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Language and Communication Research Seminars 2018-19

We are very excited to confirm the fantastic line-up of presenters for our 2018-19 Language and Communication Research Seminars at our Hendon Campus. Hope to see you all there!

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  • Professor Chris Mabey (Middlesex), Letters from Myanmar. Friday, 11th January 2019, 15.30 – 16.30, Room WG48 (Williams building).

The Language and Communication Research Seminars are free and open to all staff, students and guests. For any questions or if you would like to lead a session, contact Anna Charalambidou.

Dismantling the expectations of women, with Lorna Gibb and Gina Rippon

On a daily basis we face deeply ingrained beliefs that your gender determines your skills and preferences, from toys and colours to career choice and salaries.

On Tuesday 19th March 18:30 our colleague Lorna Gibb participates in a sold-out event at Waterstones London – Gower Street.

In her new book The Gendered BrainGina Rippon draws on her work in cognitive neuroimaging to unpack the stereotypes that bombard us from our earliest moments. Lorna Gibb‘s masterful Childless Voices paints a global portrait of people without children, from the playgrounds of Glasgow to the villages of Bangladesh, a first-of-its-kind, global investigation into an issue that affects millions of people.

Chaired by literary critic Lucy Scholes, Gina and Lorna discussed the expectations put upon women by society and science alike, and unpacked deeply ingrained beliefs about gender, motherhood and sexism from their differing perspectives.

‘Middlesex Echo’ out now

The first issue of The Middlesex Echo arrived on campus on March 16th and is already completely ‘sold out’. The Middlesex Echo is the brand new student newspaper at Middlesex University.

Created and produced by students only, it’s a unique way to hear the voices of Middlesex Students. Natalie Rose, second year BA English student, is the first issue’s editor. The newspaper is full of opinion pieces, feature articles and creative work by BA English and many other Middlesex students.

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They are on the lookout for new contributors and sub-editors and everyone can get involved.

You can follow them on twitter @mdxecho and on facebook.

 

 

News on Lorna Gibb’s ‘Childless Voices’

Lorna Gibb’s Childless Voices, Stories of Longing, Loss, Resistance and Choice, was published, by Granta, on the 7th February, and was launched in Daunts.  It was really lovely that so many of our final year students came along and their excitement really added hugely to the atmosphere of the occasion.

There have been a few excellent reviews, but the best so far is this in The Guardianhttps://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/feb/06/childless-voices-by-lorna-gibb-review

There was also a great feature in the Times Literary Supplement who invited Lorna to write a piece about it, rather than just have a review, because they liked it so much!  Similarly, the women’s magazine Red asked Lorna to write a piece, after seeing a review copy, which appeared in Feb’s Red Magazine.  There are good few others, too many to list here in fact.

There have also been several Radio interviews, with two more schedules for the near future.  Here’s a podcast of an Irish one: https://www.newstalk.com/podcasts/highlights-from-moncrieff/dr-lorna-gibb-author-of-childless-voice

And Lorna’s BBC interviews are available on the Radio iplayer.  The foreign rights will go to auction in the late spring and two filmmakers have already showed interest in broadcast rights.

Lorna is currently signed up as a guest speaker at six festivals across the country, and there will be a lot more!

If anyone thinks the book might interest them, it’s available at all bookstores, but is slightly cheaper in WH Smiths online and Foyles at present.

North London Story Festival 2019 – Booking Open

You are invited to this year’s North London Story Festival, featuring an exciting programme of talks, debates and a special screening of  Generation Revolution followed by a Q&A, pizza, drinks and panel discussion.

cropped-logo-nlsfEvery year the Media Department hosts this all-day event celebrating all forms of storytelling, whether for screen, stage or page.

Where and when? Thursday 21st February 2019, 11am onwards with main events taking place in C219, College Building.

This year’s theme is My Generation, dedicated to stories and narratives about what it means to be young and living in the UK today.

Book tickets, and find out more at: http://northlondonstoryfestival.co.uk

Our fantastic line-up of speakers include:

  • Vas Blackwood, of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels fame, whose 30 year career spans film and TV, and work with The Black Theatre Co-Op, the National Theatre, Young Vic and RSC. Tickets here.
  • Benjamin ‘Ben’ Zand, a British-Iranian journalist and filmmaker for the BBC and Royal Television Society Journalism Awards winner. Recent documentaries include ‘R:Kelly: Sex, Lies, and Videotape’ and ‘Searching for Kanye’. Tickets here.
  • Alex di Cuffa (Black Cat Theatre, Raindance) will give a first-hand account of surviving in film, TV and theatre. Tickets here.

