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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
101 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
102 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
103 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
104 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
105 Multiple Identities in a Frontier Land: Balkh and ‘The Iranians’ In this paper Dr. Arezou Azad focused on the region of Balkh in the north of modern-day Afghanistan, ancient Bactria Arezou Azad 02 Feb 2016
106 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
107 Ilya Afanasyev and Nicholas S. M. Matheou Introduction Opening remarks from Ilya Afanasyev and Nicholas S M Matheou Ilya Afanasyev, Nicholas S M Matheou 26 Jan 2016
108 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
109 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
110 Emma Smith on Forgetting in the Digital Age Emma Smith talks as part of the "What does it mean to be human in the digital age?" event Emma Smith 26 Jan 2016
111 Diane Lees on Museums and Heritage in the Digital Age Diane Lees talks as part of the "What does it mean to be human in the digital age?" event Diane Lees 26 Jan 2016
112 What Does it Mean to be Human in the Digital Age? A librarian, literary scholar, museum director and digital commentator explore how the digital age has shaped, and will continue to shape, the human experience and the humanities Lynne Brindley, Tom Chatfield, Chris Fletcher, Diane Lees 22 Jan 2016
113 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
114 Framing the Past through Suffering and Victimhood – Kurdish Discourses of Identity Christine Allison gives a talk as part of The Long History of Identity, Ethnicity, and Nationhood workshop Christine Allison 05 Jan 2016
115 Making Sense of Kurdish Identity During the Middle Ages: Political Factors and Cultural Crossroad Boris James gives a talk as part of the The Long History of Identity, Ethnicity, and Nationhood workshop Boris James 04 Jan 2016
116 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
117 Constructions of Armenian Identity in the Early Medieval Period Tim Greenwood gives a talk as part of the The Long History of Identity, Ethnicity, and Nationhood workshop Tim Greenwood 04 Jan 2016
118 Iranian ‘Identities’ in Pre-Modern Times – Reality or Myth? Speaker: Bert Fragner (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna). Bert Fragner 18 Dec 2015
119 The Oxford Dodo: Culture at the Crossroads An interdisciplinary panel discussion exploring the life and legacy of the dodo multiple 07 Dec 2015
120 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
121 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
122 The Dodo, Animal Icons and De-Extinction Environmental researcher Paul Jepson’s presentation at ‘The Oxford Dodo: Culture at the Crossroads’ Paul Jepson 07 Dec 2015
123 The Dodo and Creativity Author Jasper Fforde’s presentation at ‘The Oxford Dodo: Culture at the Crossroads’ Jasper Fforde 04 Dec 2015
124 The Dodo and Exploration Historian of Science Pietro Corsi’s presentation at ‘The Oxford Dodo: Culture at the Crossroads’ Pietro Corsi 04 Dec 2015
125 Heidegger and Phenomenology Dr Joshua Broggi speaks at the Oxford Phenomenology Network seminar. Joshua Broggi 03 Dec 2015
126 Interview with Dr Sophie Ratcliffe Practical Medical Humanities Dr Sophie Ratcliffe 30 Nov 2015
127 Interview with Dr Andrew Papanikitas The importance of Medical Humanities in good medical practice Dr Andrew Papanikitas 30 Nov 2015
128 Interview with Dr Emma Mckenzie-Edwards The use of Humanities in Medical Education Dr Emma Mckenzie-Edwards 30 Nov 2015
129 Interview with Dr Marion Lynch Medical Humanities and Narratives Dr Marion Lynch 30 Nov 2015
130 Interview with Professor Stephen Lammers Medical Humanities and Narratives Professor Stephen Lammers 30 Nov 2015
