Blog from QMUL's School of English and Drama (SED)
Author: All Things SED Editor
I am the Web and Marketing Administrator in the School of English and Drama. Amongst my various roles, I run the School's website (www.sed.qmul.ac.uk) and its Twitter feed (@QMULsed). I also manage the running of the School's Open Days and draft promotional materials.
The Crown Jewels Festival is two days of exciting new performance
by final year Drama students at QMUL. Over the last five months, the
artists have been leading their own independent and group practice based
research projects. Their hard work in the studio has investigated a wide range
of topics from explorations of body and identity politics, to pushing the
form of durational performance, to using soap in performance and much, much more.
Come and join us at Chats Palace on 16th and 17th May to see some new
Follow us on social media! We will release a link to book tickets
for the festival soon. Admission is free, but book to reserve a space!
We’re launching a programme of 10 unmissable workshops to help you develop your skills to work in the creative and cultural industries. The creative skills project formerly known as DIY HIGH SCHOOL is back for 2019 as DIY LIFE SKILLS.
DIY LIFE SKILLS gives our Queen Mary University of London students and our community vital extra practical skills for working in the creative and cultural industries. These include making videos, photography, tax, CVs, public speaking, social media for work and WordPress/blogging. The workshops are free for our students and our local community.See the programme
Identify: A research network for neurodivergent students – second meeting Fri 3 May | Room 2.18, ArtsTwo, QMUL, Mile End
Identify is a postgraduate study group that will meet regularly to build a research cohort within SED. Participants identify as having Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD), including dyslexia, dyspraxia and other neurodivergent ways of being that impact our study patterns, academic activities, and research outputs.
Their second meeting will be held on Friday 3rd May from 4-6pm in room 2.18, Arts Two. All are welcome. If anyone requires directions or wants to get in touch for more information, they’re welcome to email John Dunn on email@example.com.
Queen Mary Centre for Religion and Literature in English Seminar Wed 8 May, 1pm | Room 2.17, ArtsTwo, QMUL – Mile End
Mimi Ensley (University of Notre Dame, London Global Gateway) will speak on ‘Meeting Lydgate’s Ghost’.
Drama Futures Wed 8 May, 4.30pm | Theatre Peckham
If you are considering studying drama make sure to book a spot on this. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Duckie Sat 11 May, 6.30pm | Royal Vauxhall Tavern
‘Introducing Dr Duckie – aka our very own Ben Walters (Drama department) – in a public explanation ünt examination of his just completed PhD with Queen Mary University of London on Duckie in the Community
It’s about the neo-liberal wobble, the technology of queer fun, and doing family differently.
Aimed at community theatre workers and grass roots performance activists – and random interested punters – it unpacks methods of performance, cabaret and event culture interventions for so-called ‘marginalised’ communities”.
This free talk will explore the history of tea and the performance of its consumption at the Georgian tea-table. Markman Ellis (English department) will examine tea as a commodity, an event and an idea by looking at poems, essays, satires and paintings from the early 1700s. These highlight the event of tea-drinking, its context in the global trade of the East India Company and its construction among high-status women.
Queen Mary University of London presents Show and Tell a podcast recording of
10 inspiring mini talks from current students and special guests on studying
and working in the creative industries. Discover the insider secrets to working
in the arts, humanities and social sciences and hear young people with
something to say from one of London’s most inclusive universities.
Show and Tell has been running for 2 years at Queen Mary with over 35 speakers
from TV producers, award-winning writers, researchers and journalists inspiring
over 300 people to enter these industries.
At this event, Amy De’Ath and Nisha Ramayya will discuss their current research, sharing a combination of critical writing and poetry. They will consider the overlaps in their work via the concept of reproduction in feminist poetics. Book tickets
The Live Art Development Agency and the Drama Department at Queen Mary University of London present a day of discussions around kickstarting and maintaining a Live Art practice and an opportunity to find out more about the exciting new MA Live Art programme.
In a special addition to its regular programme, the London-Paris Romanticism Seminar has partnered with the Fordham Romanticism Group (New York) and the Royal Institution of Great Britain to hold a half-day symposium on the theme Romanticism at the Royal Institution.
