Posts from November 2015

Culture, Memory & Extinction

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11 December 2015, 9.00am-5.00pm
Natural History Museum, London

Culture, Memory & Extinction

Recent months have seen an explosion of public, media and academic interest in the idea, threat and reality of extinction. This acknowledgement has contributed to debates over climate change and other, related, ways that humanity has altered environments and ecosystems in this epoch we have begun to call the Anthropocene. This one-day conference asks what role can culture play in widening the understanding, representation and, indeed, remembrance of this unfolding and catastrophic species loss. With this in mind, the event aims to foster dialogue between academics, journalists, museum curators, charities, writers, environmental groups, and the media to explore how societies engage with the complexities of the processes of extinction and remember the extinct. More specifically, the event examines how increased dialogue between these communities and constituencies contributes to the public re-evaluation and remembrance of life on our planet.


Dan Barnard & Rachel Briscoe. Lead Artists, fanSHEN Environmental Theatre Collective.
Fae Brauer. Professor of Art and Visual Culture, University of East London.
Sbastian Brooke. Director, MEMO (Mass Extinction Monitoring Observatory).
Melanie Challenger. Author, On Extinction.
Cathy Dean. Director, Save the Rhino.
Sebastian Groes. English and Creative Writing, Roehampton University.
Steve Parker. Author, Extinction: Not the End of the World?.
Jules Pretty. Professor of Environment and Society, University of Essex.
Bernd Scherer. Director, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.
Matt Williams. Associate Director, A Focus on Nature.
Matthew Wills. Biodiversity Lab, University of Bath.

Free tickets: register at

Organised by The Natural History of Memory: Dr Lucy Bond (Westminster), Dr Rick Crownshaw (Goldsmiths), Dr Jessica Rapson (King’s College London); Research assistant: Ifor Duncan (Goldsmiths).

Inventing Maps: Towards a Geography of the Avant-Garde

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Wednesday 25th November 2015, 5.00pm
Room 105, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London W1T 3UW

Inventing Maps: Towards a Geography of the Avant-Garde
Andreas Kramer (Goldsmiths), with a response by John Beck (IMCC)

This talk will explore how European avant-garde movements of the early twentieth century turned to geography to assert, validate and contest their artistic and political aims. The Italian Futurists famously claimed, in their founding manifesto of 1909, that ‘Time and space died yesterday’. Their claim signals the avant-garde’s desire to break with scientific conceptions of time and space; yet the issue of geographic location would persistently haunt the avant-garde’s emergence in various European cities and nations, just as the international dissemination of the avant-garde was framed by powerful, and sometimes strikingly original, geographical imaginations. Drawing on a range of examples from futurism, Dada and surrealism, this paper explores the visual and textual rhetoric of the map and mapping.

All welcome and entrance free. Non-Westminster guests can sign in at reception.
Followed by drinks in the Green Man…

Gothic Tourism out now

Written by on Wednesday, posted in News (No comments yet)

We are absolutely delighted to announce the publication of Emma McEvoy’s new book Gothic Tourism as part of the Palgrave Gothic series.

From Strawberry Hill to the London Dungeon, Alton Towers to Barnageddon, Gothic tourism is a fascinating and sometimes controversial subject. Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Westminster, Emma McEvoy considers some of the origins of Gothic tourism and discusses Gothic itself as a touristic mode. Through studies of ghost walks, scare attractions, Dennis Severs’ House, Madame Tussaud’s, the Necrobus, castles, prison museums, phantasmagoria shows, the ‘Gothick’ design of Elizabeth Percy at Alnwick Castle, a party at Fonthill Abbey, and a poison garden, McEvoy examines Gothic tourism in relation to literature, film, folklore, heritage management, arts programming, and the ‘edutainment’ business.

Order up your copy here.

The Shopping Cyborg: A Flash Mob Ethnography

Written by on Tuesday, posted in Event, News (No comments yet)

Wednesday 25 November, from 11.00 am
Furtherfield Commons, Finsbury Park, London

The Shopping Cyborg: A Flash Mob Ethnography

Join anthropologist and Westminster MA Museums, Galleries and Contemporary Culture student Chiara Garbellotto for a group exploration into how our relationships with technology in retail and exchange spaces make us into cyborgs. Working with tools from anthropology, especially Laura Forlano’s flash mob ethnography, we will observe and discuss the embodied experience of the shopper. We will share our ideas on how our bodies interact with technology and what kind of data we produce and mediate. Places limited to 12 people.

