Congratulations to Simon Elliott

The Department of Classical & Archaeological Studies is delighted to announce that Simon Elliott has completed his PhD, with a project entitled ‘Late Roman Kent’, under the supervision of Dr Steve Willis.

Kent was a key component of Roman Britain, featuring aspects it held in common with the rest of this north-western fringe of Empire, but also elements unique to the region.  With economic activity for much of the occupation concentrated in three specific areas – the industrial zone of the Weald, a region ranging from Canterbury to Folkestone on the Channel coast, and the upper Medway Valley – the area covered by the modern county was particularly important for the exploitation of natural resources.  These included ferrous-ores for iron production in the Weald, greensands for quern production around Folkestone and ragstone quarrying in the upper Medway Valley (the latter providing much of the building stone used in the occupation-period South East).

Simon’s PhD study brings together a wide range of research findings to present a picture of the economic use and associated organisation of this landscape.  The study shows there to have been a hitherto unrecognised depth of economic exploitation, demonstrated by the variety of evidence types assembled in these pages.  These activities had an important role within the Imperial, commercial and personal agendas of the time, with the thesis aiming to address the question of how and why these enterprises were brought into being in the area of Kent, and their links to wider spheres within the Empire.

Establishing the details of change and continuity regarding this exploitation provides a unique insight into the narrative of Roman Britain. It also allows some specific themes and theories to be explored, informing our wider knowledge of the occupation.  These include the concept of the region as being more militarised than a ‘normal’ civitas, the links between elite settlement, individual agency and industry, the changing balance of importance between industry and agriculture, and what remained of Romanitas in Kent at the end of the occupation.

Our congratulations to Dr Elliott.

For more details of the PhD in Classical & Archaeological Studies, please see the page:

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Open event of the search for justice in Peru

The Department of Modern Languages is pleased be hosting an event on ‘Forced Sterilisations in Peru and the Search for Justice’, sponsored by the Canterbury branch of the University and College Union (UCU) and the Kent Centre for Law Gender and Sexuality, following a successful presentation on the subject at Amnesty International in London. The event will be held on Wednesday 28 June at 5pm.

The event will feature human rights defender Esperanza Huayama, president of the Association of Forcibly Sterilised Women from the region of Huancabamba in Piura, who will be speaking about her experience in seeking justice and reparation.

Between 1996 and 1998, some 200,000 women and around 30,000 men were forcefully sterilised, many without their consent or understanding what the procedure meant for their fertility. The victims have been campaigning for justice and reparation for two decades. This meeting is an opportunity to learn more about what this policy consisted of as well as its longer-term consequences.

During the event, a documentary about Esperanza Huayama’s search for justice by Inés Ruiz will be presented alongside the Quipu Project, an online and telephone platform that has provided a channel for many victims of sterilisation to place their stories. Documentary-maker Inés Ruiz was an Associate Lecturer at Kent, where she completed her PhD in Hispanic Studies.

​The event will be followed by an open discussion.

For full details of the event, please see:

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Richard King on Buddhism and mindfulness

Richard King, Professor of Buddhist and Asian Studies in the Department of Religious Studies, has given an online lecture entitled ‘Mindfulness and the Buddhist Tradition’ for the University of Kent’s Think Kent series, which is now available on YouTube.

In the early twenty-first century mindfulness meditation has become all the rage being widely adopted in health care systems, the business world and the military. In the talk, Richard explores traditional Buddhist understandings of mental training (bhavana), factors affecting the transformation of Buddhist meditative practice in the twentieth-century and finally, offers some comparative remarks regarding traditional Buddhist and modern secular accounts of mindfulness.

The Think Kent lectures are a series of TED talk-style lectures produced with the intention of raising awareness of the research and teaching expertise of Kent academics and the international impact of their work.

The talk may be viewed below or on YouTube via the link:

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Congratulations to Natalia Sobrevilla Perea

On 1 October 2017, Dr Natalia Sobrevilla Perea will be promoted to Professor of Latin American History in the Department of Modern Languages.

Our congratulations to Natalia on her well-earned promotion for the forthcoming academic year.

Well done on this significant achievement.

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Congratulations to Anna Strhan

On 1 October 2017, Dr Anna Strhan will be promoted to Senior Lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies.

Our congratulations to Anna on her well-earned promotion for the forthcoming academic year.

Well done on this significant achievement.

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Congratulations to Todd Mei

On 1 October 2017, Dr Todd Mei will be promoted to Senior Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy.

Our congratulations to Todd on his well-earned promotion for the forthcoming academic year.

