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Festival of Culture Thursday 7 June

Browse morning, afternoon and evening sessions. All sessions are free and open to all.

How to book

Once you have browsed the events you wish to attend, you can use the following link to register your attendance. *This link will allow you to select multiple events at the same time.

*Please note, there is a separate booking link for the events 'The Legacy of Felix Slade' and the 'Strawberry Tea', both run by The Slade School of Fine Art. For The Slade Graduate Degree Show, you can drop in during the specified hours. Details for these events can be found further down on this page.

Book your Festival events


Morning sessions


Ram and Jael: Shakespeare in Translation | 12:15 - 13:00 | Main Quad Temporary Pop Up G02

Dr Lily Khan, UCL Hebrew and Jewish Studies

Ram and Jael

This session follows a recent Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded research project at UCL on the first translations of complete Shakespeare plays into Hebrew. Isaac Salkinson was a Lithuanian Jew who had converted to Christianity, and his translations of Othello and Romeo and Juliet were published in Vienna in 1874 and 1878 respectively. The translations are a product of the nineteenth-century Jewish Enlightenment project to create a modern European-style literature in Hebrew, before the language was revived as a vernacular in fin de siècle Palestine. Come along to this session to discover a fascinating and unique perspective on global Shakespeare. Dr Lily Kahn is Interim Head of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at UCL, and author of The First Hebrew Shakespeare Translations: A Bilingual Edition and Commentary (UCL Press, June 2017).


A Brief History of Cosmopolitanism | 12:15 - 13:00 | Main Quad Temporary Pop Up G01

Jacob von Baeyer, UCL Centre for Multidisciplinary and Intercultural Inquiry

Cosmopolitanism – the idea of a world citizenship – has recurred throughout the history of ideas, from ancient Greece to the Enlightenment, to modern-day academia. The notion is shared humanity is at once inherently logical and deeply utopian, but crucially it has always been a philosophic sideshow to history's dominant ideologies and discourses. This session will outline the history of this small-idea-with-big-aspirations, and argue for a cosmopolitan critique of the rising populism of today. Jakob von Baeyer’s PhD research explores representations and usages of cosmopolitanism in contemporary theory and fiction. He is based in UCL’s Centre for Multidisciplinary and Intercultural Inquiry, which encompasses research and teaching in Comparative Literature, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health, Early Modern Studies, Translation, African Studies, Creative Critical Writing, Film Studies, European Culture and Thought, and Health Humanities.


Afternoon sessions


Europe Through the Looking Glass: A Little Tour of Children's Books from Across the Continent (3) | 13:15 - 14:00 | Main Quad Pop Up G01

Dr Claudia Sternberg, UCL European Institute

This is the third and final session of the UCL European Institute’s little tour of European children’s literature. Hector Malot's Sans Famille* ("Family-Less") is the story of a foundling, and English aristocrat, who travels through France and England looking for a family--or some trace of the one he lost. This tear-jerker was a bizarre blend of melodrama and adventure novel. Jann Matlock is Senior Lecturer at the French Department. The Heart of Israel is a collection of short fictional stories directed primarily to the pupils of Italian Jewish schools. Their didactic aim is obvious; to make the children’s hearts beat not only for Italy, the fatherland, but also for Judaism and for the Jewish people. Lattes depicts the two identities as perfectly compatible, and Jews as brave soldiers, good citizens, and models of patriotic and civic virtues. Carlotta Ferrara degli Uberti is a historian, and Lecturer in Italian Studies.


Cicero and Women | 13:15 - 14:00 | Main Quad Pop Up G02

Professor Gesine Manuwald, UCL Greek and Latin

The figure of the Roman orator and politician Cicero has had a flourishing reception in stage drama since the late sixteenth century. In many of these dramas his wife and his daughter appear, as well as historically significant and other female characters. Some of these characters are introduced to enable more love (sub)plots and thus to make the story more exciting, while others illustrate political attitudes or influence the activities of male magistrates. In a year in which an important anniversary of female participation in politics is being celebrated, we’ll explore what Cicero’s plays tell us about the role and representation of women in ancient Rome. Gesine Manuwald is Professor of Latin and currently Head of UCL’s Department of Greek and Latin. Teaching of Classics began at UCL in 1828, and the department now offers a variety of interdisciplinary undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes in classical literature, culture, and history. 


