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

TORCH Newsletter

30 January 2015

Last week we welcomed 450 people to the Mathematical Institute for "Narrative and Proof", the opening event in the "Humanities and Science: In Conversation" series, which is now available to watch online. The series continues on February 10th with a discussion of "Randomness and Order" (see featured events, below, for details about the series). 

This week we turn our attention to theatre, with celebrated playwright David Edgar participating in a series of events as the Humanitas Visiting Professor in Drama Studies. Events are free and open to all, more information about how to register is below.

Watch again

Narrative and Proof

The Annual Headline Event is now available to watch again. Marcus du Sautoy, Ben Okri, Roger Penrose and Laura Marcus explore how narrative nurtures and underpins both literature and mathematics. Click here for the video. You can also read an exceprt of Marcus du Sautoy's presentation on the Guardian website.

Please click here for an album highlighting our favourite quotations.

Exploring the Two Cultures

Larry Squire, whose pioneering work established the distinction between conscious and unconscious memory, discusses the organisation of memory in conversation with literary scholar Simon Kemp, who explores how memory and the unconscious intertwine in literature from Proust to the contemporary novel.

Please click here for the video.

Funding Opportunities

Humanities and Science Paired Research Sabbaticals

An opportunity for two postholders (one in the humanities and one in the sciences) to take a joint research sabbatical for a term to establish a research collaboration that reaches between science and the humanities, and to develop partnerships within and beyond Oxford.

The sabbatical should be taken before the end of 2016-17.  For more information please click here. Deadline: Monday 23 February

Workshops and Discussion Groups

Myth and the Senses

A new interdisciplinary discussion group meeting on Wednesdays of even weeks during term. Please click here for more information.

Gender, Identity and Subjectivity

A graduate-led discussion group exploring approaches to gender in historical research.
Please click here for more information.

Early Career Writers' Workshop

A workshop run by, and aimed at, early career researchers.
Please click here for more information.

Call for Papers

Connoisseurship

A workshop exploring how the meaning of this term and the usefulness of its practice vary across disciplines and have changed over the centuries.

Deadline: 16 February
Read more here.

The Arab Nahda

This workshop aims to situate the nineteenth-century “Nahda” (the Arab revival, enlightenment or renaissance) in its regional and global context.

Deadline: 21 February
Read more here.

Ibsen and Power

The XIVth International Ibsen Conference will explore power and power relations in Ibsen's plays.

Deadline: 15 September
Read more here.

The Dominican Order

This conference will seek to explore the influences of the Dominican Order on all aspects of medieval life.

Deadline: 1 March
Read more here.

Featured events

All these events seek to bring together people from different disciplines who are interested in the same research area, and they actively welcome new people to come along. These are just a snapshot of the many fantastic events taking place, so please visit our events calendar for a full listing.

Please click here to visit our events calendar

How Playwrights Work

Wednesday 4 February, 17:00 - 18:30

Playwrights David Edgar, April de Angelis and David Greig discuss their working methods and what is (or isn’t) unique about their work. Registration required.

More information

War Crimes: Trials and Investigations

Wednesday 4 February, 17:00

Kirsten von Lingen, "Legal Flows and Travelling Lawyers; Debating a Global War Crimes Trials Policy in Europe and Asia during the Second World War".

More information

How Playwrights Collaborate

Thursday 6 February, 17:00 - 18:30

Playwrights David Edgar, Howard Brenton and Bryony Lavery discuss how playwrights collaborate with directors, performers and each other. Registration required.

More information

Gender, Women and Culture

Tuesday 10 February, 12:00 - 13:00

Reading group on women and wartime led by Eve Worth and Charlotte Bennett (readings available from CGIS co-ordinator Naomi Pullin: naomi.pullin@history.ox.ac.uk).

More information

Randomness and Order

Tuesday 10 February, 13:00 - 14:00

A "Humanities and Science" seminar, with an opening presentation by Ian Walmsley (Hooke Professor of Experimental Physics) and responses from scholars in music, probability and history. Lunch available from 12:45.

