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

TORCH Newsletter Trinity Term

Weeks 3 & 4 (7th May – 20th May 2017)

As we move forward through Trinity Term, here at TORCH we have some exciting news following our call for Mellon ‘Humanities & Identities’ Knowledge Exchange Fellowships last term. TORCH is delighted to announce the first awardee is Dr Marie Tidball (Faculty of Law, University of Oxford). Marie’s project is on 'Amplifying Inclusion: living disability narratives and law for the next generation' and she will work on encouraging a two-way relationship between academics and organisations which are actively involved in promoting diversity. You can read more about Marie here.

We are also delighted to announce the Humanities Innovation Challenge (HIC) is back for a second year. The HIC is a competition to identify and support innovative and entrepreneurial ideas emerging from the humanities with the lucky winner being awarded £1000 to kick-start the idea as well as £5000 of in-kind support and mentoring. For more information and to apply, click here.

This term also brings new opportunities for Knowledge Exchange Fellowships, launching on 8 May and closing 29 June. For more information, see here

Keep an eye out for upcoming events and activities including the next Book at Lunchtime event, the ongoing ‘Humanities & Identities’ lunchtime seminar series and updates from our Networks and Programmes.

Highlighted Events

Migration, Memory and Identity

Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 12:30pm to 2:00pm

Lecture Theatre, Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford

Co-hosted by TORCH and the Pitt Rivers Museum, this event will look at how identity, memory and migration are woven together and threaded through into narratives that we see in literature, history, politics and current issues facing the world today. How does migration and the physical end point contribute to the construction and/or reconstruction of identity? How can objects and collections represent, explore, and promote discussion of migration, memory and collective and individual identity? 

Join us, Karma Nabulsi (Professor in Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford) and Elleke Boehmer (Professor of World Literature in English, University of Oxford and TORCH Director) for this timely discussion.

Free to attend, open to all, and lunch provided. 

Lunch will be available from 12.30-13:00. Discussion and Q&A from 13:00-14:00. 

Register for your place here

This event is part of the 'Humanities & Identities' Lunchtime Seminar Series. 

Please click here for more information

News and Blogs

Mourning in Italian Poetry from the Medieval to the Modern

In this Oxford Medieval Studies blog post, Rebecca Bowen and Nicolò Crisafi write about a recent Oxford Medieval Studies conference on Mourning in Italian Poetry.

The conference Mourning in Italian Poetry from the Medieval to the Modern was organised and led by Adele Bardazzi, Jennifer Rushworth, and Emanuela Tandello with the support of Christ Church and St John’s College, the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages at Oxford, the Society of Italian Studies, and in association with Oxford Medieval Studies sponsored by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities.

The conference happened to coincide with the recent publication of Rushworth’s Discourses of Mourning in Dante, Petrarch and Proust which truly rests on the Medieval and the Modern. In practice, the conference pivoted on the two centuries from Giacomo Leopardi to the living poets Antonella Anedda and Jamie McKendrick, who crowned the event with a bilingual reading of each other’s work and its translation. The Middle Ages were nonetheless an intertextual presence, brought out in the Q&A sessions when not in the papers.

You can read the blog post in full here

Video: Germs Revisited

The Diseases of Modern Life project hosted this event on 'Germs Revisited' as part of the European Research Council's 10th Anniversary Celebrations.

Bad germs? Friendly bacteria? Do we need to rethink our relationships with the microscopic world? 

Using past and present ideas drawn from medicine, fiction, and art, Dr Emilie Taylor-Brown (Faculty of English), Dr Jamie Lorimer (School of Geography and the Environment), and Dr Nicola Fawcett (Medical Sciences Division) came together to discuss new ways of thinking about human-microbe relationships in dialogue with developing trends in microbiome studies.

Watch the video here

Diseases of Modern Life is supported by the European Research Council.

