Monthly Archives: January 2020

Dr. Cecilia Sayad

Dr. Cecilia Sayad’s article in Esquire

Dr Cecilia Sayad, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Film, was interviewed for an article in Esquire magazine at the end of last month, on the horror film genre.

Esquire is a men’s lifestyle magazine, which is published in over 20 countries.

The article, entitled ‘The 2010s Were The Decade When Horror Got Smart’ by Thom Nicholson, explores the spate of cerebral horror films from the last ten years, including The Babadook (2014, dir. Jennifer Kent), The Witch (2016, dir. Rober Eggers), Get Out (2017, dir. Jordan Peele) and Midsommar (2019, dir. Ari Aster). Such films were presented as the work of ‘auteur’ directors, giving the them a respectability usually reserved for literary works.

‘We like to think about works of art as somebody talking to us or somebody telling us a story,’ explains Cecilia in the article, ‘I think it’s very appealing to think that there is like a human mind behind this, no matter how many other professionals help or contribute to that.’

To read the full article, please click onto the Esquire’s webpage

Three male members of the Trial of Cato band standing on a street

Lunchtime Concert: Award-winning folk group

What better way to kick off the new term than with a bit of music at lunchtime?!

The Music Department’s Lunchtime Concert series sees in the new term on Weds 22 January with the award-winning ‘Trials of Cato,’ a blend of guitar, mandolin, bouzouki and vocals that won Best Album in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2019.

Admission is free, suggested donation £3.

To find more details please visit the Music at Kent website 

Kostas Gravanis Phd Student

PhD student Kostas Gravanis wins research fellowship funding

Kostas Gravanis, who is undertaking a PhD in History and Philosophy of Art in the School of Arts, has won a Samuel H. Kress Research Fellowship in Renaissance Art History from the Renaissance Society of America.

Kostas’ PhD project is provisionally entitled ‘Sources, Functions and Meaning of Imagery in the Vatican’s Raphael Rooms’. His PhD supervisors are Professor Tom Henry and Dr Ben Thomas.

The funding will support research for the last chapter of his thesis, based upon the Sala di Costantino – one of the Raphael Rooms in the Vatican Palace.

To read more about the grants and awards from the Renaissance Society of America, please see their website 

walking netball 2020 Kent logo

Walking netball is back!

The University of Kent will be hosting a monthly walking netball session at the Canterbury Campus Sports Centre.

When: All sessions will take place on a Wednesday, from 10.00 – 11.00

The dates are:

Wed 22 January 2020

Wed 5 and 19 February 2020

Wed 4 and 18 March 2020

Wed 1 and 15 April 2020

Where: All sessions are indoors at: University of Kent Sports Centre, Canterbury Campus,

Who: The sessions are aimed at 55+. No experience is necessary. Please wear suitable clothing and footwear for indoor activity and don’t forget your water bottle!

How: A minimum of Kent Sport Community ‘Pay to Play’ Membership is required, with £4.50 per session (plus annual £5 membership fee. See website for all membership options.

Pay and display parking is available at the back of the Sports Centre (£2 parking fee can be refunded at reception).

No need to book, just come along. The sessions are an ideal opportunity to be active in a fun, enjoyable and social environment.

You can see what is involved by watching this Youtube video 

Please join us for some well-earned refreshments in the Sports Centre Café after the session.

For further information call 01227 816391 or email: sportsdevelopment@kent.ac.uk

Kent Student Awards

Kent Student Awards- nominations are open

Nominations are open for the Kent Student Awards which recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution students make to the Kent student experience.

There are 9 categories such as Outstanding Contribution to Student Voice, Outstanding Contribution to Media and the Arts and Outstanding Contribution to the Community.

Do you know an inspirational Kent student? Well why don’t you show your appreciation by nominating them for a Kent Student Award?

You can nominate a student or group of students – the deadline is officially 22nd March but if you submit a valid nomination by Valentine’s Day you will be entered into a prize draw to win a £50 Amazon voucher.

The Kent Student Awards 2020 garden party awards ceremony takes place on Friday 29th May 2020.

Winners will receive a trophy, a brick in the ‘Footsteps Path’ and recognition of the achievement on their Higher Education Achievement Report.

The awards launched in 2014 and since 2018 has been co-led by Kent Union and the University of Kent.

Taking photo of group of students

A few words from a past finalist

It may be cliché to say, but everyone should treasure their memories of University. While the workload may at times seem insurmountable and each essay title not too dissimilar to the next, there is always someone who can help.

Having moved beyond my undergraduate course at the University of Kent, I can say without a doubt it was the support that saw me through. Through the guiding hand of my seminar leaders, I met a seemingly innumerable number of deadlines with confidence. The range of experiences on my course broadened my horizons and have helped me to become a more focused individual.

