Join our special guest Ruth Abbott (University of Virginia) for her seminar ‘George Eliot in the Biblioteca Magliabechiana: Romola, the Florentine Renaissance, and the history of historical scholarship’.
School of English and Drama Undergraduate Excellence Scholarship 2017-18
We will be awarding one Excellence Scholarship in 2017-18 for students pursuing our BA in English, BA in Drama or BA in English and Drama.
The Scholarship will cover 50% of the course fees (for the standard duration of the course) and will go to an International student (paying overseas fees)
You will be eligible if you are an international student who firmly accepts our offer to study on one of the three participating degree programmes (BA in English, BA in Drama, BA in English and Drama). If you’re eligible you’ll be invited to submit a short piece of writing. You would be expected to maintain an average of 68% or above to retain the scholarship.
How to apply:
When you firmly accept our offer of a place we’ll write to you with details of the writing task.
Deadline: Essays must be submitted by 17:00 BST on Monday 10 July 2017.
School of English and Drama Postgraduate Excellence Scholarships 2017-18
THIS SCHOLARSHIP IS NOW CLOSED FOR APPLICATIONS.
We will be awarding two School of English and Drama Excellence Scholarships in 2017-18 for students pursuing our MA in Theatre and Performance or our MA in English Studies (any of the seven pathways) or our MA in Poetry.
The Scholarships cover 50% of the course fees – one scholarship will go to a Home/EU student, the other scholarship will go to an International student.
Eligibility for the scholarship
In order to be selected by our panel to receive the award:
You should have an excellent academic track-record. We would usually expect you to achieve, or be expected to achieve, the equivalent of a British 1st Class Honours Degree.
You must meet the conditions of your offer.
You must not be in receipt of any other QMUL scholarship or full-fee scholarship from any other source. If you are in receipt of another QMUL Scholarship, e.g. the Alumni Loyalty Award, you will be awarded only one Scholarship, whichever has the greater value.
Please note that:
Scholarships are not payable directly to you, but are off set against your student fee invoice.
Awards cannot be deferred to subsequent years.
How to apply for the scholarships
Simply apply to study full-time on our MA in Theatre and Performance or our MA in English Studies (any of the seven pathways) or our MA in Poetry before programme through our online portal before Thursday 1 June 2017. Scholarships are not available for part-time study.
Deadline: We must have received an MA application by 09:00 BST on Thursday 1 June 2017.
Posters in Parliament 2017: Part of the British Conference of Undergraduate Research.
Hosted by University College London.
Angelica Hill, 3rd Year English and Drama Student
On Tuesday 14th March Queen Mary’s University took two students to the fifth annual “Posters in Parliament” event at the Houses of Parliament. Sam represented undergraduate work in Physics, and I was there for the School of English and Drama. Fifty-two undergraduate students from twenty-seven Universities across the country presented and discussed their research with fellow undergraduates, lecturers, academics, and a few MPs, including Hilary Benn, Ben Bradshaw and Caroline Lucas. Students had a rare opportunity to look around the House of Commons and sit in on some of the sessions being held; whilst MPs, legislators and policy makers got to see first-hand some of the innovative research taking place around the country. It give us a platform to present our work to those who could potentially be making decision around the research in the future.
It was a wonderful day of intellectual stimulation, in an environment palpably buzzing with enthusiasm and excitement. It was great to find out what my fellow undergraduates in this country are working on, as well as allowing me to learn more about areas that I might otherwise have never got the opportunity to engage with, such as nanotechnology, macroeconomics, 17th Century female medical practitioners, and other interesting and obscure areas of research.
We began the day in Parliament Square, meeting by the statue of Mahatma Gandhi (2015), before going through security and entering the beautiful House of Commons. Surrounded by fellow students, school parties, tourists, a few recognizable BBC reporters, and a UKIP MP, we wandered around the building taking in the history and grandeur. My presentation was partly on King Henry VI, who held 23 parliaments in this building six hundred years ago, which gave a sense of moment to the occasion for me. Sam and I got to sit in on a parliamentary hearing about the state of buses in England and whether there should be a reduction, or increase in funding towards the expansion of the bus networks across England before lunch
Sam presented his research on how gravitational dynamical processes, including the effect of the moon Prometheus, as well as, impacts from nearby objects, can determine the structure and behaviour of the F ring of Saturn, in the first presentation session. The poster included beautiful imagery of Saturn’s rings.
