This blog has moved

The School of Advanced Study have decided to close down this blog and replace it with a new, improved blog called Talking Humanities. This new blog will offer a discussion point for the study of the arts and humanities. All posts previously published on the SAS blog have been archived onto Talking Humanities. Please check out Talking Humanities and let us know what you...

#PotW: John Coffin Memorial Reading: a roundtable panel with three New and Next Generation Poets – 13 March

This free public event is a conversation/public reading featuring 3 leading New/Next Generation poets (a major poetry promotion, run by the Poetry Book Society). Ian Duhig (1994), Patience Agbabi (2004) and Hannah Lowe (2014) will speak publicly about their experiences and what being nominated has meant for them. A wine reception will follow. The event will form part of a conference entitled “New Generation to Next Generation 2014: Three Decades of British and Irish Poetry” (hosted by IES, in collaboration with Oxford Brooks, Aberystwyth, Durham, Reading and the Poetry Books Society) which is timed to coincide with the final performance of a national tour at the Southbank on 16 March. For more details on the details, please visit:http://www.ies.sas.ac.uk/conferences/New-NextGeneration. When: 13 March 2015, 18:00 – 20:00 Where: The Chancellor’s Hall (Senate House, first floor), Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU Register via...

Pick of the week: Brazilian Diaries with Michael Palin and Alan Charlton – 5 Feb

The John Brooks Memorial Lecture Brazilian Diaries Michael Palin, CBE, FRGS in conversation with Alan Charlton CMG CVO When: Thursday 5 February 2015 18.00 – 19.30 Where: The Beveridge Hall Ground floor, Senate House Malet Street London WC1E 7HU All welcome. RSVP: olga.jimenez@sas.ac.uk Michael Palin established his reputation with Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Ripping Yarns. His work also includes several films with Monty Python, as well as The Missionary, A Private Function, an award-winning performance as the hapless Ken in A Fish Called Wanda, American Friends and Fierce Creatures. His television credits include two films for the BBC’s Great Railway Journeys, the plays East of Ipswich and Number 27, and Alan Bleasdale’s GBH. He recently starred in a three part drama for the BBC called Remember Me. He has written books to accompany his eight very successful travel series, including Around the World in 80 Days, Pole to Pole, Full Circle, Sahara and Brazil. He is also the author of a number of children’s stories, the play The Weekend and the novels Hemingway’s Chair and The Truth. In July 2014, Michael, with his fellow Pythons, performed a ten night sell-out show at the 02 Arena – Monty Python Live. Michael was made a CBE in the 2000 New Year’s Honours List for services to television drama and travel. In 2002, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Comedy Awards. In 2005, he was given a BAFTA Special Award and in 2013 he was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship. Between 2009 and 2012, Michael was President of the Royal Geographical Society. Alan Charlton was British Ambassador to Brazil 2008-2013. He continues his association with Brazil and Latin America through the Robin Humphreys Fellowship. He also advises De Montfort University on their Latin America strategy as a consultant and governor and holds advisory board memberships of the Brazil Institute, King’s College London, and ILAS. He has founded the British-Brazilian Conversa, a bilateral...

#PotW: Nelson Mandela: Myth & Reality – 5 December

The Institute of Commonwealth Studies is convening a seminar to discuss the complexities of Mandela’s ideology, political relationship with other liberation movements within South African society, his record as the first black President of South Africa; and his contribution to South Africa’s reintegration in the international system , after decades of ostracism. 5th December 2014 marks the first anniversary of his death. At his passing, an enormous amount of media material was produced reflecting on multiple aspects of his life and work: a considerable amount of this was relatively superficial, and understandably hagiographic. Now more time has passed, there is both opportunity and need for a more dispassionate assessment of the complexity of the Mandela phenomenon: the continuing importance of debates about the armed struggle and his relationship with the SACP; Mandela, the ANC and Africa during the liberation struggle; the role and position of Mandela in the overall South African liberation struggle and relations within the ANC and with other movements and strands of thought, including Black Consciousness; serious discussion of his place in the critical time of negotiated transition; and a sober assessment of Mandela’s record in office, as revolutionary leader turned administrator, and national leader in the rapidly changing post-Cold War world; and his role in Africa and the international system. This seminar intends to contribute to the on-going debate of myths versus realities of Mandela, and the complexities of his legacy. The conference is being organised by the ICWS, in conjunction with two of its Senior Research Fellows, Keith Somerville (former BBC World news programmes editor and currently Lecturer in Humanitarian Communications, Centre for Journalism, University...

#PotW: Clinical Governance and Leadership – 27 November 2014

Clinical governance and leadership. Invented in the UK, exported to NZ.  Developments that can contribute to NHS England This lecture by Professor Robin Gauld will report the late-1990s in response to various failures in medical professionalism but also to promote equal emphasis in NHS organizations on accountability for both clinical performance and financial performance, and ensure that health professionals were responsible for driving quality improvement. On 2012, the national assessment project in which the spectrum of New Zealand health professionals were surveyed about clinical governance development and site visits to District Health Boards undertaken. A range of innovative models have been put in place, many influenced by developments in the NHS. Speaker: Professor Robin Gauld, New Zealand-UK Link Foundation Visiting Professor, 2014 Chair: Sir Malcolm Grant (Chairman, NHS England Management Committee) Respondent: Dr Anna Dixon (Director of Strategy, Ministry of Health)    Venue: The Chancellor’s Hall (Senate House, first floor), Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU Date and Time: 27 November 2014, 18:00 – 20:00 Attendance is free, but please register here...

