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TORCH | The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities

The University of Oxford is home to an impressive range and depth of research activities in the Humanities. TORCH | The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities is a major new initiative that seeks to build on this heritage and to stimulate and support research that transcends disciplinary and institutional boundaries. Here we feature some of the networks and programmes, as well as recordings of events, and offer insights into the research that they make possible.

# Episode Title Description People Date
1 Thinking the Beyond of Crisis Professor Simon Glendinnning (London School of Economics) delivered the keynote address on 'Thinking the Beyond of Crisis' at the TORCH Crisis, Extremes, and Apocalypse event 'Rethinking Crisis'. Simon Glendinning 18 Jul 2017
2 Creative Commons Exploring Sicilian Epigraphy Sicilian schools study and research epigraphy in their museums. Kirsten Shepherd-Barr, Andrew Fairweather-Tall 23 Jun 2017
3 Creative Commons Italian Stories in Britain A project about talking to Italian communities in Britain and finding out what stories there are. Kirsten Shepherd-Barr, Matthew Reza 23 Jun 2017
4 Creative Commons Unsilencing the library: An exhibition at Compton Verney Research into how books make us feel. Kirsten Shepherd-Barr, Sophie Ratcliffe, Steven Parissien 23 Jun 2017
5 Creative Commons Recreating the music of an ancient Greek chorus: Euripides Orestes Research into ancient music. Kirsten Shepherd-Barr, Armand O Angour 23 Jun 2017
6 Creative Commons Storming Utopia The director from the Pegasus theatre in Oxford, talks about his upcoming theatre piece. Kirsten Shepherd-Barr, Wes Williams 23 Jun 2017
7 Creative Commons Literature and Silence Research into multiple Quaker congregations. Kirsten Shepherd-Barr, Kate McLoughlin 23 Jun 2017
8 Creative Commons Transforming The Operatic Voice Looking at the relationships between philosophy and the creative practice of music. Kirsten Shepherd-Barr, Toby Young 23 Jun 2017
9 How the Mouse Lost its Tail, Or, Lamarck's Dangerous Idea Speaker: Jessica Riskin (University of Stanford) Jessica Riskin 19 Jun 2017
10 Progress, Providence, Eschaton: Löwith, Blumenberg, and After Speaker: Jean-Claude Monond (ENS) Jean-Claude Monond 19 Jun 2017
11 Rescue in the Face of Danger: Benjamin, Goethe, Sebald Speaker: Carolin Duttlinger (University of Oxford) Carolin Duttlinger 19 Jun 2017
12 The Modern Epimetheus. Carl Schmitt's Marian Katechontism Speaker: Hjalmar Falk (Oxford/Gothenburg) Hjalmar Falk 19 Jun 2017
13 Ernst Kantorowicz and the Politics of Political Theology Speaker: Martin Ruehl (University of Cambridge) Martin Ruehl 19 Jun 2017
14 On Real and Imagined Catastrophes: Gershom Scholem's Sabbatinism Speaker: Amir Engel (Hebrew University) Amir Engel 19 Jun 2017
15 Surrealism’s Political-Theological Afterlife: Benjamin—Blumenberg—Taubes Speaker: Julia Ng (Goldsmith's) Julia Ng 19 Jun 2017
16 Creative Commons Humanities Knowledge Exchange Showcase Knowledge Exchange is the mutually beneficial sharing of ideas, data, experience, and expertise, and involves collaboration between researchers and external organisations or the public. Kirsten Shepherd-Barr, Toby Young, Kate McLoughlin 19 Jun 2017
17 Between Historiography and Literature: "Gershom Sholem's Intellectual Biography" Speaker: Amir Engel (Hebrew University) Amir Engel 19 Jun 2017
18 Performance of 'Night Dance (Fantasy)' Musicians Dan Hulme and Nick Fowler perform Night Dance (Fantasy) at a recent Live Friday event, held at the Ashmolean Museum on March 3rd 2017. Dan Hulme, Nick Fowler 13 Jun 2017
19 Britain's History and Memory of Transatlantic Slavery Book at Lunchtime seminar on Britain's History and Memory of Transatlantic Slavery, edited and written by Ryan Hanley (Fellow in History, University of Oxford). Bob Harris, Ryan Hanley, Padraic Scanlan, Sebabatso Manoeli 13 Jun 2017
