Nov
19
Tue
The Weinrebe Lectures in Life-Writing: Lucasta Miller @ Wolfson College - Leonard Wolfson Auditorium
Nov 19 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Biographer and critic Lucasta Miller will give this term’s lecture in memory of Harry M Weinrebe, philanthropist and founder of the Dorset Foundation.

A former visiting scholar at the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing and Beaufort visiting fellow at Lady Margaret Hall, Lucasta Miller is the author of The Brontë Myth (Jonathan Cape, 2001) and L.E.L.: The Lost Life and Scandalous Death of Letitia Elizabeth Landon (Jonathan Cape, 2019), the Celebrated ‘Female Byron’.

The OCLW Weinrebe Lectures are an annual series named in memory of Harry Weinrebe, a philanthropist and the founder of the Dorset Foundation.A

Nov
20
Wed
Plants & Food Culture in Roman Britain @ Institute of Archaeology
Nov 20 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Plants & Food Culture in Roman Britain
Wed 20 Nov, 1–2pm

Institute of Archaeology, 36 Beaumont Street, Oxford
With Alexandra Livarda, ICAC, Tarragona

At our Roman Discussion Forum research seminars you can join experts in the field of archaeology and conservation on new discoveries and ideas arising from our current exhibition, Last Supper in Pompeii. The events are organised in association with the Roman Discussion Forum at the University of Oxford’s School of Archaeology.

Places for these seminars are FREE, but places are first-come, first-served, so please arrive early to guarantee your place. It is not possible to book or reserve a place.

www.ashmolean.org/event/roman-discussion-forum-week-6

Nov
21
Thu
Oxford Think Festival – Richard Swinburne ‘Are We Bodies or Souls?’ @ Blackwell's Bookshop
Nov 21 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

World Philosophy Day event – Richard Swinburne in conversation with Richard Marshall on ‘Are We Bodies or Souls?’
About this Event
Saturday 9th – Thursday 21st November
Oxford University Press is delighted to once again partner with Blackwell’s Oxford to host a weekend of talks and discussions and present the Oxford Think Festival.
Celebrating the quest for knowledge and seeking to stimulate discussion of some of the big issues and ideas of our time, the festival brings together some of our most inspiring and exciting minds. Join us for a full weekend of debates and discussion, a preview event with Jon Davis & John Rentoul on the legacy of the Blair government, and a special World Philosophy Day event with Richard Swinburne.

All events are free to attend, but registration is strongly recommended.

Thursday, 21st November, 1pm – Richard Swinburne in conversation with Richard Marshall on ‘Are We Bodies or Souls?’

What are humans? What makes us who we are? Many think that we are just complicated machines, or animals that are different from machines only by being conscious. On World Philosophy Day, join Richard Swinburne, one of the world’s leading philosophers, as he explores what it is to be human. Swinburne comes to the defence of the soul and presents new philosophical arguments that are supported by modern neuroscience. He shows how belief in the human soul is compatible with modern science.

“Diet, obesity and health: from science to policy” with Prof Susan Jebb @ Oxford Martin School
Nov 21 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Poor diet is the leading risk factor for ill health in the UK, carrying more risk than smoking or hypertension.

But in an era where we seem to be constantly bombarded with often conflicting messages about our diets, is all this information actually making us any healthier? How can we cut through media hysteria and use the science to make wise choices about the food we eat and how can the Government make sensible policy decisions to help with the impact our consumption habits have on our health.

Please register via the link provided.

Nov
26
Tue
Pompeii: City of Venus & Bacchus, with Bettany Hughes, incl. drinks & exhibition private view @ Ashmolean Museum
Nov 26 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Pompeii: City of Venus & Bacchus, with Bettany Hughes, incl. drinks & exhibition private view @ Ashmolean Museum

Pompeii: City of Venus & Bacchus
With Bettany Hughes, broadcaster and historian, and Paul Roberts, Last Supper in Pompeii curator
Tue 26 Nov, 6.30–7.30pm

This event includes a private view of our current exhibition, Last Supper in Pompeii, and will be followed by a drinks reception.

