From Our Fellows, February 2018The British Academy add
In this February 2018 edition of short reflections ‘From Our Fellows’, Jeremy Horder suggests ways to keep our Members of Parliament squeaky clean; Francesca Orsini warns us of our limited vision when we think of ‘world literature’; and Anna Vignoles discusses what universities are able to do to promote greater social mobility.
When you think back to the MPs’ expenses scandal of 2009 do you still feel annoyed? Jeremy Horder, Professor of Criminal Law at the London School of Economics, thinks that our Members of Parliament could still benefit from some more robust scrutiny.
Many of us might aspire to keep up with what’s new in ‘world literature’. But Francesca Orsini, Professor of Hindi and South Asian Literature at SOAS University of London, reminds us how much of what is published remains overlooked by English language readers, leaving us with a very partial view of the world. [at 6:33]
A university education is thought by many to be the key to career success. But are our life chances actually determined at a much earlier age? Anna Vignoles, Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge, considers what role education can really play in promoting social mobility. [at 14:46]
Thinkers For Our Time - Sylvia PankhurstThe British Academy add
A leading campaigner for women’s and workers’ rights, Sylvia Pankhurst (1882-1960) helped shape the policy and the methods of the suffragette struggle. She attended the Royal College of Art, and as both an artist and an activist, she placed visual imagery, performance, costume and colour at the heart of political activism and argument. Join our panel as they discuss Sylvia Pankhurst, her creative approach to fighting oppression and the contemporary resonances of her work.
This event is the fourth in a series re-thinking the life and work of influential historical figures from across the Academy’s disciplines. It follows events exploring Freud, Wollstonecraft and Malthus.
Katherine Connelly Author Sylvia Pankhurst: Suffragette, Socialist and Scourge of Empire (Pluto Press, 2013); Queen Mary, University of London
Rachel Holmes Author, Eleanor Marx: A Life (Bloomsbury, 2014)
Dr Naomi Paxton Research Assistant, University of Lincoln and UK Parliament Vote 100 project
Hester Reeve Reader in Fine Art, Sheffield Hallam University; Co-founder of the Emily Davison Lodge; Co-curator of BP Spotlight: Sylvia Pankhurst, Tate Britain 2013-4
Professor Sally Shuttleworth FBA Professor of English Literature, University of Oxford
Big Data, Society and YouThe British Academy add
From driverless cars to cheating your fit bit, we hear how the explosion of data can shape our future for better and worse. And we ask: do we have a say in what's coming around the corner?
Since the recording of this podcast, Prof. Karen Yeung is now Interdisciplinary Professor in the School of Law and the School of Computer Science at The University of Birmingham.
Producer: Edgar Maddicott @edgarmaddicott
Presenter: Flora Willson @drflorawillson
Additional music courtesy of creativecommons soundcloud CC 2.0.
Research Spotlight: Russian RevolutionThe British Academy add
New research about the Russian Revolution is constantly changing and informing our understanding of the period, and its impact on the course of world history. Hear former British Academy award holders explore the topic further in this evening of short talks.
Dr James Harris Senior Lecturer in Modern European History, University of Leeds
Dr Polly Jones Associate Professor of Russian Literature, University of Oxford
Dr Katy Turton Lecturer in European History, Queen's University Belfast
Henrietta Foster Freelance television Producer/Director for the BBC
Scottish Englightenment and the Matter of TroyThe British Academy add
The modern world knows the Scottish Enlightenment as the nursery of today’s social sciences, when the outlines of economics, sociology and anthropology first became apparent in the works of Adam Smith and his contemporaries. However, deeper immersion in eighteenth-century Scottish culture reveals the enduring importance of classical antiquity to intellectuals who were as much late humanists as pioneer social scientists. Colin Kidd focuses on the unexpected fascination of enlightened Scots with the Trojan War and Homer’s account of it. He discusses attempts to reconstruct the sociology of the Homeric world and the late eighteenth-century debate about the location of Troy.
Professor Colin Kidd FBA FRSE, University of St Andrews
Professor Lyndal Roper FBA, University of Oxford
About the speaker:
Colin Kidd is the Wardlaw Professor of Modern History at the University of St Andrews and a Fifty-pound Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. His most recent books are The World of Mr Casaubon (2016) and the International Companion to John Galt (2017), co-edited with Gerard Carruthers.
