Unstoppering a 17th-century 'witch bottle' at the Pitt Rivers Museum
On Tuesday 18 May, presenter Raksha Dave broadcasted live on Facebook from the Pitt Rivers Museum, as a team of our archaeological experts unstoppered a 17th-century ‘witch bottle’. ‘Witch bottles’ is the name given to 17th–century glass and stoneware vessels believed to have been used as the containers of a ‘prepared cure’ against bewitchment. Their contents most commonly include pins and nails, but sometimes nail clippings and hair from the afflicted individual. They have been found placed in hearths or beneath the floors of present-day historic buildings, churchyards, ditches and riverbanks or are recovered from archaeological sites. The bottle opened at this very special event was found in 1893 in what was thought to be the courtyard or garden of the former Duke of Norfolk's Palace in Norwich. It was opened before at some point in its past, but had been re-sealed, contents and all. About the project team: Leading the event are the expert team from ‘Bottles concealed and revealed’, a three-year project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to recalibrate understandings of the phenomenon of mid-late 17th century ‘witch bottles’ in England. The project is led by MOLA Finds Specialist Nigel Jeffries as Principal Investigator in collaboration with Michael Marshall (MOLA) and Co-Investigators Professor Owen Davies and Dr Ceri Houlbrook from the University of Hertfordshire, who specialise in the study of magic, witchcraft, and popular medicine. The project was recently the subject of a short film for BBC Arts: 'The Life and Times of a Witch Bottle'. About Raksha Dave: Raksha Dave is a public archaeologist and broadcaster, whose time on screen began in 2003 with a decade long stint on the popular Channel 4 series Time Team. She has since presented and co-presented documentaries, series and mini-series, most recently Bone Detectives, Digging Up Britain's Past, Tutankhamun: Life, Death and Legacy, and The Great Plague. Raksha acts as an advocate and consultant for various arts organisations looking to broaden audience participation by looking at ways to encourage diversity and inclusivity in their environments. About Faye Balsey: Faye joined the Pitt Rivers Museum in 2008 and has worked in various roles in the ethnography and archaeology section as Assistant Curator and Deputy Head of Collections. She has curated numerous exhibitions and participated and contributed collections research and digitisation projects. In 2018, Faye organised the annual Museum Ethnographers Group conference held at the Pitt Rivers Museum on the topic ‘Decolonising the Museum in Practice', and gave a paper on a similar theme – 'Privileging Knowledge: Whose right is it?' – at the 2018 International Council of Museums documentation group conference. #WitchBottleLive
Balliol College tutors talk about undergraduate study
Balliol College tutors talk about what it’s like to study here, sharing insights into how tutorials work as well as the qualities they are looking for in prospective applicants and some of the best things about teaching at Balliol. • For information about our courses, see www.balliol.ox.ac.uk/courses • For information about how to apply to Balliol, see https://www.balliol.ox.ac.uk/undergraduate-admissions Video made by FilmShed.
Balliol College: tour with an undergraduate student
A third-year medical student gives prospective applicants a tour of Balliol, showing the Lodge, Library, Hall, Chapel, Junior Common Room and quads as well as undergraduate accommodation at the Broad Street site and in the new accommodation blocks at the nearby Master's Field site. • To arrange a school visit, contact email@example.com • For information about our courses, see www.balliol.ox.ac.uk/courses • For information about how to apply to Balliol, see www.balliol.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate-admissions • To visit Balliol, see www.balliol.ox.ac.uk/visit-balliol Video made by FilmShed.
Chemistry Teaching Laboratory - Video Tour
A wonderful opportunity to see the Chemistry Teaching Laboratory at the University of Oxford's Department of Chemistry and to hear from current students about life as an undergraduate chemist. Find out more about the laboratories at https://www.chem.ox.ac.uk/new-teaching-laboratories-for-chemistry.aspx Find out more about the work of the Department at https://www.chem.ox.ac.uk/ Find out more about our outreach work at http://outreach.chem.ox.ac.uk/
Voices of the German Resistance: SANSARA & The White Rose Project
In the early 1940s, the White Rose resistance secretly wrote and distributed leaflets calling on Germans to resist Hitler. This short film introduces ‘Voices of the German Resistance’, a collaboration between the award-winning vocal ensemble SANSARA and the White Rose Project at the University of Oxford. This commemorative project brings together choral works and readings from the White Rose members’ letters, diaries, and resistance pamphlets in new English translations. www.whiteroseproject.org www.sansarachoir.com Video Credit: Steve Pierce, Film Shed https://www.filmshed.com/ This project was part of the Humanities Cultural Programme, funded by TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities).
