Outstanding Feedback Award

We are delighted to announce that our very own Professor Paul Cobley won the ‘Outstanding Student Feedback’ award at the MDXSU Student-Led Teaching Awards.download

Middlesex Students’ Union (MDXSU) is dedicated to celebrating the incredible work of staff members from across the University. The Student-Led Teaching Awards (SLTAs) exist to recognise and celebrate the hard work of our amazing teaching and support staff at Middlesex University.

These awards are student-led; staff are nominated by students at Middlesex, with the final shortlist and winners being decided by a panel of students and elected student representatives.


As the awards are awarded on the strength of the student citation(s), there can be no better feedback on Paul’s feedback.

Congratulations Paul!

When we do eventually return to campus MDXSU Student Officers will be visiting Paul in person to deliver the appropriate certificates and awards. You can find the full shortlist on our website here.

Free creative writing mini-lessons

Dr Adam Dalton, lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing at Middlesex University, has been producing free creative writing mini-lessons on his website, one a day, Monday-Friday. He’s posted eight lessons so far.



He’s producing the lessons to help those stuck at home in the current circumstances to find a routine. A routine can help with well-being. And the lessons just might help people became globally successful writers!


The Satanic in Science Fiction and Fantasy

The Satanic in Science Fiction and Fantasy, the new book by our colleague and Lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing Adam Dalton, has just been published by Luna Press.


The Satanic in Science Fiction and Fantasy officially launches at the BSFA national science fiction convention in April, but copies can already be ordered from Amazon. It’s published under the author name A J Dalton (www.ajdalton.eu), but his alter-ego is Dr Adam Dalton of Middlesex University.


Here’s the official blurb:

Satan, Dracula, Sauron, Lord Foul, Darth Vader. The motif of the Satanic Dark Lord is ever-present in science fiction and fantasy, a malign intelligence seeking to thwart the Chosen One.

In the literature of the 1980s and 90s, the Dark Lord is always defeated. However, post-millennium, there are signs that he has finally begun to get the upper hand, as we witness his change from anti-hero to hero.

In this enthralling study, prize-winning author A J Dalton considers how our understanding and characterisation of Satan has developed over time. From early depictions of Satan as a brutal dragon in the Bible, to the playfully seductive friend in the works of Chaucer and Marlowe, to the sympathetic and sensitive vampire of the modern-day, to the alien and unknowable artificial intelligence of tomorrow.

This book provides a starting point for researchers, writers and fans of science fiction and fantasy interested in the development of one of the biggest tropes in speculative fiction.


Employability Day and North London Story Festival – 18 and 19 February 2020

Week 18 (17-21 February 2020) is ‘Experience Week’. While there are no scheduled classes in this week, we are offering additional workshop sessions that are designed to support the content of your modules and enhance your employability.

Attendance is not mandatory, but it is strongly encouraged. The workshops provide networking opportunities with guest speakers from industry and an opportunity for you to connect with the larger ‘learner community’ of the degree by meeting and working with students in other years.

Note there are two days of fantastic sessions lined up – have a good look at all that is on offer on both days, below:


Tuesday 18th February: Industry Event for students in the Media department

More than 30 industry professionals are coming in to share their experience with you in a series of workshops from script writing, to adverting, to careers in the media. Scroll down for the day’s schedule and how to book

Wednesday 19th February: Main Festival – Theme: Crime.

Prepare your Alibi

For more information and to sign up for event sessions go to:


All events are on campus and are free, but you must book your tickets in advance. Don’t miss out!

Story Festival Day 1: Tuesday 18th February: Employability 

PANEL DISCUSSION: Finding your way into Film and TV and working your way up 
Time and location: 10.00 – 11.30, Hendon Town Hall (Committee Room 3)

In this panel discussion, Film and TV professionals at varying stages in their careers share insight into how they have got to where they are and the variety of routes in – some of which might be on your radar and some of which you might not have currently thought of!

Our panellists

  • Ciara O’Grady, Post Production Manager, That Lot
  • Jude Winstanley, Freelance TV Line Producer and Founder of Unit List
  • Patricia Chandra (biog to follow)

Our confirmed panellists may be joined by some or all of the following, depending on work commitments

  • Alice Murray, HR Assistant/Contracts Logger, Studio Lambert (TBC)
  • Farrah Jaufuraully, Edit Producer (TBC)
  • Rika Kulsavat, Production Coordinator, Distillery (TBC)

Book your place and find out more about our panellists: https://finding-way-into-film-and-tv.eventbrite.co.uk.

