Moving Performers, Travelling Performance

in Academic Service - Archive by on January 28th, 2010

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The Humanities and Arts Research Centre (HARC)
and the
Geography Department at Royal Holloway University of London

 

Date: 28 January 2010

‘Moving Performers, Travelling Performance’

Three roundtable discussions on the theme of ‘Moving Performers, Travelling Performance’ aim to stimulate interdisciplinary dialogue on the movement of performers, their practices, and their artefacts. By considering how performers negotiate stylistic, linguistic, cultural, and geopolitical borders from a range of perspectives, these events will examine the implications of mobility for questions of difference. Such discussion can encompass how performance can stabilise or rework conceptualisations of identity, performance, place, and cultural practice when it travels into different geographical contexts. The social and cultural norms of these contexts can themselves shape the meaning and form of performative praxis, rendering performers and their work resonant, subversive, or irreverent. Issues of directionality, itinerancy, and stasis also force consideration of the wider processes and power relationships that impact on questions of movement, and the cultural encounters or exchanges that are (per)formed as a result. Each roundtable will explore such issues through a moderated question and answer session with three speakers, followed by a broader discussion with the audience. All events will be held in the Geography Department, The Queen’s Building, in Room Q170 at 5.15-7pm

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Session One: 3 December 2009

Panellists: Matthew Cohen (Drama), Anna Morcom (Music), Chris Rumford (Politics).
Moderator: Helen Gilbert (Drama)

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Session Two:  28 January 2010

Panellists: Robert Hampson (English), Liz Schafer (Drama), Henry Stobart (Music)

Moderator: Philip Crang

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<<Session 3>>

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Understanding the Holocaust Today

in Academic Service - Archive by on January 27th, 2010

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Date: 27 January 2010

Understanding the Holocaust Today

IWM London Cinema

Our understanding of the Holocaust – its origins, aftermath and relation to the history of the twentieth century – is still developing. Marking the tenth anniversary of both the opening of Imperial War Museum London’s The Holocaust Exhibition and the founding of the Royal Holloway, University of London Holocaust Research Centre, this evening of debate and discussion will bring together leading historians of the Holocaust David Cesarani, Peter Longerich, Dan Stone and Zoe Waxman to discuss the state of current research.

Chaired by Robert Eaglestone, RHUL.

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Brian Dillon – Hypochondriac Lives

in Academic Service - Archive by on January 27th, 2010

The Humanities and Arts Research Centre at Royal Holloway University of London

Date: 27 January 2010

Brian DillonHypochondriac Lives

speaker_BrianDillonHypochondria is an ancient name for a malady that is always distressingly novel and varied: the excessive dread of disease or the mistaken conviction that one is already ailing. Historically, the term named disorders of the ‘hypochondrium’: the area just below the ribs; hypochondria was a real disease with actual symptoms, often of a digestive nature. It gradually lost this organic meaning, and came to denote a generalized fear or fantasy. Hypochondriacal symptoms might now appear anywhere in the body, though they have generally (and inexplicably) tended to cluster on the left-hand side. The biographies of famous hypochondriacs – those eminent malingerers who were also, of course, often actually unwell – are strewn with instructive, often overlapping, symptoms and debilitating worries that variously hampered or enabled their life’s work. In this talk I will trace the development of hypochondria from an organic illness to a style of life, with reference to certain key figures in the annals of debility: James Boswell, Alice James, Daniel Paul Schreber, Marcel Proust, Glenn Gould and Andy Warhol. Hypochondria appears here as a form of super-sensitivity, intimately related to aesthetic sensitivity and most convincingly theorized at the end of the nineteenth century as a type of ‘common sense’ or coenaesthopathy.

Dr Brian Dillon studied English and Philosophy at University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin before coming to Kent in 1995 to complete a Ph.D. on concepts of time in twentieth-century literary criticism and theory, focussing on the work of Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes, Paul de Man, Jean-François Lyotard and Giorgio Agamben. He taught at the School of English for several years before becoming a freelance writer and editor around 2002. In October 2008 Brian returned to Kent as an AHRC Research Fellow in the Creative & Performing Arts on a research project entitled Ruins of the 20th Century.

