Category Archives: Student Guide

Governance and planetary crises: challenges and agendas for human ecology

A School of Anthropology and Conservation Human Ecology special event, exploring the concept of planetary governance in an age of uncertainty and human-induced crises, will take place in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1 from 10.00 to 13.00 on 2 June.

Attendance is free and open to all, but you will need to register online.

This half-day conference addresses a central paradox confronting industrial society, if not humanity, as it heads into the twenty-first century: the collective ability of humans, or of some humans at any rate, to fundamentally transform the Earth and its life-supporting capability is not matched by an ability to act collectively and concertedly in a way that supports those capacities over the foreseeable future.

Four internationally-renowned speakers will respond to the provocation that the Anthropocene, formulated in terms of governance and planetary-scale problems and processes, signals not just a new geological epoch, but a new epoch of thought and politics, with its corresponding epistemic, methodological, institutional, normative and legal dimensions.


Dr. Frank Biermann (Utrecht University, The Netherlands), Navigating the Anthropocene: From Environmental Policy to Earth System Governance.

Philipp Pattberg (VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Governing the Anthropocene: Challenges and Prospects.

Dr Rory Rowan (University of Zurich, Switzerland), Governing the Earth: Earth System Governance and the Post-Political .

Dr. Davor Vidas (The Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Norway), The Anthropocene: The New Meaning of Change and Stability Under International Law.

Further details can be found on the conference’s flyer.


Research Showcase: U3A and University of Kent

Staff and students are invited to attend the U3A and University of Kent Research Showcase on Tuesday, 23 May from 11.30am in the Gulbenkian Foyer.

The University of Kent is welcoming over a hundred members of the Canterbury and District branch of the University of the Third Age to campus for the research showcase. We will share research projects, posters and performances, as well as finding out more about areas for future partnerships.

It will be fast-paced, fun and wide-ranging, with a strong contingent of postgraduates presenting their work in an accessible format, and input from academic staff from across all three faculties and an array of disciplines.

12.00-13.15: Research Showcase #1

  • Gulbenkian Theatre: War, Reflections, and Representations
  • Gulbenkian Cinema: Music and Making Voices Heard

13.45-14.45: Performing Together

  • Colyer-Fergusson Hall: U3A choir, Moving Memory and Moving Well

15.15-16.30: Research Showcase #2

  • Gulbenkian Theatre: Health and Memories
  • Gulbenkian Cinema: Culture, Heritage, and Ecology

16.30-17.30: Looking Forwards

  • Wine reception, prizes, Gulbenkian Youth Theatre demo, signing of memorandum of understanding, conversations.

Click here for the Research Showcase Final Programme

So if you are looking to take a break from exams or marking, need caffeine, have your own research ideas or just want to come and see what’s on display, then please do join us for whatever part of the afternoon you can. You can further support your peers by filling out the odd feedback form, which would be much appreciated.

Stamp Out Stress

Kent Sport have put together a comprehensive programme of activities for the summer term to help keep all members active and stress-free.

We have a thirty minute fitness and dance classes throughout the week. Give Express Yoga a whirl, breathe in the fresh air on our Healthy Walk or try your hand at Tai Chi. These three calming classes run weekly until 16 June.

Other Stamp Out Stress activities include:

  • Cycle to Whitstable, Wednesday 24 May
  • Obstacle assault course, Thursday 25 May
  • Dodgeball competition, Friday 26 May
  • Sports day at the beach, Sunday 28 May
  • Robin Hood Archery at Broad Oak Road, The Goose, Wednesday 31 May
  • Cycle to Chartham, Sunday 4 June

For more details visit the Kent Sport website You can also find out what’s on via our online events calendar or download our term three Sport at Kent activities booklet.


Free Professional Development event Power Dynamics at the Workplace

Discover how to enhance your professional knowledge and skills at this free professional development event run by Kent’s Centre for Professional Practice: Power Dynamics at the Workplace.

The workshop taking place on Wednesday 24 May 2017 will focus on the principles of power in relation to working practice and will give you an opportunity to reflect on techniques relevant to your own workplace.

