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

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

Trailer

About the show

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Queen Mary University of London

Friday 15 May 2020

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

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

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

Topics may include (but are not limited to):

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

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

English and Drama Newsletter – October 2019

Welcome to October. We have some incredible events and news to share with you so please read on…

Picture: Meet our student of the month Şenay Camgöz from MA Live Art

Read Şenay’s post

Events

OCTOBER OPEN DAY

Undergraduate Open Day
Saturday 5 October 2019, 10am-3.30pm

From Werewolves to live art, taster sessions at our open day are a great chance to explore English and Drama at QMUL.

Book online

FEATURED

A Season of Bangla Drama
November 2019, Various venues in Tower Hamlets including QMUL

A Season of Bangla Drama is back in Tower Hamlets for another month-long festival of British-Bengali theatre. It is now in its 17th year and firmly established in the area’s cultural calendar and includes a magnificent performance of East Side Story in our very own Great Hall in The People’s Palace.

Download the Season brochure

LISTINGS

New Suns: A Feminist Literary Festival
Saturday 5 October 2019, Barbican

Nisha Ramayya is reading and speaking at New Suns which explores new and continuing debates in feminist approaches to technology. She will also be reading and speaking at: Exploring Poetry as Disruption (Sat 19 Oct – Southbank Centre)  States of the Body Produced by Love (Fri 25 Oct – ICA)

Solitude, Sociability and Insanity in the Nineteenth Century
Tuesday 8 October 2019, ArtsTwo 3.20, QMUL

In the first paper in our 2019/20 seminar series, Mark Lee from the University of Oxford explores devotional solitude through the lens of ‘religious insanity’ in the nineteenth century.

Philosophy as Therapy
Wednesday 9 October 2019, LSE

Our very own Molly Macdonald is on the panel for to discuss whether thinking philosophically can be a form of self-help.

Writing Our Way Home
Tuesday 15 October 2019, Free Word EC1

What role can literature play in combatting hostile environments? In a new and exciting collaboration between Wasafiri and London’s Free Word Centre, Roger Robinson, Winsome Pinnock, Inua Ellams and Bridget Minamore join forces for readings and debate on writing and resistance. 

Find out more

QUORUM Drama Research Seminar: Molly McPhee
Wednesday 16 October 2019, QMUL

Be sure to go to the next QUORUM entitled ‘Miasmatic Performance: Carceral Atmospherics in the Theatre of Clean Break’. Photo: Pests by Vivienne Franzmann. Photo by Jonathan Keenan.

English Postgraduate Research Seminar
17 and 31 October, QMUL

Join us for the next English Postgraduate research events from Patrick Flanery and Kirsty Rolfe.

Follow @QMEnglishPGRS on Twitter for booking links

Doing Dr Duckie’s Homemade Mutant Hope Machines
Tuesday 22 October 2019, Attenborough Centre, University of Sussex

Drama PhD Ben Walters unpacks the world-making approaches to performance, cabaret, culture and care for so-called ‘marginalised’ communities.

Book here

Children Behind Bars

Thursday 24 October 2019, 2.07, Bancroft Building, QMUL

Matthew Ingleby will be giving a paper entitled ‘The Child through the Railings’ at this event.

Matthew will also be hosting a free Children’s Bloomsbury Walking Tour as part of Bloomsbury Festival on 20 October.

The Occult
Wednesday 30 October 2019, LSE, WC2A

How does philosophy contend with the mysterious and the inexplicable? Can it really be logic all the way down, or might rationality stand on something a little spookier? Our very own Nisha Ramayya is on hand to discuss at the Forum for Philosophy.

WEAVE IT! – Exhibition
30 October – 6 November 2019, Stour Space

Decorating Dissidence, run by our very own Jade French and alumni Dr. Lottie Whalen, invite you to ‘WEAVE IT!’ an exhibition celebrating and challenging 100 years of the Bauhaus women’s weaving workshop.   This exhibition considers the legacies of crafting and weaving from modernism to the contemporary, exhibiting textile practitioners who respond in different ways to the Bauhaus and beyond.

