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

TORCH Newsletter Michaelmas Term

Weeks 3 & 4 (22 October – 4 November 2017)

As we move through the term, here at TORCH we are excited to announce the launch of writersmakeworlds.com, a new website looking at how contemporary Black and Asian British writing is changing how we see and read literature in English today. The website comes out of the successful Postcolonial Writers Make Worlds project which is supported by the John Fell Oxford University Press (OUP) Research Fund, the Faculty of English and TORCH and led by Elleke Boehmer (Professor of World Literature in English, University of Oxford) and Erica Lombard (Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Oxford). 

We were also delighted to see the launch of a series of blogs called Please, Sir, I Want Some More Employment: Applying For UK Jobs by Dr Alice Kelly. Alice set up the TORCH Academic Writing Group and is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Rothermere American Institute. Please see below for the first blog in this series. 

We invite you to take a look at the University's first Innovation Photography Competition which is your chance to showcase what innovation looks like in your work or study. The competition is open to all current staff and students of the University of Oxford - you just need to submit your photo by using a valid University email address. There will be weekly prizes and grand prizes for each category – plus an overall Judges’ Choice winner. For more information and to enter, please click here

We will be continuing our series on Disability and Curriculum Diversity with the next seminar on Autonomy, Community, Destiny: Re-imagining Disability. For details, please click here

Lastly and as ever, you will find more news, events and opportunities below. Do take a look - we hope to see you soon! 

Highlighted Events

Me and My Beliefs: Challenges of Identity and Society

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
L1, Mathematical Institute, Andrew Wiles Building, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, OX2 6GG

Bishop Libby Lane is Britain’s first woman bishop in the Church of England. In this talk Bishop Libby explores the pathway that brought her to this position and addresses an area of identity not always covered in diversity debates. A panel of prominent speakers joins her in discussing what it means to be a person of faith in Britain today and impacts on diversity.

On the panel:

Jas' Elsner (Professor of Late Antique Art, Faculty of Classics, University of Oxford and project lead on Empires of Faith)

Shaista Aziz (freelance journalist and writer specialising on identity, race, gender and Muslim women. Founder of The Everyday Bigotry Project)

This event will be chaired by Elleke Boehmer (Professor in World Literatures in English, University of Oxford)

Booking is essential. Please register here for your seat. 

There will be a drinks reception following the discussion.

This series is part of the Humanities and Identities Series.  

Please click here for more information

News and Blogs

Please, Sir, I Want Some More Employment: Applying For UK Jobs

Alice Kelly, who runs the TORCH Academic Writing Group, has written a series of four blogs for Karen Kelsky’s The Professor Is In Blog. The series is called Please, Sir, I Want Some More Employment: Applying For UK Jobs and is designed for both UK applicants and those applying from abroad.

This series will teach you how to navigate the different types of universities in the UK, the types of jobs you might apply to, and the schedule of applications; the current academic landscape, primarily the unknown, utterly unquantifiable impact of Brexit and the opposing total quantification of publications through the REF; the language, length and structure of UK cover letters; and the interview and the multiple forms it might take.

The first post is here.

Mediating Modern German Poetry

Professor Karen Leeder (Professor of Modern German Literature and Fellow and Tutor in German at New College, Oxford) has worked with individual poets, translators, musicians and artists to explore modern German poetry. She has reached out to new public audiences – across the country and further afield – through festivals, workshops, masterclasses, readings, schools visits and even poetry duels.

In this short film, she talks about her research and public engagement. 

The Languages of J. M. Coetzee

In this Times Literary Supplement review, Oliver Ready writes about the recent Travelling with Coetzee conference at TORCH: 

At an invigorating and very well-conceived conference held earlier this month in Oxford, Travelling with Coetzee: Other arts, other languages, I lost count of the different pronunciations of the Nobel laureate’s surname. If Hermann Wittenberg, a Cape Town scholar who has collaborated with Coetzee on various projects, offered a confident version of the most common pronunciation of this common Afrikaans surname (think “book” and “idea”), Elleke Boehmer, Professor of World Literature in English at Oxford, was no less assured in adhering to the version endorsed, in a letter to the BBC, by J. M. (that’s John Maxwell) himself: kuut-SEE. Other speakers appeared to have worried away at the word for so long that it resisted comfortable articulation. Only in the final panel did Arijana Božović, who has translated twelve of Coetzee’s books into Serbian, offer an anecdote that helped clarify the issue. When she first picked up a novel by Coetzee in South Africa, the bookseller explained to her that in the north of the country people say “kuut-SEE-uh” but “Here in Cape Town we say kuut-SEE”. The author himself, present in the audience for the first time, did not break his silence.

