‘Down an East End Rabbit Hole’: adapting Lewis Carroll for an urban public environment

THE LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION RESEARCH CLUSTER IS DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE A PRESENTATION BY OUR COLLEAGUE AND acclaimed playwright James Kenworth ON his urban adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

When? Thursday 14th November 2019, 15.00 – 16.00

Where? Room CG82 (College), Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

AliceCT 21

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. Alice is the fourth in a quadrilogy of East-End-based plays written by playwright and Middlesex lecturer James Kenworth, all dealing with revolution and social change, and all performed in appropriate locations in the East End. It follows When Chaplin met Gandhi, staged in 2012 at Kingsley Hall, where Gandhi lived and worked for 3 months; Revolution Farm, a ‘hoodie version’ of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, performed in 2014 at Newham City Farm, in the shadows of Canary Wharf; and A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham, documenting the historic victory of Labour’s greatest hero in West Ham, performed in 2016 at Community Links, where Hardie delivered some of his most firebrand speeches.

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 has extensive experience of planning, preparing and teaching playwriting and creative writing programmes/workshops for a wide variety of age groups and learners including children, young people, students and adult learners. He has worked on a regular basis on the delivery of these programmes with leading arts and educational organisations such as Spread The Word, Cardboard Citizens, Workers Educational Association University, Newham Adult Learning Service, Newham Libraries, Newham College, Community Links, Soho Theatre, University of East London and 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.

‘Don’t Mess with Mr. In-Between’: National and Sexual Identities in Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia

THE LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION RESEARCH CLUSTER IS DELIGHTED TO WELCOME Dr Yael Maurer (Tel Aviv University) FOR A seminar ON National and Sexual Identities in Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia.

When? Thursday, 10th October 2019, 16.00 – 18.00

Where? Room VG06, Vine building, Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

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In the session, Dr Maurer will be introducing the opening of Kureishi’s novel where he explores the ties between national and sexual identities in the figure of his protagonist, Karim Amir, “an Englishman born and bred, almost” as the famous opening lines of the novel put it. We’ll explore  the notion of an “in-between” state which becomes  central in  the novel’s construction of identity dilemmas, and question how Kureishi presents this option in his novel. The Buddha of Suburbia is a buildunsgroman, a novel about growing up and becoming a man. We’ll see how Kureishi interrogates notions of sexuality, masculinity and nationality in the figure of his youthful protagonist who embodies identity dilemmas  faced by many second generation immigrants in Britain.

 

Biographical Note

Dr. Yael Maurer is Lecturer at the English and American Studies Department at Tel Aviv University, Israel. Her doctoral research focused on “Living on a Broken Mirror: Imitative Modes in Rushdie’s Fiction” (Tel Aviv University, 2009).

Selected publications include:

The Science Fiction Dimensions of Salman Rushdie, McFarland Press (2014).book

Cityscapes of the Future: Urban Spaces in Science Fiction ( Co-Editor),  2018.

“The Body Politic: Philip Roth’s Vision of America”.  The Political Companion to Philip Roth.  Lee Trepanier and Claudia Fanziska Bruhwiller (Editors). University of Kentucky Press (May  2017).

“Undying Histories: Washington Irving’s Gothic Afterlives” Carol Davison (Editor) International Gothic Series, University of Manchester Press( March, 2017).

“Sometimes a Bomb is More than a Blowup; Hitchcock’s’ Sabotage” in Interdisciplinary Humanities: Hitchcock: A Series of Beneficial Shocks. Michael Howarth (Editor). Spring, 2015, Vol. 32.1

The Monstrous Feminine: Reimagining Aliens in American Horror Films”. The Devil You Know: Evil in American Popular Culture. Sharon Packer and Jody Pennington (Editors), Praeger Press. July 2014.

“Not English but Londoners’: Hanif Kureishi’s Sammy and Rosie Get Laid”, The Literary London Journal, Volume 11 Number 1 Spring/Autumn 2014

“Rage Against the Machine: Cyberspace Narratives in Rushdie’s Fury“. The Journal of Commonwealth Literature (47:1). March, 2012

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.

ALICE IN CANNING TOWN Comes To Arc In The Park Adventure Playground This August

Book your tickets now, to see ‘Alice in Canning Town’, the contemporary urban re-interpretation of Alice in Wonderland, by our colleagues James Kenworth and James Charlton, in collaboration with Middlesex students, local pupils and professionals. Performances 12th – 18th of August.