Katherine Mansfield and her Contemporaries

In this blog post by Joe Williams, he writes about a recent conference on Katherine Mansfield and her Contemporaries, co-hosted by the Katherine Mansfield Society and TORCH. 

Read the post in full here

The Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages

In February 2017, medievalists from across the disciplines and across the world gathered at St Hilda’s College for a conference on the study of the medieval bible. The conference, sponsored by TORCH and Oxford Medieval Studies, focused on the work of the medievalist Beryl Smalley (1905-84), whose research and writing remain fundamental for scholars working across the fields of theology, politics and history.

You can the blog post from the conference here

New Opportunities

New Network Scheme

TORCH invites applications from colleagues seeking to establish, or consolidate, multi- or interdisciplinary research networks to be based at the Radcliffe Humanities Building.

Each academic term The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) will sponsor the creation and/or development of up to three multi- or interdisciplinary research networks by providing a venue, funding, a web presence and publicity. Funding will ordinarily be up to £2,500. Funding is for one year (renewable for a further year on application after first year). Applicants may also apply for funds from the John Fell Fund. The next deadline is midday Friday 26 May 2017.

Humanities Innovation Challenge Competition

Oxford University Innovation and TORCH are delighted to announce the launch of the second Humanities Innovation Challenge Competition. We are seeking innovative and entrepreneurial ideas from those whose research is based in a humanities discipline (affiliated to any department or faculty within the collegiate University) which they would like to bring to a wider audience. 

The challenge is to develop your best ideas by summarising them in 200 words. Entrants selected will be given mentoring to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, in front of an audience, for a cash prize of £1,000 and for in-kind support worth over £5,000. The idea may come out of your academic work, or your other interests. Oxford University Innovation wants to support you in turning those ideas into opportunities. Perhaps you have a clever idea for a smart app such as the LIFE project , or educational interventions to support learning and development, or an innovative way of mounting lights – anything that can help others and be sustainable at the same time.

The teams will get the chance to pitch their idea to a judging panel of entrepreneurs, creative thinkers and innovation experts. All entries will be viewed by an expert at Oxford University Innovation and useful feedback provided.

For further details visit the website.

The deadline for entries is 8th May 2017.

Knowledge Exchange Fellowships

Proposals are sought from Oxford researchers to facilitate new, or develop existing, relationships with external partners that further the reach and significance of research in all humanities disciplines at Oxford. The range of possible knowledge exchange activities and partners is deliberately broad; it is up to the applicant to make the case that what is proposed enhances their research, benefits the external partner(s), and has the potential to continue after the end of the Fellowship. All previous fellows have project descriptions on the TORCH website here: http://torch.ox.ac.uk/knowledge-exchange

Up to £10k is available to support each fellow.

Deadline Thursday 29 June 2017. 

Mellon 'Global South' Visiting Fellowships

TORCH is looking for applications from University of Oxford Humanities academics to host a visiting ‘Global South’ Fellowship during 2017 or 2018. 

These visiting fellowships cover travel, accommodation and hosting while the visiting speakers carry out a series of public events, student/graduate seminars and drop-in discussions, also including, if they wish, filming and live web-streaming.

We aim to appoint up to two Visiting Fellowships, per year (2017-18), in both cases from the Global South, broadly defined, and from across humanities subjects. We welcome suggestions for appointees from academics from all the Humanities Faculties at Oxford and are interested in world-leading individuals who both study and represent diversity, and who also have practical experience in promoting diversity in his/her university and country.

We will welcome participation from Visitors in our TORCH networks and programmes, including ‘Women in the Humanities’, ‘Medical Humanities’, and ‘Race and Resistance’. We will seek applications specifically from institutions in the Global South, including from India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Philippines, Mauritius, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and across Southern Africa and the Caribbean.

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. 

Applications should include a 4 page max CV for the proposed individual and a research outline explaining their contribution to your Faculty (teaching and research) in no more than 1000 words. Click here for details. 

