PRESENTING… THE ENGLISH REVIEW SERIES: MONSTERS!

BA English at Middlesex University is hosting the ‘English Review Series’ of monthly conversations on Monsters in cultural texts. Come and have a monster time with us chatting about popular culture! It’ll be fun. We’ll be talking tv, film, comics, the news and books (all different ‘cultural texts’).
All meetings can be accessed via Zoom: https://mdx-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/96567350722?pwd=L1Q3dVNOWkttWHhkSUtIZDM2ZkVuUT09

Topic: Monsters and fear3:30-4:30pm, Monday 19 October 2020, on Zoom

  • Why do different cultures have similar monsters?
  • What monsters are you scared of? Where did that fear first come from – listening to fairy tales? Watching something? Listening to the news and hearing about a serial killer?
  • Are you more scared of real monsters (like the serial killer Dennis Nilsen, played by David Tennant in a new series) or mythical monsters (like zombies)? But why?
  • Why is horror now a popular genre, when sales of horror (tv and film) were at rock-bottom in the 90s?

Topic: Witches – 3:30-4:30pm, 16 November 2020, on Zoom

  • Witches are wicked, right? What about Sabrina, Hermione, the good witch in The Wizard of Oz, and Maleficent?
  • How did the wicked witch come about, then?
  • Do any of us know anyone who’s a ‘white witch’?
  • Why are there so many UK witch groups on Facebook?·        

Topic: Vampires and devils –  3:30-4:30pm, 7 December 2021, on Zoom

  • Dracula in the novel and Hammer movies was Satanic, right? How come he’s a good guy in the 2013-14 tv show? And why are vampires goodies in True Blood, Buffy (sometimes) and Twilight?
  • Is the Dark Lord a sympathetic character in today’s world? But why?
  • Aren’t vampires just silly and made-up, or is there some real aspect to them?
  • Would you like to be immortal?

Topic: Zombies –  3:30-4:30pm, 18 January 2021, on Zoom

  • Why on Earth are zombies still popular?
  • Is it cos of covid?
  • Or immigration?
  • Are they still making The Walking Dead? Sheesh. How many series?

Topic: Werewolves and shape-shifters – 3:30-4:30pm, 15 February 2021

  • Is there a ravening beast hiding inside you?
  • Jekyll and Hyde is still popular. Why is that?
  • Why does every vampire series always end up with a bunch of werewolves as enemies?

Topic: Frankenstein and A.I.s – 3:30-4:30pm, 15 March 2021

  • Do the sciences of cloning and A.I. mean we are about to create a new Frankenstein? Is that really a good idea?
  • Are Pinocchio, The Blade Runner, Avengers: Age of Ultron, West World, etc, all the same story?
  • Is it horror, sci-fi or actually happening?

WANT TO PARTICIPATE? RESERVE YOUR PLACE FOR ONE OR MORE SESSIONS BY EMAILING DR ADAM DALTON (a.dalton@mdx.ac.uk) OR DR ANNA CHARALAMBIDOU (a.charalambidou@mdx.ac.uk)! YOU CAN ALSO RESERVE PLACES FOR FRIENDS!

German Philosophy Seminar 2020-2021: Martin Buber’s Philosophy of Communication

Our colleague, Johan Siebers, together with Vic Seidler are convening the fortnightly seminars on Martin Buber’s Philosophy of Communication.

Martin Buber’s dialogical philosophy contains a fundamental reflection on the nature of human relations and how they can be participated in, interpreted, and studied. In this seminar we will examine Buber’s main writings, focusing on his claim that the dialogical I-Thou relation differs fundamentally from social relations, that it can only be understood on its own terms, that it exists in communicative speech (even though not always words are exchanged in concrete I-Thou instances) and that it resists all attempts at objectification. We will bring this claim into conversation with other approaches to understanding human relations and the nature of the social, e.g. Marxism, feminism, phenomenology, psychoanalysis, communication theory and contemporary social philosophy. We will ask how the interhuman and the social are related. Could a future-oriented, utopian horizon to human relationality emerge as the mediation between the interhuman and the social? How might this inform a contemporary assessment of Buber’s work? We’ll work with primary texts by Buber and others, as well as with literary and first-person accounts of relationality and dialogue.

Convenors: Johan Siebers (Bloch Centre/Middlesex University) and Vic Seidler (Goldsmiths/Leo Baeck College)

Seminars will be held fortnightly on Mondays, from 16:00-18:00 (online via Zoom). Participation is free, however advance online registration is required as only registered participants will be sent to the link to access the event. 

Dates – please follow the link to register for each meeting:

5 October 2020
19 October 2020
2 November 2020
16 November 2020
30 November 2020 
14 December 2020

More information: https://modernlanguages.sas.ac.uk/ernst-bloch-centre-german-thought/martin-bubers-philosophy-communication-2020-21

The Book of Witches

Dedicated to every woman or person who has suffered persecution or demonization for who they are.” 

A group of researchers from Middlesex University, working with prize-winning creative writers from the north-west, have produced this exciting new book that explores the history of witches in the UK, and what it is to be part of marginalised groups in today’s world. 

The Witch of Endor in the Bible is very far from being a negative figure, so why then have women and others been persecuted for witchcraft in the UK for centuries?’ Dr Adam Dalton-West provides us with answers in a gripping introduction. 

Learn how the tradition of witchcraft is still alive and well in the UK’s south-west, find out the truth behind the Pendle Witch Trials, discover just why Henry VIII was the first to outlaw witchcraft, and shake your head as you come to understand what drove the maniacal Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins

With contributions from authors Adam Lively (Granta Best Young Novelist), A J Dalton (www.ajdalton.eu), and others, this collection remembers the innocent women and individuals who were cruelly sacrificed, examines how particular groups in society are still persecuted, and shows how society and relationships might still be magically transformed

Available from Amazon and other book outlets from 7 August 2020. Order your copy today. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Book-Witches-J-Dalton-ebook/dp/B08F5K8FM8/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=book+of+witches+dalton&qid=1598516130&sr=8-1 

BA English student profile: Claire Cusack

Claire Cusack  is a 2020 BA English graduate from Middlesex University and winner of the Dean’s Award for Best Independent Project in English.

Claire Cusack

“Studying BA English at Middlesex was a great experience and one that allowed me to grow immensely as a writer. Over the past 3 years I have learnt new skills that have helped me to enrich my creative pieces and become a more confident writer.

My third year at Middlesex especially helped me hone in on the skills I have learnt as my final project was a 5,000 word piece of creative writing. After putting a lot of time and effort into finishing the piece and therefore completing my studies, I feel satisfied knowing that I have done my absolute best and can take what I have learnt and use it in whatever career path I end up taking.”

Read Claire’s award-winning crime-fiction that she developed for her final year Independent Project, featuring detective Jennifer.

‘On the Chase’

            1

The meeting room fell silent when the retrieved footage appeared on the screen and showed the robber at work. Covered from head to toe in all black protective gear and a motorbike helmet, the individual opened the money vault, having punched the numbers in without hesitation. They strolled away confidently. Hips swayed. A woman? She departed with two gym bags filled with cash.

Continue reading “BA English student profile: Claire Cusack”