Pompeii was officially dedicated to Venus, Goddess of Love, while Bacchus, God of Wine and Ecstasy, was also hugely popular. Join award-winning historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes and Exhibition Curator Paul Roberts as they discuss the rich and heady lives of Pompeii’s inhabitants and the deities they adored. This talk coincides with the release of Bettany Hughes’s new book, Venus & Aphrodite – History of a Goddess.

TICKETS: £25/£22/£20 Full, Concession, Members. Booking essential.

Short Stories Aloud – David Constantine and Anna Hope @ Blackwell's Bookshop
Nov 26 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Short Stories Aloud – The most fun you can have in a bookshop on a Tuesday night.
About this Event
Listen to actors read short stories read by our guest authors. This month we are joined by David Constantine, author of ‘The Dressing-Up Box’, and Anna Hope, ‘Expectation’ . After hearing short stories (and eating some cake) there will be questions from Sarah Franklin, author of ‘Shelter’, and the audience. Join us for a wonderful evening, not to be missed.

The Dressing-Up Box by David Constantine

Against the backdrop of war, a group of children barricade themselves in an abandoned townhouse, cherishing what’s left of their innocence with the help of a dressing-up box…

A deep-sea diver takes to being suspended for hours at a time on the end of a line not long enough to reach the seabed…

An aging widower moves into the shed at the end of his garden to plan out his ‘endgame’ surrounded by a lifetime’s worth of hoarded curiosities…

The characters in David Constantine’s fifth collection are all in pursuit of sanctuary; the violence and mendacity of the outside world presses in from all sides – be it the ritualised brutality suffered by children at a Catholic orphanage, or the harrowing videos shared among refugees of an atrocity ‘back home’. In each case, the characters withdraw into themselves, sometimes abandoning language altogether, until something breaks and they can retreat no further. In Constantine’s luminous prose, these stories capture such moments in all their clarity; moments when an entire life seems to hang in the balance, the past’s betrayals exposed, its ghosts dragged out into the daylight; moments in which the possibility of defiance and redemption is everything.

Nov
27
Wed
Food Remains from Pompeii: The Difficulties of Reconstructing Diet @ Ashmolean Museum
Nov 27 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Food Remains from Pompeii:
The Difficulties of Reconstructing Diet
Wed 27 Nov, 1–2pm

With Mark Robinson, University of Oxford

At our Roman Discussion Forum research seminars you can join experts in the field of archaeology and conservation on new discoveries and ideas arising from our current exhibition, Last Supper in Pompeii. The events are organised in association with the Roman Discussion Forum at the University of Oxford’s School of Archaeology.

Places for these seminars are FREE, but places are first-come, first-served, so please arrive early to guarantee your place. It is not possible to book or reserve a place.

www.ashmolean.org/event/roman-discussion-forum-week-7

Maya Goodfellow and Alex Niven ‘Hostile Environment’ @ Blackwell's Bookshop
Nov 27 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Maya Goodfellow and Alex Niven will be introducing their new books ‘Hostile Environment’ and ‘New Model Island’.
About this Event
Blackwell’s is delighted to welcome Maya Goodfellow and Alex Niven, who will be in conversation together exploring their books ‘Hostile Environment’ and ‘New Model Island’. Focusing on Britain now as we know it, Maya and Alex will be discussing immigration policy, English identity and the need for change.

Synopsis
Hostile Environment – How Immigrants Became Scapegoats

How migrants became the scapegoats of contemporary mainstream politics

The UK government proudly calls the aim of its immigration policy to be the creation of a “hostile environment, ” while refugees drown in the Mediterranean and Britain votes to leave the EU against claims that “swarms”of migrants are entering Britain. Meanwhile, study after study confirms that immigration is not damaging the UK’s economy, nor putting a strain on public services, but immigration is blamed for all of Britain’s ills. Yet concerns about immigration are deemed “legitimate” across the political spectrum, with few exceptions. How did we get here?

