Over 4000 free audio and video lectures, seminars and teaching resources from Oxford University.
Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

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
101 The Meaning of Carpe Diem How "seize the day" does not get CLOSE to capturing the power of the poet Horace's words Llewelyn Morgan 17 Dec 2019
102 Humanities and Science: Randomness and Order An interdisciplinary discussion exploring the role of randomness and order in physics, probability, history and music. Ian Walmsley, Jonathan Cross, Alison Etheridge, Chris Wickham 18 Feb 2015
103 Supping and Sacrificing in Pompeii's Gardens The archaeological evidence of garden dining spaces in Pompeii’s houses, restaurants, and tombs reveals complexities of both Roman dining practices and the meaning of the Roman garden Janet Dunkelbarger 17 Dec 2019
104 Leviathan and the Air Pump: Thirty Years On The historian of science David Wootton reviews the controversial dispute between Robert Boyle and Thomas Hobbes, followed by a reply from Boyle's biographer Michael Hunter Ritchie Robertson, David Wootton, Michael Hunter 12 May 2015
105 Gorgons, gods and gladiators: how to decorate a Pompeian wall This interactive talk explores the myths, legends and scenes of daily life that Romans painted and scratched onto the walls of their houses. Alison Pollard 17 Dec 2019
106 The Stressed Sex: Uncovering the Truth About Men, Women, and Mental Health An interdisciplinary panel of scholars discuss Daniel Freeman's book Daniel Freeman, Elaine Fox, Avner Offer, Janet Radcliffe Richards 09 Feb 2015
107 Last Supper in Pompeii: An introduction to the Pompeii Exhibition Exploring the narrative of the show through a selection of highlighted objects Ilaria Perzia 17 Dec 2019
108 Charles-de-Gaulle – The castle of Ferrières, an emblematic house Pauline Prevost-Marcilhacy (Université gives a talk for the JCH conference's fifth session; Building New. Pauline Prevost-Marcilhacy 23 May 2018
109 Book at Lunchtime: Celebrity Culture and the Myth of Oceania An intriguing case study on how popular images of Oceania, mediated through a developing culture of celebrity, contributed to the formation of British identity both domestically and as a nascent imperial power in the eighteenth century. Ruth Scobie, Wes Williams, Ros Ballaster, Anna Senkiw 10 Dec 2019
110 Disraeli at Hughenden - A Fish out of Water? Todd Endelman (University of Michigan) gives a talk for the JCH conference's third session; The Political World of the Jewish Country House. Todd Endelman 23 May 2018
111 The Million-Dollar Maths Equations Discover the Navier-Stokes Equations, which not only model the movement of every fluid on Earth, they also have a $1-million prize for a correct solution. Tom Crawford 10 Dec 2019
112 Property and Jewish Self-Fashioning in Provincial Austria Lisa Silverman (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) gives a talk for the JCH conference's first conference The Lure of the Land. Lisa Silverman 23 May 2018
113 Unveiling the secrets and mysteries of French novels (1789-1820) Dr Fanny Lacote will lift the veil on the secrets and mysteries contained within the unknown French literary production published during a turbulent period in History. Fanny Lacote 10 Dec 2019
114 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
115 Cuneiform Discoveries from Ancient Babylon In ancient Iraq, scribes used cuneiform (wedge-shaped) script to write hundreds of thousands of texts in the Sumerian and Akkadian languages on clay tablets. Frances Reynolds 10 Dec 2019
116 A History of Algeria James McDougall presents an expansive new account of the modern history of Africa's largest country James McDougal, Eugene Rogan, Laleh Khalili, Robert Gildea 25 Jan 2018
117 Discovering Music Many people love classical music heard on the radio or in concert. But they know less about the manuscripts that performers use, and that show us how the composer created their music. Jo Bullivant 10 Dec 2019
118 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
119 The World in a Box: Cabinets of Curiosity Professor Das tells the story of the age when Britain first learnt how to collect, and of how that obsession with discovering secrets and collecting curiosities transformed the way we see the world and our place within it. Nandini Das 10 Dec 2019
120 Unflattening With Nick Sousanis Nick Sousanis, Dominic Davies, Segolene Tarte 05 Sep 2017
