Author - Sarah Budasz, Blog, Conference, MLAC events, News, Reading Groups, Research Groups

MLAC EVENTS BULLETIN: 5 – 11 March

Talks and Events

Monday 5th March

IAS Fellow’s Public Lecture – On the ‘freedom’ and the ‘liberty’ to distort the human figure: The art of Stanley Spencer as case-study

 

17:30-18:30, Josephine Butler College, Professor Nigel Rapport (University of St Andrews)

In this talk Professor Rapport explores ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ as distinct concepts in relation to the art and life of the British painter Stanley Spencer (1891-1959).

When Spencer died in 1959 the most common phrasing in the obituaries that appeared in the press concerned this ‘art rebel’ or ‘rebel painter’ who had remained ‘one of Britain’s most controversial painters’. ‘The most fulfilled, courageous and irreplaceable British artist of the century’, it was explained, ‘Spencer was one of the few contemporary British artists who could be called with some confidence a man of genius as distinct from a man of talent’; yet ‘many people cordially dislike Spencer’s work, his deformations and distortions.’ Devoted to his native village of Cookam, on the Thames, Spencer painted not only landscapes and portraits with loving detail but also the ‘memory-feelings’ which he felt were a ‘sacred’ part of his consciousness and by which he came to walk with God. If he could but convey the vision of heaven-on-earth that he himself was vouchsafed when he saw the world through the lens of love, there would be a global revolution in behaviour, mores and science, Spencer was convinced: he was ‘a new kind of Adam’. But were not the representations of human beings in his visionary paintings ugly distortions, even marks of an immoral nature?

Drawing on Spencer’s own words, the talk asks two questions: ‘Can Stanley Spencer be described artistically as his own man, pursuing his own creative path?’. And does the controversy surrounding his name—the often uncomprehending, censorious or uninterested viewing public—evidence his unfreedom or the reverse?

This lecture is free and open to all.

Details about Professor Nigel Rapport

Contact enquiries.ias@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.

 

Mustapha Benfodil: Bilingual Poetry Reading (French and English)

20:00, Empty Shop, 35c Framwellgate Bridge,

Born in the western Algerian city of Relizane in 1968, Mustapha Benfodil is one of Algeria’s most prominent journalists, working for the leading daily newspaper, El Watan, recently the subject of a documentary (Contre-pouvoirs) by Malek Bensmaïl (2016). Mustapha Benfodil is part of an emerging generation of avant-garde Algerian writers and artists of the post-civil war era and is known for his blending of the boundaries between literature, art and political activism.

His novels include Zarta! (Barzakh, 2000), Les Bavardages du Seul (Barzakh 2003) – winner of the prize for the best Algerian novel in 2004 – and Archéologie du chaos [amoureux] (Barzakh, 2007; published in France by Al Dante, 2012). He is the author of five plays, including Clandestinopolis (2005; staged at the Avant-scène théâtre, Paris, 2008); Les Borgnes (2011); and Le Point de Vue de la Mort (Al Dante, 2013). Mustapha has also published in book form his experiences as war reporter in Iraq: Les six derniers jours de Baghdad: journal d’un voyage de guerre (2003). This year sees the publication of L’AntiLivre that maps the social and political evolution of Algeria over several decades based on Mustapha’s personal diaries. An English translation of his poetry is forthcoming in 2018 (Cocktail Kafkaïne), with Hesterglock Press in Bristol.

 

Tuesday 6th March

Research Forum: Allan Moore (University of Surrey)

14:00, Lecture room, Music Department

Disciples of the Cockroach King? Meaning, listening & recent prog

Free and all welcome

Full details to be confirmed.

 

French Seminar Series, Reading and discussion with Algerian journalist Mustapha Benfodil

17:00, Room 3, Alington House Community Centre, 4 North Bailey,

We are delighted to welcome to Durham the Algerian journalist, writer and visual artist Mustapha Benfodil, who will read from some of his latest poetry, theatre and novels. The reading will be followed by a discussion in French.

Born in the western Algerian city of Relizane in 1968, Mustapha Benfodil works as a journalist for the leading daily newspaper, El Watan. He is part of an emerging generation of avant-garde Algerian writers and artists of the post-civil war era and is known for his blending of the boundaries between literature, art and political activism.

His novels include Zarta! (Barzakh, 2000), Les Bavardages du Seul (Barzakh 2003) – winner of the prize for the best Algerian novel in 2004 – and Archéologie du chaos [amoureux] (Barzakh, 2007; published in France by Al Dante, 2012). He is the author of five plays, including Clandestinopolis (2005; staged at the Avant-scène théâtre, Paris, 2008); Les Borgnes (2011); and Le Point de Vue de la Mort (Al Dante, 2013).

For more information about this event, please contact Dr Joseph Ford, joseph.v.ford@durham.ac.uk.

 

Jacobitism and the Conscience of British and Irish Catholicism

17:30-19:30, Ushaw College

This is the first in a series of special events marking the 450th anniversary of the English College at Douai. Dr Gabriel Glickman (University of Cambridge) will present this public lecture as part of the Ushaw Lecture Series.

Between 1689 and 1746, the exiled Catholic house of Stuart lodged a claim upon its lost throne that threatened to destabilise British politics. Thousands of English, Irish and Scottish Catholics experienced exile, poverty or death for the Jacobite cause, while the effect was to increase the legal and political pressure upon those who remained at home. Catholic Jacobites used images, relics, poetry and prayer to represent the movement as a holy cause, worthy of sacrifice and martyrdom. But Jacobitism divided the international Catholic Church, and supporters of the Stuarts found themselves frequently at odds with European monarchs, brethren in the British Isles and even the papacy.

This lecture will examine the impact of the Jacobite cause upon recusant lives and recusant politics. I will show how the struggle for the throne created moral, religious and ideological questions that divided opinions among the clergy and laity, and raised new conflicts over the conscience of British and Irish Catholicism.

The lecture will start at 6pm and will be preceded by a drinks reception at 5.30pm. Transport is available between Durham City and Ushaw. This event is free of charge and all are welcome; registration is essential. For more information and to register, please visit http://centreforcatholicstudies.eventbrite.com For those needing transport, the registration deadline is 9am on Monday 26 February.

Contact ccs.admin@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.

 

Wednesday 7th March

The Wife of Bath and Modern ‘Rape Culture’ – The Case of the Dalhousie University Dentistry Scandal

TBC, Professor Kathy Cawsey (Dalhousie)

Join Professor Kathy Cawsey, visiting scholar from Dalhousie University, for this staff and postgraduate research seminar. Note that due to industrial action the date of this seminar may be subject to change.

To find out some of the background to this talk and our speaker, visit our READ blog.

Contact daniel.grausam@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.

 

Lunchtime Concert: Horn Society

13:15-13:45, Concert Room, Music Department, Palace Green

This week featuring the Durham University Horn Society, made up of some of the best horn players in the university, this is not a concert to miss.

The concert is free of charge.

Contact abigail.groocock@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.

 

History Department Research Seminar Series 17/18

16:00, Kenworthy Hall, St Mary’s College, Dr James Koranyi (Durham) and Dr Kevin Waite (Durham)

Title: Transnational perspectives: the nineteenth century on the move

to be given by Dr James Koranyi (Durham) and Dr Kevin Waite (Durham)

Paper to start at 4.00 (tea and coffee from 3.30)

ALL WELCOME

 

Nubia: What lies beneath

19:30-21:15, Lecture Room EH009, Elvet Hill House

Lecture by Dr Carl Graves, Deputy Director and Development Manager, Egypt Exploration Society. This lecture is hosted by the Friends of the Oriental Museum, as part of the 2017/18 series.

Since 1964 the land of Lower Nubia has lain submerged beneath the waters of Lake Nasser, but so much remained to be discovered, so many questions unanswered. Who were the Nubians? What interaction was there between Egyptians and Nubians? What was the nature of Egyptian imperialism in this southern land? This presentation will introduce the site of Buhen in Nubia through archives preserved at the Egypt Exploration Society in order to answer and investigate some of these unanswered questions.

This lecture is open to all. Lectures are free to Friends. For visitors the cost is £3 (£1 concession).

Contact oriental.museum@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.

 

The Future of the University Public Lecture Series – Universities at the Crossroads: Directing Cultural Transformations

20:00-21:00, Great Hall, University College, Professor N. Kate Hayles (Duke University)

Universities are no longer the privileged site of knowledge creation and dissemination. Excellent online tutorials, such as the Kahn Academy, provide high quality open-access instruction in subjects once considered too esoteric to address except in a university classroom, such as calculus, linear algebra, and similar mathematical topics. In other practices universities, for example MIT, have made their entire course offerings available online at nominal or no charge. Still others offer MOOCs on a wide variety of topics. These developments pose significant challenges to traditional ideas of the university as a cloistered space where students came and learned about subjects they could not access otherwise.

Taking a cue from similar problems facing university presses, this talk will argue for a transformative vision of the university that positions it not as a separate enclosed space but as a busy informational crossroads in which the university clearly identifies the “value added” it provides and takes an active role not only in creating and disseminating knowledge but also in directing it toward better and more productive practices that contribute to human and planetary flourishing.

Topics will include the flipped classroom, the tragedy of the lecture hall, the importance of contributing to sustainable and environmental practices, and suggestions for engaging in interdisciplinary initiatives and developing robust modes of discourse that reach beyond scholarly communities to the general public.

