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School of English and Drama

Research Seminar


QMCECS offers a programme of early evening seminars with speakers from a range of disciplines. We have six seminars a year, and recent speakers have included Sophie Gee (Princeton), Chloe Wigston-Smith (York), Karen Harvey (Birmingham), and Suvir Kaul (Penn). For a list of speakers in the last five years see the seminar archive.

Spring 2024 Programme  

*Seminars will be available both digitally and in-person: sign up links are available here and on the mailing list a fortnight before each event* 

All seminars Wednesday 17:15–19:00 unless otherwise stated.

Location: QMUL Mile End Campus, Graduate Centre GC222

31 January: Emma Griffin (QMUL), 'European exploration, empires, and the making of the modern world'

28 February: Judith Hawley (RHUL), 'From the Gin Craze to Gin Palaces'.

This paper unpicks the popular narrative of the fall and rise of gin in Britain. Associated in the eighteenth century with the lowest levels of society, and the ruinous effects of the Gin Craze, gin came in the nineteenth to be served in luxurious settings, including ‘Gin Palaces’, or gin and quinine tonic cocktails in the empire. The story of gin helps us consider how modern taste-making exploits the past while obscuring connections between the social impact of alcohol consumption and powerful financial and political interests.

In-person at QMUL Mile End Campus Graduate Centre GC222
and Online via zoom, register at

20 March: Dan Sperrin (Cambridge), 'Swift and the Secret World'.

22 May: Suvir Kaul and Will Bowers (QMUL), 'Fifty Fathoms Deep — Reading the Eighteenth-Century Shipwreck'. This will be a in-person 'reading group' style event, with texts circulated in advance. 


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