Class of 2020: Graduating From a Distance

by Sarah Mir
Sarah is a 21-year-old soon-to-be English Literature graduate from King’s College London who has an avid interest in writing/editorial work.

A common epithet to describe the coronavirus has been “the invisible enemy”. Not only does the use of the chosen adjective, ‘invisible’, hint at the nature of a biological threat, but it also perpetuates an understanding of the virus as an abstraction, this other-worldly description questions its reality. Continue reading Class of 2020: Graduating From a Distance

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.

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The Dark Theatre: A Book About Loss

by Professor Alan Read

In the 1980s Alan was director of Rotherhithe Theatre Workshop, a neighbourhood theatre based in the Docklands area of South East London, in the 1990s he worked as a freelance writer in Barcelona and was Director of Talks at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, and from 1997-2006 he was Professor of Theatre at Roehampton University where he directed a five year AHRC research funded programme on performance, architecture and location exploring theatre and public ceremonial in rational housing blocks and council estates.

The Dark Theatre was written as a critical response to my first book Theatre & Everyday Life (Routledge, 1993). This book mimicks the ambitions and two-part structure of that earlier work but takes stock of the intervening quarter-century turn towards financialization and precarity in Western Europe, exploring a ‘general economy of performance’ by way of response to these capitalized conditions. The Dark Theatre is not an updating of the source work but instead engages with questions of community, ecology, and what I call ‘cultural cruelty’ as evidenced in practices ranging from theatrical acts to legal processes.

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Statement of Solidarity with BAME Students from Department of English

At a time when our English Department community is already facing the challenges caused and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, we also want to reflect and act on recent events in the US and the UK surrounding police brutality, institutional racism, and the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

The whole UK university sector, including King’s, needs to address issues such as the BAME awarding gap, the continuing presence of Prevent on our campuses, the need to decolonise the curriculum, the lack of people of colour in permanent faculty positions and leadership positions, and the level of surveillance and oppression faced by BAME students.

As an English Department, we want to stand together to work in solidarity towards racial liberation and we also want to do what we can to provide resources to centre these issues for our students.
Below is a list of various resources that we hope will provide support for those of you who have already been dealing with the impacts of racism or white supremacy directly, and information for those of you who are engaging with these issues in newer ways.


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Techno-heartache: Reflections on the Telepoetics Symposium

by Imogen Free
Imogen Free is a first year PhD student at King’s College London, researching modernist women’s writing, sound technology and the politics of aurality (1930-1956).

One note held her ears through the hollow thunder of traffic: in shells of buildings the whirr of unanswered telephones. They were insistent
Elizabeth Bowen, To the North

In these ‘unprecedented’ times, I’ve been surprised to discover how much I’ve missed the postgraduate research community at King’s. I miss the distinctly un-academic chatter in our research room, sharing coffee with my supervisor, and the strange charm of the floppy triangles of sandwich, with beige fillings of unidentifiable flavour and lukewarm, headache-inducing wine after conferences. Sandwiches aside, it’s been a period in which we’ve been reflecting on how our institutions can support their students and staff and it’s been a lonely, uncertain, distressing time for many reasons other than the pandemic. But I have also been fortunate enough to participate in some of the changes the research community have had to make in order to stay in contact and find modes of communion with one another, as we become ever more reliant on the medium of telecommunication.

Continue reading Techno-heartache: Reflections on the Telepoetics Symposium