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

TORCH Newsletter Trinity Term

Weeks 5 & 6 (20 May – 2 June 2018)

We are swiftly moving through Trinity Term at TORCH and as always, there are a range of interdisciplinary humanities opportunities, events and initiatives for you to get involved with. 

We are thrilled to be hosting widely acclaimed author Reni Eddo-Lodge in conversation with Rebecca Surender on 14 June. See below for details on this keynote Humanities & Identities event. 

You can watch podcasts of recent events including In Search of the Phoenicians and Reading Bass Culture: Linton Kwesi Johnson in Conversation with Paul Gilroy here and here

Finally, there are a number of funding opportunities we'd like to draw your attention to including the Wellcome Trust: Institutional Strategic Support Fund, Knowledge Exchange Fellowship 2018-19 and the TORCH-Mellon Visiting 'Global South' Professorships and Fellowships. Please see below and on our website for full details.    

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Highlighted Event

Reni Eddo-Lodge in Conversation

5:15pm to 7:00pm, Thursday, June 14, 2018 
Gulbenkian Lecture Theatre, Faculty of English, St Cross Building, Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UL

Reni Eddo-Lodge (author of Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race and winner of the Jhalak Prize 2018), will be in conversation with Dr Rebecca Surender (Pro Vice-Chancellor and Advocate for Diversity, University of Oxford). This event will be introduced by Elleke Boehmer (Professor of World Literature in English, University of Oxford).

There will be a drinks reception following the event.

Booking is essential. Please register here

This event is part of the Postcolonial Writing and Theory Seminar series, a culminating event in the Postcolonial Writers Make Worlds project, and part of the Mellon-funded Humanities & Identities series at TORCH. 

Please click here for more information
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News, Blogs and Calls for Papers

Global Hungers

Monday, June 25, 2018 (All day)
Faculty of English, University of Oxford

The conference programme for 'Global Hungers: The Problem of Poverty in Postcolonial Literature' has been released.

Keynote Speakers: Professor Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (University Professor, Columbia University) and Professor Leela Gandhi (John Hawkes Professor of Humanities and English, Brown University).

This one-day conference showcases interdisciplinary research on poverty in the fields of postcolonial, comparative, and world literature. ‘Hunger’ signifies starvation and entitlement as well as wider problems of disenfranchisement, the void of social opportunities, homelessness and statelessness. With topics spanning from the colonial use of hunger as an ideological battleground to contemporary refugee and environmental crises, we examine literary, cultural, and critical interventions which align the humanities in the fight against global poverty.

Find out more and register here.

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

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Fiction-reading for good or ill

Knowledge Exchange Fellow 2014-15 Emily Troscianko has been working to develop a lasting partnership with Beat, the UK’s leading eating-disorders charity. Emily's work with Beat began a long-overdue investigation of how fiction affects and is affected by readers’ mental health.

The second of two papers from this collaboration has been published in Medical HumanitiesFiction-reading for good or ill: eating disorders, interpretation and the case for creative bibliotherapy research is available to read here

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Of Course the Gay Has to Die: Why the Liberal White Audience Doesn't Get the Wound (2017)

The much-anticipated South African film of the year, The Wound, was officially released on the 27th of April, 2018, in the UK. On the 28th, the white South African director John Trengove came to Oxford and participated in a post-screening discussion panel at the Phoenix Picturehouse in Jericho. Many professors and students in Postcolonial Studies and African Studies attended, watching the film for the first time.

The film was much anticipated because it is indeed one of the very few films that deal with aspects of homoeroticism and homosexuality in traditional African communities, and before its general release this year, it had already been shown at various international film festivals—not only did the film open the Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival 2017, it was also selected as the South African entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards. Outside of the West, the film also participated in the 2017 Taipei Film Festival and received much praise for its “brave challenge against the taboos in black African culture”. It is worth noting that both Israel and Taiwan love to emphasize their image as “the most liberal and LGBT-friendly” country” in their respective regions.

Flair Donglai Shi (施東來) is a DPhil in English candidate at the University of Oxford. You can read this Race and Resistance blog in full here

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The Rebellious Royalist Women of the English Revolution

From defending a besieged castle to spying for an exiled king, a new project is discovering the untold story of female activism during the British Civil Wars...

It wasn't easy to be born female in the early modern period. The ideology of the era held that women should be controlled by their father or their husband, and that the ideal woman was obedient and quiet, concerned chiefly with domestic matters and the rearing of children.

But don't be fooled by the dominant narrative, says Dr Emma Turnbull, lecturer at Jesus College, Oxford. When you look more closely at actual women's lives, it's clear the picture is far more complicated.

