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Ziggurat - The e-Newsletter of the UEA Alumni Association February 2017 View in browser
Feb header

Our year got off to a great start with the Queen’s visit to campus last month, highlighting one of the University’s greatest resources, The Sainsbury Centre and its world-class art collection and exhibitions. Plenty of students waited to greet Her Majesty, along with local schoolchildren, the world’s media and even Fijian warriors. It was a great snapshot of the University’s local and global standing, and a fun day too.

This month we announce the UEA Publishing Project, an exciting new venture. And we continue to celebrate our alumni, from their fundraising impact and tropical challenges, to an interview with alumnus and Chair of UEA Council Joe Greenwell.

Our archive of photo galleries is still proving popular, as are our #throwbackthursday posts on social media. The gig archive seems to have really struck a chord, regularly proving to be the most popular story in Ziggurat and generating plenty of discussion on Twitter, so please keeping sharing your memories and photos!

Featured Stories
London Lecture March 2017

Loving every drop - the future of water: Expert panel from UEA and Anglian Water

Water supplies are under pressure from the impacts of climate change, an increasing population and the growing need for water in industry. These are global challenges but are keenly felt in the east of England, with its low rainfall, rapid growth, and large agricultural sector.

Next month’s London Lecture is a panel discussion which will launch the Anglian Centre for Water Studies. This new strategic collaboration between UEA and Anglian Water will take an interdisciplinary approach to ensuring a sustainable and resilient water supply for future generations.

Speakers on the panel will include Vice-Chancellor Prof David Richardson and Anglian Water CEO, alumnus Peter Simpson. The panel will be chaired by BBC TV presenter Philippa Forrester.

Read More  
US travel ban

Vice-Chancellor’s blog

Vice-Chancellor David Richardson used his most recent blog post to issue a statement about the travel restrictions to the USA recently ordered by President Donald Trump.

“As a University we are opposed to any action, anywhere in the world, that prevents students and academics from pursuing their studies because of their religion or place of birth. We will continue to support our diverse family of nations at UEA and to welcome refugee scholars wherever we can.”

Read the full statement  
The Smiths 1984

UEA gig history project – the posters, photos and memories continue

The February focus for UEA’s ongoing project to celebrate 50 years of gigs gives a nod to Valentine’s day with a belated review of The Smiths' gig from 14 February 1984 by Professor Neil Ward. 

This month’s Guest Blog by Future Radio’s Kate Roma also provides a wonderfully evocative memory of a crush on Ian McCulloch from Echo and the Bunnymen; prepare for Clearasil, Top Shop and annoying little sisters. Talk on the @UEAgighistory feed continues to jog memories and inspire debate. A number of performers have responded to old posters and photos shared on the feed; Tracey Thorn remembered happy times, Paul Young remembered a set list, Charlie Higson remembered the lyrics and Neil Innes remembered what it was like to have fun! Can’t be bad.

A new Photo Booth is developing on the site in an attempt to capture some amazing rare pictures taken by UEA student photographers from the early ‘80s. See here for a taste of things to come.

News in Brief
Reality TV helps explain how brain reacts to social feedback

Ever wondered what goes through the contestants’ heads on reality TV shows like Strictly Come Dancing, The Apprentice or Big Brother when they learn the results of the public vote? New research has revealed what happens in an individual’s brain when they receive positive and negative social comments in relation to others in this competitive way.

Protein essential for healthy gut cells identified

Scientists have uncovered key processes in the healthy development of cells which line the human gut, furthering their understanding about the development of cancer.

New atmospheric chamber research group launches with €9m fund

An air-sea-ice chamber at UEA will benefit from €9 million of funding, thanks to a project bringing together advanced atmospheric simulation chambers into a world-class infrastructure.

More Stories
Dave Cushway

Alumnus’ tropical relocation

Alumnus Dave Cushway recently made the enviable move to the Island of St Helena for an 18 months ‘busman’s holiday’, joining the St Helena Police as a detective in their Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

Dave has been with the UK police force since 2004 and worked as a detective in Norfolk for the past six years. But the opportunity to take a career break from the UK to work as a detective constable on the island was too good to pass up – and as a history graduate, the island being the location of Napoleon’s exile was an added bonus!

Dave’s main role is to deal with serious crime on the island as well as looking at historic crimes, and passing on some of his experience to local officers.
“Life is very different here, only about 4,000 people living here, a few hundred ex-pats. The only way on or off the island is via the RMS St Helena - pretty much the last Royal Mail ship in existence. It's a very small island but with a real community spirit- and fantastic weather!"

