Monday, 31 January 2011

"Screening Strangers" - Book Presentation at UCL Italian Seminar

Screening Strangers: Migration and Diaspora in Contemporary European Cinema

Chair: Prof. David Forgacs

Wednesday, 2 February 2011, 5.00 - 7.00pm

Yosefa Loshitzky challenges the utopian notion of a post-national "New Europe" by focusing on the waves of migrants and refugees that some view as a potential threat to European identity, a concern heightened by the rhetoric of the war on terror, the London Underground bombings, and the riots in Paris's banlieues. Opening a cinematic window onto this struggle, Loshitzky determines patterns in the representation and negotiation of European identity in several European films from the late 20th and early 21st centuries, including Bernardo Bertolucci's Besieged, Stephen Frearss Dirty Pretty Things, Mathieu Kassovitz's La Haine, and Michael Winterbottom's In This World, Code 46, and The Road to Guantanamo.

Find details of the book here:

For information about the all series of research seminars organized by the UCL Italian Department/SELCS, and venue details for this event:

Heads Up! Thoughtsforward Dates for the Diary

Get your diaries out, and pencil in the upcoming Thoughtsforward sessions, all Wednesdays 4-5.30pm...

* 23rd February -- Public Engagement Speaker Session (speakers will be announced soon!)

* 2nd March -- Interdisciplinarity Speaker Session, featuring:
-           Andrew Harris, Urban Lab

* 23rd March -- Spring Forum, an informal space to discuss PhD topics, progress and problems

More details, e.g. room venue, will be publicised in due course.
All are welcome, and if you've got any queries, suggestions or anything to say at all really, get in touch with us by email.

Looking forward to seeing you all there,

-- Alicia

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The Journal of Universal Rejection

You've got to love the internet.  Just when PGs everywhere are falling foul of caffeine poisoning, and losing-the-will-to-live-itis, juggling submissions to present at conferences, applications for publication in journals, attending seminars, academic admin and, let's not forget, working on the thesis, a website comes along and makes you smile.  The "Journal of Universal Rejection" has as its founding tenet, well, the rejection of all articles it receives. So it somewhat takes the pressure off us early career researchers, nervously submitting to nice and established journals and waiting interminable months to see if we make the cut. 

Here's a cheering excerpt from the JoUR's homepage -

About the Journal
The founding principle of the Journal of Universal Rejection (JofUR) is rejection. Universal rejection. That is to say, all submissions, regardless of quality, will be rejected. Despite that apparent drawback, here are a number of reasons you may choose to submit to the JofUR:

  • You can send your manuscript here without suffering waves of anxiety regarding the eventual fate of your submission. You know with 100% certainty that it will not be accepted for publication.

  • There are no page-fees.

  • You may claim to have submitted to the most prestigious journal (judged by acceptance rate).

  • The JofUR is one-of-a-kind. Merely submitting work to it may be considered a badge of honor.

  • You retain complete rights to your work, and are free to resubmit to other journals even before our review process is complete.

  • Decisions are often (though not always) rendered within hours of submission.

  • Is academic publication really this gruelling? Isn't all the bitching - I mean rarified "discussion" - about the difficulties of getting published just an issue of perception, and, even one of self-confidence? I am not sure. But what I do know, thanks to the JoUR, is that there are others out there who share the pain and worry about journal submissions.  And that is rather nice.

    -- Alicia 

    Friday, 21 January 2011

    New PG Interdisciplinary Discussion Group - University of London

    A new interdisciplinary discussion group is being established for post-graduate students at the University of London.  The group will provide an exciting opportunity for scientists and humanities scholars to come together to discuss the ways in which their disciplines relate, interact and can be fruitful for or antagonistic towards one another.
    Inaugural Meeting, 2nd February 2011, 5-7pm

    Venue:  Centre for Humanities and Health Seminar Room (Room F2), 5th Floor, East Wing, Strand Campus, King’s College London (Directions Below)

    Scientific articles:
    (Primary reading) Corlett P R, Honey G D, Krystal J H, Fletcher P C (January 2011) Glutamatergic model psychoses: prediction error, learning and inference. Neuropsychopharmacology. 36(1), 294-315.
     (Secondary reading) Everitt B J, Belin D, Economidou D, Pelloux Y, Dalley J W, Robbins T W (12 October 2008) Neural mechanisms underlying the vulnerability to develop compulsive drug-seeking habits and addiction. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (Biological Sciences). 363, 3125-3135.
    Both are available from the pubmed website below, and journal access is available from most university networks:

    Literary Reading:
    Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception, any edition, widely available in libraries or cheaply on amazon or in bookshops.

    If you have difficulty accessing the articles email Helen or Susie  for a pdf copy.

    If you have any questions regarding the discussion group, also contact Helen.

    A Word from the Creators of the Group:
    ‘The idea of a war between two cultures is a futile one. Instead we all need to sit down together and exchange our visions’ (Mary Midgley, Science and Poetry, London and New York: Routledge, 2001, p. 57)

    There is a growing critical interest in the relationship between the sciences and the arts and interdisciplinary research is on the rise. Yet despite this, it is rare for a group of scientists and humanities scholars to come together to discuss the ways in which their disciplines relate, interact and can be fruitful for or antagonistic towards one another. Therefore, this group intends to be a space for precisely this to happen.

    Established by Susie Christensen, an English literature PhD student in the Centre for Humanities and Health at King’s College and Helen Barron, a Neuroscience PhD student at the Institute of Neurology at UCL, we aim to bring postgraduate students from across the University of London and from a range of artistic and scientific disciplines together.