Deadline 26 June 2017 

Mellon 'Global South' Visiting Professorships

TORCH is looking for applications from University of Oxford humanities academics to host a visiting ‘Global South’ Professorship during 2017 or 2018. 

These visiting professorships cover travel, accommodation and hosting while the visiting speakers carry out a series of public events, student/graduate seminars and drop-in discussions, also including, if they wish, filming and live web-streaming.

We aim to appoint up to two Visiting Professorships, per year (2017-18), in both cases from the Global South, broadly defined, and from across humanities subjects. We welcome suggestions for appointees from academics from all the Humanities Faculties at Oxford and are interested in world-leading individuals who both study and represent diversity, and who also have practical experience in promoting diversity in his/her university and country.

The Mellon ‘Global South’ Visiting Professorships and Fellowships will run May-June, or October-November, that is to say, in term. We will seek applications specifically from institutions in the Global South, including from India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Philippines, Mauritius, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and across Southern Africa and the Caribbean.

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. 

Applications should include a 4 page max CV for the proposed individual and a research outline explaining their contribution to your Faculty (teaching and research) in no more than 1000 words.Click here for details.

Deadline 26 June 2017.

Hub Award: Call for Applications 2018-20 

The Hub Award brings researchers and creative professionals together at Wellcome Collection to work as a collaborative residency.

Wellcome is now accepting applications for a new group of residents in The Hub, beginning at the end of 2018. The grant supports an interdisciplinary group of researchers and creative minds to collaborate on a project of up to 2 years and £1m which explores the cultural and social contexts of health.

For more details about what the award is, who can apply, how to apply, deadlines and contact details please visit The Hub Award page.

Mellon 'Humanities & Identities' Workshop and Conference Funding

£500-£1000 sums available for conferences and workshops 

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

The series will focus on multiple research areas relating to diversity including race, gender, sexuality, disability, poverty, class, religion and inequality. Deadline 8 May 2017.

TORCH Oxford Medieval Studies Small Grants

The TORCH Oxford Medieval Studies Programme invites applications for small grants to support conferences, workshops, and other forms of collaborative research activity organised by students at postgraduate (whether MSt or DPhil) or early career level from across the Humanities Division at the University of Oxford.

The activity should take place in Oxford at any time between November 2017 and February 2018. The closing date for applications is Friday of Week 3 of Trinity Term (12 May 2017).

Upcoming Events

Book at Lunchtime: Everything in Everything: Anaxagoras’s Metaphysics

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 12:30pm to 2:00pm

Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities, Oxford

Everything in Everything interprets the key principles of Anaxagoras's philosophy, arguing for its soundness and for the explanatory value of Anaxagoras's innovative ideas in relation to the questions he had set out to address. The book places Anaxagoras's view in dialogue with current concerns in metaphysics, regarding the question of whether reality is atomless or not, displaying relevance to ancient philosophy scholars and contemporary philosophers alike. 

Author Anna Marmodoro (Philosophy, University of Oxford) will discuss the book and its themes with: 

Simona Aimar (Philosophy, UCL)

Naoya Iwata (Philosophy, Cambridge University)

This event will be chaired by Neil McLynn (Classics, University of Oxford) 

Free and all welcome. Lunch will be available from 12.30, with discussion from 13.00-14.00.

Booking is essential.

Please click here for more information

Storming Utopia: More's Utopia in the Age of Brexit

Thursday, May 11, 2017 - 12:30pm to 2:00pm

St Luke's Chapel, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Oxford

This event is an Oxford Public Engagement with Research event and part of a Knowledge Exchange project. Organised by Professor Wes Williams (Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages) and Richard Scholar (Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages).

