MLAC events, PGR Forum, Research Groups

Weekly bulletin 15-19 February


This Thursday at the PGR forum we have our second Work in Progress session, so come along to the Swan and Three Cygnets at 5pm where we will be having a drink and finding out more about one another’s research.


Monday 15th February


Durham World Heritage Site Lecture Series – 30th Anniversary Celebrations: The Durham World Heritage Site: Developing Our Next 6-Year Plan, 18:00, Education Room, Palace Green Library

The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception at the World Heritage Site Visitor Centre. The lecture is free of charge. However, as places are limited, booking is necessary. Please reserve your place by writing to the organiser at Jane Gibson, the Durham’s World Heritage Site co-ordinator, presents the first lecture in a new series to mark the 30th anniversary of the Durham World Heritage Site. In this fascinating lecture, Jane will discuss some of the challenges of managing the site and ask for feedback will help launch our public consultation, which will start off this spring.2016 is an important year for the Durham Castle and Cathedral World Heritage Site. Having received the inscription from UNESCO in 1986, this is its 30th anniversary year. In 1986 it joined a very select group, being one of the first seven UK sites to be designated as World Heritage Sites, along with Ironbridge Gorge, Giant’s Causeway, St Kilda, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, Stonehenge, and the Castles of Northern Wales. This year, to mark this special occurrence, the World Heritage Site Centre in Durham is launching a lecture series that focuses on all the UK sites which are celebrating the anniversary with it. Starting with Durham itself the series will then, over the rest of the year, have visiting speakers from the other six UK sites, who will visit and talk about their particular challenges and new developments. The first lecture will focus on the Durham World Heritage Site itself, as this year also coincides with the release of the new 6-year Management Plan.
Jane Gibson is the Co-ordinator for the Durham Castle and Cathedral World Heritage Site. Her career has seen her working in the heritage sector since graduating in Archaeology from Durham University in the early 1980’s. After 20 years working in National Museums in the field of Collections Management, she returned to the North East of England as Head of Historic Operations at Beamish Museum. More recently she led the Heritage Development programme for Hexham Abbey’s successful £3m project to refurbish their monastic buildings, to create a new visitor centre, café and community facilities and managed Arts Council England’s Major Partner Museums programme for Cumbria. Nearing the end of her first year in her new post in Durham, she is working on the new five-year Management Plan for the City’s World Heritage Site. Click here for more information.


Evidence on Trial – Public Lecture Series: Professor Helen Chatterjee, University College London – Culture and Health: what’s the evidence? 18:15-19:15, Kingsley Barrett Room. Calman Learning Centre

This talk will explore the impact of cultural engagement on health and wellbeing, with a focus on museums. There is a growing evidence base which suggests that cultural participation enhances human health and wellbeing. Research has shown that engaging in museums, for example, provides: positive social experiences, leading to reduced social isolation; opportunities for learning and acquiring news skills; calming experiences, leading to decreased anxiety; increased positive emotions, such as optimism, hope and enjoyment; increased self-esteem and sense of identity; increased inspiration and opportunities for meaning making; positive distraction from clinical environments, including hospitals and care homes; and increased communication between families, carers and health professionals. But how does this evidence compare to the rigour of comparable health studies and what is the best way to collect evidence for the efficacy of non-clinical interventions, such as arts participation or visiting museums? See: Professor Helen Chatterjee. Contact for more information about this event


Tuesday 16th February


IAS Fellows’ Public Lecture: Professor Tim May, University of Salford – Cities of Knowledge and the Role of Universities: evidence from practice, 17:30-18:30, Kenworthy Hall, St Mary’s College

This lecture draws upon experiences of working in and for universities, research funders and the public and private sectors which informs its focus upon enhancing collaborations between cities and their universities. There are two broad perspectives on contemporary relations between universities and their environments. First, there is a view that the distinction of the academy is being undermined. This has occurred, for example, through the growth of new knowledge producers and changes in higher education via an increased prioritisation of relevance and impact. Second, it is an opportunity summed up by the idea that universities are now as ‘coalmines were to the industrial economy’. Universities are thus seen as central to growth in the knowledge economy through greater collaborations beyond normal institutional boundaries. Overall, there is now a clear focus on relations between universities and their localities for the mutual benefit of all involved. In practice there are a complex set of dynamics and reasons underpinning the production, transmission and reception of knowledge. These vary from the altruistic to the instrumental and from the affirmative to transformative. Important questions are then raised concerning the relationship between knowledge, policy and practice, as well as the intended and actual beneficiaries of knowledge-based development. What is also placed is question is the appropriateness of the organizational forms of universities in terms of comprising disciplinary silos measured against calls for relevant, interdisciplinary work. The lecture will draw upon evidence from practice to examine these issues and their implications for universities and the practice of disciplines. In the process it will explore alternatives and seek to illuminate a question that is concerned with the survival of universities, but is often ignored, assumed or denied: just what is distinctive about the university as a site of knowledge production? Click here for more information.


