Category Archives: Events

Birkbeck and Bloomsbury Campus Events 2014, 7 – 13 July

7 July – 18:00-21:00 – In a Lonely Place, dir. Nicholas Ray.  Santana / Columbia, 1950

Venue: 43 Gordon Square, Birkbeck Cinema


In a Lonely Place is part of a short season of films about guilt, presented by BIMI in association with the BISR Guilt Group.  For information about the Guilt Group’s work, see

Dixon Steele (Humphrey Bogart) had been a successful screenwriter before the war. Then he was a successful commanding officer during the war. But after the war things got tricky. Steele spends most of the picture suspected of a murder he didn’t commit. He falls in love with his glamorous neighbour, Laurel Gray (Gloria Grahame), who is the only witness who can confirm any part of his story. But living under the shadow of guilt takes its toll, and Dix was prone to violent outbursts even before the murder. Being not guilty isn’t the same as being innocent.

7 July – 14:00-16:00 – Recycling and upcycling – making jewellery and accessories from buttons

Venue: Waltham Forest Direct in Leytonstone Library


This practical session will explore using everyday objects to create collar necklaces by recycling beads, buttons, ribbons and sewn thread.

9 July – 18:00-20:00 – Pizza and politics: ‘We’re all in this together.’ 

Venue: Waltham Forest Direct in Leytonstone Library


This session with Professor Adam Gearey will examine the history of the welfare state. Although there are problems with ‘welfare’ – we risk losing an important (if not essential) way of ensuring a decent society for all if we fail to understand the centrality of the welfare state to economic organisation.

This event is part of Birkbeck’s, Pop Up University at Waltham Forest Direct in Leytonstone Library taking place from the last week in June until mid-July to bring you a series of thought-provoking events designed to engage and inspire. Come along and participate in free talks, workshops and seminar-like sessions.

Free refreshments will be provided.

10 July – 11 July – 09:30-19:15 – Picturing the Family: Media, Narrative, Memory

Venue: Room 414, Birkbeck Main Building


Birkbeck staff and Birkbeck students £15
Standard: £30 & £15 (non Birkbeck students)

Event description

Conference organisers: Dr Silke Arnold-de Simine, Dr Nathalie Wourm, Dr Joanne Leal in conjunction with BRAKC (Birkbeck Research in Aesthetics of Kinship and Community)

Conference programme

This conference will set out to explore how concepts of family have been acted out, reinvented, or deconstructed, through various media including the visual arts, literature, and museum exhibitions, across the centuries. The family picture will be considered both in its figurative and artefactual forms. We will look at the significance of the family picture in literary works or films (e.g. W.G. Sebald, Georges Perec’s W, or the Memory of Childhood, or Pedro Almodovar’s All About my Mother), and we will consider alternative concepts of family and kinship as pictured in paintings, photographs, graphic novels, and other visual media. We are interested in media transfers, the question of what happens to family pictures when they are included in literary or visual narratives whether these are autobiographical or fictional. We aim to explore how different media reproduce or replace the family picture, or evoke it once it becomes lost (e.g. through ekphrasis). We are also interested in the types of narratives that are created in museums, social media and family albums, through displays of family pictures and portraits.

Key questions to be examined will include: what are the changing conventions of the family picture and how do they reflect the changing conceptions of the institution of the family? Who is the addressee of the family portrait? How do family narratives and family pictures inform each other? What is the role of family pictures in individual and cultural memory? Is the family a privileged site of memorial transmission (Aleida Assmann, Marianne Hirsch)? Has it become the central trope through which national history is framed? What role do family pictures play within other cultural forms, e.g. in literature or film? Can other cultural forms offer alternatives to the kinds of family portrait we associate with photography?

Keynote speakers are: Professor Martha Langford (Concordia University, Montreal), Professor Annette Kuhn (Queen Mary University, London) and Professor Daniela Berghahn (Royal Holloway, London).

11 July – 10:00-17:00 – Colours of Memory: an International Conference on the Writing of Geoff Dyer

Venue: Birkbeck, School of Arts, 43-46 Gordon Square


With support from the Centre for Contemporary Literature and History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, Birkbeck, University of London

A conference will be held dedicated to the writing of Geoff Dyer—novelist, essayist, art and photography critic and travel writer. Particular attention will be given to the place of photography and of photographic criticism in Dyer’s work. Geoff Dyer will be in attendance throughout the day and for a Q&A session at the end of proceedings.

