Facebook IconTwitter iconSoundcloud IconYouTube IconLinkedIn Icon

Café Culture Series

Café Culture is an ongoing programme of regular evening events at which one or two SELCS researchers and external speakers give short, fun talks on themes researched in the School. Topics range from 'Vampires' and 'Translation' to 'Prison Graffiti'.

Time is allocated for audience questions and for the speakers and Café Culture team to mingle with the audience and continue discussion informally. 

If you are interested in getting involved, or have an idea for a theme or event, please contact Ana Cláudia Suriani Da Silva:

Upcoming Events

Café Culture Translating Culture, part of The UCL Festival of Culture

23 May 2016, 7-9pm, Haldane Room

Image Translating Culture Cafe Culture event

How does theatre accommodate productions that travel across linguistic and cultural boundaries? This event demonstrates the negotiations and mechanisms of “translating theatre”. We will start with three academics who will talk briefly on their research, starting with Geraldine Brodie’s introductory remarks on stage translation conventions and performances for international audiences. This will be followed by historical talks by Jeff Bowersox and Enza De Francisci, who will focus on African American performers in Germany and Sicilian performers in Britain at the turn of the twentieth century, and describe how they tried to respond to audience expectations but still convey something authentic about themselves. Theatre director Gregory Thompson will then lead a participatory workshop, with the help of professional actors, based on his recent touring production of Hamlet in Nepal. The audience will have an opportunity to try their hand at ‘translating’ (language assistance provided) and see the results performed.

Booking required.  Please book your free ticket here.

Café Culture Activist Performance, part of The UCL Festival of Culture

25 May 2016, 7-9pm, Haldane Room

Image Activist Theatre Cafe Culture Event

The event will explore connections between theatre and activism. It will focus on the meaning of ‘activist performance’ through Theatre Reportage, a particular type of performance that uses the stage and public spaces like squares to combine journalism with telling true stories of people who don’t have a voice because of war, torture or regimes. The methodology adopted in Theatre Reportage disrupts the ordinary by establishing a different relationship with places and spectators. The session will also look at the case of West Germany in 1968, focusing on ways in which anti-authoritarian activists made politics theatrical, exploiting performance in a search for new, spectacular and media-friendly forms of protest. During this period, activists re-purposed the courtroom and turned it into a political theatre in order to mock and undermine its authority, using methods ranging from unexpected verbal interventions to outlandish costume to offensive physical display, in techniques reminiscent of the avant-garde performance art of the time. 

With Marta Niccolai (UCL Italian), Mererid Puw Davies (UCL German) and Annet Henneman (actress and director of Teatro di Nascosto).

Booking required.  Please book your free ticket here.

Spanish American Intellectuals in London and the Cause for Independence

12 July, 7-9 pm, Bolivar Hall, 58 Grafton Way, London

image Spanish American Intellectuals in London and the Cause for Independence

The aftermath of the American and French revolutions had a knock-on effect in London’s public life. Not only did it become one of the most affluent and active financial centres of the Western world but it also came to be the preferred destination for ever-growing numbers of Latin American exiles who fought the cause of independence from the Spanish Crown. Among them, the Precursor Francisco de Miranda played a crucial role in gathering at his house in Grafton Street (as it was called then) some of the most important military and political figures of the time. In this session, Humberto Núñez-Faraco and Gregorio Alonso will explore the political views of some of the Spanish American Patriots and their relationship with British intellectuals. Humberto Núñez-Faraco will consider the independence projects of the Jesuit Juan Pablo Viscardo y Guzmán, Francisco de Miranda and Simón Bolívar. Gregorio Alonso will talk about the Precursor’s relationship with Jeremy Bentham and James Mill to focus on the fruitful collaboration and lasting influence exerted by the two Englishmen on the Chilean poet, philosopher and jurist Andrés Bello.

The talks will be followed by a Q&A session and a tour to Casa Miranda, where facsimile copies of the publications El Colombiano, Biblioteca Americana, Repertorio Americano, and of letters by, or addressed to, Jeremy Bentham on the topic of Latin American independence will be on display. 


Dr. Humberto Núñez-Faraco, Lecturer in Spanish-American Literature, University College London

Dr. Gregorio Alonso, Lecturer in Spanish History, University of Leeds

Maria Alejandra Rivas Briceño, Cultural Counsellor, Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in London

More information and registration coming soon.

Past Events


Sexuality event