131 Indian Arrivals, 1870-1915: Networks of British Empire Elleke Boehmer discusses her new book with Megan Robb, Faisal Devji and Santanu Das Elleke Boehmer, Faisal Devji, Megan Robb, Santanu Das 23 Nov 2015
132 Comparative Encounters between Artaud, Michaux and the Zhuangzi Part of "Book at Lunchtime", a fortnightly series of bite size book discussions, with commentators from a range of disciplines. Xiaofan Amy Li discusses her new book "Comparative Encounters Between Artaud, Michaux and the Zhuangzi." Xiofan Amy Li, Elleke Boehmer, Wang Xing, Matthew Reynolds 20 Nov 2015
133 The Lord of the Rings: Tolkien's Legacy 60 years since the publication of the series' final volume, a distinguished panel explore Tolkien's literary legacy Elleke Boehmer, Stuart Lee, Patrick Curry, Dimitra Fimi 09 Nov 2015
134 The Silk Roads: A New History of the World Peter Frankopan discusses his new book with Averil Cameron, Robert Moore and Elleke Boehmer Peter Frankopan, Averil Cameron, Robert Moore, Elleke Boehmer 27 Oct 2015
135 Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life Jonathan Bate, Anne Farrar Donovan, Seamus Perry and Oliver Taplin discuss life-writing, poetry and the poet Jonathan Bate, Seamus Perry, Oliver Taplin, Anne Farrar Donovan 20 Oct 2015
136 The Pragmatic Enlightenment and Other Enlightenments Dennis Rasmussen (Tufts University, Boston) discusses his book 'The Pragmatic Enlightenment' Dennis Rasmussen 14 Oct 2015
137 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
138 Periodic Tales Author Hugh Aldersey-Williams, historian of science Jo Hedesan and chemist Peter Battle discuss the ways in which the elements continue to inspire us today Hugh Aldersey-Williams, Jo Hedesan, Peter Battle 13 Oct 2015
139 Interview with Michael Docherty We catch up with Cancer Research UK's Director of Digital on fundraising in the digital age. Michael Docherty 03 Aug 2015
140 Fundraising through Digital Michael Docherty (Cancer Research UK) on how clicktivists, slacktivists and hacktivists are helping us beat cancer sooner. Michael Docherty 03 Aug 2015
141 Callaloo Creative Writing Reading by Vievee Francis Vievee reads poetry from her collection 'Forest Primeval' Vievee Francis 24 Jul 2015
142 Callaloo Creative Writing Reading by Maaza Mengiste Maaza reads from her novel dealing with the Italian invasion of Ethiopia during the early days of the Second World War Maaza Mengiste 24 Jul 2015
143 Callaloo Literary Lecture and Reading by Fred d'Aguiar Fred reads fiction and poems about his childhood in Guyana, remembering his father, and slavery Fred d'Aguair 24 Jul 2015
144 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 with response from Kate Kirkpatrick and Johannes Depnering. Amy Hollywood, Kate Kirkpatrick, Johannes Depnering 18 Jun 2015
145 Henry Adams, Henry James, and Minnie Temple: The Pursuit of the Real at the Turn of the 20th Century A lecture by Amy Hollywood. Amy Hollywood 18 Jun 2015
146 The Real, the True, and Critique: Mysticism in the Study of Religion A lecture by Amy Hollywood with response from Vincent Gillespie and Joana Serrado. Amy Hollywood, Vincent Gillespie, Joana Serrado, Kate Kilpatrick 18 Jun 2015
147 Phenomenology and Health A highlights video from the one-day conference Andrew Papanikitas, Anna Kirkengen 15 Jun 2015
148 Suffering History: Phenomenology at the Intersection of Disease and Illness A presentation by Austin Argentieri. Austin Argentieri 10 Jun 2015
149 Leviathan and the Air Pump: Highlights Historians of Science David Wootton and Michael Hunter review the controversial book 50 years on Ritchie Robertson, David Wootton, Michael Hunter 28 May 2015
150 Rubble Flora: Volker Braun Poetry Reading The German poet gives a special reading of old and new work and answers questions with David Constantine and Karen Leeder. Volker Braun, David Constantine, Karen Leeder 20 May 2015