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Francis Pakes – Cultural Conundrums: Moroccan youngsters in the Netherlands

in Academic Service - Archive by on January 27th, 2010

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Islam, Muslim Youth and Identity History and Social Sciences Faculty Seminar Series

Seminar organizers: Professor Ravinder Barn (CrimSoc), and Professor Humayun Ansari (History)

Date: Weds 27 January 2010

speaker_FrancisPakesFrancis PakesCultural Conundrums: Moroccan youngsters in the Netherlands

This paper will explore issues of integration and exclusion of youngsters of Moroccan descent in the Netherlands. It will examine trouble behaviour, health, integration and identity to highlight the conundrums faced by this group in what is traditionally regarded a highly tolerant nation. By highlighting the complexities of identity faced by Moroccan youngsters we can draw parallels to similar issues in the Netherlands at large where globalisation has posed issues of security, identity and change at a different level as well.

Dr. Francis Pakes is reader in comparative criminology at the University of Portsmouth. He got his PhD from Leiden University in the Netherlands. His first book, Comparative Criminal Justice appeared in 2004 with Willan Publishing and a new edition is due in 2010. Apart from comparative work Francis publishes regularly on crime, justice and social change in the Netherlands and on the intersections of criminal justice and mental health.

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Janet Newman – Working the Spaces of Power: Feminism, Activism and Social Change

in Academic Service - Archive by on January 20th, 2010

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Event Date: 20 January 2010  - 3.30 – 5pm
Room 539 Birkbeck Main Building

speaker_JanetNewmanJanet Newman (OU): Working the Spaces of Power: Feminism, Activism and Social Change

The research on which the paper is based began with a relatively simple proposition: that feminism had opened up new spaces of political experimentation, many of which had been absorbed or incorporated into – but more importantly have been generative of –important political and governance innovations in late 20th and early 21st century. It draws on interviews with women who were active in or influenced by the women’s movement in Britain in the 1970s/1980s, and who have since been ‘working the spaces of power’ in their working lives. The interviews show how the skills, experiences and orientations produced through feminism and other forms of activism have shaped contemporary politics, policy and governance. Examples include the current turn to the ‘social economy’ as alternative to both state and market; the rise of new pedagogies of the self and personal lives; the contemporary focus on governmental strategies of empowerment and development; the valorisation of ‘softer’ and more flexible management and organisational styles; and the rise of discourses of partnership, inclusion, participation, well being and sustainability.

These are not however linear trajectories of social change but arise in complex, iterative and ambiguous spaces of agency that occur and recur in what are often fractured working lives.. As such the paper might be situated in a wider ‘turn to time’ in social theory, and draws on strands of post colonial and feminist theory to address some of the analytical puzzles raised. ‘Diagnosing the contemporary’ is a challenging brief, and this project is at an early stage. However I argue that my analysis so far seems to challenge simple narratives of the present – including those that suggest a straightforward incorporation of feminism in the relentless roll out of neo-liberalism.

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The Historian and the Public

in Academic Service - Archive by on January 19th, 2010

HISTORY DEPARTMENT SEMINAR SERIES

Date: Tuesday 19th January 2010

THE HISTORIAN AND THE PUBLIC

 

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speaker_MarkusDaechsel

Markus Daechsel (Royal Holloway)
The Historian and the Pakistan Crisis

The public historian of ‘Pakistan’ has to struggle with some major problems that do not exist with the same sharpness in other geographical or historical contexts. To begin with, the very subject of study is not simply a geographical area where ‘history’ in all its fullness and manifold manifestations could be observed, studied and described; similar to let us say ‘German History’ or ‘Chinese history’. ‘Pakistan’ is and always has been a political problem category, and any engagement by the public historian amounts to an explicit or implicit judgement of either ‘What went wrong with Pakistan?’ or ‘Is Pakistan really a legitimate state that is there to stay?’. This orientation – which is strongly enforced by audience expectations – precludes a full historical engagement with histories that fall outside the narrow remit of state policy or state failure, for instance, histories of regions, of arts and culture, of aspects of everyday life. At the same time, and in stark contrast to audiences in Europe or India, Pakistani public culture does not actually provide much space for the public historian. History as an academic profession has been completely overshadowed by Political Science and Security Studies, by Law and by Religious Studies. Short historical memories and absence of a rich engagement with the past in education, politics and public life mean that the historian’s interventions are confined to a very limited number of highly politicized instances, for instance, in debates about what the nation’s founder M.A. Jinnah ‘really’ meant back in 1947. How is a public historian based in Great Britain going to engage with such a difficult terrain? A strategy very tentatively proposed here is one of dialogic engagement; one that seeks to critique and provoke different audiences in different ways, perhaps countering Western obsessions with Pakistan as a security problem with a more nuanced and multi-facetted depiction of everyday life; while confronting Pakistani audiences with a more historically conscious reading of their own past that corrects easy narratives of national decline. The third alternative – to provide ‘objective’ expertise from a neutral standpoint – is unsatisfactory because it either leaves the blinkered assumptions inherent in audience expectations unchallenged and/or lacks the authority and relevance to engage.