Russia in Revolution: An Empire in Crisis, 1890 to 1928The British Academy add
This event is part of the British Academy's season on RevolutionsThe Russian Revolution of 1917 transformed the face of the Russian empire, politically, economically, socially, and culturally. To mark the centenary of this epochal event, Steve Smith FBA discusses his latest book, offering a panoramic account of the history of the empire from the late 19th century to the end of the 1920s.Speaker:Professor Steve Smith FBA Professor of History, University of Oxford; Senior Research Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford; Honorary Research Professor, Department of History, University of EssexChaired by:Sameer Rahim Managing Editor (Arts & Books), Prospect Magazine
From Our Fellows 10, December 2017The British Academy add
In this edition of short reflections ‘From Our Fellows’ to bring 2017 to a close, Maggie Snowling explains the importance of good language skills for social mobility and diversity; Helen Wallace explains the continuing value of European Studies as an academic discipline; and Simon Blackburn provides a philosopher’s explanation of ‘truth’.
Diversity in society is a widely recognised goal, but how is it to be achieved? Professor Maggie Snowling, President of St John’s College, Oxford, draws on her study of language-learning difficulties to offer some suggestions.
December 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the University Association for Contemporary European Studies. Dame Helen Wallace, previously Professor in the European Institute at the London School of Economics, joins in the celebrations, but also asks – what is the future for European studies?
Feeling confused in a ‘fake news’, ‘post-truth’ world – unsure of what a fact is? Simon Blackburn, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Professor at the New College of the Humanities, introduces us to some fundamental philosophical theories of truth.
(Professor Blackburn also presented this talk at the Nobel Week Dialogue in December 2017.)
Women, Crime and Character in the Twentieth CenturyThe British Academy add
Professor Nicola Lacey FBA CBE, London School of Economics
Professor Sarah Worthington QC(Hon), FBA, University of Cambridge
The Twentieth Century saw decisive changes in women’s legal, social, economic and political position. But how far have these changes been reflected in women’s position as subjects of criminalisation in the courts, in legal thought or in literary fiction? This lecture takes up the story of the gradual marginalisation of criminal women in both legal and literary history, asking whether a criminal heroine such as Moll Flanders (1722) is thinkable again, and what this can tell us about conceptions of women as subjects of criminal law. How far do the conceptions of, and dilemmas about, female subjectivity, agency, capacity and character which emerge successively in 20th Century literary culture reflect and illuminate the relevant patterns and debates in criminal law and philosophy?
About the speaker:
Nicola Lacey is School Professor of Law, Gender and Social Policy at the London School of Economics. Nicola's research is in criminal law and justice, with a particular focus on comparative and historical scholarship: she also has research interests in legal and social theory, in feminist analysis of law, in law and literature, and in biography.
Youthquake 2017! Can young voters transform the UK’s political landscape?The British Academy add
A surge in youth voters contributed to Labour’s shock result in the UK’s 2017 General Election. Spurred on by the party’s leader and policies - particularly those relating to education, welfare and Brexit - 18-24-year olds turned out to vote in numbers not seen since 1992. But was June a ‘one-off’? Can Labour rely on young people to keep up the momentum in the next election - whenever that may be? And is their support enough to deliver victory for Corbyn? Join our expert panel as they draw on new data and key thinking to discuss whether young voters can transform the UK’s political landscape in the coming years.
Dr Benjamin Bowman, Research Coordinator, PaCCS, University of Bath
Dr Sharon Coen, Senior Lecturer in Media Psychology, University of Salford
Dr Monica Poletti, ESRC Postdoctoral Research Assistant, QMUL
Professor Paul Whiteley FBA, Professor of Government, University of Essex
Laura Hood, Politics Editor and Assistant Editor, The Conversation
Fighting For FreedomThe British Academy add
This event was part of the British Academy's season on Revolutions
The Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) heralded the beginning of the end of slavery in the Western Hemisphere, and the overthrow of colonial powers. Successive revolutions have shaped the region's political, economic and cultural landscapes today, as slavery has been challenged, and freedom sought. Join our panel for a fascinating insight into the legacies of rebellion, and challenges faced today across the Caribbean.
