Author Archives: Angie Valinoti

Cecil 2020

Watch CeCIL’s Annual Lecture: ‘Have you seen dignity?’

Kent’s Centre for Critical International Law (CeCIL) has released a recording of this year’s Annual Lecture in which Professor Susan Marks, from the London School of Economics, offers a critical exploration of dignity and its worldliness.

Professor Marks filmed her talk ‘Have you seen dignity?’ at Kent earlier this month (without an audience) after restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic meant the event could not proceed as originally planned.

Speaking also on behalf of Dr Sara Kendall who co-directs CeCIL with him, Dr Luis Eslava said:: ‘Having it recorded for online circulation was our way to express our solidarity with our friends and colleagues across the world who are facing, like communities in general, many challenges posed by the current crisis and who are searching for new ways to make sense of it.’

Professor Marks’s talk (the title of which is inspired by lyrics from the Bob Dylan song “Dignity”) begins by tracking the word dignity as it pops up in everyday life. She goes on to consider dignity within the context of academic writing across the disciplines of philosophy, legal scholarship, health and social care, sociology, and anthropology. Finally, she discusses the politics of dignity, indignity and indignation.

Professor Marks’s research is concerned with international law, human rights and the global political economic order. She is the author of The Riddle of All Constitutions, International Human Rights Lexicon (co-authored with Andrew Chapman) and A False Tree of Liberty. She is the editor of International Law on the Left. Her research seeks to bring insights from critical social theory to the study of international law and human rights.

CeCIL is an innovative research centre at Kent Law School which aims to foster critical approaches to the field of international law.  

half-marathon runners

Over £3,500 raised for charities by local runners.

Two members of Kent Hospitality staff helped raise the money as part of a six person team that met through a local Beginners to Runners club.

The six friends from Faversham were each supposed to be running in the London Landmarks Half Marathon for charity last weekend on 29 March. However, when the event was cancelled over two weeks ago due to Coronavirus the group took action.

Determined to still run their first ever half marathon for their charities, they instead decided to run a week early on Saturday 21 March by creating a Local Landmarks Half Marathon while maintaining the social distancing measures that were in place at the time to ensure everyone’s safety.

Donning their event themed leggings all six women, including Vanessa Corker and Lyn Scarfe from Kent Hospitality, successfully completed their 13.1 mile route around the lanes outside Faversham in two and a half hours. Between them they collectively raised over £3,500 for their chosen charities including Tommy’s, Age UK, Breast Cancer Now, Demelza Children’s Hospice and MacMillan Cancer Care.

When the half-marathon is officially reorganised all six have confirmed they will do it all over again on the official London Landmarks Half Marathon Route to raise even more money for their charities.

Philosophy student in Business Start-Up Journey success

Philosophy and Politics student Alan Gurung has won £1000 in the Business Start-Up Journey pitching finals.

The School of European Culture and Languages would like to congratulate final year student Alan Gurung who has won £1000 with a business proposal for bringing empty high street shops back into use.

A virtual pitching final saw four student start-ups share the prize money in this year’s Business Start-Up Journey. Measures to combat the current Covid-19 pandemic meant the programme’s usual Dragons Den format had to switch to a virtual contest, with students pre-recording their pitches for submission to the judges. The businesses were scored in categories including sustainability, scaleability, innovation and financial viability.

When asked how his philosophy degree helps him with his entrepreneurial activities, Alan said: “In Philosophy, I am constantly contested on my critical analysis skills forcing me to be meticulous in my reasoning for debates, disputes and essays. Therefore, when articulating my entrepreneurial ideas, through force of habit from my degree, I format the ideas in a logical pattern so that I show that I have understood the market, I have validated a need/problem, and I have come up with a solution that I can argue is needed within that market.”

“Alan’s project to convert unused commercial property for multi-purpose hubs is an excellent example of how philosophical thinking can be critical, innovative, and practical,” said Dr Todd Mei, Head of the Department of Philosophy, “It is no easy feat to grasp the reasons why commercial property remains empty in many places and how productive use of such spaces can move beyond motives of money-making, towards practices that are ethically accountable and economically beneficial. A great project for contributory justice!”

