July 2017 Newsletter

Welcome to our July 2017 newsletter.

Well, the teaching and exams might be over at our universities, but not the conferences and public talks – we recorded many of them. A few regulars still continued into June, and we’ll list them first before we come to the conferences and major events.

The Aristotelian Society held their last meeting for the academic year with:

Shamik Dasgupta – Normative Non-Naturalism and the Problem of Authority

The Royal Asiatic Society contributed with a highly interesting paper:

Peter Frankopan – Asia and the Formation of Early Modern Europe

And the Outreach team in the Physics Department at Royal Holloway startled and amazed the audience with wild and at times dangerous demonstrations whilst explaining the Large Hadron Collider at CERN:

Stephen Gibson – The Big Bang Experience! A brief history and future of the LHC

For post-graduates, of course, the work never stops and late June usually sees the post-graduate conferences taking place. The Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP) at Kingston University, the theme of the the postgraduate conference this year was ‘Teleology: Conceptual Corpse or Plastic Concept?’ and the keynote speaker was Catherine Malabou:

Catherine Malabou – TeleologiⒶ

And at the School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Royal Holloway the doyenne of Film Studies, Annette Kuhn reflected on the 40 years of film since the release of Woody Allen’s ‘Annie Hall’:

Annette Kuhn – Remembering Annie Hall

Another talk on film and cinema took place at the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research, organised by Birkbeck Gender & Sexuality (BiGS):

Gerard Coll-Planas – ‘We can’t live together like those faggots’. Cinematic Representation of Queer Migrants from Muslim-Majority Countries Living in Europe

The master classes at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities continued unabated, with the Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania, Jean-Michel Rabaté contemplating reflex laughter, machine laughter and excess laughter with texts from Kafka, Freud, Bergson and others in three master classes:

Jean-Michel Rabaté – A Time to Laugh – Session 1

Jean-Michel Rabaté – A Time to Laugh – Session 2

Jean-Michel Rabaté – A Time to Laugh – Session 3

The Capital and Social Justice Working Group, Department of Geography, the School of Law, Birkbeck, University of London, and the SOAS Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies, University of London looked at the increasing regulations surrounding international travel in the light of globalisation with a one-day conference at Birkbeck ‘Resisting the (internal) Border: a Conference for Academics, Activists and Advocates’. We recorded two keynotes and two panels, and you can listen to them here:

Resisting the (internal) Border: a Conference for Academics, Activists and Advocates

Being in government with your hands tied is the somewhat the strange situation for the Greek government, and one of our regular contributors, Costas Douzinas, Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, now serves as MP for Piraeus in the Greek parliament. You can listen to his experiences:

Costas Douzinas – The Left in Power?

OK, now on to the big ‘Feminist Emergency’ conference. The conference was organised by the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities and had been in the planning for quite some time, but gained even more urgency with recent political events such as Drumpf and Brexit. The conference aimed to ‘address issues such as austerity policies, increasing social inequality, the general assault on collective policies of social welfare, the changes imposed on health care, the needs of an ageing population, the increasing worldwide visibility of violence (domestic violence, rape as a weapon of war, ‘honour’ killing, female genital mutilation), and their implications for feminist thought, activism and creativity, and in relation to public policy in the UK and globally’. We recorded over 21 hours of the conference which are all here:

Feminist Emergency – International Conference

And finally, almost traditionally, the Friday debates from the London Critical Theory Summer School at Birkbeck. Unfortunately, some speakers at the first Friday debate objected to being recorded, but we do have the second one, with Stephen Frosh, Esther Leslie, Jacqueline Rose and Slavoj Zizek:

London Critical Theory Summer School 2017 – Friday Debate 2

So that’s all for this academic year as far as recordings go. We will be back with new recordings on September, but in the meantime we would like to hear from you (email) should you have any issues with the website. We are aware that for some Mac users (strangely not all) the download function doesn’t work, but it seems only in some browsers. Also pre-2011 recordings might have a fault here and there. We are working our way through the archive, but it would greatly help if you could let us know where the snags are, so we can find them and fix them fast

So wishing everyone a good summer break,

All the best,


share this entry: