Professorial lectures

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Past professorial lectures

Details of past professorial lectures can be found below. Some lectures are also available to view on YouTube.

2018

Professor Jeremie Gilberty

Professor Jeremie Gilbert

Professor of Human Rights Law
Department of Social Sciences

 

Fighting the 'Curse' of Natural Resources: A Human Rights Manifesto

19 November 2018

The management of natural resources is linked to broad issues of economic development, as well as to political stability, peace and security, but it is also intimately connected to the political, economic, social and cultural rights of individuals and communities relying on these resources. In his inaugural lecture, Prof. Gilbert argues that human rights law can play an important role in ensuring a more effective and sustainable management of natural resources.

Based on his new book on the topic, the lecture advocates for a better integration of human rights law in the overall international legal framework governing the management of natural resources to ensure that local populations actively participate and benefit to the management of their natural resources.

Watch Professor Gilbert's lecture on YouTube

Professor Fiona McHardy

Professor Fiona McHardy

Professor of Classics
Department of Humanities

 

Ancient Greek Tiger Mothers

8 October 2018

In this lecture I explore ancient Greek depictions of mothers and their relationship with their offspring. The maternal relationship is typically conceived of as a very strong bond and mothering is closely associated with concepts of nurture and education. Motherly love is frequently expressed emotively in stories and myths concerning a mother’s fierce protection of her sons, her ferocious determination that they will succeed, her passionate rage against the enemies of her sons, and her intense grief at their loss. Yet for the ancient Greeks these powerful emotions were potentially volatile and threatening. The violence mothers are capable of in supporting and defending their sons can all too readily be turned against them. Tragic poets depict the savage and animalistic nature of vengeful wives who turn their murderous fury on their innocent children.

Professor Stephen Drinkwater

Professor Stephen Drinkwater

Professor of Economics
Roehampton University Business School

 

Migration, Ethnicity and Self-Employment

18 June 2018

Self-employment constitutes a vital part of the economy since entrepreneurs can provide not only employment for themselves but also for others. However, the relationships between self-employment, migration and ethnicity are complex, especially given the changing nature of self-employment and the persistence of discrimination in the labour market. As a result, self-employment rates vary considerably across ethnic and migrant groups. This lecture will examine how differences in self-employment have evolved for a range of ethnic and migrant groups, focusing particularly on the UK. It will also explore the reasons for such variations.

Watch Professor Drinkwater's lecture on YouTube

Professor Michael Witt

Professor Michael Witt

Professor of Cinema
Department of Media, Culture and Language

 

Rethinking the Cinema of Jean-Luc Godard

14 May 2018

Born in 1930, the French-Swiss filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard has been active in the cinema for almost seventy years. He is the world’s most written about living director, and is widely recognised to be among the most inventive and significant filmmakers in cinema history. Since publishing his first critical article in 1950, he has produced a vast and varied body of work, which encompasses feature films (he is currently completing his 36th, entitled Le Livre d’image/The Image Book), shorts, television programmes and series, commercial commissions, film criticism, books, poems, audio CDs, a gallery installation, and numerous video essays. Research on Godard tends to focus on his feature films. This lecture argues that he is less a conventional feature filmmaker than a multifaceted poet working across different media, and that his features are best considered as part of an organically integrated multimedia project that is under continual development on multiple fronts. Within this context, the lecture will propose a number of perspectives in which we might begin to think afresh about Godard’s work: television, video art, graphic art, and sound art.

Watch Professor Witt's lecture on YouTube

Professor Anita Biressi

Professor Anita Biressi

Professor of Media and Society
Department of Media, Culture and Language

 

Employable Me: Career guidance for neoliberal times

Monday 19 March 2018

Neoliberalism is a political philosophy promoting individualism and personal choice. It is also a policy model aimed at rolling back the state and minimizing regulation so that entrepreneurs and financiers may create capital more freely. Neoliberal economics has arguably led to the emergence of new socio-economic categories including Generation Rent, the precariat, mumpreneurs and the ‘self-employed’ workers of the gig economy. For these, and many others, stability, security and life-long work in a single organization is increasingly unlikely. We have been told that we’re moving from a job for life to a lifetime of jobs and that we need to ‘step up’ to become the heroes of our own lives. Workers are required to take responsibility for updating skills, adapting to change and even self-branding.