121 Images of Mithra Book at Lunchtime discussion Dominic Dalglish, Josephine Quinn, Elleke Boehmer, Robert Bracey 03 Jul 2017
122 Discovering Daily life in ancient Southern Babylonia In this talk Professor Jacob Dahl will narrate a day in the life of an ordinary Babylonian person, not a king or a scribe, but a labourer working the fields of southern Babylonia. Jacob Dahl 10 Dec 2019
123 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
124 The Oxford Dodo: Culture at the Crossroads An interdisciplinary panel discussion exploring the life and legacy of the dodo multiple 07 Dec 2015
125 Secrets from Missing Manuscripts Oxford’s libraries house many beautiful books copied by hand before the arrival of print. What, though, about the many more books from the past which have not survived? Daniel Sawyer 10 Dec 2019
126 Progress, Providence, Eschaton: Löwith, Blumenberg, and After Speaker: Jean-Claude Monond (ENS) Jean-Claude Monond 19 Jun 2017
127 Creative Commons Deborah Cameron - What Does Diversity Mean to Me? Opening event in TORCH Headline Series exploring 'Humanities & Identities Deborah Cameron 28 Mar 2017
128 AI and Creativity How does AI interact with creativity? Watch this fascinating panel discussion with mathematician Marcus du Sautoy, composer Emily Howard and Sarah Ellis, the RSC's Director of Digital Development. Marcus du Sautoy, Emily Howard, Sarah Ellis, Rana Mitter 27 Nov 2019
129 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
130 Humanities and Science: Mental Health An interdisciplinary discussion exploring the role of the humanities in mental health. Edward Harcourt, John Geddes, Matthew Broome, Emily Troscianko 09 Feb 2015
131 Chineke! Championing Change and Celebrating Diversity in Classical Music Chineke! Founder Chi Chi Nwanoku OBE talks about her orchestra of majority BME musicians. Chi Chi Nwanoku OBE, Cayenna Ponchione-Bailey 20 Nov 2019
132 Philip Sassoon: perfectionism and the English country house Jane Stevenson (University of Oxford) gives a talk for the JCH conference's fifth panel; Building New. Jane Stevenson 23 May 2018
133 On Real and Imagined Catastrophes: Gershom Scholem's Sabbatinism Speaker: Amir Engel (Hebrew University) Amir Engel 19 Jun 2017
134 Book at Lunchtime: India, Empire and First World War Culture TORCH Book at Lunchtime event on India, Empire and First World War Culture by Professor Santanu Das. Held on 20th November 2019. Santanu Das, Yasmin Khan, Laura Marcus, Jay Winter 20 Nov 2019
135 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
136 The Dodo in the Museum Director of the Museum of Natural History, Paul Smith, gives a presentation at ‘The Oxford Dodo: Culture at the Crossroads’ Paul Smith 07 Dec 2015
137 On Violence, Gender, and Sacrifice: Old Stories and New Reflections Part of the Sacrifice Revisited event Kimberley Hutchings 22 May 2017
138 Martin Luther - Renegade and Prophet Part of the Book at Lunchtime series Lyndal Roper, Laura Marcus, Simeon Zahl, Jas Elsner 08 Nov 2016
139 Ethnicity and Politics in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire: The Kurdish Case Dr. Djene Bajalan talks as part of the Language and Community from the Armenian to Iranian Plateaux series Djene Bajalan 26 Jan 2016
140 Crossing Boundaries: Medievalists in Cross-Disciplinary Conversation Launch event for the TORCH programme Oxford Medieval Studies Emma Dillon, Henrike Lähnemann, David Wallace, Chris Wickham 13 Jan 2016
141 Unconscious Memory and Mental Space Professor Michael Burke and Dr Sebastian Groes Michael Burke, Sebastian Groes, Ben Morgan 26 Jan 2015
142 Creative Commons In Everyone's Interests - the highlights Panel discussion on what it means to invest in the humanities Andrew Hamilton, Earl Lewis, Hermione Lee, Charlotte Higgins 04 Feb 2014
143 What made a Jewish country home Jewish? Leora Auslander (University of Chicago) gives the keynote talk for the JCH conference. Leora Auslander 23 May 2018
144 Schloss Freienwalde: a Jewish restoration of a Prussian legacy Martin Sabrow (ZZF Potsdam/ Humboldt University) gives a talk for the JCH conference's third session; The Political World of the Jewish Country House. Martin Sabrow 23 May 2018
145 Aristotle on Perceiving Objects A discussion of Anna Marmodoro's book Anna Marmodoro, Ophelia Deroy, Richard Sorabji, Rowland Stout 14 May 2015
146 Imagining the Divine: Art and the Rise of World Religions Mary Beard and Neil MacGregor in conversation undefined 24 Jan 2018
