MLAC Events Bulletin: 7th-13th November

Tuesday 8th November

Engaged teachers engage students: diverse students’ insights from the ‘Good Teaching’ project

13:00-14:00, ED130

Dr Vivienne Anderson is a senior lecturer at the University of Otago Higher Education Development Centre, New Zealand. Her research explores educational mobilities, education policy, student experiences, and teaching practice. Formerly a primary school teacher, Vivienne has an interdisciplinary research background, having completed PhD study in Education and Anthropology, and having worked since then in dental and teacher education contexts.

University student populations are increasingly diverse in many countries due to increased educational mobility and migration. This has led to a plethora of literature concerned with addressing particular students’ learning needs, or internationalising teaching and curricula. However, some scholars have cautioned against assuming students’ difference, or seeing particular teaching approaches as superior to others. Instead, they call for university teaching, and research about teaching, that is open to similarities and differences, foregrounds student voices, and recognises students’ agency. This paper reports on the preliminary findings of a 2016 qualitative study aimed at exploring diverse students’ conceptions of good teaching and effective learning at a New Zealand university. The study was developed as a methodological pilot, and to inform student support and staff development programmes. Participants included 33 high achieving international, indigenous (Māori), Pacific Island, and (other) local students enrolled in Humanities subjects. The students were recruited to seven focus groups, who met twice over two weeks, completing a ‘photovoice’ task in the interim. Preliminary findings revealed remarkable agreement across the student cohorts. The students conceptualised good university teachers as able to engage students through their passion for their subject matter, engagement with teaching, and interest in and openness to students. At the same time, the students identified a range of specific teacher characteristics and teaching approaches that helped them learn well. The students’ photographs revealed their creative approaches to learning effectively at university, positioning teaching and learning as a partnership. In this presentation, I describe our study context, rationale, theoretical framework and methodology; share some preliminary findings; and invite you to consider the relevance of the study to your own teaching context.

Contact for more information about this event.

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Modern European Research Seminar

17:15-18:30, Seminar Room 1, History Department, 43 North Bailey

Roland Clark (Liverpool): The Shepherd of Maglavit: Lived Religion in Interwar Romania

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IAS Fellows’ Public Lecture – Why Adolf Hitler Spared the Judges: judicial opposition against the Nazi state

17:30-18:30, Kenworthy Hall, St Mary’s College, Professor Hans Petter Graver, University of Oslo

Contrary to what one could presume based on the ideology of the rule of law, law and authoritarian rule are not mutually exclusive. In fact, many authoritarian rulers actively employ law and legal institutions in their oppression and go to great pains to maintain a working legal order with independent courts. In most cases, the judiciary complies with authoritarian rulers and becomes part of an instrument of oppression. This is fortunately not the whole picture. “Despite the deep fall of our supreme servants of the law, the flame of law never quite extinguished in our judiciary through these most difficult years,” wrote professor and former minister of justice in the Weimar Republic for the Social Democrat Party, Gustav Radbruch after the collapse of the Nazi regime. Unknown by many, Hitler and his regime tolerated judicial opposition. Opposing judges were subject to criticism and verbal abuse both privately and in public and were sometimes removed to less prestigious or sensitive posts. Nevertheless, even in Nazi Germany there is not one known incident of a judge being punished or subject to the claws of the secret police because of non-conforming judgments. Instances of judicial opposition, though rare, are important because they show that judicial resistance is possible. In this lecture, Professor Hans Petter Graver will present some instances of judicial opposition against Hitler, and discuss their implications for judicial policy today.

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MLAC Language Café

18:00-20:00, Students’ Union, Elvet Riverside

The first MLaC Language Café will take place on Tuesday 8 November 2016 from 6.00 to 8.00 in the Students’ Union, Durham, Elvet Riverside. Everybody is welcome to attend – students as much as people from the wider community  – if you want to practise a foreign language informally. Members for several languages will be present. See the attached poster or

For more information, please contact Christopher Da Silva ( or Laura Wichmann (

For your diary: the next Language Café will take place on Tuesday 13 December.

We are looking forward to seeing you.

The Language Café team.


‘Expert Fellow-Craftsman’: Lockwood and Rudyard Kipling in Simla

18:00-20:00, Room EH009, Elvet Hill House, adjacent to the Oriental Museum

A lecture by Professor Sandra Kemp of the V&A Museum, London, exploring the influence of Shimla on the writings of author Rudyard Kipling and his family.

This lecture explores Rudyard Kipling and his father’s depictions of Shimla in word and image, including Quartette (1885), a Christmas Annual of the Civil and Military Gazette, written during a Simla season, with contributions from all four members of the Kipling family.

The “Hills” of Rudyard Kipling’s first collection of stories, Plain Tales from the Hills (1888) were a reference to Simla (now Shimla), the summer capital of British India, where the Kipling family spent a number of summer vacations; and the subject was Simla society.

