Category Archives: Campus online

Kent Hospitality Housekeeping staff with BACHE awards

Continued success for Kent Hospitality Housekeeping at the BACHE Awards

Once again, congratulations to the Kent Hospitality Housekeeping department for winning two awards at the British Association of Cleaning in Higher Education (BACHE) Awards on the 8 and 9 July at Keele University.

Continuing their winning streak, the team were awarded the ‘Best Practice Award 2019’ at this year’s ceremony. The award recognised new housekeeping initiatives that helped maximise staff skills. This included producing their own best practice training videos, which have been utilised across the department.

Making the event a double win, Ratna Rai won the ‘Cleaning Operative of the Year Award 2019’. Ratna, who works as a Domestic Assistant in Park Wood, was recognised for her consistently high standards of cleaning and for improving the student experience by building positive relationships with Kent students.

Gary Sayles, Executive Housekeeping Manager, Kent Hospitality said: “we are absolutely thrilled at our success at the BACHE Awards. To be recognised again by a national association for our team’s consistent hard work is fantastic, and special congratulations are also due to Ratna on winning the Cleaning Operative award. As a team we are proud to deliver a consistently high standard of service here at the University of Kent.”

The awards recognise the importance of professional cleaning activities in higher education institutions. BACHE aims to standardise training for cleaning staff, improve cleaning standards, and professionalise the delivery of cleaning and associated services on campus.

German Life and Letters

PhD student publishes in ‘German Life and Letters’ journal

Stephanie Obermeier, PhD student in German and Comparative Literature, currently in her writing up year and based at the German Literary Archive in Marbach, has published an article in the prestigious journal German Life and Letters.

The article emerged out of research on Felicitas Hoppe, whose 2012 novel Hoppe forms the basis for one of the case studies in Stephanie’s thesis. Her most recent publication, Prawda: Eine amerikanische Reise, deals with similar issues in terms of authorial posturing, playing with genre and canonical texts, and blurring boundaries between fact and fiction.

Dr Heide Kunzlemann, one of Stephanie’s supervisors, commented: ‘We would like to warmly congratulate Stephanie on the fantastic achievement of placing her first major article in such a prestigious journal as German Life and Letters. The academic community’s interest in the topic bodes very well for the success of her thesis which is about to be completed.’

Find out more about postgraduate programmes in Modern Languages and Comparative Literature.

Dr Alvise Sforza

Alvise Sforza Tarabochia publishes on ‘The years of alienation in Italy’

Dr Alvise Sforza Tarabochia, Head of the Department of Modern Languages and lecturer in Italian, has published ‘The Years of Alienation in Italy’ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).

The Years of Alienation in Italy project first took shape in 2014, when the editors began to discuss the possibility of organising a conference on the cultural representations of the notion of alienation in Italy.

The goal was to tackle the notion of alienation in spatial terms, by examining the way in which literary and cinematic depictions of the factory and the asylum frequently blurred the dividing line between industrial alienation and clinical madness; and to investigate the specificities of an Italian approach to alienation by interpreting the ubiquitous presence of the term in social and cultural discourses, in the light of the country’s troubled history in the 1960s and 1970s.

The project took a more concrete form in 2015 when a two-day workshop was co-hosted by the University of Kent (15 May 2015) and the University of Cambridge (22 May 2015). The workshop was financed by the Kent Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (KIASH), the Italian department of the University of Cambridge and the journal Italianist.

The Years of Alienation in Italy is inspired by this exchange and discussion, the focus of which it maintains and expandsThe Years of Alienation in Italy offers an interdisciplinary overview of the socio-political, psychological, philosophical, and cultural meanings that the notion of alienation took on in Italy between the 1960s and the 1970s. It addresses alienation as a social condition of estrangement caused by the capitalist system, a pathological state of the mind and an ontological condition of subjectivity.

Sarah Cooke Story

Condition Surveys – Advance Notification

Between July and October this year the Estates Department will be conducting a mandatory five year condition survey of its building and engineering infrastructure, on its Canterbury and Medway campuses.  The purpose of these surveys is to collect invaluable data, that will enable us to plan and prioritise our investments for the next five years.

We will require access  to the majority of areas during this period, however the surveys are non-intrusive and we do not anticipate any disruption whilst we undertake these inspections, and operational impact should be minimal.  Once a specific programme  has been agreed with the surveyors we will be in  contact with you nearer the time,  to arrange and coordinate access to your specific areas.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation whilst we carry out these essential surveys.

