Keeping you up to date with all the goings-on at TORCH

TORCH Newsletter Hilary Term

Weeks 5 & 6 (11th February 2018 – 24th February 2018)

Here at TORCH we have been working on a number of different projects, events, and initiatives focussed on interdisciplinary humanities research and wider and public engagement. 

One of the exciting collaborations we are delighted to be part of launched earlier this week when TORCH, along with City and County Council representatives, raised the women's suffrage flag around the University and city. 21 University of Oxford Colleges, along with the Humanities Division in Radcliffe Humanities (originally the Radcliffe Infirmary), the Music Faculty, the County and Town Halls, and Oxford Castle flew a flag which read ‘Votes for Women’. This event was part of an ongoing city-University collaboration to celebrate women’s suffrage. You can read more about this and the press coverage below. 

We are also delighted to announce the first in a series of workshops under the aegis of TORCH and the divisional Equality and Diversity agenda looking at how research informs teaching and teaching also stimulates research. You can register for the first session on 'The Lens of Gender: Research-Led Teaching' below. 

There is an opportunity for an early-stage venture or startup to receive support from the Oxford Foundry - details below. 

Finally, there are an array of events, blogs, calls for papers and other opportunities for you to get involved with. See below and on our website for more information.

Highlighted Event

The Lens of Gender: Research-Led Teaching

Monday, February 26, 2018 - 12:45pm to 2:00pm
Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities, Oxford OX2 6GG

As a university we pride ourselves on the principle of research-led teaching.  In the Humanities Division this has scope to be a particularly fruitful and generative process, whereby research informs teaching and teaching also stimulates research. We propose - as the first in a series of lunchtime workshops/debates under the aegis of TORCH and the divisional Equality and Diversity agenda - a discussion on the theme of the gendered lens.  We want to explore ways in which research deploys the lens of gender to disrupt and challenge fields of scholarship, and how that productive dislodging of perspective informs teaching (and could do so more radically), at both an individual and a more systemic level.  Three panellists – from the Faculties of Music, History and English – the first three Humanities Faculties to engage with the Athena Swan process – will introduce the debate.

Speakers: 

Stefano-Maria Evangelista (Associate Professor, Faculty of English)

Laura Tunbridge (Professor of Music, Faculty of Music)

Sarah Crook (Junior Fellow, Faculty of History)

This workshop will be chaired by Jane Garnett (Tutor in Modern History, Faculty of History). 

Lunch will be available from 12.30pm. Attendance is free but booking is essential. Register here

This workshop is part of the Humanities & Identities series.

Please click here for more information

News, Blogs and Calls for Papers

Celebrating 100 years of Women’s Suffrage

Tuesday 6th February 2018 marked 100 years since the Representation of the People Act granted the vote to women over the age of 30 who met a property qualification. The same Act gave the vote to and enfranchised all men over the age of 21 for the first time.

Organised by TORCH, as part of a year-long collaboration with City and County Council representatives, and other cultural organisations, the suffrage flag was raised across the University and city to mark this historic date. This launched a programme of initiatives including exhibitions and public lectures celebrating women's suffrage.

This initiative was featured in the Oxford Mail and on BBC Radio Oxford. 

You can also read more about this commemoration here

The Ones That Got Away: Textual 1

The first term of events of the Mellon-Sawyer Post-War Seminar Series has come to an end, and before we move on to the next term of events we want to reflect on responses to the workshops and, in particular, identify topics or issues that participants felt should have been covered but weren’t. In short, these are the ones that got away! 

The first Textual workshop, ‘Poetry and Life-Writing’, was something of an experiment in terms of format, including opening presentations from the panellists, plenary Q&A, breakout sessions and a closing group discussion. While there was room for improvement in terms of timings, participants found the workshop overall to be extremely stimulating and appreciated the diversity of perspectives and range of expertise. The poetic contributions (particularly Dunya Mikhail’s reading of her poem ‘Bag of Bones’ in Arabic) were particularly effective, and served to underline the power of creative language in acts of commemoration.

