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

TORCH Newsletter Trinity Term

Weeks 1 & 2 (23rd April – 5th May 2018)

Welcome to Trinity Term at TORCH. We begin with the first in our Book at Lunchtime series where we will discuss Josephine Quinn's (Classics, University of Oxford) new book In Search of the Phoenicians.

We will also host a training session with editors from The Conversation on how to pitch your research for publication for wider audiences. 

On Saturday 28 April Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum will host a range of family friendly Asian cultural activities including Punjabi drumming, poetry & music. 

We are pleased to announce a call for participants for a half-day workshop on 'Women and Social Mobility' to be held 1-6pm at the University of Oxford on 24th May 2018. For details on this conference and more, please see below and on our website. 

Highlighted Event

The Lens of Gender: Research-Led Teaching

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. Click here to reserve your place. 

Please click here for more information

News, Blogs and Calls for Papers

Call for Papers: Global Hungers: The Problem of Poverty in Postcolonial Literature

This one-day conference showcases interdisciplinary research in the fields of postcolonial, comparative, and world literatures on the topic of poverty, hunger, and homelessness. Themes to be addressed at the conference include:

  • the colonial manipulation of hunger as an ideological battleground
  • hunger as refusal, non-assimilation, fasting and hunger strike
  • biopolitics as resistance
  • subaltern space and identity
  • urban infrastructure and class apartheid
  • refugee and related human rights crises
  • environmental disasters
  • representation of poverty in literature, cinema, and the visual and performance arts

This conference is related to Professor Ankhi Mukherjee’s AHRC-funded project, “The Psychic Life of the Poor: A City Unseen in Mumbai, London, and New York”. For details, click here.

Chinese Characters

Rana Mitter (Director of the Oxford China Centre and Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China) is contributing to a 20-part BBC Radio 4 series called Chinese Characters. Chinese Characters is a series of essays exploring Chinese history through the life stories of key personalities. The first episode looked at the life of Wu Zetian, the only woman ever to rule as China's emperor in her own right. 

You can listen to Rana's podcast on Wu Zetian here.

Call for Participants: Women and Social Mobility Workshop

We are pleased to announce a call for participants for a half-day workshop on Women and Social Mobility to be held 1-6pm at the University of Oxford on 24th May 2018.

The workshop is convened as part of the new interdisciplinary project 'Doing Well? Social Mobility, Health and Well-Being in Britain', funded by the Wellcome Trust ISSF. The project brings together social science and humanities scholars for the development of a novel, timely, and policy-relevant analysis of the impact of educational mobility on contemporary British citizens’ well-being, with particular focus on women, across the 20th-century. 

This workshop is organised by Prof Stanley Ulijaszek (Anthropology), Dr Christina de Bellaigue (History), Dr Karin Eli (Anthropology), Dr Eve Worth (History), and Charlotte Bennett (History).

For more information, please click here.

Video: Photography and Tibet

In this Book at Lunchtime discussion on Photography and Tibet, 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 joined 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 was chaired by Geraldine Johnson (History of Art, University of Oxford).

Watch the video here.

No Reason to Fear Her Karma: Gender Variance in Japanese History and Culture

From Buddhist folklore to Kabuki theatre to contemporary transgender lives, Japanese history and culture have been home to multiple forms of gender variance and cross-gender identities. Lyman Gamberton (SOAS, University of London) provides an introduction to the complexities of gender in the Japanese past, while arguing that historic and cultural forms of gender-variant practice should not automatically be linked to Japanese transgender identities today.

Read this Queer Studies Network blog here.

New Opportunities

Comics and Graphic Novels Network: Call for Committee Members

The TORCH Network, 'Comics and Graphic Novels: The Politics of Form', which exists primarily to promote the academic study of comics and graphic novels at Oxford, is seeking a new committee member. The Network especially sets out to cultivate an open, democratic and inclusive environment where comics and other kinds of graphic and sequential-visual narrative can be considered as both literary and artistic forms, and their varying cultural, social and political implications discussed, debated and analysed by students and academics of all levels. Comprised of seminars with talks from visiting comics critics and practitioners throughout the Oxford term time, the network aims to facilitate a new interdisciplinary dialogue about a form that demands more comprehensive and ongoing critical analysis.

We therefore welcome expressions of interest from students and academics of any disciplinary background and career stage to join the network committee.

Please click here for more information.

The National Archives: Opportunities to Collaborate for University of Oxford Researchers

The National Archives (TNA) is reaching out to Oxford researchers through TORCH.