This section lasted about an hour before there was a change over to the second presentation session, in which I was presenting my research. I had never presented in this format before, standing beside a poster outlining my work, and did not get much guidance as to how best to present the work, however it seemed the best thing to do was to create a poster which drew people towards you, outline the key points of your arguments, and then once they had looked over the poster to speak to them about your work and outline the key arguments and facts in more depth verbally, as opposed to through a text-heavy poster.
My research is drawn from my third year dissertation work on the denigration of “others” in comparison to the image of the English male and “Englishness” in Shakespeare’s Henry VI trilogy, exploring concepts of the Self and the Other and relating the world of Henry VI to the world in which we currently live. It was nice to bring Henry VI back to Westminster today. This poster presentation format gave me quite a nice relaxed format in which to discuss my work. Although, I think I prefer verbal, paper presentations to an audience as then everyone gets a chance to hear everyone else’s ideas.
Following this section there was a short break, in which we chatted amongst ourselves, whilst the judging panel conferred. This was comprised of Naomi Saint, the Univesrities Programme Manager at Parliament, Diana Beech from the Higher Education Policy Institute, and Professors Dilly Fung and Stuart Hampton-Reeves from UCL and UCLan. Prizes went to research into: the ‘informal economy and migrant communities’ (Nottingham Trent University), ‘the role of art in mental health recovery’ (Hull College Group),’aortic stiffness due to increased pulsatility in cerebral arteries’ (University of Exeter) and ‘the stakeholder experiences of pharmacists in GP clinics’ (University of Reading). Unfortunately, Queen Mary’s did not come away with any prizes, however the experience of being able to present my work was invaluable and great practice for the British Undergraduate Conference both myself and Sam, as well as about 38 other QM students who will be there in Brighton for this event at the end of April.
Attending Posters in Parliament was beneficial in three key ways: firstly, it was great practice presenting and discussing my research with fellow scholars who could identify and question gaps in my research, and suggest theorists and texts I could explore to broaden and deepen my research; secondly, it was a great opportunity to meet with fellow scholars and hear about other sections of research which I would otherwise not have had the opportunity to hear about; and thirdly, it is was a great opportunity to meet policy-makers and see the every-day running of the Houses of Parliament, and get some sense that our undergraduate work is noticed by and matters to people who are running the country.
It was an honour to represent Queen Mary’s School of English and Drama at this event, which has an open application policy. My thanks to Julian Ingle in the Learning Development Team, Jerry Brotton in English and Pen Woods in Drama for their help with this work. I would strongly encourage all students to look into and apply to this event next year as you meet some wonderful people, learn new things, as well as developing the skill of communicating your research to an array of different people, from varying backgrounds, and experiencing the joy of sharing your research with others – as well as the free food.
You are warmly invited to the English Postgraduate Research Seminar with Professor Herbert Tucker (University of Virginia) and his seminar entitled: ‘After Magic: Modern Charm in History, Theory, and Practice’.
Call out for Performances at Sex and Puppets Cabaret from Drama Graduate Edie Edmundson
Sexy, fun, scary, rebellious or just plain weird cabaret performances – anyone who wants to let their pure genius and
talent hang out for a generous crowd.
Sculpture, Circus, Walkabout, Clowning, Spoken Word, Improv, Object Manipulation, Puppetry, Comedy, Drag, Burlesque,
Performance Art, Music, DJs and Dance, Edibles, Sword Swallowing (of any kind)….we’re open to all wondrous things!
In progress and experimental work welcome, slots under 10 minutes. All ages, races, genders and identities encouraged. Get in touch with your ideas, we’d love to make it happen!
Date: Thursday 20th of April Location: New Rivers Studios, N4 1DN
We are delighted to announce that Dr Hetta Howes has been selected as one of the AHRC/ BBC Radio 3/ BBC 4 New Generation Thinkers for 2017.
