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

TORCH Newsletter Hilary Term

Weeks 3 & 4 (28th January – 10th February 2018)

As we move though the term, there are a number of opportunities we'd like to draw your attention to including calls from the Ashmolean Museum for Oxford researchers working on American studies. As part of its upcoming exhibition “America’s Cool Modernism”, there are two open calls which you can view here and here.  

TORCH, in collaboration with Empires of Faith and the Ashmolean Museum, recently hosted Mary Beard (Professor of Classics, University of Cambridge) and Neil MacGregor (Director, Humboldt Forum) in conversation on 'Imagining the Divine: Art and the Rise of World Religions'. The video is now available. See below for details. 

Our Networks and Programmes have, as ever, a range of seminars and conferences, calls for papers and blogs for you to get involved with. See the TORCH website for more information. 

Highlighted Event

Figurative Frames in Political Communication

Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 5:15pm to 6:30pm
Ship Street Centre Lecture Theatre, Jesus College

Political discourse is rich in figurative language that serves to frame political topics. Consider politicians describing immigration as a “flood”, Brexit as a “divorce” or political institutions as a “swamp”. Such figurative frames can have important implications for political communication.

The talk will consider how figurative frames structure and colour political communication. Following an overview of current theory and research on figurative framing, it will present  theories of framing from the field of political communication and discuss how figurative frames are used in political discourse, affect voters’ political attitudes, and change over time.

About the speaker

Christian Burgers is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Science at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Netherlands). 

The 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

News, Blogs and Calls for Papers

Video: Imagining the Divine: Art and the Rise of World Religions

The Ashmolean MuseumEmpires of Faith, and TORCH co-hosted this public event on 'Imagining the Divine: Art and the Rise of World Religions' with Professor Mary Beard (University of Cambridge) and Neil MacGregor (Humboldt Forum). This event was chaired by Dr Mallica Kumbera Landrus (Keeper of Eastern Art, Ashmolean Museum). 

Imagining the Divine: Art and the Rise of World Religions discussed how contemporary religions developed during the transition between the ancient and medieval worlds across Eurasia and Africa, and what relevance this has today.

Watch the video here.

Commemoration and Creativity

This exciting Postgraduate Creative Forum explores and compares the ways in which commemorative practices across cultures both contribute to and challenge post-war reconstruction and reconciliation. The one-day event is aimed at postgraduate students across the Humanities and Social Sciences. You are invited to showcase your work in short presentations (max. 5 minutes) and there will also be discussion and activities exploring how creative and sensorial thinking might illuminate and enrich your research.

This is an opportunity for you to experiment with innovative ways of presenting your research in a short format. You might, for example, focus on a question such as: What is the keystone of my argument? Can I summarise my thesis in a sentence? What is my most important finding so far? The rationale is that distilling and presenting the essence of your research will help you to think about it in a new way and thereby produce fresh insights.

We invite submissions on any aspect of post-war commemoration. Please send an abstract of 250 words and a short biography (max. 150 words) in a single Word document to catherine.gilbert@ell.ox.ac.uk by Monday 29 January 2018. Applicants will be notified of the outcome in early February. For more information, click here.

This opportunity is part of the Mellon-Sawyer Seminar Series: Post-War: Commemoration, Reconstruction, Reconciliation.

Video: A History of Algeria

Covering a period of five hundred years, from the arrival of the Ottomans to the aftermath of the Arab uprisings, James McDougall presents an expansive new account of the modern history of Africa's largest country. Drawing on substantial new scholarship and over a decade of research, McDougall places Algerian society at the centre of the story, tracing the continuities and the resilience of Algeria's people and their cultures through the dramatic changes and crises that have marked the country.

In this Book at Lunchtime event, author James McDougall (Associate Professor in Modern History, University of Oxford) joined an expert panel to discuss the book and its themes. James was joined by: 

Eugene Rogan (Professor in Modern Middle Eastern History, University of Oxford)

Laleh Khalili (Professor of Middle East Politics, SOAS) 

This event was chaired by Robert Gildea (Professor of Modern History, University of Oxford).

