#SEDdigest – Events and Opportunities Digest – Wednesday 28 February 2018

Here’s our digest cinco of events and opportunities in and outside the School.

Please do get in touch if you have any listings for our next edition.


Book ahead

MA Live Art Launch | Monday 26 March 2018 | 7pm | Free

An exciting and unprecedented new MA Live Art will begin in September 2018*, convened by the Drama Department at Queen Mary University, London in collaboration with the Live Art Development Agency (LADA).

MA Live Art is a specialised postgraduate course dedicated to the research, practice, and programming of Live Art and will be led by research leaders, industry professionals and leading artists. Graduates will gain theoretical and practical grounding in histories and practices of Live Art, while developing professional capacities and networks.

Please join us for an event to mark the launch of this MA. The evening will offer a flavour of the kinds of practices, ideas, approaches and issues the MA will engage with and is aimed at those who might consider applying to the course themselves as well as those who could encourage their students, colleagues and collaborators to do so.

The evening will feature a series of dialogues with Dominic Johnson (QMUL) and Lois Keidan (LADA) on the teaching and study of Live Art; Dickie Beau (artist and QMUL Artist Fellow) and Julia Bardsley (artist and QMUL lecturer) on practice as research and research as practice; and the artists Anne Bean and Ansuman Biswas on making, collaborating and surviving.

Register online


The week ahead

English PGR Seminar: Dr. Iman Sheeha (University of Warwick) | Thursday 1 March 2018 | 5pm | Lock-keeper’s Cottage, QMUL Mile End

‘The Lamentable And Trve Tragedie of M[aster] Arden of Feversham in Kent:’

When Masters Became Tragic Heroes

Dr. Iman Sheeha (University of Warwick)

What is Domestic Tragedy? Can tragedy be domestic? Can gentlemen and women, rather than kings and queens be tragic heroes?

Why does it matter?

The lecture is relevant for both English and Drama departments.


Twitter: @QMEnglishPGRS

PGRS Blog: https://queenmaryenglish.wordpress.com


Inaugural Lecture: Professor Joad Raymond ‘News from the End of Europe’ | Thursday 1 March 2018 | 6.30pm | Skeel Lecture Theatre, QMUL Mile End Campus | Free

‘News from the End of Europe’

Between 1450 and 1750 Europe developed a complex system of news communication. This lecture explains the growth and nature of that culture of news, practical and imaginative responses to it, the geographical patterns of news exchange. I suggest how this news culture might be thought of as a network, and why that might be valuable to us in our fake news days. Finally I reflect upon the shape of that network, and what it might mean to be on the periphery of the early-modern European news network.

About Professor Joad Raymond, Professor of Renaissance Studies, Queen Mary University of London.

Joad Raymond was born and schooled in Cardiff, then studied at UEA and Magdalen College, Oxford before teaching at Oxford, Aberdeen, and UEA, moving to Queen Mary University of London in 2012. He is the author and editor of 13 books, mainly on the history of newspapers, political pamphleteering, Milton, and angels. He has just completed an edition of Milton’s Latin defences for OUP, and is writing a book on the history of news communication for Penguin.

Book now


Kayla MacQuarrie: Traumatised | Sunday 4 March 2018 | 7.30pm | The Brewery, Romford | £5

Join English graduate Kayla MacQuarrie for her show Traumatised. She’ll tell lots of jokes about it though so stick with her and it’ll be ok. She’ll cover getting hate crimed, breaking down and growing up in Essex (the thing she’s still the most bitter about) all in a friendly, confessional style.

Come see the ex-weird kid turned obnoxious trans hedonist whose comedy has been described as “weirdly uplifting”.

This trans comedian is a fresh and friendly face in comedy with a hilarious take on everything from alcohol to why she’s like the 2011 Green Lantern film.


NO HARD FELINES: Pussy Grabs Back | Monday 5 March 2018 | 7pm | The Star by Hackney Downs

We’re tired of being cat-called so now we’re going to be whistle-blowers. We’re here to reclaim pussies, vixens, b*tches, cows, birds, and chicks. Everyone is invited to this event however only women can perform. This is our small attempt to level the playing field.

So hands off my kitty, Donald.

NO HARD FELINES is a female-led variety night in East London bringing creative women together to share performance in a safe space. For one night a month The Star by Hackney Downs are handing over their stage to female performers for a spectacular cabaret displaying the ridiculous, bizarre and downright mundane. Expect poetry, stand up comedy, music, puppetry and more.

£5 Entry

This is a profit-shared event meaning all the money raised on the door will be split by the performers.


PEACH: Oscillations Launch | Tuesday 6 March 2018 | 6.30pm | G.O. Jones LT, QMUL Mile End | Free

On 6 March, PEACH will be launching and handing out limited edition copies of the earth shattering and awesomely whirling Oscillations. To celebrate, we will be having a night of energetic readings from the people who have got their work published in the collection, and also displaying the tremendous art that graces the pages. It’s going to be uncontrollable. Come along to GO Jones Lecture Theatre at 18.30 and hear the ripest rhymes and tantalisingly juicy tales.



