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Ashmolean FRIGHTFriday Frontage
Friday, November 25, 2016 -
7:00pm to 10:30pm
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

TORCH has teamed up with the Ashmolean Museum for FRIGHTFriday - a special late night opening of the museum to explore the art and science of Hope & Fear.

This diverse and dynamic evening is supported by the Wellcome Trust and is the national Festival Finale for the Being Human Festival, which is led by the School of Advanced Study, university of London in partnership with the AHRC and the British Academy.

With exciting live performances of dance and music, digital installations, film, workshops and interactive talks and exhibits, the Ashmolean will come alive for a whole evening with Humanities researchers converging on the themes of Hope & Fear, and Ashmolean collections.

TORCH enables Oxford University’s Humanities scholars to work across disciplines, and develops partnerships with public and private institutions, engages with wider audiences, and brings together academic research, creative industries, and the performing arts, through world-class research.

The Humanities research base will be the research projects that come out of the Humanities Faculties, as well as a wide range of interdisciplinary projects that reach from within, as well as beyond the academy.

The evening will be made up of several large performances in the main atrium of the Museum (orchestra, performances, processions etc) and around 30 activities and events throughout the museum, which will include researchers from across all of the Oxford Humanities Faculties, and also from all of the other Divisions of the University (Social Sciences, Material, Physical and Life Sciences (MPLS), and Medical Sciences).

All ages welcomed and encouraged

Click here to register for your free ticket.

Research Projects involved in ‘FRIGHTFriday’ at the Ashmolean Museum on 25 November 2016:

1. ‘Tudor Accidental Death’ Project

Come and join Prof Steven Gunn (History Faculty) and Dr Tomasz Gromelski (Wolfson College) at ‘FRIGHTFriday’ where they will be playing the game of “Tudor Accidental Death: what happened next?” based on their Economic Social Research Council (ESRC) funded research project.

Tudor England was a dangerous place. There were plagues and wars, perilous childbirths and shocking infant mortality. But what risks did people face as they went about their everyday lives? Professor Steven Gunn of Merton College and Tomasz Gromelski of Wolfson College are investigating this problem using evidence from coroners’ reports preserved in the National Archives. The four-year project entitled ‘Everyday Life and Fatal Hazard in Sixteenth-Century England’ is based in Oxford and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, with support from the Faculty of History and Merton and Wolfson colleges.

2. ‘Disease of Modern Life: nineteenth century perspective’ Project

‘Fear of Cats & 137 other forms of Phobia’ with Prof Sally Shuttleworth (English Faculty) – come and hear about the European Research Council (ERC) funded ‘Diseases of Modern Life: nineteenth century perspectives’

The project will explore the medical, literary and cultural responses in the Victorian age to the perceived problems of stress and overwork, anticipating many of the preoccupations of our own era.

3. Welcome to ‘Demons Land’

Come see the Demons Land installation, if you dare. Influenced by Spenser's ‘Faerie Queene' with Prof Simon Palfrey (English Faculty)

This is a collaborative artistic project inspired by Spenser's Faerie Queene, perhaps the greatest single poem of the English Renaissance. It tells the story of an attempt to build a world in the image of the poem.

The result is a work that uses different media and materials - film, drama, painting, puppets, soundscapes, music - which both independently and symbiotically attempt to embody a poetic vision. As well as a digital version, the installation will be exhibited at various locations in Oxford, London, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, and initially in the temples and grottoes of the Stowe National Trust gardens.

4. Storming Utopia Project

Come see Prof Wes Williams & Prof Richard Scholar perform extracts from More, Shakespeare, exploring links with today's issues as part of their ‘Storming Utopia’ Project

Part of a Knowledge Exchange Project with the Pegasus Theatre and others within Oxford, Storming Utopia has been engaging a range of people in discussions about ideal communities, and the relation between Thomas More’s Utopia, first published 500 years ago, Shakespeare’s Tempest, and Oxford, today. The central questions we have been asking are: who owns, runs, or governs the city we live in? how do you get in, and how do you leave? do the various parts of Oxford – schools, mosques, churches, rivers, playgrounds, shopping centres, colleges… and theatres – make of our city a Utopia, or just a collection of islands?  These are ancient questions, but they all still matter today.

For more information on the Ashmolean Museum’s LiveFridays, please go to:




Open to all