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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 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
102 TORCH (en)coding Heritage Network Digital Launch - Exploring Ancient Rome through Immersive Technologies This digital event explores how 3D-modelling technologies and virtual reality can open new understandings of the past. Lia Costiner, Richard Smith, Matthew Nichols 10 Jun 2020
103 Peter D Mcdonald - What is a decolonial curriculum? Peter D Mcdonald, Professor of English and Related Literature, University of Oxford gives a talk for the workshop, What is a Decolonial Curriculum? Held at TORCH on 28th November 2018. Peter D McDonald 15 Feb 2019
104 Creative Commons Welcome to Teddie Cast, the podcast of the Oxford Critical Theory Network (TORCH) In our very first episode, our host and network convenor Lillian Hingley (DPhil English, Oxford) reflects upon her thoughts in lockdown. Lillian Hingley 19 May 2020
105 The Pragmatic Enlightenment and Other Enlightenments Dennis Rasmussen (Tufts University, Boston) discusses his book 'The Pragmatic Enlightenment' Dennis Rasmussen 14 Oct 2015
106 Out of Silence 1: William Shakespeare From the Silence Hub Network. Professor Alexandra Harris discusses Shakespeare's sonnet 23, communication in lockdown, body language and masks with Professor Kate McLoughlin. Alexandra Harris, Kate McLoughlin 24 Apr 2020
107 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
108 Out of Silence 2: Virginia Woolf From the Silence Hub. Professors Alexandra Harris and Kate McLoughlin discuss Virginia Woolf's Between the Acts, how the lockdown makes us feel self-conscious and what it feels like to live in momentous historical times. Alexandra Harris, Kate McLoughlin 23 Apr 2020
109 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
110 Out of Silence 3: DH Lawrence From the Silence Hub Network. Professors Alexandra Harris and Kate McLoughlin read D. H. Lawrence's poem 'Silence' and discuss the beauty and terror of silence, sex and death wishes. Alexandra Harris, Kate McLoughlin 23 Apr 2020
111 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
112 Out of Silence 4: William Cowper From the Network. Silence HubProfessors Alexandra Harris and Kate McLoughlin read lines from The Task by the eighteenth-century poet William Cowper and discuss the value of staying at home and not doing very much. Alexandra Harris, Kate McLoughlin 23 Apr 2020
113 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
114 Imitating Authors Book at Lunchtime: Imitating Authors Colin Burrow, Wes Williams, Kathryn Murphy, Stephen Halliwell 24 Feb 2020
115 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
116 Humanities Light Night - Oxford Research Unwrapped! Full projection video Full projection video as part of national Being Human Festival, a huge video projection onto the 3-storey Radcliffe humanities building, premiering SOURCE: CODE. The Projection Studio 11 Feb 2020
117 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
118 Revolution Rekindled: The Writers and Readers of Late Soviet Biography Book at Lunchtime: Revolution Rekindled: The Writers and Readers of Late Soviet Biography Polly Jones, Katherine Lebow, Ann Jefferson, Stephen Lovell 07 Feb 2020
119 How does a curriculum introduce and structure alternate worldviews and knowledges? Nana Oforiatta Ayim TORCH / Mellon Global South Visiting Fellow, University of Oxford, gives a talk for the workshop, What is a Decolonial Curriculum? Held at TORCH on 28th November 2018. Nana Oforiatta Ayim 19 Feb 2019
120 Empires of the Mind Book at Lunchtime: Empires of the Mind Robert Gildea, Rana Mitter, Faridah Zaman, Philip Bullock 29 Jan 2020
121 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
122 Patience Agbabi reading and conversation: podcast In this podcast the dynamic poet Patience Agbabi is in conversation about her Ted Hughes short-listed collection Telling Tales (2015), a rebellious reworking of Chaucer, and her contribution to the 2016 Refugee Tales project. Patience Agbabi, Elleke Boehmer, Marion Turner 14 Jan 2020
123 Ashmolean After Hours: Carpe Diem! Highlights video Highlights of the Torch collaboration with the Ashmolean Museum for a special edition of After Hours as part of the Last Supper of Pompeii exhibition to celebrate all things Pompeii and ancient Rome. Highlights 13 Jan 2020
124 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
125 Princeton University Press Lectures in European History and Culture III: Stories for the future, and how to get there Martin Puchner, the Byron and Anita Wien Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Harvard University, gives the third and final lecture in the Princeton University Press Lectures in European History and Culture. Martin Puchner 20 Dec 2019
126 Reni Eddo-Lodge in conversation with Rebecca Surender Reni Eddo-Lodge (author of Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race and winner of the Jhalak Prize 2018), in conversation with Dr Rebecca Surender (Pro Vice-Chancellor and Advocate for Diversity, University of Oxford). Reni Eddo-Lodge, Rebecca Surender 28 Jun 2018
127 Princeton University Press Lectures in European History and Culture II:Think Big! A modest argument about large scales Martin Puchner gives the second lecture in the Princeton University Press Lectures in European History and Culture. Martin Puchner 20 Dec 2019
128 Princeton University Press Lectures in European History and Culture I: The Challenge of World Literature Martin Puchner, the Byron and Anita Wien Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Harvard University, gives the first of the Princeton University Press Lectures. Martin Puchner 20 Dec 2019