As part of a Knowledge Exchange Fellowship with The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), Emma has been working with the National Trust to take a closer look at the stories of some of the fascinating women associated with their properties. Focusing on the English Civil War and Interregnum period (1640-1660), she has been examining how some women were able to break out of the confining boundaries of their society's gender roles in this era of huge social upheaval.

You can read this Artistic License blog in full here.

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New Opportunities

Knowledge Exchange Fellowship 2018-19

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.

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

Deadline 28 June 2018. 

For full details and to apply, 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 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 ‘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 three faculties and colleges.

For more information please click here

Deadline 1 June 2018.

Wellcome Trust: Institutional Strategic Support Fund

The ISSF is a block grant provided to the University from Wellcome. The ISSF Committee receives applications for funding from any department in the University. Research projects must fall within the Wellcome remit, as well as the strategic remit of biomedical research at Oxford. The ISSF Committee especially welcomes cross-divisional bids. The University of Oxford and Wellcome are committed to equality and diversity and the ISSF Committee encourages applications so that the ISSF supports the full range of the diversity of our research staff.

The Oxford-Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) will support strategically important activity across the University of Oxford in biomedical and clinical sciences, public health, social sciences and the medical humanities. The ISSF is open to all researchers across the University of Oxford working in these areas. £1 million per year has been awarded to the University of Oxford by Wellcome for a five-year period (2016-2021).

For information on available funding streams and how to apply, click here.

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

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Upcoming Events

Cultural Citizenship in India

1:00pm to 2:00pm, Thursday, May 24, 2018
Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities, Oxford OX2 6GG 

If the nation is an imagined community constructed through discourse, then the feeling of being part of that nation - can only arise when citizens are empowered to enter the discourse and modify it. Linking political science and cultural studies to explore the mutually constitutive role of discourse and institutions, Cultural Citizenship in India argues that citizenship is an ongoing and evolving discursive project. Further, it studies the role of culture and different media in the process of citizen-making by taking postcolonial India as its case study.

Author Lion König (Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford) joins an expert panel to discuss the book and its themes: 

Polly O'Hanlon (Oriental Studies, University of Oxford)

Sundas Ali (Politics and Political Sociology, University of Oxford)

This event will be chaired by Peter Frankopan (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

Queering the Map? Activism and the Archive Inside and Outside the Academy

12:45pm to 2:00pm, Monday, May 21, 2018 
Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities, Oxford OX2 6GG 

This is the second in a series of lunchtime workshops to think about teaching/research through different (and intersectional) lenses, with the goal also of capturing interdisciplinary and intergenerational perspectives.

This time we want to explore ways in which research deploys a queer lens to transform, disrupt and challenge fields of scholarship, and how that productive dislodging of perspective informs teaching (and could do so more profoundly), at both an individual and a more systemic level. Our specific focus is on the interface between research/teaching (in art, ancient world philology and musicology) and activism/performance - both within and outside 'the academy'. This workshop is timed to fall within a few days of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Bi-Phobia.

The panellists are Oreet Ashery (Ruskin School of Art), Jacob Mallinson Bird (Music) and Richard Parkinson (Oriental Studies).

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. 

This event is part of the Humanities & Identities series.

Please click here for more information

Metaphor, Emotion and Multilingualism

12:30pm to 2:00pm, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 
Ship Street Centre Lecture Theatre, Jesus College, 3 Ship Street, Oxford

“She looked at him sweetly

“She looked at him kindly

What’s the difference between these two statements? The first is based on a metaphorical expression, while the second is based on a literal one.

Research shows that when native speakers, as well as language learners, read the first sentence, they engage more emotionally than when they read the second sentence. This discovery has dramatic consequences on political speech, marketing and other types of communication aiming to persuade.

Dr Francesca Citron (psycholinguist and neuroscientist at University of Lancaster) will address these questions and provide an overview of the latest scientific discoveries in the field, using examples taken from different languages. Her talk will be followed by an opportunity for questions.

Participation is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided.

Please register your attendance on EventBrite.

The event is organised and hosted by Creative Multilingualism in collaboration with TORCH. Creative Multilingualism is a research programme led by the University of Oxford and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the Open World Research Initiative.

Please click here for more information
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"The Voice Disappearing": Comics and Fukushima

5:15pm, Thursday, May 31, 2018 
Ground Floor Lecture Room, 47 Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2HY 

SpeakerFumio Obata (University of Gloucestershire)

Paper Title: “The voice disappearing”: Comics and Fukushima

Fumio Obata has engaged with the recent natural disasters in various regions of Japan through a series of short comic strips. As he prepared his graphic novel on this topic, Obata focused on Fukushima and the complex impacts of the radiation leakage. He talks about how the nuclear accident torments those who have been affected specifically under the context of Japanese society and why the Japanese find it difficult to learn valuable lessons from the experience. Obata will also discuss the challenge of making a comic book to tackle such complex themes and how it differentiates itself from more conventional journalistic approaches and documentaries.

