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

TORCH Newsletter

2 June 2015

Applications are still open for Knowledge Exchange Fellowships, the TORCH-Science Museum research fellowship, and Environmental Humanities Grants. For more information about these, and other TORCH opportunities please visit our website. This week we highlight blogs on the Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe, Voltaire's portrayal of the universe, and a play about anorexia. We also look back at events from the past couple of weeks, with videos exploring neuroscience and dance, theatre and evolution, and German poetry. Please scroll to the bottom of the newsletter for a full calendar of upcoming events.

Funding Opportunities Reminder

Knowledge Exchange Fellowship

The Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) and TORCH will support a short-term fellowship scheme for humanities scholars at the University of Oxford to build mutually beneficial partnerships with external organisations. Previous Fellowships supported by the scheme have included partnerships with the National Theatre, Southbank Centre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Deadline: Monday 29 June 2015, noon.

More information

Environmental Humanities Grants

Applications are welcome from Oxford humanities scholars for two grants in any area of the environmental humanities. The first is for £2,500 for a workshop or conference and the second is for £2,000 for a research project. Applications should be led by, or involve, postgraduate and/or early career researchers.

Deadline: 3 July 2015

More information

TORCH-Science Museum Research Fellowship

A new Knowledge Exchange fellowship is offered to support research on the Science Museum’s collections, which would also contribute to the Museum’s forthcoming Exhibition Programme. Details of forthcoming exhibitions, and about the fellowship more generally, are available on the TORCH website.

Deadline: 29 June 2015

More information

Early Career Opportunities

​Introduction to Entrepreneurship

A chance to try your hand at some business case studies with local entrepreneurs

Tuesday 2 June, 6 - 8pm, SBS Launchpad, Said Business School, Park End Street

This workshop for DPhils and Early Career Researchers will introduce the basic concepts of Entrepreneurship and the Launchpad at the Said Business School. For more information and to book please click here.

More information and how to apply

Highlighted Blogs

New Perspectives on Chinua Achebe

In this 'Voices Acros Borders' post Timothy Ogene reviews Terri Ochiagha’s new book, Achebe and Friends at Umuahia, and considers how the book places Achebe's writing within his network of literary contemporaries.

More here.

Strange Skies: Voltaire's Physics

In the latest Voltaire Foundation blog post Rowan Lyster examines Voltaire's portrayal of the universe and shares a poem she wrote inspired by his depictions.

More here.

Watching a Play about Anorexia

Knowledge Exchange Fellow Emily Troscianko reflects on the play 'Mess' and examines why it’s hard to create theatre, or indeed films or novels, about anorexia.

More here.


BBC New Generation Thinkers

Congratulations to Daniel Lee and Kylie Murray who were announced as winners of the AHRC/BBC scheme. Daniel Lee's research examines experiences of Jews in France and in French North Africa during the Second World War and Kylie Murray's research explores pre-Reformation Scottish literature, books, and culture. For more information please visit the University arts blog.

Healthcare Values Partnership

The Healthcare Values Partnership, led by Dr Joshua Hordern, seeks to develop working relationships between patients, researchers, healthcare practitioners, managers and policy makers to explore questions of value in healthcare today. The partnership website has just launched, find out more here.

Watch Again

Neuroscience and Dance

Wayne McGregor (Director, Random Dance) talks about his choreographic practice with Dr Phil Barnard, (MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge) and Eckhard Thiemann (Arts Producer). They explore the point where dance, choreography and science can meet.

Watch the video here

Theatre and Evolution

A discussion of Kirsten Shepherd-Barr's new book which reveals the deep, transformative entanglement among science, art, and culture in modern times.

Watch the video here

Rubble Flora

Twenty-five years since the fall of the Berlin Wall German poet Volker Braun gives a special reading and discusses his work with David Constantine and Karen Leeder.

Watch the video here

Highlighted events

The Real, the True, and Critique

Tuesday 2 June, 17:00

A lecture by Amy Hollywood (Harvard University) on mysticism in the study of religion with responses by Vincent Gillespie (Oxford) and Joana Serrado (Oxford).

More information

The Fascist Legs of Serge Lifar: French Ballet under the Occupation

Thursday 4 June, 17:30-19:00

Internationally renowned dance scholar Professor Mark Franko gives a lecture on his recent research on the important early twentieth-century choreographer 'Serge Lifar'.

Booking essential, please click here for more information

Shame and Guilt

Friday 5 June, 14:30-18:30

A one-day workshop with papers including: Carla Bagnoli, Shame and Vulnerability; Edward Harcourt, Moral Emotions, Autonomy, and the ‘Extended Mind’ and Adam Leite,Self-Hatred, Self-Acceptance, and Self-Love.