Thomas More’s ground-breaking island fantasy, first published in 1516, asks us all what brave new world we are to wish for. What would a society better than ours look like? Who ought to be allowed in? And on what terms? These are More’s questions in Utopia, and they have never mattered more than today, as the UK prepares to pursue a political future outside the EU and walls go up in the US. It may seem timely to return to the traditional reading of More’s text as a blueprint for political change: Utopia tells, after all, how a peninsula cut itself off from the continent to make a better future as an island… Yet the name More created for his island – Utopia – means ‘no place’: the political message of More’s text is undermined by the surrounding irony that his brave new world is a Nowhere Island.

A group of East Oxford residents have come together to develop a creative contemporary response to More’s text and Shakespeare’s Tempest in the form of a new theatrical show, Storming Utopia, which they are performing at the Pegasus Theatre in Oxford and at the Fondazione Cini in Venice in 2017. This lunchtime discussion event builds on their perspectives and on the work of Professor Richard Scholar and Professor Wes Williams to explore what Utopia has meant since 1516, from Venice to Venezuela and beyond, and what it might mean here in Oxford in the age of Brexit.

Register here for your ticket. 

Please click here for more information

Global History of the Book

Monday, May 15, 2017 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities, Oxford

How do the lives of books shape worlds? What role have books played in perpetuating resistance across borders? In this Race and Resistance event, the editors of two forthcoming collections, The Global Histories of the Book: Methods and Practices (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), and Fighting Words: Fifteen Books that Shaped the Postcolonial World (Peter Lang, 2017), both of which engage with these questions in different ways, will offer some thoughts on the genesis and process of their respective projects and on the role of the book in (and of) the world more generally. Organized as a roundtable debate, this event will therefore serve as a chance to learn more about—as well as contribute to contemporary—critical discussions of global histories of the book, and participants and attendees from all disciplinary backgrounds are welcome.

Refreshments will be provided, and discount flyers for both books will be available. 

Please click here for more information

Knowledge Exchange Showcase

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm

St Luke's Chapel, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Oxford

Please join us to hear more about the innovative research projects of our current Knowledge Exchange Fellows and collaborating partners and learn about the impact these project are set to have in the wider community and beyond. Discover pioneering, intriguing, and inspiring research across the humanities and how it has precipitated new external partnerships.

Short presentations by our current KE Fellows will be followed by a drinks reception.

For more information and to RSVP, click here

Please click here for more information

Sport and the Black Freedom Struggle

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 - 5:00pm

Danson Room, Trinity College, Oxford

The TORCH Race and Resistance programme are hosting a talk on 'Sport and the Black Freedom Struggle' with Professor Frank Guridy (Columbia University).

How can we understand the role of sports in the Black Freedom Struggle in the United States? This talk historicizes the contemporary Black athletic insurgency by highlighting the ways sporting culture and protest can provide visions of radical inclusion both on the field and in the stands.

This event will be followed by a drinks reception. 

Please click here for more information

Looking back

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

The Death Masks of Macbeth

In this short talk Simon Palfrey explores the deathly afterlives of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and reads extracts from his novel Macbeth, Macbeth.

Simon Palfrey is Professor of English Literature at Brasenose College, University of Oxford. His recent work explores the unique kinds of life generated by dramatic, poetic, and fictional forms, and the opportunities this opens up for more philosophically adventurous and formally imaginative criticism. As well as Demons Land, his current projects include a semi-autobiographical exploration of romantic poetry, The Mental Travellers, and a critical fiction written with Ewan Fernie, Macbeth, Macbeth (Bloomsbury, 2016).

Watch here

Knowledge Machines

How have digital technologies changed research practices in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities? 

Professor Eric T. Meyer (Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford) discusses his book Knowledge Machines: Digital Transformations of the Sciences and Humanities with Lucie Burgess (Associate Director for Digital Libraries, Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford), Dr Kathryn Eccles (Research Fellow, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford) and Dr James Smithies (Director of King's Digital Lab and Module Convenor for Internships in the Department of Digital Humanities, Kings College London).