Dyer is an interstitial figure: his blending of memoir, essay and fiction (‘creative criticism’) and use of intertextuality and sampling in his writing work together to challenge established generic boundaries and cultural hierarchies. His interests take in everything from film, photography, travel, jazz and Modernist literature to drugs, doughnuts, rave music and the poetics of procrastination. His playful, personal and sometimes meandering style expands our understanding of how criticism relates to its subject, but also amounts to a commentary on the contemporary itself, specifically questions of uncreativity, ‘reality hunger’ and exhaustion in the information age. This conference aims to bring together scholars with expertise in this important author for the first time, but also to use Dyer’s work as a way of accessing some of the most urgent debates in literary and photographic criticism.

11 July – 14:00-16:00 – London Critical Theory Summer School – Friday Debates

Venue:  B33, Birkbeck Main Building


This discussion which is open to the public, will involve three of the academics teaching on the London Critical Theory Summer School at the end of the first of teaching.

Etienne Balibar, Drucilla Cornell, Costas Douzinas & Jacqueline Rose


Birkbeck and Bloomsbury Campus Events 2014, 30 June – 6 July

30 June – 17:30-18:30 – Why is the development of face-to-face communication so important for babies?

Venue: Room B34, Birkbeck, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HX


Speaker: Dr Atsushi Senju – this talk will examine how we develop the capacity to make eye contact and what happens to the brain during this process. It will look at: how babies start to make eye contact; how babies of blind parents develop face-to-face communication; how cultural background can affect how we make eye contact and the variation in these brain processes for those with autism.

30 June – 19:00-20:00 – Can mindfulness meditation training improve self-regulation in adolescents?

Venue: Room B34, Birkbeck, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HX


Speaker: Dr Iroise Dumontheil – adolescence is a period of changes in brain structure and function, in particular those regions that control attention and self-regulation. Mindfulness meditation is a form of meditation that involves focusing on current internal or external experiences, in the moment and without judgment. This talk will present behavioural and neuroimaging results that show mindfulness meditation training can lead to improved cognitive control and emotional regulation across the ages.

30 June – 19:30-21:30 -“The Last Asylum: A Memoir of Madness in Our Times” – Discussing the Issues

Venue: Room 421, Birkbeck Main Building


At this seminar, Barbara Taylor will speak about her recently published book “The Last Asylum: A Memoir of Madness in Our Times” (2014, Penguin), in dialogue with David Bell, Stephen Frosh, Rex Haigh and Lynne Segal. Taylor’s book raises many important issues about the personal experience of mental illness, and how this might be described and spoken about publicly, about the changing nature of psychiatric and mental health services, and about the role of psychoanalysis, community and friendship in surviving “madness”.

Barbara Taylor is Professor of Humanities at Queen Mary, University of London.

David Bell is a psychoanalyst and Consultant Psychiatrist at the Tavistock Clinic, and Past President of the British Psychoanalytic Society.

Stephen Frosh is Professor of Psychology and Pro-Vice Master at Birkbeck, University of London.

Rex Haigh is a psychiatrist and group analyst who has played a major role in the development of therapeutic communities in the UK.

Lynne Segal is Anniversary Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies, Birkbeck University of London.

Sasha Roseneil is Professor of Sociology and Social Theory and Director of the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research at Birkbeck, and a group analyst.

July 1 – 18:00-20:00 – People and Parliament

Venue: Waltham Forest Direct in Leytonstone Library


The Houses of Parliament: Why your voice matters and how to make it heard.

Get to know your Parliament, how you can engage and find out more about making a difference.

The Houses of Parliament Outreach Service delivers free training throughout the country, throughout the year.

2 July – 10:00-12:00 – Yoga

Venue: Waltham Forest Direct in Leytonstone Library


Everyone’s talking about it, but you’re not quite sure if you’ll be able to do the moves or what they’re meant to do or even where to start? Well, why not come and join the beginner’s yoga workshop with Yoga Me Happy?
The 2 hour workshop will give you a taste of how yoga can help improve strength, flexibility, posture, and all manner of other benefits. The positions and sequences will be broken down in to easily manageable moves with full explanations, so even if you’ve been to a few yoga classes previously, it’s always good to know what the positions are doing for you and how to get in and out of them safely. I am confident that after the workshop you will be happy to go to any beginner yoga class.
Help reduce stress, improve well-being. Brings together mindfulness meditation, breathing, posture.
This event is part of Birkbeck’s, Pop Up University at Waltham Forest Direct in Leytonstone Library taking place from the last week in June until mid-July to bring you a series of thought-provoking events designed to engage and inspire. Come along and participate in free talks, workshops and seminar-like sessions.
Free refreshments will be provided.