When the threat of the occasional close deadline appeared, the Support and Wellbeing department saw me through. Their mentoring offered me a relaxed environment where I could talk through my issues.  When buses failed to appear yet again or there was another inter-club scandal, someone in the University would always be there to comfort me.

The experiences I have had and the friends I have made during my time at Kent have changed me for the better. University has helped build my confidence and I am excited for whatever comes next.

-Angus Nisbet, English and American Literature MA

Angus Nisbet in graduation gown and cap

Students sat chatting to each other

Making the most of your final year

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that final year is by far the most stressful and important year of your studies at Kent; a dissertation here, a 4000 word essay there, and pretty soon you can find yourself forced to cut back on the things you loved doing in your first few years. But do you have to? Spoilers, the answer is no.

The pressure to perform in your final year is no joke, but with some good time management you can 100% make time for the other activities you did in your earlier years. It might not be to the same extent as before but you’ll still have the opportunity to escape your studies and be a part of something, whether that be a Kent Union network, Student Rep, committee member, or if your timetable is looking especially lenient, all of the above.

You definitely don’t want to look back on your third year after you graduate wishing you’d made more of it; that you’d been a part of that sports team you’ve been looking at since first year, or joined that society committee you’re passionate about. Studies are important and your degree will set the tone for your future employment, but I would argue that the skills you learn as a rep or committee member or any other volunteering role at Kent will be just as important to a potential employer as a First Class degree.

-Ethan Basso, Undergraduate Sciences Faculty Rep

Ethan Basso

mental health spelt out with tile letters

Trial and Error: Little things that helped me with my mental health

Encouraging good mental health has always been something I have been passionate about, having suffered from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, anxiety and depression for the majority of my life. Coming to university, I found that my illnesses were exacerbated at first, as having to completely adjust to a new life can be stressful for anyone. Through a lot of trial and error, I have found ways to cope with my mental health and all the stress that comes with being mentally ill. Hopefully some of my experiences will help other people during their time at uni too.

I was privileged to have joined UKC Student Minds and be the President of the society for the past two years. Working alongside and forming friendships with other students who have had similar experiences to me was fantastic for not only normalising my experience but allowing me to develop a strong support system that has uplifted me throughout my time at Kent. As a society, we have pioneered important conversations around mental health, expanded our reach and created a safe space for mentally ill students in Kent to find support and assurance. Joining a society like ours is fantastic for creating these support systems for yourself, but any society where bonding and friendship is encouraged will be hugely beneficial to your mental health; humans are not solitary creatures, and we thrive with one another.

One of the most important things I had to learn on my mental health journey was the art of self-care. A lot of people think that it’s all bath bombs and face masks, and whilst I do love nothing better than wearing a sheet mask and watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians, there is a lot more to it than that. Self-care is doing the ‘boring’ things, like cleaning your room or brushing your teeth. It’s practising CBT techniques like Socratic thinking and thought journaling. It’s allowing yourself the opportunity to cry. Your feelings and emotions are valid and acknowledging them and allowing yourself to feel them is essential to nourishing your soul and furthering the healing process.

Seeking help is never something to be ashamed of or avoided. It is undeniable that access to mental health services is getting increasingly difficult, and the cost of these services can perturb people from utilising them. However, there are a lot of free services that you can access, especially during your time at uni. I have been very lucky to have accessed the therapy services at University during my time at Kent; I had an assessment with the Wellbeing Centre, who then organised twelve free sessions for me. In my second year I went through a charity called ThinkAction, who helped me address my OCD and the behaviours behind it. I made the decision to begin medication and consulted with my doctor about whether or not it was the right thing for me. I utilised online services like BigWhiteWall, where you can anonymously talk with your peers and develop an online support system.

Everyone’s mental health journey is different. We all cope in different ways, experience things in different ways. But as long as you form your support system, share your thoughts and feelings, and take the time to give yourself the love and care that you deserve, things will become more manageable. You’re never alone, I promise.

-Ellen Dean, English and American Literature and Creative Writing

Ellen Dean

Four people with arms around each other facing away

Support available for you at Kent

Picture this: you’re struggling with something academic and you need some help. Probably sounds familiar doesn’t it? So you go to your friends and ask them about it, but they can’t help. Now what? Luckily Kent has a huge range of support mechanisms for just this kind of issue, like your Student Rep. Every course has a Student Rep who gets elected every year by students, for students. If it’s an academic issue a lot of people are having they’ll take it to Student Voice Committees, where they are discussed with other Student Reps and key staff within your school to try and fix them, or send them higher up to more senior meetings if needed.

If it’s an issue that no one else seems to be having, or maybe one you don’t feel comfortable discussing with your friends, your Academic Adviser is available to help you. Every non-PGR student at Kent has an Academic Adviser who is there to provide guidance with academic matters you’re struggling with, as well as pointing you in the right direction to other services like Student Support & Wellbeing or Student Advice, to name a few.

-Ethan Basso, Undergraduate Sciences Faculty Rep

Ethan Basso