Kent logo

Postal Services Update

Our Postal Services team is currently operating a reduced service ​and is not undertaking scheduled deliveries and collections around Campus. Anyone who needs to collect incoming ​mail or deliver ​outgoing mail ​for posting can arrange this by telephoning ​the Estates Post Room on 01227 823210.  The opening times are between 8am and midday, Monday to Friday (except bank holidays).

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.  Please contact Estates Customer Services if you have any Estates-related enquiries on 01227 816666 or by email. Alternatively you can find useful information on the Estates website.


University of Kent Virtual Music Project goes live

We’re delighted to say the University of Kent Virtual Music Project is now live!

As from today, we’re encouraging student, staff and alumni musicians at the University to get involved in a virtual collaborative music project, which launches today with the first movement of Vivaldi’s enduringly-popular Gloria – and we want YOU to take part!

You can now access a recording of the accompaniment in two versions – one piano, one harpsichord – and we’re inviting you to record your individual part, using resources on the following links, and send it in.

Rehearsal accompaniments

 Choral scores

 Instrumental parts

 Trumpet in Bb parts

In the same folder as the recordings of the accompaniment, there’s also a short guidance sheet on how to make your recording, and also how to submit it:

We will begin to build a virtual performance by combining all the recordings submitted, and are asking you to send in a selfie too, so we can create a visual record of everyone involved in the process.

The deadline for submitting your recording of the first movement is Friday 10 April, and we will then move on to the next stage of the project.

Please share your experience of being involved in the venture, and of making your recording, on social media using the hashtag #unikentVMP, so we can see how everyone is getting along and share your posts!

 So, what are you waiting for ?! Download or stream the accompaniment, grab some earphones or headphones, make your recording and send it in! We look forward to hearing the results and putting them together.

Find out more about the Virtual Music Project on its Facebook Page.

(Please note we are accepting recordings from University of Kent students, staff, alumni and current  external members of Music department ensembles only)

Laura Bailey

Laura Bailey appears on new BBC panel show ‘Lost in Translation’

Dr Laura Bailey, Lecturer in the Department of English Language and Linguistics, will appear on new BBC Radio 2 comedy panel show ‘Lost in Translation’. The pilot is being broadcast on Saturday 28 March at 21.30, where she will provide insights into how language can not only bring us together, but also create national outcry; and that though some words may be a term of endearment in some cultures, they can be a damning insult in others. From untranslatable words to seemingly nonsensical idioms to some of the greatest insults ever created, this show will peel back the layers to reveal the secret quirks of communication.

This is a brand-new comedy panel show is hosted by Tom Allen (The Apprentice – You’re Fired) and his celebrity guests James May (Top Gear), Stacey Solomon (Loose Women), Daliso Chaponda (QI), Russell Kane (Live at the Apollo) Sophie Duker and Rhys James (Mock the Week).

book launch

Kent Law School to host book launch and reception

Kent Law School is hosting a book launch and reception on Monday 23 March for two books: The Slave Trade, Abolition and the Long History of International Criminal Law and The Exclusionary Politics of Digital Financial Inclusion.

The Slave Trade, Abolition and the Long History of International Criminal Law, by Kent international law specialist Dr Emily Haslam offers a close and critical examination of litigation that arose from British efforts to capture slave ships in the nineteenth century. Drawing upon archival-based research, it explores the legal construction of so-called ‘recaptives’ (slaves found on board captured slave ships). The book argues that, notwithstanding its promise of freedom, the law actually constructed recaptives restrictively. Speakers for this book will be: Professor Michael Lobban (LSE) and Dr Christine Schwobel-Patel (University of Warwick).

The Exclusionary Politics of Digital Financial Inclusion, by Dr Serena Natile (Brunel University London), examines and critiques the narratives and institutions of digital financial inclusion as a development strategy for gender equality, arguing for a politics of redistribution to guide future digital financial inclusion projects. Speakers for this book will be: Dr Luis Eslava (Kent Law School) and Professor Kate Maclean (Birkbeck).

