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Ziggurat - The e-Newsletter of the UEA Alumni Association May 2018 View in browser
May 2018 courtesy Rose Kemmy
Featured Stories
John Lydon 1983

UEA Gig History

UEA’s Gig History project has two interviews this month on the website. Unusually, the focus is on just one band: Public image Limited (PiL), who make a return to UEA’s Nick Rayns LCR on Wednesday 6 June.

The project, you may recall, began its life marking the 40th anniversary of the cancellation of a Sex Pistols gig in 1976. As you may know, the lead singer for both bands is the same person: John Lydon. The project team felt this to be an ideal moment to say sorry and vigorously seized the opportunity to talk with John about the sheer thrill and fear he still feels when performing live. John shared his thoughts - also vigorously - about memorabilia and why it’s never a good idea to put it onto an enormous bonfire on the Thames.

As luck would have it the bass player for PiL, Scott Firth, lives in Norfolk and has also played UEA a few times with some amazing artists. Scott talks in the Memory Box about exploding PA systems, family ties and why he first picked up a guitar. Followers of @UEAGighistory will know that many tickets, photos and anecdotes from 1963 onwards have been shared with #UEAgigs. Photos were kindly sent through by Neil Morrell from the PiL’s UEA show in 1983 (including the above image) and it’s these kind of attic finds that the project rejoices in.

Please keep sending your memorabilia through to

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League table success

UEA maintains top 15 league table ranking

The University has maintained a top 15 position in the prestigious Complete University Guide league table for the third year running.

UEA has steadily risen through the ranks over the past decade and achieves a rank of 14 in the 2019 table which was released last month.

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London Lecture May 2018

London Lecture series continues

The last of this year’s London Lectures will take a look at the history of human displacement through a philosophical and literary lens, with Prof Lyndsey Stonebridge from UEA’s School of History.

In 1944, the political philosopher Hannah Arendt wrote: “Everywhere the word ‘exile’, which once had an undertone of almost sacred awe, now provokes the idea of something simultaneously suspicious and unfortunate.” Today’s refugee crisis is the latest chapter in the modern history of mass displacement that stretches back to the beginning of the last century. Not only have people been forced to move but perceptions of the stranger, the exile, host and home have shifted too.

In this talk, Prof Stonebridge will show how the meanings of exile have changed over the last one hundred years through the words of the writers and thinkers who experienced it most intensely.

UEA’s London Lectures are an annual series of talks highlighting the impactful research taking place at the University, presented in London. They are free and open to all, but booking is essential. There is now fully booked, but will be livestreamed on Facebook and will be available online afterwards

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Court 2018

You are invited to attend Court 2018

The annual meeting of Court will take place on Friday 8 June. All alumni, friends and supporters of the University are invited to attend.

As a university created by Royal Charter, UEA has a formal body known as Court with representation from across the region. Each year we are pleased to extend an invitation to all to join us at this event and hear some of the latest news from the University, including the Vice-Chancellor’s annual report.

This year we will also be celebrating our recent Innovation and Impact Award finalists: Dr Derwin Gregory (UEA’s School of History) on Operation WALBEA, an archaeological project investigating the lives of wartime US service personnel in East Anglia through the everyday objects they left behind; and UEA graduate, Michelle Sewell of HACK Theatre, the multi-award winning theatre company based at Norwich Arts Centre.

Court will be followed by a reception in The Sainsbury Centre.

Booking IS essential  
News in Brief
UEA joins new study into Antarctic glaciers

Researchers at the University are part of an international research project to understand how quickly a massive Antarctic glacier could collapse.

Weather forecast model predicts patterns of volcanic ash dispersal

Researchers from UEA have helped provide fresh insight into how huge volcanic ash plumes, which can critically disrupt aviation and cause major impact on the ground, are transported in the atmosphere.

Growing ‘dead zone’ confirmed by underwater robots

New UEA research has confirmed a dramatic decrease in oxygen in the Gulf of Oman, part of the Arabian Sea. But the environmental disaster is worse than expected.

More Stories
Imogen Hermes Gowar

Alumna makes Baileys’ Prize shortlist

Congratulations to alumna Imogen Hermes Gowar whose first novel The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock has been shortlisted for the Baileys' Women's Prize for Fiction 2018.

Imogen studied Archaeology, Anthropology and Art History at UEA before going on to work in museums. She began to write small pieces of fiction inspired by the artefacts she worked with and around, and in 2013 won the Malcolm Bradbury Memorial Scholarship to study for an MA in Creative Writing at UEA.

The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony on Wednesday 6 June.

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Mark Berry

UEA alumnus appointed University’s IT Director

Alumnus Mark Barry has been appointed IT Director at UEA, with effect from Friday 1 June.

Mark is currently IT Director at Boots, where he has played a leading role in developing their digital agenda. Prior to that, he worked for a number of Norfolk-based companies, including Aviva, Baxter Healthcare and Lotus Cars.

Mark graduated from UEA in 1982 with a BSc in Accountancy, then spent two years as a research associate.

“I am thrilled to be joining UEA after spending time here both as a student and as a researcher,” he said. “This is a tremendous time to be involved in higher education and research, and I believe that UEA is in a great position to build on its position as a leading institution.”