#PotW: Forbidden Access: Censoring Books and Archives

A collaboration between the Institute of English Studies, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and Senate House Library. ‘Forbidden Access’ is a multidisciplinary conference exploring how published works and archival materials and the ideas contained in them are affected, obscured or distorted by censorship. The conference seeks to explore the proliferating and divisive causes, symptoms and effects of the censoring impulse, from overt interference with a text to the subtler, intangible effects of caution and fear in the face of anticipated control, and to do so in relation to a variety of angles and contexts: aesthetic, cultural, socio-economic, ideological, legal, and political. Organising committee: Wim Van Mierlo (IES), Jules Winterton (IALS), Richard Espley (Senate House Library), David Clover (Senate House Library), Belinda Crothers (IALS) Venue: School of Advanced Study, Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7H Date and time: 6 – 7 November 2014 Register here...

SAS joins in the national recognition of a milestone in history

The centenary of the First World War is described on the British Government’s website as “a significant milestone in world history”. On August 4 it was marked by a range of national commemorative events including services of remembrance. To coincide with the anniversary of a human conflict that left 1,000,000 dead by the end of 1914, SAS Blogs is running a series of opinion pieces contributed by historians from various universities. They are aimed at anyone interested in modern history and focus on five dates in the World War One timeline – 28 July (Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia), 4 August (Britain joins the war), 19 October (First Battle of Ypres), 22 November (Trench warfare) 8 December (The Battle of the Falkland Islands). In addition to these, we have also pulled together a number of podcasts that offer varied insights into the global nature of WW1 and its repercussions, which are still felt in areas such as the Balkans and Palestine. Digitising the First World War: opportunities and challenges Professor Sir Deian Hopkin (President of the National Library of Wales) Digital History Seminar Series Institute of Historical Research Dona Montefiore and World War One Ted Crawford Socialist History Seminar Series Institute of Historical Research Bombing and Memory: Britain and France, 1940-45 Professor Andrew Knapp (University of Reading) Douglas Johnson Memorial Lecture Institute of Historical Research War and the Female Franchise in Jamaica Henrice Altink (University of York) Gender and History in the Americas Seminar Series Institute of Historical Research The influence of Architecture in Cold War Literature Antonia Mackay (Oxford Brookes University & Goldsmiths University of London) Gender and...

New Project on Old Books: Some Challenges

In a major piece of research facilitation, IES Associate Fellow Dr Karen Attar is editing the third edition of the Directory of Rare Book and Special Collections in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland for CILIP’s Rare Books and Special Collections Group. In this second post (the first can be found here) Dr Attar discusses the elusiveness of finding the right organisations to bring the Directory up to date.   Karen Attar (IES Associate Fellow/Senate House Library) Bringing together information about over 1,200 repositories containing printed special collections – all sorts of libraries, archives, and museums – is extremely useful for letting researchers know what is where, but it is a challenging task. In effect, it is a form of project management with some 1,200 participants (the contributing repositories), all of whom are volunteers from the project manager’s point of view; some of whom are volunteers concerning the collections they curate; and many of whom have conflicting priorities and agendas. One of the reasons for producing a third edition of the Directory of Rare Book and Special Collections in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland was that the second edition, from 1997, was out of date. The first challenge was to find elusive organisations. Falmouth did not appear at all in the 1997 Directory, because Falmouth University as such did not exist. Dartington College of Arts in Totnes, Devon, did. In 2008, University College Falmouth merged with Dartington. The Camborne School of Mines, which has a special collections of rare books on mining, mineralogy and geology, merged with the University of Exeter in 1993, but somehow its...

#PotW Language, Culture and Society in Russian/English Studies: 5th Conference 5-6 August

Organised and sponsored by the Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy of Linguistics and The Journal of Philology. The conference is devoted to the development of English and Russian studies, lexicography, sociolinguistics, English teaching in Russia, and the History of the Book.           The Organising Committee welcomes presentations for the following research fields: English and Russian Studies (Lexicography, English Studies, Russia Studies) Theoretical Linguistics Sociolinguistics English and Russian Literature Language Teaching Medieval Studies The History of the Book: Past and Present Society Studies Venue: Senate House, Institute of English Studies Date and time:  5-6 August (10:00 – 18:45) For more information visit the Institute of English Studies website The draft programme can be viewed here Click here for online...

#PotW Literary London annual lecture 23 July

Bernardine Evaristo: ‘London, Londinium, Londolo: The Endless Possibilities of Re-Imagining London’ My fiction, verse fiction and poetry are strongly rooted in various imaginings of London, from the pre-historical settlement of early man in my poem, Routes, to the escapades of a black Roman girl living it up in Londinium in my verse novel, The Emperor’s Babe. In the parallel universe of my novel, Blonde Roots, London becomes the African city of Londolo; the semi-autobiographical verse novel Lara,spans 150 years of my family’s migrations; in Hello Mum, London is seen through the eyes of a fourteen year old boy living on a housing estate; and Mr Loverman, is the story of a 74 year old black gay man who has lived in the city for fifty years. This talk will dig deep into the city as source of inspiration with illustrative readings from the books. Award-winning author Bernardine Evaristo’s seven books of fiction and verse fiction include Mr Loverman (Penguin 2013), Lara (Bloodaxe 2009), Blonde Roots (Penguin 2008) and The Emperor’s Babe (Penguin 2001). Two of her novels have been adapted into BBC R4 plays since 2012.  She is a literary critic, editor, writer for radio and has judged many literary prizes. She is Reader in Creative Writing at Brunel University, London and teaches the UEA-Guardian How to Tell a Story course. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and the Royal Society of Arts, and she was made an MBE in 2009.  Venue: Senate House Date and time: 23 July 2014, 18:15 – 19:30 Find out more on the Institute of English Studies website Lecture attendance free.  For more information on the Literacy London full conference click...