Conference, Lecture, MLAC events, Workshop

Weekly bulletin 6-11 June

Monday 6th June

Breathing Pauses in Ancient Rhetoric, Virginia Woolf and Robert Musil, 17:00-19:00, Institute for Advanced Study

Join Dr Stefanie Heine (University of Toronto) in Durham to explore how breathing pauses convey rhythm in both the spoken and written word by comparing and contrasting ancient rhetoric with the work of early 20th Century modernist writers Robert Musil and Virginia Woolf. The prose rhythm demanded by the ancient rhetoricians is structured by intervals, where the most crucial interval, the full stop, should be marked by a breathing pause. While the rhetoricians discuss breathing in the context of verbal delivery, Woolf and Musil use especially careful composition to highlight intervals for breath in the body of their texts. Organised by Life of Breath ( This symposium is free to attend and refreshments are included. All welcome, no need to register.


Tuesday 7th June

Afterwar: Healing the Moral Wounds of War, 17:00-19:00, Prior’s Hall, Durham Cathedral

Georgetown philosophy professor Nancy Sherman talks on the moral dimensions of post-traumatic stress in those returning from war, and the nature of moral recovery. Nancy Sherman has consulted for the U.S. Armed Forces on issues of ethics, resilience, and post-traumatic stress, and published widely on ethics, military ethics and psychoanalysis. The respondent will be Michael Snape, inaugural Michael Ramsey Professor of Anglican Studies at Durham University, and a lay canon of Durham Cathedral. He has published widely on religion and the experience of war in Britain and North America c.1700-1950. The talk will be followed by a drinks reception and is free of charge.


Catholic Theology Research Seminar, Professor Stephan van Erp (University of Leuven) – World as Sacrament: The Political Theology of the Church, 17:15-19:00, St Chad’s College

This seminar series provides a forum for scholarly discussion of pertinent issues in the Catholic traditions of theology and church. Seminars usually take place three times per term. They draw together people with specialist interests across the traditional theological disciplines (scriptural, historical, philosophical, systematic, liturgical, ethical and practical/pastoral) and social-scientific approaches. If you wish to attend the seminar, please contact Jane Lidstone at or on 0191 334 1656, noting whether or not you wish to dine afterwards.


Dr Morgan Pitelka, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Art, War and Samurai Sociability in Sixteenth-Century Japan, 17:30-19:30, Learning Centre, Palace Green Library, Durham University

What connects the 16th-century samurai practices of collecting and displaying art at social gatherings to counting and examining heads after battle? How do the rituals of gift-giving among warlords relate to the politics of falconry? This talk will link the extreme violence of this age of civil and international war to the increasing significance of samurai social rituals and cultural practices. It will argue that warlords accrued power and reinforced hierarchy both in tea houses and on the battlefield, having a profound effect on the creation and character of Japan’s early modern polity. The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception in the Café, Palace Green Library.  Please note places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, to register contact:

400th Anniversary of the Death of the first Tokugawa Shogun: The Life and Legacy of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Two day Conference, 7th June 2016, 13:00 to 8th June 2016, 17:00, Senate Suite, Durham Castle

The creation of the Tokugawa shogunate (1603-1868) is self-evidently one of the key turning points in Japanese history, and 2016 marks 400 years since the death of its founder, the first shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu. To mark this important anniversary, this conference will bring together experts on Japanese history, religion, and material culture to commemorate, explain, and explore Ieyasu’s career and legacy. Click here for more information.

Wednesday 8th June


Grants Workshop for Early-Career Researchers, 12:00, ER143

This workshop will look at the different grant schemes open to early-career researchers across AHRC, British Academy, ERC and Leverhulme funders. We will discuss the development of strong bids, the kind of applications that bring success in these schemes, and success rates, as well as reflecting on the best options for applying for external funding at an early-career stage.


Professor Julian Stern, York St John University – 99% Perspiration: The Virtues of Hard Work, 13:00-14:00, ED134, School of Education

Research is hard work: there’s no disguising it. This is the impression of research held by those who have not yet researched – the students just about to start a final year dissertation, the mid-career educator deciding to get a doctorate, the newly-appointed academic realising that teaching and administration takes up a lot of time and energy and research has to be completed as well. A theme running through this paper is that experienced and senior researchers also find research hard. Although some things become easier (perhaps knowing which journals and book publishers to approach), and some things are less off-putting (perhaps negative feedback from peer-reviewers, or failing to get a grant), on the whole, the research is just as hard. This paper is based on conversations with two successful researchers: an established Chair in school counselling in the US, and a Professor and Director of Religious Pedagogy Institute in Russia. It attempts to explore the reasons why research is – and should continue to be – hard work. There are good, positive, reasons, and there are some that are simply unavoidable frustrations. As Edison said, genius is 99% perspiration, 1% inspiration. (But don’t even think about it without the 1%.)