Eventrbrite link

ALICE IN CANNING TOWN Comes To Arc In The Park Adventure Playground This AugustFollowing their production of Animal Farm on a real-life farmyard in 2014, James Kenworth and James Charlton bring a brand new, contemporary urban adaptation of much-loved fantasy adventure Alice in Wonderland to an adventure playground in the East End featuring tree houses, swings, trampolines, rope bridges and giant slides and a cast of professional actors and local Newham primary and secondary school pupils.

This is Alice in Wonderland as you’ve never seen before. All the favourite characters are still there, but in new, modern guises. A cockney rabbit, a rave-mad Mad Hatter, a hookah-smoking ex-Bollywood actor, Tweedledee and Tweedledum as hipsters, and a would-be grime artist called MC Turtle. From Cockney to Bangra, from the Krays to Stormzy, Alice in Canning Town is 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.

 

Alice in Canning Town has been reconfigured specially for the East End, and performed site-responsively in Canning Town’s Arc in the Park, an inclusive adventure playground in Canning Town. Arc in the Park is a vibrant 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 Alice. The play will involve local Newham primary and secondary school pupils acting alongside professional actors.

Following the critical acclaim of James Kenworth’s When Chaplin Met Gandhi, Revolution Farm, and A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham, three plays which were a unique collaboration between professional theatre artists and young people in Newham, Alice in Canning Town is the fourth in a quadtrilogy that explores the borough’s rich heritage and shows off the talent of its young people. It continues the collaboration between Kenworth and director James Charlton.

James Kenworth’s previous plays include the award winning Dementia’s Journey (London tour), and Newham-based, site-specific plays, When Chaplin Met Gandhi (Kingsley Hall), Revolution Farm (Newham City Farm) and A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham (Newham Libraries/Community Links).

James Martin Charlton is an award-winning playwright as well as director and academic. His previous plays include the critically acclaimed Fat Souls and Coming Up (Warehouse, Croydon), the sell-out hit I Really Must be Getting Off (White Bear), and Coward (Just Some Theatre Co.).

Celebrating the determination and successes of our 2019 graduates

Students with caring responsibilities, young families and recent learners of English among First Class Honours awards

Middlesex University held its summer graduation ceremonies from 8-12 July, with 9265 students awarded degrees at 14 ceremonies.

The very first cohort of students graduated from MDX’s innovative BA English course. The programme is distinctive for offering all three disciplines of English Language, English Literature and Creative Writing, and some modules where students study all three together. While the classics are covered there’s an emphasis on highly contemporary material: the second year Literature course, for example, focuses on works published in just the last 18 months, so students can’t rely on secondary literature.

Our very first cohort of BA English students

There are opportunities to get involved in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, which have included biweekly language community and research seminars and a project mentoring sixth form students producing a magazine.

Azize Peraj

Azize Peraj, the first member of her family to graduate from university, enjoyed the opportunity to apply linguistic theory and critical discourse analysis to her chosen subjects of veganism and Instagram in the Language part of her course, the one-to-one tutorials that the programme offers, and the skills development and work opportunities available through the MDXWorks Employment Hub. The diversity of her coursemates, from many different backgrounds and from London and beyond also appealed to her.

BA English students working with Haringey Sixth Form College creative writers

Her tutors were highly attentive to students’ needs, “how they develop as people as well as academically” Azize says. Senior Lecturer Dr Anna Charalambidou in particular was “fantastic in terms of lining up students with different networking experiences”.

Azize landed an internship that gave her the opportunity to meet and work alongside high profile politicians. She loves public speaking and having done some presenting while a student, she hopes to pursue a career in this field.

VISITING LECTURERS IN ENGLISH AND LITERATURE

The Media department at Middlesex University wishes to make appointments to our pool of hourly paid visiting lecturers to support the delivery of teaching in the following areas of BA English:

 

Literature modules:

–              Literary Analysis (UG, year 1)

–              Reality, Fantasy and Metafiction (UG, year 2)

–              Identities and Global Literature (UG, year 3)

 

Modules integrating language, literature and creative writing:

–              Language, Literature and Writing (UG, year 1)

–              Research, Practice and Professional Communication (UG, year 2)

 

Requirements:

  1. Appropriate academic qualifications at postgraduate level or equivalent professional experience;
  2. Ability to deliver high quality teaching at HE level;
  3. Ability to supervise student-led projects;
  4. Understanding of good professional practice in learning and teaching.