Maya Goodfellow offers a compelling answer. Through interviews with leading policy-makers, asylum seekers, and immigration lawyers, Goodfellow illuminates the dark underbelly of contemporary immigration policies. A nuanced analysis of the UK’s immigration policy from the 1960s onwards, Hostile Environment links immigration policy and the rhetoric of both Labour and Tory governments to the UK’s colonial past and its imperialist present. Goodfellow shows that distinct forms of racism and dehumanisation directly resulted from immigration policy, and reminds us of the human cost of concessions to anti-immigration politics.

Nov
28
Thu
“Plant genetics from Mendel to Monsanto” with Dame Ottoline Leyser @ Oxford Martin School
Nov 28 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Plants and photosynthetic microbes have the extraordinary ability to convert light energy to chemical energy and as a consequence, they are the foundation of virtually all ecosystems and all agricultural systems on the planet.

The characteristics that make plants successful in natural ecosystems are often antithetical to agriculture and over 1000s of years we have domesticated plants to make better crops. The molecular genetics revolution of the 20th century has simultaneously provided a means to understand the relationship between plant genes and plant characteristics, and the ability to target and/or select specific genetic changes in plant genomes.

This combination of knowledge and technology opens the possibility for designer crops, and raises interesting questions about the governance of our food system.

Please register via the link provided. Followed by a drinks reception, all welcome.

Alison Light ‘A Radical Romance’ in conversation with Elizabeth Lowry @ Blackwell's Bookshop
Nov 28 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Join us for a very special evening, as we are joined by Alison Light to discuss her memoir ‘A Radical Romance’.
About this Event
Blackwell’s is delighted to be welcoming Alison Light, who will be discussing her luminous memoir ‘A Radical Romance: A Memoir of Love, Grief and Consolation’ in conversation with Elizabeth Lowry.

Synopsis
Alison Light met the radical social historian, Raphael Samuel, in London in 1986. Twenty years her senior, Raphael was a charismatic figure on the British Left, utterly driven by his work and by a commitment to collective politics. Within a year they were married. Within ten, Raphael would be dead.

Theirs was an attraction of opposites – he from a Jewish Communist family with its roots in Russia and Eastern Europe, she from the English working class. In this chronicle of a passionate marriage, Alison Light peels back the layers of their time together, its intimacies and its estrangements.

She tells of moving into Raphael’s cluttered 18th-century house in Spitalfields and into his equally full, unconventional life; of the whirlwind of change outside their door which brutally transformed London’s old East End districts; of being widowed at 41, and finding inspiration in her friendship with Raphael’s mother. Finally she reflects on the power of mourning and how it shapes a life.

Through its frank and touching account of a marriage between two very different people, it celebrates the capacity we all have to share our lives and to change our selves.

Dec
2
Mon
“Why we need a fourth revolution in healthcare” with Dr William Bird @ Oxford Martin School
Dec 2 @ 5:00 pm – 6:15 pm

We are entering the fourth revolution of healthcare.

The first revolution was Public Health with sanitation, cleaner air and better housing. The second is medical healthcare with the advancement of diagnostics and treatment with a focus on disease cure. The third is personalised health, through individual knowledge, technology, behaviour change and precision medicine.

However, these revolutions have left three major problems unresolved; unsustainable healthcare, rising health inequalities and climate change driven by unsustainable living.

So, we enter the fourth revolution in healthcare which builds on the previous three. This is based on communities rather than individuals, supporting a sustainable active lifestyle, eating local produce and using culture, art and contact with nature to create purpose and connections to each other, leading to greater resilience and wellbeing. It is a revolution when Smart Cities become central to the delivery of health and when advanced technology becomes almost invisible encouraging a lifestyle closer rather than further from nature.

In this talk Dr Bird will explain how we are already delivering this future and how biological changes such as chronic inflammation, epigenetics, mitochondrial dysfunction and telomere shortening can provide the scientific link between wellbeing and disease.

The Biographer and the Wife @ Wolfson College
Dec 2 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Join us for a reception to celebrate Elleke Boehmer’s new short story collection, with a reading of the story, ‘The Biographer and the Wife’, and a discussion of the biographer as a source of creative inspiration with Sophie Ratcliffe and Katherine Collins.