Future of the Humanities – The Relevance of Art History
A panel discussion filmed at Dulwich Picture Gallery, London on 18th March 2019. This is the second conference of the Future of the Humanities Project currently being developed by Georgetown University, Washington, DC, in collaboration with the Las Casas Institute at Blackfriars, Oxford. Under the leadership of Prof. Michael Scott, the project explores the place of the humanities in developing a proper understanding of human life, dignity, and culture. Project seminars, lectures, and conferences draw on the Catholic intellectual tradition in dialogue with other religious, philosophical, and cultural traditions. The Relevance of Art History – Roundtable discussion Speakers: Daphne Todd, Estelle Thompson, Kathleen Soriano, Stephen Farthing. Stephen Farthing RA is a distinguished artist and fellow of the Royal Academy of Art, where he has exhibited his work. He has served as the Ruskin Master at the Ruskin School of Fine Art and is a fellow at St. Edmund’s Hall, Oxford University. Among his well-known books are 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die (2006). Kathleen Soriano is a distinguished independent art curator who previously served as director of exhibitions at the Royal Academy. She has also worked at the National Portrait Gallery and directed the Liverpool Biennial, the largest contemporary art festival in the UK. She is currently curating an exhibition of works by Harald Sohlberg at The Dulwich Picture Gallery. Estelle Thompson is a leading abstract artist known worldwide for her “Fuse Paintings.” Her work is displayed prominently in public galleries and other institutions, including hospitals and universities. She has taught at De Montfort University and Wrexham Glyndwr University and currently teaches at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. Daphne Todd, a renowned portrait artist, was the first woman to serve as president of the Royal Society of Portrait Artists. HRH the Prince of Wales, Lord Sainsbury, and Spike Milligan are among her subjects and a number of her paintings are exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery, London. She is also well known as a judge on the BBC’s “The Big Painting Challenge.”
"Who are the Slaves Among Us?" Monique Villa In Conversation with Experts of Modern Slavery
To celebrate the launch of ‘Slaves Among Us’, a book by Monique Villa, the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights and Oxford Business and Human Rights Research Network hosted a panel of experts in conversation about what modern slavery means and how to identify the slaves that live among us.
Sir Roger Penrose - AI, Consciousness, Computation, and Physical Law
Sir Roger Penrose Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford A common scientific view is that the actions of a human brain could, in principle, be simulated by appropriate computation, and even that it may not be too far into the future before computers become so powerful that they will be able to exceed the mental capabilities of any human being. However, by using examples from chess and mathematics, I argue, that the quality of conscious understanding is something essentially distinct from computation. Nevertheless, I maintain that the action of a conscious brain is the product of physical laws, whence consciousness itself must result from physical processes of some kind. Yet physical actions, over a huge range, can be simulated very precisely by computational techniques, as is exemplified by the LIGO gravitational wave detectors confirming precise calculations, within Einstein’s general relativity theory, of signals from black-hole encounters in distant galaxies. Despite this, I argue that there is a profound gap in our understanding of how Einstein’s theory affects quantum systems, and that there is reason to believe that the events termed “collapse of the wave-function” take place objectively (gravitational OR), in a way that defies computation, yet should be observable in certain experiments. It is argued that each such event is accompanied by a moment of “proto-consciousness”, and that actual consciousness is the result of vast numbers of such events, orchestrated in an appropriate way so as to provide an actual conscious experience (Orch-OR).
Fordham-Exeter Bridging Voices Conference 2019 - Short Video
In August 2019, with support from the British Council, the Fordham-Exeter Bridging Voices project on "Contemporary Eastern Orthodox Identity and the Challenges of Pluralism and Sexual Diversity in a Secular Age" gathered fifty scholars from across the globe at a conference in Oxford.
Rethinking Wagner's 'Leitmotifs': An introduction to the Lohengrin Time Machine
Written and Presented by Laurence Dreyfus (Faculty of Music, University of Oxford) in association with Oxford e-Research Centre Kevin Page David Lewis Professor Laurence Dreyfus describes how Wagner's way of setting and altering motifs over the course of his 1848 opera, Lohengrin, reflects and enhances the drama. This video (and an essay also by Prof. Dreyfus) is supported by a digital companion – the Lohengrin TimeMachine – where you can explore how one motif, the Frageverbot (Forbidden Question) changes over the course of the opera. More information at https://um.web.ox.ac.uk
Distinguished Lecture 2018: Former President of Colombia and Nobel Peace Laureate Juan Manuel Santos
Former President of Colombia and Nobel Peace Laureate Juan Manuel Santos' talk was on on "Reducing Poverty and Building Peace in Colombia: Inextricably Linked Processes", focusing on the role of robust leadership in dealing with these two highly complex and interlinked issues. Former President Santos is a distinguished public figure and an influential leader, well known for his role in the recent Colombian peace process. During his term in office, which has just closed, President Santos took leadership in global efforts to reduce multidimensional poverty, including co-founding the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network (MPPN) in 2013, a South-South initiative of policy-makers working to fight poverty in all its forms and dimensions.