Watch the video here.

Part of Book at Lunchtime, a fortnightly series of bite sized book discussions, with commentators from a range of disciplines. 

Nadezhda Durova: Nineteenth-Century Russian Queer Celebrity and Patriotic Icon

In this Queer Studies Network blog, Dr Margarita Vaysman (Lecturer in RussianUniversity of St Andrews) examines the peculiar fate of Nadezhda Durova aka Cornet Alexandrov, the famous female cavalry officer in the Tsar Alexander I’s army, who is feted as a patriotic icon in contemporary Russia.

The celebrated memoirs of Nadezhda Durova, a female cavalry officer who, disguised as a man, served in the Russian Army during the Napoleonic wars, have been popular with Russian readers since their publication in 1836. The Notes of the Cavalry Maiden remained inaccessible to the English-speaking readers until, in 1988, not one but two translations appeared in the US.[i]

Despite the text’s availability and recent interest in queer history in Russia,[ii] the most intriguing aspect of Durova’s celebrity – her everlasting presence in the twentieth and twenty-first century Russian popular culture and even the school curriculum remains, with very few exceptions,[iii] largely unexplored.

Read this blog in full here.  

Humanitarian Fictions

April 14, 2018 at King's College London
April 21, 2018, at Warwick University

These one-day graduate workshops will examine the revived idea of humanitarianism in postcolonial, comparative, and world literary studies. They raise specific questions about how the novel in particular embraces the discourse of human rights to address global modernity’s emergences and discontents. In the process, we will reflect on how literature represents, intervenes in, or helps create an affective script for vulnerable lives and habitations. 

Call for Papers

Possible topics include:
Humanities, human rights, humanitarianism
Human rights and the novel
Human rights (or the limits of rights discourse) vs. the novel
Poverty, precarity, underdevelopment
Disability, gender identity, and race in relation to human rights
Migrancy and homelessness
Global war, terrorism, violence
Environmental crises and the nonhuman
New media and multimedia narration, involving graphic novels, blogs,
journalism, documentary, photography

To apply, please send 300-word abstracts (for 15-minute papers) by February 20 to Dr David Barnes, the research assistant on this project (david.barnes@ell.ox.ac.uk).

For more information, please click here

New Opportunities

TORCH-Mellon Early Career Research Fellow

The Ruskin School of Art seeks to appoint to this 3-year postdoctoral research fellowship, for research in the field of 'Muralism and Public Art in the Global South'. 

The position is funded by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation, and is part of TORCH's 'Humanities & Identities' project. The postholder will develop and deliver a research project in the field of 'Muralism and Public Art in the Global South', working with Professor Anthony Gardner and other scholars at the Ruskin School of Art. He/she will be expected to publish research of an internationally excellent standard, and to participate fully in the research and intellectual life of the Ruskin School of Art, TORCH, and Wadham College.

The closing date for applications is 12.00 noon on Monday 5 February 2018. 

For more information, click here.

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 midday Friday 16 February 2018.

Get the Inside Scoop

Have you ever wanted to get an insight into the inner workings of the media? Do you want to become more effective at raising the profile of your research, or to help inform public debate?

This year the MPLS Division are supporting the British Science Association to identify a researcher who works in an EPSRC-related area at the University to receive a sought after Media Fellowship.

The British Science Association Media Fellowships provide a unique opportunity for practising scientists, clinicians and engineers to spend two to six weeks working at the heart of a media outlet such as the Guardian and BBC Breakfast.

For more information and details on how to apply, click here

Deadline Thursday 15 February 2018.