This is a highly prestigious national competition for early career researchers whose work is of the highest quality and greatest public interest.
The high standard of Hetta’s public engagement work has been recognised and now she will have opportunities to make programmes with the BBC.
Hetta Howes’s research has explored the relationship between women and water, tracing misogynist rhetoric back to the Middle Ages. Her new project will examine the part that fluids play in medieval life and how this might connect to today.
Hetta is interested in how women are treated or portrayed in medieval literature, and how women’s writing challenges or subverts various medieval female stereotypes as well as challenging our own modern preconceptions of women in that time.
I am delighted to announce that we shall have two new professors in the English Department from September 2017.
Patrick Flanery’s first novel was the internationally acclaimed Absolution (2012) and his most recent novel is I Am No One (2106). He is currently writing a fourth novel on the lives of those affected by the Hollywood Blacklist. After his early education in the US he left to do a PhD at Oxford on the publishing history of Evelyn Waugh’s work. He has been Professor of Creative Writing at Reading since 2014 and joins us with that same title, to lead our new programme; English with Creative Writing.
David Schalkwyk is an internationally renowned Shakespeare scholar who left South Africa in 2008 to become Director of Research at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C.. Since 2014 he has been Academic Director of Global Shakespeare, a Warwick-QMUL collaboration which is coming to an end this August. He brings two research strands which dovetail very well with existing areas of strength in teaching and research in both English and Drama: Shakespeare, philosophy, and theory; South African prison writing.
Photos from left to right:
Professor Patrick Flanery
Professor David Schalkwyk – Photo by Julie Ainsworth. Courtesy of Folger Shakespeare Library.
We’re delighted to invite you to the next English Postgraduate Research Seminar, with Dr Adam Kelly from the University of York, who will be presenting a seminar entitled ‘The Novel at the End of History: Donald Trump and Infinite Jest’.
Both MAT and the QMUL School of Drama have a disciplinary investment in digital technologies as a means for producing performance, and as a theoretical mode of engagement. From digital archival practices to motion-capture, quantitative approaches to stage blocking, to cyborg and automated performance, MAT and SED scholars use radically different theoretical frameworks and material practices, but are driven by
a shared investigation of how people perform and behave, and how digital technology influences this.
How can our knowledges support and inform each other? Such cross-over and conversation is common and essential to the growth and development of humanities and technology research.
As a way to fill in the gaps in our departmentalknowledge of each other, and our methodologies, ideologies and practical resources, PhD candidates Amy Borsuk of SED and Vanessa Pope of MAT are widening the net as part of Intersections, a series of MAT interdisciplinary events.
We invite staff and postgraduates from SED and MAT to meet and share their research on Tuesday, 21 March from 4–6 pm in Rehearsal Room One in ArtsOne Building.
For this pilot event, we invite guests to give a 1 minute presentation on your research as formally or informally
as you like, highlighting what you are researching and what you would like to know about the other department, other practices, or other disciplines.
The Flare International Festival of New Theatre, taking place in Manchester 4-8 July this summer alongside the Manchester International Festival, is still looking for challenging and original new theatre pieces by existing and recent students for its Future Flares strand (the main call for artists is also still open). Full details at http://www.flarefestival.com/future-flares/
Calls for Papers
Queer Localities: a two-day international queer history conference at Birkbeck, University of London | 30 November – 1 December 2017 | Deadline for Proposals: Mon 20 Mar
In a prestigious survey of 4,438 universities, Drama at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) has risen, remarkably, from the 51-100 range last year to 30th in the world this year in the Performing Arts subject category. English has continued its steady ascendance since 2013, climbing this time from 35th to 32nd in the world in the English Language and Literature subject category.
The QS World University Rankings by Subject is considered to be among the most trusted of league tables. Rankings are based on academic and employer reputations and research citations per faculty (the number of times the research is credited in the work of other academics).
Professor Warren Boutcher (Head of School of English and Drama) said:
“I am delighted to see our world-class English and Drama departments continue to ascend the QS World University Rankings by Subject, now heading towards the top 30. This reflects our upward curve in terms of the excellence we are achieving in both disciplines, and promises a very bright future.”
