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

Termly Newsletter

9 October 2015

TORCH is buzzing with activity this term, with three new research networks and a wide-range of public events, including a special Dodo Day exploring the life and legacy of the dodo as part of the nationwide festival of the humanities, Being Human.

Following a fond farewell to our inaugural Director Professor Stephen Tuck, we are pleased to welcome Professor Elleke Boehmer as acting TORCH Director this term. Elleke brings a wealth of experience in interdisciplinary research, and a strong commitment to widening engagement with the humanities. Read more here.

New Research Networks

We are delighted to announce three new research networks starting this term. They are seeking to build connections across disciplines and career stages, so please do get in touch with them. We are currently accepting applications for the next round of new networks, please see below for details. 

The Nordic Network

The network will examine the critical tensions existing in the notion of a European centre and Nordic periphery.

Find out more

Poetry, Song, Performance

The network will explore the interaction of music and words in the 19th- and 20th-century European song tradition.

Find out more

Identity, Ethnicity and Nationhood

The network aims to to develop new ways of thinking about the long history of identity, ethnicity and nationhood.

Find out more
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New Network Scheme

Each term TORCH sponsors the creation and/or development of up to three interdisciplinary research networks by providing a venue, funding up to £2,500, a web presence and publicity. 

Deadline: 13 November 2015

Dodo Competition for 7-14 year olds

Do you know a budding young writer? We would like to read their stories or poems about the celebrated dodo. We are offering lots of great prizes in collaboration with the Natural History Museum, the Story Museum and Blackwell's.

Deadline: 26 October 2015

Medieval Studies Grants

Small grants of up to £500 are available to support conferences, workshops, and other forms of collaborative research activity organised by postgraduate or postdoctorate students at the University of Oxford.

Deadline: 6 November 2015

More opportunities can be found on the website here.

Highlighted events

Too Valuable to Die?

Tuesday 13 October, 19:00-20:00
Museum of the History of Science, Broad Street, Oxford

Silke Ackermann, Liz Bruton, and Nigel Biggar debate the ethics of scientists going to war in response to the Museum of the History of Science's current exhibition exploring the life and legacy of talented English physicist Henry Moseley, who died in the First World War. 

Please click here to book your place

Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life

Friday 16 October, 18:00-19:00
Mathematical Institute, Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6GG

We celebrate the publication of Jonathan Bate's new biography, which has received much critical praise and has been longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize. Jonathan Bate, Seamus Perry, Oliver Taplin and Anne Farrar Donovan, cousin of Ted Hughes, will discuss the poet's life, relationships and poetry, as well as exploring the complexities of life-writing. The discussion will be followed by a drinks reception, all welcome.

Please click here to book your place

The Silk Roads

Wednesday 21 October, 13:00-14:00 (lunch from 12:45)
Radcliffe Humanities, Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6GG

Peter Frankopan will discuss his new book The Silk Roads: A New History of the World with Averil Cameron and Robert Moore. The Silk Roads provides a major re-assessment of world history from antiquity to the modern day. In a review in The Times Gerard DeGroot writes, 'Many books have been written which claim to be a New History of the World. This one fully deserves the title.' Free, all welcome, no booking required.

Please click here for more information


Friday 30 October, 19:00-22:30
Ashmolean Museum, Beaumont St, Oxford, OX1 2PH

We are excited to be collaborating with the Ashmolean Museum on their Halloween DEADFriday event. Over 25 TORCH academics will give bite-size talks in the museum on a range of topics related to Ashmolean collections, including gravediggers, Hong Kong death rituals, death masks, and Victorian children’s literature. Tickets for this LiveFriday are £5 each in advance. Tickets, if not sold out, will be £7 on the door. No tickets are required for under 12s.

Please click here for more information

Latest news from the Humanitas Programme

Stephen Greenblatt Lecture Series

We are delighted to announce that Professor Stephen Greenblatt will be joining us as Humanitas Visiting Professor in Museums, Galleries and Libraries 2015-16. Drawing on his latest research, he will explore the long history of the story of Adam and Eve. 

Monday 19 October, 17:30 | In the Bathhouse | Book Here
Tuesday 20 October, 17:00 | Getting Real | Book Here

From the archive...