Read More  
Royal visit

Queen receives warm reception on campus

As you may have seen on social media and in last month’s Ziggurat, Her Majesty The Queen visited UEA on Friday 27 January. 

Despite the cold, crowds of students and local residents turned out to watch the Queen’s arrival on campus, including excited pupils from West Earlham Infant and Nursery School and Bluebell Primary School.

She was greeted by the UEA’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Richardson, and the Fiji High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Jitoko Tikolevu. The Queen enjoyed a tour of Fiji: Art and Life in the Pacific, the Sainsbury Centre exhibition about the island nation. Among the exhibits was a ceremonial whale tooth, or tabua, which she was presented with during her first visit to Fiji in December 1953.

Catch up the social media highlights  
Louise Doughty

Alumna speaking at Spring Literary Festival

Alumna and writer Louise Doughty will be appearing on campus next month as part of the Spring Literary Festival. Louise will be in conversation with Henry Sutton, followed by a book signing in Waterstones.

Louise is the author of eight novels, including Apple Tree Yard, which was recently made into a BBC series starring Emily Watson and UEA alumna Olivia Vinall. Her latest novel, Black Water, will be published in paperback in March.

Read more and book  
Joe Greenwell OBE

Meet Joe Greenwell 

Last year alumnus Joe Greenwell was appointed as the Chair of UEA Council, the University’s governing body.

When UEA was established in 1963, the ambition was to do different with a commitment to maintain an international outlook from its Norwich campus. Joe believes that this vision will ensure the University is well-placed to thrive in the complex post-Brexit world.

“I feel a very deep loyalty and fondness for UEA and the way it has always developed students and set them on a path for a successful future. They will remember a great university experience for the rest of their lives, and it helps to shape them. Our role is to provide excellent teaching and to support their ambitions, nurturing their entrepreneurial spirit and encouraging links with businesses and the community.”

“We’ve grown from 2,800 students when I studied here in the 1970s to 15,000 today and continue to invest in our facilities and courses. We’ve come a long way in the past 50 years and will continue to do different by remaining an outward-facing university that works closely with our staff, academics, students and partners to nurture talent and tackle real-world challenges through our research.”

Read the full INTERVIEW  
Alumni Fund

Alumni Fund awards now open

The bidding process for this year’s Alumni Fund awards is now open.

Made possible thanks to the generosity of donations from alumni, all schools and departments across UEA will be able to bid for funding towards projects that will enhance the student experience. In the past year alone this fund has supported the purchase of equipment for the schools of Law, Environmental Science and Medicine; the endorsement of a pilot playwriting project with our creative writing and drama students attending local schools; and student nurses gaining experience as they travel to developing counties.

The fund was originally set up by generous alumni, with many supporting the fund during the Alumni Call Campaign. The Spring Call Campaign is now underway with calls taking place during evenings and weekends until mid-March.

Support the Alumni Fund  
Concrete founding members

Concrete25: Save the date

Founded in 1992, Concrete is about to celebrate its 25th birthday and they want you to be a part of the celebration.

Whether you were a writer, photographer, or wore the Editor's crown you are all invited to Concrete25, a canapé reception at UEA's Sainsbury Centre on Friday 28 April, 7pm-9.30pm. More details will follow soon, but make sure to save the date. 

If you have memories to share and want to be featured in the 25th anniversary issue get in touch with Megan Baynes, current Editor-in-Chief, by emailing

Japan Now UEA Publishing Project

UEA Publishing Project

A new publishing venture is being launched which aims to join-up the University’s publishing activity and bring the desire to do different to the field of academic publishing in the UK.

The UEA Publishing Project has been established by Nathan Hamilton and Dr Philip Langeskov of the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing, and is part-financed by Norwich Research Park and UEA’s Enterprise Executive.

Channelling UEA’s pioneering heritage in the study of creative and critical writing, the first publication is the KESHIKI series, now available through Strangers Press and scheduled for launch later this month. KESHIKI, meaning ‘landscape’ in Japanese, is a series of exquisitely designed booklets. The series showcases the work of eight of the most exciting writers working in Japan today, and is part of a wider collaboration with Norwich University of the Arts and Writers’ Centre Norwich, funded by the Nippon Foundation.

Centre for Japanese Studies

Centre for Japanese Studies Spring newsletter

The Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Culture's spring 2017 newsletter is out now, full of news and events.

Explore the Institute’s innovative programme of fellowships, exhibitions, lectures, and more.

Working With Words 2016

Working with Words

Now in its fourth year, Working with Words is a careers event that brings over 40 UEA alumni speakers back to campus to participate in a day of workshops and panels with current students. Speakers from the worlds of journalism, publishing, marketing and PR, arts administration, music journalism, TV and radio share their experience and advice with over 300 students. 

