All posts by Kittie Walker

Birkbeck and Bloomsbury Campus Events 2015, 9-15 February

10 February – 18:30-20:00 – Danny Dorling – The Housing Disaster

Venue: Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Sq

Booking: via

Event description

In the last twelve months the crisis in housing in the UK turned into a disaster. Housing prices in London and the South East continued to rise at very high rates along with rents which reached maxima never before recorded. In contrast, many people’s ability to pay was reduced both as median incomes fell and as other costs of living such as fuel and food rose. Evictions and potential evictions became headline news with young children from families likely to be put of out their homes being shown on the evening news. In more economically depressed parts of the country the quality of much private sector housing deteriorated to new lows while MPs talked out bills designed to improve the rights of tenants and the Chancellor of the Exchequer did all he could to encourage prices to rise further and faster through to May 2015, reducing the stamp duty bill by £800 million in December 2014 and removing all tax restrictions on wealthy pensioners buying property (to let) with their annuities before or by April 2015. And, all the time, the existing housing stock was being used less an less efficiently with more flats and rooms in houses than ever before being left empty.

Danny Dorling is a professor of human geography at Oxford University. He is the author of a number of books including All That Is Solid, and, most recently Inequality and the 1%

Birkbeck and Bloomsbury Campus Events

6 February – 18:30-20:30 – Building Westfield Stratford and the Law



Birkbeck School of Law Legal Conversations series

Marc Hanson and Emma Lawley from Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) will be talking with Daniel Monk about ‘Building Westfield Stratford . . and the Law.’

Marc Hanson is a partner in the real estate department and is head of the construction, engineering and procurement team at BLP Berwin Leighton Paisner: one of the leading international city law firms and 5 times winner of the UK law firm of the year award in the last decade. Emma Lawley is a Birkbeck Law Graduate and a paralegal at BLP Berwin Leighton Paisner.

Marc and Emma will be talking to Daniel about all aspects of working in a large city law firm. A particular focus will be on property and construction law and the Westfield Stratford project.

For more information about Marc Hanson and BLP see:

Birkbeck School of Law’s Legal Conversation series reflects the commitment by the school to extend its existing links with the profession in order to complement the teaching of law by academics; and to provide students with the opportunity to ask questions about working in the law.

Birkbeck and Bloomsbury Campus Events 2015, 26 January-1 February

27 January – 19:00-21:30 – Open Data, Smart Citizens?

Venue: Keynes Library (Room 114), 43 Gordon Square,


Although a relatively recent phenomenon, the concept and implementation of technologically-enabled ‘smart cities,’ has already generated much criticism. While some note the surveillance implications of supposedly ‘all-knowing’ and ‘all-seeing’ urban environments, others challenge the technocratic assumption that the automated ‘smart city’ will help overcome the limitations of an inherently unruly and inefficient citizenry.

Yet do these top-down, privatised and bureaucratic forms of urban management exhaust the possibilities of the smart city discussion? Or might the contemporary confluence of urban space and media technologies lead to more democratic and participatory alternatives? Could such developments as the expanded access to ‘big data’ and the information generated by sensor technologies help produce more small-scale, distributed or spontaneous forms of invention and intervention within the city?

This seminar – the inaugural event of a new London research network on media and cities – interrogates the possible consequences and potentials of open data for participation and citizenship in urban life. The event will begin with two short papers: Jennifer Gabrys (Goldsmiths) will speak on ‘Citizen Sensing, Smart Citizens and Rethinking the Problem of Urban Participation’; and Alison Powell (LSE) will speak on ‘Governing the Data City: Agency, Voice, and Augmented Space.’ Güneş Tavmen(Birkbeck) will then respond with some initial comments, followed by a discussion involving the audience. A wine reception will conclude the event.

