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Ziggurat - The e-Newsletter of the UEA Alumni Association January 2017 View in browser
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2017 already promises plenty to look forward to – starting with a royal visit! Our London Lecture series starts later this month; the Inaugural Lecture series and the Dragon Hall debates have both kicked off for the year; the WG Sebald Lecture will be held at the end of the month in London; and the Spring Literary Festival returns to campus. 

Our archive photo galleries are still proving popular, as are the #throwbackthursday posts on social media. We’d love to be able to include any photos you want to share with us. And for a little inspiration take a look at our 25 favourite photos of campus.

Featured Stories
New Years Honours

New Year’s honours for UEA alumni

Two alumni have been recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Terry Dafter (SOC76) former director of adult services at Stockport council has received an OBE for his services to childrens’ and adult social care.

Stephanie Hale (EAS85) received a British Empire Medal for her services to authors and literature.

Honorary graduate Sir Antony Beevor was knighted in recognition of his services in support of Armed Forces professional development.

London Lecture Jan 2017

London Lecture series 2017

The 2017 London Lecture series kicks off on Thursday 26 January with Dr Tom Licence from the School of History.

In his lecture, Tom will use items excavated from rubbish dumps to show how our throwaway habits developed. He will explore Victorian ideas about re-use and re-cycling, and link emerging patterns of waste-creation to the growth of western consumerism.

The lecture will take place in the Regent Street Cinema and will be followed by an informal drinks reception, giving you the chance to chat to Tom, your fellow alumni and other guests.

Read More and book  
Royal visit

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to visit The Sainsbury Centre at UEA

The University will have the honour of welcoming Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh to campus on Friday 27 January when they visit the Sainsbury Centre’s landmark exhibition about the art and cultural history of Fiji. 

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will be greeted by UEA Vice-Chancellor Prof David Richardson and the Fijian High Commissioner to the UK, Mr Jitoko Tikolevu, before being given a tour of ‘Fiji: Art & Life in the Pacific’. 

If you have any photos from previous royal visits to campus, we’d love you to share them with us, or post them using #QEA

UEA Gigs

UEA Gig Legacy Project – update and thank you

A very big thank you to everyone who has sent through memories of early gigs on UEA’s campus and the mysterious venue that was K Block. Anecdotes and photos are being sifted through and prepared for uploading to the website. A new highlight for this month is a very funny book extract by alumnus Oliver Gray, charting the triumphs and humiliations of being a student rock journalist at UEA in the ‘60s.

On Twitter @UEAgighistory has been buzzing with ticket stubs, pre-digital poster art, set lists and memories. Some rare, early photos of Duran Duran, shared by alumnus Trevor Benbrook were retweeted by fans all over the world and even received a “Whoah” from Duran Duran themselves!

The moody, misty band picture above proved a conversation starter as speculation grew around their identity. The Wedding Present, Orange Juice and The Bible were all suggested bands, but in the end we have been somewhat reliably informed that it is The Bronte Brothers – their proto-gothic name making perfect sense to all concerned.

There is much more to come in 2017, with guest blogs from alumni Luke Turner of The Quietus, musician Terry Edwards and filmmaker Gurinder Chadha. Please join in and get in touch at, as UEA continues to celebrate its history of live music.

Year in Review

2016 in review

From league table success and the Gregathlon at the beginning of 2016, through to graduation in the summer and world-leading research, take a look at UEA’s review of the year to see some of the University’s highlights from the past twelve months.

News in Brief
Close friendships between children can influence responses to fear

New research led by the University shows that close friends may influence how school-aged children think about danger.

A sugary drinks tax has wider economic as well as health benefits

The wider economic benefits of a tax on sugary drinks need to be recognised by policymakers if retailers’ pricing behaviour is to be changed, according to a study led by UEA.

Genome sequence of a polar alga explains adaptation to extreme climates

An international team of researchers has identified the genetic mutations which allowed microalgae (phytoplankton) from the Southern Ocean to adapt to extreme and highly variable climates – a step towards understanding how polar organisms are impacted by climate change.

More Stories

Alumni launch Youth STEMM Award initiative

An innovative achievement-based award to encourage more young people into STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine) has been launched in Norfolk by two UEA graduates, Samantha Fox, a researcher at the John Innes Centre, and Dr Simon Fox, principal of Flegg High School.

School students across Norfolk are taking part in the Youth STEMM Award which is supported by UEA, The Forum Trust and the John Innes Centre. Five high profile patrons, including BBC ethnobotanist James Wong, have also put their names to the Award: “I am so excited by the potential the Youth STEMM Award has to make a difference to young people in Norfolk and across the UK. Over 350 students from 20 schools are currently working towards Bronze, Silver and Gold level awards.”

A new website launched last week, together with an e-portfolio and an app that will enable students across the UK to take part. The students will gather at the John Innes Centre on Thursday 26 January to meet scientists and find out about research going on at the Norwich Research Park.

Read More  
Andrew Wood

Alumnus sworn in as new Honorary Consul for the Netherlands in East Anglia

At a ceremony last month, solicitor Andrew Wood was sworn in by Dutch Ambassador to the UK Simon Smits as the new Honorary Consul for the Kingdom of the Netherlands for a region which covers Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire.

Andrew is a Consultant Solicitor at Birketts LLP in Norwich and is Head of their Anglo-Dutch desk, specializing in Anglo-Dutch legal work. In addition to being a member of the Commercial Anglo-Netherlands Society, the Anglo-Netherlands Society and the Institute of Directors (Norfolk, national and Dutch branches), he is also a director of the Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce (The Hague and London). 

The role of an Honorary Consul is to represent the Kingdom of the Netherlands, to build regional economic networks, and to provide emergency consular assistance to Dutch citizens.