2 July – 17:30-18:30 – Redesigning biology: engineering safer genetically modified organisms

Venue: Room B34, Birkbeck, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HX


Speaker: Dr Vitor Pinheiro – this talk will discuss some of the recent developments in synthetic genetic materials (XNAs) and the engineering of the genetic code – exploring how life may have begun on Earth and how these advances can be used to further increase the safety of genetically modified organisms.

2 July – 18:30-20:30 – Eila Campbell Lecture 2014 – The Trouble with Territory: Reconciling statehood and difference in the Andes

Venue: Room B01, Clore Management Centre, Torrington Square


Driven by technological and social pressures, the purpose and meanings of cartography have been transformed over recent years in the Andean republic of Ecuador. Rather than representing a singular state-centred project, mapping has lain at the heart of projects to reorganise governance and re-imagine the nation. After outlining these transformations, the talk focuses on the extent to which cartography and mapping can resolve issues of justice and recognition.

3 July – 25 July – Monday-Friday (10am-7pm) – Family Ties: Reframing Memory Exhibition

How might we read memory in relation to the family, and how might we enact these memories through art practice? This group exhibition addresses the representation of family memory through the photographic, video and sound works of six artists. Family Ties: Reframing Memory explores the bittersweet aspects of reflective nostalgia, yet also considers the conflicts and contradictions inherent in acts of remembering.

Suze Adams navigates the borders of fact and fiction in an exploratory retracing of her maternal ancestors on the Isle of Mull. Nicky Bird draws on family albums belonging to others to illuminate personal, political memories connected to place. Jacqueline Butler’s poetic approach alludes to sensory memories prompted by public photographic collections and her personal archive. Rosy Martin re-enacts a lost past as she embodies both of her parents in their family home, as well as using projections to evoke a sense of haunting. Lizzie Thynne’s sound-led work examines the inter-subjectivity of life histories, highlighting the link between memories of childhood and feminist politics. Sally Waterman employs literary adaptation as a mechanism for self-portraiture, recalling traumatic memories of family conflict through T.S Eliot’s poem ‘The Waste Land’.

As artist members of the Family Ties Network, their work offers a poignant and provocative response to themes arising from the associated conference, Picturing the Family: Media, Narrative, Memory (10th and 11th July 2014, Birkbeck, University of London).

3 July – 17:30-18:30 – What can asteroids tell us about the Earth?

Venue: Room B34, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX


Speaker: Professor Hilary Downes – asteroids are formed of material that was left over from the early days of the Solar System. Studying asteroids gives us a window into those violent times when planets were formed. Pieces of an unknown asteroid arrived on Earth as a spectacular fall in Sudan in October 2008. This talk will examine the history of this asteroid and discuss what we can learn from it about the formation of planets.

3 July – 18:30-20:00 – Histories of Prejudice: Persecuting Others

Venue: Clore Management Centre, Torrington Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7JL


This round-table discussion considers the histories, connections and disconnections between groups and peoples which mainstream society frequently classes as ‘outsiders’. Taking Becky Taylor’s new book Another Darkness, Another Dawn, A History of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers as its starting point, speakers will explore the experiences and prejudices that have shaped the lives of marginalised groups in twentieth century Europe including Roma, Jews, refugees and homosexuals.

Through a wide-ranging discussion they will explore societies’ omnivorous appetites for prejudice, the different kinds of prejudice that have existed over time and ask, why is opposition to prejudice so selective?

Speakers: Dr Becky Taylor, Dr Matt Cook, Dr Jessica Reinisch, Birkbeck, University of London

3 July – 19:00 to 20:00 – The hidden complexities of routine behaviour

Venue: Room B34, Birkbeck, Malet Street


Speaker: Dr Rick Cooper

Much of our everyday behaviour consists of routine sequences of actions, such as those concerned with dressing, grooming, and eating. This behaviour is subject to minor slips when our attention is diverted, and to more bizarre disturbances following some forms of neurological injury. This talk will consider how computer simulation techniques can help to understand the cognitive processes underlying routine action selection and its impairments. The implications of this work, including for recovery of function following brain injury, will also be considered.