As we negotiate the tricky terrain of our future hopes and plans who will guide us? Where are our maps and compasses? What lessons are there to be learned about living a successful life and who are our teachers? Reality TV, the self-help and career-coaching industries all purport to have the answers; offering us guidance on securing a job or client contract, getting a promotion or pay rise and developing a positive mindset. This presentation will critically explore some of these messages and reflect on the ways in which they skew the public conversation about social mobility and social progress.

Professor Caroline Bainbridge

Professor Caroline Bainbridge

Professor of Culture and Psychoanalysis
Department of Media, Cultue and Language

 

Media objects: Emotion, experience, and the psychopolitics of popular culture

Monday 15 January 2018

Identity today is increasingly entangled with our relationship to media and popular culture, raising questions about the consequences for our psychological and emotional lives. What do phenomena such as binge watching television or sharing emotional experience on social media mean, and why have they become so significant in our everyday world? This lecture explores the role of unconscious emotion underpinning this kind of experience, examining how television, film and other forms of popular culture offer reassuring ways of making sense of the world when uncertainty dominates the headlines. Using ideas drawn from object relations psychoanalysis, it explores the messy complexity of emotion and identity in our media-saturated environment. It also reflects on the opportunities afforded to us by popular culture to deepen a sense of being in the world during precarious times.

Professor Paul Allen

Professor Paul Allen

Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience
Department of Psychology

 

Psychosis and the overactive brain

Monday 20 November 2017

For several decades clinicians and researchers have attempted to unravel the neurobiological underpinnings of schizophrenia and psychosis. Recent work in experimental animals has suggested that psychosis may develop due to over activity in brain regions that regulate memory and learning. Guided by these animal studies, evidence that the development of psychosis in humans is linked to neural ‘over activity' is beginning to emerge. What are the implications of these studies for our understanding of the illness and how can they inform new treatments?

Watch Professor Allen's lecture on YouTube

 

Professor Lucile Desblache

Professor Lucile Desblache

Professor of Translation & Transcultural Studies
Department of Media, Culture and Language

 

Translating beyond the verbal: new bridges of communication

Monday 9 October 2017

In the last few decades, the digital age has forged new perspectives on knowledge. Knowledge is no longer primarily a quantitative sum of data to be acquired and transmitted universally. It needs to be discovered, understood and explored across technologies, shifting disciplinary boundaries, and cultures. It also needs to be transferred from and into different forms of languages, from verbal to visual, from conceptual to emotional. Forging passages between domains and establishing communication not only between humans but all living beings, is key to a meaningful purpose of knowledge. These epistemological ideas have been explored by philosophers of science such as Bruno Latour. Translation Studies scholars, on the whole, have struggled to reconcile abstract, metaphorical concepts of translation with the notion of translation as understood in the commercial world of communication, that of a product to be obtained through quick, efficient and cost-cutting processes of transfer across verbal languages. Yet both ideas of translation imply exchanges of perspective between domains, cultures and senses and are inspiring conceptually, artistically and socially. Even, and perhaps above all, the sleekest and most proficient commercial models require the constant transformation and reinvention of both objects and subjectivities in production and consumption. Bonds between metaphorical and practical ideas of translation are essential today. Translation is crucial as both instrument of equivalence between things and ideas, and as agent revealing differences between them. In this lecture, I will consider two areas of my research which straddle both ideas of translation: the translation of texts involving music, and those focused on the non-human natural world. Through examples taken from these, I will highlight the essential role of translation as instrument of empowerment for 21st century humans and as agent of social and intellectual cohesion in a fragmented world which has to be interpreted in multiple ways to be meaningful. As Michel Serres (2008) pointed out, the ‘soft bridges' of translation are the best keys to understanding and sharing knowledge and ways of life in the 21st century.