129 Creative Commons Lost and Found: Till Damaskus III Travel back with Leah Broad to 1926 and hear recently found music by Swedish composter Ture Rangstrom, composed for a Strindberg play. Leah Broad 13 Jun 2018
130 Humanities Light Night - Oxford Research Unwrapped! Highlights of the Humanities Night Light event. Tom Crawford 19 Dec 2019
131 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
132 Discovering the identity of plants in art We are surrounded by artistic images of plants. These may be symbolic, decorative or functional. They tell us about the plants important in peoples' lives. Stephen Harris 17 Dec 2019
133 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
134 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
135 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
136 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
137 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
138 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
139 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
140 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
141 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
142 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
143 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
144 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
145 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
146 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
147 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
148 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
149 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
150 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
151 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
152 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
153 Unflattening With Nick Sousanis Nick Sousanis, Dominic Davies, Segolene Tarte 05 Sep 2017
154 Images of Mithra Book at Lunchtime discussion Dominic Dalglish, Josephine Quinn, Elleke Boehmer, Robert Bracey 03 Jul 2017
155 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
156 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
157 The Oxford Dodo: Culture at the Crossroads An interdisciplinary panel discussion exploring the life and legacy of the dodo multiple 07 Dec 2015
158 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
159 Progress, Providence, Eschaton: Löwith, Blumenberg, and After Speaker: Jean-Claude Monond (ENS) Jean-Claude Monond 19 Jun 2017
160 Creative Commons Deborah Cameron - What Does Diversity Mean to Me? Opening event in TORCH Headline Series exploring 'Humanities & Identities Deborah Cameron 28 Mar 2017
161 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
162 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
163 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
164 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
165 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
166 On Real and Imagined Catastrophes: Gershom Scholem's Sabbatinism Speaker: Amir Engel (Hebrew University) Amir Engel 19 Jun 2017
167 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
168 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
169 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
170 On Violence, Gender, and Sacrifice: Old Stories and New Reflections Part of the Sacrifice Revisited event Kimberley Hutchings 22 May 2017
171 Martin Luther - Renegade and Prophet Part of the Book at Lunchtime series Lyndal Roper, Laura Marcus, Simeon Zahl, Jas Elsner 08 Nov 2016
172 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
173 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
174 Unconscious Memory and Mental Space Professor Michael Burke and Dr Sebastian Groes Michael Burke, Sebastian Groes, Ben Morgan 26 Jan 2015
175 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
176 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
177 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
178 Aristotle on Perceiving Objects A discussion of Anna Marmodoro's book Anna Marmodoro, Ophelia Deroy, Richard Sorabji, Rowland Stout 14 May 2015
179 Imagining the Divine: Art and the Rise of World Religions Mary Beard and Neil MacGregor in conversation undefined 24 Jan 2018
180 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
181 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
182 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
183 How the Mouse Lost its Tail, Or, Lamarck's Dangerous Idea Speaker: Jessica Riskin (University of Stanford) Jessica Riskin 19 Jun 2017
184 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
185 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
186 #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
187 Interview with Dr Sophie Ratcliffe Practical Medical Humanities Dr Sophie Ratcliffe 30 Nov 2015
188 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
189 Creative Commons Jay Stewart - What Does Diversity Mean to Me? Opening event in TORCH Headline Series exploring 'Humanities & Identities' Jay Stewart 28 Mar 2017
190 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
191 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
192 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
193 Creative Commons Andy Warhol's Girls Eleri Watson explores Andy Warhol's relationships with women. Eleri Watson 07 Jun 2016
194 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
195 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
196 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
197 Surrealism’s Political-Theological Afterlife: Benjamin—Blumenberg—Taubes Speaker: Julia Ng (Goldsmith's) Julia Ng 19 Jun 2017
198 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
199 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
200 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