Dec
3
Tue
Dragonflies in Focus – Brian Walker @ St Margaret's Institute
Dec 3 @ 8:00 pm – 9:15 pm

The talk will provide an overview of dragonflies and their life cycles and habitats as well illustrating a number of species that occur in England including those that are currently colonising from the Continent and increasing in numbers.

Dec
4
Wed
Roman Wine @ Ashmolean Museum
Dec 4 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Roman Wine
Wed 4 Dec, 1–2pm

With Andrew Wilson, University of Oxford

At our Roman Discussion Forum research seminars you can join experts in the field of archaeology and conservation on new discoveries and ideas arising from our current exhibition, Last Supper in Pompeii. The events are organised in association with the Roman Discussion Forum at the University of Oxford’s School of Archaeology.

Places for these seminars are FREE, but places are first-come, first-served, so please arrive early to guarantee your place. It is not possible to book or reserve a place.

www.ashmolean.org/event/roman-discussion-forum-week-8

“Nano comes to life” with Prof Sonia Contera @ Oxford Martin School
Dec 4 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

In this book talk, Professor Sonia Contera will talk about how Nanotechnology is transforming medicine and the future of biology.

Please register via the link provided. This book talk will be followed by a drinks reception, book sale and book signing, all welcome.

Dec
5
Thu
“Brexit, agriculture & dietary risks in the UK” with Dr Florian Freund @ Oxford Martin School
Dec 5 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

When the UK joined the EU in 1973 all previous trade barriers with the EU were abolished, which led to a strong intensification of trade with the European continent.

This situation will soon be a thing of the past, however, as new trade barriers will be erected with the withdrawal. Since the food self-sufficiency rate in the UK is particular low newly invoked trade barriers will significantly affect how food is produced and consumed in the UK.

Please register via the link provided.

Dec
6
Fri
Jane Setter ‘Your Voice Speaks Volumes’ @ Blackwell's Bookshop
Dec 6 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Blackwell’s is delighted to welcome Jane Setter, who will be discussing accents and her new book ‘Your Voice Speaks Volumes’.

About this Event

Join us for a fascinating lunch-time discussion with author Jane Setter, as we explore her new book ‘Your Voice Speaks Volumes: It’s Not What You Say but How You Say It’.

Why do we speak the way we do, and what do our voices tell others about us? What is the truth behind the myths that surround how we speak? Jane Setter explores these and other fascinating questions in this engaging introduction to the power and the science of the voice.

She will take us on a tour of the sounds in our language and how we produce them, as well as how and why those sounds vary in different varieties of English. The origins of our vast range of accents are explained, along with the prejudices associated with them: why do we feel such loyalty to our own accent, and what’s behind our attitudes to others? We learn that much of what we believe about how we speak may not be true: is it really the case, for instance, that only young people use ‘uptalk’, or that only women use vocal fry? Throughout the talk, Jane Setter draws on examples from the media and from her own professional and personal experience, from her work on the provenance of the terrorist ‘Jihadi John’ to why the Rolling Stones sounded American.

Jane Setter is Professor of Phonetics at the University of Reading and a National Teaching Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. Professor Setter is a regular commentator in the British media on issues relating to English pronunciation, speech features, and attitudes to accents and appeared as an expert on programmes such as The Alan Titchmarsh Show and Duck Quacks Don’t Echo.

This event is free to attend, please register your attendance in advance. Please note, this talk will be taking place in our Philosophy Department which is accessible via a small set of stairs. For all enquiries please email [email protected] or call our Customer Service Department on 01865 333623.

Dec
7
Sat
Philosophy in the Bookshop – Stephen Law @ Blackwell's Bookshop
Dec 7 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Description
Blackwell’s is pleased to present it’s monthly series of events, Philosophy in the Bookshop.

As part of this year’s Yule Fest annual celebration at Blackwell’s, Philosopher Stephen Law will give a solo talk on his new best-selling book, ‘What Am I Doing with my Life?’

