Peopling the Palace (s) 2016 Festival Preview

Take part in a festival of groundbreaking experimental theatre, music and dance, as well as book launches and events at Peopling the Palace (s) from 7-19 June 2016.

Here’s some of the things you can experience at the festival:

  • Watch a celluloid tribute to what it’s like to study Drama at QMUL on Wednesday 8 June. Book a free ticket here
  • Delve into the ‘Generation Rent’ mystery of Sh!t Theatre‘s Letters to Windsor House on Friday 10 June.
  • Debate the role of shit as both a metaphor and a material reality in our daily London lives at Life is Shit (Shit is Life) on Friday 10 June.
  • Watch Lindsay Goss and Nicholas Ridout‘s new performance about ‘trying to be serious when it’s better to be cool’ on Friday 10 & Saturday 11 June.
  • Raise a glass to the launch of Professor Lois Weaver‘s alter-ego Tammy WhyNot’s Youtube Channel on Tuesday 14 June. No booking required.
  • Discover recent final year students’ work at First Flights on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 June.
  • A double bill of participatory performance by dyspraxic artists including Daniel Oliver’s Weird Seance (pictured below, middle) on Saturday 11 June.
  • Listen to the loud homage to the alternative theatre scene in the 1970s and 80s by a Lesbian punk band Siren on Sunday 19 June (pictured below top).

See the full programme here including times and locations

Find out more about the Drama Department, in the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London here

peoplingthepalace

Top: Siren Band Middle: Daniel Oliver Weird Seance Bottom: Jen Pearce

Grace in Literatures in English: Conference Report

On Friday, 19 June, delegates from the UK, from Switzerland, and from Portugal arrived at Queen Mary to explore different forms and concepts of grace from the early modern period to contemporary literatures. The idea for a conference on Grace in Literatures in English was sparked during the planning stages of the 2014/15 Postgraduate Research Seminar Series. The intellectually highly stimulating discussion was ample reward for many months of preparation, endless e-mail threads, and some last minute panic.

Panels included papers on theoretical conceptions of grace, amongst them Kleist’s and Schiller’s, as well as on grace in Shakespeare, Beckett, Joyce, Frank O’Hara, Edwin Denby, J. M. Coetzee, and Geoffrey Hill. Our two keynote speakers, Ita Mac Carthy from the University of Birmingham and Susan Jones from the University of Oxford, offered perspectives on the notion of grace in Italian renaissance culture and on how grace was rewritten, or rechoreographed, in the twentieth century.

The range of papers showed that grace is a term, notion, or concept that means diversely different things in different periods and genres as well as for different writers and critics. This made for a fruitful exchange, during which explorations of forms of monarchical address in the Early Modern period entered into conversation with eighties dance videos. It became apparent throughout the day that the discussion of grace cannot be contained within one art form but that grace needs exploration as much in the symmetry of prose, as in geometrical shapes, the dance of people, puppets, and even machines.

At the end of the day we had perhaps not found grace but are confident that there is much room and enthusiasm for further exploration of this multivalent term.

Tweets from the day can be found under #GraceinLits. A programme for the day can be found here.

QProjects: New New Year’s Resolutions

Your new New Year’s Resolution: build your CV

New Year’s articles about getting fit, developing ‘mindfulness’, and making positive changes seem to be everywhere this month. However, the Careers & Enterprise Centre has another resolution to add to your list: get some work experience. Not to be the bearer of stress-inducing tidings, but although it may only be the first week of Spring Term, summer will be here before you know it. Will your CV be ready to compete for the onslaught of summer internships, work experience placements, and (dare I say it) graduate jobs that will be popping up over the coming months? If your CV isn’t quite up to scratch, why not use these next few months of Spring Term to gain some relevant experience and improve your application and interview skills through taking on a QProject?

What is QProjects?

QProjects is Queen Mary’s very own Guardian University Award winning work experience scheme that places Queen Mary students into CV-enhancing projects at local charitable organisations. You will get the chance to gain some impressive experience on your CV whilst helping the local community. QProjects last for 3 months, take up only 1 day a week of your time and are flexible around your schedule, meaning you still have time for societies, studying, and (of course) essay writing. Although unpaid, travel expenses are covered and all applicants receive application and interview feedback, access to an online pre-training module and a one-on-one skills debrief with a Careers Consultant at the end of their project to help them update their CV and get any careers advice they may need.

How can QProjects help?

Over the past 3 years almost 100 English & Drama students have taken on a QProject. According to 2014 English graduate Anum Ahmed, the 2 QProjects she did during her degree helped her to land her graduate job in the Civil Service:

I certainly wouldn’t have been able to secure my job without the amazing experiences I had at my QProject placements.  Throughout my interview I was referring to all the skills I had acquired and demonstrated whilst at my QProject placements and I really hope every student at Queen Mary seizes the opportunities available.

2013 English graduate Alex Huxtable fed back that his QProject led him to his current career in marketing:

The project really cemented my future career choice as I was encouraged to try out different things. It gave me the confidence to provide real examples of skills I felt that I already had, but just couldn’t prove on my CV or job applications.

Apply for a QProject today

So kick off 2015 by applying for a QProject. You can find a full list of current projects here: www.bit.ly/qprojectswork.

Stay updated when new QProjects comes up by signing up to the mailing list here www.bit.ly/qprojectsmail.

