Crime Fiction in the Archives: Hunting for Hammett

The Language and Communication research cluster is delighted to welcome crime novelist and senior lecturer Dr Andrew Pepper (Queen’s University Belfast)  for a presentation on Crime Fiction in the Archives: Hunting for Hammett.

When? Friday 2nd November 2018, 14.30 – 15.30

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

Crime fiction is typically regarded as cheap and disposable and certainly not conducive to serious archival scholarship. In this talk, I consider what the “official” archive held by the University of South Carolina reveals about Dashiell Hammett, a figure about which much is already known. The real “discovery” is not Hammett himself, for there is little that the archive can now tell us beyond what is already known, but the lives and dramas of those who first tried to excavate Hammett’s story in the late 1960s and 1970s. This talk examines 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. Its focus is not Hammett himself but the freewheeling band of “unauthorized” Hammett hunters who toiled away in the early 1970s and whose efforts typically, and in typically Hammettian fashion, ended in failure.

 

BIO:

pepperAndrew Pepper is Senior Lecturer in English at Queen’s University Belfast. He is author of Unwilling Executioner: Crime Fiction and the State (OUP 2016) and The Contemporary American Crime Novel: Race, Class, Gender, Sexuality (EUP 2000). His “Pyke” series of detective novels, set in nineteenth-century Britain and Ireland, including The Last Days of Newgate (2006) and Bloody Winter (2011), were all published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson.

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.

Gothicising the Fairy Tale: Monstrous Cinderellas in Angela Carter and Ali Shaw

The Language and Communication research cluster is delighted to welcome our new colleague Dr Carina Hart, for a presentation on Gothicising the Fairy Tale: Monstrous Cinderellas in Angela Carter and Ali Shaw.

When? Tuesday, 6th November 2018, 16.00 – 17.00

Where? Room PAG02, Middlesex University, London NW4 4BT

The emergence of the Gothic in late eighteenth-century Europe coincided with a revival of interest in traditional fairy tales, and the two forms have remained in dialogue ever since, sharing settings, narrative structures and motifs. Contemporary writers have Gothicised the fairy tale for a new generation, questioning the value of old narratives in a changed world.

This talk will examine one of Carter’s less-researched Gothic fairy tales, “Ashputtle, or The Mother’s Ghost” (1987), and the matrophobic Gothic elements it draws out of the Cinderella tale’s obscure older versions. Here the Gothic becomes a critical tool with which the text can interrogate the sociopolitical forces that have influenced the endurance or disappearance of different elements in the Cinderella tale tradition.

Carter’s re-Gothicisation of the Cinderella tale creates a feminist text interconnected with its political contexts; millennial Gothic fairy tales, however, show a clear move away from political agency into individualism, as seen in Ali Shaw’s Gothic retelling of Cinderella, The Girl with Glass Feet (2009). The monstrous feminine here is re-sublimated into silence, stillness and sexualised beauty, turning the female Gothic against the heroine in an example of a wider retreat from late-twentieth-century feminism.

Bio:

carina.jpgDr Carina Hart is a Lecturer in English Literature at Middlesex University, having previously taught at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Nottingham Trent University and the University of East Anglia, where she completed her PhD. She has published on A. S. Byatt’s fairy tale fiction, alchemy in contemporary fiction, and Romantic poetry, and is working on a monograph titled Beastly Beauties: The Contemporary Gothic Fairy Tale. Her collection of poetry, Your Brain Cells Sing When They Die, will be published by Eyewear in 2019.

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.

North London Story Festival 2019 Presents: My Generation

If The Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) invented free love, Generation X (born 1965-1981) came of age watching MTV, and Millennials (born 1982-1995) sent selfies and Frappuccinos into the stratosphere, what about the current young generation, Generation Z, (born 1996-2016)? What defines or shapes this generation today? Brexit? Trump? The housing crisis? Student debt? Grime? Kim Kardashian? Are today’s young generation going take the world by storm or are they going to feel overwhelmed by the challenges ahead? North London Story Festival’s My Generation is dedicated to stories and narratives about what it means to be young and living in the UK today.

Thursday 21st February 2019, 11.00 – 8.00pm

About the Festival

cropped-logo-nlsfThe North London Story Festival is an annual event held at Middlesex University and the surrounding areas of North London.  The event is student-led in order for them to gain key experience, and the festival is free to access for students and the public.

Running annually since 1996, the festival aims to celebrate storytelling through pop-up readings by students around North London, as well as guest speakers and workshops at the Hendon campus of Middlesex University.

Previous speakers include Justin Cartwright, Philip Hensher, AL Kennedy, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Andrea Levy, Andrew Motion, Jan Pienkowski, Lord Puttnam and Fay Weldon.

Notable speakers include: David Nicholls, author of One Day and Galaxy Book of the Year winner, in 2014, and Dame Professor Carol Ann Duffy in 2015.

The Festival is held in late March or early April each year. Aside from a number of notable speakers, the festival typically includes fiction and screen writing workshops, book signings and competitions. This year the Festival will be broadening out from its base in the College Building’s Boardroom and will include student-led interactive/participatory events in the Quad and Atrium.

Last year’s North London Story Festival (formerly North London Literary Festival) took place on Tuesday 13th March 2018 and the theme of the Festival was Secret London.