 

Professor Mohammed Rafiq

Professor Mohammed Rafiq

Professor of Marketing
Business School

 

Can Firms Explore and Exploit at the Same Time? - The Role of Ambidextrous Market Learning in Successful New Product Innovation

Monday 19 June 2017

This lecture explores the role of ‘ambidextrous market learning', that is, a firm' ability to engage in both exploratory and exploitative market learning simultaneously in order to develop highly innovative products. Exploitative market learning builds on a firm's existing market knowledge base, which in turn provides a foundation for a firm to acquire new market knowledge through exploratory market learning, and to assimilate it with the existing knowledge, and use it for innovation. Exploratory market learning, on the other hand, generates new market information and knowledge that can help renew and update a firm's current knowledge base developed through exploitative market learning. Therefore, it is argued that ambidextrous market learning taps into the complementary effect of exploratory and exploitative market learning and has fundamental implications for a firm's product-market strategies to ensure successful product innovation.

 

Professor Steven Groarke

Professor Steven Groarke

Professor of Social Thought
Department of Social Sciences

 

Why Difficulty Matters

Monday 22 May 2017

Steven Groarke, Professor of Social Thought from the Department of Social Sciences, will address the question of difficulty and its value in the contemporary context of the humanities and the social sciences. He will explore the proposal that difficulty constitutes an indispensable source of value, and as such provides an opportunity for the amplification of ourselves. He will support this proposal with reference to poetry as a particular form of difficulty.

 

Professor Peter Jaeger

Professor Peter Jaeger

Professor of Poetics
Department of English and Creative Writing

 

Carrion Poetics

Monday 27 March 2017

We are at present confronted with a wide range of poetry that has been informed by citation, intertextuality, and appropriation. Several critics have noted that the intrusion of found material in contemporary poetics serves to break up the purified realm of the poem, and it is precisely this type of intervention against purity which Jaeger's term 'carrion poetics' seeks to address. This lecture/reading will begin by noting some pioneering and contemporary examples of carrion poetics, and then consider in more detail several instances of the practice drawn from Jaeger's writing.

 

Professor Lorella Terzi

Professor Lorella Terzi

Professor of Philosophy of Education
School of Education

 

Educational Justice: Equality, Capability, and Inclusion

Monday 27 February 2017

What constitutes a just provision for students with disability and special educational needs is among the most contentious and challenging questions for philosophers and educators alike.

In answering this question, the lecture will present a conception of educational equality as capability equality, based on Amartya Sen's Capability Approach. It will highlight how such a conception adds important insights to current debates on inclusion in education.

Watch Professor Terzi's lecture on YouTube.

 

Professor Bryony Hoskins

Professor Bryony Hoskins

Professor of Comparative Social Science
Department of Social Sciences

 

Brexit, Trump and populism: a failure in education for political engagement?

Monday 30 January 2017

The votes for Brexit, Trump and the swing towards populist parties across Europe have brought about instability, and question marks have been raised about many of our fundamental ideas of social justice, human rights and cosmopolitan values. We even have to face anger and aggression when we defend these beliefs. The current context raises the following questions: How did we get here? Where did it come from? What should we do?

These questions clearly need to be asked beyond the sphere of education, but education systems play a role and need to take responsibility for the societies that we form. This presentation will identify how young people learn to be politically engaged, and how disadvantaged students face barriers to learning political engagement throughout the education system. It will conclude by exploring how the current education system needs to be rethought so as to enable all young people to learn Global and European citizenship knowledge, skills, values and attitudes.

Watch Professor Hoskins's lecture on YouTube.

Professor Jolanta Opacka-Juffry

Professor Jolanta Opacka-Juffry

Professor of Neuroscience,
Department of Life Sciences

 

The logic of the brain, or how the brain manages itself

Monday 21 November 2016

The brain is the most complex biological system known to man. It is the control centre which directs action, feeling and thought. The brain has a fascinating innate ability to adapt, adjust and protect itself while managing its own resources; this is the logic of the brain.