Disrupting the politics of violence: Making dArta Matter | 16:30 - 17:30 | Elvin Hall, UCL's Institute of Education (IOE)

Jessica Ringrose, IOE

The afternoon performance, "Making da(r)ta Matter" at the conference is open to the UCL Festival of Culture. Through movement, sound, image and film academics and artists will share their on-going creative and participatory research  with young people (aged 12-18) living in the ex-mining/coal/steel towns of the south Wales valleys.  The performance focuses on the transformative potential of these research - activist encounters to glimpse at how marginalized bodies are regulated by society and what it means to live through the complex entanglements of history, place, gender and movement. The core issue explored in this performance is the disruption of youth-experienced gender and sexual harassment and violence by generating new ways of communicating 'research findings' to in-form policy and practice in 21st century government and society.

Members of the “PhEmaterialism” network from around the world are gathering for a conference at the UCL Institute of Education which explores how innovative new strategies can disrupt racism, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia, and the politics of terror and violence.


Evening sessions


Light and Dark: UCL Publishers’ Prize Anthology Launch - 18:30-20:00 | Main Quad Pop Up Room G20

Each year, the students of UCL’s MA in Publishing produce an anthology of prose, poetry and flash fiction collated from submissions by UCL students and judged by renowned industry professionals. The 2018 edition has a dual theme, Light and Dark. This evening will mark the launch of the book and we will announce the winners, one for light and one for dark. The lucky light winner will receive a full manuscript assessment by the Literary Consultancy along with an hour long meeting with the company’s director to discuss their writing while the fortunate winner in the dark category will be awarded a five month long online editing course from Cornerstones. We cannot wait to congratulate our winners, as well as all the authors in the anthology, celebrate some bright futures in creative writing and see our hard work come to life. 


Tales from a Master's Notebook | 18:30 - 20:00 | Main Quad Temporary Pop Up G01

Professor Philip Horne, UCL English

Henry James’s Notebooks are one of the great documents of the literary imagination. Editing them for a new scholarly edition, Philip Horne (UCL English) became obsessed with the fifty or sixty subjects for stories which James set down but never wrote. It occurred to him that you could find contemporary novelists to write stories inspired by some of these ideas – and that thought became the basis of a book just published by Vintage: Tales from a Master’s Notebook: Stories Henry James Never Wrote, with stories by well-known authors including Paul Theroux, Lynne Truss, Colm Tóibín, Jonathan Coe, Rose Tremain, Amit Chaudhuri, Giles Foden, Susie Boyt, Joseph O’Neill and Tessa Hadley. In this session, Professor Horne will be joined by Tessa Hadley and Jonathan Coe to discuss James’s imagination, the appeal and the shaping of the project, and the ways novelists recognise and transform ideas for stories."


Refuge & Culture: the Role of the Arts in Conditions of Displacement | 18:00 - 19:30 | Roberts Building, G06 lecture theatre

Dr Hanna Baumann, UCL European Institute

Representing Refuge

Lebanon has the highest number of refugees per capita in the world. Ahead of World Refugee Day on 20 June, this session will bring together members of UCL’s Institute of Global Prosperity and the RELIEF Centre to discuss the role of the arts in situations of mass displacement. Poets, photographers, and academics working with RELIEF will present some of their work in order to prompt a conversation around a range of issues, including media representations of refuge and displacement, and how we might engage with displaced people more directly and more effectively. The RELIEF Centre is a collaboration between UCL, the American University of Beirut, and the Centre for Lebanese Studies. The aim of the Centre is to respond to the challenge of creating inclusive prosperity in the context of mass displacement.