This is the first in the series where you can meet our students. First up is Gemma who describes herself as…
A 6 foot queer infatuated with gigs, films and literature.
Tell us about your time at QMUL. What have been your highlights?
My first year at Queen Mary has been a whirlwind. I wish my highlights were something cool like a crazy night out or a hilarious experience, but my fondest memories I’ve made are the times spent drinking tea, deep chats in the middle of the night or nerdy conversations about literature with the friends I’ve made here.
How has your course at Queen Mary helped you to progress into the world outside? What’s next?
Focusing on the study of English has made me fall back in love with literature and I’ve felt myself progress more into the literary sphere. In the last year I’ve invested more time in my journalism, writing articles (and finally being brave enough to actually share them). This will likely aid me in developing my future, as I aim to become a foreign news correspondent or music journalist.
Aside from course content what have been your favourite elements of the experience of studying here as a whole?
Coming from a small town to a big city, I’m enjoying the huge LGBTQ+ community here and the inclusive environment that Queen Mary provides.
Tell us about your life outside Queen Mary including any projects, ambitions or jobs you’ve had.
In London, I work as a nanny and back in Kent, as a customer adviser in the food service industry. Although I do not aspire to continue these positions forever, I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had. I’ve possessed an interest in journalism for as long as I remember, and currently write monthly articles for a local newsletter, but aspire to progress further in this field and search for new opportunities in this field.
What could be improved to enhance future students’ experience at Queen Mary?
I feel Queen Mary as a university is very active in aiding students’ issues, but I’ve been wanting to campaign about trigger warnings for a while: lectures often bring up triggering/upsetting subject material which I myself am often unprepared for. I wondered if it would be beneficial to other students, as well as myself, to release a general list of common triggers mentioned in each specific lecture to allow students to prepare more adequately whilst dealing with trauma.
Queen Mary students going through a tough time can now access free online support with Big White Wall. Whether you’re struggling to sleep, feeling low, stressed or unable to cope, Big White Wall can help you get support, take control and feel better.
You will have access to a 24/7 online community and professional support
from trained counsellors. Big White Wall provides a safe space online to
get things off your chest, explore your feelings, get creative and learn how to
self-manage your mental health and wellbeing.
Big White Wall is totally anonymous, so no one will know you’ve chosen to use it
unless you tell them!
93% of members feel better as a result of
using the service, and nearly 90% use Big White Wall as an out-of-hours
To join Big White Wall, simply go to www.bigwhitewall.com
and sign up under Queen Mary University of London with your university e-mail
Our MA Live Art student Şenay Camgöz will screen her 6 minute film, ‘Introducing HALA’ at the V&A tomorrow, Thursday 25 April 2019 at 8.30pm following a talk about art school with QMUL’s Dr Dominic Johnson and Dr Martin O’Brien.
The event is free and is part of the museum’s V&A Friday Late series.
In this conversation, Martin O’Brien, Dominic Johnsonand the Live Art Development Agencydiscuss Live Art within academic institutions and what it means to teach a radical arts practice. They focus on the way in which the MA Live Art at Queen Mary UniversityofLondon and the Live Art Development Agencyteach Live Art, opening up wider questions around educationand experimental arts practices.
AZEEMA: Anti-Art School: on decolonisation and identity
The Raphael Cartoons
Discuss decolonising art schools and education in this panel talk led by AZEEMA. Joining them to explore themes of identity, inclusivity and personal experiences are Shahidha Bari, Danah Abdulla, Jannat Hussein and Shades of Noir. @azeemamagazeemamag.com
Learning Centre, Seminar Room 5
Please note, these performances contain nudity and sensitive material
Join the QMUL/LADA MA Live Art students as they perform actions in response to the spaces and collections at the V&A. Experience an exhibition of separate durational performances, sharing a space with one anothe
Develop your skills to work in the creative and cultural industries with this series of free workshops at Queen Mary University of London. The creative skills project formerly known as DIY HIGH SCHOOL is back for 2019 as DIY LIFE SKILLS.
DIY LIFE SKILLS gives our Queen Mary University of London students and our community vital extra practical skills for working in the creative and cultural industries. These include making videos, photography, tax, CVs, public speaking, social media for work and WordPress/blogging.
