Anna Posazhennikova – The Mysteries of Quantum Collective Behaviour

in Academic Service - Archive by on July 7th, 2016


Event Date: 7 July 2016

Windsor Auditorium
Royal Holloway
University of London
Egham, Surrey
TW20 0E

The Department of Physics at Royal Holloway University of London presents:

The Mysteries of Quantum Collective Behaviour 

Dr Anna Posazhennikova (RHUL) - The Mysteries of Quantum Collective Behaviour 

When a piece of Aluminium is cooled to -272 degrees Celsius, an electrical current can flow through it without any resistance. This remarkable phenomenon is called superconductivity and is one of the most striking examples of quantum collective behaviour.
Listen to Dr Anna Posazhennikova as she explains this, as well as other intriguing examples of quantum collective behaviours, and the crucial role they play in modern physics.

For further information please contact: physics.outreach@rhul.ac.uk

Introduction by Professor Pedro Teixeira-Dias (RHUL):

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Daniel Beer – The Crucible: Revolution and Repression in Siberia’s Prisons, 1905-1914

in Academic Service - Archive by on July 5th, 2016

Event Date: 17 November 2015

McCrea 336

Royal Holloway University of London
Egham, Surrey
TW20 0EX

Royal Holloway University of London Department of History


Departmental Research seminars 2015/2016

Dr Daniel Beer (RHUL) – The Crucible: Revolution and Repression in Siberia’s Prisons, 1905-1914

In the wake of the failed 1905 Revolution tens of thousands of radicals were condemned by military tribunals to penal labour in Siberia. Many saw Siberia’s jails and exile settlements as a new battlefield in an ongoing war against the tsarist state and went on to stage violent protests against their captors. The tsarist authorities reacted with a brutal crackdown: the use of corporal and capital punishment became commonplace. Revolutionaries, prison officials and a range of commentators in the courts and in the press applauded and condemned certain acts of violence as invasive or restorative, legitimate or illegitimate. The paper will discuss how acts of violence perpetrated both inside and outside Siberia’s prisons rehearsed a wider contestation of political power and sovereignty in the Russian Empire. The experience of captivity and violent repression in Siberia became a rite of passage for the men and women who would, within a decade, rule Russia.

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Liam Byrne MP on the History of British Capitalism

in Academic Service - Archive by on June 30th, 2016

Event Date: 30 June 2016
Room B04
Birkbeck School of Arts
Birkbeck University of London
43 Gordon Square
London WC1H 0PD

The Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life presents:

Liam Byrne MP on the History of British Capitalism

Former Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne joins a panel of Birkbeck academics to discuss his forthcoming book on the history of British enterprise.

Liam Byrne has held a wide variety of roles in government, serving in the Home Office, 10 Downing Street and finally the Treasury, where he was Chief Secretary in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. He is the author of over 20 books and pamphlets, including Turning to Face the East, published in 2013, where he argues that greater ties with China will be key to Britain’s future prosperity.

He now joins Birkbeck Politics to present his latest book, Dragons: Ten Entrepreneurs Who Built Britain, a look at the history of British capitalism and the development of the UK into a global economic force. He appears with a panel of academics from Birkbeck’s Department of Politics, including Dr Jason Edwards and Professor Deborah Mabbett.

Jason Edwards is a lecturer in politics in the Department of Politics, Birkbeck. Jason is a political theorist with interests in political sociology and the history of political thought. Jason is an expert in radical politics. His book The Radical Attitude and Modern Political Theory (London: Palgrave Macmillan) was published in 2007 and he continues to return to the theme throughout his writing.

Deborah Mabbett is Professor of Public Policy in the Department of Politics, Birkbeck. Deborah writes and researches on a wide range of issues related to welfare and inequality. She has wide experience of public policy in practice, particularly in the field of social security, having worked at various times for the New Zealand Treasury and the World Bank, as well as undertaking consultancy and research for public bodies in the UK and the European Union.

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Helen Graham – Crossing Borders:The Spanish Civil War and transnational mobilisation

in Academic Service - Archive by on June 30th, 2016

Event Date: 30 June 2016
Wolfson 1
Institute of Historical Research
Senate House
Univerity of London
Malet St
London WC1E 7HU

The Cañada Blanch Centre presents:

Professor Helen Graham (RHUL) – Crossing Borders:The Spanish Civil War and transnational mobilisation

For Europe, the Great War of 1914-18 famously ‘changed everything and nothing’. Empires had fallen, but established social hierarchies re-emerged, often politically retooled. For progressives of the 1920s/30s the continent constituted a terrain where everything was still to play for. These struggles between ‘old’ and ‘new’ across Europe would produce a series of wars of social change in the years between 1936 and 1948 – dense and fraught confrontations over identities and values, which from 1939 would escalate under the impact of the Nazis’ own war of imperial expansion.