Come hear about ‘Decolonising the University’ by Dalia Gebriel and ‘Making Media’ for industry  professionals by Mark Deuze.

Don’t miss the Google News Lab workshop, run by journalist Abigail Edge (BBC, The Guardian).

The day will end with a screening of Generation Revolution (2016), about London’s new generation of black and brown activists changing the capital and beyond. Check out the filmmaker’s Q&A, followed by pizza, drinks, and what promises to be a lively ‘My Generation’ debate featuring students from Media Foundation and BA English and staff from Media and Theatre Arts. Come and have your say!

Free: open to students, faculty and members of the public. You are welcome to bring friends and family.

 

An analysis of the image of women in cosmetic surgery leaflets: visual grammar as a tool to discover stereotypes

We are absolutely delighted to host Professor María Martínez Lirola (University of Alicante) for a seminar on her cutting-edge research on the use of image of women in cosmetic surgery leaflets.

When Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 16.00-18.00

Where? Room PRTCB6B (Portacabin), Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

There are many texts in which images of women are used for different purposes in our society. This research explores the main strategies used to create meaning in multimodal texts used by leaflets advertising cosmetic surgery in Alicante (Spain).  The study aims to point out that women are treated as objects in these leaflets. To demonstrate this argument the main visual and linguistic characteristics will be analysed in multimodal texts in which people are persuaded of the benefits of such surgery. Special attention will be paid to the influence that the different linguistic and visual choices may have on society. This study reveals that the image of women that appears in some leaflets of this type is so aggressive that it could be understood as a new form of gender violence.

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lirolaMaría Martínez Lirola is Professor of the Department of English at the University of Alicante, Spain and Research Fellow at the University of South Africa (UNISA). Her main areas of research are Applied Linguistics, Critical Discourse Analysis and Systemic Functional Linguistics. She has published more than 70 papers and seven books, such as Main Processes of Thematization and Postponement in English (Peter Lang, 2009). She has been a visiting scholar in different universities such as: Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD, 2015), University of Nottingham, Malaysia campus (2015), University of British Columbia and University of Montréal (2014), Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada, 2012), University of South Africa, UNISA (Pretoria, South Africa, 2012), University of Anahuac Mayad (Mérida, Mexico, 2008), University of Kwazulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 2006), and Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia, 2005). She has presented papers in international congresses all over the world.

 

This is the full list of all the diverse seminars Professor Lirola will lead during her stay at Middlesex – all part of the Language & Communication Research Seminars series. Everyone is welcome!

The Language and Communication Research Seminars are free and open to all staff, students and guests. For any questions or if you would like to lead a session, contact Anna Charalambidou.

Click here to see all 2018-19 Language & Communication research seminars.

Teaching visit of Professor María Martínez Lirola

We are absolutely delighted to host Professor María Martínez Lirola (University of Alicante) for a teaching visit to BA English at Middlesex, between 18th and 22nd of March 2019.

This is a list of the three diverse seminars she will lead at Middlesex University, London- all part of the Language & Communication Research Seminars series. Everyone is welcome!

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AN ANALYSIS OF THE IMAGE OF WOMEN IN COSMETIC SURGERY LEAFLETS: VISUAL GRAMMAR AS A TOOL TO DISCOVER STEREOTYPES. 

Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 16.00-18.00 at room PRTCB6B (Portacabin)

There are many texts in which images of women are used for different purposes in our society. This research explores the main strategies used to create meaning in multimodal texts used by leaflets advertising cosmetic surgery in Alicante (Spain).  The study aims to point out that women are treated as objects in these leaflets. To demonstrate this argument the main visual and linguistic characteristics will be analysed in multimodal texts in which people are persuaded of the benefits of such surgery. Special attention will be paid to the influence that the different linguistic and visual choices may have on society. This study reveals that the image of women that appears in some leaflets of this type is so aggressive that it could be understood as a new form of gender violence.


