Monthly Archives: December 2013

ESU/Essex Court National Mooting Competition Success

GDL MootingMany congratulations to the Oxford Brookes University GDL mooting team (Jack Thorp and Rachel Sullivan) who last night defeated the University of Gloucestershire in the first round of this year’s ESU/Essex Court National Mooting Competition, which was held before Richard Benson QC in the Moot Court in Headington Hill Hall. Jack and Rachel now progress to the second round, where they will face either Buckinghamshire New University or the University of Oxford.

Dinah Roe invited to give lecture at the Keats-Shelley House in Rome

Dr Dinah Roe was invited by the Keats Shelley Memorial Association to give a lecture at the Keats-Shelley House in Rome on 6 December 2013. Situated at the right foot of the Spanish Steps, the Keats-Shelley House is a museum dedicated to the English Romantic poets who came to Rome for inspiration. The building is most famous for being the final dwelling place of John Keats, who died there in 1821.

P1000574Entitled Keats vs. Shelley: The Romantics, The Rossettis and Sibling Rivalry, Dinah’s lecture examined the ways in which the artistic and personal conflicts between the Rossetti brothers were expressed in their creative and critical work on Keats and Shelley. Beginning with a history of the Rossetti family’s relationship with Romantic poetry and poets, she went on to explore the recovery of Keats’s poetry by the Pre-Raphaelites in general and Dante Gabriel Rossetti in particular. She also suggested that William Michael Rossetti’s  interest in Shelley was motivated by his own radical political stance, and that his lack of sympathy for Keats was informed by his brother’s over-identification with the tragic Romantic poet.

The lecture was well-received and stimulated many questions from the English and Italian members of the audience. Dinah is very grateful for the support of the EML Impact Activities Fund, and hopes that further collaborations between Oxford Brookes University and the Keats Shelley House will spring from this international exchange.


Ryan Farrell wins Professor Detlef Mühlberger Prize for the best MA dissertation

uiah-helsinki-5522188-oRyan Farrell is this year’s winner of the Professor Detlef Mühlberger Prize for the best MA dissertation.

Ryan’s dissertation examined the life of SS-Hauptsturmführer Dr Waldemar Hoven, who from 1939 until 1943 served in the medical division at Buchenwald concentration camp. Utilizing the format of a biography, the thesis documents a series of seminal life events, including Hoven’s pre-war experiences, participation in coercive human research, and involvement in a variety of extra-professional criminal activities.  Ultimately, Hoven is shown to be an ideal representative of the vicious diversity that characterized the Nazi worldview in both theory and practice.

A copy of Ryan’s dissertation will be lodged in the Oxford Brookes University library in the New Year.

New Moot Court for Law Students

This Semester sees the opening of the Law School’s new moot court. An in-house mock courtroom, it provides the School with a place for students to develop their advocacy skills, particularly beneficial for those seeking a career in the legal profession.

onstream_banner_imgThe moot court has been made possible thanks to the support of the Ministry of Justice, which donated the court furniture. A Royal Crest, present in all courtrooms in England and Wales, has also been gifted to the Court by an alumnus Luke Campbell, now working at the Law Commission.

Already the Court has attracted attention from law professionals, with Circuit Judge Her Honour Anuja Dhir QC visiting earlier this month to judge an internal mooting competition. Judge Dhir is pictured above, centre, with the winning students.

The official opening ceremony of the Court will take place on 13 December and will be attended by His Honour Judge Gordon Risius, Recorder of Oxford.

Earlier this year, two students representing Brookes celebrated success at the Commonwealth Mooting Competition. Having won the UK qualifying contest, the pair beat off competition from some of the best student mooting teams in the world to take the title.

Also this year, another team from Brookes won the Inner Temple Inter Varsity Moot, beating 32 mooting teams from across the UK and Ireland.

Oxford Brookes students in the new Moot Court

Oxford Brookes students in the new Moot Court

The hopes for the new court are that it will help build on these successes such and improve the student experience.

Professor Meryll Dean, Head of the School of Law , said: ‘This is a significant addition to the student experience in the School of Law. It provides a realistic and professional context within which students can develop their advocacy skills in front of legal professionals.’

The Court is located on the first floor of Headington Hill Hall and now serves as a permanent feature of the School of Law.

Senior Lecturer in Politics, Sarah Whitmore, publishes article about the political situation in Ukraine

Senior Lecturer in Politics, Dr Sarah Whitmore, has published an article on the Political Studies Association blog about the political situation in Ukraine.


The article, published on 6 December, is intended for a wide audience who perhaps don’t know too much about Ukraine but are interested in understanding why hundreds of thousands of people have been out on the streets demonstrating for almost two weeks.

Sarah Whitmore is a Senior Lecturer in Politics at Oxford Brookes University and an honorary research fellow at the Centre for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Birmingham.



Swedish funding for Oxford Fatherhood network

Tina MillerThe Oxford Fatherhood network established by Professor Tina Miller following a dissemination event as part of a British Academy award has been awarded funding of just over 29,000 Euros (£25,000) by a Swedish funding organization RIKSBANKENS JUBILEUMSFOND.