Millions of people ask Google all sorts of questions, everything from the big and small.

Responding to the biggest, existential questions asked online and using the wisdom of Plato, Kant, Kierkegaard and other philosophical greats philosopher, academic, and all-round polymath, Stephen Law, undertakes the challenge and explores our modern-day concerns with tongue-in-cheek sagacity.

No matter what you’ve googled in a midnight moment of existential despair, this book will answer all your burning questions.

This talk is free to attend and will take place in the Philosophy department. (Please note: There is limited access to this area of the shop. Please call 01865 333623 with an enquiries)

Yule Fest 2019 – Lara Maiklem ‘Mudlarking’ @ Blackwell's Bookshop
Dec 7 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Blackwell’s Oxford Broad Street’s annual festive celebration weekend, full of free author event talks.
About this Event
To launch the start of the festive season, Blackwell’s is delighted to announce our annual Yule Fest event, featuring a line-up of superb authors who will be joining us across the weekend on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December. Our guest speakers will be introducing their books throughout the day in free 45 minute talks, followed by a signing after offering the opportunity to purchase a special signed book. Booksellers will be spreading the festive cheer with complimentary mince pies alongside offering support to help you find the perfect Christmas present.

Yule Fest 2019 – Chris Lintott ‘The Crowd & The Cosmos’ @ Blackwell's Bookshop
Dec 7 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Blackwell’s Oxford Broad Street’s annual festive celebration weekend, full of free author event talks.
About this Event
To launch the start of the festive season, Blackwell’s is delighted to announce our annual Yule Fest event, featuring a line-up of superb authors who will be joining us across the weekend on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December. Our guest speakers will be introducing their books throughout the day in free 45 minute talks, followed by a signing after offering the opportunity to purchase a special signed book. Booksellers will be spreading the festive cheer with complimentary mince pies alongside offering support to help you find the perfect Christmas present.

Yule Fest 2019 -Ned Palmer ‘A Cheese Monger’s History of the British Isles’ @ Blackwell's Bookshop
Dec 7 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Register
Event Information
Blackwell’s Oxford Broad Street’s annual festive celebration weekend, full of free author event talks.
About this Event
To launch the start of the festive season, Blackwell’s is delighted to announce our annual Yule Fest event, featuring a line-up of superb authors who will be joining us across the weekend on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December. Our guest speakers will be introducing their books throughout the day in free 45 minute talks, followed by a signing after offering the opportunity to purchase a special signed book. Booksellers will be spreading the festive cheer with complimentary mince pies alongside offering support to help you find the perfect Christmas present.

Yule Fest 2019 – Philip Gooden ‘Bad Words’ @ Blackwell's Bookshop
Dec 7 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

5:30 pm – Philip Gooden ‘Bad Words’
Once upon a time, the worst words you could utter were short, simple and tended to be four letters in length. Now things are more complicated. To be insulted as a ‘snowflake’ or an ‘expert’ is arguably worse than being called a **** or a **** or even a ****.

So what are today’s ‘bad words’ and how are they different from yesterday’s taboo expressions? This entertaining guide to the shifting sands of bad language is indispensable in an increasingly divided world in which abuse becomes ever more widespread and vituperative.

Philip Gooden shows how and why taboo words and contentious expressions, including those four-letter ones, were first used in English. He discusses the ways such words have changed over the years and explores how a single syllable or two may possess an almost magical power to offend, distress or infuriate.

Bad Words investigates the most controversial and provocative words in the English language in a way that is both anecdotal and analytical. Combining intrigue and scandal, the book delves into expressions connected to religion, ethnicity, nationality, politics, swearing and oaths, and includes contemporary issues like political correctness and elitism.

Dec
8
Sun
Yule Fest 2019 – Bookseller Recommendations @ Blackwell's Bookshop
Dec 8 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Blackwell’s Oxford Broad Street’s annual festive celebration weekend, full of free author event talks.
About this Event
To launch the start of the festive season, Blackwell’s is delighted to announce our annual Yule Fest event, featuring a line-up of superb authors who will be joining us across the weekend on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December. Our guest speakers will be introducing their books throughout the day in free 45 minute talks, followed by a signing after offering the opportunity to purchase a special signed book. Booksellers will be spreading the festive cheer with complimentary mince pies alongside offering support to help you find the perfect Christmas present.