This lecture will argue that when the brain's operational logic is violated by internal (gene-related) issues or external factors such as chronic stress or drug abuse, its adaptive plasticity fails and maladaptive plasticity often takes over. Abnormal form and function follow, often to the detriment of the body. The lecture will illustrate how basic brain research can enhance our knowledge of brain disorders and prompt new investigations in applied clinical research. Basic brain research also provides evidence which can be used to direct society towards adopting healthier life styles.

 

Professor Mike Edwards

Professor Mike Edwards

Professor of Classics,
Department of Humanities

 

Speaking Classically. Some Thoughts on Greek and Roman Rhetorical Theory and Practice

Monday 17 October 2016

The Greeks had a word for it – rhetoric. The art of public speaking was central to life in the classical world, and rhetorical theory was developed over many centuries by the likes of Aristotle, Cicero and Quintilian according to five main parts, or ‘canons': invention, arrangement, style, memory and delivery. In this lecture I shall consider these canons in turn, illustrating them with examples drawn from both Greek and Latin sources.

Watch Professor Edwards's lecture on YouTube.

 

Professor Wilson Ng

Professor Wilson Ng

Professor in Innovation and Entrepreneurship,
Roehampton Business School

 

When Water is Thicker than Blood: Treachery, Devotion, and Prosperity among Ethnic Chinese Enterprises in Post-colonial Malaysia and Singapore

Monday 13 June 2016

In an environment of widespread deprivation following the Second World War a number of ethnic Chinese entrepreneurs in Malaya seized opportunities in rebuilding their economy by providing goods and services that had previously been supplied by British firms who did not return with the severely weakened colonial administration. The professorial lecture explores the development of a number of those ethnic Chinese entrepreneurs and the nature of their enterprises that continue to play a significant economic and social role in Malaysia and Singapore. That development is presented as one of often emotionally charged interaction among entrepreneurs and their supporters pretty much from the founding of their enterprise but also of prescience and foresight in which a number of stakeholders in multi-generational enterprises were able to systematically plan and prioritize their social and commercial role over rival interests led occasionally by powerful family members with a different, family-centered agenda.

Across generations of close control by a number of founding groups, the persistent confluence- as opposed to any separation- of the interests of founding groups with wider social and commercial interests in several ethnic Chinese enterprises has in fact turned out very advantageously for those enterprises as well as the economies of Malaysia and Singapore. The continuing importance of those enterprises in their respective economies suggests a number of structural and strategic lessons for entrepreneurial ventures, principally in how they may systematically select and serve core market needs from the outset of the enterprise and how key stakeholders of ventures may also stimulate the growth of other enterprises and the local economy by playing a prominent social- and occasionally political- role in the communities that their ventures serve.

Accordingly, the fortunes of certain social and commercial role-playing enterprises in Malaysia and Singapore led by ethnic Chinese entrepreneurs have become closely bound with the wider fortunes of their national economy in a way that recalls a historically similar level of importance of closely-controlled automobile and consumer manufacturers and retailers in the USA and other western economies. A core difference in Malaysia and Singapore seems to be the depth and breadth of economic and commercial influence that a few ethnic Chinese entrepreneurs and their enterprises appear to continue to exert in and beyond their national economies.

Watch Professor Ng's lecture on YouTube.

