Digital Futures… Adapting to changing educational landscapes

The Centre for Learning and Teaching presented a cross disciplinary conference on Digital Futures – adapting to changing educational landscapes on 14th May to critically examine the challenges and opportunities of using digital media in lecturing and the wider student experience at Richmond.

Martin Compton, History academic and Senior Lecturer for teaching and learning at Greenwich University ran a dynamic, interactive presentation leading to a hands-on session on the use of digital media with HE students. Delegates attending were able to try out a wide range of cloud based free apps on their phones / laptops that can assist student engagement and learning. See these apps in Martins secondary presentation.

Sonja Grussendorf, Senior Learning Technologist at the LSE ran a session in the afternoon on structuring the use of digital media within curriculum using the formation of perfume as a metaphor. Delegates attending were given samples to identify high, mid and base notes and to discuss team work as a fixative.

As well as fresh insights and new experience of digital resources, there were discussions about instructor workload, and how this was supported by this range of resources. The day ended with an open discussion of the implications of the digital environment for future higher education pedagogy.

Guyana national football team beckons Richmond student

With Richmond University’s graduation ceremony just days away on 25th May, students are getting ready to walk across the stage and receive their diplomas for all of their hard work. However, one student is missing her graduation but with good reason.

Hannah Baptiste is a Marketing student at Richmond and transferred from St. Andrews University in the United States. She was on a scholarship there to play football but ultimately ended up missing her family too much and decided to return to London.

I originally wanted to study Psychology but then realised it wasn’t for me. Communications is something that I really enjoyed and so I made my decision to come here,” says Hannah. “Richmond took all of my credits from my university in the states so that was amazing as well.

The South London native joined Richmond University at our Kensington Campus in Spring 2016 and has been excelling on and off the field. When she was not studying for her Marketing course, Hannah was playing for AFC Wimbledon.

Hannah is no stranger to the game of football as she has been playing since she was four years old. She also played for England when she was 16. She made it through trials then went on to play against Northern Ireland where England won and were named tournament champions.

I haven’t played internationally since I was 16 because I was busy with my studies. But my grandparents are from Guyana so I can qualify for their team,” Hannah said. The Guyana National Team coaches contacted Baptiste after seeing footage of her playing. “I found out this week that they want to fly me out to training camp and then they have World Cup qualifiers the week after that,” says Hannah.

If Hannah gets through training camp, she will have the once in a lifetime opportunity to play in the World Cup qualifiers and other tournaments against other countries.

Richmond University recognises that there should be more representation for women in football. So, Richmond has incorporated a women’s team in The Richmond International Academic and Soccer Academy (RIASA), which offers a unique opportunity for students to earn a UK and US dual accredited degree in International Sports Management while playing in a professional academy in either London or Leeds.

Richmond, the University with royal connections, prepares to welcome couple to Kensington after royal wedding

With the wedding of the year fast approaching on Saturday 19 May, staff and students at Richmond are getting set to give a huge welcome to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as they settle into their new home at Kensington Palace.

Just around the corner from the royal palace, Richmond University’s Kensington campus will be the closest university to the golden couple. With two campuses in London in Kensington and Richmond, and being the only American University in London, Richmond has many royal connections already.

The University’s Kensington campus expansion was officially opened by Prince Harry’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, in March 1988 and she also attended a graduation at the University.

Richmond, the American International University in London, has been home to many royal families including Prince Louis de Luxembourg and Princess Tessy de Luxembourg, HRH Isa AlKhalifa of Bahrain, Baroness Tatjana von Gaisberg and Baroness Natalija von Gaisberg from Liechtenstein and Princess Sara Faisel Mohamed Al Saud from Saudi Arabia.

“We are delighted to welcome Meghan Markle to the London Borough of Kensington”, said Professor John Annette, President and Vice Chancellor of Richmond University. “We’re privileged to be located in two fantastic locations in London, in Kensington as well as Richmond. Harry and Meghan will be very close by to us in Kensington and the University would be very happy to welcome them in the near future.”