20 Everything in Everything: Anaxagoras's Metaphysics Book at Lunchtime discussion Anna Marmodoro, Elleke Boehmer, Naoya Iwata, Simona Aimar 06 Jun 2017
21 Volcanoes: Natural Disaster Narratives and the Environment in Caribbean Literature A panel discussion Elleke Boehmer, Imaobong Umoren, Richard Scholar, Anne Castro 05 Jun 2017
22 Bruno Latour's Anti-sacrificial Politics Part of the Sacrifice Revisited event Martin Crowley 22 May 2017
23 Meanings of ‘Sacrifice’ in Brexit Mythology Part of the Sacrifice Revisited event Kalypso Nicolaidis 22 May 2017
24 Gandhi, Sacrifice and the Ambiguities of Non-Violence Part of the Sacrifice Revisited event Faisal Devji 22 May 2017
25 Consequentialist Extremism: Present Sacrifices for Future Dreams in the Justification of Violence Part of the Sacrifice Revisited event Jonathan Leader Maynard 22 May 2017
26 On Violence, Gender, and Sacrifice: Old Stories and New Reflections Part of the Sacrifice Revisited event Kimberley Hutchings 22 May 2017
27 A Genre in Crisis: The Novel in 1940s France Professor Ann Jefferson discusses the French novel. Ann Jefferson 17 May 2017
28 InHabit: People, Places and Possessions Book at Lunchtime Seminar held on May 3rd 2017. Antony Buxton, Linda Hulin, Jane Anderson, Cathy Oakes 10 May 2017
29 Terminus or Renovation? Francis Bacon and crisis in early modern knowledge The TORCH Crisis, Extremes, and Apocalypse network hosted a talk on 'Terminus or Renovation? Francis Bacon and Crisis in Early Modern Knowledge' with Dr Richard Serjeantson (University of Cambridge) Richard Serjeantson 10 May 2017
30 Ernst Kantorowicz on Methods and Postage Stamps The TORCH Crisis, Extremes, and Apocalypse network hosted a talk on ''Ernst Kantorowicz on Methods and Postage Stamps' given by Professor Robert Lerner (Northwestern) Robert Lerner 10 May 2017
31 The Rise of Endless War The TORCH Crisis, Extremes, and Apocalypse network hosted a talk on 'The Rise of Endless War' with Professor Samuel Moyn (Harvard University). samuel moyn 10 May 2017
32 Robespierre and the Politicians' Terror The TORCH Crisis, Extremes, and Apocalypse network hosted a talk on 'Robespierre and the Politicians’ Terror' with Marisa Linton (Kingston University). Marisa Linton 10 May 2017
33 Dystopia Today The TORCH Crisis, Extremes, and Apocalyse network have hosted an event on 'Dystopia Today' with Greg Claeys (Royal Holloway, University of London). Greg Claeys 10 May 2017
34 Germs Revisited On Thursday 16 March 2017, Dr Emilie Taylor-Brown gave a talk with Dr Jamie Lorimer (School of Geography and the Environment) and Dr Nicola Fawcett (Medical Sciences Division) on the subject of Germs Revisited. Emilie Taylor-Brown, Jamie Lorimer, Nicola Fawcett, Kirsten Shepherd-Barr 25 Apr 2017
35 Creative Commons Whither Death? Helen Swift and Jessica Goodman discuss the one day conference 'Whither Death?' Helen Swift, jessica Goodman 28 Mar 2017
36 Creative Commons Miles Hewstone - What Does Diversity Mean to Me? Opening event in TORCH Headline Series exploring 'Humanities & Identities' Miles Hewstone 28 Mar 2017
37 Creative Commons Maria Misra - What Does Diversity Mean to Me? Opening event in TORCH Headline Series exploring 'Humanities & Identities' Maria Misra 28 Mar 2017
38 Creative Commons Marvin Rees - What Does Diversity Mean to Me? Opening event in TORCH Headline Series exploring 'Humanities & Identities' Marvin Rees 28 Mar 2017
39 Creative Commons Deborah Cameron - What Does Diversity Mean to Me? Opening event in TORCH Headline Series exploring 'Humanities & Identities Deborah Cameron 28 Mar 2017
40 Creative Commons Ellah Wakatama Allfrey - What Does Diversity Mean to Me? Opening event in TORCH Headline Series exploring 'Humanities & Identities' Ellah Wakatama Allfrey 28 Mar 2017
41 Creative Commons Jay Stewart - What Does Diversity Mean to Me? Opening event in TORCH Headline Series exploring 'Humanities & Identities' Jay Stewart 28 Mar 2017
