Weighty Bowl Success at Canterbury Festival

Congratulations to our third year student company, Weighty Bowl, on the fantastic achievement of winning the Canterbury Festival’s Made in Kent competition.
The students involved are Nicole Driver, Michael Dunk, Elizabeth Hagen, Fergus McDonald and Richard Yuill. The show is a pastiche of Jacobean tragedy called ‘The Lamentable Tragedie of the Canterbury Strangler’ and was the piece they devised for their assessment on the Creative Project module.
Part of their prize is a slot to perform their show in this year’s festival, on 26th October.

Arts Success in Employability Points Scheme

Students from the School of Arts were winners at the University’s annual Employability Points Rewards night on Tuesday 6th June.  The scheme, pioneered at the University of Kent, allows students to claim points and rewards for their extra-curricular activities and is registering a higher number of students actively logging points and applying for rewards than ever before. These rewards include paid internships, project placements, work experience, training, vouchers and much more, offered by businesses and organisations, including many exciting opportunities in the arts.

One of the winning students was first-year Drama student Aleksander Angelov, who won the prize for the Highest Scoring Student Studying a Creative Degree. Aleksander has earned a remarkable 1,695 points in his first year.

He has immersed himself in University life, attending an impressive amount of Employability Festival Events with the Careers and Employability Service, as well as in-sessional English seminars with Kent’s Centre for English and World Languages, for which he became Course Rep. He has continued to improve his employability and skills through completing the Careers and Employability Award on Moodle and the Hub’s Enterprise Skills Award Module. He is the co-founder and President of the Bulgarian Society, as well as a member of the Homeless Outreach Society and T24 Drama Society. His award was presented by Dalia Halpern-Matthews, Chief Executive of Nucleus Arts.

Second-year student Jose Miguel Santos (Drama & English and American Literature) was the Highest Scoring Student from the Faculty of Humanities and received his award from Colin Carmichael, Chief Executive of Canterbury City Council. Miguel has managed to obtain an outstanding 2,310 points whilst at the University of Kent. He has worked as a School of Arts mentor, regularly attended Careers and Employability service skills workshops, completed a range of Study Plus courses, acted as a Kent Student Certificate of Volunteering Champion, a Kent Buddy and a Student Trainer, delivering training sessions to student volunteers. His commitment to volunteering has led to being nominated the Kent Union Volunteer of the Month multiple times, as a result of undertaking various projects, including the Community Clean Up, a Canterbury Food Bank collection, a Shoebox Appeal, Age UK Christmas Tree project, to name a few. Notably, he was also involved with successfully writing a funding bid for the construction of an all-weather sports pitch for adults with learning difficulties. Miguel has successfully claimed four three-week professional placements across the summer as a result of his participation in the scheme.

To find out more about the University of Kent’s Employability Points scheme click here.

Raphael: The Drawings, co-curated by Ben Thomas, opens at the Ashmolean Museum.

A ‘once in a lifetime’ exhibition of Raphael’s drawings opens on 1 June at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Co-curated by Dr Ben Thomas with the Ashmolean’s Catherine Whistler, the exhibition brings together 120 drawings by the great Renaissance master. It also draws on research funded by a Leverhulme Research Project Grant. Raphael: The Drawings has received extensive preview coverage with articles in The Financial Times, The Times, The Telegraph, and is ‘exhibition of the week’ in The Guardian.

Taiwan’s Ethnographic Films and I: Wednesday 24th May 2017

The School of Arts and the School of Anthropology & Conservation will present an illustrated lecture and screening by Professor Daw-Ming Lee, Chair of the Department of Filmmaking at Taipei National University of the Arts entitled Taiwan’s Ethnographic Films and I.

In 1987, Professor Daw-Ming Lee was invited to co-direct with ethnographic filmmaker Hu Taili the documentary Songs of Pasta’ay (The Festival of the Legendary Little People), the work which started his long association with the making of films about and with the indigenous people of Taiwan. This talk will briefly introduce the development of filmmaking focusing on Taiwanese aborigines, and will include extracts from Professor Lee’s films, TV documentary series and videos about the indigenous culture, and their current social and cultural conditions. A Q&A session will follow this talk.

The event will take place on Wednesday 24th May, 17:00-19:00, in the Lupino Cinema and is free to attend.

Supported by the Faculty Mobility Fund.

Film at Kent excels at the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies Awards

(Dr Cecilia Sayad collecting her award)


The Film department at Kent had a thoroughly productive evening at the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies Awards.