London has just been named as the best city in the world for university students, according to new international rankings, the QS Best Student Cities Ranking 2018.

London is the top city to study in the World

London has just been named as the best city in the world for university students, according to new international rankings, the QS Best Student Cities Ranking 2018. In response to these findings, Professor John Annette, President and Vice Chancellor of Richmond, the American International University in London, commented:

“We’re delighted to see these results. The students based at our two London campuses in Richmond and Kensington consistently tell us how highly they rate both the University and London as a great place to study and live.  We hope these results will encourage even more students to apply to Richmond, the American International University in London.”

William Durden

Stephen Basdeo to give talk on Robin Hood at the Royal Armouries

Stephen Basdeo is scheduled to give a talk at the Royal Armouries, Leeds, on ‘The Legend of Robin Hood’, as part of the Armouries’ Legends: Robin Hood themed weekend on 5 May 2018. The talk will guide members of the general public through c. 800 years of British social and cultural history by discussing who the real Robin Hood was, and why stories about an obscure criminal have remained popular with artists, novelists, poets, playwrights, and filmmakers from the medieval period to the 21st century.

Stephen Basdeo is an instructor at Leeds RIASA. He is the author of several peer-reviewed articles and book chapters which explore the history of various famous figures from the Middle Ages, including Wat Tyler, Jack Straw, Robin Hood, and the Viking, Ragnar Lodbrok. He is currently drafting an article on the first Robin Hood novel, which is an unpublished manuscript by Poet Laureate, Robert Southey, entitled Harold; or, The Castle of Morford (1794).

Professor of International Politics to host programme of discussion and films in NYC

Dr Paul Rekret, Associate Professor of International Politics at Richmond, the American International University in London, will be hosting a screening and discussion on childhood and innocence, entitled Time Let Me Play on Thursday 24 May, 7.30pm, at UnionDocs in Brooklyn, New York.

The programme will explore popular culture’s negotiations with childhood, innocence, and coming of age in an era of social and economic crisis. It will be introduced through a multi-media presentation by Paul Rekret, and will be followed by a wider discussion with additional leading academics, Dhanveer Singh Brar and Sukhdev Sandhu.

Paul Rekret, who teaches political theory at the University, is the author of Down With Childhood: Pop Music and the Crisis of Innocence. His work has appeared in Frieze, the New Inquiry and the Quietus, among others.

The event is related to the research interests of two of the University’s research centres – the Centre for International Visual Arts and Cultures (IVAC) and the Research Centre for the Study of the State, Power and Globalisation (SPG).

Click here to find out more about the event and book tickets.

Paul Rekret will also be speaking at a festival of experimental music in Brooklyn on Sunday 27 May.

Organised by ISSUE, Regenerative Feedback: On Listening and its Emancipatory Potential, is a three day symposium of talks, presentations, discussions, and performances on experimental music.

To find out more about the event, visit the Project Room website

William Durden

Dr. Robert J. Wallis introductory essay published in new artist monograph, ‘Galdrastafabók’, by Jesse Bransford

Brooklyn-based artist Jesse Bransford’s work has been involved with belief and the visual systems it creates since the 1990s. His monograph ‘A Book of Staves: Galdrastafabók’, has just been published by Fulgur press fine editions. In a series of striking pencil and watercolour drawings, the artist draws upon the Icelandic landscape, mythology, folk magic and magical texts as sources and inspiration.

In his introductory essay to the volume, published in English with a parallel Icelandic translation, ‘I know those spells: Staves for The Sayings of The High One’, Dr. Robert J. Wallis writes:

‘With their clean black lines, unpretentious symmetry of composition and restrained colour palette, the aesthetic effect in the pictures is entrancing, the arithmology sophisticated, the array of possible meanings giddying… One might become lost in their complexity, in a myriad of potential correspondences. And then it is too late, one is ensnared by the magical trap. In his work on the anthropology of art, Alfred Gell proposes that artworks are like traps, their technical sophistication capturing our attention. In turn, traps are like artworks, wonderful in their manufacture yet deadly to caught prey. Furthermore, both artworks and traps have agency beyond their makers, are able to act independently in the world. Bransford’s stave-works unite art and magic to agentic affect’.