For more events follow us on Twitter


Jobs, Careers Events & Paid Internships

Career Appointments at QMUL

Current students and recent graduates can book a bespoke careers appointment to help with: finding jobs, making your applications better and even interview practice.


Opportunities, Calls for Participation & Volunteering


Invitation for women to take part in Mojisola Adebayo’s ‘The Interrogation of Sandra Bland’ | Deadline: 15 March

black lives black words

The Bush Theatre is looking for women of all ages and experiences to join writer Mojisola Adebayo and director Omar Elerian to work with a company of professional actors and take part in a performance of The Interrogation of Sandra Bland. Those taking part would be needed from 10am-10pm on either the 23, 24, or 25 Mar 2017.

In response to a call out from Artistic Directors of the Future, in Jan 2016 theatre-maker Mojisola Adebayo sat down at her desk and transcribed the dash-cam recording of the arrest of Sandra Bland on 10 July 2015. Bland was pulled over by Police Officer Brian Encinia for a failure to signal. As events escalated, she was forcefully arrested and taken into custody. She was found hanged in her cell in Waller County, Texas, on 13 July. Sandra Bland was a 28 year old black woman. She was due to start her new job the next day.

This transcript is the starting point for a short performance that will feature as part of Black Lives, Black Words 23-25 Mar 2017. The transcribed recording will be read by a chorus of female performers in multiple voices. Each night will feature a group of women on stage who will be joined by a different chorus to bring this piece of evidence of police brutality to life.

Please RSVP to rsvp@bushtheatre.co.uk by 15 Mar. Due to limited capacity for each day’s performance please specify your available dates (23-25 Mar) in order of preference along with a brief introduction to yourself.


Call out for U25s: Freshly Scratched at Battersea Arts Centre | Application deadline: 10am Mon 12 Mar 2018

Freshly Scratched is an open platform at Battersea Arts Centre for emerging artists to try out new ideas. It’s an opportunity to try out short ideas in front of an audience at an early stage of development, take a creative risk and receive feedback for your work from the audience. Freshly Scratched
Application deadline: 10am Mon 12 Mar 2018

Freshly Scratched is an open platform at Battersea Arts Centre for emerging artists to try out new ideas. It’s an opportunity to try out short ideas in front of an audience at an early stage of development, take a creative risk and receive feedback for your work from the audience.

Application Information

Apply now


Calls for papers

Of Survival and Struggle: Creative and Critical Responses to Structural and Long-term Violence in the Public Sphere | Deadline: 31 March 2018

A Colloquium hosted by the School of English and Drama, Queen Mary University of London

Download the CfP here

4 QMUL Staff and Alumni Artists to See at Steakhouse Festival 2018

We’re clearly biased but would love to see our students, staff and friends at Steakhouse Live 2018.

Steakhouse Festival of Live Art & Performance | 24 Feb | 3pm – 10pm @ Rich Mix + 25 Feb | Midday – 9pm @ Toynbee Studios

‘Ferocious feminism, dirty desire, queer culture and resistance: Steakhouse Live are pleased to announce the programme for their 2018 Festival, taking place at Rich Mix and Toynbee Studies on the 24th & 25th of February.

Steakhouse Live is one of the few DIY platforms for radical performance practices in the UK today. Back with a force, their 5th festival edition will feature 20 live performances from international and UK based artists with work that cuts across theatre, performance art, visual art, cabaret, dance and all that’s in between.

Performances include Queen Mary alumni Oozing Gloop, Edythe Woolley and current tutors Eirini Kartsaki and Daniel Oliver.’


1. Daniel Oliver / Chiperlatartaparty

Happening Now in the Future. Don’t eat the sausages.

2. Eirini Kartsaki / Ladder

Eirini will have sex with a ladder and give birth to plywood.

3. Oozing Gloop / The Gloopshow Episode 1

A 45 minute stream of consciousness: a love song and saga of a green gal, a scarlet lady and their boyfriend; the revolution.


4. Edythe Woolley / FISHY

This is a performance looking around plastic pollution in the ocean and the plastic pollution in our bodies.

See the full programme and book online here

Sharika Alam on Writers@QMUL with Anjali Joseph Event

A few weeks ago, I attended the second event in Writers @QMUL series, where the delightfully witty and brilliant Anjali Joseph read the opening chapter of her upcoming novel, and was in conversation with our very own Patrick Flanery.

Anjali Joseph is a British-Indian author and journalist. Her debut novel, Saraswati Park, was immensely successful, winning the Betty Trask Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize, and in 2010 she was listed by The Telegraph as one of the 20 best writers under the age of 40.

She is currently working on her fourth novel which is set largely in the northeastern state of Assam in India, where Joseph had been living in for the past few years before relocating to Oxfordshire last year. The opening chapter entitled ‘Everlasting Lucifer’ begins with the meeting of an Assamese woman, Kethaki, and a British Asian man called Ved in an airport lounge and chronicles their subsequent interactions. In this chapter, I really liked Joseph’s treatment of temporality. It felt almost cinematic, with the narrative seamlessly moving forwards in time. She also has a knack for humour. I think it is really difficult to deliberately write something funny because it often feels contrived but here the narrator has a sharp, insightful and natural wit.

