Semester One



13 September 2023“Mariupol Memory Park” (Victoria Donovan)
Photo by IF69, Mariupol, 2022. From the Mariupol Memory Park website.

13 September 2023 – “Mariupol Memory Park”

Victoria Donovan

In the spring of 2022, the troops of the Russian Federation destroyed Mariupol. Tens of thousands of people died. The brutal siege and occupation destroyed not only lives and architecture, but also displaced a vibrant community of cultural activists. A year later a group of artists, activists and researchers from and connected with the city came together to commemorate Mariupol’s values of openness, cultural reflection and struggles for equality. Filmmakers, audio-artists, and writers who contributed to the Mariupol Memory Park project will join us to discuss Mariupol’s past, present and future at this one-off multi-media event.

“Time Stitches: A poet converses with her translator” 20 September 2023 – “Time Stitches: A poet converses with her translator”

Elodie Laügt and Eleni Kefala

This event is organised in collaboration with the Centre for Poetic Innovation.

Time Stitches by Eleni Kefala is a poetry book about roots and uprooting, personal and collective history in a broken time, and the power of poetry to stitch together the threads of our past and future. Peter Constantine offers a “stunning, powerful, and important” translation of “an exquisite set of linked poems that center around British colonial Cyprus, but radiate out into other eras, more distant in the past and more recent”. A 2022 New York Times Globetrotting pick, the Greek original won the State Prize for Poetry in Cyprus in 2014, while the translation received the 2022 Elizabeth Constantinides Translation Prize. Eleni, who teaches at the University of St Andrews, and Peter, a New York based, multi-award-winning literary translator and director of the Literary Translation Programme at the University of Connecticut, will talk about Time Stitches and share their thoughts on writing and what is lost and gained in translation.

“Lost Detectives, True Confessions: Claire Whitehead in conversation with Carol Adlam”
Carol Adlam
4 October 2023  – “Lost Detectives, True Confessions: Claire Whitehead in conversation with Carol Adlam”

Claire Whitehead and Carol Adlam

Award-winning author-illustrator Carol Adlam takes us into the magical world of illustration, graphic novels, creative writing, and adapting crime fiction. Join us as she and Dr Claire Whitehead (Department of Russian, School of Modern Languages) discuss their four-year collaborative project ‘Lost Detectives: Adapting Old Texts to New Media’, which has culminated in a major graphic novel, The Russian Detective (Jonathan Cape, 2024). Carol’s wide-ranging adaptations across audio drama, libretto, and graphic novels give us new insights into how artists and academics can work together. Carol will show us previously unseen behind-the-scenes material, original artwork, as well as tips, tricks, and a little bit of magic.

“Light from the East: Middle Eastern Art Now”
‘Tunis medina and Bab Bhar’ by David Bond
11 October 2023 – “Light from the East: Middle Eastern Art Now”

Fabio Caiani

Join us for a multi-media celebration of Middle Eastern art in honour of Catherine Cobham (former Head of the Arabic and Persian Department). Renowned Syrian poet Nouri al-Jarrah will read from his latest work The Stone Serpent, an epic poem that revives an ancient love story between a Syrian man and a Celtic woman. Catherine Cobham will read from her translation of the poem. The event will include Iranian music, song and poetry, visual art, and reflections on Arabic literature.

“Menstruation Matters: Fighting Stigma in Scotland Today” 25 October 2023 – “Menstruation Matters: Fighting Stigma in Scotland Today”

Bettina Bildhauer

At least half of the world’s population experience menstruation and the menopause at some stage in their lives, and yet we hardly ever speak about it. Scotland is just emerging as a global leader to change this: passing policies for free period products, campaigning against stigma and promoting environmentally friendly menstrual cups, pads and underwear. Menstrual leave, menopause in the workplace and the tampon tax are discussed in many countries now. This panel discussion brings together activists and academics to share their work and research on making menstruation less stigmatised, more affordable and more sustainable.