12pm – Bookseller Recommendations
Join our booksellers as we explore our favourite books that have been released this Christmas and make our top tip suggestions on the perfect books to give as a present.

Yule Fest 2019 – Gavin Prector-Pinney ‘A Cloud A Day’ @ Blackwell's Bookshop
Dec 8 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Blackwell’s Oxford Broad Street’s annual festive celebration weekend, full of free author event talks.
About this Event
To launch the start of the festive season, Blackwell’s is delighted to announce our annual Yule Fest event, featuring a line-up of superb authors who will be joining us across the weekend on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December. Our guest speakers will be introducing their books throughout the day in free 45 minute talks, followed by a signing after offering the opportunity to purchase a special signed book. Booksellers will be spreading the festive cheer with complimentary mince pies alongside offering support to help you find the perfect Christmas present.

1:30 pm – Gavin Prector-Pinney ‘A Cloud A Day’
The stresses of the digital world mean that it’s more important than ever to engage with the natural world. And no matter where you are, looking up at the clouds is good for the soul. The sky is the most dramatic and evocative aspect of nature. Ever-changing and ephemeral, clouds reflect the shifting moods of the atmosphere in limitless compositions and combinations.

Gavin Pretor-Pinney started the Cloud Appreciation Society in 2005. Since then, he’s been encouraging people to ‘look up, marvel at the ephemeral beauty, and always remember to live life with your head in the clouds.’ Membership to the Society now includes over 47,000 cloudspotters. Together, they capture and share the most remarkable skies, from sublime thunderstorms and perfect sunsets to hilarious clouds that look like things.

Yule Fest 2019 – Christina Hardyment ‘Novel Houses’ @ Blackwell's Bookshop
Dec 8 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

2 pm – Christina Hardyment ‘Novel Houses’
Novel Houses visits unforgettable dwellings in twenty legendary works of English and American fiction. Each chapter stars a famous novel in which a dwelling is pivotal to the plot, and reveals how personally significant that place was to the writer who created it.

We discover Uncle Tom’s Cabin’s powerful influence on the American Civil War, how essential 221B Baker Street was to Sherlock Holmes and the importance of Bag End to the adventuring hobbits who called it home. It looks at why Bleak House is used as the name of a happy home and what was on Jane Austen’s mind when she worked out the plot of Mansfield Park. Little-known background on the dwellings at the heart of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast and Stella Gibbon’s Cold Comfort Farm emerges, and the real life settings of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and E.M. Forster’s Howards End, so fundamental to their stories, are shown to relate closely to their authors’ passions and preoccupations.

A winning combination of literary criticism, geography and biography, this is an entertaining and insightful celebration of beloved novels and the extraordinary role that houses grand and small, imagined and real, or unique and ordinary, play in their continuing popularity.

Yule Fest 2019 – Mark Dredge ‘ A Brief History of Lager’ @ Blackwell's Bookshop
Dec 8 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

3 pm – Mark Dredge ‘A Brief History of Lager’
Join us as we welcome Mark Dredge who will be exploring the history of Lager, whilst handing out complimentary larger to sample!

In this fascinating book, beer expert Mark Dredge dives into the history of lager, from how it was first brewed to what role was played by German monks and kings in the creation of the drink we know so well today. From the importance of 500-year-old purity laws to a scrupulously researched exploration of modern beer gardens (it’s a hard life), Mark has delved deep into the story of the world’s favourite beer.

From 16th Century Bavaria to the recent popularity of specialist craft lagers, ‘A Brief History of Lager’ is an engaging and informative exploration of a classic drink.

Mark Dredge is a beer, food and travel writer and a beer expert. He is the author of He has written numerous articles on the topic, and has appeared on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch to share his knowledge. He has won many awards for his work, including the British Guild of Beer Writers’ Beer and Food Writer of the Year Award in 2016, 2014, 2013 and 2011.

