lectures:

14:00
Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain 22nd Annual Birthday Lecture

School of Advanced Study:

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£35 non-member, £30 member Leonard and Virginia Woolf were not the first to start their own small press in the early 20th century, but they were among the most important and influential. Leonard, anxious for Virginia's mental health, initially conceived of the Hogarth Press as a distraction for her; eventually he came to see the publishing as important in itself. Their list came to include some of the leading Modernist writers of the 20th century, such as T. S. Eliot, Katherine Mansfield and E. M. Forster, as well as Virginia Woolf herself. They were also the first to publish the complete works of Sigmund Freud and key Russian texts in translation. In addition their books were attractively designed and illustrated by some of the outstanding artists of the day, Vanessa Bell, Roger Fry and Dora Carrington, among others. Although the Hogarth Press was sold to the much larger Chatto & Windus (now part of Random House) in 1948, Leonard and Virginia’s legacy continues in other small presses, one of the first of them set up by Leonard's only nephew, Cecil. With similar ideals and openness, working from home and promoting interesting new work in a variety of fields, Cecil Woolf Publishers is still operating today, over a century after Leonard and Virginia printed their first book in 1917 on their dining-room table. Jean Moorcroft Wilson is the widow of Leonard and Virginia Woolf’s nephew, Cecil Woolf, who followed Leonard into publishing. Cecil was 14 when Virginia died: he remembered her well and encouraged Jean to write Virginia Woolf, Life and London, a biography of place that included not only some of Woolf’s favourite walks but also those based on the territory covered in her work. Dr Wilson is also an acclaimed biographer and leading expert on the First World War poets. Shortlisted for the Duff Cooper prize for her Isaac Rosenberg (2008), she has in addition written biographies of Siegfried Sassoon, Charles Hamilton Sorley, Edward Thomas and the first of two volumes on Robert Graves. She has lectured for many years at the University of London, as well as in the United States, South Africa and Austria.

00:00
Interjectures - in midst of ‘either-or’s - 2

Architectural Association School of Architecture:

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13:00
Interrogating 'empowerment' in participatory action research: Power-dynamics, critical reflections, and community activism

Kings College:

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How to become and thrive as an impactful scholar – an hour with Professor Morten Huse - Session 4

Birkbeck: Online Book your place

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17:00
Beyond personalised and toward circuit-customised medicine: targeting molecular "Address Codes" for diverse functional neuron subtypes in the brain

Oxford University:

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Can we do better than small blue pills with overly broad effects in the brain?Just as people and populations are diverse - motivating ideas of personalised medicine, nerve cells - or neurons - of the brain are immensely diverse in their types and “individual” circuits that become diseased or damaged in humans. This lecture considers newly accessible molecular routes to more specific future therapies.The long-term goals of the research to be discussed in this Stanley Ho Memorial Lecture are to understand, at a “subcellular” molecular level, controls over the initial growth - the “development" - and diversity of cerebral cortex function-specific circuitry, and diversity of mature function. The work aims to identify causes, mechanisms, and thus potential “circuit-customised” therapeutic approaches to developmental, neuropsychiatric and degenerative disease, and to elucidate and potentially overcome blocks to brain and spinal cord regeneration in disorders like spinal cord injury. The specificity, modification, and function of quite diverse brain circuitry underlies how the brain-nervous system senses, integrates, moves the body, thinks, functions with precision, malfunctions with specificity in disease, degenerates with circuit specificity, might be regenerated, and/or might be better modeled in the laboratory. However, many relevant aspects of this neuronal circuit diversity and distinctness have been inaccessible in multiple core aspects until quite recently. Understanding what actually implements and maintains circuit specificity is a key issue regarding childhood developmental nervous system abnormalities and disease, proper function vs. dysfunction in neuropsychiatric disorders, selective neuron type vulnerability of degeneration (e.g. in motor neuron disease (MND-ALS), Huntington’s, Parkinson’s diseases), regeneration (or typical lack thereof) for spinal cord injury, and investigations of disease using human pluripotent stem cell (hiPS)-derived neurons.Professor Jeffrey D. Macklis' talk will consider possibilities of taking the idea of “personalised medicine”- tailored to an individual based on individual information - in a complementary direction– tailoring therapies to specific diseased or damaged brain circuitry.This talk will be followed by a drinks reception, all welcomeThis is the Dr Stanley Ho Memorial Lecture organised by the Oxford Martin School, Oxford Martin Programme on 3D Printing for Brain Repair and the Centre for Personalised MedicineRegistrationThis talk will be live in-person and onlineTo register to attend live in-person in Oxford: https://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/events/dr-stanley-ho-memorial-lecture/ To register to watch live online on Crowdcast: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/dr-stanley-ho-memorial-lecture

The Politics of Disgust and its impact on Religious Freedom

Oxford University:

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Third in a series of talks during Hilary term.

A message from Ukraine: Panel discussion with Olena Sotnyk

Kings College:

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18:30
Holocaust Memory in Eastern Europe

School of Advanced Study:

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Holocaust Memorial Lecture in collaboration with the The Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism. In this lecture, Professor Subotic will explore the ways in which the memory of the Holocaust in post-communist Eastern Europe has been used to represent other types of historical crimes. Specifically, she will examine the extent to which this instrumentalization of Holocaust memory has fed the rise of nationalized, particularized, and populist remembrance practices, and has helped produce a crisis in Holocaust memory globally. Focusing on post-communist Eastern Europe, Professor Subotic will demonstrate how the familiar narratives and images of the Holocaust have been repurposed for two main goals: first, to elevate the suffering of non-Jewish national majorities and equate this with the Holocaust; and second, to reposition the crimes of communism as the dominant criminal legacy of the 20th century on a par with, and sometimes overtaking, the legacy of the Holocaust. Jelena Subotic is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at Georgia State University in Atlanta, USA. She specializes in memory politics, international relations and the politics of the Western Balkans. Her most recent book, Yellow Star, Red Star: Holocaust Remembrance after Communism (Cornell University Press, 2019), won the 2020 Joseph Rothschild Prize in Nationalism and Ethnic Studies, the American Political Science Association’s 2020 European Politics and Society Book Prize and the 2020 Robert L. Jervis and Paul W. Schroeder Award for the best book on international history and politics. All welcome. This lecture is free to attend, but advance registration is required.

13:00
Lottery-Winning Maths

Gresham College:

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The field of probability started when a French nobleman asked the mathematician Blaise Pascal to solve a dispute for him about a game consisting of throwing a pair of dice 24 times. Pascal discussed this and other problems with fellow mathematician Pierre de Fermat, in a series of letters in which they arrived at the basic principles of probability theory. This lecture looks at dice, cards, lotteries, and other games of chance. Can mathematics help us win?

14:30
Where are all the women? A chat with Jo Swinson about women in politics

Kings College:

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18:00
Creatures of the Night: Nocturnal Art Making from Bandinelli to Picasso

School of Advanced Study:

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James Hall (University of Southampton): 'Creatures of the Night: Nocturnal Art Making from Bandinelli to Picasso' This lecture marks the publication of The Artist’s Studio: a Cultural History (Thames and Hudson) Drawing at night by artificial light became a crucial component of artistic practice during the Renaissance, massively increasing the mystique of the artist’s studio. It brought artists into line with scholars and the elite who had begun to eat supper and go to bed much later (the dialogues in Castiglione’s The Courtier take place at night). The flame from candles and oil lamps was Promethean fire, propelling artists to new creative heights and depths. Drawing could be undertaken at night because it is monochrome, making colour distortion by artificial light irrelevant. ‘At night all cats be grey’, went the proverb. Nocturnal painting came of age in the late nineteenth century, precisely because it facilitated anti-naturalism and abstraction. Kandinsky ‘discovered' abstract art when he mis-recognised one of his paintings in the studio at twilight. Picasso almost always painted at night. James Hall is an art historian and critic, currently Research Professor in Art History and Theory at the University of Southampton. Known for his versatility, he has written many essays on art history and contemporary art, and the following books: The World as Sculpture: the changing status of sculpture from the Renaissance to the present day (1999); Michelangelo and the Reinvention of the Human Body (2005); The Sinister Side: How Left-Right Symbolism Shaped Western Art (2008). The Self-Portrait: a Cultural History (Thames & Hudson 2014) won the Travelling Scholarship Prize and has been translated into five languages. Major essays on Michelangelo have recently been published in the Burlington Magazine and Simiolus, and in his new book, The Artist’s Studio: a Cultural History (Thames & Hudson 2022), he claims to have discovered a depiction of Michelangelo at work. He is a regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement. ‘Ambitious and accessible…never anything other than extremely readable, wonderfully illustrated, capacious in its reach and altogether a book to send the reader back to their favourite art with a new set of questions about exactly how and where it was made’ - The Art Newspaper ATTENDANCE FREE IN PERSON OR ONLINE WITH ADVANCE BOOKING This event is generously supported by Thames & Hudson.