    In light of the current exhibition at the Wellcome Collection, the first meeting will take as its focus the topic of ‘drugs’. We will be approaching this from a neuroscientific and literary perspective to begin with, but do not want the discussion either within this session, or in the group in future to be limited to these disciplines. We are simply starting with what we know, and hope that other researchers and students may want to lead future discussions.

    There are some short readings for this session which are referenced below. We will begin with some introductory comments relating to these texts and use them as a starting point for discussion. If you are unable to read them, please do still attend, but we would be grateful if you are able to read through them in order to focus the initial discussion.

    Helen Barron will introduce the scientific readings, and Nicholas Murray, Huxley’s biographer and the King’s College Royal Literary fund biographer in residence will introduce the Huxley text.

    Any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch with either of us or

    Helen and Susie

    -- Alicia

    IGRS Session - "The Politics of Form" - Thursday 3rd February 2011

    The IGRS Graduate Forum will host its fourth session of 2010/11 on Thursday 3rd February from 6pm-7.30pm in Stewart House Room 274. Join them for interesting papers and friendly discussion!

    The IGRS Graduate Forum is a network of postgraduate students from Modern Language departments across the University of London who meet to share their research in a thoughtful, informal and supportive atmosphere.
    This session's panel is entitled "The Politics of Form", and will consist of two papers, one on film, and the other on poetry:

    - 'Repetition as time in Pedro Costa's Colossal Youth (2006)' by Patricia Sequeira Bras, from the Iberian and Latin American Studies Department of Birkbeck College, London.

    - 'Objects and excess in poetic form' by Constanza Ceresa, also from the ILAS department at Birkbeck.

    Every graduate student of Modern Languages at the University of London is welcome to come along. Please also send any suggestions and proposals you may have for future sessions - papers, reading groups, practical skills seminars - to

    -- Alicia

    Call for Submissions - Opticon1826, Spring 2011 Issue

    The editors of UCL's peer-reviewed academic journal, Opticon1826, are now inviting submissions for publication in the 2011 Spring Issue.

    Contributions are welcome from all faculties, on any subject and in a variety of formats, including articles, research notes, commentaries, reviews, images, as well as responses to previously published material. All members of UCL, be they undergraduates, postgraduates or staff, can contribute.

    The deadline for submissions is FRIDAY, 4 MARCH 2011.

    The journal's online 'Contributors' section includes information on the general submission guidelines, style guide, review process, and copyright policy (

    For any faculty-specific questions, please contact your Faculty Editor.
    Please note that any submissions which are not formatted according to the Opticon1826 Style Guide will be returned to the author for amendment before being put through our review and publication process.

    For general questions or comments, please contact either your Faculty Editor ( or the Editor-in-Chief (

    -- Alicia

    Friday, 14 January 2011

    Networking Event - Blue Sock Salon - 20th January 2011

    Heads up about a networking event for Early Career Researchers on 20 January 2011...
    "The first Blue Sock Salon took place in October 2009. Blue Sock is best described as an informal, research-focused away-day for early-career researchers (except it's in the evening, in the atmospheric environs of the Horse Hospital, and with the possibility of buying beer). Blue Sock features a baker's dozen of pecha-kucha presentations by your colleagues, some music, and space to mingle and swap ideas and experiences with A+H, SHS, SSEES, and Laws people you know (and probably some you don't know, and some you don't know you want to know...yet). The last Blue Sock spawned teaching and research collaborations, speaking invitations, and new friendships.

    To be held on Thursday 20 January, 7pm (sharp)- 9.30pm (approx). For venue details etc, see

    This event is free to staff and postgrads in the Faculties of Arts and Humanities, Social & Historical Sciences, Laws, and SSEES at UCL. We need to ask you to register in advance (due to venue capacity and for catering). Please visit
    Or register directly at:"

    -- Alicia

    Thursday, 13 January 2011

    ASMCF Annual Conference, University of Stirling - Call For Papers

    Postgraduate students are strongly encouraged to apply to the ASMCF Annual Conference, to be held at the University of Stirling, 1st-3rd September.  The conference is entitled: Continuities and Discontinuities? France Across the Generations.

    They welcome proposals in the following topic areas (and the full CFP brief gives lots of detail on potential themes within these broad areas):
    1.  Political Generations
    2. France’s Memory Wars: Devoirs de mémoire, tyrannie de la repentance and beyond
    3. Popular Culture: Legacies and Cultural Markers
    4. Kinship and Families
    5. The New Generation: Les Enfants de Sarkozy? 
    6. From Commemoration to Celebration
    The conference organisers welcome papers from a wide variety of disciplines including international relations, history, geography, politics, economics, sociology and religious, gender, literary, cultural, film and media studies.  Proposals for individual papers (300 words max.) and for panels, which should consist of three presenters and a named chairperson are both invited. Papers may be delivered in English or French. The total time for one paper is 20 minutes both for presentations in panels as well as for individual presentations. Send your proposals for papers and panels (with contact details) to Fiona Barclay ( and Cristina Johnston ( by 1 February 2011. 

    There is also a Postgraduate Poster Session: postgraduates in the early stage of their research are invited to present their work in this special section. Apparently, "The Poster Session aims to enable postgraduate students to participate in the conference programme, receive feedback from specialists in an informal and friendly setting and to prepare them for presenting papers at future conferences."  For further information about presenting a poster at the ASMCF annual conference, contact the ASMCF postgraduate representative, Lindsey Dodd ( 

     For full details, including the full CFP brief, click here.

    -- Alicia