DIY LIFE SKILLS is supported by Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen Mary University of London. The workshops are free for our students and our local community.
A picture is said to be worth a 1000 words and this is more true than ever in the age of social media. Join us for an afternoon of photography with DSLR cameras for intermediates. The workshop will include a showcase of Holly Revell’s work and top tips for better performance photography.
#3: VLOG LIKE YOU MEAN IT: Video Production 101
POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE – PLEASE STAY TUNED FOR MORE DETAILS
Work with professional videographers to plan, film and edit a short film in one day with pros from Signature Pictures. The intermediate workshop will look at more advanced editing techniques and film production.
Social media = jobs & opportunities. Ignore it at your cost. This session will cover moving away from using social for well, ‘social’ purposes and look to how these channels can be used to network and make important career connections.
Our undergraduate Outstanding Potential Award scheme is now closed. Congratulations if you were given the Outstanding Potential Award or other offer with us.
Don’t worry if not or you are worried about your grades we would love to hear from you on results day if you have any questions about your offer.
Our Offer holder Days have now all taken place for 2019 entry.
Missed an Offer Holder Day?
Campus Tours: To get a general tour of the Mile End campus. Book online. Let us know when you’re coming via email: email@example.com and we’ll try to arrange someone from English and Drama to talk to you.
On Wednesday the 27th of March I was part of a
team of nine London-based drama practitioners and students armed with silent
disco headphones, laminated sheets of paper, paper plates, colouring pens and
some ipods who found themselves in an office conference room in Bristol with an
audience of around thirty office workers.
The team represented The Verbatim Formula (TVF), a collaborative participatory arts project founded by Maggie Inchley (Queen Mary University’s Senior Lecturer in Performance) and Sylvan Baker (lecturer at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama). Aiming to ‘make listening visible’, TVF specialises in sharing the stories of young people in (social) care and care leavers, including those in Higher Education.
TVF utilise the method of Headphone Verbatim in which to carry the life experiences and testimonies of young care-experienced people to a variety of audiences, most notably to the authorities that have the power to shape the care and education systems.
On this occasion, TVF were visiting the Office for Students (OfS), a newly formed body responsible for the regulation of Education across England. To put it simply, they are the Ofsted of Universities.
Headphone Verbatim requires a performer to listen to an audio recording of a testimony through headphones while saying what they hear out loud as accurately as possible. It’s a technique that requires focused attention but for those listening to the performer, the experience is very impactful; the performer becomes a vessel through which the idiosyncrasies of the original speaker add an authenticity to the speech.
The technique allows the voice of the care experienced to retain its potency and personality without their physical presence making them a fetish-ised object for the audience. When utilised in business and corporate contexts, this technique can serve to transform young people from numbers into people, hopefully reigniting the urgency and intensity of TVF’s ultimate aim; to improve the lives of the care-experienced.
The event took place during the office workers’ lunch break.
In the space of one hour the TVF team introduced themselves by explaining what
belonging means to them (an important theme from university related
testimonies), encouraged the workers to reflect on their own experiences of
belonging and not belonging (which they wrote down on paper plates) , explained
the aims of TVF, performed over ten testimonies using Headphone Verbatim, and
then allowed the office participants to join the facilitators in a Verbatim
Chorus in which they too got to attempt Headphone Verbatim.
As a third year student it’s great to have been part of this process. Getting to be part of the testimony collection process and to perform with TVF’s amazing team has taught me so much. I’ve wanted to experience the powerful potential of participatory theatre since I started my degree but when I first informed Maggie that I was interested in getting involved with her project I didn’t imagine getting stuck in to something so deeply important so quickly. If this project has taught me anything it’s that: a) Great experiences are only a chat with your lecturer away and b) well intentioned projects like TVF really do have the power to affect change. The expressions of concentration and empathy on the faces of our audience proved just how powerful listening can be.
An interactive performance for 5 people at a time.
Audience-participants are invited to join Daniel and Frauke in a series of
awkwardly intimate and strange actions, rituals, dances, games, and other
dysfunctional activities brought back in time from a post-neurodivergent
revolution family fun-time future.