The award is a result of a successful application made to the funding body by Professor Lars Plantin of Malmö University, who is a member of the network. The network comprises a collaboration between 15 researchers from 12 universities in the UK, Italy, Sweden and Denmark and the funding will facilitate the production of a special issue of the journal, Families, Relationships and Societies to be published in January 2015. A series of meetings allied to the special issue and the development of future research bids will be hosted at Oxford Brookes University, Bristol University, Malmö University and the Catholic University in Milan throughout the coming year.

Professor Tina Miller said she was delighted at the outcome of the Swedish application, adding that: “This is a very welcome and significant boost to the continuation of the Fatherhood research being undertaken at Oxford Brookes University. The special issue of the journal will bring together a timely and comprehensive overview of current scholarship on fathering and fatherhood drawing on different European contexts. The meetings will also support planning for a future (2020 Horizon) European funding application which the network plans to submit”.

Professor Lars Plantin, Malmö University, said the award “would do much to sustain the momentum of the network in the development of this important special issue. It will also be key in supporting the collaborative nature of the research by enabling all the members involved to benefit from valuable face-to-face discussion.”

The first meeting, hosted by Dr Esther Dermott, took place on 28–29 November 2013 at Bristol University, with the second scheduled for 20–21 March 2014 in Milan.

First year PhD student, Jennifer Wong, has poetry collection reviewed by leading poetry journal

goldfishJennifer Wong, a first year PhD student at Oxford Brookes University studying contemporary Asian American poetry and the power of ethnicity, has her poetry collection reviewed in the latest issue of Magma Poetry.

Published by Chameleon Press this year, Goldfish is a collection of poems that examines the pervasiveness of childhood memories, the Chinese rituals, superstitions, and social taboos, and includes a section with adaptations of classical Chinese poems. The poetry volume is considered to have displayed the asset of a ‘restrained, pared-down style’ and its ‘delicate, unshowy language’. The review highlights the poet’s ‘ambiguous relationship with Hong Kong’, the city where she was born and grew up, as a force that fuels her ‘ability to see multiple sides of everything’.

The review by Matt Merritt can be found in Issue 57 of Magma Poetry edited by Ian McEwen and Hannah Lowe. In addition, the book has been reviewed in other publications including South China Morning Post, Timeout Hong Kong and Urban Diary. Currently, Wong is studying for her PhD under the supervision of Dr Eoin Flannery and Dr Alex Goody, with creative writing supervision by Tobias Hill.

Teacher Education for the twenty first century: what can England and Japan learn from each other?

Nick Mead & colleaguesDelegates from Kyoto University of Education recently joined academics from the School of Education in a symposium hosted by Oxford Brookes University. The aim was to compare global and national changes to teacher education in Japan and England and to contrast the different pedagogies for training teachers in the two countries.

The four day symposium included discussions about the strength and weaknesses of Initial Teacher Education in England and Japan along with the professional values twenty first century teachers in both countries need.

The delegation from Kyoto University included Professors of Education with an interest in academic research as well as teachers and leaders from Kyoto primary and secondary schools who work with Kyoto university to deliver teacher training programmes in Japan. The symposium included a visit to two of Brookes partner schools to observe Brookes students undertaking their school based training and a debriefing by their school mentors. In contrast to Brookes PGCE students, who undertake 24 weeks school placement under the guidance of a trained mentor, their Japanese counterparts undertake just 4 weeks school based training a year with general feedback from a classroom teacher.

The symposium finished with a discussion on what could be learnt by Brookes and Kyoto staff and teacher training students if further joint research could be undertaken and a student exchange programme can be set up.

Nick Mead, Associate Lecturer at the School of Education said that:

“The symposium was very productive in comparing our needs in training teachers. We identified some key areas for future collaboration particularly in relation to developing autonomous trainee teachers who can be mentored in designing curricula and pedagogies for the twenty first century. We look forward to future collaboration in our area of research, also to potential student exchange’

Thames Valley Law Fair 2013 held at Headington Hill Hall

On Wednesday 27 November 2013 the Oxford Brookes University School of Law hosted the annual Thames Valley Law Fair. Nine Thames Valley Firms attended the event including Withy King, Henmans Freeth and Blake Lapthorn as well as the Oxford Brookes Pro Bono Society. The event attracted nearly 100 students with the feedback proving to be overwhelmingly positive. This event was an excellent opportunity for students to pick up tips on applying for training contracts, graduate jobs and for creating important contacts with local firms. We would like to thank the firms for attending and we look forward to hosting you all again next year!

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Poet, Claire Trévien, interviewed in the Bucks Free Press about her recent poety successes

homepage_071Dr Claire Trévien, who is currently teaching French in the Department of English and Modern Languages, was interviewed in the Bucks Free Press about her recent successes in the world of poetry. Claire grew up in Brittany, but moved to Beaconsfield when she was 14.

Her first book of poetry, The Shipwrecked House, was published by Penned in the Margins in 2013, and was named readers’ choice on the longlist for the Guardian First Book Award. In addition, one of the poems from the collection, ‘The Shipwrecked House II’, was Highly Commended in the 2013 Forward Prize.

Claire completed a PhD on French Revolutionary prints in 2012, and is the editor of Sabotage Reviews, co-editor of Verse Kraken, and co-organizer of Penning Perfumes. You can read more about Claire’s work from her website, follow her on Twitter, and hear her discuss her poem ‘Whales’ on a recent Poetry Centre podcast.