PANEL DISCUSSION: The craft of visual storytelling
 Time and location: 10.00 – 11.30, Portacabins (PAG03) 

Experts working in film, TV and advertising share their experiences of creating visual structures that capture a story’s theme and invoke both mood and emotion.


  • Gavin Humphries, Producer, Quark Films
  • Jeremy Wooding, Director
  • Tania Hoser, Director of Photography

Book your place and find out more about our panellists: https://craft-of-visual-storytelling.eventbrite.co.uk.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Creating a buzz around creative projects – the ins and outs of marketing and PR
 Time and location: 10.00 – 11.30, Grove (G229) 

How do you build awareness around a creative project, be it a book, film or some other creative endeavour? How do you know who to reach out to? What channels should you use?

In this session, seasoned publicists offer advice on everything from developing a communications strategy, to identifying the most appropriate channels to engage with your target audiences and adapting your communication to suit these.

Our expert publicists

  • Ben Cameron, Founder, Cameron Publicity and Marketing
  • Gem Pinkney, Publicity Manager, UKTV

Book your place and find out more about our panellists: https://ins-and-outs-of-marketing-pr-creative-projects.eventbrite.co.uk.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Standing out from the crowd – the film and TV employer’s view 
 Time and location: 11.45 – 13.15, Hendon Town Hall (Committee Room 3) 

In this session, Film and TV Talent Managers share ‘the employers’ view, giving you insight into what they look for and how to stand out at interview.


  • Julia Waring, RDF Television
  • Suzy Jaffe, RAW
  • Tom Morgan, ENVY Post Production 

Book your place and find out more about our panellists: https://standing-out-from-crowd.eventbrite.co.uk. 

PANEL DISCUSSION: Pitch Perfect – How do you get an idea commissioned? What makes a script stand out? Find out from the experts! 
 Time and location: 11.45 – 13.15, Grove (G229)

Experienced Producers and Exec Producers explain how to get an idea commissioned and what makes an idea or script stand out.


  • Debbie Mason, CCO and Co-Founder, Heap Mason Media
  • Gavin Humphries, Co-Founder and Producer, Quark Films
  • Vijay Mavjee,CEO & Executive Producer, RedSiesta Films

Book your place and find out more about our panellists: https://idea-commissioned-script-noticed.eventbrite.co.uk. 

IN CONVERSATION WITH: Award-winning ad agency, Mother London – learn everything you need to know about working in advertising!
 Time and location: 11.45 – 13.15, College Building (C111)

This session will cover everything from interpreting a brief, effective client management, through to how to ensure a healthy client side/creative working relationship in an ad agency.


  • Tom Wong, Head of Fame, Mother London

Book your place and find out more about our panellists: https://working-in-advertising-and-corporate-filmmaking.eventbrite.co.uk. 

CAMERA DEMOS: Canon camera demos (C500 Mark II and EOS 1DX Mark III) 
 Time and location: 13.15 – 15.15, Grove Atrium 

This is your opportunity to speak to Canon and find out more about their C500mkII and 1DXmkIII cameras. Over the course of the two hour period, they will be running demos, taking questions and also offering you an opportunity to ‘touch and try’ some Canon kit.

  • About the Canon EOS C500 Mark II: A 5.9K Full Frame sensor packed into a newly developed compact and reliable Cinema EOS body, this camera provides new inspiration and great flexibility for all cinematographers.
  • About the Canon EOS 1DX Mark III: When conditions are tough, the light is poor but the pressure’s on, the EOS-1D X Mark III lets you capture winning images before the competition. It’s the ultimate creative toolkit, with superb low-light performance, deep learning AF and 5.5K Raw video.

Book your place and find out more about these Canon cameras: https://canon-demos.eventbrite.co.uk.

PANEL DISCUSSION: From script to screen – creative writing for Film and TV 
 Time and location: 13.45 – 15.15, Hendon Town Hall (Committee Room 3)

What makes a script engaging and stand out? In this session, experienced writers and a Head of Development at an independent television production company share advice and tips. 


  • Alexandra Arlango, Executive Director of the Brit List and Head of Development at Caryn Mandabach Productions
  • Col Spector, Screenwriter and Director
  • Nick Reed, Writer and Director

Book your place and find out more about our panellists: https://from-script-to-screen.eventbrite.co.uk. 

PANEL DISCUSSION: Setting up your own production company – the low down 
Time and location: 13.45 – 15.15, Hendon Town Hall (Committee Room 2) 

This ‘warts and all’ session will offer an opportunity to hear from and pose questions to production company founders.

They will share with you the pros and cons of running your own company, ‘lessons learnt’ along the way, and attempt to answer any questions you may have on a broad range of topics – be it company set up, employing staff, pitching for business or marketing your services.