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

Upcoming Events

James Joyce and the Phenomenology of Film

Friday, February 2, 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities, Oxford OX2 6GG 

James Joyce and the Phenomenology of Film reappraises the lines of influence said to exist between Joyce's writing and early cinema and provides an alternative to previous psychoanalytic readings of Joyce and film. Through a compelling combination of historical research and critical analysis, Cleo Hanaway-Oakley demonstrates that Joyce, early film-makers, and phenomenologists (Maurice Merleau-Ponty, in particular) share a common enterprise: all are concerned with showing, rather than explaining, the 'inherence of the self in the world'. 

Author Cleo Hanaway Oakley (Oxford Phenomenology Network, University of Oxford) will discuss the book and its themes with an expert panel:

Ulrika Maude (Modernism and Twentieth Century Literature, University of Bristol)

Katherine Morris (Philosophy, University of Oxford) 

This event will be chaired by Jeri Johnson (English, University of Oxford). 

Booking is essential. Please register here for your seat.

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

Empire and the Academy in the Twenty First Century

Friday, January 26, 2018 - 12:30pm to 1:45pm
Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities, Oxford OX2 6GG

What does resistance mean within the university? What practical steps can we as scholars and activists take? In conjunction with the Campaign for Racial Awareness and Equality, we invite you to join us for a discussion which emerges from recent debates about free speech in the university setting. Dr James McDougall and other speakers will open a conversation on communicating with the media, Prevent legislation, and the Office for Students.

This event is organised by the Race and Resistance Across Borders in the Long Twentieth Century programme. 

Please click here for more information

New Work in the Environmental Humanities

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - 12:30pm to 2:00pm
Meeting Room 4, Radcliffe Humanities, Oxford OX2 6GG

A roundtable discussion. Do feel very free to bring work that you find interesting for discussion.

As always, if anyone would like to offer a lunchtime talk, film, reading, musical performance, conference proposal or anything else relevant to our continuing ‘Landscapes and Identities’ theme, please do get in touch with Allison Adler Kroll. Especially welcome would be contributions on ‘Humanities and Sciences’. We would also welcome expressions of interest from potential DPhil students planning to work on Environmental Humanities topics.

This event is part of the Environmental Humanities programme. 

Please click here for more information

Celebration of the Centenary of the Birth of Olive Gibbs

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Town Hall, Oxford City Council, OX1 1BX

Olive Gibbs, born February 1918, was a redoubtable Labour councillor on the City and County Councils. She saved Jericho from destruction and got the Cutteslowe wall demolished. She was also a founding member and the national chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). 

Speakers: 

Bruce Kent (former general secretary, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament), Simon Gibbs (son of Olive Gibbs), Christine Simm (Oxford Deputy Lord Mayor), Liz Woolley (Oxford local historian, www.lizwoolley.co.uk).

Refreshments will be provided. This event is part of Oxford International Women's Festival and marks the centenary of women's suffrage. 

Doors will open at 5.30pm for a 6pm start. 

All welcome. Please register here

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. 

Disaster Drawn: Comics and Picturing Violence

The TORCH Comics and Graphic Novels network hosted a symposium on ‘Documenting Trauma: Comics and the Politics of Memory’. This symposium concluded with a keynote lecture by Hilary Chute on 'Disaster Drawn: Comics and Picturing Violence'.

Listen here

Repositioning Women's Health Care: A Case Study on Women Who Survived Ebola in Sierra Leone

Oxford Women in Politics (OxWiP) and The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities | TORCH co-hosted this event with speaker Fatou Wurie (Blavatnik School of Government). This talk explored designing a responsive health care system that places women's health at the centre i.e. women and girls being viewed for their potential and not as problem sets to be figured. 

This event was part of the TORCH Humanities & Identities lunchtime seminar series.

Watch here

Events Calendar, Weeks 3-4

Monday 29 January

Monday, January 29, 2018 (All day) to Monday, February 5, 2018 (All day) | TALKING HEADS: AN IMMERSIVE SOUND INSTALLATION.

The University of Oxford’s EMPRES Collective presents

11:00am to 12:30pm | PATRIARCHY?

