Wellbeing Zone December focus: Relationships and good mental health

The December theme for our new Staff Wellbeing Zone is ‘Good Relationships are the Foundation of Good Mental Health’.

Below are links to a selection of articles and publications expanding on the theme of relationships, good mental health and wellbeing.

Some of them also explore the difficulties that people who suffer from mental health problems face when engaging in relationships – romantic, family and friendships.

If you are affected by relationship issues,  our Occupational Health team or the University Counselling Service may be able to provide support. Get in touch by emailing occupationalhealth@kent.ac.uk


Free tickets available for student entrepreneurship conference

Free and discounted tickets are on offer to University of Kent students for a national entrepreneurship conference which will be held on the Canterbury campus in 2019.

The NACUE (National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs) Student Enterprise Conference will feature than 60 inspiring speakers over the weekend of February 23-24.

With a theme of Change Makers, the conference will bring together students from across the UK to explore entrepreneurship through talks, practical workshops and networking opportunities.

Speakers announced so far include Robert Forkan, co-founder of ethical fashion brand Gandys. Robert founded the firm with his brother, Paul, after narrowly surviving the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004, which killed their parents.

Also speaking is Jonas Huckestein, co-founder of Monzo Bank, a UK start-up which has no physical banks, instead using Android smartphone apps.

University of Kent alumnus, James Buckley-Thorp, founder of Rupert and Buckley, started his firm with around 600 pairs of socks produced in his dorm room, turning this from £40 into a £3-million company.

The conference is being hosted by Kent Business School in the stunning Sibson building but is open to all University students.

The event will take place between 23-24 February in the Sibson building from 10.00-1700

Email ASPIRE for details of free and discounted tickets, contact Rebecca Smith ASPIRE@kent.ac.uk


Inspirational speaker events for SECL students

The Student Success Project is organising the first in a series of inspirational speaker events for SECL students throughout the term.

The first of these talks will take place on Wednesday 16 January, presented by Professor Itesh Sachdev, who will be examining the complex relationship between language, communication and group identity in multilingual communication, using data from indigenous and migrant minorities and majorities around the world.

Dr Laura Bailey, Lecturer in the Department of English Language & Linguistics, writes, ‘Professor Sachdev’s talk will be essential for anyone interested in language, communication and identity. He will discuss issues of ethnicity and minorities, as well as how language and community are linked. Professor Sachdev is multilingual himself, was raised in Kenya, and has worked all over the world. He currently researches urban multiculturalism. His talk will be suitable for all, and students are especially welcome.’

The lecture will be free entry and open to all. For more information, please see our events calendar.

Alex Marlow Mann film receives premiere

Dr Alex Marlow-Mann, Lecturer in Italian in the Department of Modern Languages, has co-written, co-researched and co-produced That’s La Morte: Italian Cult Cinema and the Years of Lead, a film that received its world premiere at the Cine-Excess film festival and conference in Birmingham.

Several years in the making, this feature-length documentary draws on interviews with 20 leading practitioners (directors, producers, writers, actors and technicians).

The documentary explores the ways in which Italian genre cinema (horror-thrillers, crime films and sex comedies) reflected and refracted the social and political anxieties of the so-called ‘years of lead’ – a turbulent decade characterised both by domestic terrorism and a radical reshaping of gender roles. Subsequent festival screenings in both the UK and internationally are planned throughout the next year and will be announced in due course.

The trailer for the film is available to view online.


Dr Chris Deacy left) with Taylor Weaver

Nostalgia podcast with Taylor Weaver

The latest episode of the podcast series on ‘Nostalgia’, hosted by Dr Chris Deacy, Reader in Theology and Religious Studies in the Department of Religious Studies, has just been released.

In this week’s episode, Chris interviews Taylor Weaver, research student in the Department of Religious Studies.

Taylor talks about his journey from Texas to Canterbury in order to undertake a PhD, he recalls an early memory of getting into a fight with his brother, and explains why it was never possible in the South to escape religion. He also talks about being radicalized by leftist intellectuals, his early appreciation for the music of ‘Lynyrd Skynyrd’, why playing video games with a friend is especially bittersweet for him, how he wanted to be in the marines, and even dreamed of becoming a rock star.

