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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

2021 Year in Review

As we look back on what has been another year filled with change and challenge, we're extremely proud of our School of Languages, Linguistics and Film community who have achieved so much. Take a look at just some of the things we've been up to as a School in 2021 below:


Academic research

Dr Will McMorran, a world-leading expert on the Marquis de Sade at Queen Mary University of London has translated the infamous author’s The Marquise de Gange into English for the very first time for Oxford World’s Classics.

Dr Ashvin Devasundaram contributed to a new report from the British Academy on the theme of urban violence. The publication offers a range of interdisciplinary perspectives examining violence as an urban process. Dr Devasundaram’s chapter considers police-related urban violence in relation to cinematic crosscurrents from the Global South.

Dr Ben Holgate was the Co-Principal Investigator and Co-Author of the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded report entitled Storycraft: the importance of narrative and narrative skills in business. The report reveals how prominent business leaders see arts and humanities skills as integral to their companies and the talent pipeline.

Professor Janet Harbord and Professor Steven Eastwood's Wellcome Trust funded 'Autism and Cinema: An exploration of neurodiversity' programme ran from 16-28 September at the Barbican, debating new ideas arising from the relationship between autism and cinema. They also have a fortnightly podcast exploring the representation, presence and expression of autism in popular and underground cinema and TV.

Alumni success

Stella Corradi (BA Film Studies and Hispanic Studies, 2008, and MA Film Studies, 2009) won a BAFTA for Best Single Drama for her film Sitting in Limbo, which was inspired by the Windrush scandal.

Alumna, Gabriella Castillo (Hispanic Studies and Politics BA, 2021), was commended by Duke and Duchess of Cambridge last month at a Joint Ministerial Council reception. She was recognised for her role in educating residents of La Carpio, Costa Rica about sustainable waste management.

Alumnus, Matt Kay (Film Studies BA, 2011) released his latest film, To Live and Die in Alabama.

We also welcomed a panel of Film alumni to the Film Futures event to share their insights and career journeys with students.

Lord Simon Woolley (Hispanic Studies MA, 1994), Co-Founder and Director of Operation Black Vote and Principal of Homerton College at the University of Cambridge, was been named among the Top 10 of the Powerlist 2022. The Powerlist 2022 lists the most influential individuals of African, African American and African Caribbean heritage in the UK.

Awards and accolades

Josef Mueller and  Dr Eli Vilar received an Education Excellence Award for their Language Practice Scheme, which enables students and staff at Queen Mary to book 30-minute sessions, for free, with volunteer native speakers of a language they are learning and practise their speaking skills.

In 2021, Queen Mary has been ranked as the country’s top university for social mobility, according to a new report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies in partnership with the Sutton Trust and Department for Education. We were also ranked 1st out of 37 languages departments for social mobility too!

Professor Galin Tihanov has been elected to the British Academy Fellowship in recognition of his contribution to the humanities and social sciences.

New developments for the School

In keeping with the developments of the time, we have a number of new programmes in 2021 for September 2022 entry:

  • Our new BA in Liberal Arts combines the expertise of six schools within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences to provide a unique multi-disciplinary programme. Students will benefit from engaging with a range of subjects from different disciplinary perspectives, including the study of a foreign language, literature, culture, history, society and linguistics.
  • Our new MA in Applied Linguistics explores major developments in sociolinguistic thought around language and its embedding in society. The programme equips students with technical and advanced expertise in how human language works and how it is used in specific real-life settings.
  • Our MA Film (theory/documentary practice/directing fiction) provides three pathways allowing students to focus on their specialism of interest. Combining theory and practice, the students on the programme gain the skills and knowledge required to pursue a career in film or broadcasting.

PhD students Robert James Hellyer and Farida Soliman established a new "Exploring the Nonbinary" reading group which is designed for postgraduate students and staff, aiming to produce collaborative reading lists and to encourage further exploration of this expanding field.

Student success

Doctoral Researcher from the Department of Film, Alex Widdowson, was awarded 'best doctoral or early career film of the year' title by the AHRC for his film Drawing on Autism.

First year BA Film Studies student, Conrad Khan, was nominated for the BAFTA Rising Star Award.

It has been a busy year, and the above is just a snapshot of what the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film have been up to. We look forward to seeing what our community gets up to in 2022!



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