Programme of the event:
14.30-14.45 Arrival and refreshments
14.45-15.00 Welcome by Dr Claire Parkin, Programme Director
15.00-16.00 Workshop: Power Dynamics at the Workplace, Tania Hopper, Programme Director
16.00-16.30 Development opportunities with the Centre for Professional Practice
16.30-17.00 Networking and wine reception

Who should attend?
The event is open to all members of the University staff and students who would like to attend.

Book your place now
For more information or to book a place please email or call 01634 88 8929, or visit our webpage.

The Centre for Professional Practice offers part-time, flexible work-related programmes. Our BA/BSc Top-up or MA/MSc in Professional Practice programmes and short courses including Introduction to Masters-Level Study have been specifically designed to meet the needs of working professionals who wish to develop their academic ability while maintaining their professional role. Students may be eligible for loans or staff fee remission for both undergraduate and postgraduate study (subject to eligibility criteria).

After the workshop you will have an opportunity to hear about our flexible, work-related programmes. The event aims to give you a taste of what you can achieve with the Centre for Professional Practice – an opportunity to study part-time to a degree or Master’s level focusing on your world of work.

The event will take place in:
Darwin Boardroom, Darwin College, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NS

For more information contact:
01634 888929

Kent Gives Back – alumni volunteers required!

In partnership with Kent Union, the University is setting up a new project for local alumni and students to volunteer together. Kent Gives Back enables graduates and students to work together for a local community cause and help people and projects that matter to them. The first event will be held on Saturday 20 May from 11.30 to 15.00 at the Catching Lives Day Centre in Canterbury, where volunteers will help prepare meals and undertake social activities to support homeless people in Kent. Can’t make the whole day? Come along for a few hours! Register here or find out more by emailing or visiting the Facebook group.

Dr Maria Mälksoo elected as board member for EISA

Dr Maria Mälksoo, Senior Lecturer in International Security, has been elected to the Governing Board of the European International Studies Association (EISA). EISA is Europe’s leading association for International Relations. In 2017 elections, 1614 members of the organisation cast their votes, electing six new members to the Governing Board. Dr Mälksoo was elected together with Prof. Anna Leander (Graduate Institute Geneva), Valeria Bello (United Nations University, Barcelona), Prof. Beate Jahn (University of Sussex), Anna Wojciuk (University of Warsaw) and Maj Grasten (Copenhagen Business School). Remaining board members are Prof. Mathias Albert (University of Bielefeld), Victoria Basham (Cardiff University), Raquel Freire (University of Coimbra), Prof. Jef Huysmans (Queen Mary, University of London), Ole Jacob Sending (NUPI) and Benjamin Tallis (IIR, Prague). The new board will be ratified at the General Assembly in the upcoming 11th Pan-European Conference on International Relations in Barcelona in September 2017 where Dr Mälksoo will also present two papers and appear in a roundtable discussion on ‘The Role of Professional Associations beyond the Ivory Tower’.

The EISA Governing Board meets three times a year. Its members hold various portfolios of responsibilities to support EISA activities, ranging from coordinating  with organisers of major EISA events to relations with publisher on promoting EISA book series and newsletter. One of the academic formats under the EISA umbrella is the European Workshops in International Studies (EWIS). Dr Mälksoo was part of the first EWIS at the University of Tartu in 2013 and is co-convening, with Karl Gustafsson (Swedish Institute of International Affairs and Stockholm University), Dagmar Rychnovska (Charles University, Prague) and Jan Daniel (Charles University, Prague) a workshop ‘Security in Matter, Memory and Time’ at Cardiff University, Wales in June 2017 in the framework of 4th European Workshops in International Studies.

Award for Reading List staff

Information Services staff have won an award for their inventive work improving reading lists.

The Reading List team won a Talis Aspire User Group Creativity Award 2017 for two pieces of work:

Making reading lists more accessible

The team worked with staff in Student Support and Wellbeing to improve the way students with individual learning plans (ILPs) access their resources through the Reading List service. Since September 2016, we have texts in accessible formats for 63 reading lists.

This was part of the OPERA accessibility project.

Better reading lists make better modules

The team engaged with our academic community, using data to show a correlation between reading list availability and student Module Evaluation scores.

