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Ziggurat - The e-Newsletter of the UEA Alumni Association September 2018 View in browser
September Ziggurat
Featured Stories
UEA Global Gathering

Global celebrations

Be part of a global reunion this September, and join other UEA grads at the 40 events taking place all over the world.

Each autumn, alumni across the globe get together to mark the University’s anniversary and this year UEA will turn 55. From Argentina to Vietnam, from handmade vegan lunches to cocktails, book your place at your nearest gathering now.

Not seeing your area represented? If you are interested in hosting your own gathering, our Global Alumni Officer, Rose Kemmy, will be delighted to help you organise your own event. Email her on

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Lee Child

Lee Child archive has a new home

Lee Child, one of the world’s most popular and highly-acclaimed crime and thriller writers, and creator of 'Jack Reacher', has deposited his archive in the British Archive for Contemporary Writing at UEA.

He has sent more than 40 enormous boxes filled with papers spanning his career. There is so much material it will take more than a year to catalogue. Commenting on why he is giving the collection to the UEA, Child said: “It seems to me, from an author’s point of view, tremendously arrogant to imagine that anybody’s going to find it interesting. Iit wasn’t something I thought I would ever do. But UEA does have a reputation as a great university for writers and they were convinced that it would be useful.”

The University’s British Archive for Contemporary Writing (BACW) collections include the extensive personal archive of the Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing, and literary material from other authors such as Naomi Alderman, Tash Aw, Malcolm Bradbury, Amit Chaudhuri, Charlie Higson, JD Salinger, WG Sebald and the acclaimed playwright Snoo Wilson.

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Norwich Science Festival

Norwich Science Festival 2018

The popular Norwich Science Festival will return for its third year this October half-term, with events taking place from Friday 19 to Saturday 27 October.

This year’s Festival theme is ‘our future world’: exploring how developments in science and technology will shape our future, and what we can all do to help make it sustainable. The Festival kicks off on Friday 19 October with a day dedicated to celebrating our oceans, seas and rivers – from aquatic wildlife, to our responsibility to protect the marine environment. Other themed days focus on nature, physics, astronomy and space, engineering, technology, chemistry, health and the human body, plus a showcase of science from Norwich Research Park and a family fun day at Norwich Cathedral.

Events to look forward to include jaw-dropping demonstrations from Festival patron, BBC Sky at Night presenter and UEA honorary graduate Mark Thompson and a sold-out headline show from renowned TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham.

Scientists from across the Norwich Research Park will also engage the public with their research with more than 90 talks, workshops and activities throughout the week. Find out why UEA scientists use mini submarines to record underwater soundscapes, the secrets of living to 100 years old, plus why many scientists have a glass-blower on speed-dial! You can also hear about the latest UEA research into dementia prevention, antibiotic resistance, concussion in sport, and smoking cessation, plus updates from the Earlham Institute, the Quadram Institute and the John Innes Centre.

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UEA Family

UEA Family on Instagram

Our people are undoubtedly what makes UEA special, and a new Instagram project has launched to document the changing faces of the University community. All photographs are taken on campus and are accompanied by a short interview, telling the story of the subject and their connection to UEA.

If you are visiting campus and would like to take part, let us know by emailing

News in Brief
UEA Creative Writing appointments

Alumni Tom Benn and Molly Naylor are among the four award-winning novelists, screenwriters, playwriters and performers who will be joining the internationally renowned Creative Writing programme at UEA’s School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing this month.

Bird feared extinct rediscovered in the Bahamas

One of the rarest birds in the western hemisphere, the Bahama Nuthatch, has been rediscovered by research teams searching the island of Grand Bahama.

Nordic nations and North Americans best at navigation

People in Nordic countries, North America, Australia, and New Zealand have the best spatial navigational abilities, according to a new study led by the University of East Anglia and UCL.

More Stories
Elizabeth Macneal

Alumna's debut novel success

Alumna Elizabeth Macneal’s debut novel is to be adapted into a TV series by the production company behind popular ITV show Marcella.

Elizabeth, who received the Malcolm Bradbury Memorial Award, graduated in 2017. She applied for the course to improve her writing after her first two novels were rejected by publishers. “I had the most wonderful year at UEA; I learned so much and I do not believe I would have been able to write my novel without having done the course,” she said.