The Ocean Physics Behind Net Zero

Gresham College:

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Why is the deep ocean cold? And why does this matter for global warming? Doing the maths with pipes and plumbing, not computers, we explore how processes that keep the deep oceans at frigid Arctic temperatures also determine how fast the world is warming in response to rising greenhouse gas concentrations – and also explain why it would be so difficult to say when the warming would stop even if we were to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations at today’s levels forever.

February

12:30
Ethics in AI Lunchtime Seminar - On the Site of Predictive Justice

Oxford University:

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Abstract: Optimism about our ability to enhance societal decision-making by leaning on Machine Learning (ML) for cheap, accurate predictions has palled in recent years, as these ‘cheap’ predictions have come at significant social cost, contributing to systematic harms suffered by already disadvantaged populations. But what precisely goes wrong when ML goes wrong? We argue that, as well as more obvious concerns about the downstream effects of ML-based decision-making, there can be moral grounds for the criticism of these predictions themselves. We introduce and defend a theory of predictive justice, according to which differential model performance for systematically disadvantaged groups can be grounds for moral criticism of the model, independently of its downstream effects. As well as helping resolve some urgent disputes around algorithmic fairness, this theory points the way to a novel dimension of epistemic ethics, related to the recently discussed category of doxastic wrong.

Book At lunchtime: One Hit Wonders

Oxford University:

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13:00
Bradford Hill Seminar - Social justice and health equity - Professor Sir Michael Marmot

Cambridge University: MRC Biostatistics Unit

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Science, Spirituality and the Problem of Evil

Cambridge University: Healey Room, Westminster College

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Innovation and the defence industry: do we need war? (CIMR debates in Public Policy)

Birkbeck: Online Book your place

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14:00
After Abstraction. The Soundscape of Shapes in Works by Ruth Rix and Helga Michie

Cambridge University: Magdalene College

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Secret Grounds - Ruth Rix in Conversation with Georgina Paul

Cambridge University: Magdalene College

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14:30
Peter Turchin: Cultural macroevolution - understanding the rise of large-scale complex societies in human history

Oxford University:

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During the Holocene the scale and complexity of human societies increased dramatically. Generations of scholars have proposed different theories explaining this evolution, which range from functionalist explanations, focusing on the provision of public goods, to conflict theories, emphasizing the role of class struggle or warfare. To quantitatively test these theories, Peter Turchin develops a general dynamical model, based on the theoretical framework of cultural macroevolution. Using this model and Seshat: Global History Databank he tests 17 potential predictor variables (and >100,000 combinations of these predictors) proxying mechanisms suggested by major theories of sociopolitical complexity. The best-fitting model indicates a strong causal role played by a combination of increasing agricultural productivity and warfare intensity, proxied by invention/adoption of military technologies (most notably, iron weapons and cavalry in the first millennium BCE). Overall, these empirical results support the idea that a major evolutionary force explaining the rise of large-scale complex human societies, organized as states, was Cultural Multi-Level Selection.About the speakerPeter Turchin is Project Leader at the Complexity Science Hub–Vienna, Research Associate at University of Oxford, and Emeritus Professor at the University of Connecticut. His research interests lie at the intersection of social and cultural evolution, historical macrosociology, economic history, mathematical modeling of long-term social processes, and the construction and analysis of historical databases. A founder of the field of Cliodynamics, his books include Ultrasociety (2016), Ages of Discord (2016), and The Great Holocene Transformation (forthcoming in 2023).

16:00
Why visiting a museum is good for everyone: cultural heritage, health and wellbeing

Cambridge University: Department of Zoology

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KJuris: Alain Zysset 'To Defer or to Surrender? The European Court of Human Rights in Populist Times'

Kings College:

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17:30
Are we alone in the Universe?

