Talking Your Language: Postgraduate Showcase

Jen Wallace and Alice Guilluy discuss film in France

Jen Wallace and Alice Guilluy discuss film in France

Having three separate language departments – Spanish and Portuguese, French, and German – as well as Comparative Literature and Film departments, is clearly a testament to the strength of the study and teaching of languages and cultures at King’s. However, one downside of this is that the obvious links between the research we carry out, beyond geographical and linguistic borders, are lost. As the value of literature, art, music and film, of storytelling and sharing culture, is an integral part of ‘being human’, we thought that this year’s Arts and Humanities Festival would be a perfect place to begin breaking down these departmental divisions and to celebrate what we share.

Leticia Blanco, Rocio Rodtjer and Alexandra Nowosiad on Spanish literature

Leticia Blanco, Rocio Rodtjer and Alexandra Nowosiad on Spanish literature

Over three hours, 10 PhD students presented their research in a very informal way, explaining what it is that inspires them. The event revealed the enormous range of subjects studied at King’s, from medieval Spanish fan-fiction to the reception of Sweet Home Alabama among French audiences. It was a real privilege to experience the passion that each student brings to the study of their subject and the reasons behind it.

Unfortunately, however, our first attempt at bringing the departments together was mainly SPLAS dominated, with a few additions from French and Film. The round-table on how to create interdepartmental connections, led by Prof Catherine Boyle (SPLAS) and Prof Patrick Ffrench (French), was therefore particularly apt. All participants recognised the need to facilitate contact between those of us with shared interests, and we hope that this will soon result in both more events and exciting collaborative research.

Arts@Work: Converting Degrees into Careers

A challenge that besets many idealistic arts and humanities graduates is how to translate their degrees into real working careers. How does a talent for creative writing blossom into becoming a playwright, or a passion for reading into organising a literary festival? To help address these quandaries, King’s College London’s English Department, the Film Studies Department with the help of the Careers and Employability Service and a special grant from the College Teaching Fund, offered a two day careers workshop entitled Arts@Work, running from 28th-29th June 2012. Its aim was to use interviews, talks and workshops to give students the chance to quiz a range of arts professionals on how to use their degrees in future careers. Continue reading

Manufactured Landscapes

Acclaimed by Al Gore as ‘beautiful, insightful and thought-provoking’, Jennifer Baichwal’s award-winning documentary Manufactured Landscapes centres on renowned artist Edward Burtynsky, whose large-scale photographs portray the devastating impact of industrial expansion on the environment. Baichwal observes the artist at work amid some of the most surreal landscapes of the 21st century: China’s mountains of computer waste; the Yangtze River where whole towns are disappearing in the flooding caused by the Three Gorges Dam; the shipbreaking yards of Bangladesh; Shanghai, with its increasingly crowded skyline and millions of new inhabitants. Eschewing polemics, Burtynsky aims simply to bring these landscapes into our consciousness, to provoke reflection on some highly inconvenient truths.

Manufactured Landscapes will be screened in the Anatomy Theatre at the College’s Strand Campus on the 24th October at 18.30pm, presented by the British Film Institute.