This event is organised by the Comics and Graphic Novels: Politics of Form Network.

Please click here for more information
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Looking back

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

Consequentialist Extremism

TORCH's Crisis, Extremes, and Apocalypse network hosted a seminar on the topic of sacrifice where they revisited the concept of Sacrifice in late modernity in its various configurations, philosophical and ideological. This talk on 'Consequentialist Extremism: Present Sacrifices for Future Dreams in the Justification of Violence' was given by Jonathan Leader Maynard (University of Oxford).

Listen here

FRIGHTFriday: Stretched to Breaking Point

Dan Holloway gives a talk for the FRIGHTFriday series of talks, held in the Ashmolean Museum on 25th November 2016.

Watch here
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Events Calendar, Weeks 5-6

Sunday 20 May

All day | 2018 CALLALOO CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP

A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters

Monday 21 May

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

Researcher Training

12:45pm to 2:00pm | QUEERING THE MAP? ACTIVISM AND THE ARCHIVE INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE ACADEMY

Curriculum diversity workshop

2:00pm to 5:00pm | ACADEMIC WRITING GROUP (FOR DPHIL STUDENTS AND POSTDOCS)

Researcher Training

5:00pm to 6:30pm | MUSLIM WOMEN’S MOVEMENTS AND THE CAMPAIGN TO REFORM ISLAMIC FAMILY LAWS

A Public Discussion

5:00pm to 7:30pm | HUMANITIES INNOVATION CHALLENGE 2018

5:15pm to 6:45pm | HOW CAN CLINICIANS UNDERSTAND THE EXPERIENCE OF MENTAL ILLNESS?

Tuesday 22 May

10:00am to 12:00pm | TALKING ABOUT TEACHING: USING YOUR TEACHING EXPERIENCE IN JOB APPLICATIONS

Researcher Training

12:30pm to 2:00pm | ROUNDTABLE: A DISCUSSION OF RESEARCH BY NEW GRADUATE AND EARLY CAREER RESEARCHERS IN WORK IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES

Environmental Humanities Lunchtime Seminar Series

1:00pm to 2:00pm | LIU SHIYUAN'S AS SIMPLE AS CLAY

Photography Seminar

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

All Souls College Seminar Series

5:00pm | BLOOD VS. INK: ‘SAVING GERMANY’ FROM ‘BIOLOGICAL DEATH’ 1919-1945

OCEH Special Annual Lecture 2018

5:30pm to 7:00pm |‘UBUDIYET: EDWARD BARTON'S SERVICE TO THE SULTAN’

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

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

Seminar Series Trinity Term, 2018

7:30pm | MEDEA

A modern adaptation

Wednesday 23 May

9:00am | WYCLIFFISM AND HUSSITISM: CONTEXTS, METHODS, PERSPECTIVES

Exploring the relationship between Wycliffe and Hussite thinking and textual production

12:30pm to 2:00pm | METAPHOR, EMOTION AND MULTILINGUALISM

“She looked at him sweetly” “She looked at him kindly

1:00pm to 3:30pm | INTRODUCTION TO PHOTOGRAMMETRY

Researcher Training

2:00pm | THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF EXPERIENCE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IN IRAN

Women’s Rights Research Seminars

5:00pm to 6:45pm | SOULS COLLEGE SEMINAR IN THE HISTORY OF PRE-MODERN SCIENCE, TRINITY TERM 2018

Conveners: Dmitri Levitin and Philipp Nothaft

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 | SEMINAR TOWARDS A SOCIAL HISTORY OF PHOTOLITERATURE AND THE PHOTOBOOK

Maison Française d’Oxford 

5:15pm | TOWARDS A SOCIAL HISTORY OF PHOTOLITERATURE AND THE PHOTOBOOK

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

Thursday 24 May

10:00am to 4:00pm | INTRODUCTION TO STORYTELLING FOR PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

Researcher Training

1:00pm to 2:00pm | CULTURAL CITIZENSHIP IN INDIA

Book at Lunchtime

3:00pm | GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE AND HISTORY

An interdisciplinary roundtable

4:00pm | A SPACE OF CONFLICT? COMMEMORATING THE FIRST WORLD WAR AT LONDON'S IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM

Globalising and Localising the Great War Seminar

5:15pm | MAKING THE UNCONSCIOUS CONSCIOUS: SYMBOLIC LANDSCAPES OF PSYCHOTIC THOUGHT

Seminars in depth psychology

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

Story-telling in a Divided World

Friday 25 May

9:30am to 12:30pm | ACADEMIC WRITING GROUP (FOR DPHIL STUDENTS AND POSTDOCS)