This lecture is free and open to all.

Times: 19:45 for 20:00 (doors open 19:30, first come, first served)

About Professor N.Kate Hayles

Professor Kate Hayles is today one of the most renowned Humanities scholars across the globe,for the very good, if paradoxical, reason that she transcends the divide between the two cultures of sciences and humanities. Currently Professor of English Literature at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, Kate Hayles began her academic career with degrees in Chemistry at Rochester Institute of Technology and CalTech, then working as a research chemist with Xerox Corporation. There followed degrees in English Literature at Michigan and Rochester, since when she has held posts in English at Dartmouth, CalTech, UCLA, and now Duke. She has achieved many distinctions, whilst making her name with books synthesising her unique dual gift: Chaos Bound. Orderly Disorder in Contemporary Literature and Science. (1990), How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature and Informatics (1999), How We Think. Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis (2012), and most recently, Unthought. The Power of the Cognitive Nonconscious (2017). All these works show that mind, body, intelligence, complexity, literature and technology are not mutually exclusive terms, but in fact complementary to one another, and in fact always already have been. In doing so, she has paved she way for the establishment of human-animal studies, for cognitive literary studies, and above all for the non-Freudian concept of the cognitive nonconscious, a notion which uses emergentist system theory to bridge the conceptual dualism between technical, animate, and conscious systems of cognition. In her lecture on the future of the university Professor Hayles will suggest that the digital revolution of our time poses a fundamental challenge to the constitution of the modern university as a separate enclosed space of informational transaction. Its future is as an informational crossroads which can ultimately transform the creation, dissemination, and application of knowledge.

In addition to her lecture, Professor Hayles will continue the debate on the future of the university in a podium discussion with David Berry, Professor of Digital Humanities, from the University of Sussex, on Thursday 8 March at 10.00am in the Senate Suite, University College. Places for this debate must be booked in advance due to limited capacity here.

Contact enquiries.ias@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.

 

Thursday 8th March

Universities at the Crossroads: podium discussion with Professor N. Kate Hayles (Duke University) and Professor David Berry (University of Sussex)

10:00-11:45, Senate Suite, University College, Durham University, Professor N. Kate Hayles (Duke University) and Professor David Berry (University of Sussex)

Professor Kate Hayles is today one of the most renowned Humanities scholars across the globe,for the very good, if paradoxical, reason that she transcends the divide between the two cultures of sciences and humanities. Currently Professor of English Literature at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, Kate Hayles began her academic career with degrees in Chemistry at Rochester Institute of Technology and CalTech, then working as a research chemist with Xerox Corporation. There followed degrees in English Literature at Michigan and Rochester, since when she has held posts in English at Dartmouth, CalTech, UCLA, and now Duke. She has achieved many distinctions, whilst making her name with books synthesising her unique dual gift: Chaos Bound. Orderly Disorder in Contemporary Literature and Science. (1990), How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature and Informatics (1999), How We Think. Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis (2012), and most recently, Unthought. The Power of the Cognitive Nonconscious (2017). All these works show that mind, body, intelligence, complexity, literature and technology are not mutually exclusive terms, but in fact complementary to one another, and in fact always already have been. In doing so, she has paved she way for the establishment of human-animal studies, for cognitive literary studies, and above all for the non-Freudian concept of the cognitive nonconscious, a notion which uses emergentist system theory to bridge the conceptual dualism between technical, animate, and conscious systems of cognition.

Following her lecture on the future of the university on Wed 7 March 2018 (8.00pm), Professor Hayles will continue the debate on the future of the university in a podium discussion with David Berry, Professor of Digital Humanities, from the University of Sussex, on Thursday 8 March at 10.00am in the Senate Suite, University College.

Places for this debate must be booked in advance due to limited capacity here.

 

Friday 9th March

World Cinema and Cosmopolitics Research Group: Against the National Project: Memory and Mobility in Contemporary Colombian Cinema

13:00-15:30, Russian World (Russkiy Mir) Centre, Elvet Riverside A29

Archivist, film scholar and curator Juana Suárez, Director of the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program at New York University (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts, presents a programme of four recent short films by Colombian filmmakers living abroad. Works by Juan Soto, Laura Huertas Millán, Camilo Restrepo and Gonzalo Escobar unsettle established narratives of national cinema through counter-hegemonic perspectives. Experimental uses of archives, intersections with video art and explorations of texture and place characterise this radical and developing body of work.