Yule Fest 2019 – Mo Moulton ‘Mutual Admiration Society’ @ Blackwell's Bookshop
Dec 8 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

4pm – Mo Moulton ‘Mutual Admiration Society: How Dorothy L. Sayers and Her Oxford Circle Remade the World for Women’
In 1912, Dorothy L. Sayers and five friends founded a writing group at Somerville College, Oxford; they dubbed themselves the ‘Mutual Admiration Society.’ Brilliant, bold, serious, and funny, these women were also sheltered and chaperoned, barred from receiving degrees despite taking classes and passing exams. But things for women were changing – they gained the right to vote and more access to the job market. And in October 1920, members of the Mutual Admiration Society returned to Oxford to receive full degrees, among the first women to be awarded such honours.

Sayers and her classmates remained lifelong friends and collaborators as they battled for a truly democratic culture that acknowledged their equal humanity. They pushed boundaries in reproductive rights, sexual identity, queer family making, and representations of women in the arts – despite the casual cruelty of sexism that still limited women’s choices. Historian Mo Moulton brings these six indomitable women to vivid life, as they navigate the complexities of adulthood, work, intimacy, and sex in Interwar England.

A celebration of feminism and female friendship, ‘Mutual Admiration Society’ reveals how Sayers and the members of MAS reshaped the social order – and how, together, they fought their way into a new world for women.

Jan
4
Sat
Philosophy in the Bookshop – Nigel Warburton and Jonathan Reé @ Blackwell's Bookshop
Jan 4 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Description
‘Philosophy in the Bookshop’ is our free monthly event that takes place on the first Saturday of every month. Public Philosopher, Author and host, Nigel Warburton interviews a different speaker about their chosen topic in our Philosophy Department. This month, Nigel is in conversation with Jonathan Reé about his book, ‘Witcraft’

‘We English men have wits,’ wrote the clergyman Ralph Lever in 1573, and, ‘we have also framed unto ourselves a language.’

Witcraft is a fresh and brilliant history of how philosophy became established in English. It presents a new form of philosophical storytelling and challenges what Jonathan Rée calls the ‘condescending smugness’ of traditional histories of philosophy. Rée tells the story of philosophy as it was lived and practised, embedded in its time and place, by men and women from many walks of life, engaged with the debates and culture of their age. And, by focusing on the rich history of works in English, including translations, he shows them to be quite as colourful, diverse, inventive and cosmopolitan as their continental counterparts.

Witcraft overturns the established orthodoxies of the history of philosophy, and celebrates the diversity, vitality and inventiveness of philosophical thought.

Feb
1
Sat
Philosophy in the Bookshop – Nigel Warburton and Andrew Copson @ Blackwell's Bookshop
Feb 1 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Blackwell’s is host to Philosophy in the Bookshop, A monthly series of Philosophy talks and discussions hosted by author and public philosopher, Nigel Warburton. This month, we are delighted to be welcoming Andrew Copson, Chief Executive of Humanists UK to discuss his new ‘Very Short Introduction to Secularism’.

Until the modern period the integration of church (or other religion) and state (or political life) had been taken for granted. The political order was always tied to an official religion in Christian Europe, pre-Christian Europe, and in the Arabic world. But from the eighteenth century onwards, some European states began to set up their political order on a different basis. Not religion, but the rule of law through non-religious values embedded in constitutions became the foundation of some states – a movement we now call secularism.

In this Very Short Introduction Andrew Copson tells the story of secularism, taking in momentous episodes in world history, such as the great transition of Europe from religious orthodoxy to pluralism, the global struggle for human rights and democracy, and the origins of modernity. He also considers the role of secularism when engaging with some of the most contentious political and legal issues of our time: ‘blasphemy’, ‘apostasy’, religious persecution, religious discrimination, religious schools, and freedom of belief and freedom of thought in a divided world.

This talk is FREE to attend and takes place in the Philosophy department. Please note that this area of the shop has limited access. Please call 01865 333623 with any enquiries.