Take a look back at the Humanitas archive with this symposium on 'Museums and the Artist' with Glenn D. Lowry (Director, Museum of Modern Art), Thomas Struth (Artist), Neil MacGregor (Former Director, The British Museum) and Penelope Curtis (Former Director, Tate Britain).

Events Calendar, Weeks 0-2

Week 0

Saturday 10 October 

10:00-16:00 | Local connections, global conflict
A World War One Adult Study Day

Week 1

Monday 12 October

14:00-17:00 | Wikipedia: women in science transcribe-a-thon
Celebrate the bicentenary of Ada Lovelace

Tuesday 13 October

12:30-14:00 | Photography, exhibitions and the birth of a discipline
Speaker: Anthony Gardner (Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford)

14:00-17:00 | Wikipedia: women in science edit-a-thon
Celebrate the bicentenary of Ada Lovelace

14:00-17:00 | Too valuable to die?
An interdisciplinary panel discussion with Silke Ackermann, Liz Bruton and Nigel Biggar exploring the ethics of science and scientists going to war

Wednesday 14 October

14:00-17:00 | Wikipedia: women in science improve-a-thon
Celebrate the bicentenary of Ada Lovelace

17:00-18:30 | M. C. Escher - artist, mathematician, man
Speakers: Roger Penrose and Jon Chapman

Thursday 15 October

9:30-20:30 | Controlling environments
One-day conference looking at cybernetic sciences

11:00 | Research brief encounters
Share your research

14:00-17:00 | Wikipedia: women in science image-a-thon
Celebrate the bicentenary of Ada Lovelace

15:30-16:30 | In praise of idleness?: The work of the humanities’ work
Speaker: Professor Helen Small (Pembroke College, University of Oxford)

Friday 16 October

All day | Celebrating women in computer science
Ada Lovelace bicentenary

18:00-19:00 | Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life
To celebrate the publication of Jonathan Bate's new biography, we are joined by the author, Seamus Perry, Oliver Taplin and Anne Farrar Donovan, cousin of Ted Hughes, for discussion

Saturday 17 October

14:00-16:00 | Illegitimate Objects: Poets
Poets reading their new work

Week 2

Monday 19 October

17:30-19:00 | Stephen Greenblatt: “In The Bathhouse”
Humanitas Visiting Professor in Museums, Galleries and Libraries delivers his inaugural lecture

Tuesday 20 October

14:00-15:00 | Off-Stage Rules: Sarah Siddons And Satire
With Anna Senkiw (DPhil Candidate English, University of Oxford)

17:00-18:30 | Stephen Greenblatt: “Getting Real”
Humanitas Visiting Professor Stephen Greenblatt delivers his second lecture in his series "The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve"

17:30-19:00 | Saints From The Latin East: The Memory Of North Illyricum In Greek Hagiography
Speaker: Efthymios Rizos (Linacre College, University of Oxford)

Wednesday 21 October

12:30-13:30 | Postgraduate And Early Career Researchers Lunchtime Meeting
Hosted by the TORCH Programme Women in the Humanities

12:45-14:00 | The Silk Roads: A New History Of The World
A Book at Lunchtime discussion with Peter Frankopan, Averil Cameron, and Robert Moore.

17:00-19:00 | Oxford Phenomenology Network Seminar
Seminar run by the TORCH Oxford Phenomenology Network with Joshua Broggi (University of Oxford)

Thursday 22 October

12:00-13:00 | Pastorhood As A Calling And Career
Migration, Religion and Social Mobility Among Kenyan Penetcostal Pastors in London. Speaker: Leslie Fesenmyer (COMPAS, Oxford)

13:30-16:00 | An Army Without A Face: The Ottoman Army And The First World War
Speaker: Professor Mesut Uyar (UNSW Canberra)

17:00-19:00 | Practical Architectural History Seminar
In partnership with Purcell

Friday 23 October

12:45-14:00 | Race And Resistance Seminar
Seminar hosted by the Race and Resistance TORCH Network

Saturday 24 October

All day | Imperial Identities: Intersections And Transformations
A workshop bringing together researchers working on intersections of gender and identity within imperial contexts

19:00-21:00 | Spectral Landscapes
Mixed media event exploring the concept of the 'English Eerie'