Category Archives: Previous Events

Cultural literacy on the agenda at Middlesex event hosted by the BBC

Four diversity experts took part in a panel debate at Broadcasting House organised by the Centre for Ideas

Trevor Phillips, the former chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, was among the experts who took part in a ‘Cultural Literacy’ event organised by Professor Dana Arnold from the Centre for Ideas (CfI) at Middlesex University.

Also on the panel at BBC Broadcasting House in central London was the BBC’s Head of Religion and Ethics Professor Aaqil Ahmed (second from right), journalist and broadcaster Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (second from left), and Dean of the School of Law and Chair of the CfI  Professor  Joshua Castellino (right).

In a keynote address, Mr Phillips said the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe meant the concept of cultural literacy is more relevant than ever.

“We have seen what’s happening at Europe’s margins in the Mediterranean,” he said. “We are at the beginning of a huge movement of the human population across the globe.

“The questions we face now are small by comparison with those of what we are about to face.”

Later, during a four-way panel debate, Professor Castellino talked about the importance of students having a grasp of these issues and the responsibility of universities to instil strong values in their graduates.

“Student success depends on their cultural literacy,” he said. “Educational success is students graduating with an ability to speak truth to power.”

‘Cultural Literacy’ was part of an ongoing series of events organised by the  Cfi, which are designed to inform the debate around issues that have urgent implications beyond higher education as well as within it. In 2016, it will host a major conference on diversity at Middlesex University’s London campus.

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Previous Events

Event : Creative Economies



This event will be hosted by Aaqil Ahmed, Commissioning Editor Religion and Head of Religion & Ethics at the BBC

Venue: The Council Chamber, BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA

Date: 11th March 2015
Time: 09.30am – 12.30pm

The relationship between economy and culture has traditionally been presented as one of opposites. Yet, the creative industries, including the arts, heritage, media and other forms of cultural production, are now increasingly recognised as important agents in economic growth and social progress. These industries rely on individual talent and have the potential to create wealth through the generation of intellectual property. The dynamic nature of the creative economy generates opportunities but at the same time the continual evolution of new technologies, creative partnerships, and cultural dialogues makes the definition of the creative economy as elusive and it is enticing.

Prompted by an opening address from Alan Yentob, Creative Director of the BBC, this event provides a forum for dialogues between creative practitioners, researchers, journalists, and those engaged with the cultural industries. Attention will focus on the importance of the creative industries and their cultural and economic significance together with the role of collaborative partnerships and how best to deliver for a range of publics. The morning will comprise a series of individual short talks and a panel session plus an audience-led Q&A and open discussion.

To register to attend please book your place through Eventbrite:

*All attendees must bring a print out of their ticket and any form of identification i.e. Drivers Licence, Passport, Photo I.D etc. Security is extremely tight at the BBC, bags will be checked before entry and there will be no entry without your ticket and identification. The event takes place in Old Broadcasting House on the first floor which entails taking a lift then stairs; if you have any issues regarding access please let the event organiser know beforehand so that prior arrangments with the venue can be made.

Enquiries to Miss Mita Vaghji, Events Co-ordinator Cfi, Middlesex University London, E:

Urban and Cultural Heritage Symposium 2015

Date: Thursday 15th January 2015

Venue: Room C219, College Building, Hendon Campus, Middlesex University

Time: 09:30am – 17:00pm

This symposium presents current research by members of the Urban and Cultural Heritage research group. Expertise and interest in Cultural Heritage, especially in an urban context, is evident across all Schools – in Business, Law, Art and Design, Media, Health, Education, Computer Science, and in KT activity (e.g. Redloop, RAF Museum;MODA). The aim is to develop cross-University collaboration and inter-disciplinary research leading to a distinctive profile for ongoing cultural heritage research at Middlesex. This event follows on from a workshop held in September 2014.

A positive and open environment to test new ideas and challenges in a multidisciplinary setting. – Giuseppe Primiero – School of Science and Technology

Some very stimulating papers given. I feel a great deal of potential brewing and common themes developing – bodes well! – Reza Gholami – School of Health and Education

A truly inspiring and inspirational event; such a stimulating way to re-energise inter and cross-disciplinary debates about cultural, urban and heritage themes in a dialogic and constructive context! – Anastasia Christou – School of Law

Urban and Cultural Heritage – One-Day Workshop


Venue: Barn 2, New Model Farm House, Hendon Campus

Time: 9.30am – 5pm

Event type: Internal (Limited Availability)

Proposed research group: Urban and Cultural Heritage

This outline proposal addresses the theme of Urban and Cultural Heritage – a naturally cross-disciplinary field. For our purposes we take UNESCO’s definition to include monuments, buildings and sites as well as intangible cultural heritage[1]. The aim is to develop cross University collaboration and inter-disciplinary research leading to a distinctive profile for ongoing cultural heritage research at Middlesex. Expertise and interest in Cultural Heritage, especially in an urban context, is evident across all Schools – in Business, Law, Art and Design, Media, Health, Education, Computer Science, and in KT activity (e.g. Redloop, RAF Museum; MODA).

