Posts from December 2014
Michael Nath’s exceptionally fine British Story has picked up a Book of the Year endorsement from the only newspaper that matters. Full details here: http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-5f55-Arts-round-up-2014-1-2-3-4#.VKEgUQN8Bg
OK, we all know it’s destructive neoliberal nonsense, but still … hard not to offer some congratulations today. In the results announced yesterday for REF 2014 – the UK government’s periodic assessment of research across all British universities and subjects areas – there were fantastic successes for both the main units of assessment in which staff in the IMCC submit their work.
In Art and Design, Westminster were ranked third overall, only being pipped to the top spot by Reading’s specialised Typography and Graphic Communications unit and the Courtauld Institute, with a remarkable 45% of its research judged as being of ‘world-leading’ quality.
Meanwhile, in English Language and Literature, Westminster jumped nearly 50 places in the rankings to be judged overall at 28th out of 89 departments, in a joint position with the University of Edinburgh. On the assessment of publications alone, Westminster’s English submission broke into the top 20, putting it ahead of the likes of Oxford, Manchester and King’s, with around a third of its work assessed as being of ‘world-leading’ quality and nearly 80% ‘internationally excellent’ or better.
The full list of results can be found here: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/features/ref-2014-results-by-subject/2017594.article
A nice start to the holiday season. See you in January.
Understanding China, the Country and the Myth
February 28 2015, 11.00-12.00
The IMCC’s Anne Witchard is speaking at the Bath Literature Festival alongside author and film-maker Xiaolu Guo, who called her most personal novel to date, I am China, a “goodbye love letter to China”. The event is chaired by Isabel Hilton.
Tickets £8, or £7 for reductions.
Radical Philosophy Berlin Conference 2015
5 4 3 2 1…
Friday 16 – Saturday 17 January
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
For our German friends, the journal Radical Philosophy will be holding its regular mega-conference in Berlin next year, with speakers including the IMCC’s own Matt Charles and David Cunningham. Other participants include Christa Blumlinger, Gregoire Chamayou, Claire Fontaine, Peter Hallward, Gertrud Koch, Esther Leslie, Mark Neocleous, Peter Osborne, Nina Power, Frank Ruda, Hito Steyerl, and many others.
Further details on the HKW website at:
For our American friends: Director of the IMCC’s Data Futures Lab, Peter Cornwell, is speaking at Princeton University on the Rhetorics and Pragmatics of Sustainability in the Digital Humanities.
Print Screen: Writing and the Image
The Photographer’s Gallery, London
Wednesday 17th December 2014
This symposium – a collaboration between the IMCC and the Photographer’s Gallery – addresses current thinking on the relationship between writing and the image, with particular emphasis on connections across the fields of experimental literature, photography, and film.
Presenters include: Laura Mulvey, Redell Olsen, Patrick Keiller, Jonathan Long, Daniel Kane and our own Leigh Wilson.
Laura Mulvey is Professor of Film and Media Studies at Birkbeck, University of London. A renowned film theorist, her influential work Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema (1975) and subsequent collection of essays Visual and Other Pleasures (1989) established feminist film theory as a field of enquiry. As well as publishing widely in film and media studies, she has also co-written and co-produced with Peter Wollen a number of films including Riddles of the Sphinx (1977).
Redell Olsen is a poet and text based artist whose visual work involves live performance with stills or moving image. Film Poems (Les Figues, 2014) collects the texts for her films and performances from 2007–2012. She is currently a Reader in Poetic Practice at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Patrick Keiller is a filmmaker and writer. His celebrated films dealing with the poetics of place include London (1994), Robinson in Space(1997), and Robinson in Ruins (2010). His commission for Tate Britain,The Robinson Institute, was exhibited in 2012 and a book of essays,The View from the Train: Cities and Other Landscapes, was published by Verso in 2013.
Jonathan Long is Professor of German and Visual Culture at Durham University. He has published extensively on writing and photography. His books include W. G. Sebald: Image, Archive, Modernity (Columbia University Press, 2007), and current research focuses on the photographic book in the Weimar Republic.
Daniel Kane is a poet, critic, and Reader in English & American Literature at the University of Sussex. His books include All Poets Welcome: The Lower East Side Poetry Scene in the 1960s (2003) andWe Saw the Light: Conversations Between the New American Cinema and Poetry (2009).
Leigh Wilson is Reader in English Literature at the University of Westminster. She writes mainly on modernism and British fiction and her recent publications include Modernism and Magic: Experiments with Spiritualism, Theosophy and the Occult (2013).
Free admission, but booking required. Further details at: http://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/print-screen-writing-and-the-image#-INFO
Wednesday 10 December, 4.15pm
Room 311, University of Westminster, Wells Street, London W1T 3UW
Dr Nigel Mapp, University of Westminster
“The very painting of your fear”: Macbeth as Sceptic Medium
Any convincing account of agency – one that does not, for instance, sceptically limit responsibility to intentions – must see it as theatrical. Deeds are socially expressed and corrigible. What then of Macbeth’s theatricality? The play seems to offer a drastically over-determined picture of agency – of who does and decides to do what, and why. But what sort of “picture” of a dismantled significance is this? The paper considers the question in terms of Macbeth’s Stoic and nominalist emphases and the violent self-domination, effected through faith and adherence to alien law, represented in its protagonist. The play, it is argued, mortifies this wish to escape a fate internally related to deeds – call it the tragic – by intensification of what appears to be a sceptical process of formal self-reflection. By examining the role of some visions and images, and of the iconoclastic (demystifying, false) theories of these laid out in the play, the reading pieces out a theatre of a modern fate: the deathliness that scepticism would ward off, but everywhere reproduces.
December 2014 – January 2015
Raven Row, 56 Artillery lane, London E1 7LS
The East London gallery Raven Row is playing host, for six weeks across December and January, to a series of public events that mine the contested space between contemporary literature and art. Speakers include (on Weds 21st January) the IMCC’s David Cunningham, in conversation with Peter Osborne on ‘New Contemporaneities’, as well as host of others including Brian Dillon, Chris Kraus, Tom McCarthy, Donald Nicholson-Smith and McKenzie Wark.
Further details at: http://www.ravenrow.org/forthcoming/
Flier listing all the events attached here: Plastic Words_RR_PW_flyer.
The Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture
University of Westminster Department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies
32-38 Wells Street, London W1T 3UW. United Kingdom.