Read this Post-War: Commemoration, Reconstruction, Reconciliation blog post in full here

Call for Papers: Gender and Authority

The ‘Gender and Authority Network’, funded by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), aims to explore and question received notions of social and cultural authority, specifically as they intersect with issues of gender. Starting from a large-scale international conference held at the University of Oxford in January 2016 (‘Women and the Canon’, Christ Church), over the past two years the ‘Gender and Authority Network’ has hosted a series of seminars and lectures from scholars from both within and outside the University of Oxford, all addressing the pivotol issue of gender and authority. The Network has also successfully reached out to non-specialist audiences through its popular blog and podcast series BOSS.

About the Edited Volume

The Gender and Authority network are planning to publish the volume as part of the Routledge Interdisciplinary Research Gender series, from whose editor they have already received an expression of interest about this project.

The volume will combine selected and revised proceedings from the ‘Women and the Canon Conference’ and the ‘Gender and Authority Network’ with invited contributions from established and emerging scholars. In addition, they are currently considering further contributions to be included in one of the volume’s disciplinary sections. For a list of possible areas of investigation click here

The Normans in the South: Mediterranean Meetings in the Central Middle Ages

By some accounts, 1017 marked the advent of the Norman presence in Italy and Sicily, inaugurating a new era of invasion, interaction and integration in the Mediterranean. Whether or not the millennial anniversary is significant, the moment offered an ideal opportunity to explore the story in the south, about a thousand years ago. To what extent did the Normans establish a cross-cultural empire? What can we learn by comparing the impact of the Norman presence in different parts of Europe? What insights are discoverable in comparing local histories of Italy and Sicily with broader historical ideas about transformation, empire and exchange?

Read this Oxford Medieval Studies blog post here

New Opportunities

Mellon Visiting ‘Global South’ Professorships and Fellowships

We are looking for applications from Oxford Humanities academics to host a visiting ‘Global South’ Professorship or Fellowship between 2017-2019.

These visiting professorships and fellowships cover bursary, travel, accommodation and hosting while the visiting speakers carry out a series of public events, seminars and drop-in discussions, also including, filming and live web-streaming.

The Mellon Global South Professorships together with the Mellon Global South Visiting Fellowships will be crucial in the work of providing role models and embedding expectations on diversity and inclusivity in the wider University. The two schemes build on and reinforce existing links between Oxford (including TORCH), Mellon, and Universities in the countries included.

Deadline 16 February 2018.

For more information click here

OXFO LEV8

Do you have an early-stage venture or startup? Need some support and advice to take it to the next level?

OXFO LEV8 at the Oxford Foundry is the University of Oxford’s newest accelerator, designed to support and nurture early-stage start-up teams affiliated to the University by helping to develop them into strong, scalable businesses. The Oxford Foundry was opened by Apple CEO Tim Cook in October 2017. Reid Hoffmann of LinkedIn was our founding supporter, and our Advisory board includes Oxford alum Brent Hoberman of Founders Factory and other notable entrepreneurs and investors.

Deadline 20 February 2018. 

For more information, click here

TORCH New Network Scheme

The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) seeks to stimulate and support research activity that transcends disciplinary and institutional boundaries. To this end, the Centre invites applications from colleagues seeking to establish, or consolidate, multi- or interdisciplinary research networks to be based at the Radcliffe Humanities Building.

TORCH encourages imaginative cross-disciplinary applications, and will not sponsor research groups whose activities could be supported by a single college or faculty. Applications from cross-divisional research groups and from groups engaged with non-academic partners are also welcomed. Lead applicants must include postgraduates and postholders or early-career scholars from at least two faculties and colleges.

For more information please click here

The next deadline is midday Friday 16 February 2018.

For a full list of current opportunities, please visit the website

Upcoming Events

Photography and Tibet

Thursday, March 1, 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities, Oxford OX2 6GG

Mysterious and magnificent, Tibet has for centuries been a source of fascination for outsiders and a captivating yet troublesome subject for photographers. The country is both geographically and politically challenging, and access has never been easy. Even today, photography of Tibet often remains embroiled in debates about the country’s past, present and future. This book is the first historical survey of photography in Tibet and the Himalayas, and it offers remarkable new insights into the attempts of both foreign and Tibetan photographers to document the region.

Leading Tibetologist Professor Clare Harris (Pitt Rivers Museum) combines the results of extensive research in museums and archives with her own fieldwork in Tibetan communities to present material that has never been made public or discussed before. This includes the earliest known photographs taken in Tibet, dating to 1863, the experimental camerawork of senior Tibetan monks – including the 13th Dalai Lama – and the creations of contemporary Tibetan photographers and artists. With every image she examines the complex religious, political and cultural climate in which it was produced. 