More information

Poetry Evening with Tomasz Różycki

Friday 5 June, 17:30-19:00

Conversation with one of the most remarkable Polish poets Tomasz Różycki about his work and its translations into English led by Anna Ready from Oxford University Press.

More Information

Humanities and Business

Tuesday 9 June, 16:00-17:00

How do the humanities engage with business, and vice-versa? This panel will explore the reciprocity – existing and potential – of business and the humanities, considering the contribution humanities researchers and graduates can make to the business world and how the humanities might benefit in return.

Please click here to book

Oxford Translation Day 2015

Saturday 13 June

A celebration of literary translation consisting of workshops and talks throughout the day and culminating in the award of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize.

Please click here for more information

At Home

Saturday 13 June

This study day will explore domestic space from an interdisciplinary perspective, tracing the vital significance of the home in art, design, architecture, literature, culture and social politics in the long eighteenth century.

Booking required, please click here to book

Latest news from the Humanitas Programme

Watch Again

How can there be a history of emotions?

Humanitas Visiting Professor Barbara Rosenwein explores the history of emotions, with a response from Professor Ute Frevert.

Watch the video here

Rationality versus emotionality

Professor Ute Frevert discusses rationality versus emotionality in the century of extremes with a response from Professor Barbara Rosenwein.

Watch the video here

Comparative European Literature

In the last of his lecture series Javier Cercas reflects on European literature, politics and historical memory in conversation with Timothy Garton Ash, and Patrick McGuinness. The discussion will take place on 4 June from 17:30, please click here for more details.

From the archive...

This week we revisit Michael Winterbottom's Visiting Professorship in Film and Television 2012-2013. This film workshop explores the idea of improvisation, the use of one versus two cameras, subtitling, and examines scenes from Winterbottom's films.

Watch the workshop here

Events Calendar, Weeks 6-8

All these events seek to bring together people from different disciplines who are interested in the same research area. For more details about these events, and to get in touch with the people who are running them, please visit the TORCH website.

Druisilla’s Inheritance: Possessing and Transmitting Power in Caligula’s Rome

Sarah Cohen (University of Oxford)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

The Real, the True, and Critique: Mysticism in the Study of Religion

A lecture by Amy Hollywood (Harvard University) with responses by Vincent Gillespie (Oxford) and Joana Serrado (Oxford)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - 5:00pm

Narrative Transportation and Make-Believe

Tom van Laer (Storytelling Scholar, Cass Business School (City University London)/University of Sydney)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - 5:00pm

Local Biologies, Leaky Things, and the Chemical Infrastructure of Global Health

Speaker: Alex Nading (Anthropology, University of Edinburgh)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - 5:30pm

Embodiment and Materiality Reading Group

This week's reading is Lambros Malafouris: How Things Shape the Mind

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

17th-18th Century Chemistry

Papers by Anna Marie Roos (Lincoln) and Michael Bycroft (Warwick)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

Robert Hass's 'On Teaching Poetry'

Part of The Poet's Essay seminar series

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - 4:30pm

Henry Adams, Henry James, and Minnie Temple: The Pursuit of the Real at the Turn of the 20th Century

A lecture by Amy Hollywood (Harvard University)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - 5:00pm

Suffering History: Phenomenology at the Intersection of Disease and Illness

Austin Argentieri (Oxford, Anthropology)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - 5:15pm

Écrire dans une langue, vivre dans deux

Reading by Hoda Barakat.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - 6:00pm

"The Societalization of Social Problems: Recent Social Crises and the Civil Sphere"

Wednesday, June, 3, 2015 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Poetry Workshop

Part of the In Numbers programme

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Connected Life 2015: Our Digital Society

Interdisciplinary and international conference.

Thursday, June 4, 2015 (All day)

Relational Aesthetics

Aesthetics Today? discussion group

Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 12:45pm to 2:00pm

Marriage in Crisis: WW1 and Behavioural Change in Belgium

Dr Saskia Hin

Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 2:00pm

Animals and Objects: Knowledge and Visual Culture

Discussion group for Inter-Asian comparisons

Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Hoda Barakat: 'La Narration Dangereuse: Nos Personnages et la mise en Abîme'

Part of Orienting Fiction: Writers' Talks and Seminar Series.

Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 3:00pm


A symposium celebrating the research behind a new contemporary science exhibition

Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 4:00pm

The Unspeakability of Trauma, the Unspeakability of Joy: The Pursuit of the Real at the Turn of the Twenty-first Century

A lecture by Amy Hollywood (Harvard University) with a response by Kate Kirkpatrick (Oxford)

Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 5:00pm

In Conversation: European Literature, Politics and Historical Memory

Humanitas Visiting Professor, Javier Cercas In Conversation with Timothy Garton Ash, and Patrick McGuinness. Chaired by Tim Gardam

Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Lecture: Serge Lifar

Professor Mark Franko (Temple University, US)

Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Research Presentations

By members of the 'Race and Resistance' network

Friday, June 5, 2015 - 12:45pm to 2:00pm

The tribal social instincts hypothesis

Speaker: Tim Lewens (University of Cambridge)

Friday, June 5, 2015 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Shame and Guilt

A one-day workshop

Friday, June 5, 2015 - 2:30pm to 6:30pm

25 years of The Soul as Virgin Wife: Eckhart and the Beguines

A roundtable convened by Ben Morgan (Oxford) and Johannes Depnering (Oxford)

Friday, June 5, 2015 - 5:00pm

Choreographing the Katabasis

Part of the week long residency of Choreographer Cathy Marston at APGRD

Friday, June 5, 2015 - 5:00pm

Research Brief Encounters

From the Centre for Gender, Identity and Subjectivity

Friday, June 5, 2015 - 5:00pm

Poetry Evening

With Tomasz Różycki

Friday, June 5, 2015 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm

French Literature from the Modern to the Postmodern

Convened by Philippe Roussin (CNRS-MFO) and Michael Sheringham (University of Oxford, All Souls College)

Monday, June 8, 2015 - 2:15pm

What Was Late-Medieval English Poetry?

Professor Seth Lerer (University of California)

Monday, June 8, 2015 - 5:00pm

Medieval Studies Seminar

Seth Lerer (English, UC San Diego)

Monday, June 8, 2015 - 5:00pm

Objects from the Wallace Collection

Graduate presentations from Lindsay Macnaughton and Elena Sorochina.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm

Humanities and Business

A panel discussion exploring the reciprocity – existing and potential – of business and the humanities

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Cultures of Genius

Professor Sarah-Jane Leslie (Princeton University) examines why women are underrepresented in certain academic disciplines

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 - 5:00pm

20th Century Chemistry

Papers by Linda Richards (Oregon) and Juan Andres Leon (CHF)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

Commuters: From the Nineteenth Century to Now

Speaker: Rachel Bowlby (Princeton University). Part of the Science, Medicine and Culture in the Ninteenth Century seminar series

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Maths and Architecture

Part of the In Numbers programme

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Yoshida Hiroshi: A Japanese Artist in India

Gallery tour with Eva Schach.

Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 11:00am

Extremist Translation and the Deformation of Zone

Speakers: Joyelle McSweeney, Johannes Göransson, and Dr Adriana X. Jacobs.

Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Inheritance and Cooperation Reading Group

This week's reading isFrancesca Merlin (Forthcoming) ‘Limited extended inheritance’

Friday, June 12, 2015 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Anglo-Norman Reading Group

Guest speaker: Professor Paul Hyams (Cornell/Oxford)

Friday, June 12, 2015 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm

Nacer Khemir: 'Les deux labyrinthes: le récit des mille et une nuits et la ville arabe'

Part of Orienting Fiction: Writers' Talks and Seminar Series.

Friday, June 12, 2015 - 5:00pm

Physics and the Great War

Conference discussing the development of physics during the First World War

Saturday, June 13, 2015 (All day)

Oxford Translation Day 2015

A day celebrating literary translation with a series of workshops and talks

Saturday, June 13, 2015 - 10:00am to 7:30pm

'At Home': Exploring Eighteenth-Century Domestic Space

RECSO study day

Saturday, June 13, 2015 - 11:00am to 5:00pm

History and Philosophy of Evidence-Base Health Care

Monday, June 15, 2015 (All day) to Friday, June 19, 2015 (All day)

In Conversation with Antonio Armano

Speakers: Antonio Armano and Dr Valentina Gosetti.

Monday, June 15, 2015 - 12:45pm to 2:00pm

The Author in the Medical Imagination

Speakers: Ann Jefferson (University of Oxford) and Geoffrey Wall (University of York).

Monday, June 15, 2015 - 5:30pm

The double-edged sword of perspective-taking

Ian Apperly (Psychology, Birmingham) on reciprocal influences of self and other perspectives on judgement and comprehension

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 5:00pm

Philosophy of Action Work-in-Progress Seminar

Speaker: Hong Yu Wong (Universität Tübingen).

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

"Bab' Aziz: Le prince qui contemplait son âme"

Film screening and Q&A with the director Nacer Khemir.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 8:00pm