 

For more information please contact James Graham, Director of Programmes. Email: J.Graham@mdx.ac.uk

 

To apply, send CVs plus a covering letter that outlines which of the areas named above you can teach to Anna Charalambidou (A.Charalambidou@mdx.ac.uk), by 5pm Monday 24 June 2019.

 

Applicants can expect a response by 2nd of July. Interviews will be held at Middlesex University (Hendon, London) on Tuesday 9th July 2019.

 

Note that we will require a ‘Right to Work’ check at the interview stage, so candidates will need either their passport or visa with them on the day.

Two trailblazing BA English students recognised for their contribution to student life at the 2019 MDXSU Awards

MDXSU Awards celebrate the trailblazing students at Middlesex University and this year BA English students won the double! The entire English subject area couldn’t be prouder.

The annual MDXSU awards – in their fifth year – are Middlesex Students’ Union’s way of celebrating the work and achievements of Middlesex University students over the past year, and recognising the contribution they have made to the university, the community and the lives of their fellow students.

 

Student Voice Leader of the Year

The shortlist…

  • Fazila Shaikh
  • Florentina-Daniela Bonghene
  • Kristian Karvay
  • Melissa Nabre

The winner…

Melissa Nabre (BA English)

“Melissa has been really engaged with the role is year – chairing the Programme Voice Group, which meant students are really at the heart of decisions made about the programme. Melissa ensured lots of changes are made at a programme level but also have been involved in other activities throughout MDXSU. She has successfully passed policy through the Student Leaders’ Conference which means self-defence classes will be available for all genders, supported some of the full-time officer campaigns and even had time be on the POW! Committee.”

 

Super POW!er of the Year

The shortlist…

  • Ahmad Jolghazi
  • Gytis Kezys
  • Katya Turikova 
  • Natalie Rose

The winner…

Natalie Rose (BA English)

“Natalie Rose has shown incredible passion, motivation and commitment this year, volunteering her time over several Freshers’ events and being active in committee meetings throughout the year. Natalie has shown great vision for her area of POW!, and her enthusiasm in turning this idea into reality. The panel felt that the POW! News platform would be nowhere without Natalie’s efforts.”

Huge congratulations to those shortlisted or won an award this year!🏆

 

Read the full results at .

Reading and distributed perspectives workshop: 8-9 May 2019

This workshop, run by the Language and Communication Research Cluster, is designed to foster further development of the interface of current research into reading, textual analysis, distributed language and associated perspectives.

PROGRAMME

Wednesday, 8 May 2019, in Room CG06

1230 to 1315 Arrival and lunch

1315 to 1330 Introduction – PAUL COBLEY and JOHAN SIEBERS (both Middlesex University)

1330 to 1415 ‘Rereading Whorf: The Aufhebung of linguistic relativity and its implications for textual analysis’ – JOHAN SIEBERS

1415 to 1500 ‘Reading, reality and distributed perspectives’ – PAUL COBLEY

1500 to 1545 ‘Deflating symbols’ – STEPHEN COWLEY (University of Southern Denmark)

1545 to 1615 Tea/Coffee

1615 to 1700 “Reading close in class” – ALAN DURANT (Middlesex University)

1700 to 1745 ‘Shared acts of reading across digital platforms’ – BRONWEN THOMAS (Bournemouth University)
Thursday, 9 May 2019, in Room CG11

1000 to 1045 ‘Wikipedia and the social construction of neutrality’ – STEFAN LUTSCHINGER (Middlesex University)

1045 to 1130 ‘Reading beyond the reader: a multiscale view on reading’ – SARAH BRO TRASMUNDI (University of Southern Denmark)

1130 to 1215 ‘Hearing narratives’ – ADAM LIVELY and TANSY SPINKS (both Middlesex University)

1215 to 1245 Lunch

1245 to 1500 Project discussion

1500 Close

 

For more details, feel free to email Professor Paul Cobley at p.cobley@mdx.ac.uk.