Clare joins an expert panel to discuss the book and its themes: 

Thupten Kelsang (Tibetan Art Collective)

Elizabeth Edwards (School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford)

This event will be chaired by Geraldine Johnson (History of Art, University of Oxford).

Lunch provided from 12.30pm. Discussion from 1-2pm.

Booking is essential. Register here

Part of Book at Lunchtime, a fortnightly series of bite sized book discussions, with commentators from a range of disciplines. 

Please click here for more information

Valuing Women With Disabilities: Infantilised, Medicalised, Pauperised?

Monday, February 19, 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities, Oxford OX2 6GG 

Disability is too often framed as separate and foreign to what matters for women (Frances Ryan). The relative absence of disability in the politics of the feminist movement, as Rosemarie Garland Thomson suggests, means ‘that feminist assumptions can fail to take into account disabled women’s situations’ because ‘some of the differences that disability provokes can complicate feminism’s understanding of female bodies and the oppression of them’. The seminar asks has the feminist movement and its scholarship too often forgotten disabled women? How do we ensure scholarship, across the humanities and social sciences, takes an intersectional approach to understanding multiple identities and experiences of women with disabilities from Black and Minority Ethnic communities?

In this seminar Dr Helen Brookman celebrates the work of Anna Gurney, a pioneering nineteenth-century scholar of Anglo-Saxon, who became a wheelchair user following an illness in childhood. 

Julie Jaye Charles FRSA SARSM is Chief Executive and founder of Equalities National Council of Disabled People and Carers from Black and Minority Ethnic communities. For 30 years, Julie has been deeply involved in developing Black (BME) community driven strategies directly on improving the well-being, representation and social inclusion of those communities. 

This event will be chaired by Dr Marie Tidball (Knowledge Exchange Fellow, TORCH).

Lunch will be available from 12.30pm. Discussion 1-2pm. 

All welcome. Booking is essential. Register here

This event is part of the Humanities & Identities series. 

Please click here for more information

The Impact of Brexit on Research at Oxford

Friday 23 February 2018, Oxford Martin School

A limited number of spaces are available for this day-long meeting for researchers. As such, please provide the following information to apply for a space at the meeting:

Name:
Department:
Division:
How has or might Brexit affect you either personally or professionally:
Any questions you would like to ask at the meeting:
Any dietary requirements:

If you are unable to attend the meeting, please suggest questions you would like to have asked at the meeting, and if you wish to inform the convenor (Anjali Shah) how Brexit has or might in future affect you. 

For more information please contact Anjali.shah@ndorms.ox.ac.uk

The Same Game, But With Different Rules: Western Diplomats in Early Modern Istanbul

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities, Oxford OX2 6GG

The Ottoman Empire was, pace some modern historians, part of the European international system from an early period. And Western diplomats in early modern Istanbul were indeed engaged in the standard tasks of diplomacy: representing their countries’ interests, negotiating matters of war, peace and trade, and gathering information. In that sense they were doing the same job as their equivalents in West European capitals and city-states. At the same time there were significant differences, in such matters as their conditions of work and the attitudes of their hosts. They were much more likely to be out of their depth culturally; yet in some ways the differences between Ottoman social and political culture and their own could work to their advantage. This paper explores some aspects of the peculiar nature of Western diplomacy in Istanbul in the 16th and 17th centuries. 

Speaker: Sir Noel Malcolm

This event is organised by the TORCH Diplomacy in Early Modern Period 1400-1800 Network.

Please click here for more information

Looking back

As we move swiftly through the academic year, we look back at some of our past highlights. 

Art and Attunement

In this Postcolonial Writers Make Worlds talk Professor Rita Felski (University of Virginia and Southern Denmark) reported at new research on how we engage with works of art across a broad range (including cat videos) and considered the puzzling question of why we are drawn by some pieces of music, art and literature, and not by others. Why do we prefer, say, Matisse to Picasso, or Joni Mitchell over Bob Dylan, and how can those preferences change quite sharply in a life-time? 

