Footage of Crime Fiction in the Archives: Hunting for Hammett

We were delighted to host crime novelist and senior lecturer Dr Andrew Pepper (Queen’s University Belfast)  last month for a presentation on Crime Fiction in the Archives: Hunting for Hammett.

Andrew discussed what the “official” archive held by the University of South Carolina reveals about Dashiell Hammett, and crucially about the lives and dramas of those who first tried to excavate Hammett’s story in the late 1960s and 1970s. This talk examined how biographical scholarship was conducted in the pre-digital era and what was at stake for those who sought, against the wishes of Hammett’s estate, to dig up the buried details of his life and works.

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.

English Education in Japan

THE LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION RESEARCH CLUSTER IS DELIGHTED TO INVITE YOU TO A PRESENTATION BY SHINO SHIRAMA (MIDDLESEX), ON THE ENGLISH EDUCATION SYSTEM IN JAPAN.

When? Friday 23rd November 2018, 14.30 – 15.30

Where? Room V105, Vine building, Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

Abstract:

My research project is to explore the role and characteristics of supplementary schools overseas. I have been researching how Japanese children learn English and maintain Japanese at a supplementary school in London. Most of my pupils will return to Japan after several years’ stay in London as they come here due to parents’ business. They are called ‘kikokushijo’ in Japanese. Their existence could challenge a stereotype of Japanese, which is they are not good at English.

I will discuss English Education in Japan and the role of supplementary schools to help such children-kikokushijo.

My bio:

My name is Shino Shirama from Japan. I am a second year Mphil/PhD student at Middlesex University, supervised by Leena Robertson and Anna Charalambidou.

I set up my own supplementary school in North London in 2014 to support Japanese and dual heritage children. Currently I have been engaging in researching and teaching such children and parents.

 

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.

Video-recording of Leena Robertson’s presentation

Our first Language & Communication research seminar for this year was a fascinating talk by Leena Robertson, reflecting on her, her team’s and her participants’ journey in finding names for the Romani languages used by the informants of the large ROMtels project.

Excavating naming practices in language research  methodologies: The case of Romani languages in Europe

In addition to providing a glimpse to a group of silenced and unmentioned group of languages, it raised a number of important ethical issues. Here is the link to the entire presentation.

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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.

Letters from Myanmar

The Language and Communication Research Cluster is delighted to announce a book reading and discussion by our colleague and Professor of Leadership in the Business School at Middlesex University, Prof Chris Mabey, on his forthcoming book Letters from Myanmar.

When? Friday 11th January 2019, 15.30 – 16.30 (note new time and room)

Where? Room WG48, Williams building, Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

chris

As a western teenager in the 1960s I found myself embraced by a Burmese family. Since then my curiosity has gradually deepened about the mysterious conundrum that is Myanmar.

  • How can an assertive and glittering empire, ruling over much of South East Asia from the bejewelled palace at Ava be reduced to a secretive and isolated pariah state?
  • How is it that a prosperous economic and educational hub on the Asian subcontinent can emerge, in the second millennium as a repressive military regime?
  • How can a people renowned for their gentle hospitality and steeped in the benign pacifism of Buddhism stand by as students are gunned down in the popular uprising of 1988 or the barbaric ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya since 2017?

Chris will read and discuss some extracts from his forthcoming book. It is a first-hand glimpse from those who have lived through the unfolding history of this beguiling land. Through these ethnographic accounts we sample the distinctive flavours and smells, hear the wit and weariness and touch the fragile fabric of modern day Burma.

Professor Chris Mabey has held a career-long interest in leadership development, first as a student counsellor for a Christian charity, then as an occupational psychologist with British Telecom and in Leadership Training with Rank Xerox (UK) plc. He has worked in a variety of sectors as a management consultant, with a focus on executive coaching, team-based development and leadership development of top teams.  More recently he has combined this experience with researching, teaching and writing about leadership development, with posts at the Open University, Birkbeck (London University) and Birmingham University. Chris, who is a Chartered Psychologist (British Psychological Society). He recently led an ESRC-funded Seminar Series on Ethical Leadership: Philosophical and Spiritual Approaches.

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.

Excavating naming practices in language research  methodologies: The case of Romani languages in Europe

The Language and Communication research cluster is delighted to announce a presentation by our colleague and Associate Professor in Education, Dr Leena Robertson, on excavating naming practices in language research  methodologies: The case of Romani languages in Europe.

When? Friday 19th October 2018, 14.30 – 15.30

Where? Room V105, Vine building, Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

This presentation draws on a European Union (EU) funded research study (more details can be found here https://research.ncl.ac.uk/romtels/) in which the Roma research participants identified their language as ‘our gypsy language’. The process of finding names for their Romani varieties more specifically – and more ‘accurately’ and ‘formally’ – opened up new and unexpected situations. The research team’s firm and clearly acknowledged starting point had included a recognition that language names are never politically innocent or neutral, and the names of languages and linguistic varieties have always been dependent on who is doing the naming, and for what purpose, and whose purpose, and whether the naming is done by an insider or an outsider, from an emic (insider) or an etic (outsider)  perspective (Headland et al, 1991).

It is language names and naming practices that are excavated here in an on-going quest for developing more socially just methodologies. In the case of Roma people and with reference to their various Romani language names, they are a source of information of the Roma past and the various Roma groups’ routes of migration (Matras, 2005), and of social exclusion and marginalisation (Danaher, 2013; Fleck and Rughinis, 2008). Importantly, they also reveal Roma people’s agency and attempts to resist marginalisation (Danaher, 2013). One of the key findings concerned the participants’ investigation of both emic and etic naming practices of their own language – switching from emic to etic – which promoted emancipation.