The first of these wars of social change to erupt in arms would occur in Spain in July 1936, where a military elite, in part representing the social and political values of pre-1914 hierarchical Europe, launched a coup against a democratising civilian society that was designed to halt change in its tracks. But the coup only succeeded because the Spanish conspirators secured almost immediate military backing from Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. The besieged Republic in Spain came thus to symbolise a possible new society, with a more open, democratic culture, now under attack simultaneously from the old order within, and from outside, by a brutal new order of European fascism. This dual assault brought into being a wave of support from progressives inside Spain and across Europe and the world – fighters and writers who saw the Spanish Republic as their place to stand.

In this lecture, Helen Graham will discuss the lives of five such figures, of diverse provenance and politics, in order to explore the Republic’s broader significance in these continental wars of social change. She will also look at what the Spanish Republican defeat of 1939 meant for all five over the long term, as they suffered physical displacement and psychological and existential estrangement. Theirs were ‘lives’ that had been salvaged, but, like millions of others, the people they had once been lived on only as ghosts. It was a predicament much intensified by the post-1945 myth-fuelled distortions of public historical memory – whether under dictatorships or democracy, in the Eastern or Western European blocs, or throughout the political West more broadly. With this in mind, the talk will conclude by exploring some still open questions about what might constitute an honest reckoning today with the history and memory of Spain, and of Europe’s dark mid-twentieth century.

Introduction by Professor Paul Preston (LSE):

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Feminism and Radical Utopianism, Past and Present

in Academic Service - Archive by on June 30th, 2016

 

Event Date: 30 June 2016

Room B01
Clore Management Building
Birkbeck, University of London
Torrington Square
London WC1E 7JL

The Birkbeck Institute for Social Research in association with Birkbeck Gender and Sexuality (BiGS) presents:

Feminism and Radical Utopianism, Past and Present

Roundtable Discussion

Birkbeck Gender and Sexuality (BiGS) in collaboration with the Raphael Samuel History Centre and Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image (BIMI) – Radical Histories/History of Radicalism – Pre-Conference Event

In the early 19th century, Utopian Socialists envisaged a world free from sexual oppression, and set out to build communities where men and women would live as equals. 150 years later, at the height of the Women’s Liberation Movement, Barbara Taylor wrote a study of these radicals and their attempts to found a ‘New Moral World’ of class and gender equality. Her book, Eve and the New Jerusalem (Virago 1983), is republished in 2016. This event explores the utopian-feminist ideals described in Eve, and compares them to other feminist utopias, past and present.

Introduced by: Professor Miriam Zukas (Birkbeck, University of London):

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Contributions from speakers: Professor Barbara Taylor (Queen Mary, University of London), Dr Shahidha Bari (Queen Mary University of London), Profesor Lynne Segal (Birkbeck, University of London) and Urvashi Butalia (Zubaan Books, Delhi). Chair: Dr Madeleine Davis (Queen Mary University of London):

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Ilker Evrim Binbas – Intellectual Networks in Timurid Iran

in Academic Service - Archive by on June 29th, 2016

Event Date: 13 June 2016
Royal Asiatic Society
14 Stephenson Way
London NW1 2HD

 

The Royal Asiatic Society presents:

BOOK LAUNCH

Dr Ilker Evrim Binbas (RHUL) – Intellectual Networks in Timurid Iran

By focusing on the works and intellectual network of the Timurid historian Sharaf al Dīn ‘Alī Yazdī (d.1454), this book presents a holistic view of intellectual life in fifteenth century Iran. İlker Evrim Binbaş argues that the intellectuals in this period formed informal networks which transcended political and linguistic boundaries, and spanned an area from the western fringes of the Ottoman State to bustling late medieval metropolises such as Cairo, Shiraz, and Samarkand. The network included an Ottoman revolutionary, a Mamluk prophet, and a Timurid occultist, as well as physicians, astronomers, devotees of the secret sciences, and those political figures who believed that the network was a force to be taken seriously. Also discussing the formation of an early modern Islamicate republic of letters, this book offers fresh insights on the study of intellectual history beyond the limitations imposed by nationalist methodologies, established genres, and recognized literary traditions.

Dr Ilker Evrim Binbas is lecturer in Early Modern Asian Empires at Royal Holloway University of London.