 

Professor Clare McManus

Professor Clare McManus

Professor of Early Modern Literature and Theatre,
Department of English and Creative Writing

 

Women and Gender on the Early Modern Stage: The 'Woman's Part'

Monday 18 April 2016

Opening her 1929 polemic, 'Shakespeare's Sister', about the short, frustrated life of a woman seeking a way into the theatrical world of early modern London, Virginia Woolf writes: 'Let me imagine, since facts are so hard to come by, what would have happened had Shakespeare had a wonderfully gifted sister, called Judith, let us say'. In the years between Woolf's searing indictment of literary and theatrical gender segregation and the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death in 1616, feminist scholarship has uncovered the facts surrounding women who did indeed write and perform in early modern England and beyond. This lecture will consider the difference these facts make to our understanding of the early modern theatrical canon, the responses of the virtuosic English boy actors to performing Englishwomen and the superstar actresses of continental Europe, and the way that this informs the dramaturgy and structure of the early modern dramatic canon. Focusing on the active contribution of the theatrical Englishwoman to early modern drama, the lecture discusses a history of women and theatre that has been hidden in plain sight.

Watch Professor McManus's lecture on YouTube.

 

Professor Ted Vallance

Professor Ted Vallance

Professor of early modern British political culture,
Department of Humanities

 

Cromwell's Trunks: Loyalty, Memory and Public Opinion in Early Modern England

Monday 7 March 2016

This lecture explores how a form of communication often dismissed as 'vapid sycophancy' – the loyal address – contributed to the emergence of public opinion as a political force in early modern England. Beginning with the curious tale of the Lord Protector's trunks, it will demonstrate how the re-telling of this story revealed the development of a critical political public that read and thought about itself. Despite its politically suspect origins in the 'usurpation' of the Cromwellian interregnum, addressing activity not only survived the restoration of monarchy but, in the eighteenth century, came to replace other well-established ways of representing public loyalty. Indeed, it helped fashion a consensus over the boundaries of legitimate popular political activity that continued into the modern era: We may now live in a mass-democracy but it is one in which the language and ritual of loyalty remains critically important.

Watch Professor Vallance's lecture on YouTube.

 

Professor Mick Cooper

Professor Mick Cooper

Professor of Counselling Psychology,
Department of Psychology

 

Counselling in UK Secondary Schools: What we know, what we're doing, and what we need to find out

Monday 1 February 2016

Professor Julie Hall

Professor Julie Hall

Deputy Provost Academic Development

 

Lecturing in the digital age – learning in the twenty first century

Monday 16 November 2015

With the TEF and a spending review imminent, UK higher education is characterised by uncertainty, complexity, measurement and risk. Meanwhile student numbers continue to grow and students' lives are increasingly different from those who teach them. Networked through the digital world, students present themselves in multiple places at once. They sit in the lecture space yet at the same time they are elsewhere and knowledge is no longer solely in the possession of the orator. In these contexts academic life encounters a certain ambiguity and a strangeness. We find ourselves preparing students for a future we can't really envisage, welcoming them from a school experience that is very different from our own and we teach using methods developed hundreds of years ago. Products like Powerpoint fail to make lectures modern. This lecture, informed by research into the student experience will argue that we are obliged to rethink the kinds of learning that our graduates will require in the 21st century and renew the pedagogies, curricula and learning environments we currently provide.

 

Rt Revd Professor Richard Cheetham

Rt Revd Professor Richard Cheetham

Whitelands Professorial Fellow in Christian Theology and Contemporary Issues

 

Whatever happened to the truth?

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Reflections on the concept of truth in post post-modernity – via the lenses of inter faith relations, science and religion, and climate change.

 

Professor Claire Ozanne

Professor Claire Ozanne

Professor of Ecology,
Department of Life Sciences

 

Life on the edge

Monday 19 October 2015

Forest canopies play a crucial role in maintaining biodiversity, supporting around 40% of species on earth. Covering more than 45 million hectares of land, they form a dynamic edge between the Earth's terrestrial biosphere and the atmosphere. As natural forests become fragmented by human activities and new forests are planted, patches of trees and new edges are created. These are often challenging habitats for forest animals and plants. My research has focused on the response of insect populations and communities to habitat fragmentation and to management strategies that generate isolated trees and patches of forest. I will explore how small scale changes to the structure, composition and complexity of communities can have implications at the landscape scale and how our interaction with the environment can profoundly change its ecology.