Daniel is dyspraxic and is too slow. Frauke has ADHD
and is too quick. They are married and have kids. This interactive performance
is rooted in their experiences of their bodies as neurodivergent lovers,
parents, and weirdo performance makers. It is a space in which clunky
experiences of bodies and actions can be discussed, explored and ultimately
celebrated through ritualisation and play.
Frauke Requardt and Daniel Oliver The Rong Table –6 Apr
Frauke and Daniel invite audiences to explore these themes
through conversation events that use Daniel’s ‘Rong Table‘ set-up. ‘Rong Tables’ are events
for exploring and discussing the key themes of the performance. They are a
development of Lois Weaver’s ‘Long Tables’, in which
the audiences are invited to take part in a discussion by leaving their
audience seats, and sitting at a large table. Daniel has been regularly using
this format to discuss neurodiversity and art over the past three years. .
Recently he has been experimenting with adding different elements and bending
the rules in order to create a space that is more accessible, diverse and
engaging for a broad range of neurodivergent audiences. This means the table is
no longer the only place to talk, getting rid of the audience/participant
divide, allowing for smaller, more discreet conversations to happen around the
space, and for more ways of expressing thoughts to be offered.
For Dadderrs, the Rong Table is something modelled on a chaotic family dinner time rather than a more formal grown-up dinner party. Alongside den-building, and playing with dressing-up, there would also be the opportunity to make objects out of Lego – a prop used in Dadderrs – to explore and express ideas related to the themes of the performance.
Lois Weaver The Situation Room – 6 Apr
The Situation Room is a format for public
discussion created by Lois Weaver that combines theatricality and informal
conversation and encourages us to think about the interdependencies of anxiety
and desire. It’s inspired by the War Room in Stanley Kubrick’s 1964
film, Dr. Strangelove, or, How I Learnt To Stop Worrying And
Love The Bomb where a group of people
sit around a circle of tables and hold a discussion that is moderated by a ‘President’ and monitored by ‘General’ who reminds us we are ‘running
out of time.’
In The Situation Room, members of the audience will be invited to form a Council determined by loosely held affinities: a Council of Elders, an Intergenerational Council, a Council of Queers or Intersectional Feminists; a Council of Agnostics or A-politicals. They are invited to the table to share what is worrying them, from the personal to the geopolitical; to discuss, listen, and then reach a consensus on a single topic of conversation- the ‘Situation’, and finally to consider their desires, ambitions and fantasies as playful and creative solutions to the issue at hand.
Martin O’Brien – Who Cries Wins
This discussion event questions if there is an increase in artists
identifying closely, and leading with, their own histories of trauma and/or
painful autobiography. To what extent is this true, and if true, what may have
As festivals, live platforms and opportunities begin to focus on the
support of these current questions and seeking out artists’ trauma, we pose the
question now: what is the tense line between raising visibility and
exploitation. Additionally, another consideration: Is there such a thing as
This is a public discussion hosted and facilitated by performance artist and scholar Martin O’Brien, with contributions from artists in the Care & Destruction programme.
Queen Mary Theatre Company are looking for new actors and backstage crew for this year’s Edinburgh Fringe trip! The four pieces of new writing cover a wide expanse of contemporary topics, from the first humans on Mars and Artificial Intelligence, to girls in rock songs and … kidnapping? To find out more and how you can audition/get involved, head to our website.
unDisturbed 5-6 April | Royal Albert Hall, South Kensington
BA (Hons) Drama student and Royal Albert Hall Young Producer Francesca Kamil is helping to present new unDISTURBED events series.
Francesca says: ‘Saturday is a celebration of resisting with a collective of fierce Drag Queens with down syndrome, female drum and bass beatbox power from Kimmy Beatbox, Steamdown who jump off the sonic springboard of Afrofuturism, grime and future soul, all fused together with the fearless spontaneity of jazz AMONG OTHER SURPRISES AND DELIGHTS.’
Queer-feminist Ecocriticism in Live Art & Visual Cultures is a one-day international conference that brings together artists, theorists and activists to cover topics ranging from non-human ethics to ecosexuality.