Introduction by Juana Suárez

https://tisch.nyu.edu/about/directory/cinema-studies/1365149851

Q&A with filmmaker Juan Soto

https://www.juansoto.co.uk/parable-of-the-return

This event is supported by the World Cinema and Cosmopolitics Research Group and the AHRC OWRI (Open World Research Initiative)

 

Living Texts Research Group Seminar-Screening: The Last Songs of Lucan/Les Derniers Chants de Lucan

16:00, ER149

Roaming the streets for ideas and characters, Lucan – the film’s poet-protagonist – imagines a series of surreal theatrical vignettes that expose the absurdities and hidden violence of modern city life.
Film-makers Ryan Kiggell and Olivia Rose took inspiration from Charles Baudelaire’s prose poetry in Le Spleen de Paris [Paris Spleen]. The film was devised in London and Paris over 10 days in collaboration with GoodDog Theatre Company, a multinational ensemble of theatre-makers trained at Jacques Lecoq’s International School of Theatre. Using found spaces and homemade masks, each film-poem was devised and shot in just a couple of hours. The 17-minute piece has a percussive score by composer Jamie Misselbrook.

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/189180885

Speaker: Ryan Kiggell is a theatre- and film-maker, teacher and actor. He is currently directing a production of Henrik Ibsen’s Peer Gynt at E15 Drama School. With his own company, aya, he has made Darkness Spoken (Southbank Centre, London), Peter Handke’s Kaspar (Southwark Playhouse, London), and George Orwell’s Burmese Days (59e59, New York). As an actor, he has toured extensively with the theatre company Cheek by Jowl, and starred in numerous productions in the West End and abroad. He also appears regularly on screen, and has worked with filmmakers such as Stephen Poliakoff, Mike Figgis and Joe Wright.

The film can be enjoyed without knowing French. The discussion with the film-maker will be in English, and will involve undergraduates from the French second-year module on ‘Modernity and Disenchantment’, in which Baudelaire’s verse poetry is a primary text.

Contact daniel.finch-race@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.

 

Saturday 10th March

Laid Bare: Attitudes to Nudity in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period

09:00-16:00, St Cuthbert’s Society Senior Common Room, 12 South Bailey, Peter Murray Jones (King’s College, Cambridge) and Jill Burke (The University of Edinburgh)

An interdisciplinary workshop on attitudes to nudity in the Middle Ages and Early Modern period

Confirmed speakers include Peter Murray Jones (Cambridge) on medieval medicine and medical manuscripts; Dr Jill Burke (Edinburgh) on representations of the body in Renaissance art; Tristan Lake on attitudes to nakedness in Anglo-Saxon England; Laura Campbell on French translations of the Genesis account of Adam and Eve; and Elizabeth Archibald on nudity in images of bathing.

Call for papers.

Proposals are invited for an interdisciplinary workshop on attitudes to nudity in the Middle Ages and Early Modern period (deferred from last term).

—REGISTRATION IS OPEN—

[WORKSHOP] Laid Bare: Attitudes to Nudity in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period

Saturday 10th March 2018

Senior Common Room, St Cuthbert’s Society, 12 South Bailey

If you would be interested in attending, please contact Tristan Lake (tristan.lake@durham.ac.uk).

Free attendance, registration necessary.

An interdisciplinary workshop on attitudes to nudity in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period will take place in Cuth’s on Saturday 10th March. Guest speakers will include the medical historian Peter Murray Jones (King’s College, Cambridge), and the art historian Jill Burke (The University of Edinburgh).

This project aims to consider attitudes to nudity in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period in a variety of media and genres – not just art but also archaeology, theology, literature, history, law and medicine. Whilst the important role of nudity in Christian teaching and theology has been sufficiently acknowledged by contemporary scholarship, the extensive range of attitudes and associations projected onto the medieval body have yet to be fully revealed. Nudity undergoes its own fashion changes, in which the body is ever shifting regarding the meanings inscribed upon it, variables such as faith, ethnicity, social status, gender, sex, age, health and bodily ability alongside changes in environment and context act to continually alter the meaning and experience of nudity. Within the period under review nudity may represent one or more of the following categories: innocence, heroism, purity, vice, temptation, monstrousness, eroticism, beauty, barbarism, paganism, divinity, weakness and power. Consequently, nudity within the middle ages and early modern period is a highly charged state of being, central to various cultural beliefs and identities which required delicate negotiation on both an ideological and practical level, particularly in relation to the necessities of daily life (e.g. washing, sex and grooming).

The multiplicitous nature of the body in these periods provides a highly fertile and underexplored field of study; naturally suited to interdisciplinary discussion. We are bringing together a group of experts representing a range of fields and evidential sources to discuss and share their perspectives on this topic. We hope to set up a network with a view to further meetings, and eventually to a collection of essays and an associated exhibition.

Please see attached workshop programme for further information.

Contact e.f.archibald@dur.ac.uk; tristan.lake@dur.ac.uk . for more information about this event.

 

 

 

 

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