Researcher Training

10:00am to 5:00pm | CULTURES AND COMMEMORATIONS OF WAR: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY SEMINAR SERIES

Workshop Three: Seeing War: War and Cultural Memory

5:30pm | CLIMATE AND THE PLAGUE: TOWARD A LATE HOLOCENE EURASIAN SYNTHESIS

The Astor Lecture in Global Environmental History

5:30pm | CLIMATE AND THE PLAGUE: TOWARD A LATE HOLOCENE EURASIAN SYNTHESIS

The Astor Lecture in Global Environmental History

Saturday 26 May

9:00am to 7:00pm | POST-WAR: REMEMBRANCE, RECOLLECTION, RECONCILIATION

Postgraduate and ECR Conference

Monday 28 May

9:30am to 3:30pm | BRAZIL AT THE CROSSROADS: LOOKING BEYOND THE CURRENT CRISIS

Workshop

12:45pm to 2:00pm | DISCUSSION GROUP

Comparative Criticism and Translation

2:00pm to 5:00pm | ACADEMIC WRITING GROUP (FOR DPHIL STUDENTS AND POSTDOCS)

Researcher Training

5:15pm | METHUSELAH AND THE UNITY OF MANKIND: LATE RENAISSANCE AND EARLY ENLIGHTENMENT CONCEPTIONS OF TIME. BESTERMAN LECTURE, 2018

Part of the Enlightenment Workshop research seminar

7:15pm | THEATRE & PERFORMANCE READING GROUP

Drag

Tuesday 29 May

12:30pm to 2:00pm | 'THE DIM HEART OF THE DEEP SEA': AN ECOCRITICAL APPROACH TO MEDIEVAL WHALE POETRY

Environmental Humanities Lunchtime Seminar Series

4:00pm | A POLITICAL HISTORY OF THE NUDE

Henk de Smaele Guest Lecture

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

All Souls College Seminar Series

5:30pm to 7:00pm | 'DAVID HUME AND DIPLOMACY, 1746-1769': DIPLOMACY IN THE EARLY MODERN PERIOD (1400-1800)

TORCH Programme, University of Oxford

6:00pm to 7:00pm | JAVIER CERCAS & JUAN GABRIEL VASQUEZ IN CONVERSATION

Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation, TORCH

6:15pm | EDWARD CLARKE, 'O HIGH TREE IN THE EAR! A SELECTION OF PSALMS'

An Oxford Psalms Network event

Wednesday 30 May

2:00pm | TALE OF TWO OMANI WOMEN

Women’s Rights Research Seminars

5:00pm to 6:45pm | ALL SOULS COLLEGE SEMINAR IN THE HISTORY OF PRE-MODERN SCIENCE, TRINITY TERM 2018

Conveners: Dmitri Levitin and Philipp Nothaft

5:15pm | SEMINAR TOWARDS A SOCIAL HISTORY OF PHOTOLITERATURE AND THE PHOTOBOOK

 Maison Française d’Oxford 

5:15pm | TOWARDS A SOCIAL HISTORY OF PHOTOLITERATURE AND THE PHOTOBOOK

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

Thursday 31 May

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

Researcher Training

4:00pm to 5:30pm | GOD AND THE MIGRANT

Oxford Migration and Mobility Network Workshop

4:00pm | GLOBALISING AND LOCALISING THE GREAT WAR: THE VIEW FROM THE BATTLEFIELDS

Globalising and Localising the Great War Seminar

5:00pm | PORTALS TO POLITICS: GRASSROOTS NARRATIVES OF POLICING IN THE “LOW END”, DOWNTOWN BALTIMORE, SOUTH L.A., AND THE 53206

Roger Hood Lecture

5:15pm | MAKING THE UNCONSCIOUS CONSCIOUS: INTERPRETATIONS OF DREAMS

Seminars in depth psychology 

5:15pm | “THE VOICE DISAPPEARING”: COMICS AND FUKUSHIMA

Speaker: Fumio Obata (University of Gloucestershire)

Friday 1 June

9:00am to 6:30pm | OPERATING WITH FEELING. A WORKSHOP ON SURGERY AND EMOTION

One day workshop organised by the Surgery & Emotion project

9:30am to 12:30pm | ACADEMIC WRITING GROUP (FOR DPHIL STUDENTS AND POSTDOCS)

Researcher Training

Saturday 2 June

5:00pm | REAPING THE REWARDS: HOW THE GOVERNOR, THE PRIEST, THE TAXMAN, AND THE GARRISON SECURE VICTORY IN WORLD HISTORY

The Global History of War Lecture

7:30pm | REMEMBRANCE - CONCERT

Concluding event in the Post-War: Commemoration, Reconstruction, Reconciliation series

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The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities

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

01865 280101

www.torch.ox.ac.uk

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