UEA stories blog

UEA Stories

One of the featured stories on the UEA Stories blog this month is from Liz, an American and English Literature graduate, who works for the BBC News Channel: “I’ve reported on everything from Brexit results day, terror attacks and big court cases to celebrity deaths – it’s never boring!”

Other stories featured this month include the journey from studying History of Art to becoming a children’s book editor, the challenges of social work, and a professor at Yeshiva University in New York City who started writing novels after retirement.

If you’ve been inspired and want to share your own UEA story, you can get involved by emailing

Read Liz’s blog  
Scholarship recipients

Awards enable talented students to study at UEA

Donor-supported scholarships are continuing to make it possible for some of the brightest students to study at UEA.

This year’s annual Scholarships Reception on Friday 20 April saw a record number of students receive awards - more than a quarter of whom are from Norfolk and Suffolk.

A total of 66 gifted and talented young people who might not otherwise be able to afford to continue their studies were given over £640,000 in funding donated by the University’s own private supporters. The scholarship awards are a key feature of The Difference Campaign, which was launched six years ago and has so far supported more than 500 individuals as well as raised funds for medical research, climate change study, and enhanced the student experience at UEA through a variety of projects.

New scholarships launched this academic year include The Nick Hynes Scholarship, for an undergraduate student studying Social Sciences, which was awarded to Psychology student Jasmine Florence; The Main Scholarship, for a student on the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction), awarded to Jayne Farnworth; and The Lee Bray Scholarship, for a student from the Lowestoft/Waveney region, awarded to Occupational Therapy student Leah Ellingham.

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Derby Day 2018

Derby Day success continues!

The annual Derby Day competition against the University of Essex took place on Wednesday 25 April, and UEA won for the sixth year in a row.

Catch up on all the highlights from the day on UEA Media Collective's Facebook page.

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Lorna Sage memorial

Lorna Sage Memorial Lecture: Prof Maud Ellmann

The inaugural Lorna Sage Memorial Lecture will take place at The Forum in Norwich on Thursday 14 June. The lecture – entitled ‘The Salesman Only Rings Once: Julian Maclaren-Ross and the Vacuum Cleaner in the 1930s’ – will be given by Prof Maud Ellmann from the University of Chicago.

Alumni and friends are invited to attend the lecture, which is held to recognise and celebrate the contribution that the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing has made to the history and development of literary studies. Fondly remembered by many UEA alumni, Prof Lorna Sage is an important figure in our history, making a significant mark on both her field and UEA during her time here as assistant lecturer (1965-1981), as Dean of the School of English and American Studies (1985) and as Professor of English Literature (1994-2001). Her work on women’s writing, including the works of Virginia Woolf, Edith Wharton, Doris Lessing and Angela Carter, was central to the consolidation of this critical field, as was her editorship of The Cambridge Guide to Women's Writing in English (1995).

This lecture is free to attend and will be followed by a short wine reception.

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Science Lates

Pioneering UEA research at the Science Museum

Leading experts from the University shared their pioneering research around Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) at the Science Museum in London last month.

The event, one of the Museum’s monthly after-hours series, Lates, was themed ‘Superbugs: The Fight for Our Lives’. The evening was part of the Science Museum’s Superbugs exhibition, which UEA sponsors alongside Pfizer, Shionogi and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Superbugs, which is on display in the Tomorrow’s World gallery until spring 2019, highlights the urgent need to tackle AMR, which, without action, will lead to advanced medical treatments such as chemotherapy and major surgery all but disappearing as bacteria become resistant to antibiotics.

UEA scientists gave short talks on their research to open up conversations around better detection of infections, the search for new antibiotics and the avoidance of infection altogether as possible solutions to the AMR crisis.

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Kitchen Chemistry

UEA chemist hopes for positive ‘reaction’ during Malaysia trip

Dr Stephen Ashworth, a lecturer from the University’s School of Chemistry, has taken his dramatic Kitchen Chemistry science show to nine schools in Malaysia.

The show uses everyday materials and simple equipment to demonstrate basic chemical principles. His aim is to increase interest in science, specifically chemistry, among secondary school children and encourage them to consider sciences courses in further and higher education.

This trip is part of a number of outreach events which Dr Ashworth takes part in across the UK, and further afield in South Africa, Mauritius and Mozambique.

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UEA Model UN

UEA Model UN

In April, UEA’s student-led Model United Nations society (UEAMUN) ran their own Model UN conference, supported by the University’s Outreach team.

Seventy students from six local schools took part in the conference, from Years 9 to 12. The students who ran the event were able to develop skills, learn more about global politics, and consider possible resolutions for difficult global issues.

The conference opened with a key-note speech from current postgraduate student Katrina Igglesden, who was the Fijian Prime Minister’s cultural ambassador at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn last November.

Many educational experts have highlighted the benefits of addressing issues around self-confidence in school, an idea that is supported by the work done by UEA’s Outreach team working with schools across Norfolk and Suffolk. Events like the Model UN instil confidence in public speaking and diplomacy, and raises awareness of the benefits of studying at a higher education level.

