.Saleem will be in conversation with Nadia Atia (QMUL).

Stephanie Newell – Postcolonial Seminar with English PGRS – Public Lecture
Thursday 14 November 2019, 6-8pm, ArtsOne Lecture Theatre, QMUL

Stephanie Newell will present a public lecture called:’ ‘Dirty’ Films in Colonial West Africa: Audience Responses to Health Propaganda Movies, 1930s-1950s’.

East Side Story – Part of A Season of Bangla Drama
Saturday 16 November 2019, The Great Hall, QMUL

East meets west in this high octane dance-off with two titans from the dance world, IMD and Bolly Flex. This show fuses hip hop and Bollywood in four acts, The Greatest Bollywood Showman, The Real Avengers of the UK, The History of Hip Hop and Romeo and Juliet Remixed!

See the full Season of Bangla Drama Programme

SHATTERING THE GLASS CEILING
Wednesday 20 November, Grand Hall, Battersea Arts Centre

Exclusive tickets for QMUL students and friends, email: rsvp@bac.org.uk

We are Queens. And we don’t need you to crown us.’ Getting to the roots of intersections of race, class and gender and how they impact careers, for womxn in the media and creative industries. 

The Guardian, Queen Mary University of London, Battersea Arts Centre and Omnibus Theatre unite to bring the themes around race and exclusion brought to light in Nouveau Riché’s Queens of Sheba, into the world of work.From racism towards BAME+ people to the lack of role models in many high-profile industries, this debut collaboration aims to open up discussion around the issues and give you insight into the organisations who desperately need a more diverse workforce.

Show and Tell #10
Wednesday 27 November, 6-8pm, QMUL

Booking just opened!

The 10th edition includes some top guest speakers giving inspiring mini talks. Line up includes Neil Connolly (The Crystal Maze Experience), Nafisa Bakkar (Amaliah), Mzz Kimberley (Trans activist), Elliott Ajai-Ajagbe Daley (QMUL alumnus) and Moj Taylor (Comedian). Open to all.

Book your free ticket

Southall Black Sisters: Turning the Page
Saturday 30 November, QMUL

A literary conversation between two groups of BAME women – published writers responding creatively to the stories of the SBS support group.

English Postgraduate Research Seminar
14 and 28 November, QMUL

Join us for the next English Postgraduate research events from Stephanie Newell and Clare Barker.

Follow @QMEnglishPGRS on Twitter for booking links

BOOK AHEAD – DRAMA GRADUATE PERFORMANCES

Email us your event

News

Mojisola Adebayo (Drama lecturer) has been awarded a 33 month Fellowship at Potsdam University for ‘White Climate: Afriquia Theatre Literatures and Agri/cultural Practices’.

Shane Boyle (Drama lecturer) will present an event to celebrate Postdramatic Theatre and Form at the 20th anniversary symposium for Hans-Thies Lehmann’s Postdramatic Theatre. This symposium is called “Postdramatic Theatre Worldwide” on 22-23 November in Berlin at Akademie der Künste.Shane is also speaking at UC Berkeley at the conference “After Post-Marxism” on 13 December.

Bridget Escolme (Drama Professor) gave a talk ahead of the production of Funeral – The Tragedy of Hamlet in the Faroe Islands.

Figs in Wigs’ Rachel Porter (Drama graduate) has written a piece for Exeunt magazine called The Ickiness of Marketing Your Art ahead of their show Little Wimmin at Pleasance Theatre.

Maggie Inchley (Drama)and Dr Sylvan Baker will lead The Verbatim Formula team working with its young people co-researchers to share young people’s experiences with MSPs in the Scottish Parliament.

Follow the project on Twitter @VerbatimFormula

Aoife Monks (Drama)has curated a free exhibition called Costume at the National Theatre, which is now open until 27 June 2020. She will be hosting The Secret Lives of Costume: A Multi-Sensory Walk as part of Being Human Festival on 23 November.

Bill Schwarz (English Professor) has written a piece for Soundings on ‘Humbug!’: Boris Johnson, Brexit and English populism.

Catherine Silverstone (Drama Reader) will speak at “Protest: Remembering Derek Jarman”, a seminar at IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art), which coincides with the opening of the exhibition, Derek Jarman. The exhibition is a major retrospective of the work of acclaimed British artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman (1942-1994), marking 25 years since his death. This is the first time that the diverse strands of his practice will be brought together in over 20 years.

Barbara Taylor (English and History Professor) appeared at Mental Health and the Georgian World: The ‘Madness’ of George III on 5 November.
Lois Weaver (Drama Professor) has received a Centre for Public Engagement large grant for ‘Embodied Imagination: An Interactive Workshop for Stroke Survivors’. The project is a collaboration with Prof. Pat Healy (EECS) and Rosella Galindo (EECS) and together they will develop a series of interactive workshops for Stroke Support groups around England in partnership with the Stroke Association.  Follow us on InstagramWhilst 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.

If you have any news or events for next month please reply to this email.

