Community invited to inspiring events on campus throughout May

Staffordshire University is kicking off a month of inspirational events by welcoming the community onto campus to celebrate Staffordshire Day

The Half life of Snails book launch advert

Lecturer Philippa Holloway launches her new book The Half life of Snails on Thursday 5 May

When I was in Chernobyl and when I was walking around Wylfa, I was tuning into how my physicality responded to what I could hear, what I could smell, what I could feel. There is no single response to nuclear power stations in the landscape – it’s much more complex. How they work with communities and how people respond to them is very personal

Dr Philippa Holloway, Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing

This year’s theme is the great outdoors, so students, staff and the local community are invited to enjoy the fantastic surroundings on our doorstep in Stoke-on-Trent on Sunday 1 May.

Visitors can join Dr Eleanor Atkins, Lecturer in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, to plant a tree for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and create a green wall outside the Science Centre. They can also learn about the sites and history of Stoke-on-Trent with Martin Brown, Senior Lecturer in Architectural History and Theory, who will be leading a guided walk around the University’s on-site Nature Reserve.

Staffordshire goodies and sustainable freebies will be on offer, including free oatcake mix for the first 50 to arrive on the day (one per family or individual), plus seed bookmarks for children that attend. The Staffordshire Day event starts at 9.30am on Sunday in the Coffee Shop in The Catalyst, with activities running from 10am – 11.30am.

A new seminar series from the Centre of Crime, Justice and Security will see one of the UK's leading forensic scientists discuss whether there is such a thing as the perfect crime. On Wednesday 4 May, Professor Roger Robson will share insights from his exciting 40-year career fighting crime – including an appearance on BBC1’s ‘Expert Witness’.

Later in the month, visitors from around the world will descend on campus from 12 to 13 May for Noisefloor 2022, a showcase of original works and ideas from international contemporary music composers, performers, and researchers.

May also marks the return of the ‘Live at Staffs’ series with live public performances from world-renowned classical guitarist Stephanie Jones on 25 May and, before that, the launch of Dr Philippa Holloway’s book The Half-life of Snails.

Philippa is an internationally published short fiction writer and a Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Staffordshire University. Her debut novel tells the story of two sisters in a narrative split between sites of nuclear power stations in North Wales and Ukraine in 2014, during the Euro Maidan crisis.

Philippa explained: “One of my earliest memories was the Chernobyl disaster occurring and seeing the footage on the news, not really understanding what was happening.

“Like everyone else, moving away from the Cold War era, I’d forgotten about it until many years later when I was sent to do some teaching at Wylfa Nuclear power station where I felt very anxious, and I started to question why.”

Philippa studied nuclear psychogeography and her novel draws on research trips to explore the landscapes around Wylfa in Anglesey and Chernobyl in Ukraine.

She said: “When I was in Chernobyl and when I was walking around Wylfa, I was tuning into how my physicality responded to what I could hear, what I could smell, what I could feel.

“There is no single response to nuclear power stations in the landscape – it’s much more complex. How they work with communities and how people respond to them is very personal.”

When Philippa travelled to Ukraine she was made very welcome by lots of people in the course of her research work. Publisher Parthian Books is supporting the Red Cross Appeal for Ukraine by donating all profits from the sale of the book in the UK to the Ukraine appeal. The intention is that whatever is raised will reflect in some small way the support that Philippa had from people in Ukraine to enable her to tell her story.

The Half-life of Snails is released on Monday 2 May and guests can attend a reading and Q&A with the author, as well as a book signing, on Thursday 5 May.

For full information and event listings please visit www.staffs.ac.uk/events

  • Staffordshire Day, Sunday 1 May

9:30am – 11:30pm at The Catalyst, Leek Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2DF

Register now (free)

  • Is there such a thing as the perfect crime?, Wednesday 4 May

5:15pm – 7pm at The Catalyst, Leek Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2DF

Register now (free)

  • Live at Staffs – The Half-life of Snails novel launch, Thursday 5 May

5.30pm – 7.30pm at Performance Centre, Staffordshire University, College Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2DE

Register now (free)

  • Noisefloor 2022, Thursday 12 May 2022 to Friday 13 May

10am – 7.45pm at Cadman Courtyard, College Rd, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2DE

Register now (£60.00 or £35.00 for students)

  • Live at Staffs – Stephanie Jones, Classical Guitar, Wednesday 25 May

6.30pm – 9pm at Performance Centre, Staffordshire University, College Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2DE

Register now (£15.00 + booking fee or free to students)

 

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