28 January – 18:30-20:00 – Remapping Survival: Jewish Refugees and Rescue in Soviet Central Asia, Iran and India

Venue: Great Hall, British Medical Association House, Tavistock Square


In this lecture, Professor Grossmann addresses a transnational Holocaust story that remarkably – despite several decades of intensive scholarly and public attention to the history and memory of the Shoah – has remained essentially untold, marginalised in both historiography and commemoration.

The majority of the c.250,000 Jews who constituted the ‘saved remnant’ (She’erit Hapleta) of East European Jewry, gathered in Allied Displaced Persons camps, survived because they had been ‘deported to life’ in the Soviet Union. Moreover, Iran became a central site for Jewish relief efforts as well as a crucial transit stop for the Polish Army in Exile; while thousands of Jewish refugees, ‘enemy alien’ as well as allied Jewish refugees in British India, worked with the Jewish Relief Association in Bombay.

Professor Grossmann seeks to integrate these largely unexamined experiences and lost memories of displacement and trauma to our understanding of the Shoah, and to remap the landscape of persecution, survival, relief and rescue during and after World War II. She also asks how this ‘Asiatic’ experience shaped definitions (and self-definitions) as ‘survivors’ in the immediate postwar context of diasplacement and up to the present globalization of Holocaust memory.

Atina Grossmann is Professor of Modern European and German History and Women’s and Gender Studies at The Cooper Union, New York. A Renowned, prize winning historian, she has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, German Marshall Fund, American Council of Learned Societies, Institute for the Advanced Study in Princeton, the American Academy, Berlin and has a fellowship at the Davis Center, Princeton University in 2015. She has also held Guest Professorships at the Humbolt University Berlin and the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. Her recent books include the award-winningJews, Germans, and Allies: Close Encounters in Occupied Germany and After the Nazi Racial State: Difference and Democracy in Germany and Europe (2009).

29 January – 13:00-14:30 – Andrew Sayer – Social Science, Critique and the Rich

Venue: Room 415, Birkbeck Main Building


Birkbeck Institute for Social Research

In the light of the extraordinary return of extreme wealth at the top over the last 35 years Andrew Sayer will talk about how social science might contribute to the critique of the political, economic and symbolic domination of the rich.

Speaker: Andrew Sayer is Professor of Social Theory and Political Economy at Lancaster University. His books include The Moral Significance of Class (2005, CUP), Why Things Matter to People: Social Science, Values and Ethical Life (2011, CUP) and Why We Can’t Afford the Rich (2014, Policy Press).

30 January – 18:00-21:00 – BISR Guilt Screening Series – Katyń

Venue: Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square,


Andrzej Wajda, Poland, 2007, 122 minutes
Presenter: t.b.a.

In September 1939 the USSR and Germany conquered Poland. The USSR ordered that all the Polish officers it held as POWs should be killed. In April and May 1940 some 22,000 were murdered. The largest massacre was in the Katyń forest. Among the dead was Jakub Wajda, father of Andrzej Wajda.
The Nazi-Soviet pact collapsed when Germany attacked the USSR in June 1941. When the mass graves were found, the Nazis and the Soviets accused each other of the killings. The USSR accepted responsibility only in 1990.
Wajda’s film blends archive footage and drama. The film reconstructs the killings. It is equally concerned with their aftermath, with the attempted denial of history, and the need to bear witness.

For information about the Guilt Group’s work, see:

31 January – 14:30-16:30 – BIMI Children’s Film Club: The Red Balloon

Venue: Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square


Screening of Albert Lamorisse’s The Red Balloon (1956, 34 minutes), accompanied by a selection of Polish animation shorts including Bolek and LolekThe Magic Pencil, and Margo the Mouse.
In the second in our series of screenings for children of all ages, we will be showing Albert Lamorisse’s prize-winning classic film about a young boy’s friendship with a red balloon, which Lamorisse’s ingenious camera-work appears to endow with a mind of its own. The story takes us through the streets of Paris in the 1950s, and seeing the film today we can see how the city has been transformed in the intervening years.

