A New(ish) Essay by Mikel J. Koven

On my other blog – From the Mind of Mikel – I’ve just posted a short essay on the film adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat”. Click on the image below to magically transport yourself to that essay.

Black Cats


The Value of Value, or: The (Un-)Thinkability of a Postcapitalist Order of Things

 Humanities & Arts Research Seminar
Tuesday 27 February @ 5.15pm
St. John’s Campus, Conference Centre CC 007
(Malvern Room)

Gerold Sedlmayr (Technische Universität Dortmund)


The Value of Value, or: The (Un-)Thinkability of a Postcapitalist Order of Things

Taking PJ Harvey’s song “Dollar, Dollar” (2016) as its starting point, this paper will turn to Michel Foucault’s notion of the archive as well as his analysis in The Order of Things of the historical shifts in the (Western) understanding of wealth in order to offer some reflections on the rather recent notion of ‘postcapitalism’.

Humanities & Arts Research Seminar

Humanities & Arts Research Seminar

 Tuesday 20 February @ 5.15pm

St. John’s Campus, Conference Centre CC 007  (Malvern Room)

Mikel J. Koven

 Return of the Living Slave: Jordan Peele’s Get Out as Zombie Film



Jordan Peele’s 2017 (Oscar & Golden Globe nominated!) horror film, Get Out, seems quite removed from either the gut-munching visceral horrors of George A. Romero’s now-seminal zombie films or ground-breaking television series like The Walking Dead (AMC, 2010-present). In fact, Peele’s film doesn’t have a single resurrected corpse anywhere in it. So how is this a “zombie movie”? To illustrate this, we will to turn our attention to the zombie slave motifs which emerge (primarily) from Haitian folklore, and which graced the silver screen in films such as White Zombie (Victor Halperin, 1932) and I Walked with a Zombie (Jacques Tourneur, 1943). Everybody welcome!

Volunteers still needed for Flatpack Festival 2018 in Birmingham



With the dawn of 2018, preparations for the twelfth Flatpack Film Festival have well and truly stepped up a gear and, as the main event in April draws ever closer, we are now recruiting more fantastic volunteers for Flatpack 12.

This year, alongside our usual general volunteer roles, we are offering prospective volunteers the chance to tailor and vary their experience as there are several different areas that they can apply to work within. These vital volunteer roles are:
Runners – providing production support during the festival.
Marketing – contributing to social media coverage, writing blog posts and helping in the essential promotion of the festival both prior to and during the events.
Colourbox – helping to make our younger visitors feel welcome and supporting the running of interactive workshops and activities.
Back Office – for volunteers who have some time available prior to the festival as well as during, there is the possibility to support the Flatpack team in the office with box office ticketing, guest liaison and other vital operational/administrative tasks.
Student Ambassadors – helping to promote the festival on campus by distributing marketing materials and generally raising awareness.

Dates to consider!
– The deadline to apply to become a Flatpack volunteer is Friday 2nd March 11:59 pm.
– You must be available to attend our volunteer orientation event on Saturday 31st March. Please note, this session is compulsory and if you are unable to attend you cannot volunteer for this year’s festival.
– Finally, all volunteers are required to commit to a minimum of 3 shifts during the 10 day festival (13th-22nd April). Therefore, if you are not available for at least three shifts across these dates, we may not be able to accept you into this year’s festival cohort.

Without a doubt, the festival would struggle to run each year without the small army of passionate, friendly and talented individuals who give up their precious time to help deliver our events. If you would like to join the ranks, gain some invaluable, CV enhancing experience, connect with our grand old second city, generally have a great time and get your mitts on a rather dashing looking t-shirt then give us a bell.

To apply for the Flatpack 12 volunteers, click here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdcz3lCPJeiKk0klHfXlVid9rNEg80QU3tiY7qSzluyY1RpVA/viewform?usp=sf_link

Film & Television Careers Fair (Birmingham)

Arts Connect are delighted to present a Film and Television Careers Fair for young people hosted by Birmingham City University on 1st February. This is a FREE event.

The event will comprise of an Industry Market Place, Introduction to the Industry Session and workshops providing attendees with a chance to meet with Film and Television professionals and find out how they can access the industry.

Attendees will start their time at the fair at either the Market Place or in the key session – An Introduction to the Film and Television Industry led by Into Film. A vital session which outlines job opportunities and roles within the industry.

At the Market Place young people can meet Film and Television individuals, companies and educators such as BBC, 4Talent, Royal Television Society, Flatpack, Writers Guild West Midlands, Rural Media, Media Active, Into Film, Yamination Studios, BFI Academies, and Film Birmingham in addition to live make up demo lead by Emmy winning and Oscar Nominated make-up artist Veronica McAleer. (Further market place names to be announced).

Young people will be able to attend a workshop to help develop their portfolio and promote their work or find out about industry training and education. They will then enjoy one of our hands on workshops: Directing and filming for TV and Film, or How to write for screen lead by Doctors and Holby City Writer, Claire Bennett.

Spaces are available but limited on the 9.45am slot (you do not have to be connected to a school as it states on FB), 11.05am slot and the 13.10 slot.  Please note the eventbrite states 14-19 but we’re happy to accept young people up to 25.


To book your FREE space please go to:


Film Studies Presents: Napoléon (Gance, 1927)


Often considered to be one of the greatest films of all time, Film Studies is proud to present a full screening of Abel Gance’s Napoléon over two nights. Running to around 5 ½ hours this film was restored by film historian Kevin Brownlow and marks a major turning point in cinema. Projected on the big screen this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see this film as it should be seen.

Days: Part One: Tuesday 23rd January 2018; Part Two: Wednesday 24th January 2018  Time: 17:00

Venues: EEG087 (Tues) and EE1106 (Wed)