The book launch will be held from 4pm – 6.30pm in Eliot Senior Common Room. It is jointly hosted with the Law School by the Centre for Sexuality, Race and Gender Justice (SeRGJ), the Centre for Critical International Law (CeCIL) and the research group Social Critiques of Law (SoCRIL).

Nostalgia podcast

Nostalgia podcast with Heidi Colthup

Heidi Colthup, Deputy Head of English Language and Linguistics in the School of European Culture and Languages, was the first female opinion columnist for ‘Farmers Weekly’ magazine.

In this gripping interview, the latest in the Nostalgia podcast series, Heidi talks to Dr Chris Deacy about working as a freelance journalist; training as a primary school teacher; combining driving tractors with fine art; why through reading one gets to lead a thousand lives; trashy novels and Fifty Shades of Grey; her Scottish ancestry; the time when the only copy of her grandfather’s memoirs were cremated with him; why we write diaries and who we write them for; video games; being a huge Stephen King fan; teaching in the Department of English Language and Linguistics at the University of Kent; aspiring to be Prime Minister; wanting to make a difference; and why Heidi doesn’t believe in either looking back or looking forward.

GOLD Conference

Global Leadership Development

Students participating in the Global Officers Leadership Development (GOLD) Programme attended their annual conference on Wednesday 4th March. The conference focused on the theme of ‘Leadership in a Global Context’, hosted by Dr Anthony Manning, Dean for Internationalisation and included external speakers, Dr Carl Wright, exploring ‘Why leadership is essential for achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs)’ and Yinbo Yu, the former NUS International Students’ Officer, now working at UKCISA, on ‘Leading the student voice in International HE’.

During the day, the students were able to consider the impact of the SDGs on both the local and global scale. They reflected on their own actions and what contributions they could make. One of our Global Officers, Tinu Okotore, who is also a SDG Ambassador for the University of Kent, presented on the work she does in this role and what work we could do at the university level on meeting some of these Goals.

Finally, students were tasked with an exercise of considering what they would do if they were Vice Chancellor for the day on improving the international student experience.

The GOLD programme, launched in 2017, is a co-curricular venture that provides a framework of activities for globally-minded undergraduate students at Kent to develop their leadership skills, Global Citizenship and cultural awareness.

From September 2020, students have the opportunity to join the programme either as extra-curricular or as a wild module, GOLD500. Search and sign up via OMR.

For more information about the programme, please visit Kent Global’s website or contact International Partnerships.


Lisa Bayly

Alumna Lisa Bayly, helps dental charity in India

Lisa Bayly, our MSc Applied Dental Professional Practice graduate signed up to the Smile Star Charity trip to India in February. The Smile Star charity helps those that have no or very limited access to dental and medical care.

Lisa told us: “Badiani hospital in Khambalia was our first venue. The Smile Star team was made up of volunteers: dentists, a doctor and the support team. We took our own equipment with us, so we had everything we needed to set up our clinical area in the main hall using waiting room chairs and a long table to lay out our dental equipment. That day, we saw over 180 patients.

Our second venue was in the Bhatia village hall. We were inundated with patients, some who had been in pain for days or weeks due to a lack of access to local or free dental care.

Day three, however, was our most humbling experience. We set up in Karamyog school in Jam Kalyanpur and were the first Western organisation to visit this place. The welcome we received was remarkable. Hundreds of people lined up with the Dholi drummers and dancers to welcome us. Truly humbled by the hospitality, we got to work for our busiest day yet. During three days we saw just under 1000 patients for dental or medical care, each one grateful for the care we gave and each filling our hearts for the Indian people a little more.

I would recommend others thinking about something like this to sign up for the Smile Star charity as it’s such a rewarding and humbling thing to be able to do.”

The Centre for Professional Practice offers flexible, part-time, work-related programmes and CPD courses for working professionals. To find out more visit Professional Practice.