African Women in the Media conference – 27 July

Curzon Building, 10am-5pm

Register here for the conference.

The symposium aims to bring together African women working in the media, and academics in the field of media and communications concerned with media, diaspora, race, gender, representation, and African feminism. The objectives are to engage in debates on issues affecting African women in the media, provide an opportunity for the exchange of ideas between academia and industry, and opportunities for networking. With a focus on news media, the central questions the symposium will seek to answer are:
  • What challenges do African women working in the media face?
  • How are these challenges being addressed? How might they be?
  • How are African women represented in the media?
The long-term aim is to establish an action-orientated, supportive, and, empowering network that bridges academia and industry.

Researching with families – 23 June

Curzon 416, City Centre Campus, 9.30-4.30

Personal reflexivity is a dynamic process involving self-questioning and self-awareness, offering researchers opportunities to unpack their assumptions and expectations. Making the shift from ‘expert’ to ‘novice’ can be a disorienting as well as a liberating process for existing practitioners and/or parents, when conducting research with families. However, there is an analytical cost if the interplay between the personal and the research process is not considered.

This inter-disciplinary postgraduate conference will bring together postgraduate students, academics and practitioners engaged in research with families (broadly defined) and/or who are conducting research while with family themselves. Issues of subjectivity, positionality and power as they relate to carrying out research with families and/or researching while mothering/fathering will be explored with the aim of opening up discussion in order to help students interrogate these issues and tensions within their own research.

For more information and to book a place please visit the Eventbrite page.

Centre for Printing History & Culture Annual Symposium – June 30

Arts Building, University of Birmingham, 2pm-7pm

The event is a good opportunity to hear about the research that is being undertaken by some of the CPHC researchers who will be presenting brief, 15 minute papers on their work.

Talks will be preceded by refreshments and will conclude with wine and canapés.

The event is free, but tickets are limited so please register here.


  • Lee Hale (Winterbourne) Crown Arab Press at Winterbourne and Josiah Wade
  • Rachel Stenner (University of Sheffield) The typographic imaginary in Early Modern English literature
  • John Hinks (Birmingham City University) Location, location, location: how early printers chose where to set up in business
  • Becky Howson (Birmingham City University) Against the grain: Leonard Jay and the Birmingham School of Printing
  • Barry McKay (Independent scholar) The manipulation of stereotypes on the 1863 shepherds’ guide
  • Sahar Afshar (Birmingham City University) Punjabi printing: a historical analysis of design, production and consumption from 1800 to today
  • Joanna Jarvis (Birmingham City University) Eighteenth century frontispieces
  • Nigel Easom (University of Birmingham) Culture and change in the industrial city 1854–1939: the case of the Birmingham and Midland Institute
  • Joe Krawec (University of Birmingham) 1946 and all that …
  • Jane Cooksey (Wolverhampton University) Jenny Evans (De Montfort University) Better dressed than Birmingham? Birmingham clothing wholesale in print.

CSPACE education conference – 10 July 2017

City North Campus, Perry Barr, 9am-5pm

This year’s education conference is entitled Connecting Communities: Creating Spaces for Creativity and Collaboration in Education. The day will be filled with talks, discussions and debates about the many issues and aspects of Education Research particularly around partnerships, collaboration and the role of community in education. Colleagues from across the university are welcome to be involved.

For more information visit the Eventbrite page.

School of Art Research and PhD events – 19 July


ADM SOARS event and SoA PhD Research Seminar

19th July, 2017

The School of Art will be having two events as part of our SOARS and SoA PhD Research Seminar programme.

SOARS Event, 12:00pm-13:30pm

Venue: Lecture Theatre (School of Art, Margaret St.)

Contemporary Art and Social Activism: The Post-Revolutionary Economy of Image Production in the Middle East

Professor Anthony Downey

SoA PhD Seminar, 17:00-19:00

Venue: International Project Space (School of Art, Margaret St.)

Research as Practice: The Politics of Contemporary Visual Culture in the Middle East Today


Walter Armbrust (Associate Professor of Modern Middle Eastern Studies, at the Faculty of Oriental Studies, St Antony’s College, Oxford).

Dina Matar (Associate Head, Centre for Media Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London).

Oraib Toukan (Artist and Clarendon Scholar at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford).

Jonathan Watkins (Director, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham).

Tirdad Zolghadr (Director of the Summer Academy Paul Klee in Bern and Associate Curator at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin).

For more information contact Hiu Man Chan.