Future of Humanities #3 - Terry Eagleton
- Introduction of Prof. Terry Eagleton, Dr Clare Broome Saunders, Blackfriars Hall, Oxford - Prof. Terry Eagleton, Lancaster University, “The Crisis in the Humanities” - Discussion, Rapporteurs: Prof. Helen Small, Pembroke College, and Dr .Clare Broome Saunders This is the first conference of the Future of the Humanities Project currently being developed by Georgetown University, Washington, DC, in collaboration with the Las Casas Institute at Blackfriars, Oxford. Under the leadership of Dr. Michael Scott, the project will explore the place of the humanities in developing a proper understanding of human life, dignity, and culture. Project seminars, lectures, and conferences draw on the Catholic intellectual tradition in dialogue with other religious, philosophical, and cultural traditions.
#FFCC18: Session 01: Putting supply-side climate policy in practice
Moderator: Cleo Verkuijl, SEI Guri Bang, Center for International Climate Research Carbon risk as an institutional challenge: The case of Norway Chris Bataille, IDDRI/Simon Fraser University What does “keeping in the ground” mean for current fossil fuel producers, dependent on the jobs and tax revenue? Naomi Luhde-Thompson, Law College, University of Birmingham The implications of the Druridge Bay opencast coal-mine decision for UK policy on fossil-fuel extraction Ryan Rafaty, Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford/University of Cambridge Revoking Coal Extraction Rights: An Economic and Legal Analysis Cliona Sharkey, Trocaire The political dynamics of policies tackling fossil fuel supply in Ireland, from fracking to licensing
The Doll Who Ate Stories Jean Russell Storytelling Project 2018 High Wycombe
Come on a storytelling journey with Baba Yaga, the Russian princess Vasilisa and the pupils of Highcrest Academy, High Wycombe as they weave their stories to feed the hungry doll to save the princess from the witch. Part of the 2018 Jean Russell Storytelling Project, in partnership with the Ragdoll Foundation and organised by the charity the Federation of Children's Book Groups, www.fcbg.org.uk, award-winning performance storyteller Anna Conomos worked with Year 7 children on the stories they wrote for this project which they then performed to the rest of Year 7 in June 2018.
Aurora Spring Forum 2018 The Return of the State
Aurora's CEO Dr John Feddersen chairs Aurora Spring Forum 2018 Panel 'The return of the state? Energy market sector implications of Britain's industrial strategy'. Speakers: David Gray (Chairman Ofgem), Michael Lewis (CEO E.ON), Simone Rossi (CEO EDF Energy), Dr. Nina Skorupska CBE (CEO Renewable Energy Association). Website: www.auroraer.com Twitter: @AuroraER_Oxford
Introducing DANSOX (Dance Scholarship Oxford)
Learn about DANSOX, a major forum for dance scholarship in Europe, from its founder and director, Professor Sue Jones. This research network, which is based at St Hilda's College, University of Oxford, promotes dialogue between prominent academic disciplines and the worlds of dance theory and practice.
The Oxford Gargoyles - Blame It On My Youth
"Blame It On My Youth" (solo: Tegan Eldridge. arr: Aled Walker) Filmed and recorded live at the group's 20th Anniversary Concert last month. We decided to revive a couple of old arrangements this year, including this arrangement of the jazz classic, "Blame It On My Youth". The group recorded this track a few years ago, and it features on our 2015 album, "Boulder & Wiser": http://www.theoxfordgargoyles.com/shop/boulder-wiser We're excited to announce that, once again, we'll be at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the first few weeks of August, so keep your eyes firmly peeled for more details coming soon..! www.theoxfordgargoyles.com Follow us on: INSTAGRAM https://www.instagram.com/theoxfordgargoyles TWITTER https://twitter.com/oxfordgargoyles FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/theoxfordgargoyles Our most recent album, “Could It Be?”, is available on Spotify and iTunes: https://open.spotify.com/album/1zwANdqv4DZpxYxXyIWIcw?si=D-7_l7zNT629wuO5TSKKzA
Sr Imelda Poole Lecture - The Fight against Human Trafficking
Imelda Poole IBVM (Loreto) has worked in Albania for the last eleven years in the field of anti-trafficking through prevention, awareness raising, advocacy and direct action. A former secondary school teacher, formator, spiritual director, and counsellor, Sr Imelda also ministered for 16 years on a council estate in the NE of England, and is President of the Mary Ward Loreto Foundation, which opened in Tirana five years ago. Its core values are Freedom, Justice and Sincerity. Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking and Exploitation (RENATE) is a European network of religious and co-workers who work in all fields against trafficking in 27 countries of Europe.
FCBG Children's Book Awards 2017
Michael Morpurgo and Michael Foreman celebrate winning the 2017 Children's Book Award, owned and co-ordinated by the Federation of Children's Book Groups, with their moving book An Eagle in the Snow. Over 150,000 votes were cast by children across the UK in the only children's book award voted for entirely by children and they were delighted to receive the silver trophy from some of the children who tested the books. FInd out more at www.fcbg.org.uk Twitter #FCBGCBA17