Monthly Archives: February 2019

AUA logo

AUA@Kent Think-In

Kent colleagues came together recently for an AUA @ Kent Think-in event in the Sibson Building on Wednesday 6 February.

Taking the theme of ‘Thinking and Learning Together’, presentations included:

  • Finding your True North – Gill Ledgerton, Head of Operations, External Relations, Marketing & Communications, University of Liverpool
  • Using Mindfulness in Changing Times – Esther Van Hout, Business Development Manager at our Tonbridge centre.

The Think-In was organised by the AUA@Kent leadership team: Melissa Mulhall, AUA Advocate; Natalia Crisanti, Student Services; Mita Modal, Engineering and Digital Arts; Amy Green, Politics and International Relations; James Redmond, SSPSSR; and Alison Webster, Faculties Support Office.

The event was well received and is a good example of how the AUA@Kent network gives Kent colleagues the chance to get together and reflect on their work journeys from a different perspective, without the time and cost of travelling to off-campus training and conferences.

AUA/follow-up events
Why not join us for the next Kent events? The next talk in the AUA CPD chats series, on the topic of ‘Developing Self and Others’ is scheduled for 22 March.

This will be followed by the 4th Southern Regional Symposium at Canterbury Christ Church University on 24 April. Professor April McMahon will be one of the keynote speakers and will be talking about her experiences as a subject TEF panel chair for the Humanities panel. A spring walk and summer picnic are also planned for lunchtime (12.30) on 29 March and 13 May.

There is no need to be an AUA member already, just come along to see if it is of interest and of benefit in your current role/future roles. Contact one of the AUA leadership team above for further details.

If you decide to join the AUA, you can claim tax relief on your membership. AUA subscriptions can be claimed back via the HMRC Tax Relief for Employees website – there’s no need to complete a self-assessment tax form.

Visit the AUA website to find out more about membership.

JSNCC representative election

JSNCC non-union representative nominations

You are invited to make nominations for two representatives of non-union members of staff to join the Joint Staff Negotiating and Consultation Committee (JSNCC); one position to represent staff in grades 7 and above, and one position to represent staff in grades 1 to 6. All University staff are eligible to nominate themselves.

An email was sent out to staff from Denise Everitt, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chief Operating Office, launching the nomination process on Monday 25 February. If you wish to nominate yourself as a candidate for one of these positions, please click on the link in your email to complete the nomination entry form. You will be asked to provide a personal statement and the details of two people who support your nomination.

If you do not have time to complete the form immediately, it will remember your answers and you can pick it up again later on by clicking on the link in your email.  The deadline for completed nominations is 17:00 on Monday 11 March.

What is the JSNCC?

The committee is the main forum for consultation between the University and its staff and is one of the most important and influential committees in the University. Its membership includes management, union and staff representatives who meet each term. The current non-union staff members are Mark Ellis, Denise Twomey, Stephen Rowlstone and Becky Verlin.

Find out more about the JSNCC

Why join the JSNCC?
Acting as a staff representative is interesting and rewarding. It provides the opportunity to discuss and comment on University plans and policies, to meet a wide range of new people and to gain valuable personal development. Training and support will be provided to the successful candidates.

Further information about the JSNCC and the nomination and election processes can be found on the JSNCC website or by contacting HR via

Nostalgia podcast with Professor April McMahon

In the latest episode of the Nostalgia podcast series, Dr Chris Deacy, Reader in Theology and Religious Studies in the Department of Religious Studies, speaks to Professor April McMahon, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Education and Professor of English Language and Linguistics.

In this episode, April talks about being born in Edinburgh during a Beatles concert, how there weren’t many opportunities open to her as a child, being into the New Romantics, Altered Images and musicals, what inspired her to go to university, giving a lecture on the day that Margaret Thatcher resigned, how her Christian faith came along while she was in her 30s, listening to ‘Junior Choice’ on Saturday mornings as a youngster, her mother’s sudden death, and why it is important to enjoy the present.

Sophie Quirk interviewed on USA National Public Radio

Dr Sophie Quirk, Senior Lecturer in Drama and Theatre in the School of Arts, has featured on Morning Editionbroadcast on National Public Radio in America, yesterday 20 February 2019.

Morning Edition is the most popular news radio programme in the United States.

Sophie was interviewed for an item called ‘The Other Side of Anger’, which explored how comedy can be cathartic way of expressing anger. The piece particularly focused on comedian Mo Amer, who has used comedy to explore his experiences as a Kuwaiti-Palestinian man in modern-day America. The topic coincides with Sophie’s research interest in the social and political impact of contemporary stand-up comedy performance.

‘There are some comedians who I actively want to see when something happens that makes me angry, say, politically,’ explained Sophie, ‘because they have had the same experience of current events, and they are going to talk about them. And the people around me are going to be expressing through their laughter and their groans a real empathy with what I’m feeling.’

The broadcast can be heard online here, with Sophie featuring 4’30” into the programme.

Funding awarded for aesthetics and comedy conference

Professor Simon Kirchin, Professor of Philosophy and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, and Dr Graeme A. Forbes, Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, along with colleagues in the University’s School of Arts, have been awarded funding from the British Society of Aesthetics, for ‘Aesthetics and comedy: how to do things with jokes’, a conference about the philosophical background of comedy.

Dr Forbes said, “analysing comedy is said to be like dissecting a frog: no-one’s that interested, and the frog dies. But comedy writers and performers often analyse comedy: to craft new material or perfect timing. By bringing comedy writers and practitioners together with philosophers we can potentially change how comedians understand their craft, but also add fresh impetus to debates in aesthetics, ethics, and theoretical philosophy about how comedy works and what it is for.”