Writing War: New Literature from Ukraine | 18:30 - 20:00 | Main Quad Temporary Pop Up 101

Dr Uilleam Blacker, UCL School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies

In 2014, Russia launched military operations against Ukraine, annexing Crimea and sparking an armed conflict in the Donbas. These events were shocking and completely unexpected for Ukrainians. Ukrainian writers began to react almost immediately, however. First came poetry shared via social media by poets from eastern Ukraine, then fiction and non-fiction by soldiers and volunteers at the front, and later prose and drama by leading writers. This session will feature readings and discussion of texts that try to make sense of Europe’s forgotten war. Participants include director of the Molodyi Teatr London theatre group Olesya Khromeychuk, poet Iryna Shuvalova, poet and translator Sasha Dugdale, whose translation of a play about the war was staged at the Royal Court Theatre, and UCL lecturer Uilleam Blacker.


Zugunruhe | 18:30 - 19:30 | Roberts Building, G08 lecture theatre

Dr Claire Dwyer, UCL Geography; Tom Bailey, Leverhulme Artist in Residence at UCL Geography

Zugunruhe 2

Zugunruhe is an ornithological term describing a state of ‘migratory restlessness’ in birds. Migration is essential to the evolution of life; yet this is ignored within contemporary political/ media discourses on refugees. Following a successful series of thematically similar audio works at last year's festival, we're delighted to welcome back Tom Bailey, 2017 Artist in Residence at UCL Geography. Tom's solo performance about migration will be followed by a panel discussion, Q&A, and reception.


Memoirs of Innocence Convicted | 19:00 - 19:45 | Main Quad Temporary Pop Up 102

Dr Hugh Stevens, UCL English

How would it feel to be convicted for a crime you didn’t commit? This session will consider five memoirs by innocent people who spent long periods in prison after being wrongly convicted of planning and carrying out the bombing of two pubs in Guildford in 1974 (Gerry Conlon, Paul Hill and Paddy Armstrong, of the ‘Guildford Four’), or of making explosives for the IRA (Gerry Conlon’s aunt Anne Maguire and her son Patrick, of the ‘Maguire Seven’). These memoirs work together to provide a moving portrait of what it means to be wrongly convicted. We will discuss the power of autobiographical writing and its ability to give the reader insights into the experience of individuals, but also the experience of belonging to a beleaguered community. Dr Hugh Stevens is a Senior Lecturer based in UCL English.


Queer Visibility in Young Adult Fiction | 19:00 - 21:00 | Gay's the Word, Bloomsbury

Catherine Thomson, UCL Faculty of Arts & Humanities and Social & Historical Sciences

In the last decade, queer young adult fiction has blossomed in the UK and US. Coming out narratives have given way to more nuanced portrayals of queer characters with more diversity in representation across the LGBTQ+ spectrum. This panel of authors, publishers, and academics will delve into questions of visibility, readership, and genre in relation to writing for a young adult audience, the landscape of publishing queer texts, and the legacy of Section 28, the law that banned the promotion of homosexuality in schools, in the UK particularly. Discussion will range from contemporary young adult fiction, the impact of social media, queer narratives in other media, and the ways in which young adult others seek to write for an audience that is consistently renegotiation our understanding of gender and sexuality.


All Day Sessions

Celebrating the Legacy of Felix Slade | The Slade School of Fine Art/The British Museum | 10:30 - 15:30 |

Time slot booking required for this event

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the death of the School’s founder, Felix Slade, we are opening our doors to the public and all Slade alumni to join us for the day. In 1868, Slade bequeathed funds for three Professorships in Fine Art at University College London, Cambridge and Oxford. An additional endowment of six scholarships was left to UCL which led to the establishment of the Slade School of Fine Art in 1871.

The tour/talk will take place in the Study Room of the Prints and Drawing department at the British Museum. Guests will be asked to sign a register, and store coats and bags upon arrival. No liquid is allowed in the Study Room and photography is not permitted.

The Slade School of Fine Art at UCL is a world-renowned art school solely dedicated to the research and practice of Fine Art, in the heart of London. The Slade famously was the first art school to allow women to study on the same terms as men. Slade alumni form an international community of leading contemporary artists who exhibit worldwide at major institutions including the Tate, MoMa, Hayward Gallery and at the Venice Biennale.