If you have any queries regarding this work please do not hesitate to contact Estates Customer Services via email at estatescustomerservices@kent.ac.uk .

SDGs by Estates Department

Kent makes huge gains in the league table of the most sustainable Universities

The 2019 People and Planet University League published on Tuesday, saw the University of Kent establish itself in the top 40 of sustainable HE institutions, up a whopping 61 places from 101st last year.

The table compiled by student-led network People and Planet scores Universities out of 100 on criteria such as environmental audits and management systems, carbon management, sustainable food, student and staff engagement, and sustainability in teaching.

Building upon the Vice-Chancellor’s commitment to embedding sustainability across the organisation, staff and students have been working with the Sustainability Team on a huge range of projects and initiatives representing action against one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Much of the improvement in the league table over the last year can be attributed to initiatives across 3 key areas:

Sustainable Food – The Sustainable Food Steering group developed and published the University’s first Sustainable Food Strategy in 2018. The strategy is a road map for increasing the sustainability of our food offering from field to fork and beyond, and was co-written by Kent Hospitality, Kent Sport, The Gulbenkian and the Estates Department, along with student and staff representatives.

Education for Sustainable Development – Work to promote the importance of embedding sustainability across the curriculum has been ongoing throughout the year. In March 2019, the Teaching Sustainability: Sustainable Teaching event, bought students and staff together to find out how this is approached at other Universities and to discuss how this could best be achieved at Kent. Next year the University will be running the NUS Responsible Futures programme which is a whole-institution approach to embedding social responsibility and sustainable across the formal and informal curriculum.

Student and Staff Engagement – 2018/19 has seen the first full year of the innovative FutureProof programme, which helps staff and students to deliver a University of the future by challenging departments and individuals to review their impacts against the Sustainable Development Goals. Futureproof represents an innovative approach to engagement at Kent as students and staff, especially within academic schools, are encouraged to work together to identify areas to focus efforts and plan projects and initiatives.

For more information about Sustainability at Kent, download our annual report and for details of how to get involved please visit the Sustainability Webpages or contact Catherine or Emily at sustainability@kent.ac.uk.

two women smiling at each other in the shop, one holding a sandwich

Early SU shop closure for stock take- 21 July

The Student Union shop on the Plaza will close at 14.00 Sunday 21 July for stock take.

The Park Wood shop will still be closed for refurbishment at this time, so this means that there will be no stores open from 14.00 21 July – 7.00 22nd July when the SU shop on the Plaza will be open again.

We apologise for any inconvenience.

Krysia Waldock

PhD Student from Tizard Centre on BBC local radio stations

Krysia Waldock is a PhD student in the Tizard Centre, researching autism and religious/humanist groups.

She represented Kent in the BBC Radio 2’s Faith in the World Week. As part of this, she spoke to seven BBC local radio stations on the 7 July 2019 (Cornwall, Jersey/Guernsey, Tees, Stoke, Bristol and Sheffield).

Krysia spoke about the research that she has carried out as part of her Masters in the Tizard Centre under the supervision of Professor Rachel Forrester-Jones. Please see the link to one of the interviews here.  It starts at 1:39 in for about 8 minutes.

Kopia fot.Z.Warzynski5

Call for proposals: ‘Words In, Of and For Performer Training’

Paul Allain, Professor of Theatre and Performance and Dean of the Graduate School, Stacie Lee Bennett-Worth, PhD candidate at De Monfort University and Honorary Research Associate at Kent, Alicja Bral, PhD candidate at Kent, and Dr Roanna Mitchell, Lecturer in Drama and Theatre are organising a practice-based symposium titled ‘Words In, Of and For Performer Training’. This is with the support of Professor Esa Kirkkopelto (University of the Arts, Helsinki) and Professor Cecilia Lagerström (Academy of Music and Drama, University of Gothenburg). The symposium is the 7th edition of the International Platform for Performer Training (IPPT), and will be hosted by the School of Arts, University of Kent from Thursday 9 to Sunday 12 January 2020.

The event call out reads as follows:

In the Bible, words came first. In performance practice, words probably followed movement, dance, art and sounds. Who knows….? Exploring what comes next, this seventh edition of the IPPT will investigate how words function in, of and for Performer Training across three broad areas:

  1. how the denotative or nonsemantic properties of words in performance are explored through training, and how movement, voice and text can be combined to achieve an integrated mise-en-scène (or not).
  2. how trainers use words in training practice, in order to exhort, encourage, clarify or instruct as well as what they do and don’t say, to whom and when;
  3. how words that are written about training, be it our own practices today or that of others past or present, might document or act as inspiration for practice.

