English Research Seminar – 10 December

On the problem of writing a masterpiece: Cyril Connolly and the new Enemies of Promise

Ian Marchant Birmingham City University)

Wednesday 10 December, 2 – 3pm, Baker 603 (City North Campus)

Since the publication in 1938 of ‘Enemies of Promise’, the English author, editor and reviewer Cyril Connolly has haunted writers with his famous aphorism: ‘There is no more sombre enemy of art than the pram in the hall.’

Enemies of Promise is not a ‘how to write’ book; it is a book about what stops writers from producing a book which will last more than 10 years. Along with children, Connolly lists sex, drink, conversation, day-dreaming, politics and writing for quick cash.

In this paper, Ian Marchant will update the list, and suggest that so far from offering solutions, Connolly has himself become part of the problem.

CEBE Research Cafe – 2 December

Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment (CEBE) Research Cafe 2 

Reflection and research – unlikely bedfellows?

With Sonia Hendy-Isaac of the Centre for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT)

Tuesday 2 December 2014 12pm-1.30pm, MP388 City Centre Campus

This session will explore the use of critical reflection to enhance the research process and encourage articulation of deep learning and metacognition.

To register your interest please e-mail Ian.McDonald@bcu.ac.uk

Refreshments will be provided.


The form of the book conference – 5 December

The form of the book: printing, publishing and production in the regions

5 December 2014, 9.30am – 5.30pm, Parkside Building, City Centre Campus

A Book History Research Network Study Day on print and manuscript culture in British and European towns and cities.

Hosted by the Typographic Hub, this event focuses on literary and typographic histories in regional towns.

Visit the eventbrite page to book

Type Talks: Sarah Hyndman – 11 December

11 December 2014, 5.30 – 7.30pm, P350 Lecture Theatre, Parkside Building, City Centre Campus

‘Thinking outside the font’

Typefaces are both functional and evocative. They trigger memories, evoke associations and prompt multi sensory responses. Sarah will review how type is ‘hidden in plain sight’. She will share projects done by a range of people which reveal the typeface considered most ‘believable’ that type can make food more enjoyable and which typefaces look sweet or bitter.

Visit the Typographic Hub website to book


RESCON 2014 – 15 December

Monday 15 December 2014, Baker Hall and Conference Suite, City North Campus

Our annual University Research Conference, showcasing the diversity of research by our academics and postgraduate research students. More details to follow.

Being a Midlands 3 Cities Student

Karen Patel’s research is carried out with the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research. She is looking at how creative and cultural workers in a particular city use social media, and questioning its role in their personal and professional lives.

Karen previously completed her BA and MA with the Birmingham School of Media, and also currently works in the Research, Innovation and Enterprise department at Birmingham City University, running the web and social media presence for Research.

Last week we had our residential induction for the Midlands 3 Cities Doctoral Training Partnership in Nottingham.It was a fantastic two days that made me feel really lucky to be a part of this prestigious and unique scheme.

For a bit of background, Midlands 3 Cities is a new scheme with the usual features of a studentship (such as an annual stipend and fees paid for) but you also get the benefits of working across six universities in three cities in the Midlands. These are Birmingham City University, University of Birmingham, Nottingham Trent University, University of Nottingham, De Montfort University and University of Leicester. This means we can access training and expertise from all of those universities, and work collaboratively with fellow Midlands 3 Cities students on funded projects.

The projects were a particular feature of the residential, we spent most of the time working on our ideas for a Cohort Development Fund, which is available for us to carry out projects and events which would be of benefit to postgraduate researchers (PGRs) across the six institutions. My group, which included PGRs from all types of backgrounds (from poets to historians to musicians) came up with an idea for a series of workshops to help researchers with public speaking, media handling and communicating their work to a wider audience. We’re working on submitting our application formally, so fingers crossed! What we wanted to emphasise is that any events/workshops should be made available to all PGRs at all institutions, not just Midlands 3 Cities students.

There was also a talk by artist Bill Drummond, who talked about his ten commandments of art. He asked us to think of our own ten commandments then agreed with Sharon, the Midlands 3 Cities Director, that he will meet up with us all in 3 years’ time to paint our commandments underneath Spaghetti Junction. They shook hands on it, so expect a blog post about this in 2017!

What was apparent from the two days was the sense of collegiality amongst the group; everyone got along really well and everyone is so enthusiastic about their research. I personally feel I could work with anyone in my cohort. That can also be said about PGRs in the faculty of Arts, Design and Media. So far it’s been an enjoyable first few weeks as a PhD student and I’m looking forward to the next three years.

Applications for the 2015 cohort of Midlands 3 Cities is now open, visit the website for more information.