Patriarchal Boundaries into Question: Being an Unmarried Mother in Morocco

5:00pm | PHILOSOPHICAL KINGSHIP IN EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY EUROPE: FREDERICK II, CATHERINE II, AND THE PHILOSOPHES

Part of the Besterman Enlightenment workshop series

5:30pm to 7:30pm | WHAT IS TRUST AND HOW CAN LEADERS BUILD IT?

Exploring the concept of Trust

Tuesday 30 January

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

Social Sciences Division

12:30pm to 2:00pm | NEW WORK IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES

A roundtable discussion

2:00pm to 5:00pm | SHUT UP AND WRITE

Humanities Division

3:30pm to 7:00pm | SCIENCE, MEDICINE AND CULTURE IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

Time Tribes: How the Railways Made Communities (1840-1900)

3:30pm to 4:30pm | YVAIN OR THE KNIGHT OF THE LION

The Medieval Book Club

4:00pm | CURRENT TRENDS IN THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF BUREAUCRACY

The Long Road to Dematerialisation: Dynamics of Transport Bureaucracies in Cameroon

5:00pm | THE JAN-GEORG DEUTSCH ANNUAL DEBATE

Maritime Approaches to Global History Series

5:15pm to 7:15pm | MODALITIES OF CYBERTEXT POETRY: JOHN CAYLEY VS. HSIA YU

Speaker: Professor Tong King Lee, University of Hong Kong

Wednesday 31 January

5:15pm | THE DOCUMENTARY PHOTOBOOK

Part of the 'Towards a Social History of Photoliterature and the Photobook' series

5:15pm to 7:15pm | AFFECTIVE TRANSFORMATIONS

Fiction and Other Minds

5:30pm to 7:00pm | NOT THINGS SEEN, ALWAYS THINGS IMAGINED

Part of The Weinrebe Lectures in Life-Writing: ‘Women’s Changing Lives’ series

Thursday 1 February

12:00pm to 2:00pm | INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AT OXFORD

Careers Service

1:00pm to 2:30pm | INTRODUCTION TO DIGITAL HUMANITIES

Humanities Training

1:00pm | WOMEN IN ACADEMIA

Oxford Women in Politics seminar

4:00pm | THE ROLE OF FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGY IN IDENTIFYING THE MISSING

Speaker: Dr. Nicholas Márquez-Grant (Cranfield Forensic Institute)

5:00pm | JOURNEYS OF HOPE

A panel discussion

5:15pm to 6:45pm | GRAPHIC NARRATIVES OF HAITI

From Revolution to Earthquake

Friday 2 February

10:00am to 1:00pm | LGBTQ+ TRUSTED SOURCE WRITING WORKSHOP

Workshop

1:00pm to 2:00pm | JAMES JOYCE

Book at Lunchtime with Cleo-Hanaway Oakley

2:00pm to 6:45pm | LGBT HISTORY MONTH – OXFORD HISTORY FACULTY LGBTQ

History workshop

3:00pm to 4:30pm | DEFINITIONS OF WHITENESS

A Discussion on Race, Ethnicity and Global Politics in the Contemporary World

4:00pm | LAND AND THE ORIGINS OF BRITISH INDIA

Global & Imperial History Research Seminar

Monday 5 February

11:00am to 12:30pm | PATRIARCHY?

The Patriarchy Index

12:30pm to 1:30pm | NOTES ON VEGAN CAMP, QUEER REPRESENTATION IN DICTIONARIES AND QUEER PRISONERS IN FRANCOIST SPAIN

Queer Theory Research Lunch

12:45pm to 2:00pm | DISCUSSION GROUP

Hosted by the Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation programme

