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Arts Week 2017: Friday 19 May

America in Crisis

    When? 6pm-7.25pm
    Waterstones, Gower Street

    Join two of Birkbeck authors for a discussion of two key moments of crisis in recent US history, the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island (1979) and Hurricane Katrina as it devastated the US Gulf Coast (2005). Grace Halden's 'Three Mile Island: The Meltdown Crisis and Nuclear Power in American Popular Culture' and Anna Hartnell's 'After Katrina: Race, Neoliberalism, and the End of the American Century' (both published this year) use these events to explore larger narratives of self-destruction, environmental degradation, and displacement. There will be plenty of time for discussion after the talks.

    Book your free place for 'America in Crisis' via Eventbrite.

Reformation London walk: power, fire and the book

    When? 3pm-4:30pm
    Meet: St Paul's Tube southern entrance 

    Join us to walk the paths of Reformation London. Was the city really illuminated by human torches, as monarchs removed those who crossed them, or was the Reformation a movement of popular change? Join us to explore the places where Henry VIII, Mary Tudor and Elizabeth I made part of the world we know - and learn more about other events - Donne's sermons, singing, organs and women's prayers and politics.

    Book your free place for 'Reformation London walk' via Eventbrite.

Film screening: The Price of Desire (2014)

Talking photography: reality check

    When? 2pm-4pm
    Where? Room G04, 43 Gordon Square

    The History and Theory of Photography Research Centre hosts an evening of visual exploration, with members from Ph: The Photography Research Network.   Notions of reality will be explored through work from emerging artists/researchers Lauren Winsor, Anne Pfautsch and Alexandra Hughes. From masquerade in 1930s Surrealist Germany to post war realism in the GDR and contemporary installations that explore our real and imagined encounters with wilderness. There will be plenty of time for discussion afterwards.

    Book your free place for 'Talking photography' via Eventbrite.

Poetry and ruins: an ancient villa in Renaissance Tivoli

    When? 6pm-7.25pm
    Room 124, 43 Gordon Square

    Celebrated in antiquity as a place of studied leisure, Tibur (modern-day Tivoli) became known during the Renaissance for the spectacle of its ruined temples and villas. Birkbeck’s Peter Fane-Saunders explores the contrasting cases of two sixteenth-century architects, Antonio da Sangallo the Younger and Pirro Ligorio, and what their analyses of sites in Tivoli tell us about Renaissance engagement with antique texts, poetry and architecture – and about the workings of the Renaissance mind.

    Book your free place for 'Poetry and ruins' via Eventbrite.

Public Talk by John Beverley: A new Orientalism

    When? 6pm-7.25pm
    Where? Room B04, 43 Gordon Square

    One of the legacies of postcolonial criticism is the proposition that modern literature itself was complicit in the processes of European colonization of the world, that literature and literary education are a "mask of conquest." This talk will use that insight to explore the representation of an Islamic or Arab subject in three texts from the first decade of the 21st century. These are Michel Houellebecq's novel Soumission (Submission), Orhan Pamuk's novel Snow, and Michael Haneke's film Caché(Hidden). The underlying question here is about the relationship between vernacular literature and modernity, or a claim to modernity. The talk will conclude with some thoughts on the representation of an Islamic Other in the founding text of literary modernity, Cervantes's Don Quixote.

    Book your free place for 'A new Orientalism' via Eventbrite.

Saint Oscar: a rehearsed reading of Terry Eagleton's play about Oscar Wilde

    When? 7.40pm-9pm
    Where? Room G03, 43 Gordon Square

    Saint Oscar is Terry Eagleton's take on Wilde. It was premiered in Derry in 1989, but this was preceded by a James Brown’s one-person adaptation in the Oxford Irish Festival. In this BiGS/Guilt Group presentation, Brown revisits the play's exploration of sexuality, nationalism, power and identity.

    Book your free place for 'Saint Oscar' via Eventbrite.

Tudormania: the Beheadings

    When? 6pm-7.25pm
    Where? Room G04, 43 Gordon Square

    Join our panellists to discuss why Tudor heads rolled – and why the axe fell. If beheading was for the best, what happened to the rest? Those beheaded included Lady Jane Gray, Lady Rochford, Mary Stuart and many lost their lives again and again in novels, films and TV.  After the talks there will be an opportunity to share your views with our speakers novelist and Birkbeck alumni Liz Fremantle  (who will read from her novel Sisters of Treason), publisher George Morely, teacher Noeleen Murphy, and Judith Hudson and Lou Horton (Birkbeck).

    Book your free place for 'Tudormania' via Eventbrite.

Writing well and writing to get well: Nathan Filer and Agata Vitale in conversation

    When? 6pm-7.25pm
    Where? Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Square

    Nathan Filer, author of the prizewinning novel The Shock of the Fall (2013), and Agata Vitale, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Bath Spa University, will bring their personal and professional experience into a wide-ranging discussion of the relationship between creative writing and mental health.

    Book your free place for 'Writing well and writing to get well' via Eventbrite.

Marge & Jules

    When? 5pm-7pm
    Where? Room G10, 43 Gordon Square

    Join theatre duo The Queynte Laydies for the performance of a play exploring the meeting of two medieval mystics – Margery Kempe who wrote the first autobiography in the English language and  Dame Julian, the renowned anchoress. Julian penned writings on mysticism and mercy that have dazzled spiritualists for centuries. Marge & Jules resurrects the historic moment where — as writings record — Margery met Julian. As spiritual enlightenment meets the darker stories of life in the Middle Ages, these women confess all; talking faith, life, after-life, semantics, erotics and the mysteries of the Man they love. Introduced by Anthony Bale (Birkbeck)

    Book your free place for 'Marge and Jules' via Eventbrite.

Last Night Music

    When? 7.30pm-9pm
    Where? Room G10, 43 Gordon Square

    Some of the School’s finest performers play live and unplugged.  Featuring Jo Winning, Louise Owen and Tony Fisher, and headlined by Pepper and Shepherd, following the release of their first studio album, As the willow stands near the water (2017) .

    From Broadstairs to Brussels, James Pepper and Anthony J Shepherd have earned their place as one of folk’s most electrifying live acts in the UK. Since forming in 2009 they have racked up hundreds of performances touring across the UK, honing a unique blend of ferocious fret-work on guitar and mandolin with powerful soaring vocal harmonies.

    Book your free place for the final night celebration here.