During the conversation section of the event, Joseph talked about the pressure to write a certain kind of book. She believes that all writers  feel a certain degree of anxiety attached to their work: “I do some teaching in the creative writing Masters Course at Oxford. I was talking to one student who is from Nigeria, who said ‘I don’t want to write an “African” book’. And I said just don’t. Don’t do it. But it’s a problem. When I was writing my first novel which was set in Bombay I had these worries about what is an Indian novel in English and there were some tacit expectations”.

Moreover, her first book is sweet, and a family story, and some people wanted her to write another one just like that. While her second book, Another Country, is not autobiographical, it does use some autobiographical material. Joseph feels that there is a complication if a female writer does that: “[Another Country] is not particularly explicit but it has a certain amount of sex in it because it’s about a young woman in her twenties. And there was just this thing, and I was talking to a poet-friend, whose wife is also a poet, and experienced something really similar, where people would just say ‘so this book is basically about you, yeah?’ and they would look me up and down. Erm yeah… you sort of think that if I really wanted to find myself somebody for the evening I wouldn’t necessarily go to the trouble of writing a novel. That’s a very long-winded way of going about it’. I couldn’t agree more!

If you are interested in finding out more about Anjali Joseph and her writing, our wonderful friends at Wasafiri recorded and uploaded the whole Conversation on their Facebook page.

3 Free Creative Careers Events & Opportunities

Here’s 3 awesome free careers events for your diary this Spring.

1. Meet the Creative Industries | Thu 22 Feb 2018 | 16.30 – 19.30 | Great Arch Hall, South Wing, Somerset House | FREE


‘Inspirational talent and skills development space for young people to meet arts organisations and creative professionals.

Are you a young person interested in a career in the creative industries? Unsure of the different creative roles that you can apply for and keen to make more creative contacts? Eager to find out more about what it’s like to work for a creative organisation or interested in meeting other young people who are in a similar situation to you?

Join us to chat face to face with people working in the arts, gain first-hand experience of their own career development, learn about the different roles within arts organisations and seek advice for your own creative career. We will also be hosting an optional digital skills workshop during the drop-in.

“This is exactly what is needed for new people trying to get into the industry”

Creative Job Studio attendee

This event is for those aged 18-25.

Bring your CV or portfolio along if you wish (this is not a requirement).

This drop-in session will be followed by networking with industry professionals. Drinks and refreshments will be provided but all attendees will need to show ID if they wish to be served alcohol. Please do not expect to be served without ID.’

2. Routes in Alternative Careers Fair | Thu 8 March | 11am-4pm | Tate Modern | FREE

‘Aged 15–25, interested in a career in arts and culture, but not sure where to start? Come down to a careers fair with a difference. Find out about different roles and career pathways at Tate and discover what it’s like to work in the arts and cultural industries. Browse stalls run by Tate staff and arts industry insiders face to face, find out what their roles involve and how they got to where they are.
Joining us on the day will be 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning, A New Direction, Creative Mentor Network, Ravensbourne, Royal Museums Greenwich, The Creative Society. Get a chance to also speak to staff from across Tate from a range of departments: Collection Care, Curatorial, Design Studio, Development, Digital, Enterprises, Tate Exchange, Learning, Photography, Visitor Experience and Volunteers.

Whilst your here, chill with friends, meet other young people interested in creative careers and enjoy music from BBZ DJs in a lounge installation. And to celebrate International Women’s Day, see a series of inspirational talks from women working in the creative industries put together by guest curator Nicole Crentsil.
Programmed by young people from Tate Collective London’

Routes in Alternative Careers Fair


3. ERIC Festival: Careers in the Arts | Sunday 25 March | 10am-5pm | The Lancaster & River Rooms, Somerset House | FREE

‘ERIC is holding a creative career festival on Sunday 25th March 2018 at Somerset House and it’s free for all of your students to come along to – perfect for any aspiring, creative students (particularly those interested in music, film, performing arts & visual arts). The festival is brought to you by ERIC, the Barbican & Somerset House

Find out how to get your foot in the creative industry door and kickstart your career in the arts by attending the latest ERIC Festival.


– Young successful creative speakers giving relevant and actionable career advice

– Immersive exhibitors showcasing hands-on tech, games, business tools and much more

– Interactive workshops to upskill attendees on digital/business/legal/finance knowledge, transferrable and useful to all jobs/industries

– One-on-one CV/portfolio/career advice

– Free stuff

– Food & drink

‘To see how many young people were here on a Sunday and who stayed for the whole day, is testament to how great the event was’ Bryony Mawdsley, Head of The h. Club Foundation (partner)

‘ERIC Festival was 5/5 – would do it again!’ Lisa Stallinger, student (attendee)

‘As an exhibitor, my team and I got to network and recruit new members for fresh and promising new ventures.’ Alim Kamera, Founder of Storie Storie (exhibitor)’

People’s Palace Projects – Spring 2018 Update

People’s Palace Projects has a number of UK events over the next few months and we would love for them to be featured in QMUL’s upcoming news and listings.