42 Politics and Public Space in Contemporary Argentine Poetry Book at Lunchtime event. Ben Bollig, Bart van Es, Leigh A Payne, Eduardo Posada-Carbo 21 Mar 2017
43 Exodus, Reckoning, Sacrifice: Three Meanings of Brexit Lecture with Kalypso Nicolaidis (St Antony’s College). Respondent: Anand Menon (King’s College London) Convenors: Timothy Garton Ash and Kalypso Nicolaidis (St Antony’s College). Kalypso Nicolaidis, Anand Menon, Timothy Garton Ash 03 Mar 2017
44 Walter Benjamin Meets the Cosmics Professor Richard Wolin (CUNY) delivers a talk on 'Walter Benjamin Meets the Cosmics' for the TORCH Crisis, Extremes, and Apocalypse network. Richard Wolin 28 Feb 2017
45 Language, Crisis, and Affect The TORCH Crisis, Extremes, and Apocalypse network hosted a talk ‘Language, crisis and affect: Muted emotions in Heinrich von Kleist’s Michael Kohlhaas’ with Dr Tobias Heinrich (University of Oxford). Tobias Heinrich 28 Feb 2017
46 Living Bilingual Professor Elleke Boehmer (Director of TORCH) delivers a talk as part of the Creative Multilingualism and TORCH Bitesize Talks at Linguamania, Ashmolean Museum. Elleke Boehmer 22 Feb 2017
47 Bilingualism and the Internet Scott Hale (Senior Data Scientist) delivers a talk as part of the Creative Multilingualism and TORCH Bitesize Talks at Linguamania, Ashmolean Museum. Scott Hale 22 Feb 2017
48 A Tristan Tile in the Ashmolean Henrike Lähnemann (Professor of Medieval German Literature) delivers a talk as part of the Creative Multilingualism and TORCH Bitesize Talks at Linguamania, Ashmolean Museum. Henrike Lähnemann 21 Feb 2017
49 Do Objects Speak? Wen-chin Ouyang (Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature at the School of Oriental and African Studies) delivers a talk as part of the Creative Multilingualism and TORCH Bitesize Talks at Lingumania. Wen-Chin Ouyang 21 Feb 2017
50 Musings from Cloud Cuckoo Land Dr Karen Park delivers a Creative Multilingualism and TORCH Bitesize talk as part of Linguamania Karen Park 21 Feb 2017
51 The Spirits of Crossbones Graveyard The book's author Sondra Hausner (Professor of Anthropology, University of Oxford) will explore the issues raised in her book. Sondra Hausner, Bridget Anderson, Diane Watt, Antonia Fitzpatrick 10 Feb 2017
52 Literature and the Public Good Part of the Book at Lunchtime series Rick Rylance, Jane Hiddleston, Timothy Michael, Ankhi Mukherjee 01 Feb 2017
53 #NeverHillary vs #NeverTrump The US Election on Social Media Panel Discussion Philip N Howard, Gemma Joyce, Matthew Lee Anderson, Yin Yin Lu 01 Feb 2017
54 Drawing the Line: Toward an Aesthetic of Transitional Justice This Postcolonial Writing and Theory Seminar is on 'Drawing the Line: Toward an Aesthetic of Transitional Justice' with speaker Carrol Clarkson (University of Amsterdam). Carrol Clarkson 06 Jan 2017
55 FRIGHT Friday - Stretched to Breaking Point Dan Holloway gives a talk for the FRIGHT Friday series of talks, held in the Ashmolean Museum on 25th November 2016. Dan Holloway 12 Dec 2016
56 FRIGHT Friday - Gothic Horror: Medicine and Monsters Dr Andrew Papanikitas gives a talk for the FRIGHT Friday series of talks, held in the Ashmolean Museum on 25th November 2016. Andrew Papanikitas 12 Dec 2016
57 FRIGHT Friday - Fear and Flesh: Gothic Medicine Dr Barry Murname gives a talk for the FRIGHT Friday series of talks, held in the Ashmolean Museum on 25th November 2016. Barry Murname 12 Dec 2016
58 FRIGHT Friday - Fear of Cats and Other Phobias Professor Sally Shuttleworth gives a talk for the FRIGHT Friday series of talks, held in the Ashmolean Museum on 25th November 2016. Sally Shuttleworth 12 Dec 2016
59 FRIGHT Friday - Parenting, Fear, Hope and Salvation Dr Joshua Hordern gives a talk for the FRIGHT Friday series of talks, held in the Ashmolean Museum on 25th November 2016. Joshua Hordern 12 Dec 2016
60 FRIGHT Friday - Embodying Life and Death Professor Cathy Morgan gives a talk for the FRIGHT Friday series of talks, held in the Ashmolean Museum on 25th November 2016. Cathy Morgan 12 Dec 2016
