Experience Week activities, Friday 11th January 2019

At our first experience week for 2019, students and guests will have the opportunity to participate in a full day of exciting activities that will enhance their learning, personal and professional development.

A Cambodian Spring, Friday 11th January, 12.00-15.30, CG76 
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A screening of award-winning documentary ‘A Cambodian Spring’ followed by a Q&A with the director and the monk who risked his position in his Buddhist community to help Cambodian civilians to protest.

The screening starts at midday, followed by a 30-minute break and then the Q&A 2.30-3.30pm.

Register for a seat here, all welcome: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/award-winning-cambodian-spring-documentary-screening-and-qa-with-director-tickets-53397911591

 

Letters from Myanmar, Friday 11th January, 15.30 – 16.30, WG48

A book reading and discussion by Professor Chris Mabeychris

As a western teenager in the 1960s Chris found himself embraced

by a Burmese family. Since then his 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 bejeweled 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.

 

For the full schedule of all experience weeks’ activities, including optional events, see: Experience weeks 2018-19

 

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.

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 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 (details to be announced nearer the time).

***

 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.

***

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 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, Room TBC 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.

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.

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.

A-level English reform and English at University

In the 2018 University English meeting, Billy Clark and Andrea Macrae discussed academics’ perceptions and awareness of A-level English reform. The survey, funded by the British Academy and Leverhulme, was conducted  by the ‘Integrating English‘ dream team: Andrea, Billy, and Marcello Giovanelli. You can find a visualisation of their findings here.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, English subject leaders feel that they and their teaching staff are little informed about changes to A-levels. In fact, the overwhelming majority of English degrees in the UK are making no (55%) or minor (33%)  changes changes to the curriculum to support the transition of students who are taking the reformed A-Levels.

Professor Billy Clark at the Heads of Department & Subject Leaders’ Networking Day (13th April), University of Lancaster

On a more positive note, the Lang/Lit A-level is more positively viewed in Higher Education than in schools. 95% of university English subject leaders perceive it as useful in preparing students for English degree programmes. In fact, this is tallies with our own anecdotal evidence. A couple of days ago, at a local college visit, the Lang/Lit teacher was telling how the English Literature A-Level still carries much more prestige and is more popular with staff and pupils than the Lang/Lit A-Level.

And finally, a third of English degrees do not require any of the three English A-Levels (English Language, English Literature and English Lang/Lit). It looks like we are not that unique at Middlesex!

So what can we do in higher education to help the transition of our students from secondary to tertiary education?

Billy explained the importance of connecting with secondary teachers and students, awarding bodies, even our PGCE colleagues. He also showed the importance of helping first-year undergraduate students understand how university work differs from school-level work.

Jenny Stevens (Teacher of English and freelance writer and editor) presenting the post-16 perspective on English teaching and learning suggested that HE sector can help by:

  • Getting  involved in GCSE & A Level qualification;
  • Communicating with A-level student, parents and teachers via university website (podcasts/screencasts);
  • Cross sector collaborations on social media (e.g. linking with Centre for English & Media);
  • Joining the English Association Secondary Education Committee.