Notable achievements at the BAFTSS Awards were:

Cecilia Sayad won the Best Journal Article award for ‘Found-Footage Horror and the Frame’s Undoing’ (Cinema Journal 55.2)

‘A comprehensive and persuasive analysis of the ‘found footage horror’ subgenre: the article skilfully balances the particular and general in a way that’s appealing to a broad readership. Its discussion of the frame as a figurative and stylistic device is rich and ambitious. Overall, this is an important contribution that casts new light on the wider significance of documentary style, narrative space and the screen’s borders. Sayad’s analysis of the Paranormal Activity films equally considers optical and aural dimensions arguing for a flexible and porous interpretation of the filmic frame.’

Mattias Frey’s Extreme Cinema (Rutgers UP) received honourable mention in the Best Monograph category

‘Frey’s book is superbly researched and makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of contemporary extreme cinema and its place in film culture.  The book is impressive and original in its engagement with the apparatus of production, distribution and exhibition of extreme cinema, and it is refreshing to see this approached from an institutional perspective.’ 

Frances Guerin and Lies Lanckman contributed chapters, respectively, for the recipient of honourable mention (Cinemas of Paris) and the winner (Lasting Screen Stars) of the Best Edited Collection award


Find out more about the BAFTSS awards here.


Linda Smith Lecture with Susan Calman

Linda Smith Lecture – Susan Calman

Gulbenkian Theatre, Canterbury

Tuesday 16 May 2017

Tickets: £6

We are delighted that the brilliant comedian Susan Calman has agreed to give the 2017 Linda Smith Lecture. Susan is known to Radio 4 listeners as a regular panellist on The News Quiz, and for her two series, Susan Calman is Convicted and Keep Calman Carry On. On television she has appeared on QI and in the sitcoms Fresh Meat and Dead Boss. She is also known for her superb stand-up act, and her first DVD Lady Like is available from Go Faster Stripe.

The deposit of Linda Smith’s personal archive with the University of Kent in 2013 provided the inspiration for the formation of the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive, which is now growing into a substantial collection, for use by comedians and for those researching stand-up comedy and associated performance arts. The Linda Smith Lecture was established in 2015 to be an annual event to celebrate Linda’s life and work, her interest in comedy and its use in and for political and social commentary, and to promote the work of the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive.

This event is presented by the University of Kent’s Popular & Comic Performance research centre in conjunction with the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive.

Book tickets here.


On 19th February 2017 at the Theatre Royal Brighton, the Threadbare Theatre Company, in association with Gateways to the First World War and Dr Helen Brooks, presented two short plays from iconic writers of the era:

The Boy Comes Home by A.A.Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh) and

The New Word byJ.M.Barrie (Peter Pan)

which were written during one of the most troubling times our country has ever seen, a war that would change the face of the modern world. Click the links above to watch videos of the productions.

Whilst a war was battled across the sea, British life continued at home with music hall entertainment cheering the spirits. Now the music and plays of this time give us a unique look into life at home 100 years ago so join us for this one-off show re-creating this iconic time.

This exciting event saw both performers and audience on the stage of Theatre Royal Brighton, with a themed refreshments bar in the wings and an opportunity to view some of Theatre Royal Brighton’s archive material in the dressing rooms.

Join ‘Recovering First World War Theatre’

An invitation to join Recovering First World War Theatre…
A nationwide community project researching war plays written and performed during the Great War.
Are you interested in the First World War?
Do you like learning about theatrical and cultural history?
Would you like to research long-lost plays?
Are you looking to develop new skills?
If so, then here is a chance to be part of an exciting research project run by Dr Helen Brooks, Gateways co-investigator and theatre historian.
Dr Brooks is looking for members of the public who would like to research theatre during the First World War. You can be based anywhere across the country, or indeed the world, as much of the work will be undertaken using online resources.
The project will examine long-lost war plays written between 1914 and 1918 using libraries, archives and online databases.
The results will be published in a public database and shared at a project festival.
The work will take place between March and November 2017 and you can work from home, at local libraries and archives or at the British Library.
Attendance at one of the training days in March or April is recommended (expenses covered by the project) but an online version will also be available for those who cannot attend in person.
‣ Anyone can apply
‣ No prior experience needed
‣ Travel expenses reimbursed for research
‣ Access to computer required
‣ Contact RFWWT@kent.ac.uk with any questions
RFWWT is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Gateways to the First World War
To apply to take part please contact RFWWT@kent.ac.uk for an application form.

School of Arts Success in Research Prizes

Congratulations to Dr Mattias Frey and Professor Martin Hammer who have both been awarded Faculty of Humanities Research Prizes.

The Prizes recognise exceptional achievements in research and are open to all research active staff and doctoral students at Kent.

Prof. Martin Hammer has received the Faculty of Humanities Prize for Advanced Research and Dr Mattias Frey has been awarded the Faculty of Humanities Prize for Consolidator Research.