Professor Matthew Hilton, Vice-Principal (Humanities and Social Sciences) said:
“I am especially pleased for colleagues in the Drama Department, now ranked 30th in the world.”
The Lunchtime Seminar is a friendly place for established and emerging scholars with interests in religion and literature including sacred texts and objects, theoretical writing about religion, the practices of domestic devotion, and religious writing, publishing, and reading to meet and discuss ideas. Researchers from QMUL and beyond are welcome. Please feel free to bring your lunch.
This week we welcome 2 distinguished scholars to our postgraduate seminar. Bernard Schwartz is on Wednesday with a seminar entitled “Efforts of Commemoration: Dylan Thomas and the Legacy of Literary Afterlives” and Charlotte Ribeyrol on Thursday with a seminar entitled: “The Golden Stain of Time’: Remembering the colours of Amiens cathedral”.
A line up of top speakers including our very own Prof. Bill Schwarz (Queen Mary University) and a drinks reception to celebrate the book and the establishment of a Stuart Hall Fellowship at the University of East London.
Admission is free, but tickets should be booked in advance.
Juliet Jacques has published two books: Rayner Heppenstall: A Critical Study (Dalkey Archive Press, 2007) and Trans: A Memoir (Verso, 2015). As well as contributing to several anthologies, her short fiction has appeared in Five Dials, Berfrois, 3:AM and elsewhere; her essays and journalism have featured in Granta, Sight & Sound, Wire, The Guardian and many other publications and websites. She lives in London.
Juliet will read from Trans: A Memoir and then be in conversation with Sam McBean. The event will conclude with an audience Q&A. Drinks reception to follow. The event takes place on 13 March 2017, at 6pm, in the Arts Lecture Theatre in ArtsOne Building.
It is FREE to attend and we’re not taking bookings. All welcome.
We are looking for a person with a keen interest in The Yard to lead on our marketing and communications, ensuring they embody our values and inspire audiences to see our work. The Marketing and Communications Manager will play a vital role in the delivery of The Yard’s mission and brand. Principally this involves having responsibility for growing our profile, driving audience development and box office growth and managing press relationships, print, advertising and digital communications.
Symposium: Drama Department, Queen Mary University, London (Thursday 27 April, 2017)Live Art Event: Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, London (Saturday 29 April 2017)CUNTemporary is now accepting proposals for a new episode of “Deep Trash”, the unique multi-disciplinary exhibition and performance club night in London.Calling for performances, videos and artworks to be shown on Saturday 29 April 2017. We accept proposals by artists of any artistic background and nationality. We are also keen to hear from writers and academics responding to the call either in written form (theory and cross-genre) or through a performative lecture.
Calls for Papers & Contributions
No listings this week.
To add a listing to next week’s digest please email us by Monday 13 March 2017 at 5pm
We try and keep these listings as accurate as possible but errors can occur. Please check with the relevant party before going to an event or taking up an opportunity.
On Sunday 19th February I headed off to King’s Cross Train Station to catch an 11 o’clock train up to Edinburgh for the Annual Edinburgh Undergraduate Literature Conference. The theme of this conference was “Diversion and Connection”, and Queen Mary’s School of English and Drama had generously sponsored my travel and accommodation for the event. I had four long hours alone on the train to go over, and over, and over, my presentation, getting progressively more nervous and apprehensive. Since I wasn’t presenting until the following morning I tried to take my mind off my nerves by working on other things too.
I got into Edinburgh at about 4 o’clock in the evening, dropped my things at the cheap hotel I had found 5 minutes from the station, and spent the evening walking around the city. I hadn’t been to Edinburgh before. It is beautiful! If I were to give you one piece of advice when attending conferences outside of London, aside from making the most of the intellectual and academic opportunities, it would be to be a tourist. I really enjoyed taking the time to explore the city, the university and to learn a little about the area. It was great to see where fellow students are making their work. Edinburgh has such a rich literary, artistic, and cultural landscape that it was exciting to have the chance to be there for a little bit.