The TNA has identified priority areas of their collections where they would like to explore collaborating with researchers at the University of Oxford.

Areas for collaboration include digital humanities, 'alternative facts', data analysis, visualisation, African History, History of the Slave Trade, social history, art history, early modernism, history of collecting, medical humanities, healthcare, history of banking, political history. 

For more information, please click here

TORCH-Mellon Humanities & Identities Conference and Workshop Funding

We welcome proposals from Oxford researchers in the humanities or in collaboration with humanities scholars for workshops/conferences relating to the headline theme ‘Humanities & Identities’, funded by the VC Diversity Fund and the Andrew W Mellon Foundation.

There are £500-£1000 sums available. 

The series will focus on multiple research areas relating to diversity including race, gender, sexuality, disability, poverty, class, religion and inequality.

For full details click here

Deadline 1 June 2018. 

TORCH-Mellon Visiting 'Global South' Professorships and Mellon 'Global South' 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’ Visiting Professorships and Fellowships will run January-March, May-June, or October-November, that is to say, in term. We will welcome participation from Visitors in our TORCH networks and programmes, including ‘Women in the Humanities’, ‘Medical Humanities’, and ‘Race and Resistance’.

For more information click here

Deadline 1 June 2018.

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 1 June 2018.

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

Upcoming Events

In Search of the Phoenicians

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities, Oxford OX2 6GG

Who were the ancient Phoenicians, and did they actually exist?

The Phoenicians traveled the Mediterranean long before the Greeks and Romans, trading, establishing settlements, and refining the art of navigation. But who these legendary sailors really were has long remained a mystery. In Search of the Phoenicians makes the startling claim that the “Phoenicians” never actually existed. 

Josephine Quinn (Classics, University of Oxford) shows how the belief in this historical mirage has blinded us to the compelling identities and communities these people really constructed for themselves in the ancient Mediterranean, based not on ethnicity or nationhood but on cities, family, colonial ties, and religious practices. 

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

Hindy Najman (Theology and Religion, University of Oxford)

Stephanie Dalley (Oriental Studies, University of Oxford)

Chairing this event is John Watts (History, 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

The Conversation: Editor-in-Residence Training

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 11:30am to 2:00pm
Colin Matthew Room, Radcliffe Humanities, Oxford OX2 6GG

Are you a University of Oxford researcher? Are you in the humanities or social sciences and interested in sharing your research with wider audiences? Yes? Come along to this training session with editors from The Conversation!

Laura Hood (Politics Editor) and Josephine Lethbridge (Interdisciplinary Editor) will talk about how to pitch an article, what to expect and what you could gain by having your research published on The Conversation.

We'll provide lunch too!

Please register here.

Please click here for more information

Art and Emergency: Modernism in Twentieth-Century India

During states of emergency, normal rules and rights are suspended, and force can often prevail. In these precarious intervals, when the human potential for violence can be released and rehearsed, images may also emerge. Art and Emergency: Modernism in Twentieth-Century India asks: what happens to art during a state of emergency? Investigating the uneasy relationship between aesthetics and political history, Emilia Terracciano traces a genealogy of modernism in colonial and postcolonial India; she explores catastrophic turning points in the history of twentieth-century India, via the art works which emerged from them. Art and Emergency reveals how the suspended, diagonal, fugitive lines of Nasreen Mohamedi's abstract compositions echo Partition's traumatic legacy; how the theatrical choreographies of Sunil Janah's photographs document desperate famine; and how Gaganendranath Tagore's lithographs respond to the wake of massacre. Making an innovative, important intervention into current debates on visual culture in South Asia, this book also furthers our understanding of the history of modernism.

Author Emilia Terracciano (Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford) joins an expert panel: 

Partha Mitter (Art History, University of Sussex)

Lion König (Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford)

Chairing this event is Naiza Khan (Visual Studies, University of Karachi). 

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

Music and Memory: Jonathan Dove

Friday, April 27, 2018 -5:30pm to 7:00pm
Lecture Theatre 3, Andrew Wiles Building (Mathematical Institute), Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6GG

In this conversation, composer Jonathan Dove will talk to Dr Kate Kennedy (University of Oxford) about the relationship of his music to war and remembrance. Jonathan Dove has written works commemorating armed conflict (In Damascus and To An Unknown Soldier) and works invoking collective memory more broadly, as in his TV opera When She Died, a reflection on the death of Princess Diana. The conversation will be illustrated with musical examples.

This event is free to attend but registration is essential. Register here.