61 Martin Luther - Renegade and Prophet Part of the Book at Lunchtime series Lyndal Roper, Laura Marcus, Simeon Zahl, Jas Elsner 08 Nov 2016
62 Creative Commons Sharing Sacred Spaces in Early Modern Germany With David Lubeke (University of Oregon) David Lubeke 21 Oct 2016
63 What We Cannot Know Part of the TORCH Book at Lunchtime series Marcus du Sautoy, Anita Avramides, Chrystalina Antoniades, Ben Morgan 21 Oct 2016
64 The Prelude Part of the TORCH Book at Lunchtime series James Engell, Fiona Stafford, Emily Knight, Steven Matthews 21 Oct 2016
65 Interview with Neil MacGregor Neil MacGregor talks about the public engagement at the British Museum. Neil MacGregor 12 Oct 2016
66 The Fires of Faith The Babsybanoo, Machionness of Winchester Lecture with Neil MacGregor Neil MacGregor 07 Sep 2016
67 Digital Unwrapping: Homer, Herculaneum, and the Scroll from Ein Gedi With Dirk Obbink (Associate Professor in Papyrology and Greek Literature, Faculty of Classics, University of Oxford) Dirk Obbink 19 Aug 2016
68 Digital Unwrapping: Homer, Herculaneum, and the Scroll from Ein Gedi With Brent Seales (Professor of Computer Science, University of Kentucky) Brent Seales 19 Aug 2016
69 Digital Unwrapping: Homer, Herculaneum, and the Scroll from Ein Gedi With Brent Seales and Dirk Obbink Brent Seales, Dirk Obbink 19 Aug 2016
70 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
71 The Prospect of Global History How can global history can be applied instead of advocated? James Belich, Elleke Boehmer, Richard Drayton, Hannah-Louise Clark 27 Jul 2016
72 The Concept of 'Umma' in Early Islam Fred Donner (University of Chicago) addresses the nebulous, often misunderstood concept of 'umma' in early Islam Fred Donner 07 Jul 2016
73 The Role of Religion in Identity Julia Bray (University of Oxford) delivers a keynote lecture on the role of religion in identity Julia Bray 07 Jul 2016
74 Creative Commons Useful Frames and Dead Pasteboard Sarah Hook looks at Victorian photographic card portraits, and charts their appearances in novels and poems from the period. Sarah Hook 07 Jun 2016
75 Creative Commons David Garrick's Wigless Celebrity Ruth Scobie's bite-sized talk on a portrait of David Garrick by Johan Zoffany Ruth Scobie 07 Jun 2016
76 Creative Commons Chasing Butterflies: Capturing the Transience of Childhood Emily Knight talks at the Ashmolean Museum about eighteenth-century portraits of children. Emily Knight 07 Jun 2016
77 Creative Commons The Death Masks of Macbeth Professor Simon Palfrey discusses the deaths and afterlives of Oliver Cromwell and Macbeth Simon Palfrey 07 Jun 2016
78 Creative Commons Andy Warhol's Girls Eleri Watson explores Andy Warhol's relationships with women. Eleri Watson 07 Jun 2016
79 Creative Commons Messages through Ashmolean Portraits Vicky McGuinness's bite-sized talk at Ashmolean LiveFriday: Framed Victoria McGuinness 07 Jun 2016
80 Empire and Identity: Imperial Rule and Peoplehood across Time and Place A round table discussion of empire's role in identity formation across time and place. Miles Larmer, Elisabeth Bolorinos Allard, Bryan Ward-Perkins, Florian Schwarz 25 May 2016
81 How English Became English A Book at Lunchtime discussion looking at the English language and how it is developing with Simon Horobin, Faramerz Dabhoiwala, Martin Wynne, Philip Durkin and Susie Dent. Simon Horobin, Faramerz Dabhoiwala, Martin Wynne, Philip Durkin 06 May 2016
82 Rereading East Germany A Book at Lunchtime discussion tracing the cultural legacy of the GDR with Karen Leeder, Dennis Tate, Sara Jones, Marc Silberman and Tom Smith Karen Leeder, Dennis Tate, Sara Jones, Marc Silberman 05 May 2016
83 Thinking with Literature A Book at Lunchtime discussion with Terence Cave about literature's links to cognitive science. Terence Cave, Marina Warner, Ilona Roth, Deirdre Wilson 28 Apr 2016
