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 http://www.bbk.ac.uk/bisr/research/guilt-working-group.
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
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)
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
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