Tuesday 9th February
IAS Fellow’s Public Lecture: Professor Jessica Brown, University of St Andrews – Evidence and scepticism, 17:30-18:30, Ustinov Room, Van Mildert College
Scepticism about knowledge of the external world can seem very natural if one supposes that the only evidence one has about the world consists of one’s experiences. For instance, Descartes famously pointed out that one could have all the same experiences whether one is in a world of physical objects as presented in those experiences, or a world in which an evil demon is causing one to have just the same experiences, even though they radically misrepresent the nature of the world. However, the view of evidence which gives rise to the sceptical puzzle can seem optional. In ordinary life, we allow ourselves to refer to facts about the external world as evidence. For instance, in a court case, part of the evidence might be that the accused was at the No-Good Inn at midnight. And scientists take it that part of their evidence is that such and such experiment was performed, not merely that someone had an experience as of performing such experiment. Professor Jessica Brown considers this debate about the nature of evidence, and whether the more recently popular view that one’s evidence includes claims about the external world can solve philosophical scepticism. This lecture is free and open to all. Click here for more information.
IMEMS Openness and Secrecy Seminar Series: Dr Sachiko Kusukawa, University of Cambridge, 17:30, Learning Centre, Palace Green Library
Traditionally, the history of scientific illustrations in the early modern period was a story about the triumph of naturalism and single-point perspective, and how they aided the expression of, or fuelled the development of, a new science based on direct observation. Scholarship in both history of art and history of science has problematized ‘naturalism’ and ‘observation’ to the point that it is now unhelpful to think of a simple correlation between the two. Images were, nevertheless, a versatile means of constituting scientific objects and presenting knowledge, as I shall highlight with examples from studies of anatomy, plants and animals spearheaded by physicians. They relied on graphically proficient craftsmen to create images for them, but they insisted on curbing their artistic liberties, literally breathing down their neck, in order to constitute generalized scientific objects. It would be rash to claim that such efforts amounted to the emergence of a new and independent genre of scientific imagery, but it is worth acknowledging the important role of images in the development of visualization techniques for scientific knowledge in the early modern period. Click here for more information, or contact email@example.com for more information about this event.
Wednesday 10th February
Research Seminar – Dr Prue Holmes and Dr Mariam Attia: Researching Multilingually in Higher Education: Opportunities and Challenges, 13:00-14:00, ED134
In these times of growing researcher mobility, internationalisation of higher education, and exponential developments in communication technologies, much of the research conducted at universities in the United Kingdom nowadays involves using more than one language. The various linguistic resources that researchers draw upon and their contribution to knowledge building remain under-researched. This lack of attention to the linguistic dimensions of research practice is manifested – among other things – in researcher education programmes, supervisor awareness sessions, research methodology texts books, and institutional policies and practices that continue to promote a monolingual English perspective. The purpose of this presentation is to share insights from our work on the AHRC project Researching Multilingually at the Borders of Language, the Body, Law and the State. The specific role of our research team/hub is to investigate the theoretical, methodological, and ethical issues related to processes of researching multilingually and to explore the role of multimodality (e.g., visual methods, ‘storying’ and performance) in complementing and facilitating multilingual research praxis. As we address the opportunities and challenges of researching multilingually in higher education, we encourage you to reflect on your practice and share your views. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about this event, or click here.
Inventions of the Text Seminar: Dr Patrick Gray – Shakespeare and the Right to the City: Subjective Alienation in Coriolanus, Julius Caesar, and 2 Henry VI, 17:30-19:00, Seminar Room, Hallgarth House
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Special screening of Mikhail Kalatozov’s Soy Cuba (1964), 18:30, Russian World Centre, A29
On Wednesday, 10 February, the Russkiy Mir Centre will host a special screening of Soy Cuba(Ya Kuba, 1964), a black-and-white masterpiece by Mikhail Kalatozov (director) & Sergey Urusevsky (camera) about the lives of Cuban people during the pre-revolutionary period. The film will be introduced by Dr Francisco-J. Hernández Adrián and will be shown in Spanish with English subtitles. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about this event.
Friends of the Oriental Museum Lecture: Dr Bart van Malssen – The importance of constructing ethnicity in Manchu history, 19:30-21:15, Lecture Room EH009, Elvet Hill
Dr Bart van Malssen, Lecturer of Chinese History, Durham University, investigates the history and ethnicity of the Manchus, the rulers of China’s last dynasty, the Qing (1644-1911). However, before 1600 the Manchus did not exist, nor did their language, their homeland, or their traditions. With their newly found identity and unity, created with the so-called ‘Banner System’, they not only managed in 1644 to conquer what had been called the‘ greatest empire of the world in 1600’ (Jonathan Spence), but were also able to govern it for more than 250 years. On the one hand they increased the geographical map of China conquering Xinjiang, Tibet, and Taiwan, and on the other they prevented China from falling apart into several different states or kingdoms. The Manchus were truly ‘the last great dynasty’ of China (William Rowe). This talk tries to understand who the Manchus were and how their ethnic identity mattered to maintain their power over China. It proposes that Manchu ethnicity is directly linked to their position as rulers over China, but also to their downfall in the 19th and 20th centuries. It ends with looking at the fate of the Manchus after the fall of the empire. Contact email@example.com for more information about this event.
Castle Lecture Series: Professor Hans-Werner Sinn, Professor of Economics and Public Finance, University of Munich; President of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research: Lessons from the Euro Crisis, 19:45, Great Hall, Durham Castle
The euro has driven southern Euro into a deep economic crisis, because it created an inflationary credit bubble that eventually burst. The lecture will describe the events, reflect on the causes and will describe the events and draw lessons for Europe’s future development. Click here for more information.
Thursday 11th February
European Question Time, 18:30-20:00, Arnold Wolfendale, Calman Learning Centre
Durham City Council in conjunction with Durham University International Office will be holding a European Question Time Event chaired by Dr Christian Schweiger from SGIA. This event is open to staff and students to learn about Erasmus+ programme and put questions to Jonathan Arnott MEP (UK Independence Party) and Jude Kirton Darling MEP (Labour Party). Topics include:
• What does an MEP do?
• The EU, what is in it for students?
• How does the European Parliament work and is the EU worth the money it costs in terms of our contribution?
• The case for and against EU membership
Refreshments will be served afterwards. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about this event.