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TORCH Newsletter Trinity Term

Weeks 3 & 4 (8 May – 19 May 2018)

As we move through Trinity Term here at TORCH we are continuing with our Humanities & Identities Headline Series through which TORCH is exploring what it means to be human amidst challenges to equality and inclusivity. We will continue these conversations with the Race and Resistance Programme's seminar on 'Decolonizing Heritage and Public Spaces', our next two Book at Lunchtime events on Thomas Aquinas on Bodily Identity and Cultural Citizenship in India: Politics, Power and Media. We will also host a timely discussion on 'The Origins of the Housing Crisis' on Wednesday.  

We welcome Marcio Goldman to Oxford as a TORCH Global South Visiting Professor. Marcio is Professor in Social Anthropology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. His most recent research looks at the cosmopolitics of Afro-Brazilian religions in candomblé terreiro in the city of Ilhéus, in the south of Bahia.

There are a number of funding opportunities we'd like to draw your attention to including our New Network Scheme and funding for Humanities & Identities Conferences and Workshops (deadlines 1 June). Please see below and on our website for full details.    

Highlighted Event

Decolonizing Heritage and Public Spaces

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 12:45pm to 2:30pm
Dahrendorf Room, St Antony's College, 62 Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6JF 

The vestiges of empire extend beyond standard conventions of physical control and coercion. It persists and proliferates in the present through representations and celebrations of the past. It manifests in statues, museum exhibits, artifact collections, embedded into public spaces and the individual's consciousness. Week 3's seminar will feature a panel discussion chaired by Mirjam Brusius - Early Career Researcher at TORCH, and featuring Paul Collins - Jaleh Hearn Curator of Ancient Near East at the Ashmolean Museum, Rachel Ama Asaa Engmann - Assistant Professor of African Studies Hampshire College, Bárbaro Martínez-Ruiz - Leverhulme Distinguished Professor University of Oxford, Rebecca Bridgeman - Curator of Islamic and South Asian Arts at Birmingham Museums Trust and a student speaker representing the University of Oxford, to discuss the legacy of empire in public spaces ranging from the statue of Cecil Rhodes, to the possession and presentation of artifacts and history in the Ashmolean Museum, and beyond.

All are welcome and a light lunch will be provided.

This event is organised by the Race and Resistance Programme.

Please click here for more information

News, Blogs and Calls for Papers

Literary Reading and Eating Disorders

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 first of two papers from this collaboration has been published in the Journal of Eating Disorders. Literary Reading and Eating Disorders: Survey Evidence of Therapeutic Help and Harm is available to read here

Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize 2018

This year’s shortlist includes eight books from an outstanding entry of 112 titles in translations from 24 different languages. 

Once again we have impressive submissions from both larger and smaller publishing houses. The shortlist contains translations from six languages. 

The winner will be announced at the prizegiving and dinner at St Anne’s College, Oxford on Saturday 9 June 2018. This will be the crowning event of Oxford Translation Day, which boasts a varied programme of talks, workshops and readings. Details are available at: http://www.occt.ox.ac.uk/oxford-translation-day-2018.

This year’s judges of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize are the academics Kasia Szymanska, Simon Park, Jessica Stacey, and Adriana X. Jacobs (Chair).

You can view the shortlist here.

Humanities Innovation Challenge Competition

Oxford University Innovation and TORCH are delighted to announce the launch of the third Humanities Innovation Challenge Competition, sponsored by Parkwalk Advisors and Pennington Manches. 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) and which they would like to bring to a wider audience.

The teams will get the chance to pitch their idea to a judging panel of entrepreneurs, creative thinkers and innovation experts. On offer is a first prize of £1,000 cash along with £5,000 of in-kind support in addition to second and third prizes of in-kind mentor support. All entries will be viewed by an expert at Oxford University Innovation and useful feedback provided.

 For further details on entry requirements visit the website.

The deadline for entries is Tuesday 8th May 2018, with the final pitching session being on Monday 21st May 2018

Villa Lieberman Reports on the Jewish Country House Conference

On 5-6 March 2018, a conference on "Jewish Country Houses" was organized in Oxford, hosted by the University of Oxford and the National Trust. Invited were scholars from England, the USA, Germany, Austria, Spain, and Italy as well as curators of well-known "Jewish Country Houses" from all over Europe. The Liebermann Villa on the Wannsee was included as one of these. The organizer, Abigail Green, a professor of European history at the University of Oxford, had already contacted me last year and invited me to introduce the Liebermann Villa in the Curating the Jewish Country House panel , I gladly accepted this invitation,

The Country House is a typical English affair as a representative estate of the landed gentry and upper middle class bourgeoisie. In the course of industrialization in the 19th century and the economic success of bourgeois entrepreneurs emerged a financial ‘nobility’ with great political influence, which included many Jews. In most European countries, it was not until this time that it became possible for Jews to become citizens and acquire property. The new money nobility wanted to copy the old-established nobility through the purchase, or the construction of a summer house to document their claim to social leadership. 

