Monthly Archives: July 2019

Catherine Richardson

New role for Catherine Richardson

Professor Catherine Richardson has been appointed as the academic Co-Director for our Institute for Cultural and Creative Industries.

Catherine brings a wealth of experience to the role, including past experience of the cultural and creative industries and her work as Associate Dean (Research and Innovation) for the Faculty of Humanities.

Catherine said: ‘I’m really excited to be taking on this new challenge, working with colleagues across the University and beyond to develop a clear and very distinctive vision for our research and education in the cultural and creative industries, and helping to ensure that our creativity spreads more broadly, right across the University, into every part of what we do at Kent.’

She will start in the role this summer, working with our other Co-Director, Liz Moran. Plans will be formed through Autumn 2019 with more announcements made in due course. We anticipate that the Institute will be a major catalyst for Kent as we build to our 60th anniversary in 2025, with work in education, research and innovation.

Professor Simon Kirchin | Dean of Humanities

Research project on Raphael wins Oxford’s Public Engagement with Research Award

Raphael – The Drawings, a Leverhulme-funded research project, that was co-organised by Dr Ben Thomas in the Department of Art History with colleagues from the University of Oxford, won a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Public Engagement with Research in the Project category at the University of Oxford. The prize was awarded at a ceremony earlier this week, Wednesday 10 July 2019.

The two-year research project aimed to transform our understanding of how Raphael drew, employing an innovative multi-disciplinary approach to the close study of his drawings.

An exhibition at the Ashmolean, Raphael: The Drawings, embodied the essential findings and conclusions of the project’s work, bringing together 120 drawings in three strands: invention; orchestration and expression in which Raphael’s experimental approach, visual strategies and graphic language were highlighted. The exhibition attracted 67,000 visitors.

Ben was co-organiser of the project team with Professor Catherine Whistler, supported by the project research assistant Angela Maria Aceto.

The project is detailed on page 10 of the research awards brochure here. 

Student walking in Canterbury Cathedral after collecting their degree

Canterbury graduation live streams

You can watch live streams of the Canterbury graduation ceremonies at the links below:

Monday 15 July

Tuesday 16 July

 Wednesday 17 July

Thursday 18 July

Friday 19 July

This information is also available on our website:

The videos will also be available to watch after the ceremonies.

Double win for Kent Hospitality at ASRA Regional Meeting

Kent Hospitality were delighted with the news that Derek Goss, Accommodation Manager, and Gary Sayles, Executive Manager: Housekeeping, both won awards at the latest Association for Student Residential Accommodation (ASRA) South East Regional Meeting.

Taking place on Wednesday 12 June, the South East Regional Meeting saw Derek Goss awarded ‘Residence Initiative of the Year’ for putting in place a new ‘moderated living’ initiative for 2019-20 arriving students.  

On winning the award, Derek commented “I was delighted to receive this award recognising the Accommodation Office’s efforts to improve many students residential experience at The University of Kent.”

The initiative allows students to select a ‘moderated living’ option when applying for University accommodation, whereby like-minded students who want to live in a quieter or alcohol restricted environment can live together in a dedicated location on campus.

Gary Sales, who won the ‘Best Student Community’ award added “We were happily surprised to receive the Best Student Community award as nominated by the ASRA Southeast Regional members and judging panel.

While the teams’ job descriptions concentrate on the cleaning aspects of the job, the Commercial Services and Kent Hospitality primary philosophy is always placing the student first.

We are so pleased that the teams efforts and innovations have been recognised and we look forward to enhancing our offering and continuing to make positive impacts.”

Since September 2018, Gary has been introducing ways to engage students in keeping their accommodation clean. Housekeeper visits are encouraged to be conversational, focusing on social and cleaning skills checks with students to help aid them in the transition to university life and living away from home. Service changes to provide monthly deep cleans to aid student efforts in maintaining their accommodation and implementing an evening cleaning service for set public areas on campus were also well received.

