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2015-16 in Numbers

Digital Age lecture_John Cairns

It’s the end of another busy academic year at TORCH and time to add up some of the numbers from 2016-2015. Click on the links to find out more or watch a video.

This year has seen the arrival of one new Director, Elleke Boehmer, who took over from Stephen Tuck in September.

TORCH also now supports nine new Research Networks and Programmes, bringing together academics from Oxford and beyond to start interdisciplinary conversations on themes including Medieval Studies, social media, the psalms, and comics and graphic novels.

As part of this year’s Annual Headline Series on the Humanities in the Digital Age, we heard about three Oxford Digital Afterlives (belonging to Lewis Carroll, J.R.R. Tolkien and Philip Pullman) and asked what it means to be human in the digital age and what the future holds for the professions. Next year’s TORCH Headline Series will explore Humanities and Identities. Just check our website for ways to get involved.

Five new TORCH Knowledge Exchange Fellows started projects at TORCH this year, using their academic work in new contexts outside academia – whether helping to preserve archaeological sites in Jordan, partnering with the Science Museum to find ways of presenting the history of medicine, or bringing Spenser’s poetry to strange and disturbing life.

We spent three evenings at the Ashmolean Museum, where TORCH researchers gave bite-sized talks on their work on material from museum collections to some lively LiveFriday audiences. Watch some of our videos here and find out about portraits of children, Andy Warhol, Indian epic, or accidental death in Tudor England.

Seven distinguished Humanitas Visiting Professors came to Oxford: literary critic Stephen Greenblatt, conductor Christian Thielemann, writer Marina Warner, musicians Sérgio and Odair Assad, historian Simon Schama, and playwright Tom Stoppard.

Over twelve lunches, we discussed twelve Books at Lunchtime, from Simon Horobin’s How English Became English to Peter Frankopan’s The Silk Roads to the interactive novel Arcadia by Iain Pears.

We encountered 174 dodos, in poems and short stories written by children around the country for our creative writing competition. We went to the Natural History Museum to celebrate their dodo, and explore its role as an extraordinary icon of extinction.

And finally, 300 Shakespearean #OxBard tweets summarised comedies and tragedies as part of Oxford’s Shakespeare 400 celebrations. So now “we know what we are but know not what we may be” (that one’s from Hamlet) - time to move on to the new academic year.