1) Women Against Violence

9th till 11th March – CICATRIZ (SCAR): Multimedia installation directed by internationally renowned Brazilian artist Bia Lessa as part of Southbank Centre’s Women of the World Festival.

14th March: Final seminar at Brazilian Embassy, Trafalgar Square, for a collaborative project between Geography (QMUL/KCL) and Drama (QMUL) on violence against women nd girls.

More on this project

2) Tate Exchange:

As part of a full week of Queen Mary activities, PPP will be presenting workshops and film screenings at Tate Modern on Sunday 6th May 2018.

More on this project


3) Creative Economy seminars

  • 30th April- 1st May: 9 May – Creative Economy seminars presented by Network (QMUL), People’s Palace Projects (QMUL) and British Council. More information will be available closer to the time but it would be good to get these events into the press diary so that we can prepare the appropriate publicity in good time.
  • The first day of the first event, on 30th April, will be held at Creative Wick in Hackney Wick and will be less formal. The other days will be more formal, academic seminars.

NETWORK_Audience of the Future_Lunchtime seminar_13Feb

Network Vouchers Application Pack

4) The Encounter (pictured above)

1st week of May – Complicite Theatre Company’s international smash hit ‘The Encounter’ returns to the Barbican.  Paul Heritage, who supported Simon McBurney’s research for the show in the Amazon region of Brazil, and a member of the Kuikuro community from the Upper Xingu region, will be involved with one or two post show discussions during the run.

More on this project

Research in the Amazon:

5) Contemporary Narratives Lab

  • This project, a collaboration between Paul Heritage and Joad Raymond (QMUL), the Financial Times and Battersea Arts Centre, is funded through the HSS Collaborations Fund.  It will be holding a week of scratches at BAC w/c 25th Late in the week there will be some public scratches. Date tbc, possibly Thursday 28th.

#SEDdigest – Events and Opportunities Digest – Wednesday 14 February 2018

Here’s our digest numéro cinq of events and opportunities in and outside the School.

Please do get in touch if you have any listings for our next edition.


The week ahead

English PGR Seminar: Gail Crowther ‘The Living Archive: Spectral Traces and Sylvia Plath’ | Thursday 15 February 2018 | 5.15pm | Lock-keeper’s Cottage, QMUL Mile End

Dr Gail Crowther: ‘The Living Archive: Spectral Traces and Sylvia Plath’

This paper will explore the notion of the living archive; the places and spaces in Plath’s life that impacted on her poetry and prose. In contrast to the traditional archive, which can be seen as a place of stasis where documents are held in traditional repositories and libraries; the living archive is a dynamic space subject to change and time. Houses Plath once lived in, places she visited and wrote about, the domestic space surrounding her, all featured in some of her most powerful poems and prose. Physical traces remain, and these traces, however spectral, lead us to a new understanding of Plath and her creative processes.

Dr Gail Crowther is a writer, researcher, and academic. She is the author and co-author of A Year’s Turning: Sylvia Plath in Devon (2015), The Haunted Reader and Sylvia Plath (2016), and These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath (2017).

Twitter: @QMEnglishPGRS

PGRS Blog: https://queenmaryenglish.wordpress.com


FIRSTS | Thursday 15 February | 6pm | Rich Mix | Free

‘FIRSTS’,  is a multidisciplinary, interactive performance event which explores peoples ‘firsts’- from the first time they make a coffee to the first time they put on a Hijab. It is being organised by Rich Mix New Creative Team including our student Rachel Cleverly. It will be an inclusive celebration of human experience through music, poetry, film and personal anecdote.

Slappin’ Da Bass: February | Fri 16 February | QMUL Mile End | 50p

(or a few days after at least)


Make sure to message our page or Jack Ridley to put your name down on the list! There are 10 performance slots available, on a first-come, first-served basis

THIS MONTH’S CHARITY: This month, our chosen charity is The Albert Kennedy Trust, a London-based charity providing support and advocacy programs for LGBTQ+ homeless youth!

Donations from our Shakespeare Festival Live Art Shows will also be going to the Albert Kennedy Trust, so be sure to check out www.qmtc.co.uk for details of the shows and performances happening this weekend!

There will There will be a 50p entry fee, but please pay what you can: it’s all for a good cause!


QMTC Shakespeare Festival: Performances | 17-18 February 2018 | QMUL Mile End | Various Prices

PEACH at the QM Visual Arts Collective Exhibition 2018 | Sunday 18 February | Free

PEACH’s first spoken word night of 2018 will be closing the night at the QM’s Visual Arts Collective Exhibition 2018. We will be having readings from some of the University’s finest poets, whilst also looking on at awe at the tremendous visual art on display.

If you would like to read your work please email peachmagazineqm@gmail.com, there is limited time and we will be only responding to people we accept.