You can read the review in full here

Exhibitions Producer/Agent: Demons Land: a poem come true

Arts Council England (ACE) are looking for an experienced, dynamic agent for their multi-media installation, Demons Land: a poem come true.

Demons Land comprises a 45-minute film, 24 paintings, soundscapes, sculptures, and text. It tells the story of an island made in the image of a single poem: Edmund Spenser’s violent, erotic, hallucinogenic epic, The Faerie Queene (1590-96). They reconceive the poem as the seminal text of modernity, repeating over and over again in different times and places. The project thereby explores the complicity of art in the dreams and crimes of empire.

The basic remit of the job will be to seek and secure appropriate exhibitions, screenings, or other events, both in the UK and internationally. The project engages with various constituencies – artistic, musical, literary, scholarly – and ACE want someone with a sharp, creative, informed sense of how these relationships might be enhanced. Candidates will be expected to have extensive knowledge of public arts spaces. A track record of project management and funding applications on arts projects is desirable. Ideally the person appointed will be an active creative partner, imaginative and ambitious, and not a mere functionary. There will be opportunities for developing future projects with the core creative team. Remuneration and hours are negotiable.

Candidates should submit a 300-400 word statement outlining their suitability and experience to simon.palfrey@bnc.ox.ac.uk

For more information, please click here.

New Opportunities

AHRC-TORCH Graduate Fund

The AHRC-TORCH Graduate Fund scheme runs every year during Michaelmas Term. Proposals will be assessed by the Student Peer Review College and by the Humanities Graduate Studies Committee. The deadline to submit applications this term is 13 November 2017 at 12pm and applicants will be notified of the outcome via email by the end of week 10.

Each project requires at least two lead applicants from different faculties within the Humanities Division. Applications are open to current doctoral students. Additional contributors from varying career stages and other Divisions are most welcome. The support of each lead applicant's supervisor, confirming that the project will not interfere with the applicant’s academic commitments, is required.

Applications should be made by completing the application form, and returning it to gradprojects@humanities.ox.ac.uk by the deadline.

For more information, please click here.

Africa- Oxford (AfOx) Travel Grants

Africa - Oxford (AfOx) travel grants support the establishment of new collaborations between Africa and Oxford for research or teaching. 

AfOx travel grants supports visits between potential collaborators in African institutions and their colleagues in Oxford, with a view to developing new collaborations around research or teaching. Applications are open to any discipline within the University.

The grant can be used to cover costs of travel (in either direction i.e. Oxford staff to an African institution or vice versa), accommodation and incidental expenses to a maximum of £5000 (it is anticipated that visits in general will be for periods between 1-8 weeks). Applications are made jointly between a member of staff at Oxford and a potential collaborator in an African institution (the travel award may cover more than two people and additional individuals should be named under purpose of the grant). The overarching aim of the scheme is to foster the development of new collaborations and the scheme is not intended to be used as alternative support for already established collaborations. The application will be reviewed and receive feedback within 7 days. 

For more information, please click here

Global Challenges Research Fund

The Global Challenges Research Fund supports interdisciplinary research excellence with impact in developing countries. Oxford has decades of experience and expertise conducting research in lower- and middle-income countries across all our divisions. Their case studies demonstrate the breadth of research and impact across the world, whilst their interactive map demonstrates the scale of research conducted by Oxford.

GCRF also provide a range of practical resources for researchers conducting or beginning to conduct research in developing countries. Please see the GCRF funding pages for calls and opportunities to support global challenges research – both GCRF and beyond.

For more information, please see the website.

Medieval Studies Grants 2017

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 April 2018. 

For more information, please click here

Deadline Friday 27 October 2017.

Mellon Humanities & Identities Conference and Workshop Funding 

£500-£1000 sums available for conferences and workshops.