The conference will take place in October 2019, bringing together philosophers from a number of areas with comedy practitioners. The University of Kent is uniquely placed to host such a conference, as the home of the Aesthetics Research Centre, the Centre for Practical Normativity, and the Centre for Popular and Comic Performance. As well as being the home of a number of philosophers interested in comedy and performance, Kent is one of the leading universities for the academic study of comedy, both nationally and internationally, and hosts the British Stand-up Comedy Archive and the British Cartoon Archive.

World Heritage, Sustainable Development and Civil Society action plan released by Dr Sophia Labadi

Dr Sophia Labadi, Senior Lecturer in Heritage and Archaeology in the department of Classical & Archaeological Studies, has recently released an action plan on World Heritage, Sustainable Development and Civil Society following a workshop which took place in March 2018 at the University’s Brussels School of International Studies.

The workshop on World Heritage, Sustainable Development, and Civil Society took place on 29 March 2018 and saw the gathering of 50 civil society actors from all over the world. The aim was to find innovative ways for civil society actors to implement the UNESCO’s 2015 Policy on the Integration of a Sustainable Development Perspective into the Processes of the World Heritage Convention. This workshop was part of the official programme of the European Year of Cultural Heritage and was organised in cooperation with Europa Nostra, and with generous funding from the European Cultural Foundation and the University of Kent.

The policy on World Heritage and Sustainable Development, adopted by UNESCO in 2015 represents ‘a significant shift in the implementation of the (World Heritage) Convention and an important step in its history. Fundamental considerations such as the respect of human rights, gender equality, poverty alleviation, among others, will be now integrated in conservation and management approaches of the Convention.

This workshop was part of the official programme of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, organised in cooperation with Europa Nostra, and with generous funding from the European Cultural Foundation and the University of Kent.

Short stay accommodation available now in Eliot College.

Do you commute to Canterbury Campus and have an exam you don’t want to be late for? Then why not consider staying on campus in Eliot College. Reduce stress and have more time to concentrate on studying with no need to worry about driving home late at night or missing an exam because of traffic, train strikes or other travel delays outside your control.

Living in a corridor of up to eight other short stay students, all rooms are self-catered singles with bedding and towels provided. Rooms are £20 a night with a minimum of a two night stay required to book.

You can find out more or book online.

While short-stay accommodation in Eliot College is only available for Kent students, don’t forget that we also have year-round visitor accommodation available in Wedgewood Court in Darwin Houses and Beverley Farmhouse next to Canterbury Innovation Centre. Ideal for when you have friends or family visiting who want to stay on campus for the duration of their visit.

If you have any questions please email:

Conference Office summer casual vacancy

Would you like to join Kent Hospitality’s Bed & Breakfast reservations team from April to mid-September 2019?

Applicants must be able to demonstrate exceptional levels of administration, customer service, confident telephone manner, computing skills and the ability to work calmly and accurately under pressure, both alone and as part of a team.

You will be required to work:

• 1 April – 17 May, 9am-2pm, Monday to Friday

• Sunday 14 and 28 April, 8am-4pm

• 20 May – 14 June, 8.30am-1.30pm, Monday to Friday

• 17 June – 8 September, 8am-1.30pm, Monday to Friday

• Alternative Saturday or Sunday, 8am-4pm

If you think this summer vacancy is for you, please apply by emailing your CV and a cover letter to Louisa Harvey, Senior Events Coordinator:

Closing date for applications: 8 March 2019.

(Please note, this may close early if we receive a large number of applications.)

Parents Competition!

Are you a parent at Kent?

Join Parents at Kent in showing that there are many of us, that we are in every department and school, and we are proud of our little ones and their achievements.

Our research has shown that parents often feel that they need to hide that they have children, or that it is frowned upon to be a parent in academia and professional services.

Ask your child (any age) to make a picture or piece of art that shows their parent at work. All submissions will be displayed at the Athena SWAN lunch on International Women’s Day, 8th of March. Winners will be commended with gold stars (!).

Entries will be judged on innovation, creativity and panache.

Deadline for submissions: 1 March 2019

Send to the Athena SWAN team via internal mail: Darwin College P1.01, or send electronic submission to our email:

International Women’s Day Festival at Gulbenkian

Marking International Women’s Day weekend, join us for a celebration of women through music, theatre, comedy and dance at Gulbenkian from Fri 1 – Sun 10 Mar 2019.

The festival gets underway on Fri 1 Mar (19.30) with The Jazz Sessions: Jessica Lauren’s Naga 5, featuring Josephine Davies on Windwards. In association with POW! Festival, celebrated Jazz composer and keyboard player Jessica Lauren will be joined by a five-piece ensemble for a special concert exploring female empowerment. Tickets £12 / Concessions £10.

On Fri 8 Mar (19.30), The Head Wrap Diaries transforms the theatre into a South London hair-salon called BE U Tiful, giving the audience front row seats to watch, interact with and become immersed in a journey from childhood to the present day. Tickets £13-£5.

We have not one, not two, but THREE excellent star acts, in the form of Wendy Wason, Tanyalee Davis and Carrieann Redneck in Funny Rabbit Comedy Club – International Women’s Day Special on Thu 7 Mar, 20.00. Plus guest acts and all kinds of horseplay and tomfoolery from your host and compere Oliver Double. Tickets £7-£5.

Join us for a family day of dancing, music, talks, workshops and visual arts which celebrate women and equal rights in This Girl Can Family Day on Sun 10 Mar, 11-16.00. All ages and genders are welcome.

Family Day Ticket £5pp or This Girl Can Family Day & Movie Package £6pp : Includes £5 ticket to This Girl Can Family Day + at least one £1 offer ticket to family film screening of Moana (10.30am), Brave (13.30) and/or Wonder Woman (16.00) on Sun 10 March.