MLAC events, Northern Bridge, Research Groups, Workshop

Weekly events bulletin

Wednesday 1st June


School of Education Research Seminar Series 2015/16 – Working in ‘Ghost Labs’: Developing a collaborative process/event space of politicised intergenerational community re-imagination, 13:00-14:00, ED134, School of Education

Growing out of Geoff Bright’s ethnographic/activist work in now deindustrialised UK coal mining communities, this seminar considers practical and theoretical aspects of a recent UK AHRC Connected Communities project (“Working with social haunting”) and a follow on project that has emerged from it (“Opening the ‘unclosed space’ – Multiplying ‘Ghost Labs’ as intergenerational utopian practice”). Operating through multi-site, mobile event spaces called “Ghost Labs”, both of these projects deploy the framework of a ‘social haunting’ (Gordon, 1997) to bring an innovative frame to affective aspects of communal being-ness. Often manifest only through “barely visible or highly symbolized” means, asocial haunting “…registers the harm inflicted or the loss sustained by a social violence done in the past” and produces a present imperative that “something different, different from before, needs to be done” (all Gordon, 1997). As a response to that imperative, the Ghost Labs are designed to engineer a productive collision of arts/knowledge/activist approaches as a means of opening up how contested pasts, such as the 1984-85 UK miners’ strike, remain present within communities as invisiblised but still generative assemblages of material, cultural and psycho-social materialities. Reviewing how comic strip art, community radio, collaborative creative writing, sonic art and community documentary theatre have contributed to the Ghost Labs’enactment of the kind of “participatory art-philosophy-political event design” principles recently been elaborated by Massumi and Manning (Massumi, 2015), Bright argues that such poststructuralist “critique that is one with its enactment…at the level on which bodies think more actively and feel more thinkingly, towards acting differently together” (Massumi 106)offers a site of communal learning, utopian reimagining, and futurity.




World Cinema and Cosmopolitics Research Group Talk, Dr Deborah Shaw (School of Media and Performing Arts, University of Portsmouth) – Transnational Cinema: Mapping a Field of Study, 15:00, Russian World (Russkiy Mir) Centre, A29

From 2005 we can identify a transnational momentum in film studies, with the following years seeing some important conceptual and theoretical essays and edited volumes (Bergfelder, 2005, Ezra, and Rowden [eds.], 2006, Durovicová and Newman [eds.], 2009,Hjort, 2009, Higbee and Lim, 2010, Berry, 2010, Shaw, 2013), and the founding of a journal, Transnational Cinemas, in 2010, dedicated to disseminating research in this area. In this paper I present an overview of the history of the transnational in film studies, and consider the ways in which our discipline responded to developments in the social sciences. Following this, I discuss the present state of the field of transnational film studies through an analysis of a selective overview of the SCMS Transnational Cinemas SIG (Scholarly Interest Group) sponsored panels from 2014-2016. I conclude the paper with some thoughts on the present state of the field.




Haliwerfolc: A Poetry Reading, 19:00-21:00, Empty Shop HQ

A poetry reading, featuring poems from Paul Batchelor, Jake Campbell, Joanne Clement, Mandana M. Ghoyonloo, Lisa Matthews and Padraig Regan. The event is organised by Joanne Clement and Jake Campbell (Newcastle University) with support from Durham University and Northern Bridge.

If you’re wondering what Haliwerfolc means, they were the people of Northumbria, whom Saint Cuthbert had a strong loyalty and sense of duty towards. Haliwerfolc poetry is born in this vein: to represent the people of the North-East and stand for their traditions while also being a welcoming place in which to foster broader dialogues about the importance of the region and its literature in an interconnected world. With that same sense of kinship and duty to poetry, our event shares writing from North-East poets and beyond. We will consider place and ‘no place’, identity and pilgrimage. We warmly welcome poet Mandana M.Ghoyonloo with poems in translation from Persian and from Queens Belfast we welcome Padraig Regan for the UK launch of his new pamphlet ‘Delicious’ (Lifeboat, 2016). Click here for the Facebook event.



Thursday 2nd June


World Cinema and Cosmopolitics Research Group Workshop: Deconstructing and Reconstructing ‘Transnational Cinema’ (a workshop), 10:30, Russian World (Russkiy Mir) Centre, A29

This workshop will discuss Deborah Shaw’s essay: “Deconstructing and Reconstructing ‘Transnational Cinema’” (in S. Dennison,ed. Contemporary Hispanic Cinema: InterrogatingTransnationalism in Spanish and Latin American Film. Woodbridge: Tamesis, 47-65). Please email one of the module convenors if you would like to receive a PDF of the essay.



Friday 3rd June


Durham Festival of the Arts, 09:00 to 20th June 2016, 22:00, Various Locations

Click here for more information.


The Russian Theatre Group in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures presents… Angel by Alexander Vampilov

Doors at 19:00, start at 19:30. Free entrance.  Students from MLAC will be performing Alexander Vampilov’s dark comedy Angel in the Dowrick suite, Trevelyan College on Friday 3 June. Please note that the performance will be in Russian, but a detailed synopsis will be provided in English. The performance will last approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.


Music Durham Cathedral Concert – Shakespeare, 19:00 to 22:00, Durham Cathedral, Palace Green

As this year celebrates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Music and Theatre students at Durham University felt that the most appropriate time to celebrate such a great artist would be on the opening night of our ‘Festival of the Arts’, taking place in one of the most spectacular World Heritage Sites – Durham Cathedral. The opening night of the festival is on the 3 June and will be an unmissable concert, bringing together performances from Durham University’s leading music societies and members of Durham’s Student Theatre.





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