The Department welcomed members of the public by the hundreds to this year's Open Day, 26 September. Guests attended 40 events - short lectures, workshops, informational sessions and walking tours - all free of charge. Here is a selection of the events that happened on the day.
Britain's economic problems and prospects
At the time of the 2008 global credit crunch, I participated in Oxford's online debate on whether the economic crisis sounded the death knell for laissez faire capitalism. I argued it did, not because I was naive enough to think that laissez faire policies would be abandoned, but because they should be, and until and unless they are, a repeat of the credit crunch and the resultant global recession hangs over us. In this talk I will review the record of the past five years, and consider prospects for the future. Economist Professor Jonathan Michie is Director of the Department for Continuing Education and President of Kellogg College. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
Party games: coalition government in British politics
This session will look at the history of coalition government in British politics over the past 200 years and discuss some of the constitutional implications of the current Conservative-Liberal Democrat government under David Cameron and Nick Clegg. Professor Angus Hawkins is Director of Public and International Programmes.
Philosophy in 45 minutes!
Philosophy deals with the BIG questions of life: does God exist? How should we live? What is truth? What are numbers and do we need them? Does space come to an end or is it infinite? NO SOUND FOR FIRST 3 MINUTES. In this 45 minute slot Marianne Talbot will take participants on a romp through the nature of philosophy for complete beginners. Philosopher Marianne Talbot is our Director of Studies in Philosophy, and is well-known as an author and the creator of two hugely popular Philosophy podcast series. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
Fitzgerald beyond Gatsby
With the recent resurgence in interest in F. Scott Fitzgerald following Baz Luhrmann's imaginative film adaptation of Fitzgerald's 1925 novel The Great Gatsby have come the inevitable cliches of the 'lost generation' and the 'American dream'. But who was the writer of The Great Gatsby, and how does his most famous novel resonate with, or even against, his other works? How similar is the novel to its most recent adaptation, and what can this tell us about the iconography surrounding Fitzgerald and his book in comparison with the text itself? In this talk Tara Stubbs will consider The Great Gatsby in light of the rest of Fitzgerald's works - focusing particularly on his novels The Beautiful and Damned (1922) and Tender is the Night (1934) - to shed some light on the ways in which Fitzgerald's motifs and techniques were developed before and beyond his most well-known work. Dr Tara Stubbs is a University Lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing.
Gustav Klimt and secessionist Vienna
Vienna around 1900 witnessed a vital and anxious surge in art, design, literature and music. This creativity also inspired psychological investigations into the inner self and dreams, most famously by Sigmund Freud. The old Imperial city was transformed into a modern metropolis encircled by the cafes and cultural institutions of the new tree-lined Ringstrasse and beyond new elegant suburbs. As the acclaim surrounding Edmund de Waal's The Hare with Amber Eyes and the forthcoming National Gallery exhibition attests, the paintings of Gustav Klimt and the exquisite interiors of the Wiener Werkstätte designers resonate with the delights and dilemmas of our own age. Dr Claire I R O'Mahony is University Lecturer in the History of Art and Course Director for the MSt in the History of Design and the Undergraduate Diploma in the History of Art. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
Surprises - for you and for mathematics
In 1900, pure mathematics had the smug air of a finished product. We thought we knew what it was and we thought we knew how it was done. Then Bertrand Russell came along with an analysis that has the feeling of a childhood paradox, and blew the smugness away, perhaps forever. In this short talk I shall describe the pre-Russell situation, and go through his paradox in a way that you will find accessible. After that, I shall attempt an informal account of what happened next before ending with some of the work of Alan Turing. Dr Bob Lockhart is Director of Studies in Computing and Mathematics and Course Director of our Undergraduate Advanced Diploma in Data and Systems Analysis. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/