Cambridge University: Lady Mitchell Hall

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Remapping and place naming in ‘Beautiful Dachau’

Cambridge University: Online via Zoom

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Laureate's Library Tour with Simon Armitage and Imtiaz Dharker

Cambridge University: Cambridge University Library

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Antarctica: Isolated Continent

Cambridge University: Lady Mitchell Hall

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Isolation and Trapping using Optical Tweezers

Cambridge University: Lady Mitchell Hall

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Bulgarian tendencies: The perils of publishing queer books

Cambridge University: Cambridge University Library

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The closeting of secrets

Cambridge University: Lady Mitchell Hall

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Contemporary Art Talk - Susie Gray

Goldsmiths: Whitehead Building. Ian Gulland Lecture Theatre.

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Susie Gray works with communities and individuals that society marginalises; those who, because of marginalisation, face barriers when expressing and articulating needs, experiences and stories. Most of her work is arts-based social justice writing for communities that are underrepresented in the arts, making a case for diversity in the arts and arts as a tool for social change. Her youth arts project CYF also enables the making of art, video and dance, and represents an unusually community-facing attitude towards art and what it might be capable of, if used more as a process than a commodity. The variety of this work (all voluntary) encompasses working with: a newly arrived Iraqi migrant to articulate her experiences of domestic abuse; a rapper to articulate his experience of injustice when his lyrics were used as evidence against him in court; and working with an ex-member of a US based church (the FLDS which practises polygamy and forced marriage) to articulate the cultural, social and emotional needs of her and her children to health and education services. Increasingly, her work centres around creating a culture and environment that minimises the restraints of dominant cultures for individual artists and their wider communities, through written accounts that accurately articulate the current and emerging needs of those affected by high levels of social exclusion. Her approach emerged from 20 years direct delivery of youth and community work, and this ethos remains a constant. Some of the complexities she deals with on a daily basis Susie saw contained in Kehinde Wiley’s painting St.Adrian: ‘Wiley says he has admiration for historical paintings but that as a black man he was unable "to see a reflection of myself in that world.” For those at our youth arts project CYF, the inability to see a reflection of themselves applies to so many layers of their life and continues to present them with barriers. Seeing St.Adrian made me question what I think of as heterogeneous and why I consider it to be so, and I began to consider the potential to reshape what we see as heterogeneous; and the role this reshaping could play in enabling young people (and others) to see a reflection of themselves in places and spaces in which they previously felt they did not belong. I recently watched the music video to the track This is England by grime artist Kano, which uses UK locations not typically associated with his music genre. This included a wild and remote beach in Cornwall that I love. For me, seeing Kano on Gwenvor beach was reminiscent of seeing St.Adrian for the first time. Kano’s music genre creates a sense of belonging for many of the young people I know in inner-city Nottingham - Gwenvor beach does not. Kano and St.Adrian both gave me hope that one day a 15 year old from inner-city Nottingham can belong to both.’

Thinking the Border Otherwise: Solidarity, Resistance and Relationality

Kings College:

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18:00
Mitigating mitochondrial mutational meltdown or how to prevent the ‘mothers curse’

Cambridge University: Department of Chemistry

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Green Talk: Corporate Social Responsibility and the Environmental Crisis

Cambridge University: Gatsby Room (Chancellor's Centre)

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Anglo-Saxon Pagan Gods

Gresham College:

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When the Western Roman Empire crumbled, the Anglo-Saxon peoples who occupied Britain brought their own paganism with them. This was Germanic, with a pantheon of deities that included Woden, Thunor, Tiw and Frig. Its temples were wooden structures that leave scant traces in the landscape, but you can find evidence for their beliefs in cemeteries like Sutton Hoo. This lecture looks at such evidence and at literature such as Beowulf and the history written by the Christian scholar Bede.

19:00
The Really Popular Book Club: The Hours by Michael Cunningham

Cambridge University:

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PANGOLINS, HUMAN/ANIMAL ENCOUNTER & COVID-19 BY SUJIT SIVASUNDARAM

Cambridge University: Museum of Zoology

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The Heroes and the Hidden: A Museum of Zoology Discovery Talk Online

Cambridge University: online

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SOAS: Paul Webley Wing, Senate House, Alumni Lecture Theatre

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19:30
Imperial Mud – The Fight for the Fens

Cambridge University:

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