Professor Christine Chivallon Director of Research at the CNRS (Centre Nationnal de la Researche Scientifique)
Roger Robinson Writer, musician and performer
Chris Salewicz Journalist, broadcaster and novelist
Dr Karen Salt Assistant Professor and Co-director of the Centre for Research in Race and Rights, University of Nottingham
Dr David Howard Associate Professor in Sustainable Urban Development; Fellow of Kellogg College, University of Oxford
Speech, script and social media: How communication technology has changed religionThe British Academy add
This event was part of the British Academy's season on Revolutions.
Join our panel as they discuss whether developments in communication technology – from the invention of the printing press to the rise of social media – are catalysts for religious change.
Rabiha Hannan - Co-founder of New Horizons in British Islam
Rev Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch FBA - Professor of the History of the Church, University of Oxford; Fellow, St Cross College, Oxford
Dr John Maiden - Lecturer in Religious Studies, The Open University
Professor Jolyon Mitchell - Professor of Communications, Arts and Religion, University of Edinburgh
Tracey Byrne - Chief Executive, OneBodyOneFaith
Organised in partnership with the St Philip's Centre and Leicester Cathedral
What is a revolution?The British Academy add
This event was part of the British Academy's season on Revolutions
In today's society where the latest iPhone can be called a revolution, we explore the true meaning of the term and whether today’s ‘revolutions’ are revolutionary at all. Listen to our panel including former rock critic and Mercury Prize judge, Simon Frith FBA and one of the world's leading voices on modern Russian history, Robert Service FBA, as they explore art, music and history to ask when is a revolution a revolution?
Dr Kat Arney, Science Writer and Broadcaster
Professor Simon Frith FBA Tovey Professor of Music, University of Edinburgh
Professor Robert Service FBA Fellow, St Antony's College, Oxford; Professor of Russian History, University of Oxford
Victoria Turk Senior Editor, WIRED
Dr Hannah Devlin, Science Correspondent, The Guardian
Trust the people! On the psychology of authoritarian populismThe British Academy add
This event was organised in partnership with The British Psychological Society.
Globally, democracy is threatened by the rise of authoritarian leadership. What is it that makes such figures so appealing? Many assume that the answer lies in the prejudices of the populace and the flaws of popular thinking. But equally, such disdain for ordinary people may be the root and not the explanation of this phenomenon. In this talk, speaker Stephen Reicher approaches authoritarianism as a process of collective mobilisation. Drawing on examples from past and present, notably the election of Donald Trump, Reicher examines both how authoritarian leaders appeal to people and also why people support these leaders.
Speaker Stephen Reicher is Professor of Psychology at the University of St. Andrews. His work examines how people behave in groups and he has studied a range of collective phenomena including crowds and riots; national identity and nationalism; intergroup hatred, leadership and, latterly, the psychology of tyranny and obedience.
From Our Fellows 09, September 2017The British Academy add
In this September 2017 edition of short reflections ‘From Our Fellows’, we hear about different aspects of cities, past and present, from Rosemary Ashton and Matthew Gandy. And, because there is no escape from Brexit these days, Robert Frost offers a timely lesson on one of the longest-lasting, but least known, unions in European history.
This has been a variable summer, but there were definitely moments when the metropolis sweltered uncomfortably in the heat and humidity. Rosemary Ashton, Emeritus Quain Professor of English Language and Literature at University College London, recalls the ‘Great Stink’ that befell London in the hot hot summer of 1858.
Matthew Gandy is Professor of Cultural and Historical Geography at the University of Cambridge. Here he tells us how, in his current research project, he is ‘Rethinking urban nature’. [at 12:02]
The Scottish Referendum and then the European Referendum have immersed us all in discussions of unions and of nation states. But Robert Frost, Burnett Fletcher Chair in History at the University of Aberdeen, thinks that there are still some important historical lessons to be learned. [at 19:48]
In Celebration of TranslationThe British Academy add
This event was part of the British Academy's Literature Week 2017
Sales of translated fiction in the UK have soared in recent years. Once deemed to be a niche interest of the cultured elite, the improved visibility of translated literature, and of translators themselves, has signalled a welcome move to the mainstream. Yet despite this progress, the number of translated titles on sale in the UK remains low. Join our panel as they discuss the positive shift in sales and attitudes, current industry challenges, and their hopes for the years ahead.