147 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
148 Chris Fletcher on Libraries in the Digital Age Chris Fletcher talks as part of the "What does it mean to be human in the digital age?" event Chris Fletcher 26 Jan 2016
149 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
150 How the Mouse Lost its Tail, Or, Lamarck's Dangerous Idea Speaker: Jessica Riskin (University of Stanford) Jessica Riskin 19 Jun 2017
151 Alison Light on 'Common People' The author discusses her new book, exploring the interplay between fiction and history, the redefinition of the common, and family history Alison Light 08 Dec 2014
152 Gunnersbury Park, 1835-1925: a Rothschild Family Villa Diana Davis gives a talk for the JCH conference's second panel, Villas and Chateaux. Diana Davis 23 May 2018
153 #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
154 Interview with Dr Sophie Ratcliffe Practical Medical Humanities Dr Sophie Ratcliffe 30 Nov 2015
155 Ethnicised Religion and Sacralised Ethnicity in the Past and the Present An expert panel discusses the phenomenon of ethnicisation of religious identifications focussing especially on the nexus of religious, ethnic and national identifications in colonial, anti-colonial and postcolonial settings from Ireland to South Asia. Elisabeth Bolorinos Allard, Faisal Devji, Peter Leary, Ilya Afanasyev 22 Feb 2018
156 Creative Commons Jay Stewart - What Does Diversity Mean to Me? Opening event in TORCH Headline Series exploring 'Humanities & Identities' Jay Stewart 28 Mar 2017
157 Factors Affecting Iranian Identities from the Early Islamic Era to the Sixteenth Century Ahmad Ashraf gives a talk as part of the The Long History of Identity, Ethnicity, and Nationhood workshop Ahmad Ashra 04 Jan 2016
158 Jok Madut Jok - What is a decolonial curriculum? Jok Madut Jok, TORCH / Mellon Global South Visiting Professor, University of Oxford, gives a talk for the workshop, What is a Decolonial Curriculum? Held at TORCH on 28th November 2018. Jok Madut Jok 15 Feb 2019
159 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
160 Creative Commons Andy Warhol's Girls Eleri Watson explores Andy Warhol's relationships with women. Eleri Watson 07 Jun 2016
161 Repositioning Women's Health Care: A Case Study on Women Who Survived Ebola in Sierra Leone Part of the Humanities & Identities Lunchtime Series Elleke Boehmer, Fatou Wurie 27 Jun 2017
162 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
163 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
164 Surrealism’s Political-Theological Afterlife: Benjamin—Blumenberg—Taubes Speaker: Julia Ng (Goldsmith's) Julia Ng 19 Jun 2017
165 The Dodo in Literature Literary scholar Kirsten Shepherd-Barr’s presentation at ‘The Oxford Dodo: Culture at the Crossroads’ Kirsten Shepherd-Barr 07 Dec 2015
166 Creative Commons Are the humanities worth investing in? Knowledge Exchange Fellow Oliver Cox (@OliverJWCox) from The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) asked members of the public, students and academics in Oxford whether humanities subjects are worth investing in. Oliver Cox 16 Jan 2014
167 Postcolonial Poetics: A Book at Lunchtime A Book at Lunchtime seminar with Elleke Boehmer, author of Postcolonial Poetics, joined by Dr Malachi McIntosh, Professor Ben Morgan, Professor Richard Drayton and Professor Robert Young (chair). Elleke Boehmer, Malachi McIntosh, Ben Morgan, Richard Drayton 14 Feb 2019
168 Creative Commons Whither Death? Helen Swift and Jessica Goodman discuss the one day conference 'Whither Death?' Helen Swift, jessica Goodman 28 Mar 2017
169 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
170 Disability Narratives and Histories Launch event for the TORCH Disability and Curriculum Diversity series. Marie Tidball, Helen Hillman, Richard Sandell, Elleke Boehmer 04 Jul 2017
171 Wildlife in the Anthropocene: Conservation after Nature An interdisciplinary discussion of Jamie Lorimer's book Jamie Lorimer, William Beinart, Daniel Grimley, Nikolaj Lübecker 06 May 2015
172 Interview with Emily Troscianko Discussion of Kafka's Cognitive Realism Emily Troscianko 26 Mar 2014
173 Reading Beyond the Code A Book at Lunchtime Seminar with Terrence Cave, Deirdre Wilson, Ben Morgan (Worcester College, Oxford), Professor Robyn Carston (Linguistics, UCL). Chaired by Professor Philip Bullock (TORCH Director). Terrence Cave, Deirdre Wilson, Ben Morgan, Robyn Carston 14 Dec 2018