Rudyard’s father, Lockwood Kipling was an architectural sculptor and illustrator, Principal of the Mayo School of Art and Director of the Lahore Museum. He lived and worked in India for 28 years. Away from the daily routine of art school and museum, Lockwood was a prolific journalist. From his arrival in India in 1865 to his retirement in 1893, he used his newspaper columns to develop his views on society and politics, education, museology, curatorship and design. ‘The world is slow to recognise how much artists have to do in framing the ideas of society’, he wrote in 1879.

Rudyard later claimed ‘My Father was not only a mine of knowledge and help, but a humorous, tolerant and expert fellow-craftsman’. Sources of inspiration drawn from Lockwood Kipling, and from the Indian society in which Lockwood worked, are amongst the most vital and formative influences on Rudyard’s views and writings.

This lecture is one of a series being held in parallel with the exhibition ‘In the Image of the Other: Visualising a British-Himalayan Town, Shimla’, on view at the Oriental Museum, 14th October 2016 to 30th March 2017.

Free of charge, all are welcome.

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Wednesday 9th November

Governing Scales: Scaling Global Governance Workshop

Wednesday 9th November 9:00 – Thursday 10th November 13:00, Seminar Room, Institute of Advanced Study

In 1569 Gerardus Mercator created a projection of the globe that is still commonly used today. This map defined seas and the contours of the world, but its distortions of size and its depiction of an enlarged Europe and North America, are well known. His use and manipulation of scales shaped the way we see the world. In an era where there is an increasing plurality of actors participating in global governance, the fundamental position of the state in international law is being challenged and issues are transnational or trans-boundary, international legal and governance scholarship has to find new ways of understanding the world we live in. The way we use scales such as national, regional and international to label legal systems shapes our approaches to law and global governance.

This interdisciplinary seminar invites scholars from Law, International Relations and Geography, to interrogate the role of ‘scale’ in international legal and governance scholarship. The seminar will explore the utility of a scalar approach, what the different scales represent, and whether there are lessons to be learnt about norm transfer and the legitimisation of governance across different scales. The seminar will consider whether the way we measure, label and conceptualise scales influences our approaches to law and global governance. Engaging with ‘scale’ beyond disciplinary silos will further scholarly understanding of the impact of scale in global governance.

The seminar is open to all, but those wanting to attend or participate are asked to contact Ruth Houghton (Durham Law School)

Contact for more information about this event.

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World Cinema and Cosmopolitics Research Group seminar: Professor Paul Cooke [Leeds] ‘Soft Power, Film and the BRICS: The Case of South Africa’

16:00, ER205

The event is organised as part of the AHRC-funded Open World Research Initiative (OWRI) programme.


Part of a project currently being led by the Centre for World Cinemas and Digital Cultures (Leeds) investigating the relationship between non-state actors in the cultural industries of the BRICS countries and national “soft power” strategies, Professor Cooke’s presentation will examine ways in which the declared policy priorities of the South African government have seemed to work against the nation’s strategic aim to use film as a tool to leverage soft power in order to gain political influence across Africa, as well as to maximise the economic potential of globalisation. Unlike, for example, the Nigerian film industry, which is allowing the local expertise to develop, the success of the South African production infrastructure is to the detriment of the South African filmmakers. Professor Cooke investigates the extent to which the economic imperative to develop the industry is working against the soft power aim to project South African stories internationally, and with it, its ‘national strategic narrative’, considered to be the country’s prime soft power asset.

Speaker Bio:

Paul Cooke is Centenary Chair of World Cinemas at the University of Leeds. He is the author of Representing East Germany: From Colonization to Nostalgia (2005) and Contemporary German Cinema (2012). His edited volumes include World Cinema’s ‘Dialogues; with Hollywood (2007), The Lives of Others and Contemporary German Film (2013) and, with Marc Silberman, Screening War: Perspectives on German Suffering (2012). He is currently involved in an AHRC project exploring the role of film as a tool for the generation of ‘Soft Power’ across the BRICS group of emerging nations and a number of heritage-related community filmmaking projects in Germany, South Africa, India and Brazil.

Contact for more information about this event.

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Anglicanism and the shaping of modern English culture

16:30-18:00, Seminar Room, Hallgarth House, Professor Simon During (Queensland)

A staff and postgraduate research seminar.

Simon During is a New Zealander who studied for his PhD in Victorian literature at Cambridge. For many years he taught at the University of Melbourne, where, as Robert Wallace Chair and Head of Department, he helped establish the Media and Communications, Cultural Studies and Publishing programs. Between 2002 and 2010 was a Professor of English at Johns Hopkins University, where he also served as Director of the Film and Media Programme. He has held fellowships and visiting positions at Berkeley and Princeton and elsewhere. He currently holds an APF at the centre.

His books include Foucault and Literature (Routledge, 1991), Patrick White (OUP, 1994), Modern Enchantments: the cultural power of secular magic (Harvard, 2002), Exit Capitalism: Literary Culture, Theory and Post-Secular Modernity (Routledge, 2009), and Against democracy: literary experience in the era of emancipations (Fordham University Press, 2012). He is currently mainly working on a history of the relationship between Anglicanism and literature in Britain from 1600 to 1945.