The programme also features some wonderfully imaginative and amusing animation shorts from Poland: the globetrotting adventures of Bolek and Lolek; the Magic Pencil that brings to life everything that it draws; and the ever-resourceful and caring Margo the Mouse.

Cakes and cookies will be provided at the interval!

This programme is curated by Lucie, Michael, Muriel and Paul Temple.

Birkbeck and Bloomsbury Campus Events 2015, 19-25 January

19 January – 18:00-21:00 – Birkbeck Sport Business Centre Public Seminar Series

Venue: Roberts Building, University College London, Room G08

Booking: None required



Concerns over the current state of football governance in Europe have reached an all-time high. In the UK, there have been parliamentary calls for action to improve the sport and the government recently set up an expert group on supporter ownership and wider fan engagement. Calls for further supporter ownership and a stronger link between football fans and their clubs are gathering pace and one cannot rule out legislation in this respect following the next general election. However questions as to what this supporter engagement might look like (if indeed it is something that the fans want and are prepared to invest in) are only starting to be asked in depth. The FREE (Football Research in an Enlarged Europe) Project has been researching since September 2012 the extent to which supporters are willing to get involved in the governance and ownership of their clubs. In this seminar the authors introduce to the public the first comprehensive results of the FREE Project research on football governance by presenting the upcoming FREE Project papers on football governance.

21 January – 18:00-20:00 – Birkbeck Meets the City: Nervous Banks and Shed-Loads of Debt

Venue: G03 in 28 Russell Square


The next “Birkbeck meets the city” event will take place on 21st January at 6pm (until about 8pm).

The speaker will be Rick Martin, Group Treasurer, GasLog. The title of his talk will be “Nervous Banks and Shed-Loads of Debt”.

This talk is about bonds and maturities and will be of great interest to those students who wish to have an understanding of the financial principles and techniques that underpin treasury and corporate financial management.

The talk will be followed by a wine and cheese reception.

Rick Martin serves as Group Treasurer for GasLog Ltd., a post he has held since May 2014. As one of the largest non-state shippers of liquefied natural gas [LNG], GasLog have tapped both the bank and Norwegian Bond markets, as well as making extensive use of hedging instruments in parallel therewith.

Additionally, in conjunction with GasLog’s ownership interest in GasLog Partners, a master limited partnership established in 2014, Rick has participated in partnership unit offerings essential to the company’s continued profitable growth.

Prior to GasLog, Rick has served as Group Treasurer for Virgin Media, Vice President – Financial Operations at NTL and Group Treasurer for Williams Communications. He graduated from Kellogg School Management at Northwestern University in 1983.

24 January – 10:00-17:00 – BIMI in collaboration with BISR presents Horace Ove

Venue: Birkbeck Cinema


The Birkbeck Institute for Social Research and the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image collaborate to present a tribute to Horace Ové.

Symposium: panel discussions, with film extracts, will celebrate and analyse Ové’s contribution to debates about race and culture in Britain over the last four and a half decades as well as the significance of his work for the history of British film and television.

Birkbeck and Bloomsbury Campus Events – Science Week – 23-26 March 2015

Start Booking Now!

Subjects under the microscope in this year’s Science Week, range from how we recognise faces and protect our water supplies, to investigating our immune defence system and revealing what goes on in our brains as we watch a film.

On Tuesday 24 March we have our Women in Science Evening. The talks will be given by two leading Birkbeck scientists: Professor Helen Saibil from Biological Sciences and Professor Karen Hudson-Edwards from Earth and Planetary Sciences.

Whether you’ve got a background in science, or you’re fascinated by one of these topics, book your place to attend these free Science Week events. Use the booking link below each event – booking opens on January 5 2015.

Monday 23 March

Film screening with Q&A: Attention Machine: the science of cinematic perception

Tuesday 24 March

Electron microscopy lab tour

Women in Science Evening

Talk: Protein machines in the arms race between man and pathogen

Talk: Water: precious, polluted, protected


Wednesday 25 March

Talk: How the brain recognises faces

Talk: Visualising the inner workings of the living cell


Thursday 26 March

BUCNI lab tour: Seeing into the living brain

Four talks from Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development (CBCD)

Since we have four speakers for this evening’s talks they are scheduled in a slightly different way. There are two talks in each session and you can book per session: 5.30-6.30pm or 7-8pm.