151 Theatre and Evolution from Ibsen to Beckett An interdisciplinary discussion of Kirsten Shepherd-Barr's book Kirsten Shepherd-Barr, Michael Billington, Morten Kringlebach, Laura Marcus 20 May 2015
152 Aristotle on Perceiving Objects A discussion of Anna Marmodoro's book Anna Marmodoro, Ophelia Deroy, Richard Sorabji, Rowland Stout 14 May 2015
153 Light in Germany: Scenes from an Unknown Enlightenment A discussion of Jim Reed's book Jim Reed, Joachim Whaley, Kevin Hilliard, Ritchie Robertson 12 May 2015
154 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
155 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
156 That Other Place: Art and Alzheimer's A short video about a recent exhibition of photography and film Helen Statham, Victoria McGuinness, Nicola Onions 28 Apr 2015
157 Humanities and Science: Representing Science An interdisciplinary discussion exploring the many possible approaches to representing science through the arts, as well as potential challenges Kirsten Shepherd-Barr, Heidi Johansen-Berg, Jason Gaiger, Annie Cattrell 17 Mar 2015
158 The Perfect Theory: A Century of Geniuses and the Battle over General Relativity A discussion exploring Pedro Ferreira's book Pedro Ferreira, Harvey Brown, Alex Butterworth, Javier Lezaun 16 Mar 2015
159 Humanities and Science: Culture and Technology An interdisciplinary discussion exploring culture’s interaction with technology Maria Blanco, Fritz Vollrath, Andrew Wilson, Lionel Tarassenko 16 Mar 2015
160 Observing by Hand: Sketching the Nebulae in the Nineteenth Century A discussion of Omar Nasim's book Omar Nasim, Stephen Johnston, Martin Kemp, Chris Lintott 16 Mar 2015
161 Oxford University International Women's Day 2015 Feminists, acadeamics and journalists reflect on feminism's achievements and future path. Selina Todd, Senia Paseta, Melissa Benn, Trudy Coe 16 Mar 2015
162 Wayne McGregor: 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). Wayne McGregor, Phil Barnard, Eckhard Thiemann 16 Mar 2015
163 Faith and Wisdom in Science A Book at Lunchtime discussion with Tom McLeish, Sally Shuttleworth, John Christie and Ard A. Louis Tom McLeish, Sally Shuttleworth, John Christie, Ard Louis 19 Feb 2015
164 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
165 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
166 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
167 Unconscious Memory and Mental Space Professor Michael Burke and Dr Sebastian Groes Michael Burke, Sebastian Groes, Ben Morgan 26 Jan 2015
168 Exploring the Two Cultures Professor Larry Squire and Dr Simon Kemp Larry Squire, Simon Kemp 26 Jan 2015
169 Narrative & Proof: Two Sides of the Same Equation One of the UK's leading scientists, Marcus du Sautoy, argues that mathematical proofs are not just number-based, but also a form of narrative. Marcus du Sautoy, Roger Penrose, Laura Marcus, Ben Okri 22 Jan 2015
170 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
171 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
172 Irish Nationalist Women, 1900-1918 An interdisciplinary panel of scholars discuss Dr Senia Paseta's book Senia Paseta, Tara Stubbs, Desmond King, Roy Foster 03 Dec 2014
173 Creative Commons Senia Paseta on Irish Nationalist Women Dr Paseta explores women's history and the nationalist narrative in Ireland. Senia Paseta 01 Dec 2014
174 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
175 The Jagiellonians Dr Natalia Nowakowska introduces a new research project which examines the Renaissance Europe Jagiellonian dynasty as an international political phenomenon. Natalia Nowakowska 12 Sep 2014
176 Museums in the digital age: development or conflict? Interview with Martin Roth – Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Martin Roth 30 Jul 2014