Print, Politics and Publishing conference – 21 July 2017

Hosted by the Centre for Printing History and Culture

Birmingham City University, 9am-5pm

This one-day conference considers politics (of all flavours) and the provincial press from the early modern to present day.

John Freeth was landlord of a celebrated Birmingham tavern and it was his custom to write songs about the news of the day, setting his words to popular tunes, which he sang nightly to patrons. This made Freeth’s Coffee-House one of the most successful in England. Freeth published nearly 400 of his songs, which offer a novel insight into the radical and nonconformist politics of late eighteenth-century Birmingham. In 1783 Josiah Wedgwood printed a series of political leaflets in Newcastle-under-Lyme. An address on the late riots was occasioned by corn uprisings at his factory, when Wedgwood summoned militia to disperse the mobs. Following arrests and one execution, Wedgwood’s leaflet warned against the folly of violence to redress social evils and recommended ‘peaceable’ alternatives, stressing the temporary nature of economic recession. On 27 October 1857, John Bright MP addressed a crowded Birmingham Town Hall. Already a famous politician and orator, expectations were he would deliver a news-worth speech. So much so, The Times chartered a special night train to deliver his text in time for the morning editions. His speech in the provinces, a call for universal suffrage, marked a turning-point in nineteenth-century electoral reform.


  • Dr Ian Cawood, Newman University, Birmingham’s Satirical Periodicals in the age of Chamberlain;

    Gail Chester, Independent Scholar, The influence of provincial publications in the radical movements of the 1960s-90s;

    Tor Clark, De Montfort University in Leicester, The Local Democratic Deficit – how the decline of the regional press has impacted on coverage of local government in the UK;

    Judith Davies, PhD Student, University of Birmingham, George Walters, Dudley’s radical printer;

    Dr Catherine Ferris, Dublin Institute of Technology, The Freeman’s Journal, Evening Packet and Saunders’s News-Letter: Musical Identities, Political Identities;

    Duncan Frankis, PhD Student, University of Birmingham, That Nefarious Newspaper: The Dublin Evening Post, 1789-1794;

    Prof Matthew Grenby, University of Newcastle, ‘Ye lovers of freedom, attend to my song’: Eighteenth-Century Election Ballads in Newcastle upon Tyne;

    Rachel Hobbs, PhD Student, University of Birmingham, Birmingham’s Biographers: Three Late-Victorian Histories And The Promotion of Civic Identity;

    Dr Lisa Peters, Chester University, Getting the boss elected to Parliament: the political campaigns of the Wrexham Guardian;

    Susan Thomas, PhD Student, University of Birmingham, ‘Munchausen Unmasked’? George Edmonds versus The Monthly Argus;

    Helen Williams, PhD Student, Edinburgh Napier University, ‘Mr O’Connor, famous Chartist, visits town’: reporting Chartism in south west Scotland;

    Dr. Paul Wilson, University of Leeds, Hopeful words and the neighbourly order of the world.

For more information and to book visit the website.

Black Education for Liberation – 2-4 November 2017

In September 2017, Birmingham City University will launch the first Black Studies degree in Europe. But Black Studies has been thriving in the Britain for decades, based in grassroots organisations with activist, artists, teachers and parents developing and sharing Black Studies knowledge to help survive and resist racism. Black Studies has never been, and will never be confined to universities and we are keen to remember and explore how Black education has been, and can be used to further the cause of Black liberation.

Connecting the struggle across the African Diaspora changes the nature of politics protecting us from developing too narrow a focus concentrated solely on the successes of failures within the countries we find ourselves in. Therefore one of the aims of this event will be to make connections to Latin America, a part of the Diaspora that has been underserved in our discussion of Black Studies. The region enslaved millions of Africans, and economy and social system is just as dependent on racism as the Americas, Caribbean, Europe or Africa.

For more information, visit the website.

CEBE Upcoming Research Seminars



Wednesday 14th June, 2pm

With Dr Mir Seyedebrahimi (Centre for Cloud Computing)

Radio Resource Management and Interference Control in Wireless Networks: Latest challenges, developments and future scopes

In spite of the enormous popularity of wireless-enabled devices in recent years, the utilization of their radio resources (e.g. RF spectrum, transmission power level etc.) has degraded due to the current dominancy of the decentralized radio resource management schemes. Few state of the art central control solutions are also applying the configurations in a way that the network-wide impacts of the involved parameters and their mutual relationships are ignored. In this seminar, we will talk about these challenges and the latest developments of the technology to tackle the problems (more specifically within the wireless networks and Wi-Fi). As an example, I’ll discuss my recent proposed analytical model and algorithm for jointly adjusting the transmission power levels and optimizing the RF channel assignment of APs in Wi-Fi. I’ll also talk about various stakeholders which are involved in deploying such a solution, the development process and the reason this kind of solutions are delayed and the scopes in the next generation of wireless networks.