Her novel, The Doll Factory, is a tale of curiosity, love and possession set in 1850s London as The Great Exhibition is being constructed in Hyde Park. Two people meet in the crowd, starting a tale of obsession. It will be released in spring 2019 by Picador and is being translated into 26 languages. You can read Elizabeth’s blog on the UEA Stories site.

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Historic museum venue for UEA graduate’s film premiere

Alumnus Paul Cook is one of the writers and directors of Magpie, an independent feature film that explores Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following World War II.

Magpie will premiere at a 1940s-themed event held at the Imperial War Museum Duxford on Saturday 29 September as part of a collaborative event with House of Cambridge, Cambridge Film Festival, Cambridge Jazz Festival, Cambridge Cocktail Weekend and Neon Moon Burlesque and Cabaret Club. 

The film is set in East Anglia between 1942 and 1945, against the backdrop of the US ‘Friendly Invasion’ that occurred across East Anglia, which saw up to 450,000 American Air Force servicemen arrive and drastically alter the landscape of the area, introducing new cultural and social dynamics.

Magpie has been produced entirely within Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridge by a team of filmmakers, cast and crew who largely hail from the area, and include UEA graduates Ross Turner, who was 1st Assistant Camera, and actor James Lacey.

Mark Berry

Alumnus joins UEA as IT Director

Alumnus Mark Barry joined UEA as IT Director this summer – returning to the University after graduating with a BSc in Accountancy in 1982 then spending two years as a Research Associate. He took the role, he says, because he wanted to return to Norfolk, and to make a difference in higher education.

“I first arrived in Norfolk as a student and loved it,” he said. “The campus was much smaller then, with only around 4,500 students in total. Although my degree was accountancy, I always knew I wouldn’t be an accountant. My course had a big focus on technology, such as creating electronic sales ledgers, and that’s what I was most interested in.”

Mark went on to become one of the first set of research associates in his field. “The three of us were known as ‘the Krishlets’ after our Prof, Krish Bhaskar, and we focused on research with the motor industry and some teaching,” he said. “I then joined a start-up computer business with other UEA graduates for a year before going on to work with a number of Norfolk companies, including Lotus Cars, Baxter Healthcare, May Gurney and Aviva, where I remained for 12 years.”

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Alumni Call Campaign

UEA calling

Next month, some of UEA’s hard-working students will be taking the time to call individual alumni during the autumn Alumni Call Campaign. Student callers are looking forward to inviting alumni to events, informing them of UEA’s latest news and sharing the opportunity to get involved with supporting the University.

The University’s ‘Difference Campaign’ is an ambitious philanthropic effort, to raise £100 million by 2021. So far, thanks to the kind and generous support of our donors, we have raised over half of this, and continue ‘do different.’ Funds that the calls will be supporting are Prostate Cancer Research: Tiger Test; UEA Enterprise Fund; The ‘Difference’ Postgraduate Scholarships; and Where Need is Great.

The telephone campaign is an excellent opportunity to find out more about global alumni networks and University life today, as well as talk about the University’s recent achievements and plans for the future - none of which would be possible without the essential support of alumni and donors.

Some people chose to show support by making a donation, while others discover that they can make a difference by giving their time, through UEA’s volunteering program and by sharing their experience and expertise.

Read more about the  Campaign  
SISJAC newsletter

Japanese Ambassador to give lecture in Norwich

In celebration of its 200th Third Thursday Lecture, the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Culture (SISJAC) has arranged for a special talk on UK-Japan relations to be given by His Excellency Koji Tsuruoka, Ambassador of Japan to the Court of St James.

The Third Thursday Lectures started in 2001. Each of the lectures has focused on a unique aspect of Japanese art and culture, from manga to ramen, and from flower arranging to department stores.

This special anniversary lecture will be held on Thursday 20 September at the Assembly House in Norwich, and will be attended by UEA Chancellor, Karen Jones, as well as a number of important figures from Japan-related organisations in the UK.

SISJAC is closely affiliated with UEA where it is part of the Sainsbury Institute for Art (SIfA). The Institute also works closely with the University’s Centre for Japanese Studies.

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Inaugural lectures 2018

Inaugural lectures autumn series

Find out about the range of research being undertaken by seven of UEA’s newest professors at the upcoming autumn season of inaugural lectures.

In the first inaugural lecture of the autumn on Tuesday 9 October, Prof Joanna Drugan from UEA's School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies will show why language rights are human rights, and will consider what this means for communication in our increasingly multilingual societies.