For more events follow us on Twitter


Jobs, Careers Events & Paid Internships

Publishing Assistant, Nick Hern Books | Deadline: Thursday 22 February

Nick Hern Books, the UK’s leading specialist theatre publisher, is seeking an enthusiastic, adaptable new member of the team to contribute to all aspects of our publishing activity. This is an exciting opportunity to gain varied experience at a vibrant and dynamic independent publishing house.


Opportunities, Calls for Participation & Volunteering

Network: Audience of the Future (Immersive) Funding | Deadline: 9 March 

Network is Queen Mary University of London’s recently established Centre for the Creative and Cultural Economy

As part of our programme to support knowledge exchange we are launching Network Vouchers, a funding scheme awarding small sums of money (up to a maximum of £5000) and aimed at facilitating collaboration between academics/researchers and creative/cultural organizations. Business at any scale can be partners, but we anticipate the scheme will mostly be attractive to micro-enterprises, sole traders, social enterprises and/or charities. The scheme is not prescriptive. As long as a proposed collaboration is challenge-led and aimed at supporting creative and cultural economic activity in whatever way this is articulated/understood by partners, it will be eligible to apply for support. The scheme is purposely open to interpretation, but must be aimed at collaboration with the creative and cultural sector.

Applications must be led by QMUL researchers. PhD candidates are not eligible for the scheme. Applications deadline is March 9th at midnight.

Please see application pack here.

See the presentation here for details


Volunteers Wanted for Steakhouse Live Festival 

Steakhouse Live are seeking volunteers for the fifth annual festival of Live Art and performance in London.

The festival takes place Sat 24 Feb at Rich Mix from 1-11pm and Sun 25 February at Toynbee Studios from 12-9pm. They are looking for approachable and hardworking people to help out at the event. Shifts will be around 4 hours in duration and they will make sure that you get to see as many performances as possible.

If you are interested in being involved then send SL an email letting them know what day(s) you are available and why you’d like to be a part of the Steakhouse Live Festival 2018.


Calls for papers

Of Survival and Struggle: Creative and Critical Responses to Structural and Long-term Violence in the Public Sphere | Deadline: 31 March 2018

A Colloquium hosted by the School of English and Drama, Queen Mary University of London

Download the CfP here


Cyber Security and your QMUL Email Account

We continue to receive evidence that a large number of students and staff are receiving phishing emails that have been sent (or appear to have been sent) via compromised QMUL email accounts in relation to the confirmation or termination of your personal @qmul.ac.uk mailbox.

The link in the email takes you to a page that looks like the Queen Mary login page, but is not an official page. Please do not click on the link in the email, or enter any of your personal details in response to it.

These phishing emails are not limited to the School of English and Drama, although they do appear to be affecting the School disproportionately at present.

  • Queen Mary will never send you an email asking for your username and password or bank details.
  • Please report all phishing emails to report-phishing@qmul.ac.uk.
  • If in doubt, please call the IT Service Desk on 0207 882 8888 or email servicedesk@qmul.ac.uk.
  • More information on staying cyber aware is available on the IT Services homepage: http://www.its.qmul.ac.uk/
  • Free cyber security awareness training is available for staff and students on QMplus.

Students and staff can manage their passwords using links on the IT Services website:
for Students: http://www.its.qmul.ac.uk/services/students/index.html
for Staff: http://www.its.qmul.ac.uk/services/staff/index.html

Queen Mary Students at FIRSTS at Rich Mix in Shoreditch

‘FIRSTS’,  is a multidisciplinary, interactive performance event which explores peoples ‘firsts’- from the first time they make a coffee to the first time they put on a Hijab. It is being organised by Rich Mix New Creative Team including our student Rachel Cleverly. It will be an inclusive celebration of human experience through music, poetry, film and personal anecdote.

FIRSTS | Rich Mix | Thursday 15 February | 6pm

Book free tickets here

Here’s some of the acts from Queen Mary performing at the event:

James McGeown
James Was born in scotland and has been living in London for three years. He is studying for a degree in English at Queen Mary University. James has been performing poetry for six months, having performed at Jawdance, the Poetry Cafe, and Genesis Slam where he has been a finalist twice. James edits for QMUL’s peach magazine, publishing poetry and creative work by students as well as organising and hosting monthly spoken word nights.

Grace Kirk 
20 years old from Middlesbrough in the North East of England. Currently an English and History student at Queen Mary University, Grace wants to work in the art world as an actress, writer and mainly a teacher to those who don’t believe they can be involved in the arts due to societal factors or pressures.

Rachel Cleverly 
Rachel is a poet, student and professional worrier living in East London. Her writing centres on the personal, frequently revolving around family, food and the small moments of kindness which make up modern life. She has never been to a gym.


Book free tickets here

Attention Final Year Students – The National Student Survey is open for 2018

The National Student Survey (NSS) is now open to give your thoughts about studying with us.

Complete the survey

The NSS is an annual national survey of final-year undergraduate students.

It’s important for QMUL and the team in English and Drama as it gives us an opportunity to hear from you about what’s working and where we can improve.

Your feedback will help us make changes to improve the experience for future students.

