Research events 2008-9

Irony and Identity: Jonathan Lear

26-28 May 2009, Wine Room
Organiser(s): Provost

Professor Lear's decription: First, I want to recover a conception of irony that has been lost in the contemporary understanding of the concept. Kierkegaard and Socrates are influences. Second, I want to argue that irony so understood is a crucial aspect of human experience - and one which contemporary conceptions of identity cannot capture. Third, I want to argue irony so understood is of ethical significance in that the human virtues properly understood are impossible without it.

Citizenship and Empire: French Africa and Beyond (Fred Cooper and Jane Burbank)

5-7 May 2009, Wine Room
Organiser(s): Provost and Megan Vaughan

Two of the seminars will concern Fred Cooper's current research on the period betwen 1946 and 1960 when all subjects of overseas France obtained the rights of the "citizen". The third seminar, jointly presented with Jane Burbank, will look more broadly at the relationship of citizenship, rights, and empire, based on their forthcoming book, Empire and the Politics of Difference in World History. Together, these presentations will develop alternatives to the common narrative that proceeds from "empire" to "nation-state".

From Plunder to Preservation: Britain and the Heritage of Empire

21-22 March 2009, King's College
Organiser(s): Simon Goldhill

There will be six roundtable debates over two days. The first, 'From Plunder to Preservation', looks at the late 18th century and early 19th century background: how did expanding European powers treat - and think about - the ancient sites they encountered. The second is entitled 'The Classical World'. The classical world played a privileged role in the Victorian cultural imagination. How did the imperialist treat classical remains (differently)? The other roundtable debates are entitled: 'The Biblical World'; 'Empires and Civilizations: Confronting "the orient"'; '...And the Americas'; (and the closing roundtable) 'Between Imperialist and Nationalist Preservation'.

Work in Progress: Alan Roberts

10-12 March 2009, Wine Room
Organiser(s): Prof Mike Bate, Dr Kate Lewis

The topic of the the three linked seminars is 'Neural Circuits.' The visitor is Alan Roberts, of the University of Bristol, who will be staying in College that week.

Work in Progess: Jonathan Lamb

10-12 February 2009, Wine Room
Organiser(s): Provost

Three linked seminars on the theme 'Characters, Persons, Authors and Fictions: Owning Something and Owning Nothing.' The first session will be devoted to 'Characters, Persons and the Novel'; the second 'Me and my Ink'; the third `The Impossible Testimony of Nonpersons.'

The discussion will be on pre-circulated material. Fellows and others who are interested in coming should let the Provost's PA know so that the work can be sent for reading ahead of the sessions

Commerce and Perpetual Peace; from Hobbes to Marx

14-15 December 2008, Rylands Room
Organiser(s): Istvan Hont, Mike Sonenscher

This is the first in a program of two workshops studying commercial competition and perpetual peace in the long eighteenth century, from the time of Hobbes and the De la Court brothers to Friedrich List and Marx, including Enlightenment theories from the work of the abbe de Saint-Pierre in the early eighteenth century to the time of Jeremy Bentham and Immanuel Kant in the period of the American and French Revolutions

This workshop is also supported by the University of Lausanne and the Global Peace Project of Chiba National University in Tokyo.

Syllabic Writing on Cyprus and its Context

12-13 December 2008, King's College
Organiser(s): Philippa Steele

This conference brings together scholars working on the syllabic scripts of Bronze and Iron Age Cyprus as well as their archaeological context, in order to create an interdisciplinary forum in which linguists, epigraphists and archaeologists may enter into a common dialogue on this topic.

Work in Progress, Stanley Corngold

2-3 October 2008, Wine Room, King's College
Organiser(s): Prof Ross Harrison

The first session explores the literary bearings of Kafka's writings as a workman's insurance executive in Prague and relates to Professor Corngold's forthcoming Franz Kafka: The Office Writings, which is due out from Princeton University Press in 2009.

The titles of the seminars and times are as follows:

Kafka and the Ministry of Writing :: Thursday 2 October, 5 p.m., Wine Room Nietzsche (with Kafka) as Neo-Gnostic Thinker :: Friday 3 October, 11.00 a.m., Wine Room

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