The BIRTHA lecture takes place yearly, in Autumn, a leading figure is invited to give a lecture on a theme relating to research in the Arts and Humanities. Below is a list of past lectures:
The celebrated novelist, academic and columnist for The Independant will be giving the talk 'Dante in Love'
BIRTHA was happy to have supported the University’s first festival of the Arts and Humanities – which engaged a large University (faculty and beyond) and public audience. Please see InsideArts for further details.
One of the world’s foremost experts on language and English language, and arguably the most accessible and entertaining writer and lecturer in this area.
What influence is the Internet having on language, and what is happening to language as it comes to be used on the Internet? The talk explores the Internet as a linguistic revolution, illustrating from its six major domains - e-mail, the World Wide Web, chat groups, virtual worlds, blogs, and instant messaging - and reports the way the Internet is being increasingly used by languages other than English.
Novelist, critic and cultural historian.
Magic helped make the modern world and still shapes the ways we think today, and magical thinking structures many features of Western civilisation, while the literature and entertainment draws more and more deeply on the tradition of enchantment and transformation supremely represented by the Arabian Nights, or Tales of 1001 Nights. Yet this history and perspective have been constantly disavowed as irrational and superstitious. Through a reading of several of the stories in the Nights and an inquiry into their population of magical talismans and objects (such as the flying carpet), Marina Warner will explore a different approach to fantastic fictions and the illuminating and poetic narratives about modernity and civilisation which they enfold.
Professor of Social and Critical Histories of Art
Director, Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory and History (University of Leeds)
Griselda Pollock's lecture will draw on aspects of two major research projects, one on a little known German-Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon who created a massive single work between 1941-1942 in the face of personal and communal catastrophe and the other addresses the creation of concentrationary memory in what Joshua Hirsch has called post-traumatic cinema. Both key 'texts' involved image, sound, music, words and the duration, deploying aesthetic strategies to create and state memory as a critical and even political gesture.
Regius Professor of Modern History, University of Cambridge
Harvard English Professor
The first BIRTHA Lecture was given by Stefan Collini, FBA, Professor of English Literature and Intellectual History, University of Cambridge:
Stefan Collini was educated at the universities of Cambridge and Yale, he has held visiting appointments in Canberra, Caracas, Paris and Princeton, and he has taught at Sussex and Cambridge, where he is Professor of Intellectual History and English Literature in the Faculty of English. He has written widely on 19th and 20th-century intellectual history and literature; his books include Public Moralists: Political Thought and Intellectual Life in Britain 1850-1930 (1991), Matthew Arnold: A Critical Portrait (1994), and English Pasts: Essays on History and Culture (1999); he is also a frequent contributor to journals such as The Times Literary Supplement and The London Review of Books. His Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain will be published by OUP in Spring 2006.