The careers team are always keen to hear from people who would like the opportunity to come back and share their knowledge experiences with the student community, no matter what stage of your career you are at or how long ago you graduated. Advice on the first year after leaving university can be as helpful as a whole career overview. If you’d like be involved in this event in the future, email the careers team who will be very happy to hear from you.

One of the challenges facing students hoping to work in the creative industries is how to get an insight into different careers and understand how to get a foothold. Careers events like Working With Words can help but mentoring opportunities for students in creative industries are also hugely important. So if you are too far away from Norwich to contemplate a visit, or can’t bear the thought of public speaking, please do think about becoming a mentor and add your experience to the mix. You can find out more about UEA mentoring here.

Read more about the event  
DEV short courses

What are your training needs in 2017?

The School of International Development runs short courses which seek to educate, inform and promote discussion and networking between participants and UEA researchers.

They provide cutting edge training on the most pertinent and relevant topics in international development, with access to the School’s extensive learning resources.

Verid Requiem

UEA Choir and Symphony Orchestra perform Verdi’s dramatic Requiem 

Tom Primrose will direct UEA Choir and Symphony Orchestra, as they join forces for a performance of Verdi’s epic Requiem, on Friday 24 March at 7.30pm at St Andrews Hall in Norwich. 

Verdi’s Requiem is amongst the richest and most revered works in the choral repertoire. Conceived first as a collaborative project to commemorate Rossini, it became instead Verdi’s personal tribute to the writer Alessandro Manzoni, whose ardent support for Italian unification Verdi shared. UEA Choir and Symphony Orchestra will be joined in their performance by prize-winning soloists, Emily Garland (soprano), Claire Barnett-Jones (mezzo-soprano), Richard Dowling (tenor) and Keel Watson (bass).

Postgraduate campaign

You don’t have to leave to go far

Are you thinking about further postgraduate study? If you haven’t already, discover UEA’s postgraduate community at the open day on Wednesday 15 March.

Meet and talk with current Master’s students and academics, and gain expert advice on the application process and funding opportunities for your chosen area of interest.

A Master’s degree can provide you with an enhanced professional skillset and experience to help you stand out in a highly competitive job market.

Book your place  
What's On

Spring Literary Festival 2017
Ed Balls – Change of Date

Wednesday 17 May
Lecture Theatre 1, UEA

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Literary Festival event with Ed Balls has been rescheduled to Wednesday 17 May.

If you can no longer attend this event, the Literary Festival will be happy to offer you a refund; please contact them on

We apologise for inconvenience caused.

Releasing the Lyric: Translating Latin and Greek Poetry

The British Centre for Literary Translation at UEA presents The Sebald Lecture 2017, Michael Longley CBE
Monday 20 February, 7pm
The British Library Conference Centre, London NW1 2DB

Tickets £12 (£10 over 60s, £8 conc.)

Since studying Classics at Trinity College Dublin, Irish poet Michael Longley has frequently drawn on classical models in his poetry and established allusive parallels between ancient and modern concerns. Over the course of his career he has also translated a wide variety of fellow poets, from classical authors to Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, prompting Justin Quinn to write that ‘for Longley, translation becomes a way of thinking about the world’.

In this lecture he will be reading, and commenting on, his translations from Latin and Greek. He will begin with his youthful versions from Sextus Propertius and progress to later poems derived from Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, taking in Sappho and Tibullus on the way.

In Conversation with Harriet Harman: A Woman’s Work

Chaired by Dame Margaret Hodge MP with audience Q&A, followed by post-event book signing
Thursday 6th April, 7.30pm
Thomas Paine Study Centre Lecture Theatre, UEA 

Join Harriet Harman, one of Britain’s most prominent campaigning politicians and the country’s longest-serving female MP, in conversation with Dame Margaret Hodge MP, as she discusses her ground-breaking memoir A Woman’s Work. A rare political autobiography by a woman about the last 30 years in British politics, this is the riveting story of her efforts to bring women’s issues to the heart of the Labour Party and of a life dedicated to fighting for equality and respect for women, in the home, workplace and in society.

Harriet will offer a crucial insider’s account of the progress (and setbacks) in the Labour Party, UK politics and the way the country has been governed since the 1970s. She shows how far we've come - and how much there is still to do.

Don’t miss the chance to ask your questions during the audience Q&A and meet Harriet at the post-event book signing.


In the past month the University has sadly been informed of the death of following alumna:

Reshma Patel (EUR91)

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