Dr Eleen M Deprez and Claire Anscomb

Aesthetics journal to be edited within the Department of History of Art

Dr Eleen M. Deprez, who has recently completed her PhD in History and Philosophy of Art (HPA) at Kent, and Claire Anscomb, who is conducting her PhD in HPA, have both been made editors of the journal Debates in Aesthetics (formerly the Postgraduate Journal in Aesthetics).

Debates in Aesthetics is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal for articles, interviews and book reviews. Published by the British Society of Aesthetics, the journal’s principal aim is to provide the philosophical community with a dedicated venue for debate in aesthetics and the philosophy of art.

The journal aims to publish two issues a year. The summer/autumn issue features original articles, book reviews and an interview with a senior philosopher of art or aesthetician. The winter/spring issue concerns a senior philosopher of art or aesthetician. Commentaries on an original article by a senior philosopher, or the philosopher’s existing published work, will be published alongside a response from the philosopher concerned.

Eleen and Claire’s first edited issue will be released in the Spring next year. They are currently inviting short papers in response to ‘Black Reconstruction in Aesthetics‘, a new article by Professor Paul C. Taylor (Vanderbilt University), specially written for Debates in Aesthetics. More information will be released soon.

Claire is in the final stages of her PhD, completed her thesis ‘On the Significance of Automaticity in Image-Making Practices’. Eleen is currently teaching at the School of Art and completed her PhD, with a thesis entitled ‘The Curated Exhibition: A Philosophical and Historical Analysis’, last year.

For more details about the journal, please see the page here.

Leadership Bulletin 12 December 2018

Leadership Bulletin (12 December 2018)

The latest issue of the Leadership Bulletin, designed to give an overview of key developments at Kent, is now available.

The latest issue (12 December 2018) includes a congratulations from our Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Karen Cox, to everyone involved in the University’s win, for the second year running, of the Outstanding Support for Students Award. The win this year was for the OPERA (Opportunity, Productivity, Engagement, Reducing barriers, Achievements) Project.

There is also an update on Executive Group and Extended Executive Group (Executive Group plus Deans) meetings, including progress reports on KentVision and on the Medway strategy.

The “Long Read’ focuses on the review of the University’s organisational structure, led by our Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer, Denise Everitt.

The Bulletin is distributed fortnightly to all members of the Senior Leadership Forum to cascade to staff in schools and professional service departments. If you haven’t received your copy yet, you can read the bulletin online.

Staff published in The Edinburgh Companion to the Short Story in English

Dr Jeremy Scott, Senior Lecturer in the department of English Language & Linguistics, and Dr Paul March-Russell, Lecturer in Comparative Literature, have recently published chapters in The Edinburgh Companion to the Short Story in English (Edinburgh University Press, 2018).

The Edinburgh Companion to the Short Story in English presents new scholarly essays on the short story in English as a phenomenon of world literature, and explores the history and development of the anglophone short story since the beginning of the nineteenth century. This collection of innovative essays by new and established scholars explores these and other questions, addressing stories from around the world, and considering their relationship to place, identity, history and genre.

“This paper investigates the expressive and methodological possibilities inherent in writing ‘short’ through close analysis of the narrative structure and prose style of a sample of what can be classified variously as ‘postmodern’, experimental and anti-realist short stories,” Jeremy Scott writes in regards to his chapter ‘Experimental Short Stories’. “The paper’s thesis is that the experimental short story genre can be defined and delineated in a principled manner with reference to concepts drawn from stylistics, and that such definition has useful implications and lessons for both creative practice in general.”

Paul March-Russell’s chapter, ‘Impressionism and the Short Story’, looks at the complicated history and multiple meanings of Impressionism in philosophy, aesthetics and the visual arts before focusing on short story writers such as Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf.

Amalia Arvaniti receives Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship

Professor Amalia Arvaniti, of the Department of English Language & Linguistics, is the recipient of a two-year Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2019-2021) for her project ‘Politics and Linguistic Variation in a Post-Diglossic Speech Community.’

Amalia will work on a monograph documenting changes in the Greek sound system as it evolved after the official abolition of diglossia in 1976, and recent developments – under the influence of moral panic due to the financial crisis in Greece – which have led to a revival of features from the diglossic era. Amalia will use social media to canvass views on these changes, will analyse speech samples and conduct perceptual sociolinguistic experiments to assess the role that these revived features have on the social evaluation of speakers and of diglossia-related registers of Greek.