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.

Applications should be no longer than 2 pages long and outline the research questions and areas covered by the workshop/conference, timeframe, indicative budget and academic leads, which should also include early career researchers.

For more information, please click here

The next deadline is midday Friday 10 November 2017.

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.

Each academic term The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities 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). 

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 10 November 2017.

Oxford Playhouse Spotlight Discussions

An opportunity for an Oxford humanities researcher to lead a Spotlight discussion event this autumn.  

Spotlight is for anyone aged 50 or over with an interest in theatre. Each session is a friendly and relaxed lunchtime meet-up to socialise and talk all things theatre.

Spotlight is led by a member of OP staff, joined by a researcher to talk more about their role in the current show, or themes and issues explored in this season’s productions.

Researchers will be asked to give a short introduction of 10-15 minutes exploring themes in the play, the writer, significant historical productions, adaptations etc.

Event dates and details are as follows:

• Thursday 2nd November: Driving Miss Daisy

• Thursday 16th November: As You Like It

All sessions run from 12:30pm - 14:00pm.

For more information please click here.

Win an Oxford Sparks Animation

Oxford Sparks are offering one research group the chance to make an animation with them for free. Just fill out this simple form by 5pm Friday 17 November 2017.

What's included?

You'll get the full Oxford Sparks treatment, which includes: a two minute animation produced on your research in the Oxford Sparks style, a teaching resources pack designed for secondary science teachers related to the animation, and promotion of the animation via our social media channels (which could also include doing a Facebook live interview/event).

For more information, please click here.

Upcoming Events

Racism in the Body of the Academy: Statues and Classrooms

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 5:00pm
Pichette Auditorium, Pembroke College, OX1 1DW 

The University of Oxford's Black and Minority Ethnic Staff Network with Equality and Diversity Unit invites you to this year's Black History Month talk with Dr Nirmal Puwar entitled: 'Racism in the body of the Academy: statues and classrooms'.

Nirmal Puwar is Reader in the Sociology Department of Goldsmith’s College, University of London, where she has lectured for over ten years. She has authored Space Invaders: race, gender and bodies out of place (2004). The concept of Space Invaders has been developed and discussed in a number of institutional sectors. Puwar has co-edited 17 Collections, including: Post-colonial Bourdieu; Orientalism and Fashion; Intimacy in Research; Live Methods and, South Asian Women in the Diaspora. A number of her writings have been translated into different languages. She was Co-Director of the Methods Lab for over ten years, undertaking projects to re-think, stretch and connect the very walls of the academy beyond the academy. She takes a critical historical approach to ‘public engagement’ and has worked collaboratively using creative methods.

Please register to secure your free ticket here

Please click here for more information

Book at Lunchtime: Late Victorian into Modern

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 -1:00pm to 2:00pm
Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities, Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6GG 

Late Victorian into Modern opens up, in new and innovative ways, a range of dimensions, some familiar and some more obscure, of late Victorian and modern literature and culture, primarily in British contexts. Late Victorian into Modern emphasises the in-between: the gradual changeover from one period to the next. The volume examines shared developments, points out continuities rather than ruptures, and explores and exploits an understanding of the late nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries as a cultural moment in which new knowledges were forming with particular speed and intensity. The organising principle of this book is to retain a key focus on literary texts, broadly understood to include familiar categories of genre as well as extra-textual elements such as press and publishing history, performance events and visual culture, while remaining keenly attentive to the inter-relations between text and context in the period. Individual chapters explore such topics as Celticism, the New Woman, popular fictions, literatures of empire, aestheticism, periodical culture, political formations, avant-garde poetics, and theatricality.

Co-editors Laura Marcus (English, University of Oxford) and Kirsten Shepherd-Barr (English, University of Oxford) will be joined by an expert panel:

Michael Bentley (History, University of St Andrews)

Charlotte Jones (English, University of Oxford)

Chairing: Philip Bullock (Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford).

Lunch will be available from 12.30pm, the discussion will start at 1pm.