For more information and to book your place at any of the seminars please contact Ian McDonald.

CFP: Centre for Chinese Visual Art (CCVA) 10th annual conference

ccva hd

Thursday 12 and Friday 13 October 2017

School of Art, Birmingham City University

Margaret Street, Birmingham, B3 3BX, England

Call for papers: Chinese art outside the art space

The Centre for Chinese Visual Arts (CCVA) at Birmingham City University aims to foster new understandings and perspectives of Chinese contemporary arts, design and visual culture through interdisciplinary practices and theoretical studies. During its first decade, CCVA has established a unique position in the UK to pioneer the research in the field. We are now convening this two-day Annual Conference to invite researchers, curators, art historians, critics and artists at all stages of their careers worldwide to contribute to the topic, marking the 10th anniversary of the Centre.

Historically, in China, ‘art outside the art space’ can be understood as both a cultural and a political proposition. From a cultural point of view, the notion of public ‘exhibition’ is entirely Western, whilst in the Chinese tradition of literati art for example, artworks were made, shared, and appreciated within the form of scholarly ‘elegant gathering’ (yaji), which was essentially a kind of private (rather than public) event within secluded (rather than institutional) spaces. From a political perspective, the ‘outside-ness’ immediately relates to the ‘unofficial’ status of contemporary Chinese art from its early development. For example, the first Star Group exhibition in September 1979 – generally acknowledged as the very first show that marked the beginning of contemporary art in China – was staged in a small public park just next to the China National Art Museum, outside the legitimated and official art space. Today, the situation of Chinese art taking place outside the museum and gallery spaces continues, but with a completely different momentum and agenda.

Art has been produced site-specifically for the spaces other than art institutions in China, including those of working venues, shown in a range of alternative spaces beyond galleries or museums, and has ‘happened’ in the public sphere and become political or social ‘events’, or artistic ‘incidents’, as a special form of ‘exhibition’. Creative curatorial and artistic strategies have been developed to respond to the constraints of art institutions, censorships and at the same time, to push the boundaries of art. Focusing on art made, displayed, performed or executed outside the conventional venues of art museums and galleries, this conference not only offers a unique perspective to understand Chinese art in the contemporary context, but also, more importantly, it aims to critically reflect upon the understandings between art and art exhibition, between artistic productions and audience perceptions, and between art and our daily life.

We invite papers from innovative and interdisciplinary perspectives to develop new understandings of Chinese contemporary art. The following series of relationships in the context of Chinese art and culture is seen indicative, but not limited to the discussions:

  • China’s art museums, galleries and alternative spaces
  • Curatorial strategies and artistic responses beyond institutional spaces
  • Exhibitions, events and incidents
  • Art production, dissemination, participation and reception
  • Performance and performativity
  • Art and everyday life
  • Contemporary art and censorship

Please submit an abstract of up to 300 words, a 100-word biography, contact information and any institutional affiliations, by 31 March 2017 to, with a subject titled ‘10th Annual Conference’. Any general queries should also be directed to Conference presentations should last no more than 20 minutes. Successful proposals for conference contributions will be notified in early April 2017. Invited full papers should be completed by 28 February 2018, to be featured in Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art (Intellect) as a special issue in autumn 2018.

Conservatoire public research seminars

Here are this year’s public research seminars by Birmingham Conservatoire. All are welcome to attend.


3.30–5.00 p.m.

Arena Foyer, Conservatoire

Dr George Kennaway (University of Huddersfield)

Diseased, or Just Vulgar – What is it about Vibrato?

Of all the topics that recur in discussions of historical performance, vibrato remains the most controversial. Whether missing when presumed needed, or present when held to be historically uninformed, it provokes reactions that would never be aroused by, say, contrametric rubato, arpeggiated chords on the piano, or even portamento. In this seminar George Kennaway, Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Huddersfield and professional cellist, looks again at reactions to vibrato and advice on its use from the eighteenth century onwards, not primarily to establish the considerable historical evidence for its restrained use, but rather to explore the feelings surrounding it: vibrato is often criticized as a lack of taste, a disease (or depravity), or as a sign of lower social class. Such terms invite wider speculation about the delimitation of musical discourse. Examples will be drawn from instrumental playing and singing, and reference will be made to modern vibrato controversies as well as historical sources.