Student of the month: Aishah Ahmed Nekiwala – BA (Hons) English

We caught up with Aishah to discuss her time at Queen Mary studying English. And here’s what she thought…

I will always stay strong even when I am on the verge of giving up. I live by what Shakespeare once said: ‘The worlds mine oyster, which I with sword will open.’.

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

QMUL has been one rollercoaster ride.. and I literally mean a ROLLERCOASTER but definitely with more ups than downs! Despite extenuating circumstances, there were so many systems in place at the university which were so supportive and helpful. The English course at QMUL is so versatile. Whenever people ask me what I study and I respond with ‘English’ they all think its books and poetry. But the course at QM has taught me much more than this. I have learnt about Renaissance Literature and therefore the history of Seventeenth and Eighteenth century, I have studied some of the major philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle and Marx and I have even been given the opportunity to write my own short story receiving feedback from a professional author. Thus, the course expands beyond the field of literature into many other disciplines within the humanities and even beyond. The highlights of my degree has definitely got to be the creative projects I have carried out.

From visiting the Globe Theatre in Year one where we were given a tour from some of the greatest actors to organising my own field trip in Year two across London and thereafter producing my own walking journal. I was also given the chance to visit the famous home of Samuel Coleridge where I learnt so much about the challenges professional writers have faced in the past and finally, I was given the opportunity to study entire modules on renowned individuals such as Virginia Woolf and Michel Foucault. I cannot forget to mention, one of the biggest highlights which was conducting and writing my own research project (dissertation) where we had the opportunity to write 10,000 words on something within the field of English which we felt passionate about. There are so many positive memories which I will take away from my time at QM each and every one which would not have been possible without the support of the amazing seminar leaders, lecturers and the staff in the School of English and Drama.

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

Studying BA English at QM has enabled me to develop several skills such as communication skills from participating in discussions and working in group projects, understanding concepts and theories by studying modules such as Reading Theory and Interpretation, Architexts, Critical Aesthetics and Ancient Myth Modern Theory and independent working when writing assignments and producing my final research project. These skills I learnt I have been able to transfer to the outside world such as during my interview at Buckingham Palace and universities such as Kings College London both which I was successful at. I will now hopefully be studying for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (English) at Kings College London in September 2019. Although, I will truly miss my time at QM I will definitely remain a part of its alumni.

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

One of the best things about QM was that students always had the opportunity to have their say and the university was so responsive to these suggestions.

Throughout the three years I have seen so many changes all because the university would always respond to the suggestions students would give. From having a library which extended its hours to 24/7 and offered laptop loans to students to the installation of equipment like microwaves across campus. The university was always willing to listen and implement student feedback actively. I also enjoyed the several organisations that the university opened its doors to throughout the years from having PWC in the Library Square to organisations such as Teach First, we were always given the opportunity to mix with leading employers and organisations.

I still remember when Bill Gates was coming to Campus and the tickets sold out in less than 5 minutes. It was absolutely crazy and the environment at campus was bizarre! Last but not the least, another thing which is so great about QM is that the university is so diverse. I have made such amazing and sincere friends during my time at the university which I will definitely be keeping in touch with. The university also celebrated so many events and even raised money for so many charities and organisations. I have actively been part of the ISOC events which have welcomed so many scholars and held so many events that have given me a break during the assignment deadlines. At QM we commemorated the lives which were lost during the Christchurch Shootings and also raised money for Community Sport by running for fun. QMUL has always been so supportive and open to all faiths and communities.

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

Outside of QM I have been busy trying to set up my own organisation to help those experiencing mental health issues. Again, QM has been helpful in that they have offered grants to help oversee students business proposals and help them set these up. During my spare time I have set up my own poetry collection whilst also setting aside some time to take part in charity projects and volunteering such as for my local community centre.

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

Wholeheartedly and honestly, I cannot think of any major improvements the university needs to make to enhance students experience. Perhaps more one to one support with personal advisors would be useful to see how students are getting along throughout the year and if further support is needed. Furthermore, one thing I would definitely like to see in the future is the university offering a greater range of postgraduate programmes so that students like myself can return to the university to complete their further studies!

This November discover the secret life of costume at the National Theatre with Aoife Monks as part of Being Human Festival

We’re excited to share news of a new multi-sensory walk at the National Theatre devised by our very own Aoife Monks.

About the event

Come along to ‘The Secret Lives of Costume’ and discover the profound ways in which clothing shapes the experience of our bodies and the world. This sensory walk backstage at the National Theatre invites audiences to pay attention to the senses we can use to engage with theatre costume, to the smell of sweat, the sensation of a corset, the weight and sound of armour or the taste of thread. Visitors are also invited to consider the meanings of theatre costume for the people who work with it. Building on recent scholarship on the histories of backstage work, this event draws on research by Dr Aoife Monks to investigate the multi-sensory aspects of costume work. The event draws attention to the people who construct, repair and wear costumes for a living at the National Theatre.

This walk will be repeated on Saturday 23 November between 15:00 and 16:15.

Due to the nature of this event if you have any questions about accessibility we recommend getting in touch directly with the organiser.