Watch here

Events Calendar, Weeks 3-4

Monday 8 May

14:00 - 17:00 | RELIGION AND FUTILITY IN THE INTENSIVE CARE UNIT

A half-day seminar exploring issues around religion, pluralism and medical ethics

17:00 - 19:00 | TERMINUS OR RENOVATION? FRANCIS BACON AND CRISIS IN EARLY MODERN KNOWLEDGE

Speaker: Dr Richard Serjeantson (University of Cambridge)

Tuesday 9 May

10:00 - 12.30 | INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

Training for researchers

12:30 - 14:00 | EARTH IN FOCUS: PHOTOGRAPHY AND LAND ART AROUND 1970

The Photography Seminar

12:45 - 14:00 | CROSSING THE CHANNEL: THE LOVE LETTERS OF MARIE LE PRINCE DE BEAUMONT AND THOMAS TYRRELL

Englightenment Correspondences network event

16:00 | AMERICA AND THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES

Speaker: Professor Margaret MacMillan (University of Oxford)

17:00 | ÉMIGRÉS IN SAINT PETERSBURG: ARISTOCRATIC COSMOPOLITANISM AND XENOPHOBIA AT THE TIME OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

Speaker: Alexei Evstratov (Freie Universität Berlin)

17:15 | THE GREATEST TEAM-UP STORY NEVER TOLD: NEW LEFT / UNDERGROUND COMIX AFFINITIES IN THE LATE 1960S AND AFTER

Speaker: Paul Williams

17:30 – 19:00 | RICHARD HOLMES

Pursuer or Pursued: Reflections on Biography

18:00 – 20:30 | OXFORD IN CAMBRIDGE: IS THERE A FUTURE FOR THE COUNTRY HOUSE?

Alumni event

19:30 | THE ISLAND

A theatre production

Wednesday 10 May

12:30 – 14:00 | EVERYTHING IN EVERYTHING: ANAXAGORAS'S METAPHYSICS

Book at Lunchtime event

17:00 | KINGSHIP, NATIONHOOD AND CONSTRUCTIONS OF POLITICAL COMMUNITY: LOCATING COLONIAL INDIA IN GLOBAL INTELLECTUAL HISTORY

Speaker: Milinda Banarjee (LMU Munich/Presidency University, Kolkata)

17:30 – 19:00 | ADA LOVELACE IN HER MATHEMATICAL CONTEXT

Speaker: Professor Ursula Martin

17:30 – 19:00 | AULUS CORNELIUS CELSUS AND ‘EMPIRICAL’ AND ‘DOGMATIC’ MEDICINE

Dr Jeremy Howick 

17:00 – 19:00 | A PARASITE'S PAST: USING MITOCHONDRIAL GENOMES TO INVESTIGATE HOW AND WHEN PLASMODIUM VIVAX MALARIA SPREAD ACROSS THE WORLD

Leonie Raijmakers 

19:30 – 20:30 | THE LONG HOME IN THE NARROW HOUSE

Speaker: Dr Helen Appleton

20:00 – 14:30 | THE ALGERIAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE: GLOBAL AND LOCAL HISTORIES 1954-62, AND BEYOND

2-day conference

Thursday 11 May

12:30 – 14:00 | STORMING UTOPIA

More's Utopia in the age of Brexit

17:00 – 19:00 | GREAT WRITERS INSPIRE AT HOME: BERNARDINE EVARISTO

Part of the Postcolonial Writing and Theory seminar series Trinity Term 2017

17:45 - SUPPORTING OUR CAUSES

Part of the 'MOVING, TEACHING, INSPIRING: The National Trust & University of Oxford in the 21st Century' lecture series

Friday 12 May

LITERARY COSMOPOLITANISM

One-day workshop

GLOBAL LIVES AND LOCAL PERSPECTIVES

New Approaches to Tibetan Life-Writing

13:00 – 14:30 | HEIDEGGER READING GROUP

Discussing "The Question Concerning Technology”

