June 2017 Newsletter

Welcome to the June 2017 newsletter.

I have to apologise for the absence of a newsletter last month. This was due to the Easter/spring holiday being rather late in the year and most universities were closed during April.

However, we have a massive amount of podcasts for you this month (from last month), all of them exciting and stimulating. Let’s start off with our regulars the Royal Asiatic Society, which, of course, as a Learned Society was not bound by the academic year and contributed with no less than six contributions, all of them fascinating. So here they are:

Royal Asiatic Society: Opening the Collection

Jonathan Bloom – Silk Road or Paper Road?

Bruno de Nicola – Women in Mongol Iran

Martin Bayly – Taming the Imperial Imagination: The Genesis of Colonial Knowledge on Afghanistan, 1808-1878

Tara Purnima – Tales of the Tribes: Connecting to Cultures through Animation

Simon Layton – Piracy and Politics in the Indian Ocean World

We recorded three meetings of the Aristotelian Society, which can be listened to here:

Gerald Lang – What Follows from Defensive Non-Liability?

Daniel Viehoff – Serving the Governed

Ursula Renz – Self-Knowledge as a Personal Achievement

Not forgetting the scientists, the Physics Outreach Department at Royal Holloway organised another one of their taster lectures to entice more people into studying science (and pretty mind-boggling it is, too):

Anna Posazhennikova – Nobel Prize 2016: the rise of topology or what’s in a quantum vortex

The Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities continued to hold master-classes of pivotal intellectuals from around the world; we recorded two lots – first a series of three talks on ‘Using the Law for Social Justice and other Utopian Ideals’ by Helena Kennedy QC:

Helena Kennedy – Using the Law for Social Justice and other Utopian Ideals – Session 1

Helena Kennedy – Using the Law for Social Justice and other Utopian Ideals – Session 2

Helena Kennedy – Using the Law for Social Justice and other Utopian Ideals – Session 3

Then, our old favourite and International director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Slavoj Zizek. Two from him:

Slavoj Zizek – ‘You have to be stupid to see that’: Ideology in Daily Life 1

Slavoj Zizek – ‘You have to be stupid to see that’: Ideology in Daily Life 2

After not getting it right on Brexit and Trump (like so many of us), the Politics department at Birkbeck contributed with a rather safer topic, the English historian E.P. Thompson, whose 1963 publication ‘Making of the English Working Class’ is still essential reading for all interested in labour and social history:

Michael Kenny – E.P. Thompson – Last of the English Radicals?

Now on to Birkbeck Arts Week. As some of you might be aware, the School of Arts at Birkbeck dedicates one week in May to showcasing their work in conjunction with many international scholars and experts. This year the event has been extremely successful with 60 events stretched over a week. We recorded 13 of them and you can listen to them here:

The Jo Spence Archive and Memorial Library: a workshop

Andy Smith – Dematerialising Theatre

Renaissance lives from the archives: grime, crime and a pirate

The Poetics of Fragility, a film by Nicolas Grandi and Lata Mani

Will 2017 be 1984? Rethinking Orwell’s dystopia

Speaking in Brogues

Mr A moves in mysterious ways: artists from the Adamson Collection

Eyes, hands, hearts: Anatomy, aesthetics, and the organization of life in the Hunterian Museums

The Sublime Real: painful excitements in eighteenth-century art and criticism

America in Crisis

Writing well and writing to get well: Nathan Filer and Agata Vitale in conversation (NB: This is currently being reviewed by the speakers – it will be available soon.)

Public Talk by John Beverley: A new Orientalism

Bill Gaskill Symposium: Panel 1: Welcome to a Life in the Theatre

Before moving on to the conferences, two noteworthy events we recorded also at Birkbeck. First was the launch event for the Birkbeck Centre for Research on Race and Law, organised by Sarah Keenan and Nadine El-Enany:

Law, Race and Brexit Britain – Launch Event for Birkbeck Centre for Research on Race and Law

And from the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research an excellent paper on the increasing trend of ‘transnational families’:

Tracey Reynolds – Mapping the Role of ‘Transnational Family Habitus’ in the Lives and Identity of Black Minority Ethnic Young People

Finally more people have realised that recording conferences with us is an ideal way of giving their conference more substance, and an ‘afterlife’ which strengthens their research. And an interesting picture emerges when looking at institutions (universities) themselves and the behaviour of the ones that inhabit them:

Sur Analysis: Institutional Psychotherapy and Analysis

The fabulous MayDay Rooms in Fleet Street were the venue for an event around experimental publishing and book launch for Nick Thoburn’s ‘Anti-Book’. With Nick Thurston, Anthony Iles, Eva Weinmayr, Nick Thoburn and Nina Power:

Publishing—Art—Communism: Symposium and Book Launch on the Materiality of Experimental Publishing

Gilbert Simondon (1924 – 1989) was a French philosopher and (before this was even thought of) media theorist, who influenced many of the later French thinkers such as Gilles Deleuze and others. The first ever translation of his ‘Du mode d’existence des objets techniques’ (On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects) was launched at the Centre for Resaerch of Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP) at Kingston University and you can listen to the whole symposium:

Simondon on Technics: On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects

Finally, a substantial international conference from the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism entitled ‘Zionism and Antisemitism’. This very emotive topic is discussed in rational and expert manner, with over 30 different papers, on many angles of the topic. Very urgent and highly recommended.

Zionism and Antisemitism – International Conference


Ok, that’s it for now. Please remember to contact us should you have an event you would like recorded. Also, please bear with us with fixing the bugs on the new site (some of you are really very helpful by contacting us about this). We are now taking bookings for conferences over the summer, so please get your bookings to us. email.

All the best,


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