Dr Robert J. Wallis

Book launch of Dr. Wallis’ Historical Dictionary of Shamanism

A remarkable array of people have been called shamans, while the phenomena identified as shamanism continues to proliferate. This revised and expanded second edition of the Historical Dictionary of Shamanism by Graham Harvey and Robert Wallis includes hundreds of new cross-referenced dictionary entries on individuals, groups, practices and cultures that have been called “shamanic”, a chronology, an introduction, and an extensive annotated bibliography. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about Shamanism.

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2016





Professor Simon Goldsworthy

Richmond’s Professor Simon Goldsworthy interviewed about postgraduate study of public relations by PR Careers site

Following the publication of the second edition of his textbook, PR Today: The Authoritative Guide to Public Relations (Palgrave Macmillan), co-authored with fellow Richmond professor Trevor Morris, Simon Goldsworthy discusses PR education, the advantages of studying for an MA in the subject – not least in Kensington! –  and tips about how students can make themselves employable.

Full interview can be found here http://prcareers.co.uk/academic-insight-simon-goldsworthy-richmond-university/

RU logo

IVAC Summer Research Fellow Announced

Dr. Jennifer Purcell, Associate Professor of History at St. Michael’s College, Vermont, has been announced as the 2016 IVAC Summer Research Fellow at Richmond. Dr. Purcell specialises in the social history of twentieth century Britain focussing on women and national identity. During her stay at Richmond in June 2016, Dr. Purcell will extend her research for a monograph examining the life and work of the early BBC radio celebrity Mabel Constanduros (1880-1957), considering her impact on the genres of soap opera and situation comedy, as well as her role in developing the BBC as an institution. Dr. Purcell will present on her research at the one-day Summer Research Fellows Symposium on 21 June.

Dr Robert J. Wallis

Dr. Robert J. Wallis’ ‘Historical Dictionary of Shamanism’ published in second edition

The Historical Dictionary of Shamanism, co-authored by Dr. Graham Harvey (Open University) and Richmond’s Dr. Robert J. Wallis has just been published in a revised and expanded second edition by Rowman and Littlefield Publishing. The second edition contains updates on the scholarship over the ten years since the first edition, hundreds of new entries, and an extensive annotated bibliography.

From the introduction:

“Shamanism, if there is an -ism, is too slippery and tricky a phenomenon to be held by only one group. Failure to slip across boundaries and be surprised by new perspectives and possibilities will lead to failure to understand even that which seems familiar. That, at least, is a justification for placing so many disparate matters alongside one another. Thus, entries about the Buryats, Celts, Evenk, San, and Sora stand alongside others about hallucinogen tourists, Heathens, techno-shamans, and “wannabe Indians.”

Similarly, there are entries about matters that seem to have been accepted as definitive of what shamans do and what shamanism is (e.g., “altered states of consciousness,” “trance,” “tiered cosmos,” “drumming,” and “journeying”), along with interventions that disrupt these and argue for new perspectives about, for example, “adjusted styles of communication,” “animism,” “becoming-animal,” “new-indigenes,” and “pragmatism.”

Finally, so that this dictionary can contribute to further lively debates about shamans, shamanism, and shamanisms, an annotated bibliography serves as a guide to further study. Whether approached enthusiastically or academically, there are many important matters to consider in relation to shamans. Equally, there are many important matters that might be better understood in relation to the activities and knowledge of shamans.”

The Historical Dictionary of Shamanism is now available from Rowman and Littlefield Publishing: www.rowman.com



Visual Arts Management Students Embark on Lumiere London Apprenticeships

As part of the inaugural Lumiere London Festival, three students from the Visual Arts Management and Curating Course at Richmond are gaining valuable industry experience working with event producer Artichoke.

The three students: Maria Ilyevskaya, Molly Sullivan, and Elspeth Ross will be working across the festival, gaining valuable event production skills. Working with the artistic director and core staff, the apprenticeship provides a unique insight into the planning, installation, running, get out and post event evaluation of the festival – all of which are core components to producing a successful event.