I had submitted a proposal in January this year to speak about my 3rd year dissertation research into Shakespeare’s glorification of the 17th Century concept of “Englishness” in his trilogy of Henry VI plays. These plays were produced in the 1590s but stage the struggles and bloodshed of the 1420s-1470s amongst the English and between the English and French. Shakespeare emphasizes the differences and divisions between the English/ foreigners (the French); men/ women and Church of England/ Catholics. With only 15 minutes to speak, I focused on the presentation of gender and, in particular, on the characterisations of Joan of Arc and Margaret of Anjou in the plays. I considered both the Elizabethan context and the modern-day resonance of the gender and xenophobia issues. In today’s post-Brexit Trumpian world this work contributes to wider urgent conversations around cultural appropriation, nationalism, and the portrayal of other ethnicities, sexes, and religions.
The conference divided into three sections. The first section of the day consisted of two groups of undergraduates (including myself) presenting literature papers ranging from The Medieval and Shakespeare to 18th and 19th Century writers. Speakers spoke about Virginia Woolf and the progression of feminist theory; the contrast between the representation of male and female desire in Troubadour poetry; the way Merlin and King Arthur are presented in Medieval literature; as well as an exploration of the boom in children’s literature during the Victorian era. My presentation went well which was a relief. Everyone reacted viscerally to the photo montage of Trump, Farage, Wilders, May, and others, with which I concluded my presentation. I was delighted that this resonance of the ideas with current issues provoked lots of conversation and I had some really stimulating questions about crossover work and ideas from other peers presenting.
After the tea break (where I am unashamed to say I stuffed my face on all the cakes, cookies, and free coffee ), another two panels of undergraduates spoke firstly about 20th Century Literature, and then International Literature. The speakers in this section spoke about the relation between the genocide of Australian aboriginal people and Jewish people in the Holocaust through literature (with this speaker having flown in from Canada); the dichotomy between the East and West as expressed through Arab literature, with a specific focus on the work of Rabih Alameddine, Chinese language internet literature, and the struggles of national identity and sexuality in Mexican literature.
The day concluded after lunch (again free and plentiful) with a Postgraduate Panel talking about their research in Universities including Edinburgh, York, Durham, Oxford, Cambridge, Canada and Spain, the benefits of postgraduate study. We also heard from the conference Keynote Speaker, Dr Richard Walsh from the University of York, about narrative structure and wonder.
Attending this conference was beneficial in three key ways: firstly, it was great practice presenting and discussing my research with fellow literary scholars who could identify and question gaps in my research and suggest theorists and texts I could explore to broaden and deepen my research; secondly, it was a great opportunity to hear about other sections of literary research which I would have otherwise not had the opportunity to hear about; and thirdly, it is extremely enjoyable to meet with fellow literature lovers and hear about other university courses, and experiences as I go on to consider the possibility of Masters degrees and further academic study in the future. There was a lot of free food, coffee, tea, and wine to drown our nerves with, and everyone was really friendly and constructive. I have set up an online group for participants where we have already shared our written papers and exchanged messages since the conference. I hope to keep in touch with them.
It was an honour to represent Queen Mary’s English Department at the conference, which has an open application policy. I would recommend other students to make an application to attend next year.
In the meantime, The Centre for Early Modern Studies at King’s College London is holding a Bodies in Motion in the Early Modern World Conference this June. Worth trying to go to it, or there is also the opportunity to submitting a poster, linked to a paper of yours, for presentation at the conference. If you’re interested email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For generations race has defined interpretations of Othello. Important though this tradition has been in addressing issues like civil rights and apartheid, Jerry Brotton will argue in this talk that current preoccupations with race obscure how Elizabethan England’s religious and imperial relations with the Islamic world shaped the dramatic action of plays like Othello.
In close readings of key passages (Othello’s ‘travel’s history’, the ‘Willow song’ scene and Othello’s last speech), Professor Brotton offers a new interpretation of the play that resonates with our current anxieties about religious extremism, immigration and cosmopolitanism.