 4 July – 16:00-20:30 – MA Social and Cultural Geography Launch film event

Venue: Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD


An exploration of identity, power and representation through film:

  • Kate Maclean on ‘Film, masculinity and the financial crisis’.
  • Penny Vera Sanso on ‘The working elderly in India’.
  • Karen Wells on ‘The melodrama of being a child: NGO representations of poverty’.

Followed by a special showing of ‘A World Not Ours’ (2012; Best International Film – Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013; Winner Peace Film Prize – Berlin International Film Festival), followed by a Q&A session with the producer Patrick Campbell.Set in Ain el-Helweh, Lebanon’s largest refugee camp and home to over 70,000 displaced Palestinians, director Mahdi Fleifel combines his own footage with that of his father’s from the 80s and 90s, to present an intimate portrait of the place where he was born.

Research talks 4-6pm; documentary showing 6.30-8pm; Q&A 8-8.30pm. There will be an opportunity to chat to our academics about the new MA Social and Cultural Geography, over refreshments before and after the film.

5 July – 14:00 onwards – Family Ties: Reframing Memory

Venue: Peltz Gallery and Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square

Booking: None – the gallery is open Monday-Friday (10:00-19:00)

Artist talk in gallery and short film screening in Birkbeck Cinema, featuring work by Suze Adams, Rosy Martin and Sally Waterman. This rolling 35-minute programme will feature work that deals with key themes such as ancestral connections to place, the parental home, mother-daughter relationships, the family album and mourning and loss. 

5 July –  11:00-17:00 – Artists’ Film Biennial 2014 Symposium: Aesthetics of the Non-visible

Venue: ICA Cinema


John Berger has said of photography that fear of the medium’s power for deception is built on a belief in its documentary verity, its inability to not pay equal attention to all that has come through the camera’s aperture. With the advent of cinematography, photography’s imagined veritability combined with the illusory power of the moving image to produce myriad excursions into the murky territory between the visible and the non-visible.

Taking a cue from the filmic desire to explore that which goes beyond everyday perception and dominant modes of visibility, this symposium examines how the non-visible may or may not be brought to light, through three interconnected discussions concerning: the contexts for the display of moving image, the hidden digital realities of contemporary experience, and the spiralling possibilities of the ever-expanding archive of remediated culture.

The symposium, introduced by Dr Ben Cranfield and led by Professor Ian ChristieDr Joel McKim and Professor Esther Leslie, is a collaboration between Birkbeck School of Arts and the ICA.

Tickets cost between £5 and £10 – you can buy them from the ICA website.

Birkbeck and Bloomsbury Campus Events 2014, 23 – 29 June

Another week and boy is it packed full of events. In fact, I am completely shocked by the amount of events on this week for which there are still tickets available! Here are some of the highlights:

23 June – 15:00-17:00 – Waste Land

Venue: Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H OPD


Contemporary artist Vik Muniz takes us on an emotional journey from Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest landfill on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, to the heights of international art stardom.

23 June – 17:15-19:30 – The impact of digital technology and social media on sport

Venue: Clore Management Centre


This keynote lecture, followed by a panel session, will discuss contemporary usage and possible future trends in digital technology and social media in sport.

Panel Session Chair – Richard Ayers, Founder & CEO of Seven League.


  • Professor George Roussos – Professor of Pervasive Computing, Birkbeck.
  • Nick Bourne, Chief Operating Officer at Big Balls
  • Gill Leivesley – Management Consultant, Takeout
  • Dan McLaren – Founder and Editor-in-Chief, UK Sports Network
  • Alex Balfour – Head of New Media at LOCOG.

23 June – 18:00-21:00 –  ‘Inhabiting ‘Childhood’: children, labour & schooling in post-colonial India

Venue: Room 153 Malet Street


This book discussion covers the content of Inhabiting ‘Childhood’: children, labour & schooling in post-colonial India. Although “multiple childhoods” recognises children’s lives as heterogeneous and culturally inscribed, the figure of the “victimised” child continues to test the limits of this framework. Inhabiting “childhood” ambitiously redresses these limits by drawing on the everyday experiences of street children and child labourers in Calcutta.

Discussants: Erica Burman, University of Manchester; Peggy Froerer, Brunel University

Chair and discussant: Karen Wells, Birkbeck University

23 June – 16:00-18:00 – What do employers want? Panellists will discuss their approach when seeking new staff.

Venue: Waltham Forest Direct in Leytonstone Library


Part of the  Pop-Up University that runs through until early July over in East London.