Introduction by Professor Francis Robinson (Vice-President, RAS):

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Protecting and Offending Jews: Speech, Law and Policy

in Academic Service - Archive by on June 28th, 2016

 

Event Date: 28 June 2016
Jubilee Room
Westminster Hall,
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA

The Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism Birkbeck, University of London in partnership with the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism presents:

Protecting and Offending Jews: Speech, Law and Policy

PROGRAMME

Introduction

John Mann MP, Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism

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David Feldman, Director, Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of London

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Session 1: Giving and Taking Offence

Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge

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Session 2: Zones of Controversy – Social Media and BDS

Brendan McGeever, Birkbeck, University of London

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Paul Iganski, Lancaster University

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Session 3: Race, Religion and the Law

Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive, Equality and Human Rights Commission

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Omar Khan, Director, Runnymede Trust

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Concluding Remarks

David Feldman, Director, Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of London

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The Challenge of Climate Change: What Can and Can’t Be Fixed?

in Academic Service - Archive by on June 28th, 2016

Event Date: 28 June 2016
Birkbeck, University of London
Room 101
30 Russell Square,
30 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5DQ
London WC1E 7HX

The Birkbeck Institute for Social Research  presents:

The Challenge of Climate Change: What Can and Can’t Be Fixed?

A Roundtable discussion and reception launching the MSc in Global Environmental Politics and Policy, organised by the Birkbeck Population, Environment and Resources Group.

As we approach the 25th anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit in 2017, climate change continues to pose a formidable global socio-economic, political and environmental challenge. The latest Conference of Participants in Paris culminated with a multilateral commitment to keep global temperature rise this century below 2 degrees Celsius, promising an agreement with a ‘long-term vision’ that was also to act as an ‘engine of safe growth’.

In this panel, we consider whether these aspirations to reconcile economic growth with control over global warming are realistic, feasible or even desirable. What are the prospects of enforcing these objectives? What kind of policies and political mobilisations might help to secure them? Can and does technology help in addressing climate change? And what are the implications of all this for an  increasingly ‘crowded, complex and coastal’ planet? Four specialists on these subjects will discuss these and other related questions in an accessible and conversational format.

Panelists:

Aideen Foley, Lecturer in Physical and Environmental Geography Birkbeck College.
Diane Horn, Reader in Coastal Geomorphology Birkbeck College.
Eric Kaufmann, Professor of Politics, Birkbeck College.
Nick Srnicek, co-author of Inventing the Future.

Chair: Alex Colás, Reader in International Relations, Birkbeck College

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Hillel Kieval – Blood Inscriptions: Science, Modernity, and Ritual Murder in Fin de Siècle Europe

in Academic Service - Archive by on June 28th, 2016

Event Date: 28 June 2016
Room B33
Birkbeck Main Building
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX

The Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism presents:

Professor Hillel Kieval (Washington University in St. Louis) – Blood Inscriptions: Science, Modernity, and Ritual Murder in Fin de Siècle Europe

When trials against Jews for the “ritual murder”of Christians reappeared in Central Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century they seemed to be a throwback to the Middle Ages.  The truth is, however, that the modern trials were very different.  The “rules of the game” had changed: ritual murder accusations, and the criminal examinations that ensued, could no longer be framed in pre-Reformation language and symbols.  Prosecutors, magistrates, trial judges, and police investigators shared an implicit understanding that a new universe of knowledge was in place in which academic experts and practitioners of science defined the boundaries of plausible argument and were to be accorded deference.  This does not mean that traditional religious beliefs suddenly ceased to be disseminated or no longer influenced courtroom proceedings, but cultural traditions and psychological predispositions would no longer suffice. A new set of arguments and new appeals to authority were now needed to move states to indict or judges and juries to convict.

Hillel Kieval is Gloria M Goldstein Professor of Jewish History and Thought at Washington University in St Louis. His research focuses on transformations in Jewish culture and society in East Central Europe from the Enlightenment to the Second World War, including the effects of ethnic and national struggles, social conflict, and antisemitism on Jewish life and Jewish-Gentile relations. One area of particular interest is the function and phenomenology of the “ritual murder” trial in modern Europe.

Talk (with an introduction by Professor David Feldman):

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Michael Loewe – Problems of Han Administration

in Academic Service - Archive by on June 23rd, 2016

Event Date: 23 June 2016
Royal Asiatic Society
14 Stephenson Way
London NW1 2HD

 

The Royal Asiatic Society presents:

BOOK LAUNCH

Professor Michael Loewe (Cambridge) – Problems of Han Administration

Michael Loewe calls on literary and material evidence to examine three problems that arose in administering China’s early empires. Religious rites due to an emperor’s predecessors must both pay the correct services to his ancestors and demonstrate his right to succeed to the throne. In practical terms, tax collectors, merchants, farmers and townsmen required the establishment of a standard set of weights and measures that was universally operative and which they could trust. Those who saw reason to criticise the decisions taken by the emperor and his immediate advisors, whether on grounds of moral principles or political expediency, needed opportunities and the means of expressing their views, whether as remonstrants to the throne, by withdrawal from public life or as authors of private writings.

Introduction by Dr Gordon Johnson (President, RAS):

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