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

TORCH Newsletter Michaelmas Term

Weeks 8 - 10 (28 Nov - 16 Dec 2016)

The end of term is fast approaching but not before we bring you more exciting TORCH events, opportunities and news.

This past week saw the fantastic FRIGHTFriday event take place at the Ashmolean Museum. TORCH in collaboration with the Museum welcomed over 3000 people to a fun-filled night of live performances of dance and music, film, workshops and interactive talks and exhibits. The event was a huge success with 30 Oxford academics across the Humanities and other Divisions showcasing their research in a myriad of ways and engaging the public. Thank you to all the researchers, volunteers and our sponsors Being Human and the Wellcome Trust for making the night one to remember!  

Below you’ll find news on recent TORCH activities, details on upcoming events and information on current funding opportunities for research.

Wishing you all a wonderful end to the term and a pleasant break!

Highlighted Events

Humanities and Identities Launch Event: 'What does diversity mean to me?’

5.30pm-8pm, 25th January 2017

L1, Mathematical Institute, Woodstock Road, Oxford

We are excited to announce the public launch event in the TORCH Headline Series for 2017 will be the public launch titled ‘What does diversity mean to me?’  

This year's series will explore ‘Humanities & Identities’and will focus on multiple research areas relating to diversity including race, gender, sexuality, disability, poverty, class, religious diversity, and inequality. The series will bring together researchers, practitioners, policy-makers, creative thinkers and wider communities interested in forms of self-identity past, present and future.

All events are free and open to the public - we hope you can join us! 

Read more here


Please click here for more information

News and Blogs

TORCH hosts the first international Public Health Film Competition 2016

This year TORCH hosted the first international Public Health Film Competition, part of the Public Health England sponsored Film Festival organised by the Public Health Film Society 11-13th Nov 2016.

This year’s winner Up For Air by Navigo Productions was shown along with three highly commended films Aloha for Indo by Lucas Visuals, Beyond Baby Blue by White Boat TV and Code Therapy by Divya Pathak.

In addition to the film competition winners, the festival included films that celebrated the role of nurses in the Public Health workforce, coinciding with an exhibition on the history of public health nursing by the Royal College of Nursing which supported the screenings along with Oxford Brookes which celebrates 125 years of nurse education.

Click here to read more.

Unusual ways of engaging public with humanities research

TORCH Director Professor Elleke Boehmer (World Literature in English), in a guest post, explained what FRIGHTFriday was all about and why events like this are so important in developing public engagement with Humanities research. 

'It is easy to get people interested in research into a new life-saving drug, or a discovery that birds can use tools to get food. But for us arts and humanities researchers, it is sometimes harder to engage the public with what we do.

So here at The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), we have set out to demonstrate the dynamic and impactful ways in which we work by organising an evening event at Oxford's the Ashmolean Museum this Friday (25th November).'

You can read the post in full here.

FRIGHTFriday: Art and Science of Hope and Fear

As part of FRIGHTFriday, members of the public had the opportunity to engage with Oxford academics about their research but in more unusual ways than our academics might be used to! 

You can read more about the academics and the projects involved on this blog post here.

No, This Isn’t the 1930s – But Yes, This is Fascism

Writing for the Conversation, James McDougall (Associate Professor of Modern History, University of Oxford) discussed recent global events and shocks, and their historical contexts. 

You can read the article in full here.

New Opportunities

Andrew W. Mellon 'Humanities and Science' Grant

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation are offering paired Science–Humanities research partnerships. These sabbaticals are part of the ‘Humanities & Science’ grant, and are designed to create new interest in, and opportunities for, research that reaches between the humanities and sciences. Deadline 20 January 2017.

Andrew W. Mellon 'Humanities & Identities'

TORCH and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation are pleased to announce three exciting new research opportunities as part of the 'Humanities & Identities' Headline Series. Deadlines 17 March 2017. Please check the website for further details.

Oxford-Venice Initiative: Collaborations with the Fondazione Giorgio Cini

TORCH is now inviting Oxford researchers to submit applications to pursue individual research projects at the Cini’s new Vittore Branca Center for visiting scholars. Deadline 2 December 2016.

Post-graduate Conference Grant: Writing Global Lives

The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing (OCLW) and The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) is offering one grant of £1500, available to post-graduate students and early career researchers in the Humanities Division at the University of Oxford, to organise a conference on the subject of writing global lives. Deadline 12 December 2016.

Women in the Humanities Opportunities

TORCH Women in the Humanities programme have two new opportunities: Research Grant; and Visiting Fellowship. Deadline 13 January 2017.

Postdoctoral Opportunities in the Humanities 2016-2017

There are a number of Junior Research Fellowships being advertised at Merton College, Christ Church, St John's College, Pembroke College, and Queen's College. Deadlines range from the 18 November until 6 January 2017. Please check the website for further details.

Upcoming Events

Translation: A Very Short Introduction

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 6pm to 7:15pm

MOLT Foyer, St Anne's College, Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6HS 

To celebrate the launch of Matthew Reynolds 'Translation: A Very Short Introduction' the Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation (OCCT) programme welcome you to this drinks reception and book launch. All welcome! 

Please click here for more information

On Political Theology?

