Category Archives: Culture, Text and History

Strandlines: lives on the Strand, past, present and creative

By Fran Allfrey, Strandlines assistant editor, English Dept alumna and Teaching Assistant

Strandlines is a life-writing and community history project, which takes the form of a website and linked Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. The project was set up by Professor Clare Brant, with a board of editors made up of colleagues inside and beyond King’s. I joined as Assistant Editor in spring 2019. With the new term just starting, Clare and I thought now was a good time to reflect on where Strandlines has been, and where it may go next! Continue reading Strandlines: lives on the Strand, past, present and creative

Lockdown Reading Recommendations from the English Department

Six members of the King’s English Department have pulled together a list of the books, poems, and writing that have been inspiring them during lockdown.

This post was originally posted on Between the Acts, a space for writing by students of the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, and shared via the Offer Holder Hub by Ellen Englefield and Hannah Hungerford.

Continue reading Lockdown Reading Recommendations from the English Department

“Renovate, dod gast you, renovate!”: where next for modernist studies?

by Charlotte Jones, Teaching Fellow in Victorian and Modern Literature at King’s College London

“Going where it is possible to go would not be a displacement or a decision, it would be the irresponsible unfolding of a program. The sole decision possible passes through the madness of the undecidable and the impossible: to go where (wo, Ort, Wort) it is impossible to go.”

Derrida, On the Name (Stanford UP, 1995), 50.

In one of the most durably useful of all modernist expressions of the value of novelty, Ezra Pound called on art to “make it new”. Putting aside the fact that Pound’s slogan was itself the product of historical recycling ­– the source is probably an anecdote about Ch’eng T’ang (Tching-thang, Tching Tang), first king of the Shang dynasty (1766–1753 BC), who was said to have a washbasin inscribed with this inspirational motto – these three words are commonly recited as the epitome of what modernism stands for: rupture, revolution, innovation, defamiliarisation, the logic of creativity-in-destruction that fortifies the avant-garde.

Continue reading “Renovate, dod gast you, renovate!”: where next for modernist studies?

On dissent; or, learning how to say no

by Pavan Mano

PhD candidate Pavan Mano explores how the seeming reticence of Singapore’s biggest queer movement to openly challenge the status-quo is in fact its key organising strength.

Singapore can be a strange country in many ways. And one of those ways is how it projects an image of a modern, forward-looking metropolis whilst remaining home to a backward (albeit unenforced) law in the form of Section 377A – a legislative hangover from British coloniality – that criminalizes sex between men. Section 377A isn’t an anomaly in the Singaporean landscape – it’s merely the most visible symptom of the primacy of place that heterosexuality retains in the country. Which, amongst other things, means that there’s plenty of work for queer movements to do in terms of advocacy and activism. And one of these movements is Pink Dot.

Continue reading On dissent; or, learning how to say no

Jerome Caja’s ‘Cosmetic Miracles’ and ‘Post-Apocalyptic’ Drag in 1990s San Francisco

To celebrate the launch of the new Queer@King’s goes to Church series, in collaboration with KCL Chaplaincy, Victoria Carroll reflects on the sacrilegious artwork and drag performance of Jerome Caja (pronounced Chi-a), an important figure in the queer arts scene that flourished in early 1990s San Francisco.

Jerome Caja, The Last Hand Job (1993). Collection Anna van der Muelen.

Continue reading Jerome Caja’s ‘Cosmetic Miracles’ and ‘Post-Apocalyptic’ Drag in 1990s San Francisco