Monthly Archives: December 2018

Kent professor appointed to work for the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

Professor Gordon Lynch has been appointed to serve as an expert witness to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry for its investigation into child migration from Scotland which will run in 2019.

Professor Lynch is a leading researcher in the history of child migration programmes, funded by the UK and overseas governments, which sent around 100,000 children without their parents to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the former Southern Rhodesia. He has previously served as an expert witness in this field to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse where evidence presented by him and his fellow co-witness, Professor Stephen Constantine, helped to underpin the Inquiry’s recommendation that the UK Government should urgently establish a redress scheme to make payments to all surviving British child migrants.

Commenting on this appointment, Professor Lynch said: ‘I am pleased to serve the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry in this capacity. The work undertaken by this, and by previous inquiries, is helping us to build a clearer picture of how child migration programmes operated across the whole of the UK as well as their effects on the lives of those who were sent overseas as children. I hope this work can help the continued process of reflecting what lessons we can learn from their experiences as well as how we can best respond to the many former child migrants still alive today.’

Professor Lynch has also been involved in a range of other work intended to raise public awareness of the history of these migration schemes. In November, the Ballads of Child Migration project, which he helped to set up, held a series of performances across the country of songs reflecting the experiences of British child migrants with Professor Lynch speaking Q&A sessions with audiences at each venue. Recordings of songs from these live performances will be played on a show dedicated to the Ballads project on the BBC Radio 2 Folk Show in January 2019.


MA Comparative Literature students visit Bethlem Museum of the Mind

The postgraduate students studying “Writing Unreason: Literature and Madness in the Modern Period” on the MA in Comparative Literature, and their seminar leader Dr Angelos Evangelou, Lecturer in the Department of Comparative Literature, were welcomed on Monday 10th December 2018 by the Director of the Bethlem Museum of the Mind with a brief introduction about its history and contents.

The museum, which is located within the grounds of the Bethlem Royal Hospital, was opened in 2015 by artist Grayson Perry. Its permanent and periodic exhibitions host internationally renowned collections of archives, art and historical objects related to the history of mental illness, and mental healthcare and treatment.

The students had the opportunity to reflect on the representation of mental illness in art, to see artwork made by author Anna Kavan which is studied in the module, view artwork made by patients either on or off the hospital grounds, and to engage in a debate about mental health and hospitalisation. The field trip was funded by the Department of Comparative Literature. “I really enjoyed the trip to the Bethlem Museum of the Mind,” said Rochelle Zibetti, a SECL student who attended the trip, “In addition to the exhibits, I liked hearing and sharing observations with my classmates who pointed out artworks and impressions that I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.”

Angelos Evangelou commented, “It’s always great to see the seminar discussions continue outside the seminar room and the students to learn and be inspired by so many stimuli. With its aesthetically arresting, sensitive and historically instructive exhibits, The Bethlem Museum of the Mind offered us the opportunity to further reflect not only on the controversial topics of mental illness and mental healthcare but also on more theoretical topics such as the relationship between mental illness and creativity. A memorable day!”


Last call for auditions

Last chance to audition for The University of Kent Players April production of Wildest Dreams by Alan Ayckbourn!

The performance nights will be the 11th, 12th & 13th April and we will be holding a final audition on Thursday 20th December at 12.00-12.45, Canterbury Campus. Please email the director, Lauren at to let her know if you can attend the audition and for room location. We will do our best to meet with anyone who is unable to attend the audition but would like to audition for a role.

Please see the blurb for the play:

“Stanley, Hazel, Warren and Rick make the weekly escape from their real life nightmares into a role-playing board game peopled by dragons and monsters. A safe world where the dangers are of their own imagining; where they are free to become heroes of their own devising.

But how clear is the dividing line between what they choose to be and what they really are? What would it take for them to lose sight of it altogether? All it requires is Marcie. Loveable, understanding, sympathetic Marcie – destined to become the new demon to haunt their wildest dreams.”

We will be auditioning for the following cast member roles:

  • Stanley Inchbridge – Large role
  • Hazel Inchbridge – Large role
  • Warren Wrigley – Medium role
  • Rick (Alice) Toller – Medium role
  • Marcie Banks – Large role
  • Austen Skate – Medium role
  • Thelma Wrigley – Small role
  • Larry Banks – Small role

We really look forward to hearing from you!


Call for papers on black reconstruction in aesthetics

The journal Debates in Aesthetics, which is now edited by members of the Department of the History of Art, is seeking short papers in response to the article ‘Black Reconstruction in Aesthetics’ by Professor Paul C. Taylor (Vanderbilt University).

Submissions should be up to 3,500 words and need to engage directly with Taylor’s article, a digital proof of which can be downloaded here.

For this issue, the editors and members of the editorial board will award the Debates in Aesthetics Essay Prize to the best paper by a postgraduate student or early-career researcher (within three years of completed PhD). The amount of the prize is £250.

The deadline for submission is 14 January 2019.

Submissions guidelines are available here.

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


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


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.