Ever wondered what Employers look for when recruiting new members of staff? Each member of the panel will discuss the approach their organisation takes when seeking new staff, highlighting the distinctive characteristics they look for from applicants at each stage of the recruitment process.

23 June – 18:00-20:00 – How can you be happier at work? Speakers will explore the importance of meaningful and challenging work.

Venue: Waltham Forest Direct in Leytonstone Library


How can work make us happy? Through relevant research and case studies, we will explore ideas around meaningful and challenging work, how employees can increase happiness at work and how employers can create conditions for wellbeing and engagement.

24 June – 15:00-17:00 – Linha de Passe

Venue: Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square


Linha de Passe is a 2008 Brazilian film directed by Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas. It tells the story of four poverty-stricken half-brothers who live in a suburban neighbourhood in the periphery of Sao Paulo and have a fight to follow their dreams.

24 June – 19:00-22:00 – London Pride Banner Making

Venue: Birkbeck main room 253

Come and make banners and placards so that we look suitably fabulous during the London Pride march on 28 June. The theme for the march this year is ‘Freedom to…’. You are free to interpret this how you wish.

All art supplies, banners and placards will be provided, we just need your creative help to make it a reality! All welcome.

24 June – 19:15-20:15 – What can business learn from sport?

Venue: Clore Management Centre


In his keynote address, Adrian Moorhouse, Olympic gold medallist and Managing Director of Lane 4 will discuss how concepts within sport and organisational psychology can help to create high performance business environments.

25 June – 14:00-16:30 – Enterprise Network: Business Panel & Clinic with the Institute of Directors Start Up Group

Venue: B20, Malet Street


This event presents a unique opportunity for student and graduate entrepreneurs across London to question and debate with a seasoned panel of experts, all members of the IOD Start Up Group.

The first part of the event involves a panel format enabling you to ask questions and debate with an expert panel.

In the second half, there will be a clinic in an adjacent room, where you can hold more detailed conversations. The clinic will be on a first come first served basis, with each individual consultation limited to 10 minutes.

25 June – 15:00-17:00 – Senna

Venue: Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square


Senna is a British 2010 documentary that depicts the life and death of Brazilian motor-racing champion, Ayrton Senna.

25 June – 17:15-19:30 – Economic regeneration and the impact of major sporting events

Venue: Clore Management Centre


In his keynote address followed by a panel session, Neale Coleman CBE, Deputy Chair of the London Legacy Development Corporation, debates if the London Olympics acted as a catalyst for stimulating economic development, particularly in East London.


  • Professor John Driffill – Professor of Economics, Birkbeck.
  • Professor Maurice Roche – Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Sheffield University.
  • Professor Chris Gratton – Emeritus Professor of Sport Economics, Sheffield Hallam University.
  • Stephen Gifford – former Director of Economics, Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

26 June – all day – business week – events can be booked individually

Venue: Clore Management Building


  • 10:00-11:00  – The socio-cultural context of Brazil and a discussion of sport’s place in the country, David Goldblatt
  • 11:15-13:00 – Good governance in sport: a real event, Jens Sejer Andersen and panel session
  • 14:00-15:15 – The reform of sport governing bodies, Professor Jean-Loup Chappelet and panel session
  • 15:30-17:00 – How cities use major sporting events and build a lasting legacy, Debbie Jevans CBE and panel discussion
  • 17:15-19:15 – From Club To Country: A twenty-year journey in football, David Bernstein CBE

Coffee, lunch and networking sessions and some refreshments included!

26 June – 18:30-20:00 – Debating Antisemitism: Why do Jews Disagree so Much?

Venue: Room B33, Torrington Square main entrance


In this round-table discussion, Diana Pinto, intellectual historian and author who has written widely on Jewish identity in Europe, and Keith Kahn-Harris, writer and sociologist whose recent book explores the debates over Israel among Jews in Britain, join David Feldman, Director of the Pears Institute, to explore the perennial, perplexing question – why do Jews disagree so much on the issue of anti-Semitism?

What are the different perspectives Jews hold on anti-Semitism across Europe? How do these perspectives connect to debates about Israel? How are such debates managed? Can dialogue be conducted with civility or is its descent into conflict inevitable? And how do the internal Jewish debates on anti-Semitism reflect wider societal debates concerned with anti-Semitism and racism?