This event is organised by the Post-War: Commemoration, Reconstruction, Reconciliation project.

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. 

Poetry and Life-Writing

This event brought together experts working at the intersection of literature, human rights, foreign policy and peace initiatives, and explored the role of poetry and life-writing in post-war healing.

This event was part of the Post-War: Commemoration, Reconstruction, Reconciliation project.

Watch here

Complexity in Our Multiple Identities: the 2017 Disability Lecture

Disability is one among our many possible identities, but it is one that is often hidden, necessitating constant choices about whether and how to share information. Marie Tidball (TORCH Knowledge Exchange Fellow), Dan Holloway (Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics at the University of Oxford) and Torø Graven (Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford), who all work for the University, share their individual approaches to disability in personal and professional spheres.

This event was chaired by Dr Rebecca Surender (Pro Vice-Chancellor and Advocate for Equality and Diversity, University of Oxford).

This event was part of the Humanities & Identities series.

Watch here

Events Calendar, Weeks 1-2

Tuesday 24 April

4:30pm to 6:00pm | SEMINAR SERIES ON REPRODUCIBILITY AND OPEN RESEARCH

All Souls College Seminar Series

5:30pm to 7:00pm | 'EUROPE'S DIPLOMATIC CULTURE, C.1700-1900: CONTINUITY AND CHANGE'

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

Wednesday 25 April

11:30am to 2:00pm | THE CONVERSATION: EDITOR-IN-RESIDENCE TRAINING

With editors from The Conversation

1:00pm to 2:00pm | THE PHOENICIANS

Book at Lunchtime

1:00pm | AGAINST ‘IBERIC CRUDITY’: BALLIOL MS 238E, BODLEIAN MS DOUCE 204, AND LAURENTIUS DYAMAS

Part of 'Unlocking Archives', Balliol College

5:00pm | RENAISSANCE ROYAL WEDDINGS & CULTURAL PRODUCTION

The Polish-Italian Royal Wedding of 1518: Dynasty, Memory & Language, Conference Opening Event

Thursday 26 April

All day | PETER LARKIN, PHENOMENOLOGY, ECOLOGY

Phenomenology and Poetry Symposium at the University of Warwick

9:30am to 7:00pm | RENAISSANCE ROYAL WEDDINGS & CULTURAL PRODUCTION

Conference

2:00pm to 3:30pm | TEACHING NETWORK FOR SOCIAL SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES

Researcher Training

4:00pm | UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHERS AND THE HISTORY OF LONDON AT WAR

Globalising and Localising the Great War Seminar

5:00pm | THE LATE GERMAN ENLIGHTENMENT AND ITS TEMPLES

Part of the Besterman Enlightenment workshop series

5:00pm to 8:00pm | THE QUEER STUDIES RESEARCH NETWORK UNDERGRADUATE SYMPOSIUM

5:00pm | NATIONALISM, ETHNICITY, AND THE PHOENICIANS

Part of the Long History of Identity, Ethnicity and Nationhood seminar series

5:00pm | "PATRISTICS AND LATE ANTIQUITY": PTARMIGAN LECTURE IN PATRISTICS 2018

Part of the Faculty of Theology and Religion

5:15pm to 7:00pm | READING BASS CULTURE: LINTON KWESI JOHNSON IN CONVERSATION WITH PAUL GILROY

Poetry Reading and Discussion

Friday 27 April

9:15am to 1:00pm | RENAISSANCE ROYAL WEDDINGS & CULTURAL PRODUCTION

Conference

12:30pm to 1:45pm | ISLANDS AND EMPIRES

The Historical and Contemporary Ramifications of Colonialism in Oceania and the Pacific 

5:00pm to 7:30pm | WORDS IN ACTION: PERSPECTIVES ON WRITING AND ACTIVISM

A panel discussion

5:30pm to 7:00pm | MUSIC AND MEMORY: JONATHAN DOVE

Aural Commemoration: Mellon-Sawyer Seminar Series 

5:30pm to 6:30pm | BOOK LAUNCH: PAUL EDWARDS, ROLANDO DE GUARDIA WALD ON ARTURO SOTO'S 'IN THE HEAT'

