MLAC events, PG events, PGR Forum

Events this week

Monday 23rd November

Evidence on Trial Public Lecture: Professor Michael Tite – Fakes, Forgeries and the Turin Shroud: the scientific evidence, 18:15-19:15, Kingsley Barrett Room, Calman Learning Centre

The primary underlying theme of the lecture will be the role of scientific examination in providing evidence for the authenticity of antiquities that supplements the evidence provided by their stylistic attributes. The methods of scientific examination will include the investigation of the raw materials and fabrication methods used in the production of stone, metal and glass antiquities together with thermoluminescence dating of ceramics and radiocarbon dating of organic materials. Examples of the application of these methods will include the Getty kouros, the British Museum crystal skull, Etruscan bronze figurines, Neolithic pottery from Anatolia, the Turin Shroud and the Vinland Map. The damage caused to our understanding of the past by the illegal excavation of antiquities together with the consequent ethics of collecting and authenticating antiquities will also be considered. [read more]

Durham Castle Lecture Series Special Event: Professor David Held and Professor Anoush Ehteshami – Paris: Terrorism and After, 19:30-21:30, Great Hall, Durham Castle

In the wake of the 13th November terrorist attacks on Paris, this Durham Castle Special Event asks key questions about the implications of what President Hollande has called ‘an act of war’. How did we get here? What is the wider context, and how do these events fit with the post-9/11 wars? And what happens after? In this interactive lecture, Professors David Held and AnoushEhteshami will analyse the significance and implications of the terrorism in Paris in the context of the war in Syria, the rise of the so-called ‘Islamic State’, and the increasing pressure on civil liberties across the West. Doors open 19.30, lecture commences 20.00. [read more] 


Tuesday 24th November

The Life of Texts: Dr Annalisa Cipollone – A Text in Exile: Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’, 18:00-19:30, Learning Centre, Palace Green Library

Contact for more information. [read more]


Visual Evidence Public Lecture Series: Dr Luke Thurston – The Open Door: towards an ethics of the literary ghost, 18:15, ER140

Ethics, for Levinas, entails an impossible moment of access to a pure, unreadable exteriority, an otherness beyond the ontological enclosure of the ego’s signifying reality. In this paper Dr Thurston argues that the Victorian ghost story, though often weighed down by generic convention and cliché, occasionally stumbles up against an instance of radical otherness that gravely jeopardises the ontological security and consistency of representable reality. Through a close reading of Margaret Oliphant’s story ‘The Open Door’ (1885), Dr Thurston shows how the literary ghost can bring into the supposedly inert and sterile landscape of Victorian fiction an overwhelming moment of absorption in and concern for the being of the other. In its other-centredness, its terrifying opening onto the face of the other, ‘The Open Door’ outstrips the narcissistic experimentalism of much avant garde literature and foretells the modernist endgame of a Beckett or a Celan. [read more]


Wednesday 25th November

Machine Translation: Opportunities and Threats, 13:30-18:00, Arnold Wolfendale Lecture Theatre, Calman Learning Centre

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham University is hosting a Translating Europe regional workshop – ‘Machine Translation: Opportunities and Threats’. The workshop is funded by the European Commission and supported by the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) and Institute for Translation and Interpreting. Speakers include: Prof. Dorothy Kenny (Dublin City University) and Dr Markus Foti (Directorate General for Translation). The event is free to attend. Register online with Event Brite to claim a place and view the programme here.

Transnationalism Research Group Seminar: Dr Ilan Baron (School of Government and International Affairs) – Obligation in Exile: The Jewish Diaspora, Israel and Critique, 17:00, room TBC

The Jewish Diaspora is regularly assumed to have an obligation to support Israel. Jews and non-Jews regularly adopt such an assumption. However, what exactly is meant by “support” and what type of obligation this is are both unclear. In this presentation, Dr Baron will argue that there exists a particular category of political obligation that pertains to Diaspora or transnational relations and which he terms “transnational political obligation”. This theory of obligation will be explored in regard to the Jewish Diaspora’s relationship with Israel (focusing on British, American and Canadian Jews). By looking at the relationship between Diaspora Jewry and Israel through a lens of transnational political obligation, a few distinct features present themselves for how this relationship functions. Central among these is the role of identity and how the relationship with Israel involves a reaction to or engagement with the “Israelization” of Jewish Diaspora identity. Thus, debates about Israel within Jewish communities can be understood to be less about Israel and more about a particular claim to identity. The role of critique thus performs a very specific function in regard to Diaspora/Israel relations, as critique about Israel also functions as a critique about what it means to be Jewish in the age of Israel. While the theory of transnational political obligation is not the only way to highlight the roles of identity politics and critique in Diaspora/Israel relations, it does provide a non-ideological intellectual tool through which to explore the controversies surrounding Jews and Israel, and it also opens up a different way to think about the normative characteristics in this relationship. Contact for more information.


Thursday 26th November

Centre for Poetry and Poetics Research Seminar: Professor Patrick Cheney – Elysian Poetry: A Short History of Immortality, Homer to Heaney, 16:45-18:00, IAS Seminar Room, Palace Green

Professor Patrick Cheney is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Pennsylvania State University. Contact m.s.o’ for more information about this event. [read more]

PGR Forum: 5pm, ER 153

This week’s forum will be PG RESEARCH FLASH PRESENTATIONS.This is the perfect opportunity to trial a shortened version of a paper, test out some new ideas, or present a short summary of your project to your friends and colleagues to get feedback, presentation experience, and spark some new ideas. All it takes is five to ten minutes of informal presentation, with no need for a strict script, handouts, or powerpointpresentations… But if you fancy bringing more to the table, then feel free! Each presentation will be followed by a short Q&A session. Slots are still available, so if you are interested in presenting, please email by Monday evening so I can send out a mini programme before the forum. Even if you aren’t presenting, it would be great to see as many of you there as possible to offer encouragement, support, and feedback! MA and PhD students at any stage are encouraged to come and take part.

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