You can complete the NSS now at:


PLUS: We have a dedicated computer for you to complete the survey with a snacks trolley by our School Reception on 3rd floor of ArtsOne Building.

Thanks very much for taking the time to complete this important survey!

Best wishes,

Matt Rubery and Catherine Silverstone
Directors of Teaching and Learning

School of English and Drama
Queen Mary University of London

English and Drama Newsletter – February 2018

Welcome to the February LOVE edition of our English and Drama newsletter.

Pictured above is our Writers@QMUL event last night with Patrick Flanery (Director of Creative Writing) and guest writer Anjali Joseph. Watch the Facebook live recording here.

Work with us: We’re looking for a new Lecturer in Creative Writing (0.5) – Closes 12 February Details



Postgraduate Open Evening
Wednesday 7 February, 16:30-19:30
Meet our staff, go on a campus tour and get a feel for our postgraduate offer in English and Drama. At 5pm we have a Q&A for MA Theatre and Performance, MA Live Art and MSc Creative Arts and Mental Health.

English and Drama Offer Holder Days 2018
Saturday 10 February, Saturday 10 March
and Wednesday 28 March

If you’ve got an offer and haven’t got an invite please let us know.


Atlantic Drift: Andrea Brady, Sophie Collins and John James
Monday 5 February
London Review Bookshop, Holborn
Andrea Brady (English) is reading at this event celebrating Atlantic Drift a new Poetry anthology.


Shakespeare Festival 2018
Until Wednesday 7 February
QMUL – Mile End

Don’t miss events still to come including a Twelfth Night screening, ‘Night of Mechanicals’ and a Pinter Platform.


Staging Atmospheres

Theatre in the Dark
Tuesday 6 – Friday 9 February
Battersea Arts Centre

To mark the 20th anniversary of Battersea Arts Centre’s Playing In The Dark season in 1998, and the launch of Theatre in the Dark: Shadow, Gloom and Blackout in Contemporary Theatre, a new book edited by our very own Martin Welton (Drama) and Adam Alston, join us and BAC for a week of Theatre In The Dark including a scratch night of new work.

14 February – 18 March 2018, 6pm
VAULT Festival, Waterloo
We are working with theatre makers RIFT to build fully responsive immersive environments for stories that  confront harassment, abuses of power and gender to live within.


Titus Andronicus at Barbican
Thursday 15 February, 6pm
Rich Mix, Shoreditch

One of our students is the curator of a new night of short artistic performances, which explores people’s firsts.


Wednesday 21 February, 18:30-20:30
QMUL – Mile End

The next RESEARCH / INTERRUPTED social. The group will be focusing on tactics we can share to support ourselves and each other in striking the balance between PhD research and personal mental health.


Jen Harvie
LADA Screens: Martin O’Brien – The Unwell (and Book Launch)
Thursday 26 February 2018, 7pm
Live Art Development Agency, Bethnal Green

A film screening of our very own Martin O’Brien’s zombie film and book launch of his new publication Survival of the Sickest, the art of Martin O’Brien.


The Great Yiddish Parade
Nadia Valman (English) has been shortlisted for a Public Engagement Award for ‘Animating east London’s immigrant history’ Her project is full of free, innovative activities designed to engage new audiences with east London’s long history of immigrant culture – including a smartphone app, a series of walking tours, schools workshops and a historical re-enactment, involving creative collaborations with two museums and three local secondary schools. She has also written an audio tour of London Hospital you can listen to and follow via your phone here.


Mojisola Adebayo

Mojisola Adebayo’s new show STARS and writing published: Mojisola (Drama) has just successfully completed her PhD entitled Afriquia Theatre: Creating Black Queer Ubuntu Through Performance supervised by Dr Catherine Silverstone with Dr Caoimhe McAvinchey and has recently started as a lecturer with us.Her work is included in Sista! a new ‘Anthology of writing by and about Same Gender Loving Women of African / Caribbean descent with a UK Connection’.Mojisola has won a grant from ACE for research and development of a new project STARS, a collaboration with DJ DeboA of Mix ‘n’ Sync. Read more in this blog post.



Caoimhe McAvinchey’s Phakama – Making Participatory Performance is coming out on 22 February through Bloomsbury.

Images of the manuscripts of William Godwin’s Political Justice and Caleb Williams are now available to view: on The Shelley-Godwin Archive , along with descriptive and contextual commentary. This is the fruit of a collaborative project led by Pamela Clemit (English), which brought together complementary expertise from Queen Mary University of London, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities. The publication was launched at the V&A on 11 December 2017, at which three short talks were delivered by representatives of each of the collaborating institutions, introduced by the V&A’s Director, Tristram Hunt. The talks are available to read here


New research centre for Creative Economy: It is called Network and directed by Professor Morag Shiach (English). Tarek Virani is Deputy Director and Andre Piza has just started as Knowledge Exchange Manager.


Grants and research projects update: Pamela Clemit will be involved in the AHRC-funded ‘History in the Humanities and Social Sciences’ project, based in History. People’s Palace Projects and Martin Welton were both successful in their applications to the AHRC/EPSRC Research and Partnership Development call for the Next Generation of Immersive Experiences. Elyssa Livergant had success with HSS Collaboration funding for Making Spaces: Limehouse Town Hall.