14:00 – 16:00 | THE PRAECOX FEELING

Seminar run by TORCH Oxford Phenomenology Network

17:00 | REPRESENTING THE MUSLIM IN AMERICA

Part of the Mansfield Lecture Series

Monday 15 May

12:45 – 14:00 | OCCT DISCUSSION GROUP: READING OUT OF CONTEXT

Discussion Group

15:30 – 17:30 | EAST ASIAN WORKING GROUP

Working Group

17:00 | REDEFINING ETHNICITY: WESTERN THEORIES AND INDIGENOUS RECREATIONS OF JATI

Speaker: Swarupa Gupta (Presidency University, Kolkata)

17:00 | SERGEANT YORK

Part of the RAI Goes to the Movies series

17:00 – 19:00 | GLOBAL HISTORY OF THE BOOK

Speaker: Dominic Davies (University of Oxford)

18:00 | SIMON ARMITAGE AND BERNARD O'DONOGHUE

Poems of Life and Death

Tuesday 16 May

11:30 – 13:30 | DPHIL WORKSHOP

Organised by the Centre for Gender, Identity, and Subjectivity

12:30 – 14:00 | PHOTOSYNTHESIS

Fractals, Algorithms, and Wild Matter in New Forms of Photographic Practice

17:00 – 19:00 | KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE SHOWCASE

Hear more about the innovative research projects of our current Knowledge Exchange Fellows 

17:00 – 19:00 | SATTELZEIT AS ENDZEIT? MAKING SENSE OF CATASTROPHIC CHANGE IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

German thinkers and the catastrophe of French invasion in the 19th century

Wednesday 17 May

17:00 - | SPORT AND THE BLACK FREEDOM STRUGGLE

Speaker: Professor Frank Guridy (Columbia University)

17:30 – 19:30 | OXFORD PHENOMENOLOGY NETWORK SEMINAR

Seminar run by TORCH Oxford Phenomenology Network

19:30 – 20:30 | SHAPING BUILDINGS AND SOCIETY IN ANGLO-SAXON ENGLAND

Speaker: Clifford Sofield

Thursday 18 May

12:30 – 14:00 | MIGRATION, MEMORY AND IDENTITY

Humanities & Identities Lunchtime Seminar

17:00 – 19:30 | POETIC CURRENCY SYMPOSIUM (COLLABORATION WITH STANFORD UNIVERSITY AND BEN-GURION UNIVERSITY OF THE NEGEV)

Poetry Reading and Keynote Address

17:00 – 19:00 | PUBLIC SEX

Josephine Butler and Human Trafficking in Victorian Britain

17:00 – 19:00 | GREAT WRITERS INSPIRE AT HOME: DALJIT NAGRA

Part of the Postcolonial Writing and Theory seminar series Trinity Term 2017

17:15 | ADAM SMITH: POVERTY AND FAMINE

2017 Besterman Lecture 

Friday 19 May

10:00 – 12:00 | A GENRE IN CRISIS: THE NOVEL IN 1940S FRANCE

A Crisis, Extremes and Apocalypse event with Ann Jefferson

10:30 – 16:00 | POETIC CURRENCY SYMPOSIUM

Poetry Reading and Keynote Address

12:30 – 13:45 | CONSUMERISM AND THE PRAGMATICS OF RACE IN THE MAKING OF APARTHEID

Speaker: Professor Deborah Posel (University of Cape Town)

13:00 – 19:00 | SACRIFICE REVISITED

A revisitation of the concept of Sacrifice in late modernity

13:00 – 14:30 | HEIDEGGER READING GROUP

Discussing "The Question Concerning Technology”

14:00 – 16:00 | UNITY OF SELF IN SCHIZOPHRENIA

Seminar run by TORCH Oxford Phenomenology Network

17:00 | PUTTING POETRY INTO POLITICS

Part of the Mansfield Lecture Series

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