In the rest of the series, we'll learn more about the relationship between art and sustainable architecture; how ants can help us find new antibiotics; the sensational human hand; how terrorism and critique inform wars, laws, speeches and even video games; gene sequencing and evolution; and the relationship between apricot trees and methodologies in international development.

Inaugural lectures recognise and celebrate the promotion of UEA academics to the position of professor, whilst giving audiences the chance to hear about their research and its impact on society. These lectures are free and there's no need to book; simply turn up on the night, or watch live on our website.

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Can you share your language skills and experience?

The Network for East Anglian Collaborative Outreach want to hear from UEA alumni living and working abroad, to take part in a project called ‘Interpret Your Future’, which aims to educate young people on the benefits of language skills for higher education and employment prospects.

The team are looking for alumni to send a brief video clip of themselves talking about how they use their language skills. If a video clip isn’t possible, then a photo and short paragraph about how you now use your language skills would be fantastic.

Please email Natalie Freeman at if you are interested in getting involved.

Autumn Lit Fest 2018

UEA Autumn Literary Festival – spies, lies and brain surgery

Jonathan Coe, Sir Max Hastings and alumna and former Chancellor of UEA, Rose Tremain, are among the authors taking part in the 2018 UEA Autumn Literary Festival.

The festival kicks off on Wednesday 3 October with Christopher Andrew, official historian of MI5. He spent almost 20 years working (initially secretly) with two KGB officers, who risked their lives to pass top secret files to MI6 and its allies. His latest book is The Secret World: A History of Intelligence.

The line-up also includes biographer and memoirist Claire Tomalin; Henry Marsh, pioneering brain surgeon extraordinaire; novelist, playwright and essayist Caryl Phillips; together with the eminent Dame Margaret Drabble.

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What's On

What’s On at UEA?

UEA looks forward to going 'back to school' this autumn with another great term of UEA events. Pick up your new pencil case and see what piques your interest!

You'll find copies of What's On in arts venues and libraries around Norfolk, or you can flick through the guide on Issuu, with details of individual events available on our online events diary.

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

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Royal Institution Family Fun Day

Royal Institution Family Fun Day

Prof Jenni Barclay, Professor of Volcanology at UEA, will be taking part in the day of hands-on science experiments, demonstrations and talks at the Royal Institution on Saturday 27 October.

There are over 1,400 potentially active volcanoes in the world, but they are not all the same. Through a number of hands-on and sometimes messy experiments, Prof Barclay will show the weird and wonderful processes that cause volcanoes to erupt, explore how and why these different types of volcanoes erupt so differently and also look at the ways they can rapidly change the landscape around them.

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Prof Andrew Watkinson

UEA professor made Honorary Member of the British Ecological Society

Prof Andrew Watkinson, Emeritus Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences has been awarded Honorary Membership of the British Ecological Society (BES).

He is one of just eight distinguished ecologists being recognised by the Society for the positive impact of their work on the scientific community and society in general.

Honorary membership is the organisation’s highest honour, recognising exceptional contributions at international level to the generation, communication and promotion of ecological knowledge and solutions. Current holders include Sir David Attenborough, Dame Georgina Mace, Sir Charles Godfray and Sir John Lawton.

“It is a real honour to receive this award from the British Ecological Society in recognition of my contribution to ecology,” said Prof Watkinson. “I have had a wonderful career, supported by the BES, with a wide range of stimulating colleagues. This has given me the opportunity to work across the globe in places like Australia, Nepal and the Caribbean and on a wide range of species.”

The British Ecological Society is the world’s oldest ecological society, established in 1913 to promote the study of ecology and has around 6,500 members from nearly 130 different countries. The winners will receive their prizes at the Society’s annual conference in December.

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Lunchtime concert

Autumn lunchtime concerts

UEA Music Centre invites you to take a break from work or study and join them for their free autumn 2018 lunchtime concert series.

Taking place on the first Wednesday of the month, the concerts start on Wednesday 3 October, with a piano recital by William Fergusson. Held in the UEA Music Centre at 1.10pm, the concerts are free to attend. The performers are a mixture of student Music Centre Award holders, Music Scholars, and established professional musicians.

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Alumni Awards

Study UK Alumni Awards 2019

Are you, or do you know, a UEA graduate who has gone on to great international success?

The British Council Alumni Awards honour the outstanding achievements made by professionals, entrepreneurs and community leaders who can demonstrate how their UK education has had an impact on their subsequent success. So if this sounds like you, or someone you know, why not submit an application?

