Summer Events with the Department of English Research Strands

By George Kowalik

In 2022, the organisation of research in the department has changed slightly. Meeting in the department’s weekly research hour (Wednesdays from 12.30-13.30, on Microsoft Teams) as well as during events organised by the research strand leads, the following research strands form the current structure of research interests amongst King’s staff and PGRs:

In addition to the regular departmental research hour sessions, the new research strands have also organised a variety of exciting events this summer. Below is a full guide to everything coming up…

 

Critical Race Studies and Global Englishes

Wednesday 18th of May, 2-3 pm (on Teams)

Podcasting event with the hosts of the ‘Surviving Society’ podcast.

The Critical Race Studies and Global Englishes research cluster are so excited to announce that the team behind the ‘Surviving Society’ podcast are joining us for an online discussion and Q&A from 2-3pm on the 18th May.

‘Surviving Society’ explores the local and global politics of race and class from a sociological perspective. Released weekly, the podcast is presented by Chantelle Lewis and Tissot Regis, and executively produced by George Ofori-Addo. Through interviews with activists, researchers and academics, Surviving Society covers a huge range of topics including the housing crisis, COVID-19, migration and nationalism, making academic research accessible to a broad audience, within and far beyond the university. 

Chantelle Lewis, Tissot Regis and George Ofori-Addo will talk us through what motivated them to start ‘Surviving Society’, the goals of their podcast, and why you should start tuning in today – if you haven’t already!

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4MktUtJifgiF91UtJJogF7

Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/surviving-society/id1291679351

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-622675754

 

Medical Humanities

Thursday 19th of May, 5:30pm (Council Room, Strand Campus)

Centre for the Humanities and Health Annual Lecture: Prof Seamus O’ Mahony, ‘Bringing Death Back Into Life.’

(Words by Seamus O’Mahony). This talk is based on the work of the Lancet Commission on the Value of Death, the report of which was published in January 2022. I have worked with the commission since 2018. My fellow commissioners come from the global north and south, and from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. Our starting point was that many societies and health systems have developed an unhealthy relationship with death and dying. The role of families and communities has diminished, and the role of health care, which is largely a technical response, has grown.

We argue that these roles need to be rebalanced, with more attention paid to the dying, their families, and communities, and less to the technical, medical aspects of dying. People in high-income countries are often over-treated at the end of life, while many people in low-income countries die without access to minimal treatment, particularly opioids. We have identified the complexity of the ‘death system’ – the many factors (cultural, social, community, political, economic, technological, philosophical, clinical) that influence death and dying. Attempts at change that do not recognise this complexity are likely to fail. We produced five scenarios, bold but plausible futures, and a ‘realistic utopia’ of how we could like death and dying to be.

Our work began two years before the Covid-19 pandemic. We believe that the pandemic, excessive treatment at the end of life, and attempts to defeat death have a common root: the delusion that we are masters of nature, not part of it. We recognised too that the climate and ecological crisis, the existential threat of our time, is rooted in the same delusion. We need to think again about what health systems and health research are for: are they about defeating death – which they often seem to be – or should they be about alleviating suffering and maintaining our humanity?

Places are bookable via Eventbrite here.


Visual, Material and Sonic Cultures

Thursday 19th of May, 5pm (Bush House (SE) 1.01)

Dr Jennifer Lucy Allan, ‘Sound of Sirens: Memory, archive and methodology.’

Jennifer Lucy Allan is a journalist (Guardian, Quietus), broadcaster (Radio 3’s Late Junction) and musicologist. Her 2021 book, The Foghorn’s Lament: The Disappearing Music of the Coast, explored questions of archiving, preserving and resurrecting endangered or extinct sounds. She also runs the archival record label Arc Light Editions. Allan is currently working on her second book, Clay: A Human History, due for publication in 2024. She has kindly accepted the cluster’s invitation to talk about the methodologies and archives that inform and inspire her research, journalism and media work. 