177 Medieval Storytelling An AHRC funded workshop for Early Career researchers Hannah Ryley, Gareth Evans, Jenny Moon, Daniel Morden 17 Apr 2014
178 Dance Circles An interdisciplinary discussion of Dr Hélène Neveu Kringelbach's book. Helene Neveu Kringlebach 09 Apr 2014
179 Interview with Hélène Neveu Kringelbach The author discusses her recent book on dance in urban Senegal. Helene Neveu Kringlebach 09 Apr 2014
180 Interview with Emily Troscianko Discussion of Kafka's Cognitive Realism Emily Troscianko 26 Mar 2014
181 Kafka's Cognitive Realism An interdisciplinary discussion of Dr Emily Troscianko's book Emily Troscianko, Sue Blackmore, Ritchie Robertson, James Carney 26 Mar 2014
182 Activist Humanities in a Global Context Ahadf Soueif, Paul Smith and Robin Kelley discuss how the humanities can solve global challenges Ahdaf Soueif, Paul Smith, Robin Kelley 19 Mar 2014
183 What Have the Humanities to Teach the Modern University? Part of the Humanities and the Public Good series Teresa Morgan, Stephen Whitefield, David Ford, Jonathan Phillips 19 Mar 2014
184 Science and the Humanities Are the Humanities and the Sciences fundamentally different? Or do they share roots, values, aspirations and a common, contemporary predicament? Howard Hotson, Ian Walmsley, Mark Pagel, Sally Shuttleworth 04 Mar 2014
185 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
186 Creative Commons African Knowledge and Livestock Health Book at Lunchtime interview with Karen Brown and William Beinart about their book “African Knowledge and Livestock Health” Karen Brown, William Beinart 13 Feb 2014
187 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
188 Fascism, Fake News, and the Nature of Social Extremophilia With Luciano Floridi (University of Oxford). Luciano Floridi 18 Jul 2017
189 Creative Commons In Everyone's Interests Panel discussion on what it means to invest in the humanities Andrew Hamilton, Earl Lewis, Hermione Lee, Charlotte Higgins 04 Feb 2014
190 Complexity in our multiple identities: the 2017 Disability Lecture University of Oxford Annual Disability Lecture Dan Holloway, Torø Graven, Rebecca Surender, Marie Tidball 10 Jul 2017
191 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
192 Migration, Memory and Identity Part of the Humanities & Identities Lunchtime Seminar Series Laura van Broekhoven, Elleke Boehmer, Karma Nabulsi, Gayle Lonergan 07 Jul 2017
193 Creative Commons TORCH Book Series: ‘Thomas Wyatt - The Heart’s Forest’ by Susan Brigden David Starkey, Chris Stamatakis and Diarmaid MacCulloch discuss ‘Thomas Wyatt - The Heart’s Forest’ by Susan Brigden as part of the TORCH Book Series David Starkey, Chris Stamatakis, Diarmaid MacCulloch, Susan Brigden 12 Dec 2013
194 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
195 The Trans-Atlantic, the Diaspora, and Africa Ngugi wa Thiong’o delivers the opening keynote lecture of the Calloloo conference Ngugi wa Thiong’o 05 Dec 2013
196 Music, Empathy and Cultural Understanding In this TORCH Talk, Professor Eric Clarke talks about 'Music, Empathy and Cultural Understanding' at the Ashmolean Museum's Supersonic LiveFriday. Eric Clarke 04 Jul 2017
197 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
198 Orchestral Musicians' Experiences: Inside Out In this TORCH Talk, Dr Cayenna Ponchione-Bailey presents on 'Orchestral Musicians' Experiences: Inside Out' at the Ashmolean Museum's Supersonic LiveFriday. Cayenna Ponchione-Bailey 04 Jul 2017
199 Creative Commons TORCH Launch The highlights of the launch event for The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH). Jonathan Bate, Clare Copeland, Andrew Hamilton, Marcus du Sautoy 29 May 2013
200 Images of Mithra Book at Lunchtime discussion Dominic Dalglish, Josephine Quinn, Elleke Boehmer, Robert Bracey 03 Jul 2017