Nominations for awards came from regional ASRA members as well as attendees at the event on the day with the awards recognising initiatives that brought a ‘unique and creative addition to their residence community this year’.

James Merrington Caroline Li and Professor Ian McLoughlin

Prizes awarded to Computing graduates

At the Medway graduation on 9 July, Professor Ian McLoughlin presented the prizes to the 2019 graduates who had excelled in academic achievements or contribution to the life of the School.

Computer Science Project Prize: James Merrington

“James is a self-driven and highly motivated individual. He used industry standard throughout the development of his final year project, InsomiApp, a cross-platform sleep-tracking app and website. He delivered excellent contributions to all areas of the project and acquired knowledge beyond what was taught.”

School of Computing Prize: Anthony Ip

“Anthony has a consistent track record of excellence throughout his degree program. In his final year, Anthony has made solid contributions to his final year project. In doing so, he produced highly commendable work and garnered praise from his teachers and his peers.”

School of Computing FIVIUM Placement Prize: Ekta Ahira

“Ekta produced an outstanding report about her experience at General Electric, where she worked as a Project Manager for their Oil & Gas business based in Aberdeen. The report gave a lively and reflective account of the challenges faced, and the personal learning that she experienced.”

School of Computing KITC Prize: Chris Lam

“Chris is an extremely hard working and committed consultant. He played a pivotal role in all of the projects that he was involved in, and built great rapport with his clients and colleagues alike. This award recognises not only Chris’ talents, but the effort that he put in to develop and hone these skills over his time in the KITC.”

School of Computing Contribution Prize: Anthony Ip

“As a Computing workshop assistant during the last two years Anthony has been enthusiastic and helpful to other students. He is a highly reliable team member and has willingly taken on extra sessions to cover for others when they are not available.”

School of Computing Careers & Employability Prize: Ed East

“Ed did his year in industry at SAP, a multinational software manufacturer and took every opportunity available to network and improve his skills. On his return to university he was keen to spread the word about the advantages of the year in industry to other students, becoming Employability Ambassador for the School of Computing. He helped raise the profile of the School by writing blogs and profiles and taking part in videos about his year in industry and experiences at Kent, as well as promoting the opportunities available to students at open days and applicant days.”

Summer zone poster including image of child playing cricket

SummerZone is back for 2019!

With the school holidays just around the corner, Kent Sport has the perfect solution to keeping your children entertained this summer – SummerZone!

With up to two weeks of professional sports coaching, led by qualified and DBS checked coaches and supported by sports supervisors, SummerZone cures the summer boredom and gets your children active. If your child(ren) are aged five to 14 and would enjoy taking part in a variety of sporting activities on a daily basis, including football, kwik cricket, tag rugby, hockey and tennis, then book them on SummerZone 2019!

SummerZone will run from 9.00 to 15.00 daily from Monday 12 to Friday 16 August (week one), and Monday 19 to Friday 25 August (week two). Late pick-ups are available from 15.00 to 17.00 and will include staff-led fun games and creative activities.

You can book places for SummerZone now through the website. Booking is available for one week, two weeks or individual days. For full details visit Booking closes on Friday 26 July.

Bothered and bewildered poster.

Tickets on sale- Kent Players ‘Bothered & Bewildered’ play

The University of Kent Players are proud to present Gail Young’s ‘Bothered & Bewildered’ this September.

The play will be performed at 7.30 on the 5-7 September at the Gulbenkian Theatre, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NB.

Tickets are now on sale via the Gulbenkian website, in person at the Gulbenkian ticket office, or over the phone 01227 769075.

Bothered & Bewildered is a comic drama that follows Irene and her two daughters Louise and Beth as they begin a long journey in which the girls lose their mum in spirit but not in body. As her family struggle to come to terms with her Alzheimer’s, Irene’s past passion for romantic fiction blurs with reality. She discusses with her unseen and witty companion Barbara Cartland (Irene’s favourite and now deceased world famous romantic novelist) how best to write her ‘memory book’, disclosing to Barbara long kept family secrets that she would never reveal to anyone else.