The launch night on 1st November will see performances by Rasia Kabir and SED’s Julie Rose Bower, with DJs and drinks. 
ONGOING


Read the Room – Contemporary Poetry Reading Group
Every Wednesday (12-1pm) in the Yurt, St Benet’s Chaplaincy, QMUL

Join Read the Room every Wednesday (beginning 9 October) to gather together and fill the room with poetry. Each week we will read aloud work by a different poet or on a different theme, appreciating the culture of contemporary poetry and a collaborative environment.

Meet other poetry enthusiasts or casual readers, stay on top of poetry events, or just enjoy reading something new. Drop in or just come when you can, Read the Room aims to be an accessible space to have fun with poetry.

Sign up for updates

BOOK AHEAD

Frauke Requardt & Daniel Oliver
Dadderrs

5-6 November 2019, The Place

Daniel is dyspraxic and is too slow.
Frauke has ADHD and is too quick.
They are married and have kids.

Join the couple in the Meadowdrome, their fantastical escapist world. Together you will encounter awkwardly intimate interactive actions, strange dances, sweet and surreal songs, and other off-kilter “grown-up” activities.

This interactive show invites you to explore, converse and play within the neurodivergent realm Daniel and Frauke have created.

Find out more

Turning the Page
Saturday 30 November 2019, QMUL

Launching an anthology of writings, Turning the Page, by the SBS Survivors’ Group: A literary conversation between two groups of BAME women – published writers responding creatively to the stories of the SBS support group.

Email us your event

News

Mojisola Adebayo will be presenting The Interrogation of Sandra Bland at the University of Pittsburgh, USA, in October, culminating in a performance by a huge chorus of black / women-of-colour on stage.

Pragya Dhital joined the English department in September as a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, with a project on proscribed political pamphlets in colonial India. During the summer she had two articles published: “From ‘Imam ul-Hind’ to Azizul Hind: The ‘One Man Media House’ in Modern India”, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 42:3, 452-468, DOI: 10.1080/00856401.2019.1596778 “Media satyagraha in the broadcast age: underground literature and populist politics during the Indian internal emergency of 1975–1977”, Interventions: Journal of Postcolonial Studies, 21: 7, 942-958, DOI: 10.1080/1369801X.2019.1585908

Michael Hughes (Creative Writing Lecturer)’s book is reviewed by The New York Times: ‘Hughes’s story proceeds at a breakneck cinematic pace, full of booby traps, double agents and arias promising gruesome revenge.’ Read the full review here

Eleni Sophia (aka English student Sophia Hussain) has published her third book ‘This One’s For You’. The poetry collection is about encouraging young women about the importance of self-love and provides words of encouragement for those going through a tough time.

In July, both Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian shared her poem ‘Her Mindset’ from my first poetry book, ‘Good Morning to Goodnight’ on their Snapchat and Instagram stories.

Hari Marini (Research Student Support) has published her poetry collection 28 ΔΙΑΔΡΟΜΕΣ ΤΗΣ | 28 PATHS OF HER. It has been reviewed here.

Susheila Nasta (English Professor) is has edited a collection called Brave New Words: The Power of Writing Now (Out 7 November) an anthology of essays by 15 world writers to celebrate 35 years of Wasafiri but also channels the hot political topics of today. It features work from Bernardine Evaristo, Tabish Khair, Blake Morrison, Mukoma wa Ngugi, Marina Warner and many more.

Pathologies of Solitude project has been awarded a ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ grant by the Wellcome Trust (£21,192) for a project addressing solitude and loneliness as aspects of migrant and refugee experience.

The 18-month project is led by Akshi Singh, postdoctoral fellow on the ‘Pathologies of Solitude’ project, and Nisha Ramayya ( Creative Writing Lecturer at QMUL), and is partnered by Akwaaba, an anti-racist migrant befriending centre in East London.

