Monthly Archives: June 2019


Workshop on digitizing historic WWI magazine

The Network of Research: Movies, Magazines and Audiences (NoRMMA), a research network situated within the School of Arts and founded by Dr Tamar Jeffers McDonald, Reader in Film, will be hosting its first workshop as part of the Digitizing The War Illustrated project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund this week.

The War Illustrated was a weekly magazine published throughout the First World War, beginning n August 1914. It provided the British public with text and images about the conflict, and continued to shape the British public’s views until after Armistice Day in November 1918.

The research project aims to digitize and make available the entire run of the publication’s 233 issues.

The project will hold three workshops during June and July 2019. During these, we will give volunteers background on the magazine and its history, help them to familiarise themselves with the online archive, as well as plan and complete research projects of their own. The workshop participants will then be able to share their findings online and at a tea dance-themed launch later in the year.

The first workshop will be held this week on Thursday 27 June 2019, from 10am to 5pm, in Jarman Seminar Room 7. Spaces are limited to 12, so please email to book the first workshop and to keep up to date with further dates.


SARD to take on Gung-Ho!

SARD (who have selected the Kent and Medway Medical School as their Charity of the Year) have registered for Gung-Ho! at Crystal Palace on Saturday 13th July and are looking for adventurous (and brave!) people to join their team.

Gung-Ho! is the world’s biggest inflatable 5km run (think Total Wipeout!) and is a challenging event that can be enjoyed by everybody regardless of age, ability or fitness level.

Team SARD has two places available in their 13 strong team – they have covered the cost of the places but ask that each participant pledges to raise a minimum sponsorship of £100. If all participants succeed they will have raised £1,300 for KMMS through this event alone.

If running isn’t your thing, you can still support SARD through their JustGiving page.

If you would like to join the team please contact Francesca Monk, Marketing Director, on, for further information.

Kelli Rudolph and pupils

Classical Tales project inspires pupils

The Department of Classical and Archaeological Studies recently hosted their end of year prize competition for this year’s ‘Classic Tales’ project. Thirty pupils in Year Seven at Dover Grammar School for Boys were invited to attend an event at the University to celebrate their achievements.

The pupils were required to produce an artistic interpretation of Homer’s Odyssey, either individually or as part of a small group, with the thirty students who produced the most original projects invited along for an unforgettable day at the University’s Canterbury campus.

With interpretations ranging from pottery to poetry and re-imaginings of the tale set in locations as far-flung and far-fetched as space and cloning labs, Lecturer in Classics and Philosophy Dr Kelli Rudolph, and Dr Alexandra Martin-Carey, Humanities specialist from the University’s schools outreach team, were delighted by the range and quality of the submissions.

The project was delivered with the aim of giving pupils access to the history and traditions of story-telling, with the day at the University designed to allow pupils to experience what life with lecturers and being on a real campus would be like. The pupils who took part in the project said they enjoyed ‘the atmosphere around campus’, with another remarking that ‘before going on this trip, I didn’t really want to go to a university, but after my experience I now really want to go!’ The vast majority agreed, with just 42% of attendees saying they wanted to go to university before the trip, but that number soared to almost 75% after their glimpse of life on campus.

Kelli Rudolph said: “Classical Tales has had another amazingly successful year! The power and beauty of Homer’s Odyssey inspired thirty 11-12 year olds to new creative and intellectual heights. In addition to their creative responses to this 3000 year old tale, they easily sustained a near university-level analysis of key aspects of the text in a seminar style setting. This is a spectacular outcome for a programme designed to make the literature of antiquity accessible to all students regardless of their background or attainment level. The students’ outstanding work is evidence of the timeless nature of ancient literature, and its ability to spark imagination. After getting a taste of what Humanities has to offer on a university campus, it was no surprise that the number of students in the group wanting to go to University nearly doubled. This is what great literature has the power to do: inspire students to dream bigger, strive harder and let their imaginations run free.”

View of Rochester high street

Drill Hall Dialogue 2 July: Dickens and North Kent

Dickens was one of England’s greatest writers and he lived in North Kent at two different times. Why did he return and what kind of impact did his experiences have on his work? Find out more at the next Drill Hall Dialogue 2 July 10.00 in the Guildhall Museum DA002 in Rochester. The talk, by Dr Jeremey Clarke, will be illustrated with objects from the Guildhall Museum’s collection. 

Dr Jeremy Clarke has been Education Officer at the Guildhall Museum, Rochester, since 1998. He is responsible for all formal education and learning programmes supported by the museum collection or its listed buildings. Most of this is work with or in local schools, but he also runs courses, lectures and illustrated talks for adults. 