Ustinov Seminar presents: Scholarly Perspectives on Faith, Science and Academia, 18:00-20:00, Ustinov College, Fisher House, South Road, Durham DH1 3DE

This seminar will explore the intersection between faith, science and academia from the perspective of two scholarly disciplines. Our presenters are:
Dr Dori Beeler (Anthropology) – Reiki as a Form of Spiritual Practice
Professor Brian Tanner (Physics) – With and Without God: the confluence and divergence of Medieval and Modern Science.


Spiritual and Material Economies 1000-1350: Time, Devotion and Reform, 8th June 14:00 to 10th June 2016, 17:00, Calman Learning Centre and Durham Business School

This three-day conference is being held as part of the Norwegian Research Council funded project ‘Economies of Salvation in the Middle Ages’ (Principal Investigator: Professor Svein H. Gullbekk, University of Oslo).The conference is free but booking is required. To book your place and to view the conference programme please visit:

Spiritual and Material Economies 1000-1350: Time, Devotion and Reform will bring together experts across a range of different disciplines (history, theology, liturgy, art history and numismatics), with a focus on northern and western Christendom of the High Middle Ages.The workshop will explore the ways in which the articulation of belief changed over the course of the eleventh to early fourteenth century, in written texts, historical action, and material culture, and the interrelationships of these media and conceptual frameworks.

The period from 1000-1350 witnessed profound social, economic and religious change. Latin Christendom experienced physical expansion. Reform in both secular and ecclesiastical spheres became a regular phenomenon. Intellectual movements deepened older, and opened new ways, of conceiving human society, the relationship of the living to the dead, and the mechanisms of Christian salvation. Medieval societies also moved to monetised, if not fully monetary economies. How these movements and phenomena were ordered, how they operated as economies in their own right, and how far they overlapped and superimposed structures of understanding from one framework to another, are questions the exploration of which goes to the heart of medieval life and thought.

Click here for more information.


Thursday 9th June

Understanding the Yemeni crisis: the changing role of tribes and others, 12:00-13:00, Sir James Knott Hall, Trevelyan College

The 2016 Sir William Luce public lecture will be delivered by Yemen specialist Helen Lackner. The Luce lectures and their accompanying published papers commemorate the long and distinguished career of Sir William Luce GBE, KCMG, DL (1907-1977) in the Middle East during the era of the transfer of power.



Friday 10th June

Professor Keith Busby, “A Confusion of Languages”: French in Medieval Ireland17:30, Senate Suite, Durham Castle

Professor Busby will present some results of recent research carried out in connection with a book he has just completed on French in medieval Ireland and the presentation of Ireland in medieval French literature. Keith Busby, IMEMS Slater Fellow, is Douglas Kelly Professor Emeritus of Medieval French at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has previously taught at the Universities of Utrecht, Leiden, and Oklahoma, and has been Visiting Fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford, Visiting Professor at the Ecole Nationale des Chartes, Paris, and Museum Fellow at the Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Among his principal publications are Gauvain in Old French Literature (1980), a translation of the Lais of Marie de France (with Glyn S. Burgess, 1986), a critical edition of Chrétien de Troyes’s Perceval (1993), and the two-volume Codex and Context (2002). His current scholarly interests include Arthurian romance, medieval multilingualism, and medieval French language and literature outside of France. To reserve a place please email


Flora Annie Steel and the Indian ‘Mutiny’ Novel, 17:30-18:45, Seminar Room, Hallgarth House, Phillip Mallett

An Inventions of the Text seminar. Contact for more information about this event.


Saturday 11th June

Walk from Finchale Priory to Durham Cathedral

To mark the visit of the Mayor of Oroso and Gernete del Xacobeoy, a pilgrimage walk will take place from Finchale Abbey to Durham Cathedral. The visit is significant in that St Godric of Finchale was one of the first British pilgrims to follow the pilgrims’ way to Santiago de Compostela. Transport is provided from County Hall, Durham at 1030 and refreshments are available at County Hall from 10.00. A special exhibition showing the Pilgrims’ Way is available to view at County Hall. All walkers are welcome but booking is required for transport to Finchale. Click here for more information.


St John’s College Summer Open Day: Salvador Dali Exhibition, 14:00-17:00, St John’s College

An opportunity to have a tour around College grounds and buildings, as well as to enjoy the Salvador Dali Lithographs that are currently on display. Open to all members of the general public. St John’s College is hosting its first Summer Open Day – a perfect opportunity for members of the public to have a glimpse of life behind the doors of a Bailey College. Visitors are invited to join us on one of two student-led tours of a collection of Salvador Dali lithographs, currently on loan from Durham University, and on display throughout College. Cream teas will be available to purchase in the gardens, and a Pimms tent will also be available. Families welcome. Booking is required – please email





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