275 episodes

The University of Oxford is home to an impressive range and depth of research activities in the Humanities. TORCH | The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities is a major new initiative that seeks to build on this heritage and to stimulate and support research that transcends disciplinary and institutional boundaries. Here we feature some of the networks and programmes, as well as recordings of events, and offer insights into the research that they make possible.

TORCH | The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities Oxford University

    • Courses

The University of Oxford is home to an impressive range and depth of research activities in the Humanities. TORCH | The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities is a major new initiative that seeks to build on this heritage and to stimulate and support research that transcends disciplinary and institutional boundaries. Here we feature some of the networks and programmes, as well as recordings of events, and offer insights into the research that they make possible.

    • video
    Patience Agbabi reading and conversation: podcast

    Patience Agbabi reading and conversation: podcast

    In this podcast the dynamic poet Patience Agbabi is in conversation about her Ted Hughes short-listed collection Telling Tales (2015), a rebellious reworking of Chaucer, and her contribution to the 2016 Refugee Tales project. After reading from both works Agbabi discusses with Professor Elleke Boehmer, Director of the Oxford Centre for Life Writing, and medievalist Professor Marion Turner, the key themes that animate her work: her efforts to give voice to the marginalised, the influence of Chaucer upon her writing and practice, and her interests in grime music as well as poetic form, not least the sonnet. The recording was made on 5 December 2019 at a ‘Writers Make Worlds’ event in the English Faculty, University of Oxford.

    • 57 min
    • video
    Ashmolean After Hours: Carpe Diem! Highlights video

    Ashmolean After Hours: Carpe Diem! Highlights video

    Highlights of the Torch collaboration with the Ashmolean Museum for a special edition of After Hours as part of the Last Supper of Pompeii exhibition to celebrate all things Pompeii and ancient Rome. Mount Vesuvius is thought to have begun erupting on 24 October AD 79. Almost two thousand years later, TORCH collaborated with the Ashmolean Museum for a special edition of After Hours as part of the Last Supper of Pompeii exhibition to celebrate all things Pompeii and ancient Rome - with bite-sized talks from students and researchers, and activities for all to enjoy. Highlights from the evening can be viewed in this video.

    This event was part of the Humanities Cultural Programme.

    • 1 min
    • video
    Princeton University Press Lectures in European History and Culture III: Stories for the future, and how to get there

    Princeton University Press Lectures in European History and Culture III: Stories for the future, and how to get there

    Martin Puchner, the Byron and Anita Wien Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Harvard University, gives the third and final lecture in the Princeton University Press Lectures in European History and Culture. Based on the history of world literature presented in the first two lectures, Martin Puchner will seek to draw conclusions about the role of the humanities today. What he have in mind is something that might be called applied humanities. Scientists and policy makers have struggled to turn knowledge about global challenges, from climate change to the future of the European Union, into meaningful action.

    But in order to motivate action, we need more than facts; we need stories. How can the history of storytelling help us meet this need? And what types of stories should we develop to meet these challenges?

    The guest speaker for this event is Martin Puchner, the Byron and Anita Wien Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Harvard University. His writings, which include a dozen books and anthologies and over sixty articles and essays, range from philosophy and theater to world literature and have been translated into many languages. Through his best-selling Norton Anthology of World Literature and his HarvardX MOOC Masterpieces of World Literature, he has brought four thousand years of literature to audiences across the globe. His most recent book, The Written World, which tells the story of literature from the invention of writing to the Internet, has been widely reviewed in The New York Times, The Times (London), the Financial Times, The Times Literary Supplement, The Atlantic, The Economist, among others, covered on radio and television, and is forthcoming in over a dozen languages. In hundreds of lectures and workshops from the Arctic Circle to Brazil and from the Middle East to China, he has advocated for the arts and humanities in a changing world.

    • 1 hr 15 min
    • video
    Princeton University Press Lectures in European History and Culture II:Think Big! A modest argument about large scales

    Princeton University Press Lectures in European History and Culture II:Think Big! A modest argument about large scales

    Martin Puchner gives the second lecture in the Princeton University Press Lectures in European History and Culture. The idea of world literature contains an argument in favor of large-scale comparative projects. But most humanities disciplines have shied away from these sorts of projects, deterred by a skepticism with respect to grand narratives and worries about Eurocentric universalism. In this context, other disciplines from physics to biology have taken over the job of telling overarching stories.

    Martin Puchner will argue that much gets lost when we neglect the big picture. But how should we humanists proceed, taking into account decades of critique? Through what kinds of collaborations can we insert what we know into the narratives our societies tell? In making this argument, Professor Puchner will be drawing on his experience with the Norton Anthology of World Literature.

    • 1 hr 21 min
    • video
    Princeton University Press Lectures in European History and Culture I: The Challenge of World Literature

    Princeton University Press Lectures in European History and Culture I: The Challenge of World Literature

    Martin Puchner, the Byron and Anita Wien Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Harvard University, gives the first of the Princeton University Press Lectures. On January 31st, 1827, the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe shocked his secretary by uttering a new word: world literature. Goethe had just read a Chinese novel and concluded that Europe needed to rethink its relation to the rest of the world. Humanity was entering a new phase: the phase of world literature.

    Coined in provincial Weimar, the idea of world literature soon caught the imagination of Marx and Engels and was subsequently used by those seeking to promote national literatures, from Yiddish to South Asia, within an international context. What can we learn from this history? And what does the term world literature mean today?

    The guest speaker for this event is Martin Puchner, the Byron and Anita Wien Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Harvard University. His writings, which include a dozen books and anthologies and over sixty articles and essays, range from philosophy and theater to world literature and have been translated into many languages. Through his best-selling Norton Anthology of World Literature and his HarvardX MOOC Masterpieces of World Literature, he has brought four thousand years of literature to audiences across the globe. His most recent book, The Written World, which tells the story of literature from the invention of writing to the Internet, has been widely reviewed in The New York Times, The Times (London), the Financial Times, The Times Literary Supplement, The Atlantic, The Economist, among others, covered on radio and television, and is forthcoming in over a dozen languages. In hundreds of lectures and workshops from the Arctic Circle to Brazil and from the Middle East to China, he has advocated for the arts and humanities in a changing world.

    • 1 hr 13 min
    • video
    Humanities Light Night - Oxford Research Unwrapped!

    Humanities Light Night - Oxford Research Unwrapped!

    Highlights of the Humanities Night Light event. As part of the national Being Human Festival, and Oxford's Christmas Light Festival, Humanities Light Night - Oxford Research Unwrapped! was a spectacular explosion of colour, sound and activity for all, including a huge video projection onto the 3-storey Radcliffe humanities building, premiering SOURCE: CODE which featured the work of Oxford Humanities Professors Jacob Dahl, Richard Parkinson and Armand D'Angour, and co-created by Oxford Humanities researchers and The Projection Studio, world-class projection and sound-artists. A series of talks and activities also took place during the evening, relating to the overall theme of 'Discovery'.

    This event was part of the Humanities Cultural Programme.

    • 1 min

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