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
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 email@example.com.
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.
Our very own Professor Markman Ellis’s essay, “Letters, Organization, and the Archive in Elizabeth Montagu’s Correspondence,” appears in a special issue of theHuntington Library Quarterlyedited by Nicole Pohl: “‘The Commerce of Life’: Elizabeth Montagu (1718–1800).”
In an introductory blog post File Under Fascinating, Sara K. Austin, editor of theHuntington Library Quarterly introduces Ellis’s use of the correspondence of Elizabeth Montagu at The Huntington to reflect on how people have organized and saved papers over time.
Image Filing tag made from printed visiting card of Mr Montagu Manchester Square, ephemera, MO 6922 (13), Elizabeth Robinson Montagu Papers. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Photo by Markman Ellis.
Funding an MA can be a tricky business as it’s not as clear as for undergraduate study so we created this quick guide to finding funding so you can take the next steps on our English and Drama postgraduate courses.
responsible for marketing within Queen Mary’s School of English and Drama. He
has worked for numerous organisations including Cineworld, Hackney Empire, The
Yard Theatre and Rose Bruford College. In his spare time he runs To Do List a
website about offbeat things to do in London: http://todolist.org.uk.
Show and Tell Panel
Shahidha Bari is a writer, academic
and broadcaster working in the fields of literature, philosophy and art. Born
in 1980, she was one of the first ever BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinkers
(2011) and a winner of the Observer Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism
(2015). She is Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London and Fellow of
the Forum for European Philosophy at the LSE, and writes for the TLS, Guardian
and Financial Times, amongst others. She features frequently on BBC Radio 4,
and currently presents BBC Radio 3’s nightly Arts and Ideas programme Free
Thinking. She lives in London.
Mojisola Adebayo BA, MA, PhD, FRSL,
is a performed and published playwright, performer, producer, director,
workshop facilitator and teacher. She has been making theatre internationally
for over 25 years, from Antarctica to Zimbabwe.
Karina is a Peruvian-British writer
and a PhD student and teacher of creative writing here at Queen Mary. She has
published short stories and translations in various journals and is working on
her debut novel about ghosts, guano and two-headed cats.
Theatre-maker, Breach Theatre and MA
Theatre and Performance student.
Show and Tell is back for 2019 with a whole host of exciting new speakers.
There are two LAHP routes: the CDA (Collaborative Doctoral Award) and the ‘open competition’ route.
Prospective supervisors apply to the CDA route (the deadline for CDA applications is 3 December 2018).
Potential candidates for the LAHP open competition will need to make an application directly to LAHP. This will open for applications on 26 November 2018. The deadline is 28 January 2019.
Candidates must also apply for a place to study at their home institution by 18 January 2019. The nominated primary supervisor will be required to submit a statement of support in addition to the application form, and supporting statements must be received by 4 February 2019 in order for applications to be considered.
If you’d like further information and guidance about the responsibilities of academic supervisors, the LAHP is running an information session on 26 November, 1-2 pm, Room 243, Senate House. You can register via this Google Form
As in previous years, the College is also running the QMPS round, although with a reduced number of studentships available across HSS (down from 20 to 18 across HSS, we think – but it is not impossible that this number will be reduced further).
Home, EU and international applicants are all eligible to apply. The deadline for applications to QM is 31 January 2019. All applications received by this deadline are automatically considered for QMPS.
SED can make a set number of nominations; these are written and submitted by the Directors of Graduate Studies (for English and for Drama). There’s no need for a supporting statement from supervisors – but we may ask you for information or similar to help with the nominations.
Spirals is a poetic journey that crosses geographical borders and unites European female voices in an exchange of languages, cultures, personal narratives and modes of expression. Through the symbol of the spiral, the project explores thresholds, migration, path, nature, home and sense of belonging; the spiral acts as a sign of becoming, transforming and awareness. Poems written by contemporary female poets, recorded material, music and movement are part of a series of performances, photography and video-work. Women create and walk on spirals in a variety of places, such as London, Broadstairs, Coventry, Barcelona, Athens and Belgrade. Hari Marini – PartSuspended (UK) (www.partsuspended.com/)
Serena Ceniccola (furthest right in picture above) – graduand with an MA in Victorian Literature from the School of English and Drama- successfully presented her paper “Nobody/Nowhere: the alienation of the Hybrid in Sui Ishida’s Tokyo Ghoul” at the two-day student conference “Exploring alterity in fantasy and science fiction” at the University of Freiburg, making QMUL the only one London based University to take part in the event.
The paper explores the relationship between hybridity and memory in the context of horror manga, which – in its contemporary form – has been heavily influenced by British Victorian Press and 19th century Gothic. Serena – who already earned an MA in Modern, Post-colonial and Comparative literature with Distinction (summa cum laude) from University of Bologna specializing in Japanese, Finnish and Anglo-American studies – is especially interested in the fields of identity, hybridity, and cultural contacts. According to her paper: “Exploring new representations of the Hybrid in fiction is very important if we want to really understand the world we live in today.”
The conference – that took place on October 19th and 20th – saw nineteen MA students and PhD candidates from different countries and with very different backgrounds discussing how otherness manifests in speculative fiction. Their works focused on novels, comics, podcasts, movies, manga, and videogames.
Dr Timothy Baker (lecturer in Scottish and contemporary literature at University of Aberdeen) gave one of the two key lectures scheduled on “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl vs The Capitalocene.” Dr Helena Ifill (University Teacher at University of Sheffield, co-organizer for the Victorian Popular Fiction Association and co-director for the University of Sheffield Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies) discussed the effects of mesmerism on the self with her lecture “Othering the Self: Speculative Psychological Fiction”.