Secret London was dedicated to alternate London and the stories you won’t read about in an Official London City Guide. Secret London delves deep into the metropolis and uncovers an invisible and unfamiliar city, where the narrative of the outsider is given full voice and the unorthodox and unconventional is embraced.

http://northlondonstoryfestival.co.uk/

Creative Arts Showcase and Launch of Haringey Unchained Creative Magazine

We are very excited to invite you to the launch show of ‘Haringey Unchained‘, the creative magazine  and blog that resulted from the intense collaboration of English students (and staff) at Middlesex University and Haringey Sixth Form College.

 

Creative Arts Showcase and Launch of Haringey Unchained Creative Magazinehar

When? Thursday 5th July,  6.30 – 8.00 pm

Where? Haringey Sixth Form College theatre, N17 8HR

Featuring dance performances from Duke’s Aldridge Academy and Gladesmore School Y8 -11

This will be a celebration of London’s creative talent; Middlesex and Haringey students will read out their work and dancers from the WeMove Dance Leadership project will provide interpretative dances of the magazine’s prose and poetry pieces.

 

An additional opportunity to hear readings from Haringey Unchained is:

Haringey Sixth Form Art Show, Private View
When? Friday 6th July, 4pm -6pm

Where? Alexandra Palace, Transmitter Hall, N22 7AY

Featuring readings from Haringey Unchained and dance performances from Gladesmore School Y8srenisha_sun-blind.jpg

We hope to see you at these exciting arts productions and enjoy and creative and thoughtful work of young people in North London.

 

Alice in Canning Town: an urban adaptation of Alice in Wonderland

Our Middlesex colleagues, playwright James Kenworth and director James Martin Charlton, have been awarded the prestigious Royal Docks Trust Grant to write and stage an innovative, site-specific play, Alice in Canning Town.

Alice in Canning Town is a brand new 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 play will reflect the ever-changing face of the East End over the years, from Cockney to Bangra, Krays to Stormzy, and will be a celebration of not only one of the best loved fantasies of all time, but a kaleidoscopic and action-packed journey through an East End that survived Hitler’s blitz and reinvented itself as a leading light in multicultural Britain.

The performance will feature a combination of professional actors, young performers from the local area, and a live youth orchestra. James’s previous plays have all given opportunities and experience to local young performers, and explored the Borough’s rich political history. The show will be performed at Arc in the Park in the Summer of 2019.

Middlesex English & Creative Writing students may be involved in the creative process which will chiefly benefit young people from Newham.

James Kenworth and James Martin Charlton

The show will build on the pioneering work the playwright (James Kenworth, Lecturer in Media Narrative) and director (James Martin Charlton, Head of Media) have done in the field of education, community and site-specific theatre. James Kenworth’s most recent play, A Splotch of Red, was the third in a loose trilogy of East End-based plays, all dealing with revolution and social change, and all performed in appropriate locations in the London Borough of Newham. It follows When Chaplin met Gandhi, staged in 2012 at Kingsley Hall, where the Indian leader stayed during his 1931 visit to Britain, and Revolution Farm, a ‘hoodie version’ of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, performed in 2014 at Newham City Farm, in the shadows of Canary Wharf.

Arc in the Park

Arc-pic1Arc in the Park is a vibrant and dynamic Adventure Playground, featuring tree houses, swings, trampolines, rope bridges, giant slides, teepees, and as such, is a perfect fit for the playful and surreal world of Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Its unusual and imaginative play resources make it an exciting and unique performance space for an Alice in Wonderland reimagined for the East End.

The Arc provides a Newham-wide delivery and resource base for young people with disabilities and/or additional needs and their families. We will work closely with Arc in the Park’s management body, Newham charity, Ambition, Aspire, Achieve, to provide opportunities for local young people to be involved in the making of a professional theatre show. Kevin Jenkins OBE founded AAA because of a longstanding desire to provide opportunities for the youth of Newham and East London. AAA have an exemplary track record in providing activities and experiences for young people in the Newham and East London area that build confidence and expand minds.

The park’s unique array of adventure play resources and building structures make it a perfect fit for Alice’s adventures in Canning Town. We envisage a promenade-style performance for Alice, with the audience following the play’s story around the environs of the Park. This kind of staging was achieved very successfully with the production of Revolution Farm at Newham City Farm, with critics singling out the promenade staging for praise. The Independent’s Theatre Critic Paul Taylor wrote: “The unique selling points of this version are not just the in-yer-face modernity of the language and attitudes, but the fact that it unfolds as a promenade performance in the precincts of a genuine inner-city farm.”

Launch show of Haringey Unchained magazine

We are very excited to announce the launch show of ‘Haringey Unchained‘ the creative magazine that was co-produced this year through the intense collaboration of students (and staff) at Haringey Sixth Form College and Middlesex University.
har

The launch show for this year’s issue of the magazine will be on Thursday 5th July, in the evening, at Haringey Sixth Form College in Tottenham in London. This will be a celebration of London’s creative talent; writers will read out their work and dancers from the WeMove Dance Leadership project will provide interpretative dances of the magazine’s prose and poetry pieces.

There will also be an Art Exhibition at the iconic North London venue, Alexandra Palace, on the 6th July, also in the evening – and there will be additional opportunities to attend readings of the Haringey Unchained collection.