Arrive from 10:30am for a 11:00 start. Coffee and cake provided. Dress for the weather and please bring with you a printed image (photograph/clipping/drawing) of a shopper. It can represent any kind of exchange process and environment. Please also bring a means to take photographs and download the images (laptops are not needed).

Book here.

In association with the Museum of Contemporary Commodities:

Queer London seminar, Thurs 19th November

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Thursday 19th November, 4.30-5.30pm
Room 211, University of Westminster, Little Titchfield Street, London

Queer London
Simon Avery and Katherine Graham, with Francis Ray White

The fifth in the Autumn series of Social Sciences and Humanities research seminars will be presented by our own Simon Avery and Kate Graham, from English, with a response by Francis Ray White in History, Sociology and Criminology. All welcome.

Simon and Kate are co-directors of the Queer London Research Forum (QLRF), based at the University of Westminster, which was established in September 2013. Its aim is to facilitate interdisciplinary discussion on various aspects of queer London, c. 1850-present. By bringing together academics, practitioners, students and those with an interest in queer issues more generally, the hope is to to encourage dialogue and debate about the range of London’s queer lives and experiences.

Please note earlier 4.30 start time for this week only.

For further information please contact:

What is at Play in Environmental Design?

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Wednesday 11th November, 5.00-8.00pm
Architecture Studios, University of Westminster, Marylebone Road, London

What is at Play in Environmental Design?

What kinds of research are required to understand the forms of the human-environmental relation today? Part of Westminster’s Architecture Play Week, this symposium brings together a number of speakers giving short presentations on the kinds of environmental practitioners we might need in the future.

Speakers include: Claudia Dutson, Jon Goodbun, Susannah Hagen, Karin Jaschke, Torange Khonsari, Shaun Murray, Mirko Nicolic, Isis Nunez-Ferrera, Peg Rawes, Andreas Rumpfhuber, Douglas Spencer, and Victoria Watson.

For further details, contact Jon Goodbun at:

Entanglements + Folds of Pleasure, Nov 12th

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Thursday 12th November, 5.00-6.30pm
Room 211, University of Westminster, Little Titchfield Street, London

Entanglements + Folds of Pleasure
Victoria Brooks and Adam Eldridge

The fourth in the Autumn series of Social Sciences and Humanities research seminars will be presented by Victoria Brooks from Westminster’s Law School, with a response by Adam Eldridge in History, Sociology and Criminology. All welcome.

For further information please contact:

The Queerness of Female Revenge Seminar

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Our very own Kate Graham will be speaking on the queerness of female revenge at the English Literature and Cultural Studies research seminar next Wednesday.


Dr Katherine M. Graham (Westminster), with a response by Simon Avery

Wednesday 11th November 2015, 5pm
Room 105, 32-38 Wells street, London w1T 3UW

Late-Elizabethan and Jacobean revenge tragedies contain only a handful of female revengers. This paper focuses on two of them – Evadne from Beaumont and Fletcher’s The Maid’s Tragedy and Bel-imperia from Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy. Despite their rareness, they are women who are often overlooked, Bel-imperia in favour of the male revenger Hieronimo, and Evadne in favour of Aspatia or in favour of discussions about corruption and power. Here, however, I want to centre Evadne and Bel-imperia to consider the relationship between revenge and the gender of these two figures, a relationship that I will argue is notable for its queerness. For the female revengers of The Maid’s Tragedy and The Spanish Tragedy, embarking on an act of revenge produces queer fractures in the presentation of their gendered and sexed bodies.

This event is free and open to the public (guests will need to sign-in at reception).

New Architectures of Security seminar

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Thursday 5th November, 5.00-6.30 pm
Room 2.11, University of Westminster, Little Titchfield Street, London

“Beyond the Gaze: New Architecture of Security”
Elisabetta Brighi (Politics and International Relations)
with response by David Cunningham (IMCC)

For the latest in Westminster’s series of Social Science and Humanities research seminars, Elisabetta Brighi will be presenting a paper on the new American Embassy in London and architectures of security with a response from David Cunningham. All welcome.