Felix Slade was a philanthropist and collector of books, glass, engravings and manuscripts. The British Museum now holds over 7000 items from Slade’s art collections, as well as a renowned collection of decorative glass. To help us celebrate 150 years of Felix Slade’s legacy, the British Museum will be displaying the only known portrait of Felix Slade, along with a selection of his prints and drawings on the day. Tours will run throughout the day, booking is essential.

Book your time slot using the link below:

Strawberry Tea

Harking back to an earlier Slade tradition, a special Strawberry Tea will be held on the UCL Portico from 5:30-8pm.Tickets are available to purchase, please contact Grace Hailstone g.hailstone@ucl.ac.uk or visit the Slade website. There will also be the opportunity to view the Slade Graduate Show, the current Prize and Prejudice exhibition at UCL Art Museum which celebrates prize winning women artists at the Slade, and Five Colours, Five Landscapes, a current installation by recent Slade Graduate Onya McCausland in the UCL Cloisters.


Slade Graduate Degree Shows | Slade School of Fine Art, North Wing, Gower Street, UCL | Runs from 7 - 17 June

Open 10:00 - 20:00 weekdays and 10:00 - 17:00 weekends

Come and take a look at the impressive pieces of fine art produced by this year's Graduate students of the Slade. No booking is required - drop in during the hours open.


The Prague Spring Through the Lens of Frank Carter | 09:00-21:00 | UCL SSEES Building, 4th Floor, 16 Taviton Street, WC1H 0BW

Mgr. Zuzana Pinčíková, UCL School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies Library

Displaying items from UCL SSEES Library Special Collections, the exhibition depicts the resilience and bravery of ordinary Czechs and Slovaks during the era of political liberalization in 1968. The geographer Frank Carter captured the turbulent times of the former republic of the Eastern Bloc during his research trip to Prague. At that time, on the night of 20 - 21 August, thousands of Warsaw Pact troops and tanks invaded Czechoslovakia to halt pro-liberalization reforms. To mark the 50th anniversary of the Prague Spring as well as the European Year of Cultural Heritage, Frank Carter's collection will be digitised and made available in the UCL Digital Collections repository. The exhibition is curated by UCL SSEES Library in partnership with the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies, and it is realised with support from Professor Frank Carter Postgraduate Prize Fund.

Professor Frank Carter was a historical geographer who held a joint appointment in the UCL Department of Geography and at SSEES from 1966 to 1990. In 1990 he moved full-time to SSEES and died in service in 2001, having been awarded a personal chair. Fluent in all the main East European languages, he also possessed an extraordinary talent to perceive the country he was studying from the inside; he was Bulgarian in Bulgaria, Polish in Poland, and Greek in Greece. His contribution to UCL is commemorated by the annual Frank Carter memorial lecture and by two annual prizes for graduate students in the UCL Department of Geography and the UCL SSEES.


REMOTE CONTACT | Bloomsbury Gallery - 34 BLOOMSBURY STREET, LONDON,WC1B 3QJ

The exhibition takes place all week, opening at 18.00 on 4 June, then daily from 10:00 – 18.00 through to Saturday 9th (inclusive). If you are visiting on Saturday, there is no need to book, please just drop in. Professor Carey Jewitt (UCL Institute of Education)

REMOTE CONTACT explores how the creative use of technology might enhance feelings of connection and tackle isolation. This is a new exhibition by interactive arts studio Invisible Flock commissioned by IN-TOUCH: Digital Touch Communication, an ERC-funded research project led by Professor Carey Jewitt (UCL Institute of Education). It is funded by Arts Council England and Leeds City Council, and supported by FACT, Community Integrated Care and a Wellcome Trust Arts Award, in collaboration with Professor Nadia Berthouze (UCL Interaction Centre).


Monday 4 June

Tuesday 5 June

Wednesday 6 June

Friday 8 June