UEA for Business

UEA for Business

UEA has launched a LinkedIn showcase page, ‘UEA for Business’, which is dedicated to making it easy for business organisations to work with the University and find solutions to their challenges.

UEA can help you develop new products and services; identify areas for cost savings; make strategic decisions; solve technical and operational problems; and develop executive education and degree apprenticeship programmes, all via the knowledge and expertise of the University’s world-class academic experts, and enthusiastic students and graduates.

Follow UEA for Business on Twitter for updates and to find out more about opportunities for collaboration.

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Keswick Hall Lectures

Rescheduled Keswick Hall Lectures

This year’s Keswick Hall Lectures, which were originally due to take place in March, have now been rescheduled for May. Join us to discuss the place of kindness in modern society with speakers from education, charitable organisations and faith groups.

The series will discuss the place of kindness in our modern world, particularly within the realms of education, the community, and public life.

The lectures will each take different forms: the first, on kindness in education on Wednesday 9 May, will consist of three TED-style talks; the second, on kindness in the community on Wednesday 16 May, will take the form of a roundtable discussion; and the third, on kindness in public life on Thursday 24 May, will be an ‘in conversation’ event with Anthony Isaacs and Baroness Sal Brinton.

These lectures will each start at 6.30pm and will be held in the Thomas Paine Study Centre lecture theatre at UEA. Each event in the series will be followed by a reception, with the chance for guests to meet the speakers and discuss the lecture topic over drinks.

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What's On summer 2018

New issue of What’s On now online

The latest edition of What's On at UEA is out now, with details of more than 80 film screenings, gigs, art exhibitions, public lectures, plays, symposia and festivals taking place on UEA campus and throughout the region this summer.

While this is the last edition of What's On at UEA that will be mailed directly to home addresses, free printed copies can still be picked up in libraries, arts venues and retail outlets across East Anglia. As always, you can also flick through a digital version of the guide on Issuu, or visit our online events diary for the most up-to-date information.

Make sure to follow @UEAEvents on Twitter or their new Facebook page for news about the latest additions to the calendar, and sign up to receive the monthly What’s On email.

Read What's On  
Movement survey

Research participants needed

Volunteers are being sought to help collect movement data for everyday activities. The data will be used to help UEA researchers understand the effect of medical conditions on these activities.

The testing involves a visit to the Human Movement Lab at the University, and should take around 90 minutes.

If you would like to participate, or want more information, please email


Enhance your career choices with a postgraduate degree

With a reputation for world-leading research, dedicated teaching that challenges you to reach your full potential, and supportive funding such as exclusive alumni tuition fee-reduction scholarships, there are some excellent opportunities to take your learning further with UEA.

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

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Open Day October 2017

Open Days 2018

The first of this year’s four Open Days will take place on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 July.

If you know someone thinking about applying to university, whether they’re just starting to consider A Level choices or they’ve already started the UCAS application process, why not take the opportunity to come back to UEA to show them around and give them an insight in to campus life? If you want to show what university life looks and feels like, why not start with the one you know best? It’s a great opportunity to indulge in a little wander down memory lane while potentially inspiring a student of the future.

If you can't make it back to campus, you can still enjoy the fun on social media by following #UEAOpenDay.

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What's On

Spring Literary Festival - Emma Healey

Wednesday 16 May, 7pm (doors 6.30pm)
Lecture Theatre 1, UEA

Emma Healey moved to Norwich in 2010 to study for the MA in Creative Writing at UEA. Her first novel, Elizabeth is Missing, won the Costa First Novel Award 2014 and was shortlisted for the National Book Awards Popular Fiction Book of the Year, going onto sell over a million copies worldwide. Published this month, her second novel, Whistle in the Dark, is a gripping mystery about a mother and daughter.

The talk will be followed by a book signing in Waterstones.

Sainsbury Centre lunchtime talks From structure to space: the ineffable dimension of architecture

Thursday 17 May, 1.15-1.45pm
Meet at gallery reception, The Sainsbury Centre
Dr Ana Rute da Costa (Lecturer in Architecture, Norwich University of the Arts)

Get a different perspective and extra insight into the SUPERSTRUCTURES exhibition with our lunchtime talks, given by contributors from a range of disciplines and backgrounds. These talks are inspired by SUPERSTRUCTURES: The New Architecture 1960–1990, an exhibition that marks the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, the first public building designed by the world-renowned architect Norman Foster. The exhibition runs until Sunday 2 September.

Earlham Law Lecture 2018 - Settlement of disputes before international tribunals

Wednesday 23 May, 6-7pm
The Enterprise Centre lecture theatre, UEA
Sir Christopher Greenwood CMG QC

(Judge of International Court Of Justice (2008-2017), Member of Iran-United States Claim Tribunal, Professor London School of Economics)


In the past month the University has sadly been informed of the death of the following alumni and former staff:

Dr Jeremy Fox

Margaret Simpson (CHE66)

An obituary has been provided for Doctors Brenda and Stanley Shapiro (both CHE66) by Dr Charles S.P. Jenkins (CHE66) which can be read here online.

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