Booking is essential. Register for your seat 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

Mahler: Reader, Thinker, Composer

Sunday, October 22, 2017 -11:30am to 4:30pm
Lecture Theatre, The Weston Library, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG

Mahler has been celebrated since his own day not just for his musical gifts, but also for his wide-ranging literary and intellectual interests. This Study Day will explore the world of the mind behind the music, focusing particularly on the songs which are an equal legacy to his symphonies. Talks by expert researchers will cover topics such as his choice of texts, the poets who inspired him, the way that his music conveys and goes beyond the meaning of the words, and his influence felt down to the present day. Mahler’s fascination with the folkloristic poetry of Des Knaben Wunderhorn, his evident kinship with Rückert’s poetry of grief and consolation, his repeated use of the literary motif of the military Drummer Boy, his oscillation between the intimacy of the Lied and the public statement of the symphony; all these all these and more will be topics for the day’s talks and performances.

This event is organised by The Oxford Song Network: Poetry and Performance.

Please click here for more information

Tudor Empire: The Making of Britain and the British Atlantic World

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - 5:00pm
Stanford House, 65 High Street, Oxford

As part of The Long History of Identity, Ethnicity and Nationhood network, Jessica S. Hower (Southwestern University) will be presenting on Tudor Empire: The Making of Britain and the British Atlantic World.

All are welcome.

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. 

Recreating the music of an ancient Greek chorus: Euripides Orestes

The Knowledge Exchange Project 'Recreating the music of an ancient Greek chorus: Euripides Orestes' participated in the Knowledge Exchange Showcase. In this talk they look at research into ancient music.

Watch here

Meanings of ‘Sacrifice’ in Brexit Mythology

TORCH's Crisis, Extremes, and Apocalypse hosted a seminar on the topic of sacrifice revisiting the concept of Sacrifice in late modernity in its various configurations, philosophical and ideological. This talk on 'Meanings of ‘Sacrifice’ in Brexit Mythology' was given by Kalypso Nicolaidis (University of Oxford).

Listen here

Events Calendar, Weeks 3-4

Sunday 22 October

11:30 – 16:30 | MAHLER: READER, THINKER, COMPOSER

Oxford Song Network: Part of Oxford Lieder Festival

Tuesday 24 October

17:00 | RACISM IN THE BODY OF THE ACADEMY: STATUES AND CLASSROOMS

Black History Month lecture 2017

17:30 – 19:00 | FROM THE ANDES TO THE OUTBACK

Speaker: Dr Helen Cowie (University of York)

Wednesday 25 October

11:00 | WRITING FREEDOM DOWN

Speaker: Gretchen Long (Williams/Exeter College, University of Oxford)

11:00 – 13:00 | ‘MIND-BOGGLING MEDICAL HISTORY’

Drop-in session 

13:00 – 14:00 | AUTONOMY, COMMUNITY, DESTINY: RE-IMAGINING DISABILITY

The second seminar in the Disability and Curriculum Diversity series

17:00 | MAQASID AND BIOMEDICINE

Part of the Islam and Biomedicine seminar series

17:30 – 19:00 | TENNYSON, CELEBRITY AND PORTRAITURE

Part of the Fame and Shame OCLW seminar series

19:30 – 20:30 | LAW: SANCTUARY AND THE BENEFIT OF CLERGY

Series of talks looking at cultural, legal, intellectual works from 1517

Thursday 26 October

16:00 – 17:30 | THE INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN NETWORK BEHIND THE BRITISH PARLIAMENTARY REPORT ON THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

Speaker: Dr David Monger (University of Canterbury, New Zealand) 

17:00 | INTERVIEWS

Speaker: Miguel de Baca (Lake Forest/Oxford, History of Art)

17:15 – 18:45 | SEMINAR ON SIGMUND FREUD 'THE UNCONSCIOUS'

Part of the Making the Unconscious Conscious series

Friday 27 October

ALL DAY | OVID 2000

Hosted by the European Humanities Research Centre

09:00 | ECOLOGIES OF KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE

Graduate and Early Career workshop

11:30 – 16:45 | REVOLUTION IN RUSSIA

Speaker: Philip Bullock - Part of Oxford Lieder Festival

17:00 | BLACK HISTORY MONTH: RACE AND THE ACADEMY

Hosted by the TORCH Race and Resistance programme

17:00 | STATE CAPACITY, PEACE, AND DEVELOPMENT

Speaker: Professor Tim Besley (London School of Economics)