Course Convenor Dr Oonagh Murphy explains:

“As part of the MA in Visual Arts Management and Curating, and MA in Art History Visual Culture we run a professional practice seminar series, these seminars are designed to give students a real insight into the variety of jobs available to them once they graduate. One of the speakers we had in, in Fall 2015 was Hannah Standen, a Producer at Artichoke. Hannah talked in depth about what her job involved, from traffic management, to navigating council policies, liaising with artists and managing specialists from rigging to electrical.  It was clear that the students were inspired by the variety, and pace of Hannah’s job, the scope and responsibility was beyond what many expected. At the end of the session Hannah invited the students to apply for a paid, 9 day project apprenticeship in the run up to Lumiere London, and pitched this as a great way to get real on the job experience. We are delighted that as a result three students have now been accepted on to this very prestigious training scheme”.

While the students are out lighting up London, faculty have been hard at work programming the Spring Professional Practice Seminar Series.  With speakers from Tate, Historic Royal Palaces, Art 16, South London Gallery, and Creative United it is hoped students will use these sessions to continue to network, and create opportunities for themselves going forward.

Successful arts professionals, need to be able to build their own network, create opportunities, and influence their peers. This seminar series is designed to help students develop these all-important ‘soft’ skills, skills that help to bring their academic work to new audiences and create internship and job openings for themselves.

Lumiere London is produced by Artichoke, and takes places across central London on the evenings of the 14th – 17th January 2016. Further details can be found here: http://www.visitlondon.com/lumiere

We are now accepting applications for September 2016

If you would like to find out more about our uniquely international MA programmes you can contact:

Dr Oonagh Murphy – Oonagh.Murphy@Richmond.ac.uk

Course Convenor – MA Visual Arts Management and Curating

Dr Robert Wallis – Wallis wallisr@richmond.ac.uk

Course Convenor – MA Art History and Visual Culture

Or visit our website http://www.richmond.ac.uk/postgraduate-programmes/


Aquarium, Benedetto Bufalino & Benoit Deseille, Lumiere Durham 2013. Produced by Artichoke. Photo by Matthew Andrews.


New paper by Dr Paul Rekret – From Political Topographies to Political Logics

“From Political Topographies to Political Logics” has just been published on early view with Constellations, A Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory.

This paper engages with the question of the historical and ontological status of the logics of hegemony articulated by Ernesto Laclau. It interrogates the concept of real abstraction that Laclau mobilises to explain the historical status of his theory. It is argued that while Laclau grounds his conceptual system in an ontology of generalised antagonism, this is done to the exclusion of formally conceiving the historical conditions of those logics. The paper demonstrates that it is the irreducible gap between reflection on historical and ontological conditions of possibility from which the most pervasive critiques of Laclau’s work are derived. In turning to the work of Alfred Sohn-Rethel, the paper suggests a different conception of real abstraction, one which locates the sources of abstraction in the division of mental and manual labour. In drawing on the Marxist analysis of real abstraction and the division of labour, the essay seeks to deflate the subsumption of politics to ontology and to turn attention to the logics which condition the possibility of social struggle today – namely, the logics of contemporary capitalism.

Twitter here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-8675.12199/abstract

William Durden

Dr Colin Howley has article published on The Allrounder


ESPN’s 30 for 30 series has brought a surge of creative energy into sports documentaries. A scholar of this genre of documentary film looks at British filmmaker John Dower’s contribution to the series, Slaying the Badger (2014), as an example of what the sports documentary can accomplish – a film that presents an intimate portrait of friends and rivals as well as the broader picture of a sporting event at a historical crossroads.

Link: http://theallrounder.co/2015/12/09/slaying-the-badger-and-the-art-of-the-sports-documentary/

BA Degree in Performance & Theatre Arts

Richmond Globe Sharing

Our final performance was a collaboration with an amazing group that has been one of the highlights of my journey at Richmond University. Being able to work with the staff and course director at the Globe was an amazing opportunity that words cannot do justice. It’s an experience that resonates with you and fortifies your concept of theatre and the performing arts.

Alexandra Lopez

Professor George Xinsheng Zhang

Richmond’s Prof George Zhang delivered a keynote speech at the Newcastle University.

Richmond Professor George Zhang gave a keynote speech on the 11 December on CEFR, EBCL and Teaching of Chinese in Europe at the International Symposium on Chinese Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, organised by the Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Sciences of Newcastle University.

The Symposium aims to promote worldwide collaboration on Chinese theoretical and applied linguistics by giving researchers an opportunity to share their work. Further details about the symposium and the keynote speakers can be found on http://conferences.ncl.ac.uk/isoctal2015/conferenceinformation/