Reflections 1: Anxieties of a Graduate Teaching Assistant

For postgraduate students there is a tendency to feel our identities have been subsumed under the research we carry out. The dissertation reflects the ultimate form of self-expression even if it is the ideas, not the sentiments behind them, that determine its value. However, there are other instances where the ‘personality’ of research carries great currency in academia. In their second year, several PhD students opt to teach undergraduate seminars. What I have learned from this experience, thus far, is that how I engage with the material shapes their educational experience in the classroom.

This term, one of the modules I’m involved with is taught by my supervisor. Knowing him quite well, it is interesting to see how much of his personality comes into the content of the course. The lectures and seminar activities demonstrate a comprehensive presentation of the module’s topic but also relate back to several critical issues approached in his own research. While he is careful to establish a line between content, criticism, and even personal sentiment, the environment of active engagement that he creates prompts students to do the same. Not all academics are comfortable bringing passion into the classroom. Continue reading

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Still Point Blog Theme: Resolution – Call for Submissions

The start of a new year is often a time for reflection; likewise, the Still Point blog has been inspired to take an introspective turn. During the month of February our team, along with other contributors, will be engaging with the topic of ‘Reflections’. For us, this theme encompasses a number of considerations: reflections on the last academic term, individual experiences as Graduate Teaching Assistants and guest lecturers, organising conferences and the proposed strike action by the University and College Union.

We are also pleased to announce that for the month of March the Still Point blog will be focused on the theme of ‘Resolution’. We are seeking blog posts from doctoral and early career researchers – although submissions from Masters students are also welcomed – that directly engage with and examine the subject of ‘Resolution’ in a variety of ways. Topics may include, but are by no means limited to: reflections on new year’s resolutions both academic and recreational (whether successful or otherwise), the quality of resolution as a positive/negative trait, the need for resolution during the research process, figures in the arts and humanities that embody the quality of resolution etc.

Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis until the next theme is announced. Entries often take the form of non-fiction prose, but we also accept fiction, poetry, photography, and other forms of visual art.

Ideally submissions will be:

–          Between 500-750 words that can include high quality images; however, longer feature submissions may also be accepted.

–          For visual and multimedia artists, send us high quality images of your artwork, and embed links to sound, video work, or gifs, accompanied by up to 300 words.

At the Still Point blog we encourage creative and innovative responses both to our themes and the presentation of blog posts. As such this is a unique opportunity to promote your research on an academic platform and creatively respond to your research experiences.

Please send submissions to blog@thestillpointjournal.com

Revolution #3 – Reading Revolution: Lucan’s Civil War

‘aduenisse diem qui fatum rebus in aeuum conderet humanis, et quaeri, Roma quid esset,

illo Marte, palam est.’

‘It is clear, the day which will decide the matters of human life forever has come,

the battle shall decide what Rome shall be.’

-Lucan, Civil War, 7. 131-133.

LucanPharsaliaFrenchEd1657
Attribution: Engraved title page of a French edition of Lucan’s Pharsalia, 1657.

 

How did the young poet Lucan (39-65 AD), writing his epic poem, the Civil War, under the erratic Emperor Nero, manage to explore and engage with the notion of revolution, a term which would wait more than a thousand years to be coined in its current sense?  Continue reading

Special Feature – Revolution #1: Bonfire Night and the Gunpowder Plot (Two Perspectives)

Hannah

At the very core of civilisations throughout history, there is a grim paradox that might generally be observed: namely, that within civilisation resides the morbid yearning for its antithesis. Nowhere is this more apparent than through cultural preoccupations with violent spectacle and in particular the phenomenon of public executions. Historically, such public forms of capital punishment not only provided the state with an opportunity to potently assert its authority over dissenting persons but also, by virtue of the general public being able to voluntarily attend these executions, it delivered a strikingly grotesque form of entertainment. On 31st January 1606, one such spectacle was partly frustrated. Having witnessed the seven remaining fellow conspirators of the Gunpowder Plot being hanged, drawn and quartered before his own ascent to the scaffold, Guy Fawkes was able to avoid the same fate through a final act of defiance, by jumping from the scaffold and breaking his neck. Undeterred by this slight setback to the proceedings, the executioner quartered his body and his remains were disseminated throughout the kingdom to serve as a powerful deterrent for other potential traitors. Continue reading

The Still Point Journal: Seeking a Designer for Upcoming Issue III

The Still Point journal is seeking a designer for its third issue. We are a London-based literary journal for Arts and Humanities researchers, and this new issue will feature creative and critical writing on the theme of ‘Borders’.

The work will cover around 50 pages in a B5 format, and will be recompensed by a fixed fee of £250, £150 of which will be paid upfront. You will be required to work with the Still Point team, liaising with the Editor in Chief, and will be responsible for text and image layout, cover design, and creating images to be used in the journal.

Applicants should send a covering letter, a portfolio of previous design and/or illustration work, and a CV, to stillpointjournal@gmail.com by 2 October. Personal access to InDesign, Photoshop, or Illustrator is desirable, and you should be readily available throughout February 2018 for the final few weeks before the journal’s launch. Previous issues of the journal are available to browse here and here.

Upcoming Theme: Research Diaries

With new term starting shortly, Still Point is excited to begin posting regular content on the blog as of Friday, September 22. For the next few weeks, our series: Research Diaries, offers some short reflections on the individual research members of the team have been doing over the summer. We are also hard at work editing the selected materials for Issue III of the journal and have some other projects we look forward to sharing with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ll be in touch!

Nicholas Rheubottom, Editor of The Still Point Blog

Special Feature: Searching for Stories: Pride in London 2017

Pride has many stories to tell: some celebratory, some tragic, some past, some present, and some that remain incomplete as their narrative continues to unfold. As is typical to any professional task that is part of my Monday work schedule, I began my morning routine reliving the weekend through photos on my mobile. As I aimlessly swiped my thumb across the screen, I justified my idleness as, in fact, being ‘research’ for writing my own submission on the topic of London Pride, something that incidentally turned out to be true.

As a Canadian from a small city, Pride in London seemed overwhelming in comparison. In the weeks leading up to the parade, however, I encountered disillusionment from my queer colleagues towards the event. Where I am from, the parade is confined to fifty floats and another fifty LGBTQ groups; it is the coming together of a queer and queer-allied community that, in truth, already knows one another. For that reason, Pride has always felt like home to me. Sharing these sentiments with friends, and hearing their own in return, reminded me that not all aspects of Pride come from the most altruistic of motivations – for example, Tom Daley in a tight-fitting tee and angel wings on top of the Barclays float – and that perhaps even my own perspectives at home were a bit naive. Fear not: the remainder of this article is not to exemplify why London Pride has become irrelevant; instead, I made it my mission to uncover those moments that continued to demonstrate Pride as spirit over spectacle. Continue reading

The Still Point Manifesto

Some words of inspiration…

The Still Point manifesto is an experimental attempt to reflect the collective thoughts of the editorial team. Its aim is not to read like a linear narrative, but instead, like a collection of unfiltered conversations with the mind. As contributors, we encourage you to approach your submissions with the same degree of open-mindedness. What are those hidden conversations hiding behind your academic work?  Let us engage with you just as much as your ideas. Tell us your research story!

The Still Point Editorial Team


Following our successful launch of the second issue, we are now accepting submissions for Issue 3: Borders.  The Still Point is looking for innovative responses in a variety of forms including, narratives, essays, short fiction, and poetry. For more information check out our ‘Calls for Submissions’ in the ‘About’  section of the website’s banner.

 

 

Still Point Blog Theme #3: Diversions – Call for Submissions

From mid-April into May, our next theme at the Still Point blog will engage the topic of DIVERSIONS. We are seeking blog posts from doctoral and early career researchers –solid submissions from Masters students are also welcomed – that examine the subject of Diversions in a variety of ways. Such topics might include reflection pieces on the kinds of things that provide relief during the research process (i.e. music, hobbies, Netflix binges…), diversion as a tactic of subversion, diversion as a positive/negative experience, etc. Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis up until the next theme is announced. Entries often take the form of non-fiction, but we also accept fiction, poetry, and visual art. Continue reading

New Beginnings

new-beginningsThe start of a new year inevitably heralds new beginnings, and the same is true this year for the Still Point Journal: the founding editorial team have handed the publication over to a brand-new team. (If you’re interested in finding out more about us, head over to our bios under the ‘About’ section.) We are excited to continue the great work that has been done so far with the blog, whilst also adding our own slant to it. As a new addition to the blog, we will be expanding its current scope beyond reflective pieces concerning research by incorporating monthly ‘Calls for Submissions’ around various themes. These themes will be announced at the beginning of every month, both on the blog itself as well as on social media to generate a more eclectic series of contributions.

Our assemblage as a new editorial team inspired the theme for this month: ‘New Beginnings’. For us, the theme encompasses a broad scope of considerations: personal reflections of new beginnings experienced as research students, the role of reception in creating something novel from an older art form, reactions to current affairs pointing to the shift in world politics, and many more. As before, in addition to these monthly themes, we will still accept blog submissions reflecting the experience of London-based researchers on a rolling basis.

Please send submissions to blog@thestillpointjournal.com