1. Wasafiri’s Susheila Nasta has just launched the ‘Timeline of India in Britain’ at the India High Commission on Friday for Republic Day. Be sure to check out the free online resource here or read about it in this article in Hindustan Times.

2. Matthew Rubery (English) was interviewed for World Braille Day on Voice of Islam Radio in January. He was asked questions including ‘can you shed some light on how audio tapes help blind people?’ Listen here. Matt will also be running a Media History Seminar with Kate Flint on the ‘Technological History of Photography’ on 8 February (details here).

3. Wasafiri New Writing Prize Open for Entries: The prize was launched to support new writers, with no limits on age, gender, nationality or background. A winner will be chosen by our stellar line up of judges for each category: Fiction; Poetry; Life Writing. The three winners will be published by Wasafiri and receive a cash prize.

4. Thanks to our very own Claire Preston (English) for sharing this selection of Axolotl (Mexican Walking Fish) poetry in response to our call out for news.

We look forward to hearing your news and hopefully seeing you at an event soon.Please do let us know if you have news for our next newsletter due to be sent on Thursday 1 March 2018: sed-web@qmul.ac.uk.

#MeetSED: Professor Patrick Flanery – Director of Creative Writing

Professor Patrick Flanery

Internationally acclaimed author Patrick Flanery has joined the School of English and Drama as QMUL’s first Professor of Creative Writing. We caught up with him to find out how he develops creativity in his students, plans for his fourth novel, and his first impressions of QMUL.

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You are QMUL’s first Professor of Creative Writing, can you tell us more about this role?

I was appointed earlier this year to lead the new Creative Writing Pathway in English. In September, twenty-three first-year students arrived as the inaugural cohort on the English with Creative Writing degree, and we hope those numbers will grow in coming years. These are very bright and engaged students who already seem to be cohering as a group and it’s exciting to see the work they’re producing, even at this early stage. I’m working now on planning the second and third years of the pathway in finer detail, and also building a series of events with visiting writers that will be open to people across the university and to the public. On 15 December, acclaimed American essayist John D’Agata, who runs the University of Iowa’s renowned Nonfiction Writing Program, will be with us for a public reading and Q&A, and next spring we have other visiting writer events planned that we’ll be advertising soon.

Later this academic year we will be making another appointment in Creative Writing, looking specifically for a published poet to expand our areas of expertise. With the recent agreement between QMUL and Arts Council England, the return to the university of the international literary magazine Wasafiri (under the leadership of its founding editor, Professor Susheila Nasta, and her team), the recent appointment of acclaimed playwright Mojisola Adebayo to a post in Drama, and with the launch of the QMUL Arts and Culture strategy initiative led by my colleague Professor Andrea Brady, it feels like an exciting time to be joining. The university is already the locus of a diverse array of cultural practices, and we can continue to develop these and other activities, including the formal academic work of teaching, as well as projects that draw in the wider community. I’m hoping we can also set up a student branch of English PEN at QMUL, and would be happy to hear from any students—whether in the School of English and Drama or in other departments—who might be interested in getting involved.

English with Creative Writing is a new pathway available to students in the English Department. It sounds really exciting. Can you tell us about what you have planned?

There is clearly a hunger among undergraduates in English (and I know in other departments, too) not just to find creative outlets, but to think about how their creative impulses can be directed and refined. In the first year, students on the pathway experiment with a variety of forms (poetry, drama for stage and screen, prose fiction, and creative non-fiction). As they continue in their degree they will hone those skills and begin to specialize in a couple of areas, culminating with the opportunity to write a creative dissertation in their third year. Alongside the Creative Writing syllabus, they take a range of modules in English that work in concert to develop their sense of the long history of literatures in English, and to equip them with the critical and theoretical tools that will make them better readers and better writers.

How do you develop creativity in your students?

That’s the big question, isn’t it? It’s fair to say that some students come with an already quite assured sense of their own voices—even as first-year undergraduates—while others arrive with really powerful raw materials (in terms of life experiences, a gift for language, or a certain arresting aesthetic sensibility) but need to find ways to marshal the desire to write and the talent they have in a more considered way. In teaching writing, I keep returning to the fundamental importance of wide and deep reading: as a writer, you have to survey a broad field of what has been written and what is currently being written, and when you find work (by a particular writer, or from a particular country, or region, or even language tradition) that really inspires you, read as much of it as you can to understand what the characteristics are that make you feel such a spark of connection.

Of course, when it comes to inspiration and fostering creativity, it’s not just a matter of reading. I encourage students to look at visual art (some of my most successful doctoral supervision sessions have ended with a walk through an exhibition at Tate Modern), or, in writing poetry, to think about the ways in which music can help us understand how rhythm might change over the course of a single short work. I hope what I manage to do, with undergraduates in particular, is sketch a field of possibilities, to point in the directions where they can look for inspiration, and to demonstrate ways of nurturing and shaping one’s own creative impulses, while also insisting that you cannot wait for inspiration to arrive: creativity flourishes when it is pursued as a sustained practice, something that becomes as critical to a writer’s everyday life and sense of wellbeing as eating.