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - 5pm Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities Building, Woodstock Road, Oxford, 

The TORCH network 'Crisis, Extremes, and Apocalypse' are hosting a seminar on 'On Political Theology?' with speaker Professor Andrew Benjamin (Monash). The world figures within any political theology. What has altered and thus what has to be drawn into any thinking of a political theology is a shift in the world’s presence. A transformation of the world remains the project of a political theology. And yet, this claim has become complicated. It is equally true, now, that world itself is in a process of change; a process that is an opening to the world’s destruction. However, this destruction is not the one that figures within the conventions of a political theology. On the contrary, it is form of destruction that is inextricably tied to the presence of catastrophic climate change as a genuine possibility. Hence the question that has to emerge – given the centrality of the world within any thinking of a political theology – concerns the impact of this modality of destruction on political theology as a mode of thought.

Please click here for more information

Feminist Fight Club

Friday, December 16, 2016 - 3pm to 4pm Lecture Room, Radcliffe Humanities Building, Woodstock Road, Oxford

The Women in the Humanities Book Group invites you to discuss Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett, described as 'Part manual, part manifesto, Feminist Fight Club is an illustrated, practical, no-bullsh*t guide to battling sexism at work'. There will also be some Christmassy refreshments!

If you would like to join please respond to the doodle poll by Fri 9th Dec:

We hope to see as many of you there as possible to wrap up the term with some feminist discussion.


Please click here for more information

Gender and Leadership Discourse at Work

Thursday, December 1, 2016 - 2pm to 3:30pm Lady Margaret Hall, Norham Gardens, Oxford, Old Library 

The International Gender Studies Centre at Lady Margaret Hall are hosting a series of seminars on 'Gender and Leadership in a Volatile World'. This seminar is on 'Gender and leadership discourse at work' with speaker Dr Stephanie Schnurr (University of Warwick).

Please click here for more information

Looking back on 2015-16

As we move swiftly through the new academic year, we look back at some of our highlights from 2015-16. 

Humanitas Highlight

Take another look at one of the highlights from last year's Humanitas Events programme featuring Simon Schama (Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University), Craig Clunas (Professor of the History of Art, University of Oxford) and Margaret MacMillan (Professor of International History, University of Oxford) as they tackle the thorny question of how the past should interact with the public, or publics, who consume it.

Watch here

The Role of Religion in Identity

In this keynote lecture Julia Bray of the University of Oxford takes listeners through the manifold issues involved in assessing the role of religion in identity, and the problematic nature of Anthony D. Smith’s application of the concept of chosen peoplehood to all times and all places. Julia attacks Smith’s easy slide between general theoretical statements and superficial research into his wide-ranging comparative examples, and demonstrates how misleading this apparently theoretical work can be when applied in otherwise strong scholarship. She also notes the problematic aspects of the very framing of this workshop, illustrating the role which we as academics must play in situating our work in order to forestall its misuse, not least in a contemporary world where political powers seek to weaponise academia and academics in misguided searches for radicalism. This talk, therefore, is a no-punches-held statement on the nature, role and pitfalls of academic work into religion, identity and chosenness, a must-listen piece relevant not only to the study of Islam but all fields and regions.

Listen here

Events Calendar, Weeks 8-10

Monday 28 November

17:00 | From Political Ideal to Political Idyll: Re-Readings of Fénelon’s “Télémaque” by Albrecht von Haller and Christoph Martin Wieland

Part of the Besterman Enlightenment workshop series

Tuesday 29 November

17:30-19:00 | ODNB Discussion panel: Constructing Lives

Oxford Centre for Life-Writing (OCLW) event

Wednesday 30 November

14:00-16:00 | Developing a Research Agenda for Management and Humanities

Contributions from researchers around Oxford engaged at the intersection of management- and humanities-related topics

17:15-19:15 | Translation: A Very Short Introduction

Book launch and wine reception

Thursday 1 December

14:00-15:30 | Gender and leadership discourse at work

Part of the Gender and Leadership in a Volatile World seminar series

16:00 | Kde domov muj and Wacht am Rhein: Singing Loyalty and Disloyalty in Habsburg Bohemia during the First World War

Speaker: Dr Tamara Scheer (university of Vienna)

16:00 | Workshop: Information Control

Organised by TORCH Globalising and Localising the Great War network

17:00 | The Gothic Machine - Manchester Town Hall and Architecture as Philosophy of Manufactures

A History of Art Research Seminar

18:30-20:30 | Dance Dialogues: Copyright of Dance

A legal and philosophical discussion about creativity and the possibility of copyrighting dance.

Friday 2 December

12:45-14:00 | Steering Group Meeting

Race and Resistance Steering Group Review and Planning Meeting

17:00-18:30 | Medieval Occitan Reading Group

Michaelmas Term 2016 seminars

Monday 5 December – Tuesday 6 December

All Day | Academics and Digital Media: Tools for Effective Engagement

A two-day workshop for early to mid career academics

17:45 | The Commonwealth of Nations

2016 Romanes Lecture

Wednesday 7 December

17:00 | 'A Crisis the earth has never seen: Nietzsche, the ''war of spirits'' and Great politics'

Speaker: Dr Hugo Drochon (University of Cambridge)

17:30-19:30 | Supplementary Books to Dioscorides’ materia medica in the Arab tradition

Part of the Ancient Medicine Seminar series

Thursday 8 December

19:00 | Tech Nirvana: why gardens at the office are good for you

The evolution of corporate landscapes following the Second World War 

Friday 16 December

15:00-16:15 | Feminist Fight Club

Women in the Humanities Book Club

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The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities

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

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