Funding Opportunities

The theme of Urban/Cultural Heritage is a priority for various funders, notably the European Union (HORIZON 2020 Cultural Heritage and European Identities; European research infrastructures for restoration and conservation of cultural heritage; Creative Europe); the Arts and Humanities Research Council; Science and Heritage programme (AHRC/EPSRC); and the Council of Europe (e.g. Intercultural City; Cultural Routes), as well as UK bodies (e.g. English Heritage, Heritage Lottery Fund).

In addition the Future Cities Catapult and other TSB funding programmes aims ‘to develop solutions to the future needs of our cities’, and has an open invitation to propose ‘Big Ideas’ which transform urban living through people-centred technology solutions. Projects can also make use of other TSB funding – for example the forthcoming call on ‘Innovation in location-based services’ – to deliver projects for the benefit of urban dwellers.

[1]  UNESCO Convention (1972) – monuments: architectural works, works of monumental sculpture and painting, elements or structures of an archaeological nature, inscriptions, cave dwellings and combinations of features, which are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science; groups of buildings: groups of separate or connected buildings which, because of their architecture, their homogeneity or their place in the landscape, are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science; sites: works of man or the combined works of nature and man, and areas including archaeological sites which are of outstanding universal value from the historical, aesthetic, ethnological or anthropological point of view; intangible cultural heritage: traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants, such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts (

This Intensive workshop hopes to refine research topics and themes. Attendees must submit in advance an expression of interest of 400 words and 3 key outputs/publications/media/evidence to be pre-circulated and discussion groups preselected. The day will consist of iterative sessions to develop key research questions, topics, sub-themes and priorities, and help to formalise Middlesex’s distinctive profile in this field.

Please submit your expression of interest of 400 words and 3 key outputs/publications/media/evidence to Mita Vaghji E:

The workshop was very interesting and insightful. The multidisciplinary approach towards Urban and Cultural Heritage was particularly helpful and opens up immense research and funding possibilities. The tangible results including future workshops, conference and networking opportunities are of great use to new researchers.

Quote by Dr.SumeetraRamakrishnan


Social Media Analytics Day Event

Date: 13 November 2014

Supported by the School of Media and Performing Arts and the Centre for Ideas

Facilitated by Professor Jane Arthurs. Administered by Mita Vaghji

Developed by the Social Media Research Group.

The day was a great success. Experts Carl Miller from the think tank Demos and Farida Vis from Sheffield University were described as ‘fascinating’ and ‘inspiring’ by attendees. There was a strong sense of the exciting potential for computer and social scientists to collaborate in view of what Carl described as ‘the datafication of the social world’ as he went on to explain research in the field of politics and civic life being developed at Demos. While Farida offered insights into how the increasingly visual nature of social media is being studied in her ESRC funded Picturing the Social research.


Carl and Farida drew on their extensive experience to offer advice on experimental methods for researching social media and pointed to some of the pitfalls to avoid when working in a fast developing and interdisciplinary field that is still in the process of formation. They also pointed to the future and the kind of issues that are likely to find funding for further research, emphasising the need for academics from across the disciplines to get involved rather than leaving commercial companies to mine this data for their own purposes without any external scrutiny, disinterested ethical debate, or open source development of new research tools and techniques.


The afternoon workshop used a structured sand-pit process to generate fundable research projects for further development. Carl and Farida offered invaluable advice throughout the afternoon and in the final stages selected a number of ideas to form three broad thematic groups, namely: Anti-Social Media; Doing Politics with Social Media; and Social Media in the HE Curriculum. Follow-up meetings for these project groups are taking place on December 11th at 10.0, 12.0 and 16.0 respectively.

Please find the presentation links below:

Carl Miller Presentation – Middlesex

Carl Miller Video – Middlesex

Farida Vis Presentation – Middlesex_Farida

Farida Vis Video – Middlesex

Anyone who would like to be included in the mailing list for the Social Media Research Group or would like to be involved in any of the research project development groups please get in touch with Jane Arthurs by email:


Interdisciplinary Techniques to Reduce Uncertainty in the Sciences – Workshop


iTRUS Workshop 2014
iTRUS Workshop 2014


Date: 24th September 2014

Venue: Room CG82, College Building, Hendon Campus

Time: 10am – 5pm

Event type: Internal (Limited Availability)

Science, in its theoretical endeavour, and Technology, in the development of applications, have always been facing the essential problem of reducing uncertainty: from devising deductive models to calculating differentials and infinities. The probabilistic account is nowadays considered the right framework to understand and use uncertainties. But the forms and concepts of uncertainty are diverse in the various sciences and applications, including computing, biology, game theory, security, data analytics and visualization. This workshop aims at building a dialogue between formal, historical and technical accounts of the notion of uncertainty, to explore possible intra- and inter-disciplinary understandings.