Bio

LeenaRobertson

Leena Robertson is Associate Professor in the department of Education at Middlesex University, London. Leena’s work, research and publications are in the field of multilingualism, literacies, culture and learning. She has extensive experience of teaching multilingual children in schools, and working with families and community teachers. For many years she led teacher education programmes and mentored teachers and student teachers in London schools. Leena has led a network of early years teachers in Finland and Estonia in developing child-initiated pedagogies. Her latest work concerns translanguaging, Roma children and their families, and she remains committed in developing pedagogies and practices that foster social justice. Originally from Finland, Leena enjoys swimming in open seas, and in all seasons, and spending time with her family and friends.

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.

Rhetoric of Death and Dying

The Language and Communication research cluster is delighted to announce a presentation by our colleague and Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion Dr Johan Siebers on the Rhetoric of Death and Dying.

When? Friday 7th December 2018, 14.30 – 15.30

Where? Room V105, Vine building, Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

The experience and awareness of death and dying is a constitutive factor of human existence. For some philosophies, world views and religions death is the ultimate horizon against which finite existence acquires meaning and becomes liveable. For others, the experience of death is an experience of the breakdown of all meaning and death is “the scandal of philosophy”. For still others, death and life are two sides of the same coin, mutually enabling each other even to the point where death becomes the gateway to life or another life and living and dying merge, while there are also views which hold that while we are here death is not, and when death is here, we are not, so there is nothing problematic about the end of life called death, except perhaps that we haven’t found a way to prolong life indefinitely. Not really living or not living well is far worse than death or dying. We know our deepest grief, loss and fear in the face of death but also hope, equanimity and even gratitude. Mortality is as central to human existence as the fact that we have language. The human being is the animal rationale who vivifies her life by the conscious expression of it, no less than the one who is moribund (humus, soil), because she knows she is.

So however we choose or come to live in the face of mortality, our own and that of others, it is clear that death has a profound connection to meaning. In this paper I will not so much investigate different views, analyses, understandings or ways of talking about death, but rather look at how speech shapes itself in the face of death. The confrontation with death urges us to speak as speaking seems the only way of meeting something that completely overpowers us, and yet death is also an ultimate experience that leaves us often literally speechless so that silence seems the only response commensurate with the event; every word is too much and not enough at the same time. Yet a death that finds no words at all is not human and more traumatic than death itself is anyway. What happens to language at this limit-point of human existence, where words and silence light up as dependent on each other in a way we do not understand? Rhetoric, as a way of reflecting about language and meaning and as a practical engagement with speaking, since its beginning recognized that speech involves the head, the heart and the body – the whole human being. It also has a long history of speaking to death; the genre of the eulogy is a standard form in oratory. Rhetoric as it is pursued today no longer is the mere art of persuasion, but the attempt to become conscious, in theory and practice, of what it means to be a speaking being. I will align myself with this view of rhetoric and explore what it can contribute to the question how to live with the disquieting and urgent drive of speaking in the face of death. This, in the end, is a question about wisdom.

BIONOTE

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Johan Siebers is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Middlesex University. He is also an Associate Fellow at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, where he leads the Ernst Bloch Centre for German Thought. He has published widely on 19th and 20th century German philosophy, metaphysics, philosophy of communication, rhetoric and futurity. He is founding editor of Empedocles: European Journal for Philosophy of Communication. Before coming to Middlesex he designed and led the first MA in Rhetoric in the UK, at the University of Central Lancashire.

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.

A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham

THE LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION RESEARCH CLUSTER IS DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE THE PRESENTATION BY PLAYWRIGHT AND MIDDLESEX LECTURER IN MEDIA NARRATIVE JAMES KENWORTH ON HIS PLAY ‘A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham’.

When? Friday 15 March 2019, 14.30 – 15.30

Where? Room V105, Vine building, Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

In this presentation/talk, I will focus on the ongoing importance of the concept of site-specific environments to my writing practice and thinking about theatre making; the fusing together of my principal interests in creating theatre-orientated work, namely use of public, unconventional performance spaces and non-naturalistic /creative language in a A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham, the third installment in my Newham Trilogy; and a brief consideration of the public, inclusive and social nature of community-orientated, history-based theatre.

BIOGRAPHY

imageJames Kenworth is a Playwright and a Lecturer in Media Narrative at Middlesex University. His writing include ‘verse-prose’ plays Johnny Song, Gob; black comedy Polar Bears; issue-led plays Everybody’s World(Elder Abuse)Dementia’s Journey (Dementia); plays for young people/schools The Last Story in the World; and a Newham-based trilogy of site-specific plays, When Chaplin Met Gandhi, Revolution Farm and A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham.

His play, Dementia’s Journey, won the 2015 University of Stirling International Dementia Award in the category: Dementia & the Arts. When Chaplin Met Gandhi and Revolution Farm is published by TSL Publications. A Splotch of Red has recently been published in a collection of political plays by Workable Press, a new publishing imprint dedicated to trade unions and organised workers.

He is currently working on his new play Alice in Canning Town, a contemporary, urban adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, reconfigured for the East End and performed site-specific in Arc in the Park, an inclusive adventure playground in Canning Town.

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.