The United Kingdom is well known for its excellent vocal and textual training and the quality of its playwrighting. Our ‘text-based’ theatre, however awkward such a categorisation, arguably is the envy of the world. What is much less developed are understandings and examples of how to integrate voice and text with movement, music and other performance practices, across all forms, from circus through dance to Live Art. In some ways, Physical Theatre evolved in the 1980s as an antidote to such textual supremacy and it is still widely celebrated in the UK. But how often do we admire performers’ physical ability whilst perhaps lamenting the dramaturgy, the vocal delivery or the way these things combine?

We still need to develop more productive ways and deeper insights into how words might support, challenge, reinforce or otherwise work against other aspects of a performance. What role can words play in the total mise-en-scène, how might they be spoken or sung, and how, through training, can they earn their place? How can we move on from any hierarchical or segregated positioning of words in, of and for performer training, giving them their full force and value? More pragmatically, in a country that has such strong traditions of performer training and its study across companies, conservatoires and universities as well as the pioneering development of practice as research, we will look also at how words operate in and after training, as a vital part of the process but also in terms of legacy and forward momentum and energy.

The event will combine workshops, presentations, talks (which might use words, silence, discussions, conversations and perhaps non-semantic sounds) in order to discover how words operate as functions in, of and for performer training.

The platform will work closely with the Theatre Dance and Performance Training journal blog to document and disseminate the event – through words and other means.

The organisers welcome proposals for workshops, demonstrations or presentations in a range of formats but will prioritise those involving or foregrounding practice. The time frame will be either 40 or 60 minutes including discussion. Proposals should consist of:

• Name and any affiliation plus short biographical note (150 words max)
• Abstract and information on ideal mode of presentation (500 words max)
• Technical requirements (AV, type and size of space, special props, etc.)

Proposals will be selected for their fit to the platform’s aims, as well as the clarity and feasibility of the proposed investigation. The deadline for proposals is Saturday 21 September 2019, by 5pm. Applicants will be notified of a decision by the end of October at the latest. Please email submissions to: IPPT@kent.ac.uk

There are no costs for participation or attendance and attendees are expected to cover their own travel and accommodation. The welcome dinner and coffees/teas etc will be provided by Kent gratis. Participants are expected to attend all the platform. Please note that places are limited.

Kaitlyn Regehr

Kaitlyn Regehr features in BBC3 documentary on incels

Dr Kaitlyn Regehr, Lecturer in the Department of Media Studies, has featured in a BBC3 documentary entitled ‘Inside the Secret World of Incels’, which debuted on Saturday 14 July 2019.

The documentary explores the online subculture of ‘incels’ (the word being a portmanteau of ‘involuntary celibate’) who promote hatred, misogyny and racism, and have been linked to hate crimes and mass murders. To produce the documentary, director Simon Rawles gained unprecedented access to incel community members. The resulting documentary explores the how online ideology can push people into extreme behaviour and considers the reasons why this may occur, including mental health issues and trauma.

‘The police should be looking at this in the same way they look at religious extremism online’, explains Kaitlyn in the documentary. ‘I’ve been researching online misogyny for the past five years… I’ve really been looking at the potential for violence to spill off screens and on to streets.’

The documentary features a seminar delivered by Kaitlyn, where Kent Media Studies students discuss the impact of online hate speech.

The documentary contains strong language and some disturbing scenes. It is currently available on the BBC’s iPlayer here.

Watch the trailer here:

Cecilia Sayad

Cecilia Sayad interviewed by BBC Bitesize

Dr Cecilia Sayad, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Film, has just been interviewed for the BBC Bitesize site regarding her expertise on the horror genre.

Bitesize is the BBC’s online support service for students studying GCSE level and equivalents.

The article explores how the film Midsommar (2019) fits into the wider history of horror films, what makes them scary, and how the genre has changed.

‘Having taught horror for many years, I see students have very different reactions to some classics: some find The Exorcist, for example, still very scary. The same applies to Rosemary’s Baby, which for some is still a disturbing horror film.’ However, reactions to certain films have changed, even if the story remains relevant: ‘it would be hard to find someone being too freaked out by James Whale’s Frankenstein, from 1931, but this has more to do with the film’s pace than its theme – which has never been more relevant, now that AI is a much bigger part of our lives.’

To read the article, please see the page here.