You can read the report in full here.

Queer Modernism(s) II: Intersectional Identities

On the 12th and 13th of April the Faculty of English at Oxford played host to Queer Modernism(s) II: Intersectional Identities, a multi-disciplinary collaborative conference organised in conjunction with the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, Oxford, Nottingham Trent University, and the University of Liverpool.

With the support of TORCH and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Séan Ricahrdson (Nottingham Trent University), Rio Matchett (University of Liverpool), and I were able to build on the success of the first Queer Modernism(s) conference, expanding both the scope and the size of the event. The result was a truly international conference, with over eighty delegates from across Europe, the United States, Canada, Scandinavia, Portugal, Turkey, and China coming together to exchange ideas and engage in dialogue in the fittingly modernist environs of the St Cross Building. The conversations that ensued were not merely confined to the venue itself, but continued online via #QueerModernisms and the @QueerModernism twitter feed.

You can read this blog in full here.

This conference was part of the Humanities & Identities series.

New Opportunities

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 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

Thomas Aquinas on Bodily Identity

Thursday, May 17, 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities, Oxford OX2 6GG 

Thomas Aquinas on Bodily Identity is a study of the union of matter and the soul in the human being in the thought of the Dominican Thomas Aquinas. At first glance this issue might appear arcane, but it was at the centre of polemic with heresy in the thirteenth century and at the centre of the development of medieval thought more broadly. The book argues that theological issues, especially the need for an identical body to be resurrected at the end of time, but also considerations about Christ's crucifixion and saints' relics, were central to Aquinas's account of how human beings are constituted. The book explores in particular how theological questions and concerns shaped Aquinas's thought on individuality and personal and bodily identity over time, his embryology and understanding of heredity, his work on nutrition and bodily growth, and his fundamental conception of matter itself. It demonstrates, up-close, how Aquinas used his peripatetic sources, Aristotle and (especially) Averroes, to frame and further his own thinking in these areas. The book also indicates how Aquinas's thought on bodily identity became pivotal to university debates and relations between the rival mendicant orders in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, and that quarrels surrounding these issues persisted into the fifteenth century. 

Author Antonia Fitzpatrick (History, University of Oxford) joins an expert panel to discuss the book and its themes: 

Cecilia Trifogli (Philosophy, University of Oxford)

William Wood (Theology and Religion, University of Oxford)

This event will be chaired by Emily Corran (History, University of Oxford). 

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

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

Sweet Voice and Round Taste: Cross-Sensory Metaphors and Linguistic Variability

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - 12:30pm to 2:00pm
Ship Street Centre Lecture Theatre, (Jesus College), 3 Ship Street, Oxford OX1 4DA

How do we define a sound or a taste for which our language does not have a dedicated word?

This talk will address the question of sensory associations in language(s), focusing on synaesthetic metaphors.

Dr Francesca Strik Lievers 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.

Please register your attendance on EventBrite.

This event is organised and hosted by Creative Multilingualism, 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

The Origins of the Housing Crisis

Thursday, May 10, 2018 - 12:30pm to 2:00pm
St Luke's Chapel, Radcliffe Humanities, Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6GG 

Britain is experiencing a housing crisis. On average, house prices are now almost seven times people’s incomes. The number of homeless households has risen to more than 50,000 a year. This is an issue with particular purchase in Oxford, where the average house price in the city is 16 times the average wage. How did we get here?  What has happened to the promise of homes for all? In this discussion, historians Guy Ortolano (New York) and John Davis (Queen’s College), architectural historian Elizabeth Darling (Oxford Brookes University), and Sir Robert Devereux (recently retired permanent secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions) will discuss the housing crisis: its origins and its future.

Free registration here.

Please click here for more information

Literary Celebrity and Political Persona

Monday, May 14, 2018 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Leonard Wolfson Auditorium, Wolfson College 

Writers and writers’ organisations have persistently used their public standing and ‘cultural capital’ to promote causes that transcend the literary sphere, from abolition and gender equality to free expression, anti-war agitation, and environmental issues. This panel explores the political impact of authorship in an age of celebrity advocacy and how this impact is shaped by academic institutions, prize-giving bodies, publishing industries, and digital media, specifically focusing on the following questions: What are the strategies employed by writers in the construction and performance of their public personae as activists and intellectuals? How do they negotiate the tension between ethics and aesthetics in their public interventions? How is the interplay of literary celebrity and politics negotiated and articulated across different genres of autobiographical life-writing? What are the potential risks faced by the politically engaged and outspoken writer?