The images are further augmented with liberal quotations from Carolyne Larrington’s much lauded translation of the Hávamál from the Poetic Edda.

Bransford’s work is exhibited internationally at venues including The Carnegie Museum of Art, the UCLA Hammer Museum, PS 1 Contemporary Art Center and the CCA Wattis Museum among others. He holds degrees from the New School for Social Research (BA), Parsons School of Design (BFA) and Columbia University (MFA). He is an Associate Professor of Art at New York University and the Chair of the Department of Art and Art Professions.

Artist’s website

Dr. Robert J. Wallis is Professor of Visual Culture and Associate Dean in the School of Communications, Arts and Social Sciences at Richmond. He has published widely on the archaeology and anthropology of art and religion.

Dr. Wallis’ website

A Book of Staves on the Fulgur website.

Citation for Wallis’ introductory essay:

Wallis, R. J. 2018. ‘I know those spells’: Staves for ‘Sayings of the High One’. Introductory essay to artist’s monograph by Jesse Bransford, ‘A Book of Staves: Galdrastafabók’: xv-xxiii. London: Fulgur.

Student led RU Magazine publishes first Spring 2018 issue

Richmond University students have published the very first issue of fashion and lifestyle magazine “RU”. This inaugural release has features written by Richmond students for Richmond students including fashion trends & advice, living in cosmopolitan London and an interview with current student and model Kimhia Toussaint.

RU Magazine is a collaborative effort by a number of BA Fashion Management & Marketing students, spearheaded by founding editors Thimo Grantz & Gabrielle Hollenbeck.

Everyone involved in this first issue, and those that assisted in organising Richmond’s very first fashion show, have showcased impressive design, marketing and advertising skills to produce extra-curricular projects that will hopefully continue for many more seasons to come.

William Durden

State engagement – assessing capacity: a seminar on problem driven iterative adaptation (PDIA)

The Wellbeing Research Centre is organising a half-day seminar on the topic of state engagement and the assessment of capacity using the PDIA approach for Thursday May 17th, 2018 on the University’s Kensington campus.* Registration is from 0930 and the seminar starts as 1005.

The seminar draws on the expertise of practitioners, consultants and academics to understand what is understood by state engagement and our ability to assess its impact and influence. The 5 papers explore a variety of interlinked themes such as: why the traditional approach to capacity building has been discredited, and what has replaced it; examples of the application of PDIA in different developing countries by drawing on both experience and literature; the role of Outcome Mapping (OM), as developed by the International Development Research Centre, to help make sense of how policy may be influenced. The use of OM will be seen within the context of the ODI’s Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) programme. Another paper will attempt to make sense of the Cambiemos government in Argentina through the lens of the PDIA; the final paper will focus on assessing the value of the PDIA approach in assessing the adoption of conditional cash transfers in Turkey.

The seminar is aimed at those interested in advocacy, evaluation and policy influence from a variety of perspectives as outlined above.

The full list of papers and speakers is as follows:

  • Keynote: Dr. Marcus Cox (Agulhas, Applied Knowledge), “Bringing politics into capacity building: how far have we come?”
  • Peter Grant (Agulhas, Applied Knowledge/Restored/Richmond University Visiting Professor), “Putting PDIA into practice – lessons from country case studies”.
  • Simon Hearn (Overseas Development Institute), “Outcome mapping for planning and monitoring policy engagement and influence”.
  • Christopher Wylde (Richmond University), “Making sense of the Cambiemos government in Argentina through PDIA?”
  • Gokce Baykal (King’s College), “Testing PDIA Approach – Principles towards Adoption of Conditional Cash Transfers in Turkey”.

* Seminar room 106, Asa Briggs Hall, Richmond University, Ansdell Street, Kensington, London W8 5BN (Nearest tube station is High Street Kensington (a 5-6 minute walk to Briggs Hall)’

Please visit the Wellbeing Research Centre’s events blog for more detailed information on the seminar and precise timings.