26 June – 19:00-21:00 – The ‘femme’ fatale in Brazilian cinema: challenging Hollywood norms

Venue: Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD

Booking: None required

Antônio Márcio da Silva will introduce his book, The ‘femme’ fatale in Brazilian cinema: challenging Hollywood norms (2014), followed by Q&A.

The femme fatale has long been constructed and understood in popular culture and cinema as a beautiful heterosexual Caucasian woman that belongs to film noir and neo-noir. Here, da Silva shows the need to incorporate diverse ethnic groups and male homosexuals into the range of “femmes” fatales. He examines how the Brazilian representations cross genre, gender, race, and class and offer alternative instances (black, slave, homosexual, married, and teenage) to the dominant Hollywood Caucasian model. As with gender performativity, the danger the femme fatale represents to society is constructed rather than being an innate feature. This figure represents areas of cultural anxiety, particularly around issues of sexuality and gender, but da Silva seeks to reframe these issues in the context of Brazilian film.

Coordinator of Portuguese at University of Kent, Antônio Márcio da Silvacompleted a PhD at University of Bristol (2013) and received an MRes from University of Leeds (2010). His main research interests include the representation of constructions of gender, sexuality and race in Brazilian and Lusophone cinemas, literature and popular culture and national/world cinemas and popular culture, particularly in the 1970s.

There will be a raffle of a free copy of the book for those attending.

27 June  – 18:30 onwards – From seculariastion to  sacralisation

Venue: Room 538 ( 5th Floor), Malet Street

Booking:  None required

Birkbeck Open Discussion Society – presentation and debate by Dr.william Bloom  (Political psychology  – L.S.E)

28 June – 14:00-16:00 – Health, lies and video-tape

Venue: Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H OPD


Just how much has health advice changed in the last 100 years? We’ll be exploring the archives of public health announcements, with films from the 1930s to the present day. Joining us will be experts to help us separate the fact from the fiction, and the hilarious from the health-conscious!

This event is organised and presented by Science London, part of the British Science Association, which envisages a society in which people from all walks of life are able to access science, engage with it and feel a sense of ownership about its direction.

28 June – 16:30-17:30 – Smoke and mirrors: the secrets of sci-fi special effects

Venue: Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H OPD


No blockbuster movie would be complete without some special effects. Zero gravity? Check. Massive explosion? Check. Giant, salivating, wheezing alien? Check. But how do the experts do it? Science London will be peeking behind the scenes to find out exactly what’s going on back there.

28 June – 18:30-20:30 – 1950’s Sci-fi: The Gamma People

Venue:  Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, London, WC1H OPD


Join Science London as we revisit the Golden Age of sci-fi B-movies… the 1950s, when goo was radioactive, brains atomic and viruses extraterrestrial. We will be screening a rarely-seen British cult classic, The Gamma People (1956). This wonderfully low-budget feature has it all – a scientist-dictator, human experiments, Lederhosen, and even Carry-on star Leslie Phillips! Bizarre, bonkers, yet rich in socio-political commentary, the film’s themes and post-war context will be expertly introduced by Dr David Kirby, an expert on science in the cinema.

29 June Birkbeck Pride at The Big Pride Picnic in the Park 2014

Date: Sunday 29 June, from 1pm
Venue: Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens

Please join Birkbeck Pride the day after London Pride March for The BIG PRIDE PICNIC in the PARK 2014 at Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens!!

Meet outside the RVT at 1pm to leave 1:15pm sharp.

Soft drinks and snacks provided. All welcome. Feel free to bring any baked goods if you wish, but not obligatory.

You can find the link to the official FB event here :

If you have any photos or would like to contribute an article about any of these events please send them to

Birkbeck and Bloomsbury Campus Events 2014, June 18 – 22

We’re hurtling towards the end of the term, but there’s still a lot going on on campus. Here are some events that you might want to catch at the tail end of this week:

16-20 June – Birkbeck Conference “Law on Trial” 

Venue: B34 Malet Street


This year’s conference is focused on the use of scientific evidence in legal contexts

The event is free and everyone is welcome to attend. The drinks receptions will be held on the first and final days of the conference week. 