The awards are open to alumni living outside the UK and who studied to degree level at an institution in the UK within the last 15 years.

Read more about eligibility and enter  

Could you inspire the next generation?

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

From those making a tentative initial enquiry, to those who have already made their decision and are on the verge of making their application, all are welcome.

Both sessions will start with a general information talk, and will 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  
Music events

Join UEA Choirs and Orchestra

If you are looking for an opportunity to develop your orchestral playing or vocal skills, UEA Music Centre’s Choirs and Orchestra are looking for new members.

UEA Choir, Chamber Choir, and Symphony Orchestra rehearse weekly in the UEA Music Centre and perform a number of concerts each year in some of Norwich’s most prestigious venues.

All three ensembles are open, by audition, to all. Choirmaster Tom Primrose welcomes singers of all abilities and levels of experience to UEA Choir, and singers with some prior choral experience and sight-singing ability to UEA Chamber Choir. UEA Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Director of Music Stuart Dunlop, is open to players of Grade 7-8 standard or above.

Auditions for all three ensembles will be held on Friday 28 September and Monday 1 October in the UEA Music Centre. Please email or phone 01603 593948 to arrange an audition.

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Travel with teaching

According to the British Council, 1.5 to 1.6 billion people speak English around the world today, with the number likely to grow and stabilise around 2025. With more and more people learning English, the demand for high quality English language teaching is only set to grow.

With the new MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MA TESOL) course at UEA, you will learn to teach English to speakers of other languages and help people all over the world open doors, unlock their potential and communicate across borders.

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NBS annual report

Open Day

Following three busy and successful events, the last undergraduate Open Day this year will be held on Saturday 20 October.

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 into 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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Friend Finder

If anyone is in touch with the following people, please ask them to contact the Alumni office at, as one of their University friends would like to get in touch.

Rachel Bailey (BIO85)                              Charisse Brown (LAW85)
James Cartwright (SOC67)                       Alan Culligan (SYS91)
Samantha Cutter (ART97)                        Karen Davis (EAS84)
Eleana Dimitrioud (SOC97)                      John Evans (ENV96)
Anne Hansen (EAS98)                             Huw Johnson (CHE88)
Malcolm Mansfield (SOC72)                     Ann O'Regan (SOC76)
Carole Painter (EAS66)                            Anastasia Papadopoulou (EAS97)
Balkirhsna Rajcoomar (SOC70)               Pedro Rosas-Bravo (SOC77)
Elaine Simpson (ENV98)                          Sara Smith (CHE88)
Christos Sofroniou (SYS82)                     Gary Speller (BIO00)
Veronica Stokes (ENV96)                         Chee Yeoh (LAW85)

What's On


Thursday 13 - Sunday 16 September
Locations across Norwich

The Noirwich festival returns to the city with a star cast of crime writers this week.
The event brings together crime-writing giants Val McDermid, Nicci French, Paula Hawkins and Elizabeth Haynes, alongside panels celebrating killer debuts and cutting-edge writing from across the genre.

Organised by the National Centre for Writing and UEA, the events form part of a city-wide celebration of activities in Norwich, England’s first UNESCO City of Literature.
The long weekend is also set to include writing workshops, crime themed cocktails, a murder mystery musical from new Poirot novelist Sophie Hannah, plus UEA’s MA Crime Fiction graduates will launch their anthology Postmortem.

Digital Japan Mini-Festival

Friday 21 and Saturday 22 September
The Gallery, The Forum, Norwich, NR2 1BH

Japan is a leader in the field of technology, from robotics to futuristic city design. From September 2018, The Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures will launch a new research strand that brings together the technical innovations of Japanese art and design with the use of digital technology to understand Japanese arts and cultures.

An exhibition will showcase current research on Japan including digitized materials, digital-born art and artefacts, and exhibits on digital media.

On Friday 21 September, from 10am, there will be a series of 10 minute mini-lectures and discussions will introduce researchers from all over the world working with digital materials for studying Japan.


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

Evelyn Buchan (HIS16)

Peter Chadwick, Emeritus Professor
An obituary for Prof Chadwick was published here on the Evening News website.

Peter Hill, former Pro-Vice Chancellor (1973-76)

Alun Howkins, honorary professor
An obituary for Alun was published here on the Eastern Daily Press website.

Prof Haydn Mason

Linda Spencer (SOC91)

Donald Watts (EUR64)

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