Literature & Humanities

Literature and Humanities Overview 

Convenor: Dr Robert Blackburn, former Principal Lecturer in Music, Bath Spa University


The Literature and Humanities group at the BRLSI has run for many years, to present varied talks covering mainly prose literature, drama and music, with some cross-reference to the visual arts and general history.


Speakers come to talk on literary matters from many parts of the UK, and an occasional feature of Lit and Hum since 2010 has been the running of day-long or two-day symposia, collections of related talks on an overall theme , from different angles.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Literature & Humanities programme continues digitally on the BRLSI website and YouTube Channel. 


As we currently do not have an automated payment solution, we rely on your generosity and goodwill to contribute to this lecture and the organisation of others in the future;

Please make a contribution by:

1. Simply clicking on Support the BRLSI . (You can contribute as much or as little as you would like in the open field)


2. Texting: BRLSI 5 to 70085 to donate £5 for Visitors or BRLSI 2 to 70085 to donate £2 for Members

The costs are your donation plus a standard rate message.


2020 Literature & Humanities programme

You can watch digital videos of lectures, conversations and interviews here by clicking on the image.


The Regency Revolution: Jane Austen, Napoleon, Lord Byron and the Making of the Modern World



Previous lectures, talks and activities


This year, we have forthcoming talks on Creative Writing at Corsham – the Bath Spa University Masters program, the forming and development of the Bath Philharmonia, Ancient Egypt’s influence on 19th and 20th century culture, Literature and Advertising in the 19th century, Modern Cities, Modern Dystopias : Huxley, Orwell and Wyndham Lewis, Music and Musical Institutions in Late Habsburg Vienna, and Yearning and Nostalgia in the novels of Graham Greene ( 1903-1991).


All meetings held in the Elwin Room

Monday 18 February 2019

Creative Writing at Corsham and the Path to Publication

Two recent graduates (2015-16) from Bath Spa University’s Masters’ programme, Julia Grigg and Mike Manson, share their writing experience, from first draft to published work

Monday 18 March 2019

Bath Philharmonia : The conception, creation and growth of an orchestra for 21st century Bath

Jason Thornton, Music Director, Bath Philharmonia

Monday 20 May 2019

Ancient Egypt in 19th and 20th century European Literature and Culture 

Dr Eleanor Dobson, Department of English, Birmingham University

Monday 15 July 2019

Literature and Advertising, with special reference to the 19th century

Professor John Strachan, Department of English, Bath Spa University

Monday 16 September 2019

Modern Cities, Modern Dystopias : Aldous Huxley, Wyndham Lewis, and George Orwell

Dr Nathan Waddell, Department of English, Birmingham University

Monday 30 September 2019

Music and musical institutions in late Habsburg Vienna, 1848---c. 1920

Dr Guido Heldt, Department of Music, University of Bristol

Saturday 26 October 2019


Six invited speakers on culture and the arts during and immediately following the reign of the last Habsburg Emperor, Franz Josef I. There will be three talks in the morning, and three in the afternoon.  Tea and coffee will be available. Topics covered will include painting and design, architecture, theatre and drama, the work of Sigmund Freud, and the early years of Ludwig Wittgenstein. Professor Matthew Rampley of Birmingham University will give the keynote talk at the start of Saturday morning. A detailed leaflet about this symposium will be available in April or May 2019.

Please note that the talk on Viennese music and musicians during the late Habsburg period from 1848 will take place on Monday 30th September 2019, also in the Elwin Room at 7.30pm.  This talk could not be included in the Symposium day programme because of the need to cover a wide range of other subjects.  The music talk bears the title Music and Musical Institutions in Late Habsburg Vienna, 1848 to c.1920, and will be given by Dr Guido Heldt of Bristol University.

Monday 18 November 2019

Yearning and Nostalgia in the novels of Graham Greene (1903-1991) 

Dr Theo Savvas, Lecturer in English Literature, Department of English, Bristol University