Watch here

The Ups and Downs of Co-Production

This Medical Humanities podcast explores the challenges faced when discussing collaboration in public services. It touches upon lived experience of mental health services and how the power dynamics apparent in mental health settings can be overcome. This podcast was produced by the 'Therapeutic Conflicts: Co-Producing Meaning in Mental Health'. The principal investigator is Edward Harcourt. Co-Investigators: Anita Avradmides, Matthew Broome, and KWM Fulfford. Collaborating partners: David Crepaz-Keay and Toby Williamson.

Watch here

Events Calendar, Weeks 5-6

Monday 12 February

11:00am to 12:30pm | PATRIARCHY?

Remittances from Macro to Micro-levels: Consequences for Patriarchy and Family Structures

5:00pm | HOW MUCH DID EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY ENLIGHTENMENT OWE TO SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY IMPROVEMENT?

Part of the Besterman Enlightenment workshop series

5:30pm to 7:00pm | THE RHETORICAL VOICE

With Playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker

Tuesday 13 February

9:30am to 5:30pm | MEDIA TRAINING: ENGAGING COMMUNICATIONS FOR ACADEMICS

Humanities Training

10:00am to 12:00pm | ORGANISING CONFERENCES: THE A TO Z

Humanities Training

12:30pm to 2:00pm | MODERNIST LANDSCAPES

Speaker: Dr Hana Leaper

3:00pm | DOMESTIC SERVICE, MOBILITY, AND OTHERNESS

Led by Fanny Louvier and Olivia Robinson

3:30pm to 4:30pm | PARLEMENT OF FOULES

The Medieval Book Club

4:00pm | CURRENT TRENDS IN THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF BUREAUCRACY

When the Rules Run Out: Informal Taxonomies at the Front Lines of Public Service

5:00pm | PIRACY AND THE OCEANIC TURN

Maritime Approaches to Global History Series 

5:30pm | SONGS OF THE SPIRIT

A Psalm a day for Lent and Easter

5:30pm to 7:00pm | SCIENCE, MEDICINE AND CULTURE IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

Normalcy Interrogated: Prosthetic Hand Users in Victorian Sensation-Fiction Narratives

5:30pm to 7:00pm | THE SAME GAME, BUT WITH DIFFERENT RULES: WESTERN DIPLOMATS IN EARLY MODERN ISTANBUL

TORCH Network on Diplomacy in the Early Modern Period (1400-1800)

5:30pm | THE SAME GAME, BUT WITH DIFFERENT RULES

Western Diplomats in Early Modern Istanbul

Wednesday 14 February

10:00am to 4:00pm | STORYTELLING: FOR 3MT PARTICIPANTS

Humanities Training

10:00am to 12:00pm | PREPARING FOR THE DPHIL VIVA

Humanities Training

Thursday 15 February

1:00pm | WOMEN IN ACADEMIA

Oxford Women in Politics seminar

2:00pm to 6:00pm | ENCCRE WORKSHOP

Maison Française d’Oxford

5:30pm to 7:00pm | ACADEMIC SPEED-DATING NETWORK DRINKS

Keyword 'INCLUSION'

5:30pm to 7:00pm | BRAIN-MACHINE INTERFACES AND THE TRANSLATION OF THOUGHT INTO ACTION

St Cross Seminar

6:15pm | ROMANCING THE THRONE

Romance and Politics in the Middle Ages

Friday 16 February

12:30pm to 1:45pm | COMMUNITY AND UNIVERSITY ACTIVISM IN OXFORD

An Informational Session by Shuranjeet Takhar (MSc. South Asian Studies)

2:00pm | CULTURAL PRODUCTION AT LATE MEDIEVAL ECCLESIASTICAL COURTS

A study day focussing on the particularities of ecclesiastical courts

2:00pm to 5:00pm | SHUT UP AND WRITE 3

Humanities Division

3:00pm to 6:00pm | AFRICA AND DECOLONISATION WORKSHOP

Global & Imperial History Research Seminar

5:00pm to 6:30pm | AN EVENING WITH ALYSSA MASTROMONACO

Oxford Women in Politics event

Saturday 17 February

10:00am | CULTURAL PRODUCTION AT LATE MEDIEVAL ECCLESIASTICAL COURTS

A study day focussing on the particularities of ecclesiastical courts

11:00am to 3:30pm | RELIGION, ART, AND COMMUNITY IN OXFORD

Imagining the Divine open days

Sunday 18 February

11:00am to 3:30pm | RELIGION, ART, AND COMMUNITY IN OXFORD

Imagining the Divine open days

Monday 19 February

11:00am to 12:30pm | PATRIARCHY?