Image credit: Nadja Verena Marcin, Ophelia (Still 3), 2017. Photo: Marque DeWinter. Courtesy the artist & 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel.
If you’re interested in making theatre, social activism and exploring radical new ideas then this taster is for you. You’ll experience both practical and theoretical workshops, led by our academics and hear about the career prospects of Queen Mary Drama graduates.
Identify is a postgraduate study group that will meet regularly to build a research cohort within English and Drama. The group identify as having Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD), including dyslexia, dyspraxia and other neurodivergent ways of being that impact our study patterns, academic activities, and research outputs.
Their second meeting will be held on Friday 3rd May from 4-6pm in room 2.18, Arts Two. All are welcome. If anyone requires directions or wants to get in touch for more information, they’re welcome to email John Dunn on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nadia Atia (English) and Ruby Tuke (English) both won Education Awards for Postgraduate Teaching Champion and Assessment and Feedback Champion respectively. Many other staff members were nominated and shortlisted across multiple categories. Find out more about some of the shortlisted candidates here. Read Nadia’s latest published piece Death and Mourning in Contemporary Iraqi Texts.
Maggie Inchley and the Verbatim Formula team including Clarice Montero (Drama student) have presented to government twice recently on real experiences of the care system to the Minister for Children and the testimonies of current students to the Office for Students.
Network: The QMUL Centre for the Creative and Cultural Economy Get a spring update from the creative industries hub here.
Martin O’Brien (Drama) is featured on a BBC Sounds special called Ouch: Disability Talk: The Artist Who Believes He’s A Zombie Listen here
Nadia Valman (English)’s Brick Lane Traces event projected the history of the East London hotspot at key sites. Pictured above: Roshanara, thought to be the first Bengali woman in Brick Lane in the 1950s, projected on the now derelict Seven Stars pub in Brick Lane, where she liked to hang out. Photograph by Raju Vaidyanathan. From the collaboration with projection artist Karen Crosby.
Lois Weaver (Drama) wins Lois wins The Hawking Award for Developed Understanding of Public Engagement.
We caught up with Professor Morag Shiach to talk about the latest from Network: The QMUL Centre for the Creative and Cultural Economy, which is based in the School of English and Drama. The centre has been involved in a number of international collaborations over recent weeks.
In February it participated in a workshop with researchers at the Laboratory of Excellence for the Creative and Cultural Economy in Paris, exploring how researchers from QM might work with them in the future. Colleagues from English and Drama, Business and Management, and Law shared their research on creative clusters, digital innovation, and intellectual property.
Last week Network welcomed to QM a delegation of policymakers and creative economy practitioners from Egypt and Indonesia, who were part of the British Council project Developing Inclusive and Creative Economies (DICE).
The workshop presented QM’s work on arts and social transformation, on social inclusion in the creative economy, and on digital platforms for craft. Finally, Network has just been invited to undertake some consultancy for the British Council focussed on the development of effective methods of assessment and evaluation for creative hubs in Thailand. This will work particularly with ‘hyperlocal’ creative hubs, co-creating effective and robust approaches to understanding what works for them.
This tower of imperialism has let in lil’ old me and others in, and over the last 6 months we’ve set up some events which are really different to their usual programming. These events are called unDISTURBED and taste like fine wine.
The events are all things on Stillness (Fri 5th April) and all things Resistance (Sat 6th April), with a sexy and career helping panel on working with resistance called Making Waves which is only £5. The panel includes a really special drama facilitator working on the front lines in prisons, as well as Gal-dem and Azeema magazine founders and a music therapist.
The Friday has an earth ritual in one room from performance collective IntimateAnimals, with ambient music in the other space. Saturday is a celebration of resisting with a collective of fierce Drag Queens with down syndrome, female drum and bass beatbox power from Kimmy Beatbox, Steamdown who jump off the sonic springboard of Afrofuturism, grime and future soul, all fused together with the fearless spontaneity of jazz AMONG OTHER SURPRISES AND DELIGHTS.
Come! It’ll be a lot of fun, buy tickets now and enjoy redefining this space.
(Royal Albert Hall is beautiful and if you’re not from London and have never been it is a MUST-SEE)