The Director's Seminar: First Term 2014/15

The Director’s Seminar (Thursdays, 10.30-12, Room 111 Foster Court) is a weekly gathering of graduate students and staff, led by Professor Lisa Jardine. As well as welcoming a dynamic group of visiting speakers from pan-disciplinary fields, we aim to discuss topics of all kinds related to the theory and practice of graduate life. Our goal is to provide graduate students with an additional set of skills to enhance those provided in the graduate skills training sessions. Please click ‘read more’ to see the sessions for autumn term 2014. All interested postgraduate students are welcome - whether you’re from CELL, UCL, or any other university. Please contact Matthew Symonds if you’d like to join in!

9 October: Public Speaking
Professor Lisa Jardine (UCL) will discuss the art of public speaking
16 October:Practice run for upgrade
Brooke Palmieri (UCL) will give a presentation in preparation for her PhD upgrade
23 October:Preparation for Failure in the Archives
Delegating of duties and final preparations for the conference next week
30th OctoberFailure in the Archives conference
Read more about the conference
6 NovemberReading week
13 November:‘Women’s academies and extracurricular education in Restoration London’
A paper from John Gallagher (Gonville & Caius, Cambridge)
20 November: No seminar
27 November: No seminar
Reading Between The Lines: John Dee’s Conversations With Angels’, a paper by Cassie Gorman, Cambridge
This seminar has been CANCELLED. It will be rescheduled in the new year.
4 December: ‘Orpheus the Ballad Seller? Changing Attitudes to Classical Mythology and the Powers of Music in Early Modern England’, a paper by Katherine Butler, Oxford
Early modern apologists for music often drew extensively on classical mythology for exemplars of its distinguished history, powerful effects, and importance to society (particularly the tales of Orpheus, Amphion, and Arion). Interpreting the potential truths that were believed to lie behind the mythological fictions was far from straightforward, however. Varying historical and allegorical methods might be applied, following traditions stretching back to classical antiquity. Allegorical explanations provided moral and philosophical justifications for music, while the historical tradition turned these stories into benchmarks against which the efficacy of modern music was judged and found wanting. During the seventeenth century there were increasing attempts to provide rationalised interpretations for myths and the astonishing musical effects they described. Furthermore, the turn towards empiricism and experiment changed the status of myths as evidence of music’s effects. While the tradition of the powers of music was tenacious, some natural philosophers and music critics were beginning to question whether ancient music had achieved greater effects than contemporary music. Authors and playwrights became less reverent in their portrayals of mythical musical heroes. Moreover as their expectations of music’s powers declined some writers even began to question the importance of moving the passions, regarding music’s ability to give entertainment and pleasure as sufficient.
11 December: John Wallis and readers of the Bodleian Library
Louisiane Ferlier (UCL) will give a paper on her current research into John Wallis