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TORCH | The Oxford Research 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 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
2 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
3 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
4 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
5 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
6 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
7 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
8 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
9 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
10 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
11 Literature and the Public Good Part of the Book at Lunchtime series Rick Rylance, Jane Hiddleston, Timothy Michael, Ankhi Mukherjee 01 Feb 2017
12 #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
13 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
14 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
15 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
16 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
17 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
18 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
19 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
20 Martin Luther - Renegade and Prophet Part of the Book at Lunchtime series Lyndal Roper, Laura Marcus, Simeon Zahl, Jas Elsner 08 Nov 2016
21 Creative Commons Sharing Sacred Spaces in Early Modern Germany With David Lubeke (University of Oregon) David Lubeke 21 Oct 2016
22 What We Cannot Know Part of the TORCH Book at Lunchtime series Marcus du Sautoy, Anita Avramides, Chrystalina Antoniades, Ben Morgan 21 Oct 2016
23 The Prelude Part of the TORCH Book at Lunchtime series James Engell, Fiona Stafford, Emily Knight, Steven Matthews 21 Oct 2016
24 Interview with Neil MacGregor Neil MacGregor talks about the public engagement at the British Museum. Neil MacGregor 12 Oct 2016
25 The Fires of Faith The Babsybanoo, Machionness of Winchester Lecture with Neil MacGregor Neil MacGregor 07 Sep 2016
26 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
27 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
28 Digital Unwrapping: Homer, Herculaneum, and the Scroll from Ein Gedi With Brent Seales and Dirk Obbink Brent Seales, Dirk Obbink 19 Aug 2016
29 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
30 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
31 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
32 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
33 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
34 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
35 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
36 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
37 Creative Commons Andy Warhol's Girls Eleri Watson explores Andy Warhol's relationships with women. Eleri Watson 07 Jun 2016
38 Creative Commons Messages through Ashmolean Portraits Vicky McGuinness's bite-sized talk at Ashmolean LiveFriday: Framed Victoria McGuinness 07 Jun 2016
39 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
40 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
41 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
42 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
43 Knowledge Exchange Highlights Highlights from the Knowledge Exchange Showcase, 26 November 2015. Joshua Hordern, Andrew Papanikitas, Barry Murnane, Laura Tunbridge 28 Apr 2016
44 Closing Reflections The closing reflections of speakers Professor Joshua Hordern and Stephen Bergman. Joshua Hordern, Professor Stephen Bergman 08 Mar 2016
45 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
46 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
47 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
48 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
49 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
50 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
51 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
52 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
53 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
54 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
55 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
56 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
57 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
58 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
59 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
60 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
61 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
62 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
63 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
64 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
65 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
66 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
67 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
68 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
69 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
70 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
71 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
72 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
73 Iranian ‘Identities’ in Pre-Modern Times – Reality or Myth? Speaker: Bert Fragner (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna). Bert Fragner 18 Dec 2015
74 The Oxford Dodo: Culture at the Crossroads An interdisciplinary panel discussion exploring the life and legacy of the dodo multiple 07 Dec 2015
75 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
76 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
77 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
78 The Dodo and Creativity Author Jasper Fforde’s presentation at ‘The Oxford Dodo: Culture at the Crossroads’ Jasper Fforde 04 Dec 2015
79 The Dodo and Exploration Historian of Science Pietro Corsi’s presentation at ‘The Oxford Dodo: Culture at the Crossroads’ Pietro Corsi 04 Dec 2015
80 Heidegger and Phenomenology Dr Joshua Broggi speaks at the Oxford Phenomenology Network seminar. Joshua Broggi 03 Dec 2015
81 Interview with Dr Sophie Ratcliffe Practical Medical Humanities Dr Sophie Ratcliffe 30 Nov 2015
82 Interview with Dr Andrew Papanikitas The importance of Medical Humanities in good medical practice Dr Andrew Papanikitas 30 Nov 2015
83 Interview with Dr Emma Mckenzie-Edwards The use of Humanities in Medical Education Dr Emma Mckenzie-Edwards 30 Nov 2015
84 Interview with Dr Marion Lynch Medical Humanities and Narratives Dr Marion Lynch 30 Nov 2015
85 Interview with Professor Stephen Lammers Medical Humanities and Narratives Professor Stephen Lammers 30 Nov 2015
86 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
87 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
88 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
89 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
90 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
91 The Pragmatic Enlightenment and Other Enlightenments Dennis Rasmussen (Tufts University, Boston) discusses his book 'The Pragmatic Enlightenment' Dennis Rasmussen 14 Oct 2015
92 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
93 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
94 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
95 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
96 Callaloo Creative Writing Reading by Vievee Francis Vievee reads poetry from her collection 'Forest Primeval' Vievee Francis 24 Jul 2015
97 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
98 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
99 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
100 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