PRESENTING… THE ENGLISH REVIEW SERIES: MONSTERS!

BA English at Middlesex University is hosting the ‘English Review Series’ of monthly conversations on Monsters in cultural texts. Come and have a monster time with us chatting about popular culture! It’ll be fun. We’ll be talking tv, film, comics, the news and books (all different ‘cultural texts’).
All meetings can be accessed via Zoom: https://mdx-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/96567350722?pwd=L1Q3dVNOWkttWHhkSUtIZDM2ZkVuUT09

Topic: Monsters and fear3:30-4:30pm, Monday 19 October 2020, on Zoom

  • Why do different cultures have similar monsters?
  • What monsters are you scared of? Where did that fear first come from – listening to fairy tales? Watching something? Listening to the news and hearing about a serial killer?
  • Are you more scared of real monsters (like the serial killer Dennis Nilsen, played by David Tennant in a new series) or mythical monsters (like zombies)? But why?
  • Why is horror now a popular genre, when sales of horror (tv and film) were at rock-bottom in the 90s?

Topic: Witches – 3:30-4:30pm, 16 November 2020, on Zoom

  • Witches are wicked, right? What about Sabrina, Hermione, the good witch in The Wizard of Oz, and Maleficent?
  • How did the wicked witch come about, then?
  • Do any of us know anyone who’s a ‘white witch’?
  • Why are there so many UK witch groups on Facebook?·        

Topic: Vampires and devils –  3:30-4:30pm, 7 December 2021, on Zoom

  • Dracula in the novel and Hammer movies was Satanic, right? How come he’s a good guy in the 2013-14 tv show? And why are vampires goodies in True Blood, Buffy (sometimes) and Twilight?
  • Is the Dark Lord a sympathetic character in today’s world? But why?
  • Aren’t vampires just silly and made-up, or is there some real aspect to them?
  • Would you like to be immortal?

Topic: Zombies –  3:30-4:30pm, 18 January 2021, on Zoom

  • Why on Earth are zombies still popular?
  • Is it cos of covid?
  • Or immigration?
  • Are they still making The Walking Dead? Sheesh. How many series?

Topic: Werewolves and shape-shifters – 3:30-4:30pm, 15 February 2021

  • Is there a ravening beast hiding inside you?
  • Jekyll and Hyde is still popular. Why is that?
  • Why does every vampire series always end up with a bunch of werewolves as enemies?

Topic: Frankenstein and A.I.s – 3:30-4:30pm, 15 March 2021

  • Do the sciences of cloning and A.I. mean we are about to create a new Frankenstein? Is that really a good idea?
  • Are Pinocchio, The Blade Runner, Avengers: Age of Ultron, West World, etc, all the same story?
  • Is it horror, sci-fi or actually happening?

WANT TO PARTICIPATE? RESERVE YOUR PLACE FOR ONE OR MORE SESSIONS BY EMAILING DR ADAM DALTON (a.dalton@mdx.ac.uk) OR DR ANNA CHARALAMBIDOU (a.charalambidou@mdx.ac.uk)! YOU CAN ALSO RESERVE PLACES FOR FRIENDS!

Week of events hosted by the Language & Communication Research cluster

The week commencing 12th March will be the busiest week yet for our cluster; we have the final Language & Communication research seminar for this term:

The Embodied Nature of Narrative: Moving with purpose with others, and its disruption in autism

Dr Jonathan Delafield-Butt, Reader in Child Development (University of Strathclyde)

Wednesday 14 March 2018, 16.00 – 17.30, Room BG02 (Building 9) – note room change

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We are welcoming two Erasmus visiting professors who will give a number of exciting seminars.

Dr Aleksandra Vukotic (Assistant Professor, University of Belgrade), Erasmus+ visiting professor will give three transdisciplinary interactive seminars and an Open Lecture in the domain of literary, media, cultural, and film studies:

1. Metafiction in Postmodern American Literature and Popular Culture: Tuesday, 13 March, 12.00-14.00 at room BG09B (Building 9)

2. Intertextuality in Jeanette Winterson’s ‘The Gap of Time’: Wednesday, March 14, 12.00-14.00, room CG48 (College Building)

3. Negotiating the Technological Sublime: DeLillo’s and Antonioni’s Murder Mysteries: Thursday 15th March, 15.00-17.00, room CG43 (College building)

4. Whoever controls your eyeballs runs the world : A “Paranoid” Reading of MediaFriday 16th March, 10.00-12.00 at room CG09 (College building).