 

Professor Graham White

Professor Graham White

Professor of Drama and Creative Practice,
Department of Drama, Theatre and Performance

 

Some Lives and Opinions: on Playwriting, Practice and Research

Monday 1 June 2015

Award-winning playwright Graham White's own writing and adaptation for radio has often pursued questions shared with his academic research. In a reflection on radio drama and the self-projection of protagonists fictional, real and in-between in the work of Laurence Sterne, BS Johnson and Primo Levi he'll explore the search for answers and insights common to both practice and research.

 

Professor Laura Peters

Professor Laura Peters

Head of Department,
Department of English and Creative Writing

 

Dickens and Race

Monday 20 April 2015

There are not many places that I find it more agreeable to revisit when I am in an idle mood, than some places to which I have never been. (Charles Dickens, 1860).

Dickens's enthralment with places of the imagination remains undiminished throughout his life: childhood favourites like Robinson Crusoe and the Tales of the Arabian Nights provide exotic stereotypes of race. Yet a few years prior, in 1853, Charles Dickens pens his most infamous piece, ‘The Noble Savage', depicting the Zulus comprising George Catlin's show at St. George's Gallery, Hyde Park Corner as ignoble ‘howling, whistling, clucking, stamping, jumping, tearing savage[s] which should be ‘civilised off the face of the earth'. Critics have largely read ‘The Noble Savage' as an inexplicable temporary aberration. I will argue that ‘The Noble Savage' is a useful referent for its time: it is emblematic of an historical moment which witnesses a shift in the perception of race as a product of social organization to race as a product of biology and genealogy. Through an examination of Dickens's trip to America, the prevalence of displayed peoples in London, and his own engagement with the development of science, I will argue that Dickens's approach to race is informed by the twin poles of his imaginary and his engagement with contemporary science.

 

Professor Stuart Semple

Professor Stuart Semple

Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology,
Department of Life Sciences

 

'Monkey talk': investigating vocal communication in our primate relatives

Monday 2 March 2015

Communication underpins the social behaviour of humans, and of our primate relatives. While language is unique to our own species, the other primates have complex repertoires of calls, which they use to convey diverse messages. My research has explored the form and function of primates' vocalisations, and the size and structure of their vocal repertoires. Many scientists have studied primates to help understand the evolution of human language; I will argue that the opposite approach – using linguistic approaches to analyse primate vocal communication - can be equally enlightening.

 

Professor Sabine Benoit

Professor Sabine Benoit (née Moeller)

Professor of Marketing,
University of Roehampton Business School

 

Consumer behaviour in services: why business research and education needs to change

Monday 2 February 2015

Most research and teaching in Business Administration or more specifically in Marketing has focused on consumer goods for mass markets. Many frameworks, theories and models fit those very well, but fail to explain services. This talk will first elaborate the differences of services and products and explain the challenges that arise from those differences. For example, a product can usually be tried before buying and even returned for a certain while after buying, while for services both are not usually feasible. This talk elaborates on a number of research projects that focus on the challenges that services impose on consumers and Marketing, such as services in on-the-go consumption, consumers' perceptions of sustainability in complex supply chains, new service models in sharing, and what is called collaborative consumption. The talk will conclude with some comments on what needs to be changed in research and teaching within Business Administration.

Professor Fiona Sampson

Professor Fiona Sampson

Professor of Poetry,
Department of English and Creative Writing

 

What is delight? Poetry, music and their audiences

Monday 17 November 2014

Poetry and music share their abstract formal character and many of the formal strategies they each deploy. An examination of those abstract forms returns us to the performative and experiential quality music and poetry share. Underlying what both forms are, in other words, is the relationship they share with their human makers and audience: and what discursive role they fulfill, which this lecture discusses with reference to Wittgenstein, Shelley and the “national” poets Mahmoud Darwish, Yehudi Amichai and Yannis Ritsos.