Some tickets still available at:

19 June – 18:00-19:30 – Anthropology of the Brain: Consciousness, Culture and Free Will

Venue: Peltz Gallery, Ground Floor, School of Arts, Birkbeck, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

Booking: First come, first served

In this talk, Roger Bartra will discuss his latest book Anthropology of the Brain: Consciousness, Culture and Free Will (2014), in which he explores the mysteries of the human brain. In the book, Bartra shows that consciousness is a phenomenon that occurs not only in the mind but also in an external network, a symbolic system. He argues that the symbolic systems created by humans in art, language, in cooking or in dress, are the key to understanding human consciousness. Placing culture at the centre of his analysis, Bartra brings together findings from anthropology and cognitive science and offers an original vision of the continuity between the brain and its symbolic environment.

19 June – 18:00 – 20:00 – A panel of Social Scientists discuss the concept of ‘Change’

Venue: Room B33, Malet Street


Marx famously wrote: ‘Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.’ Social scientists, philosophers and historians continue to share some sense of present, political engagement; but in order to make a difference in the world, it is necessary also to understand how and why it changes. To address that challenge this round-table brings together experts from six different disciplines, to discuss what ‘change’ means from their disciplinary context, and to see what perspectives can be thrown upon ‘change’ when looking at it comparatively, across time, space, culture and methodologies.

Participants include: Edwin Bacon, Jennifer Hornsby, Kate Maclean, Malcolm Edwards, Leticia Sabsay and Casper Meyer, chaired by Miriam Zukas.

20 June – 17:30 – 18:30 Hip hop+Afrobeats class for ALL levels and it’s ONLY £5!!!

Venue: Maryland Studioz Ltd, 86 – 90 Leytonstone Road, Stratford, London, E15 1TQ

Booking: Bring cash on the day

You can Wear anything comfortable i.e. leggings/joggers bottoms/t-shirt etc, but DEFINITELY trainers. Don’t forget to Bring water too

20 June – 12:00 – 17:00 – Perversions of Paper workshop

Venue: Keynes Library at 43 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD


Perversions of Paper comprises two events, an invitational workshop on 20 June 2014 and a one-day symposium on 28 June 2014. Both events investigate the outer limits of our interactions with books, manuscripts and paper. They consider unorthodox engagements with texts, from cherishing or hoarding them to mutilating and desecrating them, from wearing them to chewing them, and from inhaling their scent to erasing their content. ‘Perversion’ may apply to deviations from normal usage but also to our psychological investments in paper. To talk of having a fetish for books is common, but is there more to this than merely well-worn cliché? These events provide for reflections on perverse uses of – and relationships with – paper and parchment. What part do books, manuscripts and other written artefacts play in our imaginary and psychic lives, and what complex emotional attachments do we develop towards them? Also, how might literary studies or cultural history register these impulses and acts; what kind of methodologies are appropriate?

20 June – 15:00 – 17:45 – Transmission: Hari Kunzru workshop and conversation

Venue: School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square


The Centre for Contemporary Literature will host a workshop on novelist Hari Kunzru from 3pm, at 43 Gordon Square, Birkbeck. The event is organized by Bianca Leggett, Churnjeet Mahn and Bran Nicol, in association with the University of Surrey, and sponsored by the AHRC project The Memory Network.

The workshop will act as a forum for debate between Kunzru scholars, with an eye to planning an essay collection provisionally titled Reading Hari Kunzru. Bloomsbury have expressed an interest in a Hari Kunzru study as part of their single author series and the day will provide an opportunity to exchange ideas as to the angles which the book might cover. (Please do come along whether or not you would like to contribute to this collection; equally, attendance is not obligatory for those who would like to contribute.)

The workshop will be followed by a short break, after which you are invited to our evening event, ‘A Conversation with Hari Kunzru’. Hari Kunzru has confirmed his attendance: he will be giving a short reading from his new multi-modal essay ‘Twice Upon a Time’ followed by an interview, which will be opened up to the audience for a general Q&A followed by a wine reception. Attendance is free but places are limited.

21 June – 11:30 – 13:00 – Managing Your References Using EndNote

An introduction to EndNote, reference management software that helps you store, manage and cite your references correctly. There will be an opportunity for some hands-on practice.

To book for these or any of the other workshops this term, please visit

21 June – 13:00 – 23:00 – Open City Docs Fest

Venue: Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD

Booking: Each individual show via Open City Docs Fest

Open City Docs Fest, in partnership with the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image, presents the following screenings:

21 June – 09:30 – 20:30 – Guilt Colloquium

Venue: Clore Management Centre


The BISR Guilt Group is pleased to announce the programme for the Guilt Colloquium to be held at Birkbeck on Saturday, 21st June.

