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 Or has being Politically Correct now been replaced by anti-political correctness?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

 

Language and Communication Research Seminars 2018-19

We are very excited to confirm the fantastic line-up of presenters for our 2018-19 Language and Communication Research Seminars at our Hendon Campus. Hope to see you all there!

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  • Professor Chris Mabey (Middlesex), Letters from Myanmar. Friday, 11th January 2019, 15.30 – 16.30, Room WG48 (Williams building).

 

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.

Reading on Screen: challenging myths and misperceptions of reading in the digital age

The Language and Communication research cluster is delighted to welcome Professor Bronwen Thomas (Bournemouth University) for a presentation on Reading on Screen: challenging myths and misperceptions of reading in the digital age.

When? Friday 8th February 2019, 14.30 – 15.30

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

Debates about digital reading are beset by stereotypes such as those of the ‘digital native’, and crude binaries about print vs screen cultures.  Two projects supported by the AHRC – Researching Readers Online (2012) and The Digital Reading Network (2013-14) – set out to provide more nuanced insights into the practices of digital readers and to explore new approaches to the study of readers based on the rich data about reading available to us thanks to the digital revolution.  A third project, Reading on Screen (2017-18), employed innovative participatory methods to create over 30 digital stories reflecting the complex and often contradictory experiences of contemporary readers from a variety of social backgrounds and ages.

In this paper, I will reflect on the efficacy of the digital storytelling method for eliciting reader responses of a radically different kind to those we are accustomed to from academic studies reliant on interviews, questionnaires or textual analysis.  I will also outline the main outcomes and impact of the project, both planned and unplanned, particularly focusing on group dynamics, benefits reported by participants, and follow on activities and creative projects initiated by them.

Bronwen Thomas

BIO

Bronwen Thomas is Professor of English and New Media at Bournemouth University and Director of the Centre for the Study of Journalism, Culture and Community. She has led three AHRC funded projects on digital reading, and has published widely on new media narratives, fanfiction and online communities. Bronwen is currently writing a book on Literature and Social Media.

 

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.

 

 

Wakeful: listening to the past through archives and experimentation

The Language and Communication research cluster is delighted to announce a presentation by our colleague Dr Anne Robinson on Wakeful: listening to the past through archives and experimentation.

When? Friday 25th January 2019, 14.30 – 15.30

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

‘If I Sleep, I May be Caught’ was the motto of HMS Wakeful a WW1 destroyer on which the artist’s father was ship’s cook: built on ‘Red’ Clydeside in 1917 and sent off to intervene in the Baltic straight after the Armistice. Wakeful is a new, experimental film work with percussive sound, with research drawing both on fragmented childhood memory and archive sources from an ‘undeclared war’. Robinson works experimentally with film technologies to record the passing of time: performers re-inhabit the past, the landscapes of war give up their dead and soundscapes of the past seep into the present.

www.wakefulproject.org

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BIO:

Anne Robinson is an artist who lives and works in east London. As well as working in film, she collaborates on curating and multidisciplinary work. She holds a PhD in Painting, Film and Temporality and currently teaches 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 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.

 

Sneak peak on this year’s ‘Haringey Unchained’ magazine

We are very happy to report that all content (poems, short fiction, illustrations, photographs etc.) that we have submitted this year has  been added to the Haringey Unchained blog.

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Please visit here: https://haringeyunchained.wordpress.com.

 

At the top of the page, there is the following link, which reflects the partnership between students and staff of English from Middlesex University and Haringey Sixth Form Centre:

https://haringeyunchained.wordpress.com/university-partnerships/

Submission on the blog are anonymised. Anything submitted by Middlesex is demarcated by a * in the title.

Over the next couple weeks, we’ll be updating the blog so that it is a premium account so the URL will eventually change to: www.haringeyunchained.com.

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Our next and final editorial session together will be Thursday 3rd May at 4:30 pm. We are going to have to be merciless about the items we cut in order to get it to fit 52 pages.  We will spent the time placing pieces along the flat plan together.

Really looking forward to seeing the finalised version of the print magazine!