More information

Faith and Wisdom in Science

Wednesday 11 February, 13:00 - 13:50

Tom McLeish (Professor of Physics, Durham) joins us for the next "Book at Lunchtime" discussion, with commentators John Christie, Ard A. Louis and Sally Shuttleworth. Lunch available from 12:45.

More information

Early Modern Catholicism Seminar

Thursday 12 February, 12:30- 14:00

Living in ‘the Devil’s Other Hell’: A Catholic Minority in Germany c.1600, Nikolas Funke (Birmingham). Tea and coffee will be provided and feel free to bring along lunch.

More information

Latest news from the Humanitas Programme

Tickets are still available for David Edgar’s series of events “Is the playwright dead?”. He will explore the causes and consequences of the anti-writer trend. Is it happening? Do the charges against the playwright stack up? Can playwrights work effectively in a collective framework? What effect is the controversy having on training, on the profession of playwright, on criticism and the theatre as a whole?

State of Play

Monday, February 2, 2015 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm

David Edgar will outline the story of new writing in postwar British theatre and the growth of the anti-writer trend since the 1990s.

More information and booking details

How Playwrights Work

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm

A conversation with playwrights April de Angelis and David Greig discussing their working methods and what is (or isn’t) unique about their work.

More information and booking details

How Playwrights Collaborate

Friday, February 6, 2015 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm

A conversation with playwrights Howard Brenton and Bryony Lavery about how playwrights collaborate with directors, performers and each other.

More information and booking details

Plays for Today?

Saturday, February 7, 2015 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm

A closing symposium in which critic Michael Billington, playwright Rachel De-lahay, theatremaker Chris Goode academic and Dr Liz Tomlin discuss with David Edgar the place of the playwright in contemporary theatre.

More information and booking details

From the archive...

In 2012-2013 our Humanitas Visiting Professor in Contemporary Art was one of South Africa’s pre-eminent artists William Kentridge. He was joined by fellow Visiting Professor Ivo Mesquita (Artistic Director of the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo). Together they gave a dual inaugural lecture, with Kentridge giving a walking tour of the studio and Mesquita revealing what has influenced him throughout his career.

Events Calendar, Weeks 3 & 4

Monday 2nd February

14:00 | History of Medicine seminar series

The material and visual culture of health in Renaissance Tuscany

17:00 - 18:30 | Humanitas Lecture

David Edgar tells the story of new writing in postwar British theatre and the growth of the anti-writer trend since the 1990s

17:00 | Besterman Enlightenment Workshop

Fiona Gatty (University of Oxford), ‘The Role of Costume and Drapery in Winckelmann’s Histoire de l’Art d’Antiquité and his Connoisseurial Texts’

17:00 | Gendering Migration

Urszula Chowaniec (Language and Culture, UCL SSEES) is joined by discussant Ursula Phillips (Honorary Research Associated of UCL SSEES)


Tuesday 3rd February

14:00 - 15:15 | Literature and Science Early Career Researchers’ Forum

A reading group and research seminar in which researchers near the beginning of their careers will be able to present and develop their work

17:00 | Beyond Orientalism. Photography and the Middle East

Dr Mirjam Brusius, University of Oxford


Wednesday 4th February

12:30 - 13:30 | Embodiment and Materiality Seminar

Reading group

14:00 | Drop-in tapestry workshop

Led by Jennifer Bennett

17:00 | The publisher: finance, distribution and marketing

Part of the Slade lecture series on "The Print Before Photography: The European print in the age of the copper plate and wooden block"

17:00 - 18:30 | Humanitas

David Edgar "How Playwrights Work"

17:00 | War Crimes Trials and Investigations Seminar

Kirsten von Lingen (Heidelberg University, Germany) "Legal Flows and Travelling Lawyers"

17:30 - 19:00 | Mermaids, Cables and the Deep Sea: The Fin de Siècle and the Telegraphic Imaginary

Clare Pettitt, Professor of 19th Century Literature & Culture, King's College London

