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Helen Small

Professor Small is currently at work on a study of the defences for the humanities that have been most influential in the 19th and 20th centuries and still exert some persuasive power. The study has a dual purpose: to provide a historical account of the arguments, and test their validity for the present day. She is also working on on several shorter pieces for delivery as conference papers, in the first instance, and essay publication subsequently:
‘George Eliot and the Cosmopolitan Cynic’
‘Emily Brontë and Degradation’
‘The Double Standard’ (on ageing and gender, with some concentration on the Victorian period, but also a wider theoretical remit)
a piece on uses of literary examples in the writing of philosophers (for a panel at the MLA, January 2012).
The first of these pieces is an opportunity to do some preliminary work towards a monograph on cynicism in its various literary and philosophical guises, from classical antiquity to the present.

Series featuring Helen Small

  • Oxford Humanities - Research Showcase: Global Exploration, Innovation and Influence
  • The Value of Humanities
  • Challenging the Canon
  • Alumni Weekend
  • St Anne's College
  • TORCH | The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities
  • Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation (OCCT)
  • Post-War: Commemoration, Reconstruction, Reconciliation
# Episode Title Description People Date
1 Conflict and Community: Panel-led Workshop 2 Mobilising the wide-ranging expertise of the speakers, this workshop will explore the special commemorative needs that arise in the wake of civil war and terrorism. Rachel Seiffert, Lyndsey Stonebridge, Harvey Whitehouse, Helen Small 24 Nov 2017
2 Literature and the Public Good Part of the Book at Lunchtime series Rick Rylance, Jane Hiddleston, Timothy Michael, Ankhi Mukherjee 01 Feb 2017
3 Why We Need the Humanities How has humanities scholarship influenced biomedical research and civil liberties and how can scholars serve the common good? Donald Drakeman, Richard Ekins, Jay Sexton, Helen Small 27 Jul 2016
4 Fiction and Other Minds Peter Garratt (Durham): ‘Mind Bloat and The Lifted Veil’ Helen Small (English/Oxford): 'On the Verification of Mental Experience'. Chaired by Ben Morgan. Peter Garratt, Ben Morgan, Helen Small 09 Nov 2015
5 Creative Commons Why should we study the humanities? For those wanting a further challenge, Professor Helen Small of Pembroke College, Oxford, discusses the difficulties facing the study of the humanities today. Helen Small, Ilana Lassman 31 Jul 2013
6 Creative Commons Intrinsic Value, or Value for Their Own Sake Sixth and final lecture First lecture in the Value of Humanities series in which Professor Helen Small discusses the philosophical idea of intrinsic value, or the humanities as valuable for its own sake. Helen Small 13 May 2013
7 Creative Commons Democracy Needs Us Fifth lecture in the Value of Humanities series in which Professor Helen Small discusses the idea that a flourishing democracy needs the Humanities. Helen Small 13 May 2013
8 Creative Commons The Humanities' Contribution to Happiness Fourth lecture in the Value of Humanities series in which Professor Helen Small discusses the Humanities' contribution to happiness. Helen Small 13 May 2013
9 Creative Commons How Useful are the Humanities? First lecture in the Value of Humanities series in which Professor Helen Small discusses the ideas of use and usefulness in the context of the value of the humanities. Helen Small 13 May 2013
10 Creative Commons Distinction (the distinctive character and work of the Humanities) Second lecture in the Value of Humanities series in which Professor Helen Small discusses how the humanities is distinct from other academic disciplines. Helen Small 13 May 2013
11 Creative Commons Introduction First lecture in the Value of Humanities series in which Professor Helen Small discusses the broad political and social context in which to place these lectures. Helen Small 13 May 2013
12 Creative Commons Rich and Poor in Britain in the Age of Dickens and Today A lecture exploring the differences and similarities between the rich and poor of Dickens' era and that of today. Alison Jackson, Jane Humphries, Helen Small and Paul Donovan bring forward their views in a panel discussion. Alison Jackson, Jane Humphries, Helen Small, Paul Donovan 15 Oct 2012
13 Creative Commons Rich and Poor in Britain in the Age of Dickens and Today A lecture exploring the differences and similarities between the rich and poor of Dickens' era and that of today. Alison Jackson, Jane Humphries, Helen Small and Paul Donovan bring forward their views in a panel discussion. Alison Jackson, Jane Humphries, Helen Small, Paul Donovan 15 Oct 2012
14 Creative Commons The Value of Humanities: Then and Now Dr Helen Small gives a talk for the Oxford Humanities Research Showcase conference. Helen Small 24 Aug 2011