These and related issues will be addressed by David Marshall, Professor of New Media, Communication and Cultural Studies at Deakin University, Australia; Rachel Potter, Professor of Modern English Literature at the University of East Anglia and PI on the AHRC-funded “Writers and Free Expression” project; and Kirsty Gunn, acclaimed novelist and Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Dundee.

This event is organised by the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing.

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. 

The Modern Epimetheus

The TORCH Crisis, Extremes, and Apocalypse Network hosted a workshop on 'Crises of Meaning and Political Theology'. This talk was on 'The Modern Epimetheus by Hjalmar Falk (Oxford/Gothenburg).

Listen here

Images of Mithra

Images of Mithra, is the first in a new series of works, ‘Visual Conversations’ that aims to tackle a variety of questions about the study of material culture and religion. With a history of use extending back to Vedic texts of the second millennium BC, derivations of the name Mithra appear in the Roman Empire, across Sasanian Persia, and in the Kushan Empire of southern Afghanistan and northern India during the first millennium AD. Even today, this name has a place in Yazidi and Zoroastrian religion. But what connection have Mihr in Persia, Miiro in Kushan Bactria, and Mithras in the Roman Empire to one another?

Over the course of the volume, specialists in the material culture of these diverse regions explore appearances of the name Mithra from six distinct locations in antiquity. Co-author Dominic Dalglish (Archaeology, University of Oxford) joined an expert panel to discuss the book and its themes.

Dominic was joined by:

Richard Gordon (Ancient Religions, Erfurt University)

Peter Stewart (Classics, University of Oxford)

This event was chaired by Josephine Quinn (Classics, University of Oxford) and was part of Book at Lunchtime.

Watch here

Events Calendar, Weeks 3-4

Tuesday 8 May

12:45pm to 2:30pm | DECOLONIZING HERITAGE AND PUBLIC SPACES

A panel discussion

1:00pm to 2:00pm | FROM SANDSCAPES TO GLASSWORLDS

The Visual Imagination of Vaughan Cornish

2:15pm | FROM CULT TO CLASSIC: REIMAGINING MEDEA BEFORE AND AFTER EURIPIDES

The annual Classics and English lecture by Ben Morgan (University of Oxford)

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

All Souls College Seminar Series

4:30pm | PASTNET OXFORD: LIGHTNING TALKS

Upcoming networking events with PastNet

5:00pm | ITALIAN RENAISSANCE FOOD AND ITS REPRESENTATION IN BRITAIN AND ITALY

Clara Florio Cooper Memorial Lecture 2018

6:15pm | RECOVERING EARLY MODERN READERS THROUGH PSALM MARGINALIA

An Oxford Psalms Network event

Wednesday 9 May

12:30pm to 2:00pm | SWEET VOICE AND ROUND TASTE: CROSS-SENSORY METAPHORS AND LINGUISTIC VARIABILITY

Part of the Creative Multilingualism series, Trinity 2018

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

5:00pm 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 to 7:00pm | FICTION AND OTHER MINDS: THE STRANGE REDEMPTION OF WILLIAM GOLDING'S "PINCHER MARTIN"

Part of the Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation programme, TORCH

5:15pm | SEEING THROUGH THE WORLD: PHENOMENOLOGY IN BLANCHOT’S THOMAS NOVELS

Part of the Oxford Phenomenology Network Seminar 

5:30pm to 7:30pm | TWO CHAIRS: POETRY READING AND PRIZE GIVING

Thursday 10 May

10:00am to 12:00pm | INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH ETHICS AT OXFORD

Researcher Training

10:00am to 1:00pm | PODCASTING FOR PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

Researcher Training

12:30pm to 2:00pm | THE ORIGINS OF THE HOUSING CRISIS

Whatever Happened to the Property Owning Social Democracy?

4:00pm | GLOBALISING AND LOCALISING THE GREAT WAR

Seminar

5:00pm | PATTERNS OF MATERIALIST THOUGHT: FRAGMENTS AND FORMULATIONS FROM DIDEROT TO DESTUTT DE TRACY

Part of the Besterman Enlightenment workshop series

5:15pm | ‘EXCEPTIONAL MEDIEVAL STORY-TELLERS: HOW THREE JEWISH WRITERS OF HEBREW IN EUROPE CHALLENGED THE DOMINANT CULTURE OF THEIR TIMES’

Massada Visiting Fellowships Programme

5:15pm | MAKING THE UNCONSCIOUS CONSCIOUS: A WORLD OF ONE'S OWN?

