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.

Bionote

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 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.


THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GENRE THEORY AND THE IMPROVEMENT OF STUDENTS’ LITERACY. PRACTICAL EXAMPLES 

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

The study reported in this paper focuses on the use of the Genre Theory in multilingual classrooms as an appropriate framework for English L2 writing. Our students’ mother tongues were Spanish, Valencian, French, Flemish, Italian, German and Rumanian. The Genre Theory was applied to increase students’ literacy skills through the study of text types and specific grammar structures that appear in these texts.

We will examine a corpus of twenty essays written by university students on the English Language V course at the University of Alicante before and after they have received instruction following the Genre Theory. The analysis of the essays will show that after receiving instruction on genres or text types, students have improved their written texts because they have mastered how the grammar of written language works and are aware of how grammatical features cluster in particular text types.

This study intends to point out that the Genre Theory has a crucial role in literacy since it concentrates on the production and analysis of texts in a given language. This research will highlight the relationship between, literacy and effective writing with an applied educational emphasis.  This paper will also highlight the pedagogical implications of teaching having the Genre Theory as a framework so that teachers and students can see in what ways this framework facilitates their teaching practice and guarantees their improvement in writing.


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

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 17.00-19.00, Room VG05 (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.

9781783782628

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).

 

The Rhetoric of Death and Dying: Video recording

We were delighted to host a presentation by our colleague and  Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion Dr Johan Siebers on the Rhetoric of Death and Dying.

Johan discussed how death is viewed and talked about from antiquity to present-day. My highlight was the reference to Pericles’ unparalleled Funeral Oration.

Below is the link to the entire presentation.

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.

Festive Wishes from Middlesex English team

Every year we share a festive poem, to wish each other happy holidays.🎅

Last year we shared the linguists’ version of the ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ by Dave Sayers. This year we thought we’d share another alternative Christmas rhyme, this time by the great Roald Dahl.

Mother Christmas

“Where art thou, Mother Christmas?
I only wish I knew
Why Father should get all the praise
And no one mentions you.

I’ll bet you buy the presents
And wrap them large and small
While all the time that rotten swine
Pretends he’s done it all.

So Hail To Mother Christmas
Who shoulders all the work!
And down with Father Christmas,
That unmitigated jerk!” [c. RDNL]

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We wish you that best holiday break ever, including some well-earned rest. We hope to see some of you at the Experience Week activities.

 

Festively yours,

Middlesex BA English team