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NCL Europe Week 2023

A week of celebrations of our work on, in, and with Europe

From film screenings to funding sessions, research seminars to roundtables, NCL Europe Week 2023 saw a rich programme of events take over Newcastle University campus in the name of celebrating all things Europe. Whether it was language learning, food tasting or networking you desired, NCL Europe Week had events for everyone, successfully bringing together hundreds of staff and students wishing to engage with European culture, conversations and cuisine

Whilst it would be impossible to recount all of the action from NCL Europe Week, we would like to spotlight several events which succeeded in bringing Europe to the fore of Newcastle University life. NCL Europe Week 2023 kicked off with the John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre European Lunch, which invited 90 students and staff to indicate their hometown on a large map of Europe, creating a lasting reminder of the diversity within the JWMDRC team. Similar festivities were to be held within the School of Biomedical, Nutritional and Sport Sciences, where 40 students gathered over European dishes and board games to celebrate Europe and the last week of teaching. 

School of Biomedical, Nutritional and Sport Sciences NCL Europe Lunch

Throughout the week, the Language Resource Centre held taster sessions for languages as diverse as Georgian, Lithuanian, Croatian and Greek. The great interest for these sessions indicates a desire to rectify our collective monolingualism post-Brexit, yet the benefit of these events was not merely linguistic. By learning about the music, art and history associated with these languages, attendees were introduced to cultures other than their own, with one attendee of a Ukrainian taster session commenting ‘I particularly appreciated how the presenter used a thread of Ukrainian culture and song throughout’.

This focus on artistic cultures was further reflected in the research seminar on ‘AI Art & French Hospitality’ led by postgraduate researcher Sophie Ellis, which fostered lively discussion about the role of non-human agents in art and how we may engage with them ethically. There was equally lively discussion at the subsequent panel on ‘The Changing Needs of EU Students Post-Brexit’, in which three panellists shared insights on their identity, belonging and needs as EU students at Newcastle University. From EU students to EU researchers, Wednesday’s roundtable and networking event brought together scientific researchers from around Europe to discuss relevant challenges and opportunities, as well as the role that scientific societies play in strengthening research collaborations and policies in the EU and UK.

Research Seminar ‘AI Art & French Hospitality: Towards a Posthuman Welcome?’

Europe Day 2023 concluded with a screening of ‘The Journey and the Grief’ at the Tyneside Cinema, this documentary depicting the memory culture of the mass forced displacement of people between Greece and Turkey in 1922-23. The screening was followed by a Q&A with the film’s co-directors and selected academics which highlighted the links between the 1922 mass displacement and that of other populations across the world. Equally fascinating insights were to be gleaned from the subsequent screening of ‘Winter’s Yearning’, a film addressing the complicated relationship between Greeland and Denmark and the question of independence. Sparking much discussion amongst panellists and audience alike, this event created a forum through which a diverse range of scholars and students may explore their common interest in the Arctic and how it relates to European colonialism.

Q&A and Discussion following the Film Screening of ‘The Journey and the Grief’

With these events only scratching the surface of what was an incredibly successful NCL Europe Week 2023, we would like to thank the event organisers for their time and effort in compiling such a vibrant programme of activities. We hope that the events were enriching for all those who attended and look forward to planning an even bigger and better NCL Europe Week 2024. Although NCL Europe Week 2023 may be over, we look forward to continuing our work on, in and with Europe throughout the year and invite you to keep in touch with the activities of NCL Europe on our webpage.