Monthly Archives: July 2014

Union representative nominations

You are invited to make nominations for three representatives of non-union members of staff to join the Joint Staff Negotiating and Consultation Committee.

One vacancy is for a member of academic-related staff and two are for other staff members. A fourth place is already filled by Dr Sarah Hyde representing academic-related staff.

What is the Joint Staff Negotiating and Consultation Committee?

The Committee is the main forum for consultation and negotiation between the University and its staff. Its membership includes management and union and staff representatives and meets each term.

Nominations for appointment to the vacancies have to be proposed and seconded by two other members from the relevant staff group.

Elections, if necessary, are held using a simple majority system.

The period of appointment is three years commencing from the date of election and representatives are eligible for re-election once.

Enquiries and nominations should be directed to the Secretary of JSNCC, Maddy Withers, either by:

Closing date 14 August 2014 

Library Cafe – 5 offers for 5 weeks

From 4 August, the Library café is running a different offer each week for the next five weeks.

Offers include:

  • Monday 4 to Friday 8 August – hot drink offer: buy 1 hot drink and receive another hot drink of the same value or less FREE!
  • Monday 11 to Friday 15 August – toasted teacake and a standard regular hot drink £2.
  • Monday 18 to Friday 22 August – buy any sandwich and receive a standard regular hot drink FREE.
  • Monday 25 to Friday 29 August – regular standard hot drink and a slice of cake only £2.
  • Monday 1 to Friday 5 September – receive two stamps on your loyalty card when you buy any hot drink.

There are some lovely smoothies on offer too. In addition, we will be stocking the usual range of fresh sandwiches and snacks, including vegetarian options and a gluten free range.

For more information, contact Michelle Fuller, Library Café Manager.

Masterclass on neglect

Kent’s Centre for Child Protection has developed a masterclass focusing on the issue of child neglect.

Aimed at professionals and carers, the masterclass explores the range of issues surrounding neglect including:

  • Lessons learnt from recent high profile cases
  • Different forms of neglect
  • Interagency perspectives
  • Professional responsibility and the challenges of direct work with children who have suffered neglect

For full details of the masterclass and booking information, visit the Centre for Child Protection’s webpages or email Karen Paine.

Notes: The Centre for Child Protection at the University of Kent is a centre of excellence and innovation in training, research and practice. Co-Directors Professor David Shemmings and Dr Jane Reeves established the Centre following the Munro Review (2011), which stressed that Continuing Professional Development is crucial for professionals working to safeguard and protect children. The Centre received the Times Higher Education award for ‘Outstanding ICT initiative of the year’ in 2013 for its work on developing avatar-based simulations to deliver professional training and qualifications.

Contact: Email

Prof appointed Vice-President at maths institute

The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) has appointed Professor Elizabeth Mansfield from Kent as it next Vice-President, Learned Society.

Professor Mansfield, based in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science, will succeed Professor Paul Glendinning, of the University of Manchester, on 1 January 2015.

The IMA is the UK’s learned and professional society for mathematics and its applications. The brief for Vice-President, Learned Society, which is one of seven Honorary Officers of the IMA, includes representing the concerns, needs and issues of the mathematics research community through membership of the IMA’s Council (its governing body), Executive Board and Nominating Committee.

Additionally, the Vice-President, Learned Society will help shape the future direction of the IMA and chair its Research Committee, as well as becoming a member of the IMA Journals Board, which oversees the IMA learned society journal publishing activity.

For more information, contact Corporate Communications.

Graduation ‘selfie’ winner

Congratulations to William Oldham, a Medway Sports Science graduate, for winning the #KentGrads selfie competition.

At this year’s summer congregation ceremonies, we asked our graduates to send us their ‘selfies’ from the day.

We received over 200 entries on Instagram. You can view all the selfies and more photos from our summer graduations on Tagboard.

William’s winning selfie taken at Rochester Cathedral received over 300 likes and he won £100 worth of Amazon vouchers.

Follow @UniKentLive on Instagram.

Thank you to everyone who took part!

PhD studentship in Philosophy

The Department of Philosophy is pleased to announce a new PhD studentship in Philosophy starting in January 2015. This position is attached to a research project, ‘Grading Evidence of Mechanisms in Physics and Biology‘, funded by the Leverhulme Trust and led by Professor Jon Williamson.

Science is largely involved with discovering mechanisms. While protocols have been developed in evidence-based medicine for grading evidence of correlations, much less has been said about how to grade evidence of mechanisms that are on the path to discovery in science – this task is typically left to the intuition of individual researchers.

The primary purposes of this role are to produce excellent research in philosophy and to contribute to the success of the research project. The candidate will be expected to write a PhD thesis on the research questions tackled by the project, to write research papers, to disseminate project research in seminars, workshops and conferences, and to organise project events. The candidate will also be expected to interact with departmental research clusters and with the Centre for Reasoning.

The studentship will run for three years (full-time equivalent) and will cover Home/EU fees as well as maintenance grant in line with Leverhulme maintenance funding.

Applicants are expected to have an upper-second class honours degree in a relevant discipline and an MA in Philosophy (either awarded or predicted in writing by the MA Programme Convenor by the time of application). Further details about the position are available on the SECL webpages.

To apply, please send a cover letter, CV, a sample of written work and two references, to Jacqui Martlew.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Wednesday 3 September 2014. Interviews are to be held on 22 September 2015, with the PhD expected to start on 5 January 2015.