“Where better to speak about Othello and its reflection of our current global predicament than at a place called the Globe? Such predicaments are now understood as much through debates about faith and belonging as race…”
Terms and conditions: Competition closes on Tuesday 7 March at 5pm GMT. The competition is open to anyone based in the UK. 3 winners will be selected to win a prize. There are 3 prizes available of:
1 x This Orient Isle paperback + 2 x tickets to A Wheeling and Extravagant Stranger: Othello, Elizabeth and Islam event with Jerry Brotton on Thursday 9 March.
2 runners up prizes of 2 x tickets to Jerry Brotton’s event (detailed above).
“New Diorama Theatre has just launched the search for the best six graduating, or recently graduated, companies from across the UK to take part on our artist development programme 2017.
Companies taking part showcase their work at New Diorama, receiving 100% of their box office and a series of workshops lead by industry professionals on subjects such as Marketing, Access, Finances, Charity status, Fundraising and producing amongst others. They also receive the support of New Diorama Theatre’s staff team over the course of the whole year, and beyond!
Companies have gone on from the course to be part of the Emerging Companies programme, which has featured companies such as LOST WATCH, BREACH THEATRE and SMOKE AND OAKUM, who are now both regular features on the New Diorama Theatre season programme.
We are looking for the next really exciting generation of theatre companies, and your course was highlighted to us as somewhere encouraging the making of unique, exciting theatre. If you know anyone who might be interested in taking part on our Graduate Emerging Companies programme, please send them this link, or ask them to get in touch with me directly and I can advise them on how to apply. https://goo.gl/rZaKEc
“Freshly Scratched is an open platform for emerging artists to try out new ideas, in an early stage of development, in front of an audience.
We are interested in artists that push boundaries, who want to reach out to people who would not otherwise go to art centres, and we are interested in work that looks and feels new. Each idea can last anything up to ten minutes, and we usually programme six or seven pieces alongside each other, creating an evening of rough and ready flashes of inspiration.
Want to get involved? Visit our website for more information on how to apply.”
Calls for Papers & Contributions
Literary London Conference 2017 – Call for Papers | Deadline: Fri 17 Mar
Literary London Society is looking for papers around the theme of: ‘Fantastic London: Dream, Speculation and Nightmare’.
PLANES | Tue 31 Jan-Sat 4 Feb | The Yard Theatre, Hackney Wick | £15/£12 (conc)
Tell us about your new work PLANES? How did it come about?
PLANES is a “live tuning” into missing things. By that I mean it’s a live work for theatre that explores notions of remembering and processing difficult experiences, with a live accompanying score by the poet and composer Timothy Thornton. In this case, that difficulty is the suicides of people close to me. Mental Health is in crisis and more and more people seem to be suffering as services are slashed and the world becomes crueler. I suppose, as someone trying to survive, the work emerged to try and harness the truth of both what grief is and how we move forwards—but it’s a tough one! I did a couple of scratch previews of that work, with the help of Arts Council England and Battersea Arts Centre, and then The Yard invited me to present the work as part of their NOW 17 festival of new performance. So I was really chuffed about that.
Who or what inspires you to make theatre work?
Anything and everyone really. I try to make work that’s honest and not too obscured by style and posturing, although inevitably when you “make” something it always runs the risk of being perceived as such. I guess that’s the magic of any kind of art making or creativity—the multitude of ways it can be perceived. I’m not here to moderate or manipulate anyone’s feelings, although I am trying to create a world where people find some sort of connection. I’m hugely inspired by the European avant-garde and the New York experimental theatre of the 70s and 80s. The Wooster Group particularly are a huge inspiration, as is the writer and filmmaker Derek Jarman. I guess I want to make work that documents the experience of being alive, here and now, without too much thought.
What was studying English Studies at Queen Mary like? Do you have any favourite memories or tutors?
Fantastic. I have very warm memories there. The English Department is second to none: great teaching, excellent resources and the chance to really engage with literary theory—which has influenced my creative practice hugely. My favourite memory is meeting Matthew, who studied on the MA with me. He was a wonderful friend and support throughout the course, and introduced me to lots of new left-wing and radical revolutionary thought. He was a wonderful person: sensitive, vibrant and hugely caring. Sadly, Matthew took his own life in October last year. I miss him hugely. This show is partly dedicated to him.