Anyone is welcome to attend, but places are limited. To reserve a place, please email James Brown.

There will be papers on:

Guilt and the Unconscious

Mark Cousins (Architectural Association): ‘The superego’
Colin Gordon: ‘’Avowal and truth: between spirituality and legality’
War and Guilt

Paul Eden (Sussex): ‘Apartheid in America: truth, reconciliation and the Alien Tort Statute’
Eric Gordy (UCL): t.b.c.
Law, Guilt and Responsibility

Hallvard Lillehammer (Birkbeck): ‘What do we owe?’
Alan Norrie (Warwick): ‘Legal and moral guilt and The Act of Killing’
Antonio Ribeiro will screen his film, Justice Seekers, about the struggle of Dafroza and Alain Gauthier to have alleged perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide put on trial in France. Afterwards he’ll be in conversation with Philip Spencer (Kingston)

Round-table discussion including Sam Ashenden (Birkbeck), James Brown (Birkbeck), Tom Osborne (Bristol), Juliet Rogers (Melbourne), Lisa Wintersteiger (Birkbeck)

Launch of Economy and Society special issue on Guilt

21 June – 13:45 – 17:00 – Organizational Psychology Postgraduate Taster Event

Venue: B33 Malet Street


Come and find out more about the Department of Organizational Psychology’s postgraduate portfolio of programmes at our Taster Event.

At the Taster Day you will hear about our programmes, meet the staff who will be teaching, talk to some of our alumni and get the chance to participate in discussions with potential fellow students.

  • 13.45 Welcome to Taster day and department overview Professor Pat Tissington, Head of Department Organizational Psychology
  • 14.15 Programme groups:
    • Etlyn Kenny, MSc Organizational Behaviour
    • Kate Mackenzie Davey, MSc Occupational Psychology
    • Katrina Pritchard, MSc Human Resource Development
    • Huadong Yang, MSc Human Resource Management
    • Andreas Liefooghe, Postgraduate Certificate in Coaching
  • 14.45 Seminar preview: Small Group Discussion
  • 15.30 Tea and Pastries
  • 16.00 Past and current student panel Q&A
  • 16.45 Round-up, final questions
  • 16:45 Drinks Reception

A little ahead of time, but you might want to book now!


4 July – MA Social and Cultural Geography Launch film event

CRITICAL GEOGRAPHIES OF FILM PLUS  Special showing of ‘A World Not Ours’ (2012) + Q&A with producer Patrick Campbell

Join them for an afternoon showcasing research within the GEDS department, exploring themes of identity, power and representation through film:

  • Kate Maclean on ‘Film, masculinity and the financial crisis’.
  • Penny Vera Sanso on ‘The working elderly in India’.
  • Karen Wells on ‘The melodrama of being a child: NGO representations of poverty’.

There will also be  a special showing of ‘A World Not Ours’ (2012; Best International Film – Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013; Winner Peace Film Prize – Berlin International Film Festival), followed by a Q&A session with the producer Patrick Campbell.Set in Ain el-Helweh, Lebanon’s largest refugee camp and home to over 70,000 displaced Palestinians, director Mahdi Fleifel combines his own footage with that of his father’s from the 80s and 90s, to present an intimate portrait of the place where he was born.

Research talks 4-6pm; documentary showing 6.30-8pm; Q&A 8-8.30pm. There will be an opportunity to chat to our academics about the new MA Social and Cultural Geography, over refreshments before and after the film.

Book your tickets for the Research Talks and Film Showing at:



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

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

Venue: Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square


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:

Birkbeck and Bloomsbury Campus Events, 19 to 25 January

20 January – 17:30 to 19:00 – Zizek’s Big Ideas: Introduction to Zizek, why is he important?!

Venue: Idea Store Whitechapel


This opening lecture will give a background to the life and work of Slovenian philosopher, Slavoj Zizek, the International Director of Humanities at Birkbeck and one of the worlds leading exponents of Lacanian psychoanalysis and German idealism.

Zizek’s continued commitment to communism and class struggle has seen him revolt against our complacent post-modern relativism to emerge as “the philosopher of the real.” A position that comes to fruition through a Lacanian reading of Hegel that returns the notion of truth as a central paradigm in the ontology of the subject. His worldwide popularity has lead to epithets such as “the Elvis of cultural theory” and “the most dangerous philosopher in the west”.

Refreshments will be provided.