Dr Clarke has also run partnership projects to support children in making music for Dickens’s novels, in illustrating scenes from Great Expectations, and in working with actors at locations made famous by the novel. In 2010 he hosted a shared reading of Great Expectations in the original parts, timed to coincide with their publication 150 years before.

 Drill Hall Dialogues is a monthly series of talks held at the Drill Hall Library, the learning resource centre for the Universities at Medway collaborative project. A wide variety of topics has been covered including prison libraries, NHS libraries, Dickens and Christmas, Medway regeneration, the Medway Floods of 1953 and Fort Amherst.

Previous Drill Hall Dialogues have been from academics based on the campus including the Centre for Journalism and the Faculty of Education (CCCU). The talks take place on the first or second Tuesday of the month and usually last no longer than 45 minutes with 15 minutes allotted for any questions and answers.  All staff are welcome to attend.


women with headphones and mic recording podcas infront of shelves of books

How Researchers Change the World latest podcast: AI

The latest instalment of podcast series entitled How Researchers Change the World, hosted by Dr Kaitlyn Regehr, Lecturer in Media Studies, is now available.

The series, which is supported by the publisher Taylor & Francis, will release a new episode every two weeks, and covers topics as diverse as new technology, the impact of social media, virtual reality, climate change, artificial intelligence, and gender studies.

In the latest episode, Kaitlyn interviews Steve Omohundro is an AI researcher, and currently Chief Scientist at AIBrain, to explore the ethical implications of Artificial Intelligence. She poses the question ‘what will the dawn of the AI revolution look like – and when will that happen?’

The podcasts is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Sticher; and can be heard online here:

"introducing the brand new KMTV mobile app" with image of phone showing app

KMTV App available on Apple and Android

KMTV has launched the county’s only dedicated video news app.

The Freeview channel, owned by the University of Kent and the KM Media Group, broadcasts to thousands of residents across the county every day. Now, even more people are being kept up to date with stories and content that really matter to their communities through its innovative app.

The app, that’s available to download for free on both Apple and Android devices, broadcasts KMTV’s live output 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Users are also able to watch all of the channel’s shows on demand, including its flagship news programme ‘Kent Tonight’.

‘We’re so excited to be launching the app and serving even more people in Kent,’ says Andy Richards, KMTV’s News Editor. ‘Every single minute of the content that we create at KMTV is now available on the app. 90,000 people currently watch our content on Freeview and Virgin for three minutes or longer every week. 100,000s use our social media and website and we’ve achieved 1,000,000s of views of our videos since launching. We’re delighted to have built this audience in our short existence but by developing the app, we’re now able to serve an even wider audience.’

After a soft launch of the app to help test the software, hundreds of people have already downloaded it on both stores. ‘It’s been amazing, considering there’s only been limited promotion whilst we finessed the app’s functionality. I think it shows that there’s a huge appetite for the kind of content we’re creating and we’re really excited about its future’.

The app has been developed by Publishers’ Toolbox, an international digital agency that’s working with media organisations such as NewsUK and The Gay Times.

Working with Publishers’ Toolbox, KMTV’s helped develop key innovative features. Users are able to submit their own content to the channel that flows directly into KMTV’s news gathering system. ‘Through producing our content online, we’ve seen how well user generated content does in terms of traffic on social media groups,’ says Richards. ‘Why not take this a step further? We want smaller communities to use our various channels to tell stories that wouldn’t usually get a platform to thousands. The public are more educated than ever before on how to use powerful devices such as smartphones and it’s a really simple process to send the content. We’re hoping to work with lots of diverse groups to deliver hyper local stories to areas that doesn’t traditionally get a voice’.

As part of its relationship with the KM Group’s newspapers, KMTV will also be trialling the use of ‘Augmented Reality’ through its app. Users will be able to scan pictures in the KM newspaper titles that will bring the pages to life by delivering videos within the app. ‘This
could be the future,’ continues Richards. ‘Augmented reality has been around for a little while, but has had limited uptake or success. That’s because technology wasn’t ready for it but I think it is now. It’s a fantastic way of bringing a modern twist to traditional media and we think it’s a really interesting feature that’s worth exploring, as there are both editorial and commercial opportunities through its use.’

For more information contact Andy Richards on 01634 202024 or visit the KMTV website and social media pages: Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.

Hello Kent 2019 – what we have planned

In October 2018, the Student Experience Board commissioned a review of student welcome, induction and transition activities and communications.