The project will support six creative arts workshops to be held at
Akwaaba, facilitated by BME writers and other diverse artists. Its
results will be disseminated through zines made with workshop
participants, an exhibition and a public story-telling event.

People Palace Projects’Xingu Encounter has been nominated for a Times Higher Education award for ‘International Collaboration of the Year’. The project explores new ways to work with indigenous people in Brazil to preserve & protect their knowledge & culture.

Mahima Tyagi (English with Creative Writing student) has taken over the School of English and Drama Instagram.

Follow us for news and views from Mahima and our students

Ellen Wiles (English Teaching Fellow) curated and spoke at Asylum Stories: Fact, Fiction, Truth event at British Library.

Follow us on Instagram

Whilst we try our hardest to make sure listings are accurate we recommend contacting the event organiser or registering before attending as mistakes can be made and we apologise for these.

Meet our Teaching Associates and Teaching Fellows for 2019/20

We’ve just published staff profiles for our inspiring English and Drama Teaching Associates and Teaching Fellows who are working with our students this year.

Click the buttons below to get to know them better and find out about their specialisms.

Ali Campbell launches his new book: The Theatre of the Oppressed in Practice Today (Bloomsbury)

Ali Campbell launching his new book:

The Theatre of the Oppressed in Practice Today (Bloomsbury), which is an introduction to the work of his own teacher and mentor, the legendary Brazilian Director and founder of the Theatre of the Oppressed movement, Augusto Boal.

Seen here with one of Boal’s original Theatre Company Barbara Santos (holding Ali’s book). Ali in turn is holding her own which they are launching in parallel: Theatre of the Oppressed:  Roots and Wings (Kuringa).  The launch took the form of seminars and workshops in Rio de Janeiro at the headquarters of CTO Rio, Boal’s original company, alongside the devising of street theatre pieces and other interventions across the City protesting the draconian measures currently being proposed by the Bolsanaro Administration and impacting heavily on access to State funded Higher Education.

A similar event will happen as part of this year’s Season of Bangla Drama Festival, of which Ali is a co-Director with responsibility for CPD across the Festival’s 17 theatre companies and 6 venues, of which QMUL is one. The Festival begins on Friday 1st November.

School of English and Drama Takeover at the Edinburgh Fringe 2019

Lots of our students, alumni and staff use the Edinburgh Fringe to showcase and critique new performance work.

Queen Mary Theatre Company

This year QMTC have four shows heading up to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Here’s the blurb for all of the shows…

Auto-Nation by Cindy Kim

On the verge of a natural disaster, a prison guard is called into work and discovers a newcomer to the team – an Artificial Intelligence named Sally. When the city is evacuated, what happens to the prisoners?

If I Die On Mars by Clarice Montero

The final 24 candidates for The Mars Mission Programme have been observed for a month by the public in a reality TV show designed to choose the final four. The public have voted and the candidates are about to be sent off to Mars with no hope of return… as soon as the final confirmation is granted.

At This Stage by Megan Young

Have you ever loved a show so much that you wished you could kidnap all the actors, keep them in your basement and get them to perform it again for you? No? Just Rupert?

Rock’n’Roll Girls by Rachel Jermy and Ellie Calnan

Lola, Eleanor Rigby, Brown Sugar, Roxanne, and Monica – you may know their names, you may even remember singing them in the shower or at a party. What you probably don’t know is their stories. Neither do they, but they’re trying to figure it out.

Alumni at the Fringe

Just These Please

Georgie Jones is part of this highly acclaimed sketch troupe who are performing their new show ‘Suitable’ at the fringe.

The Cat’s The Thing

Marissa Landy is taking her comedy based on the reality of living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to the Space @ Surgeon’s Hall.

I, Am Dram

Hannah Maxwell channels her inner am dram in her new show at the fringe.

Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum with Expats

‘Celebrating their final year as Europeans, island monkeys Becca and Louise got invited to the 2018 European Capital of Culture in Malta. Lads on tour…Sh!t Theatre went to drink rum with Brits abroad but found mystery and murder in the fight to be European. Here it is, another excuse for the multi award-winning Sh!t Theatre to get drunk on stage. ‘

Kayla MacQuarrie: Traumatised

‘From an Essex-based, sad, weird kid to a less sad, trans, lesbian loudmouth. She’s grown up, gotten hurt and she’s still here and ready to share in her debut hour. Winner of the Best Comedy Show Award at the Brewery Fringe Festival.’

Criticism and Insight

Bechdel Theatre: BT talk gender and representation on stage and list shows that pass the Bechdel Test.

Check out their list of shows

The Sick of the Fringe: Lewis Church will be covering shows which deal with health at the fringe. Follow @TSOTF for the latest.

To Do List: Rupert Dannreuther from the admin team is a blogger with a mission to bring the offbeat underdogs to the fore at this year’s fringe.

Check out their 50 Unmissable shows list

Did we miss a show? Leave a comment…

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme 2019-20 – Applications Open

Early career researchers seeking support for their application to the British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme are invited to get in contact with us as soon as possible

Deadline for applications: midday on Wednesday 11 September 2019

The School of English and Drama invites early career researchers seeking support for their application to the British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme to get in touch by submitting:

(1) an explanation of the reason(s) for your choice of Queen Mary as the host institution (150 words maximum)

(2) an outline of your proposed programme of research (1,500 words maximum)

(3) details of your planned research outputs, e.g. monograph, journal article(s), book chapter(s), digital resources, other (please specify) (300 words maximum)

(4) a list of existing publications (1 page maximum)

(5) a CV (2 pages maximum)

Please submit the above documents to Dr Huw Marsh, Research Manager, sed-research@qmul.ac.uk, by no later than midday on Wednesday 11 September 2019. Please state ‘British Academy PDRF’ in the subject line.

Your application should demonstrate:

  • that you are eligible according to the BA’s criteria
  • the excellence of
    • your research track record;
    • your academic record;
    • the publishable research you propose, how you will structure, pursue, and complete it in the time frame, and its importance;
  • the relevance of QMUL SED to your research and vice versa;
  • who you would like as a mentor and why.

You are strongly encouraged, before submitting your application and time permitting, to find a mentor, provisionally agree their support, and get some feedback from them on a draft application.

Full scheme details will be available on or before 21 August 2019 and can be found on the British Academy website: http://www.britac.ac.uk/british-academy-postdoctoral-fellowships

All outline proposals will be considered by our Directors of Research and those that we give institutional support to will have approximately one month to finalise their online application, due on 16 October 2019

Dr Duckie and a string of alternative performance coming up from our grads at performance legend, Duckie’s club night

PhD candidate Ben Walters has recently hosted an event called Dr. Duckie at Royal Vauxhall Tavern to explain his work around the legendary performance company and his theory around the power of queer fun.

In addition to Ben’s research project we are excited to see the following students performing at the night…

  • Saturday 25 May: Rodent Decay
  • Saturday 8 June: Jo Hauge
  • Saturday 31 August: Joseph Schofield
  • Saturday 21 September: Alex Legge
  • Saturday 9 November: Figs in Wigs

Mental Health Support at Queen Mary University of London

As it’s mental health awareness week we thought it would be good to do a quick run down of all the support available at QMUL.

Please do get in touch with these services if you need support. If you’re confused about which ones why not speak to a Mental Health First Aider.

Inside QMUL

Advice and Counselling Service

Our advice and counselling service runs 1-2-1 counseling, group sessions, informal drop-in advice, information on other organisations.

Big White Wall

Queen Mary has just subscribed to online support service Big White Wall. It’s available for students and staff 24/7 and there are trained professionals on the platform who can help.