Read More  
Nepal walk

Walking challenge passes half-way point

Alumnus Henry Dunham and his friend Sam Crimp are currently walking 6,000 miles from the UK to Nepal, and they have now reached India.

Their incredible journey to raise money for brain tumour research has garnered attention in the local press and plenty of support along the way. Updates on their progress are posted regularly on their website, or you can follow them on Twitter as they walk the remaining 2,000km.

Their walk will be raising funds for Annie’s Challenge, a charity set up by Henry's family in 2015 to provide funds to help support sufferers of brain cancer. They've already raised £5,000, but are aiming much higher!

Go to their fundraising page  
Annabel Abbs

An interview with UEA alumna and donor Annabel Abbs

Alumna, scholarship donor and author of the award-winning novel The Joyce Girl Annabel Abbs shares her memories of her time at UEA and what inspired her to establish a scholarship for Creative Writing students. 

The Annabel Abbs Scholarship, along with all Creative Writing Scholarships, will be open for applications from Wednesday 1 February.

READ Annabel's story  
Whats On spring 2017

The new issue of What’s On is now online

Look through the Spring edition of What’s On online or visit the UEA events diary to find out more about upcoming events. 

Make sure to follow @UEAEvents on Twitter for news about the latest additions to the calendar.

Alumni Call Campaign

UEA alumni call campaign

This year’s spring call campaign will soon be underway.

Current students will be phoning alumni to bring you up-to-date with student life today and to hear all about life after UEA. They may even ask some advice for their future. Whether it’s talking about your time as a student, what you have gone on to do, or even a catch up about favourite academics, they are looking forward to speaking with you soon.

This year’s campaign is raising support for The Alumni Fund, The Difference Scholarships and Prostate Cancer Research, and calling will take place on weekday evenings and weekend afternoons during February and March.


Brexit discussions continue

The phrase “Brexit means Brexit” has been said a lot recently, but what does that mean? A series of three events involving practitioners and specialists took place on campus over the autumn semester to examine this question, generating lively debate and offering valuable insights as the UK government prepares to trigger Article 50. 

The series will continue later this week, with an event on Thursday 19 January examining the future of the UK as a union of nations in light of Brexit. With a majority of Scottish MPs committed to remaining within the EU and given the Scottish government’s recent publication of a draft bill for a second independence referendum, this event will examine the question of whether the UK can remain united in the face of Brexit. 

Speakers at the event will include Prof John Curtice (University of Strathclyde), Prof Michael Keating (University of Aberdeen), Dr Jo Hunt (University of Cardiff) and UEA’s Dr Nikos Skoutaris (LAW).

VC in India

Universities are even more relevant in post-truth world

Vice-Chancellor Professor David Richardson told Presidency University that higher education institutes are more important than ever in a ‘post-truth’ world, as the Indian university celebrated its 200th anniversary.

Prof David Richardson’s keynote speech at the Global Education Summit is part of the bi-centenary celebrations at Presidency University in Kolkata on Monday. The university – one of the first to offer Western-style higher education in Asia – offers courses in the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities.

As part of the commemorations at Presidency this month, lectures will be given by Nobel Laureates Jean Tirole and Muhammad Yunus, as well as academics from Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the California Institute of Technology, the University of California at Berkeley, Jawaharlal Nehru University and the National University of Singapore. India’s President Pranab Mukherjee and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will address Presidency students on January 20, the 200th Founder’s Day.

UEA Orchestra

UEA Symphony Orchestra perform a special campus-based concert

The UEA Symphony Orchestra will perform Beethoven’s celebrated Symphony No.5 and Debussy/Louÿs’ haunting Les Chansons de Bilitis on Saturday 21 January at 7pm in the UEA Drama Studio. 

The orchestra will be joined in their performance of Bilitis by the UK’s longest-running permanent French language theatre company, Sacré Théâtre.

Read more and book  

You don’t have to leave to go far

UEA has a range of Postgraduate Scholarships available for entry in September 2017 across all subject areas.

A Masters’ or research degree could provide you with an enhanced professional skillset, and experience to help you stand out in a highly competitive job market. Added to UEA’s reputation for world-leading research, supportive funding like the alumni tuition fee-reduction scholarships mean there are some excellent opportunities to take your learning further. 

The School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing will be holding an MA Open Evening on Monday 30 January, 5-8pm. You will have the opportunity to meet members of our vibrant community of literary critics, writers, translators and dramatists, and learn about all aspects of postgraduate life in the School.  

The MSc in Water Security and International Development draws upon the skills and experience of researchers from across the Schools of International Development and Environmental Science, offering world-class education in water security policy and science in developing country contexts. The 12 month course is the flagship of the Water Security Research Centre.  

READ more about postgraduate degrees  
EDU open day

Could you inspire the next generation?

UEA will be holding two open events in February for anyone considering training to teach, at either primary or secondary level.

Both sessions will start with a general information talk, and be followed by the opportunity to speak directly to subject tutors, current students and newly qualified teachers. Members of the admissions team will also be available to offer advice on all admissions related questions.

READ MORE and register your interest  
What's On

Fiji: Art & Life in the Pacific

Open until 12 February 2017
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

£12/£10.50 Free for Members, UEA Student Members and Patrons
Other concessions including Art Fund available.

This exhibition results from a three-year Arts & Humanities Research Council-funded project which examined the extensive but little-known Fijian collections in the UK and overseas, and uncovered some significant treasures. 

Paintings, drawings and photographs of the 19th and 20th century provide context for the artworks. These include exquisite watercolours by the intrepid Victorian travel writer and artist Constance Gordon Cumming, and by naval artist James Glen Wilson, who was in Fiji in the 1850s.

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 alumni:

Daniel Cook (SYS91)

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