 

APPROACHING THE REPRESENTATION OF SUB-SAHARAN IMMIGRANTS IN A SAMPLE FROM THE SPANISH PRESS: DECONSTRUCTING STEREOTYPES 

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 14.30 -16.30, at room V105 (Vine building) 

Spain has become a country receiving immigrants in the last years. The majority of the items of news related to immigration that appear in the press exhibit negative characteristics. The main purpose of this article is to observe the linguistic and visual representation of Sub-Saharan immigrants in a sample of the Spanish press in order to answer the following research questions: how are Sub-Saharan immigrants portrayed linguistically and visually in the given press? What are the implications of the choices in language and images?

The researcher collected all the pieces of news related to Sub-Saharan immigrants in the three most popular Spanish newspapers, i.e., El País, ABC and El Mundo from 1 June 2011 to 31 December 2014. Visual grammar and critical discourse analysis (CDA) will be used in order to deconstruct the visual and linguistic representation of such immigrants. In addition, van Leeuwen’s (2008) classification of social actors will be used in the analysis.

The analysis demonstrates that the representation of Sub-Saharan immigrants displays the following characteristics: they are represented as vulnerable, lacking autonomy, as victims, etc. This representation does not contribute to the fact that the autochthonous population favours the integration of immigrants into the socio-economic structure, exercising the same rights as the Spanish population, and therefore that the dichotomy we-they is emphasized.


HOW CAN WE INTRODUCE CULTURE AND CRITICAL THINKING IN THE CLASSROOM? EXPLORING THE USE OF MULTIMODAL TEXTS IN THE CLASSROOM 

Thursday, 21st March 2019, 17.00-19.00, at room C110 (College building)

The multimodal nature of present societies makes clear that teaching with authentic multimodal texts can contribute to bring different cultural realities into the classroom. In this sense, it was decided to use texts published by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in order to teach visual grammar (Kress and van Leeuwen, 2006) in a master course.

These texts were also selected because they are appropriate to teach cultural aspects, and the reality of poor countries; they also allow the acquisition of interpersonal competences. This paper will point out that teaching students to be critical with the discourse produced by NGOs is essential in order to unveil relationships of domination and power because discourse is always a powerful tool used to reproduce social reality.


Bionote

María Martínez Lirola is Professor of the Department of English at the University of Alicante, Spain and Research Fellow at the University of South Africa (UNISA). Her main areas of research are Applied Linguistics, Critical Discourse Analysis and Systemic Functional Linguistics. She has published more than 70 papers and seven books, such as Main Processes of Thematization and Postponement in English (Peter Lang, 2009). She has been a visiting scholar in different universities such as: Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD, 2015), University of Nottingham, Malaysia campus (2015), University of British Columbia and University of Montréal (2014), Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada, 2012), University of South Africa, UNISA (Pretoria, South Africa, 2012), University of Anahuac Mayad (Mérida, Mexico, 2008), University of Kwazulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 2006), and Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia, 2005). She has presented papers in international congresses all over the world.

 

The Language and Communication Research Seminars are free and open to all staff, students and guests. For any questions or if you would like to lead a session, contact Anna Charalambidou.

Click here to see all 2018-19 Language & Communication research seminars.

Out now: ‘Childless Voices’ by Lorna Gibb

Our colleague’s Lorna Gibb new book ‘Childless Voices: Stories of Longing Loss, Resistance and Choice’ will be published on 7 February 2019.

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From the playgrounds of Glasgow to the villages of Bangladesh; from religious rites to ancient superstitions; from the world’s richest people to its powerless and enslaved, Lorna Gibb’s masterful Childless Voices paints a global portrait of people without children. Brilliantly grouped by thematic commonality (Those who long, Those who were denied, Those who Choose, etc) the book is a testament to the power of listening, and the power of sharing stories. It is an essential, moving and surprising book on a subject which touches everyone.

To get the book, click here.

Biography

Lorna was born in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire and used to work as a professional dancer. She is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Middlesex University. In the past she’s lived in four different countries but is now back in London with her husband, two rescue cats from Qatar and a rescue snow Bengal from Chichester. Her debut novel A Ghost’s Story is published by Granta in Nov 2015. Prior to this she wrote two biographies, West’s World, on the fabulous Dame Rebecca West (Pan MacMillan) and Lady Hester on the wondrous Lady Hester Stanhope (Faber).