Monthly Archives: May 2017

Call for papers: ‘Play, Recreation, and Experimentation’

Dr Xiaofan Amy Li, Lecturer in the Department of Comparative Literature, is co-organising a conference on ‘Play, Recreation, and Experimentation: Literature and the Arts since the Early Modern Times’, with Dr Helena Taylor (University of Exeter), to be held at Kent on 8-9 December 2017.

This interdisciplinary conference aims to explore relations between play, recreation, and experimentation by examining their articulations in literature and the arts (broadly understood as the visual arts, architecture, music/sound art, film) from the early modern period up to the present day.

There are many instances of engagement with the ludic and experimentation, e.g. early modern literature on the theme of playing with appearances (being and seeming); Duchamp’s Fontaine; Dada and Surrealist practices including cadavre exquis, collage, bricolage; Oulipo and pataphysics; postmodern pastiches and hybridity in architecture, and re-inventions of myth and history in contemporary fiction. Nevertheless, we intend to shed new light on these works and probe their implications for a theory of the ludic through considering the interactions and dialogues between play, recreation, and experimentation.

Proposals are sought for 20-minute papers. To submit, please send a 300-word abstract (maximum) and a short biography of the author with his/her affiliation and contact details to the conference organisers at by midnight on 31 July 2017.

For a full list of themes, please see the conference website.

Illustration from video 'This is her story..'

Student video leads to NHS apology

An animation made by four students from the School of Engineering and Digital Arts (EDA) documenting issues with mental health treatment has led to an apology from the CEO of the NHS Trust involved and a promise to improve services.

The video tells the story of Sophie, who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder, and details her experiences with mental health services in the UK, as part of a project for Mental Health Awareness Week.

It was published online on the BBC and was viewed hundreds of thousands of times, including by Helen Greatorex, the chief executive of Kent and Medway Partnership Trust.

She said that on watching the film she felt compelled to apologise for the treatment Sophie had received by writing a letter promising things would change.

The video was produced by four final year students, three from the BA in Digital Arts, Sophia Ppali, Roan Caulfield and Rhianna Taylor and one from the BSc in Multimedia Technology and Design, Samantha Body.

Read the full story here.


summerzone hockey

Summer sports camps for children

Children can have fun at action-packed, multi-sports camps at the University of Kent this summer.

Kent sport will be running SummerZone sports camps for children aged five to 14, which will run on weekdays from 7 to 11 and 14 to 18 August, 09.00 to 15.00 with late pick-ups available.

Available to book from 1 June to 21 July and University of Kent staff can benefit from a discounted rate.

SummerZone offers a wide range of activities from skills-based sessions to fitness activities and sports-specific coaching, each led by qualified coaches and supervisors. This year’s sports include cricket, football, hockey, tag rugby and tennis.

Find out more information including staff discounts and how to book.

National Police Chiefs' Council

‘Stay safe’ guidance

Recent world events have led to requests for advice on how to respond in the unlikely event of an incident on- or off-campus.

The ‘Stay Safe’ principles (Run, Hide, Tell) set out by the UK Government provide some actions to consider in a terrorist or firearms incident, and the type of information that police officers may need in the event of an attack.

While there are no specific threats to the University of Kent, this ‘Stay safe’ guidance is available on the Campus Security webpages. Please find time to read through this information.

You’ll also find useful information on our security provision, SafeZone app and other aspects of personal safety.

The University’s Campus Security team are based at both the Canterbury and Medway campuses. If you have any concerns, they can be contacted on internal ext 3333 or 01227 823333 (emergencies only) or for enquiries on 3300 or 01227 823300.

Vegan cookery masterclass for University chefs

During the Easter vacation, a small group of chefs from the University of Kent were given the opportunity to take part in a two day cookery workshop led by local food based company, Dr Legumes. This workshop was designed to teach skills in vegan food preparation as well as raise awareness of how we, as a population, can support our health and wellbeing through a more plant-based diet.

What is Dr Legumes?
Dr. Legumes is the brainchild of Folkestone based duo, Jim and Lee, who aim to impact the health and wellbeing of the local community in a positive manner. Their mission is to show how we can support our health and happiness with plant-based nutrition and sustainability in mind. They deliver Secret Dinner Clubs, pop-ups, community events, cooking workshops and more, working not only with the public, but also schools, colleges and community groups.

During their time at the University, the duo had a great time sharing and cooking nine new recipes, including Mushroom Carpaccio, Cashew Stuffed Peppers, Wild Mushroom Pie, and Chocolate Beetroot Brownies. These dishes were then shared with eager staff and students from Sibson building who were delighted to sample new and exciting vegan dishes while learning about the health benefits.

The number of people in the UK who consider themselves vegan has risen by 350% in the past decade. Today, 542,000 people identify themselves as vegan, with another estimated 500,000 vegetarians considering the move. This plant-based movement has predominantly been driven by the young, with close to half of all vegans aged 15-34 (42%).

Watch Dr Legumes masterclass video here.

Athena SWAN representatives

Athena SWAN Awareness Day 21 June 2017

Booking is now open for the Athena SWAN Awareness Day, taking place from 10.00 to 15.30 on 21 June at Sibson, Canterbury Campus.