  • Debbie Mason, CCO and Co-Founder, Heap Mason Media
  • Nick Long, Co-Founder, Turtle Canyon Media
  • Nick Parnes, CEO, Kalel Productions 

Book your place and find out more about our panellists: https://setting-up-your-own-production-co.eventbrite.co.uk. 

PANEL DISCUSSION: Festival tips for short filmmakers 
 Time and location: 14.00 – 15.30 (College Building – C219/220) 

In this session, representatives from leading short film festivals and the British Council share tips on the festival submission process. If you have any burning questions about short film festivals or the festival submission process, this session is for you!


  • Dave Taylor-Matthews, Festival Producer, Encounters Film Festival
  • Elliot Grove, Founder, Raindance Film Festival
  • Jo Duncombe, Film Programme Manager, British Council
  • Philip Ilson, Artistic Director and Programmer, London Short Film Festival

 Book your place and find out more about our panellistshttps://festival-tips-short-filmmakers.eventbrite.co.uk. 

MASTERCLASS: Learn lighting tricks from one of London’s familiar and established Food, Liquid and Table top Director/DOPs! 
 Time and location: 14.00-17.00, Grove Building (G107) 

This hands-on masterclass will offer a chance to learn lighting tricks from one of London’s familiar and established Food, Liquid and Table top Director/DOPs. The DOP will light a specific scenario and you will then be invited to put what you have learnt into practice by lighting a similar scenario with subtle differences!

 Our Workshop host – Mark Emberton, Director/DOP (one of London’s familiar and established Food, Liquid and Tabletop Director/DOP’s)
Book your place and find out more about Mark: https://lighting-masterclass-afternoon.eventbrite.co.uk.
Please note, this session may need to be cancelled last minute due to Mark’s work commitments so we recommend you also book a place in other sessions for the time being too. We will then alert you to whether this session will definitely be going ahead so you can cancel your place in any ‘back up’ sessions at that stage.

PANEL DISCUSSION: The art of factual storytelling 
Time and location: 15.30 – 17.00, Hendon Town Hall (Committee Room 3)

In this session, a former Sunday Times journalist who also happens to be a Sunday Times best-selling author and founder of his own PR company, and three award-winning documentary makers, one of whom runs a documentary consultancy , share insight into the art of factual storytelling across different media. 


  • Col Spector – Screenwriter/Director
  • Nick Read – Producer, Director and Cameraman
  • Ross Bolidai – Director
  • Will Iredale – Sunday Times best-selling author, former Sunday Times journalist and Managing Director of Iredale Communications 

Book your place and find out more about our panellistshttps://art-of-factual-storytelling.eventbrite.co.uk. 

PANEL DISCUSSION: Securing funding for films and documentaries 
 Time and location: 15.30 – 17.00, Hendon Town Hall (Committee Room 2) 

In this session, we ask our panel of Film and TV experts what funding avenues are open to young film and documentary makers.


  • Debbie Mason, CCO and Co-Founder Heap Mason Media
  • Hannah Bush Bailey, Production Manager, BFI Doc Society Fund
  • Jordan McGarry, Head of Talent Development and Production, Film London

Book your place and find out more about our panellistshttps://securing-funding-films-and-docs.eventbrite.co.uk. 

MASTERCLASS: The Ins and Outs of Sound Design 
Time and location: 15.45 – 17.00 (College Building – C219/220)

An experienced and award-winning Sound Editor will offer insight into how to create a compelling sound narrative. Join the session and find out everything you need to know!

Workshop host

  • Ania Pryzgoda, Sound Editor

Book your place and find out more about Ania: https://sound-design.eventbrite.co.uk. 


North London Story Festival – Wednesday 19 February 2020 – Prepare your Alibi

For more information and to sign up for event sessions go to:


Partnership with Unitas Youth Zone

Everyone at Middlesex University is so excited to be partnering with Unitas Youth Zone. And no-one is more excited than our BA English students who will be delivering the newly-launched homework club from 5th November 2019.


Our 3rd year BA English students, Melissa and Shimyla, will be running the seniors homework club on Tuesday afternoons (for 13 -18 year old & up to 25 for those with disabilities) and the juniors (8-12 year olds) on Wednesday afternoons, from November 2019 to May 2020.

Barnet Youth Zone, named by young people as ‘Unitas’, is an independent charity for the borough’s young people aged 8 – 19, and up to 25 for those with disabilities.  The youth centre provides a safe environment where young people can enjoy themselves and develop skills to build confidence and raise attainment to create a happier and healthier generation.


Middlesex partnership with Unitas aims:

  • To enable BA English Middlesex students develop skills and knowledge in teaching and mentoring and share experiences of university life;
  • To inspire young people from low-income families to aspire to higher level learning;
  • To support them in making informed decisions post-16 and post-18;
  • To provide role models to help raise self-esteem;
  • To improve young people’s wellbeing;
  • To enhance the visibility of English as a university subject area.


Check back at our londonenglish.live website for updates on how our English students, Melissa and Shimyla, are getting on in the new roles as homework club helpers at Unitas.

Paint into text: the re-formation of an exhibition into a dramatic text

THE LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION RESEARCH CLUSTER IS DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE A PRESENTATION BY award-winning dramatist and director and Head of Media Department, James Martin Charlton, on the re-formation of an exhibition into a dramatic text.

When? Thursday 30th January 2020, 15.00 – 16.00

Where? Room CG09 (College building), Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT


James Martin Charlton’s new play Reformation was premiered in London in June 2019. Inspired by the life of the German Renaissance painter Lucas Cranach the Elder, the play was conceived after the author visited an exhibition featuring the artist’s work for the Hohenzollern electors. This encounter with Cranach’s portraits and mythological scenes inspired a work which explores themes of sexual exploitation, power and patronage. In this seminar, the author explores how work in the static, two dimensional medium of painting can be reformed into drama, a medium which combines action and dialogue and which progresses through time and three-dimensional space. How does a painter of the 16th century inspire a contemporary dramatist? What uses does a writer make of historical research, and when might it be permissible to speculate and imagine beyond the historical record?


JMC-2019James Martin Charlton (writer) is a dramatist, director and academic.

His plays include Fat Souls and Coming Up (Warehouse Theatre, Croydon); ecstasy + Grace (Finborough Theatre); Desires of Frankenstein (Open Air, Regents Park/Pleasance, Edinburgh); The World & his Wife, I Really Must be Getting Off (The White Bear); Coward (Just Some Theatre Co.). He has written two short pieces for The Miniaturists, Fellow Creature and Battis Boy (Arcola Theatre). His recent play Been on the Job Too Long has been produced three times since 2015 (at TheatreN16, the North London Literary Festival, and the Talos Festival of Science Fiction Theatre).

He wrote an adaptation of The Pilgrim’s Progress under commission by the RSC, and his biographical play about William Blake, Divine Vision, was performed at Swedenborg Hall.

He has directed a number of contemporary plays, including Gob, Bumps (King’s Head), Plastic Zion (White Bear), Histrionics (Underbelly, Edinburgh). He has directed three site-specific production of plays by James Kenworth: Revolution Farm (after Orwell) played at Newham City Farm in 2014; A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham toured east London libraries and community centres in 2016; Alice in Canning Town was produced at Arc in the Park in summer 2019.

He has written and directed two short films, Apeth (2007) and Academic (2011). He wrote screenplays for the shorts Emotional Tribunal and Best Shot. He recently filmed his play Fellow Creature for 360° video, as part research project into the medium which resulted in the 2019 article ‘VR and the dramatic theatre: are they fellow creatures?’ in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media.

He has lectured at UEL and Birkbeck and is currently Head of Department of Media at Middlesex University.

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 2019-20 Language & Communication research seminars.

The Middlesex Annual Roundtable on Signs, Language and Communication

The Language and Communication research cluster is pleased to announce the Second Roundtable on Signs, Language and Communication that will take place on 7 and 8 January 2020 on the campus of Middlesex University London.

The Middlesex Roundtable on Signs, Language and Communication is an annual workshop launched in January 2019 to encourage discussion between three paradigms of language and communication theory: the integrationism of Roy Harris and his followers, biosemiotics and philosophy of communication. These areas of thought and scholarship share assumptions regarding the fundamental role played by communicative interaction in the emergence of signification, meaning and relationality. They also share views of communication and language that are not limited to the understanding of language as a code-based domain.

The Roundtable is an initiative of Paul Cobley (Professor of Language and Media, Middlesex), Adrian Pablé (Associate Professor, Department of English, Hong Kong University) and Johan Siebers (Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Middlesex). It aims to create fruitful interactions between these approaches in an informal context of invited papers, “flipped” conference style (short talks, long conversations) and, each year, a focus on a different topic.

The first Roundtable in 2019 provided participants with the opportunity to discuss basic features of the three approaches. A special issue of Sign Systems Studies based on the papers presented there is in preparation.


The theme of the second Roundtable will be intersubjectivity. A program and further details about the 2020 Roundtable will be published on London English and our cluster’s website and in due course.

If you have any questions and/or would like to participate, please contact Johan Siebers.