 

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speaker_VanessaMartin

Vanessa Martin (Royal Holloway)
The Historian and the Invasion of Iraq in 2003

This talk focuses on the expertise and generic skills of history.  It looks at their relevance and significance in the context of the period 2002-3 leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.  It addresses the question of why the British government was not adequately informed, and so not adequately prepared, for the violence that followed the invasion.  In pursuit of an answer, it makes reference to the evidence given to the current Iraq inquiry, particularly with regard to a seminar in Downing Street that included expert historians and the Prime Minister on 19th November 2002. It then goes on to show how the power structure of Iraq as between the Sunni and Shi’a Arabs especially, and the historical evolution of that structure, made the violence inevitable.



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Vanessa Martin

Series Convenor



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Warwick Ball: Ralph Pinder-Wilson and Afghanistan

in Academic Service - Archive by on January 14th, 2010

RoyalAsiaticSociety

Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 14 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HD

Date: 14 January 2010


speaker_WarwickBall2Warwick Ball – Ralph Pinder-Wilson and Afghanistan

An overview of the ‘Pinder-Wilson years’ at the British Institute of Afghan Studies in Kabul, where he was Director from 1976 until its closure in 1982 following the Soviet invasion. During this time a number of major field operations were carried out which Ralph Pinder-Wilson oversaw and guided. Chief of these were three seasons of the Institute’s excavations at the major urban site of Kandahar, that were directed in the field by Svend Helms. There was also a major campaign of preservation work at the Buddhist stupa-monastery complex at Guldara, as well numerous other activities that the Institute was involved in. Ralph Pinder-Wilson’s own work was a major new study of the Minarets of Jam and Ghazni, analysing their inscriptions and placing them firmly within the tradition of early Islamic victory towers proclaiming the conquering power of Islam. Finally, there will be a brief examination of Ralph Pinder-Wilson’s other activities and achievements outside Afghanistan, in Turkey, Egypt and Iran, as well as in the British Museum where he spent almost thirty years.

Warwick Ball, F.S.A., is an author and archaeologist who has excavated in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Jordan and elsewhere. He worked and travelled in Afghanistan between 1972 and 1981, where he was due to succeed Ralph Pinder-Wilson as Acting Director of the British Institute of Afghan Studies in Kabul. His 2 volume Archaeological Gazetteer of Afghanistan, originally published in 1982, remains one of the standard reference works on Afghanistan and is currently being updated and expanded for a new edition. He published (with A W McNicoll) the first two seasons of the Institute’s excavations at Kandahar in 1996, and his book Rome in the East: the Transformation of an Empire was winner of the 2000 James Henry Breasted Prize for History and Choice Outstanding Academic Book in 2000. He co-edited (with Leonard Harrow) Cairo to Kabul. Afghan and Islamic Studies presented to Ralph Pinder-Wilson (published by Melisende, London) which was presented to the dedicatee at a special occasion at the British Museum in 2002. His latest work on Afghanistan, The Monuments of Afghanistan: History, Archaeology and Architecture, was published in 2009, and he is the author of numerous other books and papers on the history and archaeology of the region as a whole. Born in Australia, Warwick now lives in the Scottish Borders where he is Director of Eastern Approaches, a tour company specialising in cultural and historical interest travel in the Middle East and Central Asia broadly.

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The president of the Royal Asiatic Society, Dr Gordon Johnson, presents the Sir Richard Burton Medal to Richard Robinson, nephew of Ralph Pinder-Wilson:

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