2:00pm to 3:30pm | THE RELATION OF LITERATURE AND LEARNING TO SOCIAL HIERARCHY IN EARLY MODERN EUROPE

With Jenny Oliver and Catherine Richardson

5:00pm | WHAT ARE JEWS FOR? MOSES MENDELSSOHN AND THE PROBLEM OF JEWISH PURPOSE

Part of the Besterman Enlightenment workshop series

5:15pm | BOOK LAUNCH

Launch of two new monographs in Italian Studies

7:15pm | THEATRE AND PERFORMANCE STUDIES READING GROUP

Multilingual Drama led by Cédric Ploix

Tuesday 6 February

12:30pm to 2:00pm | CURRENT GRADUATE WORK IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES

Environmental Humanities seminar

1:00pm to 2:00pm | EARLY CAREER LUNCH

Humanities Training

3:30pm to 4:30pm | DE DOCTRINA CHRISTIANA

The Medieval Book Club

4:00pm | CURRENT TRENDS IN THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF BUREAUCRACY

A Political Administration: Identity and Belonging in the Juncker Commission

6:00pm to 8:00pm | CELEBRATION OF THE CENTENARY OF THE BIRTH OF OLIVE GIBBS

Part of Oxford International Women's Festival

6:00pm to 8:15pm | WHAT IS DANCE WITHOUT AN AUDIENCE?

The final seminar in this 3-part series

Wednesday 7 February

2:00pm to 4:30pm | MANAGING HUMANITIES DATA

Humanities Training

5:00pm to 6:15pm | JOURNEYS IN TRANSLATION

Poetry Reading and Discussion

5:15pm | ANTHROPOLOGY, PHOTOGRAPHY AND BOOK HISTORY

Part of the 'Towards a Social History of Photoliterature and the Photobook' series

5:15pm | DISORDERS OF THINKING AS DISORDERS OF RELATING: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL UNDERSTANDING OF SCHIZOPHRENIC THOUGHT DISORDER

An Oxford Phenomenology Network Seminar

5:30pm to 7:00pm | SEX, POLITICS AND SELFHOOD: GIRLS’ LIFE-WRITING AND HISTORICAL CHANGE

Part of the Weinrebe Lectures in Life-Writing: ‘Women’s Changing Lives’ series

Thursday 8 February

10:00am to 1:00pm | PODCASTING WORKSHOP

Humanities Training

12:30pm to 2:00pm | METAPHORS, LINGUISTIC DIVERSITY AND FOREIGN LANGUAGE LEARNING

Do you have butterflies in your stomach or little deers jumping in your heart?

1:00pm | WOMEN IN ACADEMIA

Oxford Women in Politics seminar

2:30pm | EGYPT IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR, 1911-1924

Symposium

2:30pm | TRAVELLING TO WAR: JOURNEY, DISTANCE AND ENCOUNTER IN THE EXPERIENCES OF TROOPS FROM NEW ZEALAND, SOUTH AFRICA AND THE WEST INDIES

Speaker: Dr. Anna Maguire (King's College London)

3:00pm to 5:00pm | HERITAGE PATHWAY: WORKING WITH COLLECTIONS: A HOW TO GUIDE

Humanities Training

5:15pm to 6:30pm | FIGURATIVE FRAMES IN POLITICAL COMMUNICATION

Figurative Frames and their Implications for Political Communications

Friday 9 February

12:30pm to 1:45pm | BENNY WENDA AND FILEP KARMA

A Special Lecture and Discussion on the Free West Papua Campaign

4:00pm | “AMONG THESE INCONGRUOUS BATTALIA, ARE REPRESENTED THE HOPES OF THE WORLD”: GOLD RUSHES AND GLOBAL HISTORY

Global & Imperial History Research Seminar

5:00pm to 7:00pm | DO WE NEED DEFENDING?

The History, Tactics and Modern Relevance of Antifascism

6:00pm to 7:00pm | DANIEL LIBESKIND

Monumental Commemoration: Mellon-Sawyer Seminar Series 

Saturday 10 February

9:30am to 2:00pm | MUSEUMS AND NATIONAL IDENTITY: PANEL-LED WORKSHOP 1

Monumental 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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