Weekly Favourites: Our Top 5 SAS Events

2nd – 9th November 2020

Throughout the semester, hundreds of events take place within the School of Advanced Study and though we might not be able to attend every single one of them, our team has put together a list of the next week’s favourite events. We had to limit ourselves to only five, however, otherwise we would be listing all of the events available. From Epicurus to Shakespeare and animals to the perception of Body and Sexuality in late Medieval and early Modern Italy; from Contemporary Women’s Writing to a discussion about the aftermaths of the Black Lives Matter movement. Here’s our weekly prescription for the bettering of the mind.

Don’t see anything you like? Here’s a list with all the events across the institutes for this week. 

London Shakespeare Seminar (IES)

2nd November 2020, 17.15 – 19.00 Book Here

Who doesn’t love Shakespeare? It seems like we will never run out of things to say about our beloved Bard. Dr. Todd Borlik (University of Huddersfield) will be joining Prof. Rebecca Ann Bach (University of Alabama) to discuss Ecocriticism and Animal Studies relevant to the scholarship of Shakespeare. Why is it so fascinating? Animal Studies is a rapidly expanding field that studies animals in a variety of cross-disciplinary ways. It makes us think about the ways in which animals are represented in literature and questions our pre-established beliefs and ideas. Also, because, ahem, it’s Shakespeare. What’s not to like?

Contemporary Women’s Writing and the Medical Humanities (IMLR) 
3rd November 2020, 17.30 – 19.00, Book Here

Join Dr. Jennifer Dhingra and PhD researcher Hannah Loret (Nottingham Trent University) in a discussion about engagements with healthcare, medical innovation, and ethics in contemporary women’s writing. The speakers will show the ways in which women’s writing engages with healthcare, medical innovation, and ethics. They will, moreover, tackle central questions concerning public health at the intersections of the humanities and medical science and practice. Why we’re interested: nothing is more immediate than contemporaneity. Engaging literature as a medium to question public health is an innovative way of improving not only our healthcare, but our very livelihoods.

Monuments, Memory and Liberation (ICWS) 
4th November 2020,  14.00 – 18.00, Book Here

An urgent workshop not to be missed. “The wave of Black Lives Matter protests which spread around the world following the killing of George Floyd in May 2020 has served to spark a fresh debate about how, as societies, we remember and memorialise the past.” The workshop’s aim is to put the ongoing debates in the UK in a broader perspective. “What can we learn from the US, where the commemoration of figures associated with colonisation, slavery, and the Confederate side in the civil war have long been the subject of controversy and protest? How did former colonies treat the monuments left behind by the former colonial powers?” Those are only a few of the many questions that this workshop aims to tackle. Two panels with international participants will discuss the most topical of societal subjects. We think it is not only essential, but absolutely urgent to join in on this discussion.

Inside and Outside the Confessional: Visions of the Body and Sexuality in late Medieval and Early Modern Italy (IHR) 
5th November 2020, 17.15 – 19.15, Book Here

Join Dr. Fernanda Alfieri (Istituto Storico Italo Germanico) who is giving this fascinating talk about visions of the body and sexuality in late Medieval and Early Modern Italy. In Dr. Alfieri’s words: “My presentation aims to explore notions of the body, and in particular of the sexual body, circulating between the XV and XVI centuries from sources that might be defined as typical of “Mediterranean” late Medieval Christianity: there were the summae, intended for the use of confessors and produced within Italy in Latin. […] My paper intends to bring out the visions of the body and the person circulating these texts, which had a practical purpose: to provide confessors with basic knowledge to interrogate penitents of all status and sex.” Dr. Alfieri asks: “How were these notions received by the faithful?” Why this interests us: it’s always fascinating to see how the body is depicted and viewed across time and space. As an object, instrument, and symbol. Dr. Alfieri’s paper will investigate the complex views of corporeality in a mixed system of knowledge and thus, evaluate their reception “among the less educated strata of the population.”

The Epicurean Method of Multiple Explanations (ICS) 
9th November 2020, 16.30 – 18.00, Book Here

The reason we chose this event as one of our favourites is because we believe in “aurea mediocritas” (the Aristotelian golden mean) which, we think, is a lot like a balanced diet. We see this as our necessary shot of espresso, only replace caffeine with the Epicurean method and you’re good to go. What amazes us: The philosophy of Epicurus has been highly influential in modern thought — he was one of the first philosophers to doubt the concept of the afterlife and the first to question prevalent superstitions in relation to natural phenomena. Join Professor of Philosophy, Voula Tsouna (University of California, Santa Barbara), in a discussion about Epicurus and the Method of Multiple Explanations. Prof. Tsouna works in the area of ancient Greek philosophy, specializing in Socrates, Plato, the Socratic schools, and Hellenistic philosophy. 

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