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    UCL Events blog

    By Nick Dawe, on 6 May 2011

    Reviews of UCL public lectures, debates, exhibitions, shows, and more…

    Death by hair: from Colonial South West Africa to Nazi Germany

    By Guest Blogger, on 12 December 2014


      Written by Zvikomborero Mutyambizi 

    Hair. Read historically, politically (as site of protest during the 60s for both the Black Power and counter culture movements, as a site of feminist protest, as an issue in the work or school place and ‘faux’ scientifically as part of Eugenics based scientific philosophies – hair is far from an individual cosmetic matter.

    hairstoryDiscussions about hair are everywhere at the moment, hair even makes an appearance in the I too am Oxford anti-stereotyping campaign on the college campus. There are many ‘strands’ from which to approach the topic, with Pelagie Gbaguidi’s photo collage artwork being an example (pictured left). It implies that there is a vast ‘psychic’ landscape for personal and political reflection on hair as a subject on, and beyond, one’s own body.

    The talk, Death by Hair: from Colonial South West Africa to Nazi Germany as part of UCL’s Science and Society Series on 13 February this year proved this in a surprising manner. I attended the talk in the university’s Haldane Room (J. B. S. Haldane being an interesting figure in UCL’s history worth researching, incidentally) when I had just developed an interest in writing about hair in particular afro-texture hair for an Art History course at Goldsmiths aimed at complicating how we visualise difference.

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    Astrea conference 2014 – Culture Shift 50:50

    By Irrum Ali, on 8 December 2014

    Attendees of the Astrea conference 2014

    Attendees of the Astrea conference 2014

    UCL Astrea held its inaugural conference on Tuesday 2 December – a day of celebration and support for professional services women in the higher education sector and beyond.

    ‘Culture Shift 50:50’ was a lively and engaging day packed with talks, activities and networking hosted at the prestigious British Library Conference Centre with more than 200 women from UCL, and other institutions, in attendance.

    The Astrea network was founded only a year or so ago by Alice Chilver and Emma Todd, two colleagues in The Bartlett, UCL’s faculty of the built environment. Noticing that there was a gap in the ready availability of support and networking for UCL professional services women, Astrea has been established to:

    “…empower women.  And by doing so, to get women to realise their potential. We plan to do this by building a network where women can learn from each other; where our members can find mentors and role models; where they can talk about issues of common concern and where we can discuss what needs to change to reach 50/50 leadership. (‘Our aims’, Astrea website).

    The conference follows on from a year of successful events, many of which focused on key topics that Astrea has identified – career development, resilience, networking techniques – and for which there clearly is an appetite to explore further.

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    Rethinking the city

    By Guest Blogger, on 3 December 2014

    pencil-iconWritten by Jasmine Popper (MA student, UCL Anthropology)

    Cities Methodologies exhibition

    Shown in the appropriate setting of the expansive Slade Research Centre, the eighth edition of Cities Methodologies questioned how we design, navigate and imagine cities as places. The exhibition and event series, organised by the UCL Urban Laboratory, represented an overall sense of investigation into what constitutes the lived experience, and the social and political construction of urban environments.

    After a call for proposals, a number of artists, academics, researchers and students from across the world working on urban topics showcased their research at UCL. Of these, a number of contributors unraveled day-to-day urban narratives and political issues as lived at a ground level.

    As soon as I entered the fifth floor (where the exhibition took place), I was transported back outside by an atmospheric soundscape of road sweeping and birdsong. It was part of Cally Calls, a project in which seven artists collaborated with seven local inhabitants of the Caledonian Road area in north London.

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    UCL Infection, Immunology and Inflammation Symposium 2014

    By Guest Blogger, on 2 December 2014


    Written by Yusuf Topal, first year PhD student

    Discoveries in infection, immunology and inflammation (III) are defining 21st-century medicine, shifting the paradigm of almost every clinical discipline.


    This is reflected by the broad scope of research taking place at UCL, as showcased at this year’s UCL III Symposium, held at the UCL Institute of Child Health on 24 November.

    The UCL III Theme is a large cross-disciplinary research community, which helps to facilitate interaction and collaboration across UCL and its partner hospitals and organisations.

    The amalgamation of III scientists and clinicians across UCL have already unlocked some of the long kept secrets of diseases such as HIV, cancer, malaria, TB, asthma and arthritis. Such a collaborative culture also provides a rich platform for aspiring PhD students and postdoctoral scientists.

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