The Use of Patriarchal Narratives after Civil Wars and Natural Disasters in Islamic Societies

12:30pm to 1:30pm | QUEER THEORY „FROM” AFRICA, QUEER MEMORY/ LESBIAN ACTIVISM AND THE FIRST GAY NOVEL IN CHINESE

Queer Theory Research Lunch

12:45pm to 2:00pm | DISCUSSION GROUP

Hosted by the Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation programme

1:00pm to 2:00pm | VALUING WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES: INFANTILISED, MEDICALISED, PAUPERISED?

Disability and Curriculum Diversity seminar

5:00pm | THE END OF THE WORLD IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY: NATURAL CATASTROPHES AND ENLIGHTENMENT PERSPECTIVES ON THE LAST JUDGMENT

Part of the Besterman Enlightenment workshop series

5:30pm | DANSOX FILM NIGHT

Showing of Lynne Wake's documentary film on 20C choreographer Kenneth MacMillan

7:15pm | THEATRE AND PERFORMANCE STUDIES READING GROUP

Feminism and Performance led by Kitty Gurnos-Davies

9:30am to 5:30pm | MEDIA TRAINING: ENGAGING COMMUNICATIONS FOR ACADEMICS

Humanities Training

Tuesday 20 February

11:30am | TEENAGE GIRLS IN THE 1980S FEMINIST SEX WARS.

Gender, Women and Culture Seminar 

12:30pm to 2:00pm | LYRIC AND LANDSCAPE IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY RUSSIAN SONG

Speaker: Professor Philip Bullock

3:30pm to 4:30pm | INFERNO CANTO I

The Medieval Book Club

4:00pm | CURRENT TRENDS IN THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF BUREAUCRACY

“Keepers of the Truth”: Documenting Human Rights at the UN Universal Periodic Review

5:00pm | ISLANDS AND ISOLATION IN EUROPEAN HISTORY: TOWARDS AN INTELLECTUAL HISTORY OF THE ISLE OF MAN

Maritime Approaches to Global History Series 

5:30pm to 7:00pm | TRUST BUILDING MEASURES IN CROSS-CULTURAL SETTINGS: DIPLOMATIC NETWORKING PRACTICES IN EARLY MODERN ISTANBUL

Speaker: Christine Vogel

Wednesday 21 February

1:00pm to 5:00pm | RESEARCH POSTER SHOWCASE EVENT

Humanities Training

2:00pm to 3:30pm | THE RELATION OF LITERATURE AND LEARNING TO SOCIAL HIERARCHY IN EARLY MODERN EUROPE

2:00pm to 5:00pm | POSTER DESIGN MASTERCLASS

Humanities Training

5:15pm | PHOTOGRAPHY AND THE HISTORY OF ART

Part of the 'Towards a Social History of Photoliterature and the Photobook' series

Thursday 22 February

3:00pm to 5:00pm | HERITAGE PATHWAY: CASE STUDIES IN COLLABORATION: DIGITAL PROJECTS

Humanities Training

5:00pm | OLD ENGLISH AND PERFORMANCE

An Early Medieval Britain Seminar

Friday 23 February

All day | SPACE AND DIMENSION IN LATE ANTIQUITY AND BYZANTIUM

The Oxford University Byzantine Society’s 20th International Graduate Conference

12:30pm to 1:45pm | STUDENT RESEARCH PRESENTATIONS AND FEEDBACK

Race and Resistance seminar

2:00pm to 4:00pm | A VOICE OF HER OWN: FIVE OUTSIDERS

Oxford Feminist Thinking Seminar Series

4:00pm | THE POLITICS OF THE PUBLIC SPHERE: PRINT CULTURE IN COLONIAL LAGOS, 1880S-1940S

Global & Imperial History Research Seminar

Saturday 24 February

All day | SPACE AND DIMENSION IN LATE ANTIQUITY AND BYZANTIUM

The Oxford University Byzantine Society’s 20th International Graduate Conference

7:30pm | #ENDING THE SILENCE

Arts at the Old Fire Station performance

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The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities

Radcliffe Humanities, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6GG

01865 280101

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