This event is for staff and students who are involved in, or interested in being involved in, the University’s work for creating an inclusive work environment for everyone.

The highlight is an external speaker we are privileged to have at our event; Professor Sara Mole from the UCL, who is going to share her department’s story from Bronze to Gold.

What is Athena SWAN?

“Recognising advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all.” ECU’s Athena SWAN Charter

The charter, which launched in June 2005, was first implemented to advance the representation of women in science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics (STEMM). In 2015, the charter was expanded to also include arts, humanities, social science, business and law (AHSSBL) disciplines as well as professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

Find out more about Athena SWAN and the awareness day.


New legislation to replace the Data Protection Act

Next year will see the introduction of new legislation relating to data protection. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force in May 2018 and will replace the Data Protection Act 1998.The new legislation seeks to strengthen the rights of all EU citizens in an increasingly digital environment and to facilitate business by simplifying rules for companies.

Despite Brexit, the UK will still have to comply with the legislation. For the most part, GDPR requirements will be the same as under current data protection legislation. However, there is a new focus on accountability and the ability to prove that personal data is being protected throughout its lifecycle. Failure to comply with the new requirements will result in significant penalties, far greater than those currently incurred under the Data Protection Act.

Work is underway at the University to prepare for the new legislation. In the meantime, please complete the data protection online training module, if you have not done so already. This is mandatory for all members of staff. You can also find out more about data breach here

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Kent launches new alumni association in France

The University is delighted to announce the establishment of a new alumni association in France. The group was launched as part of the annual Paris reception in March and the committee was selected at its inaugural meeting in April.

Alumni groups bring together former students and staff of the University who are located in a specific region or have a shared special interest. They support Kent staff, students and activities in their area such as recruitment, partnership development and fundraising. Groups are run by a committee of alumni volunteers who direct activities and liaise with the University on behalf of their members.

The University currently has alumni associations in France, Greece, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nigeria and the United States.

The University of Kent France Alumni Association’s committee members are:

Juliette King (Politics, Rutherford 2005) – Chair
Jane Verwijs (Law, Eliot 1981) – Secretary
Sophie Bory (Politics, Keynes 2005) – Events Officer
Mathilde Guenegan (Journalism, Medway 2013) – Communications Officer
Theo Thieffry (Politics, Rutherford 2007) – External Outreach Officer
Valerie Gratzer (Politics, Rutherford 1981) – General Officer
Kim Randazzo (SECL, Eliot 1987) – General Officer
Sally Miller (History, Rutherford 1965) – General Officer

Find out more about our alumni groups on the alumni website.

Kent Union’s Campus to Campus Cycle Challenge

Kent Union’s sports clubs and societies are a vital part of Kent students’ university experience, helping them maintain their mental and physical health, allowing them to make friends for life and providing them with invaluable life and career skills.

Our Access to Activities Fund provides support to students who wish to participate, but are unable to financially. It helps to pay membership fees, purchase essential equipment and contribute toward competitions, amongst other things:

“Horse riding has been an immense passion for me since I was young, but with the cost of going to university I was resigned to giving it up for a very long time. With the Access to Activities Fund I’ve been able to pay the Equestrian Society fee as well as some lessons. I’m overjoyed!”
Foundation Year Physics student

Unfortunately, the demand from students is higher than we are able to cater for at the moment; this year the fund was oversubscribed by over £15,000.

In light of this, we have set ourselves the ambitious target of raising £10,000 for the Fund for next academic year, by cycling between 4 University of Kent campuses in 4 days; From Thursday 8 June until Sunday 11 June, we will cycle from Medway to Canterbury, then Brussels, and finally on to Paris, covering nearly 100 miles per day –  that’s 380 miles in total!

To support the challenge, on 8 June the Rowing club will row 28.3 miles along the Medway river and the Cycling Club will cycle along from Medway to Dover; and from 7 June until 11 June the Athletics Club will run 350 miles from Canterbury to Paris!

Please support our challenge to help ensure no student misses out on an amazing experience at Kent.

Visit our campaign page to donate directly.

Visiting professorship for Vito Zagarrio

Dr Alex Marlow-Mann, Lecturer in Italian from the Department of Modern Languages, has been awarded a Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship to permit Professor Vito Zagarrio (University of Rome 3) to spend the Spring Term of the next academic year at the University of Kent.

Professor Zagarrio is one of Italy’s leading film scholars who has published over a dozen mongraphs, three dozen edited collections and several hundred essays. His areas of expertise concern contemporary Italian cinema, classical and contemporary American cinema, the relationship between film and history, and the practice of film direction. He is also one of the few Italian academics to sustain a parallel career as an accomplished filmmaker. He has directed three theatrically distributed feature films, nine medium length and television features and over thirty documentaries and compilation films, many related to the cinema.

His visit will be hosted across the School of European Culture and Languages (SECL) and the School of Arts by the Centre for Film and Media Research, and he will be presenting several lectures and screenings of his films as well as contributing guest lectures to undergraduate and postgraduate courses and visiting other UK universities.

For more details of Leverhulme Visiting Professorships, please see the webpage here: