Author Archives: Sophia Cheraitia

Short courses at Tonbridge Centre

Tonbridge Centre Spring short courses

The Tonbridge Centre’s popular programme of short courses is well underway for this term. The courses are designed to be studied for personal interest or self-development, among like-minded people from all walks of life and without formal assessment.

Courses for the Spring term continue in topics as diverse as French Painting and Culture: Realism to Impressionism; Travellers in the Greek and Roman Worlds; The Music of Spain; Modern Canadian Literature; Van Dyck and the Court of Charles l; Writing for self-care​. Additionally, a free short talk presenting the survey findings from Kent research ‘Prejudice in the Age of Brexit’ is also available at the Tonbridge Centre.

See full details of the whole programme online.  A staff discount is available on some courses: please contact the Tonbridge Centre by email or by calling extension 4990 for further information.

Walking simulations signal a new literary genre

Heidi Colthup, lecturer for the Department of English Language & Linguistics, has published an article exploring the narrative conventions of walking simulators – a new video game genre where there are no winners, and no one is shot at or killed.

Walking Simulators have become increasingly popular in the last few years. They are ‘games’ that do not require participants to have gaming skills; instead they simply walk around a landscape and interact with items they find, resembling a cross between playing a game and reading a book with different potential outcomes. Popular titles include Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Firewatch, What Remains of Edith Finch, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and Dear Esther.

Video games like Dear Esther encourage players to actively identify themselves as the main story protagonist, and it is the use of second person address (‘you’) that drives this identification. In Dear Esther, the player is a man whose wife recently died who walks around a Hebridean island reflecting on the past, with flashbacks, that gradually reveal the true intention of his journey.

To understand how these games are changing the genre of gaming and creating a new form of storytelling that places the player at the heart of the action, Heidi investigated the use of the word ‘you’ within Dear Esther, and how this affects a player’s response to the story.

Heidi found that the use of the word ‘you’ within the narrative contributes to the instability of the story so it is more difficult to work it out because we’re used to observing characters in books, but video games make us the character, and Dear Esther‘s complex narrative makes us both observer and player. It therefore engages the player more than a traditional video game, and as such is more like reading a literary novel – making a new literary genre.

She said that while there had been recent hype over the ability for viewers to choose their own story, such as in in Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch episode, this type of cross-format art form has been growing in popularity within the gaming world.

She said: ‘Walking simulators have great stories that are akin to reading a book, matched with fantastic graphics and music like video games, making it a fantastic way to tell a story and in essence creating a new art form. Examining how the games are devised to bring ‘you’ in explains why the experience is more intense than reading a book and stays with the player for longer afterwards.’

‘You Were all the World Like a Beach to me’. The Use of Second Person Address to Create Multiple Storyworlds in Literary Video Games: ‘Dear Esther’, a Case Study by Heidi Colthup, appears in the International Journal of Transmedia Literacy.

Alumnus Neil Griffiths hosts Student Success lecture

As part of the Student Success Project’s Inspirational Speaker series, director of the charity Arts Emergency, activist and University of Kent alumnus Neil Griffiths held a talk last Wednesday entitled ‘Why the cultural and creative industries are the worst for social mobility (and what can we do about it?)’.

This talk was based on the representation in art and media and how generally ‘the unrepresented go unseen, and the over represented assume their experiences are universal… We feel it’s urgent that people with different voices, different opinions and different experiences tell our stories as much as the small segment of society that currently do.’

Dr Laura Bailey, Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics and SECL Student Success Lecturer, said of the talk: ‘This week’s speaker was fascinating and what he said was quite shocking. The extent and the implications were really alarming, and based in a lot of thorough research. And following it, students had a really productive ‘practice networking’ session.’

The talk itself can be found on Moodle.

The next Student Success Project talk in the series, featuring Professor Meena Dhanda will be speaking on ‘Circumventing emergent vulnerabilities: the necessity of internal critique‘ will be taking place on Wednesday 6 March at 16.00.

Specific Learning Differences – what are they and how can they be identified

Colleagues are invited to attend the Learning & Teaching Network session on Wednesday 6 March, from 13.15-14.30 in the UELT Seminar Room, Canterbury.

‘Specific Learning Differences- what are they and how can they be identified’ will be presented Veronica Millum, Specific Learning Difficulties Team Manager, Student Support and Wellbeing.

If you have ever wondered what the difference is between a student with an assessment for dyslexia and a student with an assessment for dyspraxia, this is for you.

The presentation will look at how we determine if a student needs to be referred for an assessment, what the assessor considers when identifying a SpLD; the differences between the main SpLD’s and how different aspects of learning difference result in the various identifiers. It will also consider how these difficulties impact on the individual student’s experience in lectures and seminars.

It will also consider some of the strategies that can be integrated into teaching to make it more inclusive for all students.

To confirm your attendance please complete the online booking form.

CSHE Seminar Series

CSHE Seminar – Diversifying curriculum: key perspectives, questions, and methods to get started

Colleagues are invited to attend the CSHE Seminar taking place on Thursday 7 March 2019, from 16.00-17.00.  The speaker, Michelle Grue from Girvetz Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will be live streamed to the UELT Seminar Room in Canterbury and M1-16 in Medway.

The call for diversifying academic curriculum has been sounding on both sides of the Atlantic and scholars are heeding it. Yet, the reality remains that the majority of faculty members in both the United States and United Kingdom are white and trained in traditional, Western academic canons. For academics who want to diversify the curriculum, determining how to actually do so can be challenging. Michelle Grue will explain the perspectives, questions, and methods that framed a collaborative research project on which she and her colleagues examined the degree requirements and course offerings in the top-50 Ph.D. granting sociology departments in the US.  She will also briefly summarise and discuss the findings. With these frameworks and methods in hand, attendees should be equipped to begin a similar examination of their own program’s course offerings and canon.

To confirm your attendance please complete the online booking form.

EasterZone 2019

Kent Sport has the perfect way to keep your children entertained this Easter holiday, with five days of professional sports coaching, led by qualified and DBS checked coaches and supported by sports supervisors.

If your children 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 EasterZone 2019! An introduction to new sports and activities will be on offer along with the opportunity for children to develop their skills in specific sports and make new friends in a fun environment.

EasterZone 2019 runs from Monday 8 to Friday 12 April. Prices are £30 per day / £110 for one week per child. University of Kent staff and student discounts are available. Late pick-ups from 3pm to 5pm are also available for an extra £10 per day per child.

Closing date for applications will be Friday 22 March 2019 and we will be unable to accept bookings after this date. Find out more about EasterZone and book your places online.

Please contact if you have any queries or call 01227 816391.

Word Birds – luminaries from the world of music journalism and authorship

Immerse yourself in Word Birds, featuring a selection of luminaries from the world of music journalism and authorship. Line-up includes Punk Girl Diaries, acclaimed biographer Zoë Howe, Guardian Staff feature writer and music columnist Laura Barton, author Lucy O’Brien and author of The Guardian’s Best Music Book of the Year for her recently published memoir ‘First Time Ever’, Peggy Seeger.

Marking International Women’s Day weekend, Song Bird / Word Bird is a mini festival at Gulbenkian on Sat 9 March and designed to celebrate women in music, whether you want to explore what makes a female icon or enjoy cutting edge sounds from the musical fringes. You can book a ticket to either element, or buy a ticket that gets you into everything! Song Bird / Word Bird is a Glass Ceiling Production.

Part of #InternationalWomensDay Festival at Gulbenkian. Find out more online.

3D Pedagogy Workshop – 27 February

Dr Deborah Gabriel, Founder/Director of Black British Academics, will be the speaker at the 3D Pedagogy Workshop on Wednesday 27 February.

The workshop takes place from 14.00 to 15.30 at the Rochester Boardroom (R2-0), Medway campus.

The event forms part of the Student Success Strategy within the School of Sport and Exercise Science and supports the current curriculum review within the school.

Book early to avoid disappointment; limited spaces available. You can register for the above event via Eventbrite.

We look forward to seeing you at this exciting event.

Copyright: The Card Game – 28 February

Chris Morrison would like to invite you to a session of Copyright the Card Game which will be held on Thursday 28 February (10.00 – 12.30) in Room A108 (Templeman Library).

Aligned with the themes Personal development and Policy and legislation, the Learning outcomes will be:

  • Understand how copyright really works in HE
  • Encounter existing licences and the new legislative framework
  • Practice using the exceptions and licences in specific HE examples
  • Discuss the role of risk management in making decisions

Further details are on the Kent Copyright Literacy blog. If you’re interested in attending please contact

We look forward to seeing you there!

MSc Computer Science conversion course

Graduating this year and not sure what to do next?

Want to improve your skills through further study?

Have an interest in technology?

Come along to the Postgraduate Open Event to find out more about the MSc Computer Science conversion course. Open to students from any degree.

Visit the School of Computing stand at the Postgraduate Open Event on Tuesday 5 March, 17.00-19.00, Darwin Conference Suite

Further details can be found online.