Call for submissions on ‘the secret’

Scholars are invited to make a submission for Skepsi – a peer-reviewed online journal produced within the School of European Culture and Languages (SECL).


Skepsi is run by SECL PhD/MA candidates, with the support of established and early career academics, and commits to publishing the work of postgraduate students and emerging scholars.

Following the recent success of ‘The Secret in Contemporary Theory, Society, and Culture’, a two-day postgraduate conference held at Kent, we are calling for contributions to a future issue of Skepsi.

In an effort to capture and expand the broad and interdisciplinary interest in the ‘secret’, we are seeking to gather ideas, explorations, critiques and theories that examine this topic.

In revealing the governmental practice of spying on millions of conversations, the Snowden case triggered a sudden upheaval in the definition of public and private spheres. It has also prompted us to question what constitutes a secret, and what function secrets have in society today.

Some of the questions in which we are interested include: How does the formation of a secret inform, and how is it informed by, the boundary separating the private from the public sphere? What ethical issues are involved in questions of transparency, concealment, and revelation? Does the conventional understanding of the secret – rightly or wrongly – presuppose a hidden ‘truth’ buried beneath the lack of meaning at the level of language? Is the secret itself a function of something like Derrida’s ‘différance’, and therefore an illusion or mere surface-effect of language?

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, the following and their interrelations:

  • Power relationships: what kinds of power relationships can exist between a secret holder and those who do not, or wish to, know it? Who does a secret alienate?
  • Sociological and anthropological approaches to secrets: collective and individual secrets and the question of surveillance; how secrets vary across cultures.
  • Language and communication: does interpreting a text reveal its secret(s)? Or is there a semantic void within any text, the lack of a fixed signified or ‘secret’, which nonetheless generates its apparent meaning(s)? What is a coded language?
  • Secrets in literature, and in the visual and plastic arts.
  • Secret histories: subaltern and other marginalised histories; Nationalism, identity, and concealing or reinventing the past; the role of State secrets in history; how the definition and function of the secret has changed in history.
  • Philosophical approaches to secrets (analytic and continental): do secrets exist? Are they logically possible? What relations are maintained between secrets, language, and intersubjectivity, and between secrets and the unconscious?
  • Psychological and psychoanalytic perspectives on the structure and function of secrets. Emotional responses (guilt, shame, etc.).

Submissions are invited from academic staff, postgraduate students and independent scholars.

Any of the submitted articles selected by the Editorial Board after peer review will be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal, to be published in Spring 2015.

Articles, which should not exceed 5,000 words, should be sent, together with an abstract of about 250 words and brief biographical details about the author, to

The deadline for submission is 30 September 2014.

For more about the journal Skepsi, please see its blog.


Various letters printed in different language formats

Language Express courses

[Image: A wish by Quinn Dombrowski. CC BY-SA 2.0. Cropped from original]

Did you know that you can choose from nine different languages at Kent through our Language Express courses?

Courses are open to Kent students, staff and members of the public.

For more information on Language Express courses, visit the Centre for English and World Languages webpages.



Fifty Years of Feminism at Kent: Call for papers

Scholars are invited to submit abstracts for a ’50 Years of Feminism at Kent’ conference taking place at Kent on 27-28 June 2015.

The conference, one of a number of projects marking the University of Kent’s 50th anniversary, is entitled Austerity, Gender and Household Finances, and will explore four thematic streams:

  • Austerity and Housing (organised by Kent Professor Helen Carr)
  • Austerity and Debt and Credit (organised by Dr Julia Gumy from Bristol and Dr Simone Wong from Kent)
  • Austerity and Parenting (organised by Dr Ruth Cain from Kent)
  • Austerity and Financialisation: What can we learn from the Global South? (organised by Kent Law School Teaching Assistant Serena Natile).

Full details of each thematic stream are available in the official Call For Papers document.

Serena Natile said:

‘Many European countries and across the world are currently facing a time of financial crisis. This has supposedly brought with it a need for austerity in order to ride out the crisis. We have thus seen a reduction in public spending which in turn has led to a tightening of fiscal policies and an immediate impact upon the provision of welfare benefits and public service provision. 

‘The financial crisis has also led to other concerns such as unemployment, stagnation of incomes, access to credit, indebtedness, homelessness, etc. In such times of austerity, it is often the vulnerable in society, and particularly women, who bear the brunt of spending cuts. We aim to initiate a critical interdisciplinary dialogue to explore and interrogate the impact of austerity on households as well as the scope and effect of existing public policies and legal and regulatory measures on families and their financial circumstances.’

Submissions to the conference are invited from a broad range of disciplines including law, sociology, social policy, economics, psychology and gender studies. Abstracts of 200-300 words should be submitted via email to by 15 October 2014.

Additional speakers at the event will include: Professor Mary Evans (London School of Economics); Professor Suzanne Soederberg (Queen’s, Canada); and Professor Rebecca Tunstall (York).

The conference has been organised as part of the Radical Women: 50 years of Feminism at Kent project which is celebrating past achievements at Kent, including the establishment of the first taught programme in Women’s Studies in this country.

The project will also feature a public lecture in the Open Lecture series to be given by a leading figure in feminist activism and a series of feminist films to be shown and discussed at the Gulbenkian Cinema on the Canterbury campus.