Conference, Lecture, MLAC events, PG events, PGR Forum, Research Groups, Workshop

Welcome to the new term


Lots of events going on this week as Easter term begins.


Tuesday 26th April


Bowes Lecture Series: Dr Tom Stammers, ‘Relics of Bourbon and Bonaparte: collecting post-revolutionary France in nineteenth-century Britain’, 18:00-19:00, The Bowes Museum

John and Josephine Bowes were deeply interested by the troubled history of France, collecting vestiges not just of the revolutions that toppled successive regimes (1789, 1830, 1848, 1870-71) but also traces of those rulers who had tried to impose some kind of fragile order. This included the Bourbons dynasty, the relatives of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette who had returned to the throne in 1815; the younger branch of that family, the Orleans dynasty, who governed from 130 until 1848; and the conspiratorial nephew of the Emperor, Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, who fashioned the Second Empire after 1852. Numerous items in the Bowes Museum- including portraits, prints, autographs, medals and personal keepsakes- commemorated the unfolding drama of French politics. These objects presented an intimate, even sentimental, glimpse into the fortunes and tragedies of these three ruling families. But they also testify to the Bowes’ effort to track down objects related to the monuments, the descendants and the loyal followers of these dynasties, both in France and during their exile years in Britain. This paper considers the Bowes as royal trophy hunters, and compares their passion for recent French history with other nineteenth-century British collectors, such as Lord Ronald Gower.



Wednesday, 27th April


Work in Progress Seminar, 12:00-13:00, ER146

Three of our most recent colleagues, Fiona Noble, Hannah Grayson and Jesse Gardiner, will present on their current and evolving research projects.


Translation and Linguistics Research Group Talk, 13.00-14.00, ER141

The Emeritus Professor Jean Boase-Beier from the University of East Anglia is giving a talk entitled ‘The Translation of Holocaust Poetry’. When translating Holocaust poetry or analysing its translation we need to place as much importance on the poetics as on the subject matter. Especially poems written after, rather than during, the events of the Holocaust, reflect ways of thinking about what it means to live with the knowledge of the Holocaust. To get to this state of mind, and the poetics to which it gives rise, we need to analyse the poetry carefully in both its historical and its intellectual contexts. Comparing several translations of the same poem is a particularly interesting way to approach analysis. In this talk I shall look at different translations of Paul Celan’s most famous poem, ‘Todesfuge’, and ask what insights they give us into the poem and the ways in which it can be understood and translated.



Durham Early Modern Group Seminar: Angela McShane, V&A/Royal College of Art: Material Rhetoric and Ritual Drinking in Early Modern England, 17:30-19:00, Seminar room 1, History Department, 43 North Bailey

Contact for more information about this event.



Thursday 28th April


Diana Wyatt: Making music in the North-east: waits and minstrels around the region, 14:00-15:00, Chapel of the Nine Altars, Durham Cathedral

Records from all parts of the North-East testify to a vibrant and varied musical culture from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries. From bands of town waits playing to welcome royal visitors, to musicians on the staff of great houses, to minstrels touring the country looking for (and often finding) lucrative opportunities to entertain the public, the evidence lets us ‘hear’ music everywhere. This talk highlights some intriguing examples from the region.


MLAC PGR Forum: Work in Progress, 17.00, ER 153


The first meeting of term will be an informal work-in-progress session, so come along with any thoughts or questions you might have, maybe something to present, or a piece you’d like some feedback on.


Friday 29th April


Justice and the Arts Research Group: Interdisciplinary Workshop: Performing Dignity, 09:00, Kenworthy Hall, St Mary’s College


9-9.30 Sanja Bahun (University of Essex), Claudia Nitschke (Durham University): Introduction

9.30-10.30 Timo Jütten (University of Essex): Performing Dignity: Between Equality and Distinction

10.30-11.00 Coffee break

11.00-12.00 Thomas Weitin (University of Konstanz): The Devil is in Human Dignity – Goethe’s Faust

12.00-1pm Henry Jones, Benedict Douglas (Durham University) Performing the Law: with and without Dignity

1-2pm Lunch

2-3pm Annecy Lax (University of Essex): Performing dignity

3-4pm Roundtable

Abstracts are available here. If you wish to register for this workshop, please contact Claudia Nitschke at



Saturday 30th April


Professor Daniel Newman: Food of the Arabian Nights: An Introduction to Medieval Arab Cuisine, 11:00, Blackfriars Restaurant, Newcastle upon Tyne

IMEMS has a long-standing relationship with Blackfriars Restaurant in Newcastle and you are warmly invited to the ninth public lecture on medieval food at the restaurant. We are pleased to be able to offer a huge 40% early-bird concession rate of just £15.00 (usual price £25) to IMEMS members and friends whilst availability lasts. This offer is available on a first-come, first-served basis. To book click here and enter the word STUDENT when prompted. Places are limited and this is a very popular event so book now to avoid disappointment. Tea and coffee and a suitably delicious medieval 3-course lunch included – please note all food allergies should be communicated to the restaurant prior to booking.

Food and health went hand in hand in the Islamic holistic tradition of medicine. This may explain why a rich culinary tradition emerged as early as the 9th century, when the first cookbooks were produced, often at the request of powerful rulers, some of whom were keen cooks themselves. The great variety in dishes (approximately 700) was matched by highly creative cooking techniques and tools, as well as a veritable gourmet culture, in which the appreciation of good food and drink was a mark of great refinement. The link between food and sexual well-being was also there from the start as the number of aphrodisiac references makes clear. The presentation will look at the main features of medieval Arab food, and trace its history, including the spread and influence on various Western cuisines and dishes.



Saturday 30th April – Sunday 1st May


The Fourth Durham Postgraduate Colloquium on Translation Studies: A Dialogue between Process-oriented and Sociological Approaches, 09:00-17:00, PG20&PG21, Palace Green, Durham University

This colloquium aims to provide a platform for young scholars in the field of Translation and Interpreting Studies, where they can present their own research projects and exchange ideas with more senior academics. Focusing on the dialogue between process-oriented and sociological approaches, the colloquium aims to address some of the main challenges faced by translation and interpreting studies as it shares border with various disciplines. 


  • Christina Schäffner (Emeritus Professor of Translation Studies, Aston University)
  • Sonia Vandepitte (Professor of Translation, Interpreting and Communication, Ghent University)

REGISTRATION FEE: £50 (including refreshments and lunch); £80 (including refreshments, lunch and dinner in the senate room of Durham Castle with the keynote speakers). Contact for more information about this event.



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