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.

 

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).

 

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.

New book by Middlesex colleague: In Defence of Political Correctness

Are we really free to say what we want in a liberal democracy? Or has being Politically Correct now been replaced by anti-political correctness? In this book, Middlesex Professor, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, argues that PC made public discourse more civilized. And that when people say what they damn well want, you end up with trolls, Trump and Farage and a nasty, toxic environment.

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Journalist of the Year, Yasmin Alibhai Brown is a broadcaster and author of several books. A columnist for the i and the Mirror, she is a well-known commentator on diversity, immigration and multiculturalism. She is the author of Refusing the Veil and her most recent book is Exotic England. She was awarded Broadsheet Columnist of the Year at the 2017 Press Awards.
Yasmin says: – “Libel laws, editorial judgements, broadcasting restrictions, the political atmosphere all impose limits on free speech. And yet when women, minorities, young, LGBT and disabled people object to demeaning language or, indeed, demand equality, traditionalists shout out ‘It’s PC gone mad’.  There are leading voices in this country- people like Boris Johnson, Julie Burchill. Ken Livingstone- who stoke up ugly passions in the name of freedom. Without self-moderation, our streets, schoolyards, public transport, waiting rooms and restaurants would turn into bear pits. Most citizens understand that. Some, however, seem determined to cause disorder in the name of free speech. Powerful, Machiavellian and wealthy individuals are leading this disruption and breaking the old consensus.
Thus, anti-political correctness has taken over the UK and US, spearheaded by some of the most influential voices in media and politics. Invective, lies, hate speech, bullying, intemperance and prejudice have become the new norms. Intolerance is justified through invocations of liberty. Restraint is oppression. A new order has been established in which racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia are proudly expressed.” In this powerful new book, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown puts forth a spirited defence of political correctness, forcefully arguing that, despite many failures, this movement has led to a more civilised, equal and tolerant world. By tracing the history and definition of the term, Alibhai-Brown looks to clarify the very nature of PC, which is ultimately grounded in human decency, understanding and compassion – all of which are essential for a safer and kinder world.

https://www.bitebackpublishing.com/books/in-defence-of-political-correctness

 

Special Effects and animatronics designer Adam Wright  is visiting Middlesex for a talk and workshop

Adam Wright – SFX and animatronics designer.

adam

Special Effects and animatronics designer Adam Wright  is visiting Middlesex for a talk and workshop during ’experience week’ on:

Monday 5th November

At 2pm in H116 lecture theatre

Workshop following this will be based in Grove GB13

As well as numerous advertising and theatre works, Adam’s film film credits include ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as well as making the horrifying bear creature for Alex Garland’s ‘Annihilation.

This is a fantastic opportunity to meet a creative industry professional and find out more about what lies behind these magical cinematic marvels!

All welcome to the talk at 2pm.

Adam will also do a workshop following on from this and MA Film have priority here, but others are very welcome to join in. As numbers are limited, we would like people to sign up by emailing a.robinson@mdx.ac.uk.  If you would like to join the workshop, we will send you some further details – materials provided, but we would like you to keep your eyes peeled over the next week or so for any strange creatures lurking in charity shops, at home, etc which you would like to bring to life..

http://adam-wright.com

Experience weeks 2018-19

This year we are changing Reading Weeks to Experience Weeks!

Students and guests will have the opportunity to participate in a number of activities (workshops, guest lectures, masterclasses, festivals) that will enhance their learning, personal and professional development. These activities can be specific for BA English, or in collaboration with students and staff in other programme areas in the Media department (e.g. North London Story Festival).

This is our schedule so far (check back for updates and added events).

 Week 18: 18th-22nd February 2019

  • Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 12.30-31.30, Room W147. A Journalism Conversation panel on Media and (In)Equality. Guests TBC.
  • Thursday, 21st February 2019, 11.00-20.00, various locations at Hendon Campus. North London Story Festival. This year’s theme: ‘My Generation’. Find out more: http://northlondonstoryfestival.co.uk/

***

Week 24: 1st-5th April 2019

  • One-to-one and group tutorials on coursework
  • Personal development planning

 

These events are open to students, staff and the public. Email me for more information.


PAST Experience Weeks

 

Week 12: 7th -11th January 2019

Core activities:

  • Friday, 11th January 2019, 12.00-13.00, Room: CG76, A screening of the documentary ‘A Cambodian Spring’, and then a Q&A with the director Chris Kelly. Trailer: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/acambodiansprin
  • Professor Chris Mabey (Middlesex), Letters from Myanmar. Friday, 11th January 2019, 15.30 – 16.30, Room WG48 (Williams building). – PLEASE NOTE TIME AND ROOM CHANGE

 

Optional:

  • Faculty-wide collaboration activities.

 


Week 6: 5th-9th November 2018gothic_cinderella_by_rltsweetie

Tuesday, 6th November 2018, 16.00-17.00, Room PAG02: Gothicising the Fairy Tale: Monstrous Cinderellas in Angela Carter and Ali Shaw. Presentation by Dr Carina Hart (Language & Communication Research Seminar series).

Tuesday, 6th November 2018, 19.00 OUT-SPOKEN performance, London’s premier night for poetry and live music. It celebrates diversity of voice and gives a platform to artists whose work is innovative, authentic and plural. At London 100 Club (100 Oxford Street, London W1D 1LL). We have secured some tickets for English students, free of charge, on a first-come-first served basis. We will give priority to third year students.

Wednesday, 7th November, 12.30-13.30, Room W147. A Journalism Conversation panel on Media and Moral Panic in an Age of Algorithms. From rising hate crimes which have been associated with Islamophobia, to the role played by big social media companies and elections in the form of Cambridge Analytics, Facebook and the US elections, to the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World which led to its closure and a review of press ethics! We’re joined by some key journalists and religious leaders to debate these issues:

  • Jonathan Heawood, CEO of press regulator, IMPRESS. Journalist, campaigner for freedom of expression, and featured in the Guardian’s top 100 most influential people in publishing.
  • Rabbi Rebecca Birk. Rabbi at Finchley Progressive Synagogue promoting inclusivity, social justice and liberal values.
  • Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. Journalist, author and academic and winner of numerous awards, including columnist of the year 2017.
  • James Patrick. Prolific journalist, Film-maker, and author of numerous books including Alternative War and Chemical Sausage.

 

Optional Events (registration might be required):

Monday, 5th November, 14.00, H116 (Hatchcroft) lecture theatre. Talk and workshop by Special Effects and animatronics designer Adam Wright .

Wednesday, 7th November 15.00-17.00, Writing workshop/Alice in Canning Town by James Kenworth.

Friday, 9th November, 14.30, Television Studio, ground floor, Grove. Television Production students will be producing a Magazine Show for the Movember Foundation, broadcasting live on Friday 9th November across Facebook and Youtube.  There will be live music acts and insight into what the foundation does and how we can all help.  You are invited to be in the live audience and witness how a Studio TV show is created.