Contact for more information about this event.

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Durham Early Modern Group Seminar

16:30-18:00, Seminar Room 1, Department of History, 43 North Bailey

Jane Whittle (Exeter),’ Women’s Work in Rural England: 1500-1700. A New Methodological Approach

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St Kilda – Mice and Missiles, Managing a Remote World Heritage Site

18:00, Room PG20, Pemberton Building, Palace Green

Lecture part of the Durham World Heritage Site Lecture Series 30th Anniversary Celebrations. St Kilda is a remote archipelago off the Western Isles of Scotland, a World Heritage site since 1986 and the only mixed World Heritage Site in the UK. This lecture will look at just what makes St Kilda so special and the unique challenges of balancing natural and cultural heritage whilst sharing the site with the Ministry of Defence and coping with the North Atlantic weather.

Susan Bain is the Western Isles Manager for the National Trust for Scotland, with responsibility for St Kilda as well as Mingulay, Pabbay and Berneray. After studying at Glasgow University she worked as an archaeologist in Scotland and also in the USA, Europe and the Middle East. She began working for the Trust at Mar Lodge Estate, before moving to St Kilda, first as the archaeologist and then as manager. Her interest in traditional buildings took her to the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Norway on a Churchill Fellowship to investigate the use of turf as a traditional roofing material.

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Thursday 10th November

World Cinema and Cosmopolitics Research Group seminar: Professor Stephanie Dennison [Leeds] ‘Remapping World Cinemas: Brazilian Cinema and the Global Screen’

11:00, A29

The event is organized as part of the AHRC-funded Open World Research Initiative (OWRI) programme.


Stephanie Dennison’s talk is part of her “work-in-progress” investigation in the perspectives of World Cinema in the 21st century. After a brief overview of the forthcoming Routledge Companion to World Cinema, which she co-edits, Professor Dennison will focus on the methodological challenges that the concept of World Cinema faces today, after which she will turn to contemporary Brazilian cinema as a case study.

Speaker Bio:

Stephanie Dennison is a Professor of Brazilian Studies at the University of Leeds, UK. She founded the Centre for World Cinema at Leeds and co-edited Remapping World Cinema (2006) with Song Hwee Lim. She is co-author with Lisa Shaw of several books in English on Brazilian and Latin American cinema, including Brazilian National Cinema (2007). In 2013 she edited the first book on World Cinema to be published in Brazil: World Cinema: Novas Cartografias do Cinema Nacional (2015). She was a Leverhulme International Academic Fellow at UNICAMP in 2015 and she edits, with Paul Cooke, the Routledge book series Remapping World Cinema. She is Director of the international research network Soft Power, Cinema and the BRICS.

Contact for more information about this event.

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Scale and the Quandaries of an ‘Environmental’ Criticism

17:30-18:30, Birley Room, Hatfield College, Professor Tim Clark, Durham University

The twenty-first century has seen an increased awareness of forms of environmental destruction that cannot immediately be seen, localized or, by some, even acknowledged — planetary-scale phenomena such as climate change, ocean acidification, global overpopulation and other incremental forms of ecological degradation.

How far are inherited modes of both literature and criticism working with assumptions of scale that are now anachronistic. Can the emerging need to think of day to day human life on spatial and temporal scales that are unfamiliar be accommodated by modes of thought and ethics calibrated to normal human scales, or is the fragility of most attempts to think of literature and criticism in relation to the so-called Anthropocene the symptom of a dangerous crisis of values?? The question is focused by a comparison of issues of character and coherence in several narratives concerning climate change in some way, including Kim Stanley Robinson’s “Science in the Capital” trilogy and Will Self’s short story, “Scale”.

This lecture is free and open to all.

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St Cuthbert and his Anglo Saxon Cross – the mystery of the Reformation, an archaeological detective story

18:30, Ustinov College, Fisher House

Cafe Scientifique and Ustinov College SCR present the Author of “St Cuthbert’s Corpse: A Life after Death”, history and archaeology expert David Williams takes us through the detective story of not just why Durham Cathedral is located where it is today, but also the discovery of St Cuthbert’s “incorrupt” (not deteriorated) body during tomb openings and why that is. Definitely a story not to be missed. Everyone welcome. Refreshments provided.

Contact for more information about this event.

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Friday 11th November

St Cuthbert’s Society Annual Fellows’ Lecture

19:15-20:30, Elvet Riverside 201

‘The Future of Politics’- The Rt Hon the Lord Falconer of Thoroton PC QC.

Lord Falconer had a distinguished career as a barrister before joining Tony Blair’s government in 1997, where his roles included Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs. He was shadow Justice Secretary in Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, but resigned after the Referendum. He is thus well placed to comment on the future of politics in Britain.

Contact cuthbert’ for more information about this event.

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