Well done on this significant achievement.

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Congratulations to Vikki Janke

On 1 October 2017, Dr Vikki Janke will be promoted to Senior Lecturer in the Department of English Language & Linguistics.

Our congratulations to Vikki on her well-earned promotion for the forthcoming academic year.

Well done on this significant achievement.

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Congratulations to our academic staff

Congratulations to our academic staff on well-earned promotions in their roles for the forthcoming academic year:

English Language & Linguistics

Modern Languages


  • Dr Todd Mei will be promoted to Senior Lecturer in Philosophy

Religious Studies

  • Dr Anna Strhan will be promoted to Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies

All appointments will take effect from the 1 October 2017.

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Lorna Dillon organises an exhibition of the Chilean arpilleras

Dr Lorna Dillon, Assistant Lecturer in Hispanic Studies in the Department of Modern Languages, has organised an Art and Human Rights Network Day at the Centre of Latin American Studies at the University of Cambridge, to be held next week on 20 June 2017. The event will be accompanied by an exhibition of Chilean arpilleras, which are hand-sewn three dimensional textile pictures, that illustrate the lives of the Chilean women.

Art has an extraordinary role to play in the process of peace building. In contexts in which war, migration and state-perpetrated violence has left painful legacies of collective trauma, the multi-valence of the art object has immense significance. Art and museum exhibitions are uniquely placed to intersect the public space and facilitate commemoration and dialogue. There is a need for understanding on the value and agency of museum and art exhibitions, which are linked to issues of human rights.

The event will bring together academics, artists and museum staff to discuss the value of exhibitions and the role of art in processes of peace building, reflecting on collective memory and providing trauma therapy. It will also explore the way artistic objects and museum artefacts from one context can be used for therapeutic purposes within a different context.

It will be of particular interest to students taking the Hispanic Studies module LS563: Terror and State Terror in Latin America, as the arpilleras will form part of the syllabus for the module in the forthcoming academic year.

There is no charge for the event and all are welcome.

For further details please see the webpage here:

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Congratulations to our music prize winners

We are delighted to announce that several students from the School of European Culture and Languages (SECL) have won University music prizes.

Jennifer Morgan, who has just finished her BA (Hons) in French and Hispanic Studies, was awarded the Canterbury Festival Prize, presented by Festival Director Rosie Turner. The prize is awarded to a final-year student who has made an outstanding contribution to music at the University.

Jennifer has been Principle double bass in Symphony Orchestra, bassist in Concert Band, star electric bassist for the Big Band, and our 1930s dance orchestra, General Harding’s Tomfoolery. Throughout her final two years, Jennifer was a Music Performance Award holder, and was Social Media Representative on the Music Society Committee this year.

Amy Poulter, who has just finished her BA (Hons) in Philosophy and English Language & Linguistics, was awarded the Colyer-Fergusson Music Prize. The prize is awarded to a student who has made a major contribution to the organisation of music at the University.

Amy was awarded the prize for her exceptional all-round behind-the-scenes organising and admin skills as Concert Band and Big Band Assistant, in which she plays alto saxophone. This involved liaising with the conductor, Ian Swatman, helping to set-up rehearsals and co-ordinating, circulating and collecting all the many sheets of music that go into the instruments folders (a somewhat arduous and thankless task). She is also had the mammoth task of running this year’s student battle-of-the bands event, Keynestock, in her capacity as College President.

Amy won the prize jointly with Inger Kviseth, from the School of Politics and International Relations, for her role as Chamber Choir Assistant and Minerva Voices Assistant.

Cory Adams, who is studying on an MA in Hispanic and Comparative Literature in the Department of Modern Languages, was jointly awarded the David Humphreys Music Prize, in memory of David who was a supporter of music at the University, and whose fund in memory of his wife, Julia, continues to support the annual Crypt Concert by the University Chamber Choir.

Cory has been Principal timpanist and percussionist in Symphony Orchestra, and kit and percussion in Concert Band, Big Band and General Harding’s Tomfoolery. He is a University Music Performance Scholar and has just finished impressively organising everyone in his capacity as President of the Music Society. Cory, who completed a BA (Hons) in Hispanic Studies at Kent, also won the Canterbury Festival Prize last year.

Cory won the David Humphreys prize jointly with Jonathan Butten (Biosciences) and Faith Chan (Law), both final-year undergraduates students at Kent.

The prizes were awarded on Tuesday 6 June, during Summer Music Week, at a special presentation alongside a music scholars’ lunchtime recital.

For full details of all the prize winners, please see the Music Matters at Kent blog:

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