Weekly Favourites: Our Top SAS Events 16. – 22. November 2020

Though last week was all about history, this week’s prescription has a good dose of aesthetics, philosophy, fiction, and theorizing memory. Of course, we couldn’t do without our weekly quantity of politics, so we have chosen some events that are bound to awaken your feelings of citizenship and what it means, as Aristotle would put it, to be a “political animal”. As it will definitely be a very thrilling week, we have also put together some bonus events for our overachievers. We hope we see you there!

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

Aristotle Reading Group – The Warburg Institute
Monday 16th November 2020, 13.00 – 14.00, Book Here

A reading group for those that want to either participate or listen in to discussions about the logical works of Aristotle. Undeniably, Aristotle’s logic has had an unparalleled influence on the history of western thought and this reading group aims to make the discussion of Aristotle’s works as inclusive as possible. For those that have always been interested in Aristotle’s works but don’t know where to start, we encourage you to join this seminar!

Being Human Festival: Reimagining Same-Sex Histories – IALS
Monday 16th November 2020, 18.00 – 19.30, Book Here

Join Prof Aleardo Zanghellini (University of Reading School of Law) in conversation with the Director of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Prof Carl Stychin in a thought-provoking discussion about the ways in which authority and desire might be reimagined. Drawing from The Sexual Constitution of Political Authority: the ‘trials’ of same sex desire, Prof Zanghellini will show “the resilience and adaptability of cultural beliefs in the incompatibility between public office and male same-sex desire”. He will also discuss his novel, The Spellbinders, “an alternative historical epic which reimagines the relationship of Edward II, Piers Gaveston and Queen Isabella”. An imaginative and necessary talk where theory and fiction collide and become entangled.

The London Aesthetics Forum – Institute of Philosophy
Wednesday 18th November 2020, 16.00 – 18.00, Book Here

Dr Panos Paris (University of Cardiff) will be discussing in this invigorating talk the concept of form in the theory of beauty. “Taking [his] cue from the longest standing theory of beauty to date, which identified beauty with form, and properties like order, harmony and proportion,” [Dr Paris] will argue that “form should be understood as comprising three conceptions, which vary in their implications for beauty and our appreciative practices vis-a-vis different kinds of objects […] and that form, understood thus, is a necessary condition for beauty.” We think this talk will fire up your brain and make you think about beauty and its form twice next time you are in a museum and will provide you with some necessary tools about beauty and its origins.

Mediated Memories of Responsibility – IMLR
Wednesday 18th November 2020, 15.00 – 16.30, Book Here

By this point, you will have already engaged with Aristotle and his logical works, you will have reimagined same-sex histories, and you will have thought of beauty and form, hopefully, in a different light. We cannot think of anything else that is better to add to this growing critical skill set than a conversation on memory. Max Silverman (University of Leeds) will be examining hybrid memory, thus arguing that memory (as with identity, language, and so on) is never pure, singular, and autonomous but a hybrid assemblage in which the trace of one is always in the other. He will connect the relevance of this model of memory to moments of extreme violence — such as colonial history, and the history of European genocide. Hanna Meretoja (University of Turku) will then offer a non-subsumptive model of cultural memory. “Meretoja explores how a non-subsumptive model of understanding can be helpful in theorizing memory as a mode of sense-making that can contribute to the understanding histories of violence in responsible, ethically sustainable ways.” Finally, Donald Bloxham (University of Edinburgh) will be considering anew the versed question of historians and moral judgements about the past, and will address in particular the issue of how historians deal with past atrocities.

Thinking About Black Republicanism: An Introduction – IHR
Wednesday 18th November 2020, 17.15 – 18.45, Book Here

Join Melvin Rogers (Brown University) in an examination of Black republicanism in the nineteenth century. Rogers will be discussing the ways in which republicanism is linked to racial equality. This does not only offer the chance to recover resources for contemporary projects, but it also calls for a revision of traditional accounts of when and where republicanism as a political theory was waxed and waned.

Bonus Events

Kit de Waal: Novels That Shaped My World – Being Human Festival
Monday November 16, 18.00 – 19.00, Book Here

We, of course, had to include an event of one of the most important festivals taking place as we write. “Join Professor Sarah Churchwell in conversation with writer Kit de Waal and Professor Karina van Dalen-Oskam about the benefits of a more diverse, inclusive reading ‘diet’. From Black Lives Matter to the #MeToo movement and Extinction Rebellion, we are living in a time when many vocal campaigners demand changes to the way in which society is run. These debates affect the books we read, teach in schools and that get turned into popular dramas. The English literature canon – the books that are generally agreed to be good, important, and worth studying – is also under revision.”

One size fits all? Responding to the pandemic in an unequal world – King’s College London
Friday 20th November 2020, 15.00 – 16.30, Book Here

We think it is our ethical and moral responsibility to continue promoting events that help us understand the new reality that is living with covid-19. King’s College London has put together a vital talk on “the challenges and implications of developing strategies that are global but that nevertheless accommodate the social, economic, political, and cultural differences between countries in our unequal world.”Join Dr Sridhar Venkatapuram, Prof Alexander Broadbent, and Dr Salma Abdalla in this essential talk.

Barack Obama talks to David Olusoga in exclusive UK broadcast interview – BBC Arts
Wednesday 18th November 2020, 19.30 – 20.00, Visit Website Here

You probably have heard the news already, but in case you haven’t, historian and broadcaster David Olusoga will be interviewing former President of the United States, Barack Obama, about Obama’s first volume of his presidential memoirs, A Promised Land. Obama will discuss the motivations and challenges while writing the book, explaining the trials he faced when he encountered the political, cultural and racial divisions in America, as the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office. “To be interviewing him now — at the end of a year in which race and racism and the histories that lie behind them have been at the centre of global events — seems fitting,” said David Olusoga to BBC.

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