17:30 | Requiem: The Great War

A launch of Agenda magazine's November issue

19:00 - 20:30 | Poetry Workshop: Rewriting History

Week 3 - Reformation: Rewriting History


Thursday 5th February

12:30 - 13:30 | Gender, Identity and Subjectivity

Graduate-led reading and discussion group

13:00 - 14:00 | Globalising and Localising the Great War Seminar

Claire Morelon - "Catholics in Central Europe and the First World War"

14:00 | Early Modern Foreign Queens Consort – Agents of Cultural Transfer

Professor Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly, FBA (Exeter College)


Friday 6th February

All day | Approaches to Narrative in the Russian and East European Context

A research skills training workshop on theory, practice and method

12:30 - 14:00 | Debt: The First 5000 Years

Speaker: David Graeber.

All day | Cultures of Lutheranism

A conference exploring themes including material culture, place, the body and the senses

12:30 - 14:00 | Neo-Marxist Praxis Today?

Part of the "Critical theories and world politics" interdisciplinary student discussion group

17:00 - 18:30 | Humanitas

David Edgar: "How Playwrights Collaborate"

17:00 - 18:30 | Anglo-Norman Reading Group

This group provides a relaxed and collaborative forum in which to hear about, read, translate and comment upon a wide variety of Anglo-Norman texts.

17:30 | Film Screening

Race and Resistance Seminar


Saturday 7th February

9:00 - 17:30 | Cultures of Lutheranism

A conference exploring themes including material culture, place, the body and the senses

9:30 - 17:30 | Catholic and Protestant Challenges to the Early Modern Papacy

A symposium exploring fear, hatred and opposition to Rome across the early modern confessional divide

17:00 - 19:00 | Humanitas

David Edgar "Plays for Today?"


Monday 9th February

14:00 | History of Medicine seminar series

Collections and curiosity: How museum and archive exhibits promote wonder, learning and outrage

17:00 | Besterman Enlightenment Workshop

Floris Verhaart (University of Oxford), ‘The Making of a Classic: Charles Rollin’s Histoire Romaine and the Debate about the Role of Classical Scholarship and Education in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries’


Tuesday 10th February

12:00 - 13:00 | Gender, Women and Culture Seminar

Reading group on women and wartime led by Eve Worth and Charlotte Bennett

12:45 - 14:00 | Randomness and Order

A "Humanities and Science: In Conversation" discussion with Ian Walmsley, Jonathan Cross, Alison Etheridge and Chris Wickham

14:15 - 15:30 | Humanities and Science at the Ashmolean: Ideas and Objects

Randomness and Order

17:00 | ‘Locating artists' libraries in early modern Spain and Italy'

Dr Marta Cacho Casal, Oxford Brookes University

17:30 | Geopower: Genealogy after life

Kathryn Yusoff (Geography, Queen Mary, London)


Wednesday 11th February

12:45 - 13:45 | Faith and Wisdom in Science

A Book at Lunchtime discussion with Tom McLeish, Sally Shuttleworth, John Christie and Ard A. Louis

13:15 - 14:30 | Myth and the Senses

An interdisciplinary discussion group

17:00 | The role of the state: copyright, censorship and patronage

Part of the Slade lecture series on "The Print Before Photography: The European print in the age of the copper plate and wooden block"

17:00 - 19:00 | Phenomenological Approaches to Correlative Reasoning in Chinese Medicine

17:00 | War Crimes Trials and Investigations seminar series

Brian Orend (University of Waterloo, Canada) "The Next Geneva Convention"

19:00 - 20:30 | Poetry Workshop: Rewriting History

Week 4: The Tour Guide


Thursday 12th February

12:30 - 14:00 | Enlightenment Correspondences Seminar

Speaker: Professor Laurence Brockliss

12:30 - 13:30 | Gender, Identity and Subjectivity

Graduate-led reading and discussion group

12:30 - 14:00 | Living in ‘the Devil’s Other Hell’: A Catholic Minority in Germany c.1600

Nikolas Funke (Birmingham)


Friday 13th February

12:30 - 14:00 | Austerity: The History of A Dangerous Idea

Speaker: Mark Blyth

12:45 - 14:00 | Dance Panel

Race and Resistance Seminar