Alexandra Büchler, Director, Literature Across Frontiers
Adam Freudenheim, Publisher and Managing Director, Pushkin Press
Daniel Hahn, Writer, editor and translator
Professor Gabriel Josipovici FBA, Research Professor, Graduate School of Humanities, University of Sussex
Fiammetta Rocco, Books and Arts Editor, The Economist
Enid Blyton And Me - Bruno VincentThe British Academy add
Author of the bestselling Enid Blyton for Grown-Ups books, Bruno Vincent, explains how the series came about. In this talk he explores the challenges, both administrative and creative, of writing amusing and relevant new books in a series that is seventy five years old.
Re-Telling Pride and PrejudiceThe British Academy add
Acclaimed author Jo Baker introduces Longbourn, her re-telling of Pride and Prejudice from the servants’ perspective. In this talk, she will discuss why she chose to re-invent a beloved classic and how she went about creating a compelling new tale without alienating Austen fans.
Jo Baker is the author of six novels, most recently Longbourn and A Country Road, A Tree. She has also written for BBC Radio 4, and her short stories have been included in a number of anthologies.
This event was part of the British Academy's Literature Week 2017.
From Our Fellows 08, July 2017The British Academy add
This edition of short reflections ‘From Our Fellows’ was recorded at the British Academy’s Annual General Meeting on 20 July 2017. There were presentations from three scholars who had been elected as Fellows of the British Academy a year ago, in 2016 – Simon Keay on the role of ports in the Roman Mediterranean, Brian Cummings on a lost copy of a work by Martin Luther, and Judith Freedman on how work should be taxed.
The occasion was introduced and chaired by the Academy’s Vice-President for the Humanities, Professor Alan Bowman.
Simon Keay, Professor of Roman Archaeology at the University of Southampton, talks about ‘Connectivity in the Roman Mediterranean’.
Brian Cummings, Anniversary Professor in the Department of English and Related Literature at the University of York, talks about ‘Martin Luther 1517-2017’. [at 11:11]
Judith Freedman, Pinsent Masons Professor of Taxation Law at the University of Oxford, gives a talk entitled ‘on taxing work’. [at 20:20]
The conference presentations mentioned at the end can be found via the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation website (https://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/faculty-research/tax/events/different-ways-working-reforming-employment-law-tax-and-social-security-21st-century)
Peter Hennessy and David Cannadine discuss English identity in the light of Devolution and BrexitThe British Academy add
Lord (Peter) Hennessy FBA and Professor Sir David Cannadine FBA discuss English identity in the light of Devolution and Brexit.
The conversation formed the concluding session of a conference on 'Devolution and Identity in England', held at the British Academy on 5 July 2017 as part of the Academy's 'Governing England' project - sponsored by CarnegieUK.
'Soliloquies of suffering and consolation': Fiction as elegy and refusalThe British Academy add
Lecture on the Novel in English, delivered by Professor John Burnside, on 23 May 2017 (venue: The British Academy).
Susan Stewart has said that in 'writing soliloquies of suffering and consolation … elegists have discovered … a powerful means of addressing the tensions between grief's inchoate emotion and social rituals of mourning.' Using work by Graham Swift, Adam Thorpe and Michael Bracewell, Professor Burnside argues that such elegies have informed one important strand of British fiction over the last 30 years, where the growth of 'cultural totalitarianism' (cf. Jonathan Franzen) has engendered, on the one hand, a primal impulse to preserve individual integrity against societal control, and on the other, a profound grief for the consequent loss of communal and ritual life.
John Burnside is Professor in the School of English at the University of St Andrews. His novels include The Devil’s Footprints (2007), Glister (2008), and A Summer of Drowning (2011). He is also the author of two collections of short stories, three memoirs and several prize-winning poetry collections. His most recent novel, a study of American grief, is Ashland & Vine, (Jonathan Cape, 2017).