Lindsey Shirah, QProjects Coordinator

QM Careers & Enterprise Centre

English Postgraduate Research Seminar Series (Spring 2015)

The English Postgraduate Research Seminar is a series of research seminars run by PhD students in the Department of English, Queen Mary University London. The English PGRS welcomes speakers from a number of academic institutions, who come to discuss their current research-in-progress with staff and postgraduate students in the English Department. The papers are followed by a question and answer session, a drinks reception in the Lock-keeper’s Common Room, and dinner in a local restaurant.

Seminars typically take place on Thursdays at 5:15pm in the Lock-Keeper’s Cottage on Queen Mary’s Mile End campus.

The schedule for Semester 2 below is correct at time of publishing, but check the English PGRS website and their Twitter feed for updates.

  • Week 1 – 15. January 2015: Alexandra da Costa (Cambridge), ‘Marketing Forbidden Books and Training Illicit Readers: Evangelical Printing in the 1530s’
  • Week 2 – 22. January 2015: Bonnie Greer
  • Week 3 – 29. January 2015: David Attwell (York)
  • Week 4 – 05. February 2015: Chris Holmes (Ithaca College)
  • Week 5 – 12. February 2015: Rosanna Cox (University of Kent)
  • Week 6 – 19. February 2015: Garrett Stewart (University of Iowa)
  • Week 7 – 26. February 2015: READING WEEK
  • Week 8 – 05. March 2015: Mary Talbot
  • Week 9 – 12. March 2015: David Herman (Durham), ‘Storytelling beyond the Human: Modelling Animal Experiences in Narrative Worlds’
  • Week 10 – 19. March 2015: Susan Wolfson (Princeton)
  • Special Event Week 11 – 25. March 2015: D.A. Miller (UC Berkeley), time & venue tbc
  • Week 11 – 26. March 2015: Graduate Panel tbc
  • Week 12 – 02. April 2015: Stefan Collini (Cambridge)

 

QUORUM Research Seminar Series (Spring 2015)

QUORUM is a series of research seminars run by PhD students in the Department of Drama, Queen Mary University London. QUORUM welcomes academics, artists, professionals, and practitioners working in performance and related fields to share and discuss their recent and on-going research.

Seminars take place on Wednesdays in the ArtsOne Building, Mile End Campus, Queen Mary University of London. All are welcome, and wine and snacks are provided.

The schedule for Semester 2 below is correct at time of publishing, but check the QUORUM website and their Twitter feed for updates and for venue information.

14 January    Dr. Matthew Shlomowitz
University of Southampton
‘The Theatre of Music Making’ with performances of Matthew Shlomowitz’s work by dancer Nefili Skarmea & percussionist Serge Vuille

28 January    Clark Baim
Birmingham Institute for Psychodrama
Applied Theatre and Personal Narrative: Ethical and aesthetic considerations when people’s personal stories are used in performance

11 February    Dr. Katie Beswick
Queen Mary, University of London
The Council Estate as Hood: Grass-roots arts practice as cultural politics

4 March    Dr. Jaquline Bolton, Dr. James Hudson & Dr. Agnes Woolley
University of Lincoln / Royal Holloway, University of London
Joint Research Project Presentation, title tbc

11 March    Dr. Michael Shane Boyle
Queen Mary, University of London
Container Aesthetics, Blockade Logistics: The Logics of Innovation in Shunt’s The Boy Who Climbed Out of His Face

25 March    Professor Peter Boenisch
University of Kent
Title tbc

REF2014: Response and Implications

The School of English and Drama is delighted by our success in the REF, which recognizes us as one of the leading research institutions in the country. The Department of Drama is ranked 1st in the UK for the quality of its research, while the Department of English is ranked 5th (and 1st in London).

The results testify to international quality of the dynamic interdisciplinary research done by our research staff. The REF measures quality in research outputs, in our research environment, and in the impact our research has on the wider world. In each measure we have performed exceptionally well. This is a testament to the hard work and collegiality with which colleagues across the School have approached the REF.

The REF results are vital in determining future research funding, and this result will ensure the School continues to prosper in the coming years. The research that REF measures also has an important influence on our teaching. The School has long adopted a philosophy of research-led teaching; this means that the modules we run at undergraduate and postgraduate level are taught by international experts in the field, and students are thus exposed to the latest and most exciting ideas. The impact result also reveals that academics in the School are committed to speaking to audiences beyond the university.

In the following two videos, I reflect on the importance of the REF, and some of the implications it was for us and for other institutions.

 

Welcome to the QMULsed Blogs

Welcome to All Things SED, the new blogging platform for the School of English and Drama (SED) at Queen Mary University of London.

The School brings together two of Queen Mary’s outstanding departments: the Department of English and the Department of Drama. The School has an international reputation for its high-quality research and its excellence in teaching. The latest REF (Research Excellence Framework, 2014), ranked Drama as first in the country and English as fifth in the country (and first in London) for the quality of their research. The latest National Student Survey revealed high levels of student satisfaction: 100% of Drama students and 94% of English students were satisfied with their programmes.

All Things SED is a platform for our students and academics to blog on cultural developments and reflect on their work and practice. The site will host regular bloggers and one-off writers. We will also host SEDcasts: video and audio interviews with members of the School.

If you are interested in contributing on a regular or one-off basis, please get in touch with the All Things SED Webmaster.