17:00 – 18:30 | ANGLO-NORMAN READING GROUP MT 2017

A forum in which to read, translate, and discuss a wide variety of Anglo-Norman texts

17:00 | CROSSING THE SEA

Speaker: Paul O'Mahony

Saturday 28 October

ALL DAY | OVID 2000

Hosted by the European Humanities Research Centre

09:00 | ECOLOGIES OF KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE

Graduate and Early Career workshop

Sunday 29 October

09:00 | ENLIGHTENED PRINCESSES: BRITAIN AND EUROPE, 1700–1820

Symposium 

12:45 – 14:00 | DISCUSSION GROUP

Hosted by the Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation programme

09:00 | ENLIGHTENED PRINCESSES: BRITAIN AND EUROPE, 1700–1820

Symposium 

Tuesday 31 October

14:00 – 16:00 | APPLIED ETHICS GRADUATE DISCUSSION GROUP

Session 2 of 4

09:00 | ENLIGHTENED PRINCESSES: BRITAIN AND EUROPE, 1700–1820

Symposium 

16:00 – 18:00 | THE MATERIALITY OF THE DIVINE

Special Slade Lecture with Professor Salvatore Settis

17:00 | TUDOR EMPIRE

The Making of Britain and the British Atlantic World

19:30 – 21:30 | INSPIRING PEOPLE AT THE NORTH WALL

Sir Nicholas Hytner in conversation with George Fenton

Wednesday 1 November

11:00 | DEFENDING THE PATRIA

Speaker: Ben Kehoe (Wolfson College, University of Oxford)

13:00 – 14:00 | INSTRUMENTS OF WAR

Instruments of the Eighteenth Century Seminar Series

13:00 – 14:00 | LATE VICTORIAN INTO MODERN

Book at Lunchtime with Laura Marcus and Kirsten Shepherd-Barr

13:00 – 15:00 | BIG DATA AND HISTORY OF KNOWLEDGE

Speaker: Professor Charles Van Den Heuvel

17:15 | "COMEDY AND AUTHORITY" AND "WRITING FEMALE VOICES"

Two papers persented by David Bowe and Jessica Goodman

17:30 | IN EACH SEASON, THE VARIOUS ITEMS OF REGIMEN SHOULD BE CHANGED LITTLE BY LITTLE

Speaker: Dr Melinda Letts (Jesus College, University of Oxford)

17:30 – 19:00 | NO-ONE LIES LIKE AN EYEWITNESS: UNCOVERING TRUTHS IN FACT AND FICTION

Part of the Fame and Shame OCLW seminar series

19:00 | THE MAD, THE SAD, THE BAD, AND THE GLAD

Part of the Islam and Biomedicine seminar series

19:30 – 20:30 | POETRY: JOHN SKELTON AND EVIL MAY DAY, 1517

Series of talks looking at cultural, legal, intellectual works from 1517

Thursday 2 November

15:00 – 17:00 | HERITAGE AND ITS AUDIENCES

Speaker: Dr Linda Monckton (Historic England)

16:00 | MERCILESS HUMANITARIANS

Speaker: Dr Emily Robertson (Australian Defence Force Academy, UNSW)

17:00 | JOSEPHINE BALMER – A READING

Speaker: Josephine Balmer

17:00 | CONTEMPORARY CARIBBEAN ART AND THE MORAL DIMENSION OF GLOBAL MATERIAL MOBILITY

Speaker: Leon Wainwright (Open University)

17:15 – 18:45 | SEMINAR ON CHRISTOPHER BOLLAS 'ARTICULATIONS OF THE UNCONSCIOUS'

Part of the Making the Unconscious Conscious series

20:00 – 21:30 | SAINTS AND SINNERS: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE FOUR LATIN FATHERS OF THE CHURCH

The Cuddesdon Reredos

Friday 3 November

12:30 – 13:45 | RESISTANCE, SURVEILLANCE, AND THE UNIVERSITY

Speaker: Jean Allman

Saturday 4 November

14:00 – 18:15 | LIFE-WRITING AND FEMALE CELEBRITY

Oxford Centre for Life-Writing and TORCH colloquium

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

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