84 Knowledge Exchange Highlights Highlights from the Knowledge Exchange Showcase, 26 November 2015. Joshua Hordern, Andrew Papanikitas, Barry Murnane, Laura Tunbridge 28 Apr 2016
85 Closing Reflections The closing reflections of speakers Professor Joshua Hordern and Stephen Bergman. Joshua Hordern, Professor Stephen Bergman 08 Mar 2016
86 Book at Lunchtime: Arcadia A Book at Lunchtime discussion of Iain Pears' interactive novel Arcadia Elleke Boehmer, Alex Butterworth, Emily Short, Iain Pears 07 Mar 2016
87 Creative Commons Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' Margaret Kean explores how Philip Pullman plays with the idea of communication across different media in his trilogy Margaret Kean 04 Mar 2016
88 Creative Commons Middle Earth and Tolkien's Digital Afterlives Stuart Lee traces how Tolkien's Middle-earth and especially 'The Lord of the Rings' have been reimagined through a range of digital technologies, from games to films Stuart Lee 04 Mar 2016
89 Creative Commons Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland Robert Douglas-Fairhurst explores how every generation has created its own Wonderland, and why we are still so curious about Alice’s dreamworld Robert Douglas-Fairhurst 04 Mar 2016
90 Creative Commons The Stories of Lewis Carroll, J.R.R. Tolkien and Philip Pullman Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, Stuart Lee and Margaret Kean explore the digital afterlives of these celebrated storytellers Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, Stuart Lee, Margaret Kean 04 Mar 2016
91 Are the Humanities More Digital than the Sciences? A panel discussion with Howard Hotson, Andrew Prescott, Dave De Roure and Heather Viles Howard Hotson, Andrew Prescott, Dave De Roure, Heather Viles 02 Mar 2016
92 The Future of the Professions In an era when machines can out-perform human beings at most tasks what are the prospects for employment? Richard Susskind, Daniel Susskind, Joshua Hordern, Vili Lehdonvirta 16 Feb 2016
93 Wharton in Wartime A roundtable discussion to mark the publication of Alice Kelly's critical edition of Edith Wharton's First World War reportage Fighting France: From Dunkerque to Belfort (Edinburgh University Press, 2015). Alice Kelly, Shafquat Towheed, Dame Hermione Lee, Elleke Boehmer 11 Feb 2016
94 Heroes and Villains in Game of Thrones Dr Carolyne Larrington gives a talk about Game of Thrones and the often complicated morality its characters have. Part of the Ashmolean Live Friday event on 29th January 2016. Carolyne Larrington 10 Feb 2016
95 Creative Commons Intravenous anaesthesia on Turner's High Street Dr Alessia Pannese explores a painted documentation of a relatively little known event in Oxford local history: the first intravenous anaesthesia during this TORCH Bite-Size talk at the Ashmolean Museum LiveFriday Alessia Pannese 09 Feb 2016
96 Creative Commons Valour, betrayal and desire: heroes and villains in Indian paintings Nisha Somasundaram explores both male and female heroes and demons in Indian epics in this TORCH Bite-Size talk at the Ashmolean Museum LiveFriday. Nisha Somasundaram 09 Feb 2016
97 Live and Let Die - in Greek Epic Almut Fries explores the iconography of the black-figured wine jug in this TORCH Bite-Size talk at the Ashmolean Museum LiveFriday Almut Fries 08 Feb 2016
98 The Alfred Jewel and Kingship Amy Faulkner explores how Alfred’s translations question what it means to be a good king in this TORCH Bite-Size talk at the Ashmolean Museum LiveFriday Amy Faulkner 08 Feb 2016
99 Great men and fallen heroes Jessica Goodman explores how the meaning of ‘hero’ shifted in France in the late eighteenth-century in this TORCH Bite-Size talk at the Ashmolean Museum LiveFriday. jessica Goodman 08 Feb 2016
100 Knowledge Machines How have digital technologies changed research practices in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities? Eric Meyer, Lucie Burgess, Kathryn Eccles, James Smithies 05 Feb 2016