A discussion of Arturo Soto’s debut photobook

Saturday 28 April

All day | MOURNING IN ITALIAN POETRY

Conference

9:30am to 2:00pm | MUSIC AND MEMORY: PANEL-LED WORKSHOP 1

Aural Commemoration: Mellon-Sawyer Seminar Series 

12:00pm to 4:00pm | SOLDIERS OF OXFORDSHIRE MUSEUM: ASIAN CULTURAL ACTIVITY DAY

5:00pm | POETRY READING BY ANTONELLA ANEDDA

Mourning in Italian Poetry Conference

Monday 30 April

12:30pm to 2:00pm | ACADEMIC SPEED-DATING NETWORK LUNCH

Keyword 'HUMAN TRAFFICKING'

12:45pm to 2:00pm | THE LENS OF GENDER: RESEARCH-LED TEACHING

The first in a series of workshops

12:45pm to 2:00pm | DISCUSSION GROUP

Comparative Criticism and Translation

3:00pm | ORCADIAN LIFEWAYS: DIET AND HEALTH IN PRE-VIKING AND VIKING-AGE ORKNEY

Special Medieval Archaeology Seminar (rescheduled)

7:15pm | THEATRE & PERFORMANCE READING GROUP

Political Theatre Around Borders

Tuesday 1 May

10:00am to 11:00am | DIGITAL HUMANITIES

The Cabinet Project

10:00am | OLIVE GIBBS: LOCAL LABOUR POLITICIAN AND NATIONAL PEACE CAMPAIGNER

An Exhibition

12:30pm to 2:00pm | WHY I HATE THE LAKE DISTRICT

Environmental Humanities Lunchtime Seminar Series

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

Researcher Training

4:30pm to 6:00pm | SEMINAR SERIES ON REPRODUCIBILITY AND OPEN RESEARCH

All Souls College Seminar Series

Wednesday 2 May

12:30pm to 1:45pm | A DISCUSSION OF PETINA GAPPAH'S 'THE BOOK OF MEMORY'

Part of the Fiction and Human Rights Network seminar series, Trinity 2018

1:00pm to 2:00pm | ART AND EMERGENCY

Book at Lunchtime 

2:00pm to 4:00pm | BRITISH IMPERIAL RESPONSIBILITY?

Reflections on disparate approaches to post-conflict reconciliation and transitional justice

3:00pm | TOWARDS A SOCIAL HISTORY OF PHOTOLITERATURE AND THE PHOTOBOOK

Part of the Maison Française d’Oxford Photography Seminar Series, Trinity 2018

5:00pm to 6:30pm | USING PRACTICE AS RESEARCH

The Case of the Spoken Blush with Dr Emma Whipday

5:00pm | 2018 TERRA FOUNDATION LECTURES IN AMERICAN ART: THE BODY OF A NATION

As part of the Department of the History of Art, University of Oxford

5:15pm to 7:00pm | QUEERYING SPACES: TRANSNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES

Queer Studies Research Network

5:30pm | THE WEIDENFELD VISITING PROFESSORSHIP IN COMPARATIVE EUROPEAN LITERATURE LECTURE SERIES

Story-telling in a Divided World

Thursday 3 May

3:00pm to 5:00pm | HERITAGE: THE INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT

Researcher Training

4:00pm | THE NERVOUS FLYER: NERVES, FLYING AND THE FIRST WORLD WAR

Globalising and Localising the Great War Seminar

5:00pm | LIGHTING THE ENLIGHTENMENT: PUBLIC ILLUMINATION AND THE SIÈCLE DES LUMIÈRES

Part of the Besterman Enlightenment workshop series

5:15pm | MAKING THE UNCONSCIOUS CONSCIOUS: WHAT IS MENTAL ILLNESS?

Seminars in depth psychology

6:00pm | LAUNCH OF SUSAN GILLINGHAM'S PSALMS THROUGH THE CENTURIES: VOLUME 2

An Oxford Psalms Network event

Friday 4 May

11:00am | QUI DE CODICE CANUNT; THE MANUSCRIPT AND THE RITUAL OF CHANT IN THE LATIN WEST, 400–900 CE

As part of the Centre for the Study of the Book

12:30pm to 1:45pm | STUDENT RESEARCH AND PEER REVIEW COLLOQUIUM

Race and Resistance invites Oxford students

1:30pm to 6:00pm | VIVA VOCE: THE PREMODERN VOICE

Workshop

Saturday 5 May

All day | EDUCATION FOR PRACTITIONERS & PROSPECTIVE PARENTS

During the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries

10:00am | EVERYDAY MATTERS: WRITING OBSCURE LIVES

Oxford Centre for Life-Writing

12:30pm to 5:00pm | WADHAM RACE SYMPOSIUM 2018 - 'GRENFELL: 'A YEAR ON.'

People of Colour and Racial Equality 

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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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