This award from Talis, the company that provides our reading list software, recognises an original idea or inventive approach to a process or technology, which made an improvement.

Pictured: Louise Price and Justine Rush from Academic Liaison Services receiving the award.

Shortlist announced for the Arthur C Clarke award

The shortlist for the 2017 Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction literature has now been announced. Dr Paul March-Russell, Specialist Associate Lecturer in the Department of Comparative Literature and editor of Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction is on the panel of judges for the award this year.

The six shortlisted books for the best science-fiction novel published in 2016 are:

  • A Closed and Common Orbit – Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Ninefox Gambit – Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
  • After Atlas – Emma Newman (Roc)
  • Occupy Me – Tricia Sullian (Gollancz)
  • Central Station – Lavie Tidhar (PS Publishing)
  • The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead (Fleet)

The six titles were selected from a list of 86 individual eligible submissions.

Chair of the judges, Dr Andrew M Butler commented: ‘Every year our industrious judges sift through scores of novels to pick six to represent the state of the science fiction (sf) field. They’ve chosen a first timer and a previous winner, as well as writers in the process of building great reputations. Any of these could win – at this point I cannot begin to guess.’

Dr Paul March-Russell added: ‘There’s no one dominant theme amongst the nominees, which I think is a reflection of the current state of sf. Instead, there’s everything, from a Pulitzer Prize-winning alt-history about slavery to high-octane military sf, from posthuman cyber-thrillers to trans-dimensional angels. It’s a remarkably diverse list – in all senses – and it should bring many new readers to the genre.’

The winner will be announced at a public award ceremony held in partnership with Foyles Bookshop, London, on Thursday 27 July 2017.

Further details of the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the shortlist are available at:

Jo Pettitt publishes on Holocaust perpetrators

Dr Joanne Pettitt, Associate Lecturer in the Department of Comparative and World Literature, has just published a new book Perpetrators in Holocaust Narratives: Encountering the Nazi Beast (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).

The book provides a comprehensive analysis of representations of Holocaust perpetrators in literature. Such texts, often rather controversially, seek to undo the myth of pure evil that surrounds the Holocaust and to reconstruct the perpetrator in more human (‘banal’) terms. Following this line of thought, protagonists frequently place emphasis on the contextual or situational factors that led up to the genocide. A significant consequence of this is the impact that it has on the reader, who is thereby drawn into the narrative as a potential perpetrator who could, in similar circumstances, have acted in similar ways. The tensions that this creates, especially in relation to the construction of empathy, constitutes a major focus of this work. Making use of in excess of sixty primary sources, this work explores fictional accounts of Holocaust perpetration as well as Nazi memoirs. It will be of interest to anyone working in the broad areas of Holocaust literature and/or perpetrator studies.

For full details of the book, please see the publisher’s  web page.

It’s not too late to sign up for a Study Plus course this term

Study Plus courses are FREE to all Kent students. They are short courses and workshops, ranging from a couple of hours to several days.

If you have summer travel plans, learn some useful phrases before you go, with Spanish (KE089), Japanese (KE090) or Arabic (KE091) for travel. You can take a beginners’ course in Business Mandarin (KE007). These courses have started, but you may still join in Week 26 (16 May).

If you already speak some Mandarin, you could take Discover Chinese Language and Culture (KE088), which starts on 23 May (Week 27).

If you’re looking to improve your employment prospects, look no further than KE043 – Employability Skills.

Our intensive 5-day course: Journalism (KE044) gives you the chance to experience the pressure and the pleasure of making real journalism to real deadlines under professional leadership.

Post grad students can also sign up for Who are you? Improving your prospects by knowing your strengths (KE094).

Dirty History (KE004) will appeal to Game of Thrones fans and anyone interested in separating medieval fact from fantasy, but hurry, as it is on Saturday 13 May.

Big Ideas (KE128-KE131) is a series of 4 stand alone workshops offering an introduction to western philosophy.

You can sign up for a course via Workshops in the Student Data System. Please make sure that you are definitely able to do the course before signing up for it!
Find out more about Study Plus here.