Kent staff and students at BSA Annual Conference 2019

Several members of School of Arts academic staff will be presenting at the British Society of Aesthetics Annual Conference 2019.

Professor Murray Smith, Professor of Film, Dr Dieter Declercq, Assistant Lecturer in Film and Media, Dr Mark Windsor and Claire Anscomb, Assistant Lecturers in History of Art, and Aurélie Debaene, PhD candidate in History and Philosophy of Art, will present papers at the conference which will take place at St Anne’s College, Oxford, from Friday 6 September 2019 to Sunday 8 September 2019.

The aim of the British Society of Aesthetics is to promote study, research and discussion of the fine arts and related types of experience from a philosophical, psychological, sociological, historical, critical and educational standpoint. As well as holding an annual conference, the BSA’s activities include publication of The British Journal of Aesthetics, Debates in Aesthetics, a newsletter, regional conferences, lecture series, grants to support research in aesthetics, and an essay prize.

Professor Murray Smith will be giving a paper as part of a symposium entitled ‘Filming Time: Film, Philosophy, and the Cinema of Richard Linklater’. Murray’s paper, titled ‘Moving Pictures, Seriality and the Long Durée’, will look at Linklater’s exploration of extended duration – narratives encompassing and films shot over many years – in his Beyond trilogy and in Boyhood. In particular he will be exploring Linklater’s use of natural ageing – shooting performers as they visibly age – as a way registering the passing of time.

Dr Dieter Declercq will give a paper entitled ‘Satire and the Sick World. Coping, not Curing’. Dieter’s talk will reassess the idea of satire as therapy. He challenges the heroic conception of satire as a cure for the ills of the world and instead argues that satire is an aesthetic tool to cope with a sick world beyond full recovery.

Dr Mark Windsor will present a paper entitled ‘Hume’s Standard of Taste: Erasing the Circle’ Mark aims to defend David Hume against two charges that have been brought against his essay, ‘Of the Standard of Taste’. The first is one of circularity – that Hume defines good art in terms of good critics, and he defines good critics in terms of their ability to judge good art. The second is one of infinite regress – that good critics can only be identified as a matter of subjective sentiment.

Claire Anscomb will present a paper titled ‘Photography and the Contact Phenomenon’. Dispute surrounds the realist basis of Kendall Walton’s “transparency” claim, however the claim that viewers may experience a sense of contact with the object of a photograph, remains largely unchallenged. To account then, for this sense of contact, Claire examines the photographic medium and the beliefs of viewers, and proposes a hybrid explanation, based on realist and psychological factors, including the sub-doxastic state of alief.

And finally, Aurélie Debaene will present a paper titled ‘#IWokeUpLikeThis: Demystifying Photogenic Images’. Aurélie will open a discussion of the photogenic by exploring what we mean by ‘photogenic’, how photogenic images are achieved, and some of the implications of their mystification. Identifying a cross-pollination between make-believe and the real as the root of such mystification paves the way for a more informed aesthetic appreciation of these images and the processes behind them.

Registration for the conference is now open, and tickets can be booked here.

April McMahon

Preparations for TEF – staff talk on 19 July

Colleagues are invited to an update on Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes (TEF) Framework and Subject Level Pilots, by Professor April McMahon, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education. The update will take place on Friday 19 July from 13.30 to 14.30 in Grimond LT1 (Canterbury campus), and then repeated on Friday 13 September from 13.30 to 14.30 (venue tbc).

The presentation is part of our preparations for the next round on TEF. It will include a general update on the TEF framework and its development following the completion of the second year of testing pilot options for subject level assessment. The presentation will also outline what TEF is, how it works, and what it is for, and consider some of the challenges and benefits of including a subject level perspective.

April will discuss some of the work we are doing at the University of Kent to prepare for subject-level TEF, and how important it is for us to approach this as a university community, with academic, professional and student perspectives all contributing and everyone having a role to play.

We hope to see as many of you as possible on either 19 July or 13 September.