Seminars on in-depth psychology

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

Story-telling in a Divided World

Friday 11 May

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

Researcher Training

10:00am to 6:00pm | WORDS/WORKS/WALLS: CONCEPTUAL ARCHITECTURES IN VISUAL CULTURE

History of Art Conference, Univeristy of Oxford

2:30pm to 5:00pm | PERSONAL INSIGHTS INTO RACE, RESISTANCE AND POLITICS IN SOUTH AFRICA

Special Lecture by the Honorable Peter Gastrow 

3:15pm | WHY ARE THERE ALWAYS CANDOMBLÉS? SITUATED KNOWLEDGES OF MISCEGENATION AND SYNCRETISM IN BRAZIL

5:00pm | LE POÈME EST L’ÉCHEC DE LA POÉSIE

Maison Française d’Oxford

Monday 14 May

9:30am to 12:30pm | DIGITAL HUMANITIES: CULTURES OF KNOWLEDGE AND THE NEWTON PROJECT

Researcher Training

11:30am to 1:30pm |GIVING PRESENTATIONS

Researcher Training

12:30pm to 1:30pm | RADICAL PHOTOGRAPHS; SCIENCE FICTION AND ALTERITY; SEX ASSIGNMENT AND BREXIT

Our second Queer Theory Research Lunch of Trinity

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

3:00pm | READING GREEK DRAMA IN TEL AVIV

A public lecture by Nurit Yaari (Tel Aviv University)

5:30pm to 7:00pm | LITERARY CELEBRITY AND POLITICAL PERSONA

Panel Discussion Oxford Centre for Life-Writing

6:00pm | LECTURE-RENCONTRE AVEC L’ÉCRIVAIN LAURENT GAUDÉ (PRIX GONCOURT 2004)

7:15pm | THEATRE & PERFORMANCE READING GROUP

Social Assemblage Theory in Georgian Theatre

Tuesday 15 May

12:30pm to 2:00pm | ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES LUNCHTIME SEMINAR SERIES

Organised by Environmental Humanities, TORCH

1:00pm to 2:00pm | THE PLACES OF MALCOLM LOWRY AND KURT SCHWITTERS

Photography Seminar

1:00pm to 2:00pm | DPHIL AND POSTDOC LUNCHES

Researcher Training

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

All Souls College Seminar Series

Wednesday 16 May

9:00am to 1:00pm | STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS

Researcher Training

9:30am to 6:30pm | WOMEN IN THE WAKE OF MAY 68: EXAMINING THE IMPACT OF MAY 68 ON WOMEN'S LIVES AND THEIR WORK AND/OR REPRESENTATION IN FILM, ART, THEATRE, PHILOSOPHY AND LITERATURE.

Free one day interdisciplinary conference to mark 50th anniversary of May '68 

12:15pm to 1:15pm | ENGAGING WITH THE HUMANITIES IN COLLABORATION WITH THE OXFORD CHARACTER PROJECT

Ian Kiaer - Reading a Monochrome

2:00pm to 3:30pm | THE SUBNATIONAL LINKS BETWEEN OIL WEALTH AND ARMED CONFLICT IN COLOMBIA

This seminar is part of  the Violence Studies Oxford network

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

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

Conveners: Dmitri Levitin and Philipp Nothaft

Thursday 17 May

All day | OXFORD MIGRATION CONFERENCE

Crossing Borders/Crossing Disciplines: Rethinking Inclusion, Exclusion, and Human Migration

12:00pm to 4:30pm | RAINBOW PILGRIMS POP-UP EXHIBITION FOR IDAHOT

1:00pm to 2:00pm | THOMAS AQUINAS

Book at Lunchtime

2:00pm to 5:00pm | SYMPOSIUM: CONSTRUCTING MESSAGES OF WAR

Globalising and Localising the Great War Seminar

3:00pm to 5:00pm | CAREERS IN THE HERITAGE AND MUSEUM SECTORS

Researcher Training

4:00pm to 5:30pm | V&A QUEERING THE MUSEUM WORKSHOP FOR IDAHOT

5:00pm | THE LABOR OF THE MIND: INTELLECT AND GENDER IN ENLIGHTENMENT CULTURES

A roundtable discussion of Anthony La Vopa’s book

5:15pm | MAKING THE UNCONSCIOUS CONSCIOUS: DELUSIONAL REASON?

Seminars in depth psychology

5:15pm | BEYOND WORDS: COMICS AS A TOOL FOR SOCIAL INCLUSION

Speaker: Lucy Bergonzi (Artist)

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

Story-telling in a Divided World

5:30pm to 8:00pm | INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA, TRANSPHOBIA AND BIPHOBIA

7:30pm | DEMONS LAND

Film screening

Friday 18 May

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

Researcher Training

10:00am to 7:00pm | TREES AND WELLBEING: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

Conference

Saturday 19 May

9:30am to 2:00pm | THE REST IS SILENCE: PANEL-LED WORKSHOP 2

Aural Commemoration: Mellon-Sawyer Seminar Series 

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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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