What projects are you working on at the moment?

I’m finishing revisions on a novel, which will be my fourth, that explores the experiences of a group of people caught up in the Communist witch hunts of the 1950s in Hollywood. It’s told from the perspective of a politically engaged screenwriter who is in a clandestine relationship with a closeted gay actor. I’m also at work on a creative non-fiction project that combines memoir and other forms of life writing with critical readings of literature, film, and television.

What were you doing before joining QMUL in September?

For the three years prior to joining QMUL I was Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Reading, where I taught undergraduate modules, as well as supervising an amazingly talented doctoral student who has now transferred to Queen Mary to finish her degree with me; she’s writing a ground-breaking novel about transnational British-Latin American experience, and I predict great things for her. Previously I have been a full-time writer, a part-time lecturer at Sheffield, a PhD student at Oxford, and an executive in the film industry in New York.

How would you describe Queen Mary based on your first few months here?

I’m a Londoner by choice (as I was, two decades ago, a New Yorker by choice), and it’s stimulating to be back in a city university, with students who are either lifelong Londoners, or who have also elected to come here. In getting to know my colleagues in the School of English and Drama, I’ve been struck by two things in particular: the refreshing way in which they approach their work with a sense both of passion and absolute seriousness, and the various means by which a sense of political engagement, of responding to the changing world around us, is reflected in their research and teaching. The SED is also exceptionally well run—its administrative team is the best I have encountered anywhere, and as if that weren’t enough, people are also genuinely friendly, which makes a huge difference. Looking beyond the SED to the Faculty and the university more broadly, I’m excited by the range and depth of scholarly excellence here, which has the potential to inspire and intersect with creative work in interesting ways, and by the global outlook of the university as a whole.

What are you reading at the moment?

I always have a few books on the go. I’m reading Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain for the first time, as well as the Argentinian writer César Aira’s most recently translated book, The Lime Tree. In preparation for her upcoming lecture at the Centre for the History of the Emotions, and as part of the research for my nonfiction project, I’m reading Sianne Ngai’s fascinating study of affect, Ugly Feelings.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

The curious thing about writing is that it’s hard to see where work ends and life outside of work begins. But when I force myself to disengage a little, I enjoy running and going for long walks in South London, where I live. And since my first degree was in film and television production at NYU, I try to keep up with what’s new and interesting in those areas—an almost impossible (but pleasurable) task given how much is now being produced.


Patrick is the author of the novels Absolution (2012), Fallen Land (2013), and I Am No One (2016).  To find out more about his work, visit: www.patrickflanery.com.

Recent vacancies advertised on the HR website include a Lecturer in Creative Writing (part-time). For more information, see jobs.qmul.ac.uk.

Post originally posted on the QMUL Connected Staff Intranet: http://connected.qmul.ac.uk/news/qmul-people/professor-patrick-flanery.html

Mojisola Adebayo Newsflash for Spring 2018

Mojisola has successfully completed her PhD entitled Afriquia Theatre: Creating Black Queer Ubuntu Through Performance supervised by Dr Catherine Silverstone with Dr Caoimhe McAvinchey of QMUL SED and is now a permanent lecturer in the department.

To read more about Afriquia Theatre see Mojisola’s chapter ‘Everything you Know About Queerness You Learned From Blackness: ‘Introducing the Afriquia Theatre of Black Dykes, Crips, Kids and all their Kin’ in the groundbreaking new anthology released this month: Sista! An Anthology of writing by and about Same Gender Loving Women of African / Caribbean descent with a UK Connection edited by Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Rikki Beadle-Blair and John R. Gordon, published by Team Angelica.

New project: Stars

Mojisola Adebayo has completed writing the first draft of her new play STARS with support from Arts Council England, idle women and QMUL. STARS is a new play and concept album for the stage performed by one actor with a live DJ and animation that tells the story of an old lady who travels into outer space… in search of her own orgasm. The play poetically explores the power and politics of pleasure for women, girls and intersex people. It questions why millions of people are unable to reach the heights of sexual pleasure as a result of sexual trauma, genital mutilation, traditional harmful practices and surgical interventions that continue to this day on every inhabited continent. STARS poetically and dramatically connects the theme of female pleasure with space travel. Here is a draft of the script. The show will be created in collaboration with a team of artists, produced and published in full in London, 2018-20. Watch this space! –


An extract of STARS appears in a new edited anthology

Liberating the Canon: An Anthology of Innovative Literature, edited by Dostoyevsky Wannabe and edited by Isabel Waidner. Details

If you missed her talk on Afriquia Theatre at Quorum in January, you can hear her present and share extracts from her Afriquia plays at the following events:

  • Queer at Kings, University of London, 8 February Info
  • Queerying Space: Transnational Perspectives at Oxford University, 28 February Info
  • And if you are really keen, Mojisola is also speaking as a Visiting Artist at University of Wisconsin, Madison 21 February Info