This is an in-person talk followed by discussion and drinks. Register for attendance with Eventbrite here

 

Cultural Production and the Organisation of Knowledge

Tuesday 7th of June, 12:30-16:30 (Keats House)

Away Day at Keats House in Hampstead.

This is an open invitation to any researchers in the department who are interested in being involved with the Cultural Production and the Organisation of Knowledge research strand. The afternoon will consist of a sandwich lunch and a tour of Keats House, along with an open writing and research session. The cluster are hoping that it will be a lovely opportunity to reconnect with colleagues, share your current research plans, and spend some time writing and talking together. They will also be booking a space in a nearby pub garden so we can continue the conversations afterwards.

After the challenges of the last couple of years, the cluster is keen to meet in person and reconnect  in a relaxed and intellectually stimulating environment. There’s no specific theme for the day, other than the very broad research strand title. The deadline to apply for a space on the trip has now passed.

 

Medical Humanities

Thursday 16th and Friday 17th of June (The Freud Museum London)

Situating Pierre Fédida’, an Evening Symposium at The Freud Museum London exploring the work of influential French Psychoanalyst Pierre Fédida. The event is followed by a day-long workshop at KCL.

For the workshop, please contact Patrick Ffrench (patrick.ffrench@kcl.ac.uk).

(Words by the strand leads). Pierre Fédida (1934-2002), a member of the Association psychanalytique de France, was in our view a major figure in post-war French psychoanalysis, especially in the last third of the 20th century. He has a substantial bibliography, consisting of 7 monographs from 1977 to 2001, and gave a regular seminar. His complete work, including all of his many articles and chapters, is being published and has reached 6 volumes to date (taking us up to 1990).

He had a philosophical formation (under Deleuze), angled especially towards phenomenology. His writing and teaching features a powerful attention to the modalities of the psychoanalytic session itself, including the gestural dimensions of the patient’s discourse. It moves fluidly between precise engagement with Freud’s work, but also British psychoanalysis (Winnicott, Klein) and phenomenological analysis (Binswanger, under whom he trained).

He was a Professor at the Université de Paris VII and, with Jean Laplanche, ran the Department of Psychoanalysis and its various offshooots there. He also founded the ‘Centre de l’étude du vivant’ in Paris. The theorist of aesthetics Georges Didi-Huberman, whose work is often in close dialogue with that of Fédida, has written a study of his work and especially of the way it informs aesthetics (Gestes d’air et de pierre, Minuit, 2005). Despite Fédida’s importance, only 2 or three of his essays have been translated into English, and he remains broadly unknown outside francophone contexts.

 

Medical Humanities

18th of June (Council Room, Strand Campus)

Day-long symposium in honour of Brian Hurwitz. Save the date (details to follow).

 

Below is the schedule of upcoming research hours in the department, which take place on Wednesdays from 12.30 to 1.30pm.

On Teams unless otherwise noted.

18th of May

Visual, Material and Sonic Cultures 

Presentations by Strand Members.

Please note this research-hour event should not be confused or conflated with the external speaker event on the 19th of May. This research hour will be devoted to presentations by department members, whereas the 19th of May event is a talk by Dr. Jennifer Lucy Allan (details above).

 

25th of May

Creative Practice, Performance and Theatrical Culture

Creative Writing and Research Event.

Benjamin Wood will give a short reading from his new novel, The Young Accomplice (forthcoming from Penguin Viking in June), and introduce readings from three PhD in Creative Writing students: Chandra Ganguly-Meyer (creative non-fiction), Nick Makoha (poetry), and Melis Aker (fiction)

To be followed by a Q&A with the four contributors.

 

1st of June

Visual, Material and Sonic Cultures / Critical Race Studies and Global Englishes

Strand PhD student presentations.

 

8th of June

Environmental Humanities / Creative Practice, Performance and Theatrical Culture

Strand PhD student presentations.

 

15th of June

Cultural Production and the Organisation of Knowledge

Strand PhD student presentations.


For general information about the summer research strand programme and the departmental research hours, please contact Jane Elliott at jane.k.elliott@kcl.ac.uk.


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