The review aims to better co-ordinate all our welcome activities and communications to ensure our activities are accessible and fully support our diverse student population.

We have worked closely with the Union throughout this project.

For 2019, we are implementing the following quick wins:

  • A joint ‘Hello Kent’ campaign with the Union to welcome new students to campus.
  • This campaign includes a shared ‘Hello Kent’ campaign webpage, which pulls together all events and information for new students in one place. The Hello Kent webpage will be available in early July at –
  • Improvements to our current maps on the Kent website. The new maps will work well on a mobile device and have geo-location.
  • A more co-ordinated approach to arrivals communications.

For September 2020, we hope to build on this work and improve the support we offer to both new and continuing students.

Study Plus - Journalism

Study Plus – new course ideas wanted

Study Plus and the Centre for Journalism ran a free journalism course for Kent students from 10-14 June. It was the perfect opportunity for students thinking of journalism as a career, adding a Year in Journalism to their degree, or considering doing Kent’s Master’s in Multimedia Journalism, to have a go at being a journalist for a week.

The course offered an intensive immersion in the basic principles and practices of journalism in the multimedia age. Philosophy and Literature student, Iona, says: “Not only did I develop skills directly in line with my passions, but I expanded my skill set by taking on new skills I wouldn’t have considered if it weren’t for this course.” You can read her blog post on the CEWL (Centre for English and World Languages) webpages.

Study Plus is a range of short, non credit bearing courses which can improve students’ employability skills, develop their personal creativity or expand their cultural and academic knowledge. They are free to all students registered on an existing Kent programme. They range in duration from single one-hour workshops to a 30 hour, five-day course.

We are always looking to add new courses to the Study Plus portfolio and welcome suggestions from any member of staff. If you have an idea for a new course or one-off workshop for 2019/20, please read the information for staff on the Study Plus website

If you have any questions about Study Plus, email or contact Ruth Newman on 01227 823790 for an informal chat before submitting a course proposal.


Globalising Philosophy at Kent

If philosophy is the love of wisdom, why is there so little discussion of non-western thinkers and ideas in modern philosophical debates? What would a truly global and multicultural vision of philosophy look like?

The Department of Religious Studies and the Royal Institute of Philosophy recently organised an academic symposium, followed by a panel discussion which was open to the public, on the topic of ‘Globalising Philosophy’. Both events were arranged to celebrate the founding of the unique new undergraduate degree in Global Philosophies which welcomes its first students in September 2019. Speakers focused on the contribution and opportunities of including African, Indian and Chinese Philosophy in a multicultural and global conception of the love of wisdom (Greek: philosophia).

These events were organised by Head of Department, Professor Richard King – who was recently featured alongside Professor Jeremy Carrette, also from the Department of Religious Studies, in a Guardian article entitled ‘The mindfulness conspiracy‘ – and the Department of Philosophy, and set out to explore the issue of decolonising and internationalising the curriculum and ways to consider philosophy as a global rather than an exclusively western enterprise, reflecting the unique new BA Global Philosophies undergraduate programme.

Richard King commented: “There are very few places in the country where you can study philosophy in a multicultural and global context. The University of Kent is an international innovator in developing a programme that meets the changing nature of UK and global society. The conference and public event were both a great success.”

Patty Baker

Dr Patty Baker awarded funding for EDI conference

Dr Patty Baker, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Classical and Archaeological studies, has been awarded TESSA funding to host an online conference/workshop entitled ‘Overcoming Challenges in the Development of Diversity, Equality and Inclusivity Initiatives in Higher Education’ on 8 July 2019.

TESSAs (Teaching Enhancement Small Support Awards) are grants to support the enhancement of teaching, learning and the student experience, and Patty’s event brings together American and UK deans and chief diversity officers to discuss the problems and solutions they faced when setting up their EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity) programmes.

The project is specifically about sharing knowledge with various groups at the University of Kent, such as the Decolonising the Curriculum Committee and Student Success Project, working towards the development of a cohesive EDI plan. Patty commented: “This is a significant workshop that will help to build the University’s EDI training and plans.”

This workshop developed out of an INSIGHTS (Senior Women’s Leadership Training Group) project Patty developed when asked to suggest an area for University development. She recognised the need for staff training to encourage difficult classroom discussions, inclusive seminars, and microaggressions, for example. She researched how EDI training is undertaken elsewhere, and contacted EDI Deans/Chief Diversity Officers in universities and liberal arts colleges in the United States to discuss their programmes. July’s event is building on this network.

To reserve your place for this conference, visit the Eventbrite page.