Dyslexia and Disability Service

If you have a mental health condition, it is important that you register with a doctor so you can access the necessary support and medicine you may need. In order to ensure that you access all the support you need during your studies, please also make an appointment (preferably before the start of your studies) with the Mental Health Coordinator to discuss what can be put in place for you.  Email dds@qmul.ac.uk or call 020 7882 2756.

Mental Health First Aiders

If you’re in crisis or just need to know where to go next please come and talk to trained Mental Health First Aiders. In the School of English and Drama there are lots of us including Rupert Dannreuther and Suzi Lewis in the School office.

Student Health Centre

On site we have a medical centre for students if you’re diagnosed with a mental health disorder or think you should be diagnosed.

Wellness Trail

Need some headspace? Download this map.

Outside QMUL

East London Mental Health Line

Call 0207 771 5807 for 24 hour mental health support in East London.

Samaritans

Whatever you’re going through, you can call Samaritans any time, from any phone for FREE. Call 116 123

Shout

A 24/7 new text service for people in crisis. Text Shout to 85258. If your life is in imminent danger, please call 999.

English and Drama Newsletter – May 2019

Welcome to the May Newsletter.

May is an exciting month for us including Mad Hearts: The Arts and Mental Health conference and a free outdoor edition of inspiring mini talks series Show and Tell at All Points East: In the Neighbourhood in Victoria Park.

Pictured above: Our MA Live Art cohort and staff took over the Victoria and Albert Museum on for V&A Friday Late on Friday 26 April. Photo credit: Hydar Dewachi.

Events

Throughout May-July 2019

DIY LIFE SKILLS
May-July 2019  | QMUL – Mile End

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

May Listings

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 j.l.o.dunn@qmul.ac.uk.

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 c.palmer@qmul.ac.uk


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”.

A Nation of Tea Drinkers: British Culture and the Global Tea Trade
Sat 21 May, 5.15pm | Senate House

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.


‘Queer Occulture and Feminist Ritual Performance’: Dennis Denisoff
Thu 23 May, 6pm | ArtsOne Lecture Theatre, QMUL – Mile End

All are welcome to attend this insightful lecture on the connections between Victorian and Modernist authors and writers and queer/feminist reformulations of gender.


Show and Tell at All Points East: In the Neighbourhood

Tue 28 May, 2.15pm | Victoria Park, Bow

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.

Add to your calendar


S A L O N – LONDON presents PRODUCED BY LOVE: REPRODUCTION IN FEMINIST POETICS, featuring Amy De’Ath and Nisha Ramayya
Fri 31 May | King’s College London

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

Book Ahead

Live Art Now
1 June | QMUL, Mile End

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.

Photo credit: Molly Horner by Holly Revell


Romanticism at The Royal Institution
Fri 7 June | The Royal Institution, Green Park

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.

Picture: Surrey Institution Ackermann 1808

News

Tamara Atkin and Jaclyn Rajsic (English department) have edited and published a collection of essays called: Manuscript and Print in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain: Essays in Honour of Professor Julia Boffey. The people of Twitter showed their love for our very own Professor Julia Boffey here.

Shahidha Bari (English department) hosted the launch of Queen Mary University of London’s Strategy 2030 at Victoria and Albert Museum on 3 May 2019. See the strategy

Jen Harvie (Drama department) appeared on two BBC broadcast discussions at BBC Free Thinking Festival which you can listen to on iPlayer:

  • ‘The Emotions of Now’, Sage Gateshead, 29 March 2019, BBC Radio 3, 8 April 2019, 22:00 Listen here
  •  ‘The Actors’ Guide to the Emotions’, St Mary’s Church, Gateshead, 31 March 2019. BBC Radio 3, 7 April 2019, 18:45 Listen here

Gabriel Krauze (English graduate) has got a book deal with Fourth Estate for a “breath-taking” debut work of autofiction about London gang-life. Read more


Gem Stokes (English student) is our very first student of the month. Read our interview with her here.