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Professor Ksenijah Kondali (Assistant Professor, University of Sarajevo), Erasmus+ visiting professor will give a seminar entitled Fictionalizing Transatlantic Slavery: A Comparative StudyFriday March 16th, 15.00 – 17.00 at PAG02 (Portacabin).

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You are welcome to attend any or all seminars  – no prior knowledge needed.

And of course, in addition to all these, Creative Writing & Journalism students are organizing a whole-day North London Story Festival (March 13th).

 

Dr Aleksandra Vukotić, University of Belgrade, coming to Middlesex for an Erasmus+ teaching visit: 12-16 March 2018

We are delighted to host Dr Aleksandra Vukotić, University of Belgrade (Faculty of Philology) for an Erasmus+ teaching visit between March 12th and 16th, 2018. She will give three transdisciplinary interactive seminars and an Open Lecture, in the domain of media, cultural, literary and film studies.

Metafiction in Postmodern American Literature and Popular Culture

Tuesday, 13 March, 12.00-14.00 at room BG09B (Building 9)

In this session, Aleksandra will explore the reasons why metafiction became immensely popular in the 2nd half of the 20th century, especially in the 60s in the U.S. Through numerous examples from the U.S. fiction and popular culture (from ‘Pulp Fiction’ to the latest season of ‘Twin Peaks’) she will discuss why we cannot dismiss metafiction as ‘a thing of the past’ and why metafictional strategies still have the capacity to inspire us to think critically about today’s world.

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Intertextuality in Jeanette Winterson’s ‘The Gap of Time’

Wednesday, March 14, 12.00-14.00, room CG48 (College Building)

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Whoever controls your eyeballs runs the world : A “Paranoid” Reading of Media

Friday 16th March, 10.00-12.00 at room CG09 (College building).

This seminar explores one of the most pressing issues of today’s world – the problem of ever-present violence in the media and terrorism as a new world narrative. It focuses on the feedback loop between media and violence, escalating in terrorist attacks (which would be ‘nothing without the media’ as Baudrillard explained), again as reflected in contemporary fiction and film. It also discusses the misuse and abuse of the power of media, inviting the audience to think about the possible ways out of this ‘vicious circle.’ The novelists and filmmakers who closely follow and explore media strategies in their works (only to subvert them) will surely be a fertile source of ideas and inspiration.

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Aleksandra will also give an Open Lecture on Thursday, 15th March, 15.00 -17.00, Room CG43 (College building):

Negotiating the Technological Sublime: DeLillo’s and Antonioni’s Murder Mysteries

Have we placed too much faith in reason and technology? Is technology our fantasy? As we rely more and more on technological advancements and innovations, do we move away from the factual reality towards fiction and illusion? Is our wish to explain away the mysteries of our time through science and technology ultimately a death wish? Or, as a character notes in DeLillo’s Zero K, Does technology have a death wish?

Michelangelo Antonioni, one of the most influential filmmakers of the 20th century, and Don DeLillo, one of the greatest contemporary American novelists, have repeatedly adressesed these questions in their works, examining what happens with the human need for the marvellous and the sublime in the world of technology which promises revelations of all mysteries. We will discuss this topic through examples from Antonioni’s cult film Blow-Up (1966) and DeLillo’s novels Libra (1988), Underworld (1997) and Falling Man (2007), focusing on the characters’ fascination with dead bodies caught on film and photograph.

s200_aleksandra.vukotic

Aleksandra Vukotić is Assistant Professor at the English Department of the University of Belgrade. She holds a PhD in American literature, and she is currently preparing a manuscript on history and fiction in the novels of Don DeLillo. Aleksandra is also a freelance translator and member of the editorial board of the Belgrade BELLS Journal published by the University of Belgrade. Her interests include, among other, contemporary American literature, selected problems of literary theory, literary and visual studies.

You are welcome to attend any or all of Dr Vukotić’s seminars. No need to register.

For an outline of all Language & Communication events the week commencing March 12th 2018, please click here.