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.

English Education in Japan

THE LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION RESEARCH CLUSTER IS DELIGHTED TO INVITE YOU TO A PRESENTATION BY SHINO SHIRAMA (MIDDLESEX), ON THE ENGLISH EDUCATION SYSTEM IN JAPAN.

When? Friday 23rd November 2018, 14.30 – 15.30

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

Abstract:

My research project is to explore the role and characteristics of supplementary schools overseas. I have been researching how Japanese children learn English and maintain Japanese at a supplementary school in London. Most of my pupils will return to Japan after several years’ stay in London as they come here due to parents’ business. They are called ‘kikokushijo’ in Japanese. Their existence could challenge a stereotype of Japanese, which is they are not good at English.

I will discuss English Education in Japan and the role of supplementary schools to help such children-kikokushijo.

My bio:

My name is Shino Shirama from Japan. I am a second year Mphil/PhD student at Middlesex University, supervised by Leena Robertson and Anna Charalambidou.

I set up my own supplementary school in North London in 2014 to support Japanese and dual heritage children. Currently I have been engaging in researching and teaching such children and parents.

 

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.

A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham

THE LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION RESEARCH CLUSTER IS DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE THE PRESENTATION BY PLAYWRIGHT AND MIDDLESEX LECTURER IN MEDIA NARRATIVE JAMES KENWORTH ON HIS PLAY ‘A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham’.

When? Friday 15 March 2019, 14.30 – 15.30

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

In this presentation/talk, I will focus on the ongoing importance of the concept of site-specific environments to my writing practice and thinking about theatre making; the fusing together of my principal interests in creating theatre-orientated work, namely use of public, unconventional performance spaces and non-naturalistic /creative language in a A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham, the third installment in my Newham Trilogy; and a brief consideration of the public, inclusive and social nature of community-orientated, history-based theatre.

BIOGRAPHY

imageJames Kenworth is a Playwright and a Lecturer in Media Narrative at Middlesex University. His writing include ‘verse-prose’ plays Johnny Song, Gob; black comedy Polar Bears; issue-led plays Everybody’s World(Elder Abuse)Dementia’s Journey (Dementia); plays for young people/schools The Last Story in the World; and a Newham-based trilogy of site-specific plays, When Chaplin Met Gandhi, Revolution Farm and A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham.

His play, Dementia’s Journey, won the 2015 University of Stirling International Dementia Award in the category: Dementia & the Arts. When Chaplin Met Gandhi and Revolution Farm is published by TSL Publications. A Splotch of Red has recently been published in a collection of political plays by Workable Press, a new publishing imprint dedicated to trade unions and organised workers.

He is currently working on his new play Alice in Canning Town, a 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 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.

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.

Through two lenses: Re-enregistering Cypriot Greek as ‘slang’ in London’s Greek Cypriot diaspora

The Language and Communication research cluster is delighted to welcome Dr Petros Karatsareas (University of Westminster) for a presentation on Through two lenses: Re-enregistering Cypriot Greek as ‘slang’ in London’s Greek Cypriot diaspora

When? Friday 8th March 2019, 14.30 – 15.30

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

In the context of Cyprus, Standard Modern Greek and Cypriot Greek have traditionally been viewed as two discrete and mutually exclusive linguistic entities that form a binary diglossic opposition à la Ferguson (1959) with Standard Modern Greek being the High code and Cypriot Greek being the Low code (Moschonas, 1996, 2002; Arvaniti 2006/2010). More recent proposals, however, describe a register continuum (Tsiplakou, Papapavlou, Pavlou & Katsoyannou, 2006; Papapavlou & Sophocleous, 2009). At the one end of the continuum, we find an acrolectal register that incorporates a high number of lexical, phonological and grammatical features (thought to be) found in the standard variety of the language as it is spoken in Greece. At the other end, we find a basilectal register that incorporates a high number of features originating in the regional varieties of Greek spoken in Cyprus. One of the two main labels that speakers of Cypriot Greek use to describe this register is xorkátika (cipriaká) ‘villagey (Cypriot)’, associating it with notions of rurality and a general lack of sophistication and manners captured collectively under the related label xorkaθ‘peasantry’.

In this contribution, I draw on data collected as part of a larger ethnographic investigation of language practices among London’s Greek Cypriot diaspora (see Karatsareas, 2018) to argue that, in London and as a result of being transplanted from a rural to an urban context where the majority language is English, Cypriot Greek was re-enregistered (in the sense of Agha, 2003, 2007) on the basis of ideological conceptualisations of English non-standard varieties vis-à-vis Standard English. Evidence in support of this thesis is found in the fact that, in addition to the known label xorkátika (cipriaká), British-born speakers of Cypriot Greek, who are dominant in English, describe their heritage language as a type of Greek ‘slang’ and also as spazména (elliniká) ‘broken (Greek)’, two labels unknown to the Cyprus context. In the use of the former term, we see the recognition of the informality and orality of Cypriot Greek as well as of the ways in which it challenges social and linguistic conventions. The latter term is not applied, as would be expected, to contact-induced phenomena in the speech of English-dominant speakers that would be ungrammatical in the speech of Cypriot Greek monolinguals. Rather, it is applied to basilectal features of Cypriot Greek such as the postalveolar fricative [tʃ] and words that contain it such as tʃe ‘and’ by virtue of their lack from acrolectal registers and Standard Modern Greek. This suggests that, in the diasporic context, the similarities between basilectal registers of Cypriot Greek and non-standard English varieties in terms of informality, orality and difference from the respective standards enhanced the pre-existing perception that Cypriot Greek is an inferior form of language.

 

Bio

petrosDr Petros Karatsareas is a Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at the University of Westminster. He holds a Ptychion in Greek Philology from the University of Athens, and an M.Phil. in Linguistics and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Cambridge. He specialises in multilingualism focusing on the languages of the UK’s minority ethnic communities. He explores the factors that play a role in intergenerational transmission and maintenance, looking specifically at ideologies of monolingualism, attitudes towards multilingualism, and attitudes towards non-prestigious linguistic varieties. He is also interested in community language teaching and learning looking at how community languages are taught in complementary schools and the role these schools play in language maintenance and ideology.

He addresses these issues based on his research on London’s Greek Cypriot diaspora. He is also actively involved in a range of public engagement activities raising awareness about the value of non-standard linguistic varieties and about the contribution of the Greek Cypriot community to London’s multicultural and multilingual character. His research has received the financial support of the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (through the Open World Research Initiative).

 

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.

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.