 

Professor Andrew Stables

Professor Andrew Stables

Professor of Education & Philosophy,
School of Education

 

From Believing In to Believing By:
a beginner's guide to edusemiotics

Monday 13 October 2014

Education and semiotics (the science of signs) are both about making sense of the world, so it is surprising how little semiotics has been used hitherto to answer fundamental questions about education. In this lecture, Andrew Stables will give an introduction to philosophical semiotics and attempt to show how strong semiotic perspectives can alter the way we look at the world by challenging our most basic assumptions about who we are, what we know, how we learn and how we should act. All this has significant implications for how we understand teaching and learning. It can also offer new perspectives in educational research, and Andrew will conclude his talk by discussing an ongoing project looking at the effect of school architecture on the experience of students and teachers.

 

Professor Mathias Urban

Professor Mathias Urban

Professor of Early Childhood,
School of Education

(or how we came to believe it does and what we should do about it)

 

How preschool saves the world

Monday 14 July 2014

In recent years, early childhood education and care has moved to the centre stage of an increasingly global policy environment where it is seen as key tool for addressing a wide array of societal problems. But to determine what – and who – early childhood policies and practices are for is not as straightforward as it might appear. It crucially depends on our understandings of, and our hopes and aspirations for society present and future. Pedagogy and politics, the private and the public, are inextricably intertwined and what is seen as 'good' and appropriate practice in relation to and with young children, their families and communities is highly contested. In this lecture I undertake a critical exploration of the early childhood landscape: How did we get to where we are, where should we be going, and, not least, who should have a say in determining the latter? Exploring these questions, I argue, opens a space for radical re-conceptualisation of early childhood practice and research.

Respondent: Peter Moss, Professor Emeritus, Institute of Education, Thomas Coram Research Unit (TCRU).

 

Professor Theresa Buckland

Professor of Dance History & Ethnography,
Department of Dance

 

Dancing Englishness: Issues of Identity, History and the Popular

Monday 2 June 2014

The character of a nation is embodied in its people's dances; so professed the promoters of English dances at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century. What was embraced was surprisingly diverse: examples include hornpipe, maypole, country, morris, pavane, minuet and, by the 1920s, modern ballroom dancing. As the sun dimmed on the British Empire, performances of Englishness in the mother country appear to have multiplied. What role did dance play during this period in contributing to the cultural identity of Englishness? Whose values were espoused as those of the English people? And what legacies of dancing Englishness, if any, remain today?

 

Professor Glyn Parry

Professor Glyn Parry

Professor of Early Modern History,
Department of Humanities

 

The View From The Past: A Sixteenth-century Historian's Perspective

Monday 7 April 2014

The Tudors have become increasingly prominent in contemporary British culture, whether in print, on television, or in films. However, very often these depictions reflect contemporary politics and culture, not the historical reality of the sixteenth century. This lecture explores the ways in which Tudor England was politically and culturally very different from our own times, yet also shows many parallels with our current experience. It argues that those parallels are important because the Tudor period laid the foundations for many of the features of contemporary Britain. Therefore we can appreciate twenty-first-century Britain more clearly if we view it from the perspective of the sixteenth century, and especially from the viewpoint of Roehampton.

 

Professor Molly Scott-Cato

Professor Molly Scott-Cato

Professor of Strategy and Sustainability,
Business School

 

There is No Wealth But Life: Rethinking Economics, Enterprise and Regeneration

Monday 3 February 2014

It is 150 years since John Ruskin penned what might be the mantra for a green economist, 'There is no wealth but life', as part of his contribution to political economy published as 'Unto this Last'. Interestingly, this book was cited by the first Labour MPs as having had the most significant impact on their approach to politics. While British socialists have responded to Ruskin's call for social justice, they have ignored his deeper insights into and need for a closer relationship with nature and a respect for beauty and culture. It is this focus on material quality at the expense of spiritual quality that has led us to the paradoxical situation of living in an economy where excess and dissatisfaction coexist. As evidence mounts that human society is in the midst of both ecological and spiritual crises, I explore the limitations of the globalised capitalist economy in providing sustainable prosperity and explore what the green approach to political economy has to offer.