174 Rescue in the Face of Danger: Benjamin, Goethe, Sebald Speaker: Carolin Duttlinger (University of Oxford) Carolin Duttlinger 19 Jun 2017
175 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
176 Interview with Dr Andrew Papanikitas The importance of Medical Humanities in good medical practice Dr Andrew Papanikitas 30 Nov 2015
177 Common People: The History of an English Family An interdisciplinary panel of scholars discuss Alison Light's book Alison Light, Lyndal Roper, Laura Marcus, Selina Todd 11 Dec 2014
178 Where's the Virtue in the Humanities? How can the Liberal Humanities own up to – and promote – its public service as a matrix of civic virtue? Nigel Biggar, Donald Drakeman, Steven Biel, Jonathan Bate 04 Mar 2014
179 Creative Commons Humanities Graduates and the British Economy Humanities Graduates and the British Economy. Shearer West, Sir Adam Roberts, Philip Kreager, Stephen Tuck 01 Aug 2013
180 What is the Modern? Temporality, Aesthetics, and Global Melancholy This talk from TORCH Global South Visiting Professor Supriya Chaudhuri will interrogate the temporality of the modern, the aesthetics of the modern, and as a somewhat cryptic afterthought, the mood of the modern, here categorized as melancholy. Supriya Chaudhuri 09 Apr 2019
181 Creative Commons Lost in Print? Linton Kwesi Johnson and the Reggae Music Archive Louisa Layne investigates the reggae music archive, exploring music and poetry through Linton Kwesi Johnson’s dub club. Louisa Layne 13 Jun 2018
182 The Monk, the Memorist, the Mushroom and the MRI Discover how we create and store ideas, and how modern neuroscience process 16th century theories on memory. Dan Holloway 13 Jun 2018
183 A Celebration of the Centenary of the Birth of Olive Gibbs 100 years since the Representation of the People Act, the act which gave women the vote. Susanna Pressel, Liz Woolley, Bruce Kent, Simon Gibbs 26 Feb 2018
184 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
185 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
186 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
187 The Cult of Saints Dr Bryan Ward-Perkins introduces a new research project which examines the origins and development of the cult of Christian saints. Bryan Ward-Perkins 12 Sep 2014
188 How does a curriculum introduce and structure alternate worldviews and knowledges? Blue Weiss and Mia Liyanage, Common Ground Oxford, give a talk for the workshop, What is a Decolonial Curriculum? Held at TORCH on 28th November 2019. Blue Weiss, Mia Liyanage 19 Feb 2019
189 The Heterarchical Director - A Model of Authorship for the Twenty-First Century The keynote talk for 'Collaboration in Theatre symposium' at the University of Oxford, 19 October 2018. Duška Radosavljević 18 Dec 2018
190 Autonomy, Community, Destiny: Re-Imagining Disability The second seminar in the Disability and Curriculum Diversity series at TORCH Elizabeth Frood, Dom Hyams, Marie Tidball 07 Dec 2017
191 Hidden Beneath the Surface: Untold Tales of Neurodivergence and Mental Difference in Oxford World Mental Health Day 2017 Dan Holloway, Miranda Reilly, Sonia Boue, Marie Tidball 18 Oct 2017
192 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
193 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
194 Tom Chatfield on Humans and Machines in the Digital Age Tom Chatfield talks as part of the "What does it mean to be human in the digital age?" event Tom Chatfield 26 Jan 2016
195 Too Valuable to Die? Silke Ackermann, Nigel Biggar and Liz Bruton debate the ethics of science and scientists going to war Silke Ackermann, Nigel Biggar, Liz Bruton 14 Oct 2015
196 Sommerfrische, Connoisseurship, Scandal and the Temporary in the Jewish Country House in Austria: Baron Nathaniel Rothschild’s castle in Reichenau and Dr. Josef Kranz’ Villa Raach Mimi Schmidt (Jindal Global University) gives a talk for the JCH conference's second session; Villas and Chateaux. Mimi Schmidt 23 May 2018
197 James Joyce and the Phenomenology of Film Book at Lunchtime, James Joyce and the Phenomenology of Film Katherine Morris, Ulrika Maude, Jeri Johnson, Cleo Hanaway-Oakley 16 Feb 2018
198 Consequentialist Extremism: Present Sacrifices for Future Dreams in the Justification of Violence Part of the Sacrifice Revisited event Jonathan Leader Maynard 22 May 2017
199 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
200 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