What can babies possibly tell us about Dementia?

The development of human curiosity: a few baby steps

The forgotten sense: feeling, communicating and bonding through touch

The surprisingly serious science of baby laughter


Image credit:


Birkbeck and Bloomsbury Campus Events – 12-18 January 2015

14 January – 12:30-14:00 – Developing Your Research Career – Presenting Conference Papers

Venue: Room 204, 28 Russell Square


In this BISR Developing Your Research Career workshop, Dr Rosie Cox will discuss how to use conference attendance and presentation successfully. With a proliferation of academic and non-academic conferences organised it can be difficult to select which to attend and to know who your audience might be when you get there. Conferences can be time consuming and expensive to attend so it’s important that a conference presentation gives you more than just a line on your CV. This session will look at how conferences can be used to develop your ideas and build networks as well as to share your research. It will discuss the pros and cons of different presentation formats and what makes for a good presentation but will not be a hands-on guide to using presentation software.
All welcome.
* * * * *
Rosie Cox is a Reader in Geography and Gender Studies. She joined Birkbeck in 2003 and before that was at Coventry University. She was a founding member of the Birkbeck Gender and Sexuality group (BiGS) and is an active member of the Birkbeck Institute of Social Research.
Chair: Sasha Roseneil
* * * * *
Developing Your Research Career is a series of lunchtime seminars and workshops organised by the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research to enhance the research skills and contribute to the career development of social researchers at Birkbeck and beyond. We particularly welcome PhD students and early career researchers, both post-doctoral research fellows and lecturers. However, academics at all career stages who are interested are also encouraged to attend, both to learn themselves and to share their experiences and knowledge with colleagues and postgraduate students.
These seminars/workshops are free, but please register in advance, and if you’ve registered, please do attend. If you find out you can’t come later on, please let us know or cancel your place on Eventbrite, so that we can re-allocate your place, and ensure that we have space for everyone who wishes to take part.

Friday 16 January – 18:45-20:00 – Economics Careers Event

Venue: Birkbeck, Malet Street


Careers workshop and networking event with Prof. Andrew Ross, formerly Deputy Director of Government Economic Service and its Head Of Recruitment.

Andrew not only led the Government Economic and Social Research Team at HM Treasury but also had overall responsibility for the professional development of 3000 analysts. Join us to find out more about:

  • what employers expect from business and economics graduates
  • how to enhance your employability skills

This is a good opportunity for senior undergraduate and graduate students “to get in touch” with the GES.

17 January – 15:00-19:00 – Like an Open Sky (À Ciel Ouvert): A film by Mariana Otero

Venue: Room B20, Malet Street

Booking: £10

Birkbeck Institute for Social Research
in collaboration with
Psychoanalytical Notebooks, Journal of the London Society of the New Lacanian School and Department of Psychosocial Studies

This documentary depicts a time in the lives of several children at the Courtil, an institution for psychotic and autistic children in Belgium. Otero shows with great tact, finesse and curiosity how the staff and children work with each other in a community that respects the children’s individuality by engaging with each child in ways that are particular to that child alone. Psychoanalytic interventions are shown to be inventive and subtle, concerned as they are, with the already existing solutions a child has at its disposal.

Film Poster

The screening will be followed by a discussion with Alexandre Stevens (Director of the Courtil, Psychiatrist, Psychoanalyst, NLS, ECF, WAP), Viviane Green(Lecturer in Psychosocial Studies and Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, APC, BCP), and Lisa Baraitser (Reader in Psychosocial Studies, Psychotherapist, BACP). Chaired by Natalie Wulfing (Psychoanalyst, NLS, WAP).