The Life of Texts: Evidence in Textual Production, Transmission and Reception: Professor David Fuller – Rescuing Shakespeare: ‘King Lear’ and its Textual Contexts, 18:00-19:30, Palace Green Library Learning Centre, Palace Green Library

No play by Shakespeare exists in authorial manuscript, and the early printed texts – individual plays published during Shakespeare’s lifetime, and the collected edition published seven years after his death – can lay claim to different kinds of authority. Until the 1980s it was usual, with conflicting evidence, to edit a text conflated from the claims of alternative witnesses. Since the 1980s, and in light of the theory that later texts give evidence of authorial revision, it has become usual to keep alternative witnesses separate. In the case of some of Shakespeare’s greatest plays – including Hamlet, Othello, and King Lear – this results in some notable textual changes, including the omission of entire scenes. This lecture will consider the nature of Shakespeare’s early printed texts, examine afresh the evidence for the theory of authorial revision, particularly in the case of King Lear, and discuss the current editorial orthodoxy in relation to the practice of conflation – issues of consequence for readers and theatre-goers alike, because they affect how Shakespeare is presented in book form and on stage and film. Click here for more information.


Visual Evidence (Ghosts – the Evidence of Spirits) Public Lecture series: Professor Ronald Hutton, University of Bristol – The Wild Hunt: ghosts, goddesses and witches in medieval Europe, 18:15, ER140

The Wild Hunt is a phenomenon which looms large in the modern Western consciousness, both in works of fiction and in those of history; and in the latter it has recently achieved a special importance as one of the building blocks of the idea of the witches’ sabbath. It is generally viewed as a nocturnal cavalcade of ghosts and fairies, led by a supernatural male or female figure and derived from pagan antiquity. This lecture aims to answer the questions of where this idea comes from, how much it corresponds to actual ancient and medieval belief, and how much it did contribute to the concept of the witches’ sabbath.
The project consists of three separate, but complementary strands: a lecture series, an exhibition on ‘Ghost Stories’ held in October 2015 at the Durham World Heritage Site Visitor Centre; and a one-day workshop to take place at the IAS on 23 February 2016. Lectures will be held fortnightly on commencing 13 October at 6:15pm inElvet Riverside 140. Lectures and the exhibition are open to all, though attendees at the opening event of the exhibition will need to register in advance. Click here for more information.


Wednesday 17th February


MLAC Translation & Linguistics Research Group Seminar: Prof Myriam Salama-Carr, Manchester University – Translating Science – What can we learn from Euclid’s Elements, 13:00-14:00, ER141

‪Drawing on historical approaches to the study of translation (for instance St Pierre 1993;D’hulst 2001) the paper will argue that in order to construct a history of translation (see Berman 1992) translation studies researchers should engage more with seemingly neutral and non-controversial genres and subjects which can provide sites for rethinking concepts of translation. The case of Euclid’s Elements, one of the most seminal and translated texts across periods and languages, will be used to illustrate this argument. The centrality of Euclid’s work in the development of mathematics can only be explained by a process of rewriting through translation and the paper will focus on the genealogy of Arabic translations and commentaries of Euclid’s work. ‪Prof Myriam Salama-Carr is Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Manchester. Her main research interests lie in the history of translation and the role of translation in the transfer and construction of knowledge, areas in which she has contributed a number of articles. She is the author of La traduction à l’époque abbasside (Didier 1990) and has published a number of articles and edited  works on translation studies,  including a volume on Translating and Interpreting Conflict (Rodopi 2007), and co-edited a special issue of The Translator on Science in Translation (2011). Myriam Salama-Carr is director of the Routes into Languages National Network for Translation and chairs the Training Committee of the International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS).


Thursday 18th February


Centre for Poetry and Poetics research seminar: Dr Sarah Wootton – Afterlives of a Romantic Poet: Keats, Biography, and Biopic, 16:45-18:00, Williams Library, St Chad’s College

Click here for more information.


IAS Fellows’ Public Lecture: Dr Matthew Eddy, Durham University – Rewriting Childhood: science, education and the graphic foundations of knowledge, 17:30-18:30, Birley Room, Hatfield College

The history of childhood has become an important field of study in recent years. One of its exciting characteristics is that it attracts researchers from a rich variety of disciplines. Yet, despite this popularity, histories of pre-Victorian childhood often struggle to engage directly with evidence that was made or (conclusively) used by girls and boys, either in specialised settings or on a daily basis. This paper seeks to develop and extend the material and visual history of childhood by focusing on the kinds of graphic evidence made or used by children in British educational settings from circa 1760 to 1820. The term ‘graphic’ will be interpreted widely to mean the skills or materials used to manually represent knowledge on paper (or similar forms of media) through writing or drawing. Addressing topics relevant to both the sciences and humanities, the paper seeks to expand the evidentiary foundation of late Enlightenment childhood by showing that there was a variety of graphic genres and that the acts of writing and drawing were treated as important knowledge-making activities in their own right. Click here for more information.


Friday 19th February


Exhibition by Michele Allen – Public and Private, 19:00-21:00, Durham Castle, Tunstall Gallery and Black Stairs

The exhibition runs from 12th February until 3rd March 2016. The Public open evening is Friday 19th February 2016. All welcome. In Public and Private Michele Allen presents a series of photographs, texts and a video work produced as a result of a four month residency at Durham Castle. The works respond to the castle’s history as a site of government and latterly as home to Durham University’s ‘University College’, known as the founding college as in 1832 it marked the inception of the first University in the North of England. The exhibition features three different but related bodies of work drawing on photographic and archival research related to the Castle and installed within its existing collections and architecture. The project has been experimental and the resulting work is deliberately open-ended, allowing it to form a dialogue with the castle as a context and to frame broader questions about the relationship of the heritage site to the region it once governed. This exhibition was commissioned and produced by Dr Hazel Donkin, University College SCR Visual Arts Secretary, contact The exhibition is funded by University College SCR, CVAC and Arts Council England. Click here for more information. 








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