Martin O’Brien, Dominic Johnson, Shahidha Bari and our MA Live Art students live at V&A Friday Late on Friday 26 April 2019

The next Victoria and Albert Museum free Friday Late event is around the idea of the art school and raises the question: ‘Do they still have the space to break rules and challenge the status quo? ‘

Our staff will join the Live Art Development Agency to host an event talking about what it is to teach radical art practice.

Taking our MA Live Art Martin O’Brien, Dominic Johnson and guests will discuss the way in which the programme runs and provides an alternative arts education.

Plus our very own Shahidha Bari will be part of a panel discussing decolonising art schools and education led by AZEEMA.

See below for details of the event.

Events infomation

Live Art and Education

Learning Centre, Seminar Room 5

19.30

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

20.15

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. @azeemamag azeemamag.com

Action Lab

Learning Centre, Seminar Room 5

From 20.30

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

The Verbatim Project reveals young people’s thoughts on leaving care and going to university to the government’s Office for Students

BA (Hons) English and Drama student, Clarice Montero, tells us what it was like to join The Verbatim Formula:

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.

Stay updated with the Verbatim Formula at http://www.theverbatimformula.org.uk/

Daniel Oliver, Lois Weaver and Martin O’Brien to appear at The Sick of the Fringe 2019

Our Drama staff are hitting The Sick of the Fringe festvial this weekend with their performance and conversations on topics around arts and health.

The Sick of the Fringe | Wellcome Collection | 5-7 April 2019

Read more about their appearances below…

Frauke Requardt and Daniel Oliver Dadders – 6 Apr

Performance

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

Discussion

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

Performance

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

Discussion

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 instigated this?

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 competitive trauma?

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.

English and Drama Newsletter April 2019

Welcome to the April Newsletter.

We’re looking for students to profile on our blog, social media. If you’re interested click the button below and become part of our School’s history.

Above: Watch English with Creative Writing student Mahima Tyagi’s moving short film poem here.

Events

Queen Mary Theatre Company: Edinburgh Auditions
April | QMUL, Mile End

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.’

The Sick of the Fringe: Care and Destruction
6-7 April | Wellcome Collection, Euston

Join our very own performance provocateurs Daniel Oliver, Lois Weaver and Martin O’Brien for a festival of performances and conversations around health, care and social justice.

Dumped by Emily Howarth (Drama graduate)
12 April | Overlock Arts, Hackney

Catch a preview of Emily’s new show described as: ‘Part stand-up, part music performance and part emotional unraveling, ‘Dumped’ is about surviving through song.’

Queer-feminist Ecocriticism in Live Art & Visual Culture
13 April | QMUL, Mile End

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.

Drama Taster Day
29 April | QMUL, Mile End

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 : a research network for neurodivergent students
3 May | QMUL, Mile End

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 j.l.o.dunn@qmul.ac.uk.

News


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.

Shahidha Bari‘s new book Dressed: The Secret History of Clothes  (pictured above) has been recommended as one of the The 30 Best Non-Fiction Books of 2019 by Stylist Magazine.

BBC Free Thinking Festival in Gateshead featured lively debate around the emotions including Shahidha Bari hosting a debate on anger and Jen Harvie on The Actors’ Guide to the Emotions.

Shane Boyle (Drama)’s co-edited book Postdramatic Theatre and Form has been published this month.

Jerry Brotton (English) takes to BBC Radio 3 to go in search of the ancient and very beautiful idea that places music at the centre of our universe: the Harmony of the Spheres. Listen here

Ali Campbell (Drama)’s The Theatre of the Oppressed in Practice Today: An Introduction to the Work and Principles of Augusto Boalbook has been published through Bloomsbury.

Elf Lyons (Drama graduate) was featured in a Guardian interview: ‘It’s the comedy economy, stupid! Elf Lyons on the true cost of standup’.

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

Barbara Taylor (English and History) profiles loneliness in Are we more lonely than our ancestors? for BBC.

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.

Spring Update from Network: The QMUL Centre for the Creative and Cultural Economy

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.