Supported by the Centre for Ideas and the Maison Européenne des sciences de l’homme et de la société (Lille), this workshop builds on an informal scientific collaboration between the School of Science and Technology at Middlesex University and the research group Savoirs, Textes, Langage of the University of Lille3.

To register to attend simply email Dr Giuseppe Primiero E:


10:00 – 10:30          Registration & Refreshments

10:30                            Introduction – G. Primiero

Session 1: History and Philosophy

10:30 – 11:15

Liesbeth de Mol (CNRS & Lille3): Formalization and calculation. Uncertainty and unpredictability in early computing.

11:15 – 12:00

Tomas Petricek (University of Cambridge): Philosophical reflections on programming with context.

12:00 – 13:30            Lunch

Session 2: Modelling Uncertainty

13:30 – 14:15

Franco Raimondi (Middlesex University): Reasoning about quantified beliefs.

14:15 – 15:00

Hykel Hosni (Pisa, LSE): Uncertain reasoning: from applications to foundations.

15:00 – 15:30          Mid-Afternoon Break

Session 3: Applications

15:30 – 16:15

Florian Kammueller (Middlesex University): Modeling Human Behaviour with Higher Order Logic: Insider Threats.

16:15 – 17:00

Chris Rooney (Middlesex University): Computing, representing and understanding uncertainty in police intelligence analysis: the problems we face in the FP7 VALCRI project.

— End —

For further information please contact Mita Vaghji (Event Coordinator Cfi & RKTO), T: 0208 411 6664 E:

Symposium on Turkey 2014

Date: Friday 10th October 2014

Venue: Committee Room 3, Hendon Town Hall, The Burroughs

Time: 9.30am – 10am Registration, 9.30am Start 5pm Finish


The Centre for Ideas (Cfi) is hosting a ‘FREE’ one-day conference to showcase research projects on Turkey, and collaborations with colleagues based in Turkey and the Turkish community in London. Sessions will focus on a range of topics including Geopolitics of Turkey; Istanbul/Ankara/Izmir: Space and Place in the Turkish City; Negotiating the Ottoman Heritage and an open session presenting the University’s collaborations and partnerships with institution in Turkey. There will also be plenty of opportunity for discussion and networking.

The full draft programme and registration can be found below. Places are limited at this FREE event to a first come first served basis.

Cfi, is a forward-looking ‘virtual research institute’ set up by Middlesex University to promote discussion and collaboration between its internationally recognised scholars and leading public intellectuals, relevant professionals and policy-makers.

To attend this ‘FREE’ conference simply register below:

Please find a draft programme for the day below:

09:30 – 10:00     Registrations and Refreshments

10:00 – 10:15      Welcome and Introduction

10:15 – 11:15:

Negotiating the Ottoman Heritage Convened by Emma Dick

Emma Dick – ‘Refashioning the Ottomans: Embodying the Golden Age through textiles and dress.’

Bharain Mac An Bhreithiún-Bertapelli – ‘Negotiating the Ottoman Heritage in the Balkan City – practices of place and street culture in Sarajevo and Bucharest.’

Mike Smith – ‘The Ottomans: Europe’s Muslim Emperors’ (BBC, 2013)

11:15 – 12:15:

The Geopolitical Turn in Turkish Foreign Policy: From Westernization to Grand Strategy Convened by Tunc Aybak

Topic: ‘What is new in Turkey’s new geopolitics?’

Speaker: Professor Bulent Gokay, Head of the School of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy from Keele University

12:15 – 12:30      Refreshments

12:30 – 13:30:

Space & Place in the Turkish Metropolis Convened by Graeme Evans and Ozlem Edizel

The main theme discussed will be the urbanisation/growth (population, land use, culture, industry etc.) of Istanbul.

This session also includes a screening of a new work by Ergin Cavusoglu featured in the 4th International Canakkale Biennial has its conceptual framework structured upon ‘1914-1918 – The Centenary of World War 1’.

13:30 – 14:30      Networking Lunch

14:30 – 16:30:

Dialogues Middlesex and Turkey Convened by Fiona Belton

A series of presentations about collaborations and partnerships between the university and external bodies:

Topics include:

Maggie Butt – Academic Partnerships

Peter Ryan – a blended learning approach to community mental health care in Turkey

Mehmet Ali Dikerdem – ‘Keep on going’ – Past & Present Partnerships

Kelami Dedezade – Turkish Supplementary Schools in the UK

16:30 – 17:00     Networking, Refreshments and Close