Literature and Humanities

Acanthodiformes family
Actinopterygii family


Collecting Shakespeare: the Story of Henry and Emily Folger

Stephen H. Grant, Historian and Senior Fellow, Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, Arlington, Virginia, USA


Richard Hoggart: Writer, Critic and Educator


Dr Rob Spence, formerly Associate Head of English and History, Edge Hill University


16 October 2017


The English Novel of the 1960s



Dr Joe Jackson: Assistant Professor, Department of English, University of Nottingham


Bruegel: Defining a Dynasty


Dr Amy Orrock, Holburne Museum


British Drama in the 1960s


Dr Chris Collins, School of English, University of Nottingham

18 June


The 1960s were a period of radical social unrest in the United Kingdom. Drama (the written text) and theatre (the event of performance) during this period is a testament to the radical states of play. During this counter-cultural decade, the theatre became a site of revolution both in terms of form and style.

From Homer To Howth Head; James Joyce And The Voyage Of ‘Ulysses’


Dr Joseph Brooker, Reader in Modern Literature, Birkbeck, University of London and Director of the Centre for Contemporary Literature

20 March 2017


The following text is taken in outline from notes made at Dr Brooker’s talk by the BRLSI Convenor for Literature and Humanities, Dr Robert Blackburn, with much additional material added by him

Nigel Balchin (1908-1970) English novelist


Derek Collett, Freelance writer and biographer

16 January 2017


Beethoven and British Literature 1902-1927


Dr Nathan Waddell, Assistant Professor, Department Of English, University Of Nottingham

Dr Robert Blackburn, Convenor, Literature And Humanities, Brlsi, and former Principal Lecturer in Music, Bath Spa University, played Beethoven’s Sonata in E flat, Op. 31 No. 3 (1801/2)

21 November 2016


John Galsworthy (1867-1933): Power, Property and Utopia in ‘The Forsyte Saga’


Dr Gail Cunningham, Emeritus Professor of English, Kingston University, Surrey

21 March 2016


[Additions, including pages 1 to 4, and pages 13 to 17 by Dr Robert Blackburn]

To a foreigner, the age through which we ourselves have been living is the age of Galsworthy, Wells and Shaw; before them of Wilde. Something, doubtless, besides literary enjoyment, guides this taste.’ GM Young Victorian England: Portrait of an Age (1936)

Wyndham Lewis's Myth of Modernity: Image and Text


Chris Lewis, Doctoral student, Bath Spa University

15 February 2016


Stevie Smith (1902-1971) In Her Time


Dr Will May, University of Southampton

18 January 2016


Stevie Smith lived for almost all her life in the same house in Palmers Green, London. She began to publish in 1936, when she was 34. Her last book, Scorpion, appeared posthumously in 1972. She was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 1969.

Aldous Huxley: Writer And Prophet


Nicholas Murray, Freelance writer and biographer of Aldous Huxley

7 December 2015


Samuel Beckett – Witnessing the Century


Dr Mark Nixon, Associate Professor University of Reading; Director of the Samuel Beckett International Foundation

16 November 2015


Mozart and the Enlightenment


Professor Cliff Eisen, Music Department, King’s College, University of London

19 October 2015


Evelyn Waugh: Writer and Novelist


John Chambers MA, Former Head of English, King Edward’s School, Bath
Readers: Steve Curtis and Ann Taylor

21 September 2015


This talk will give an outline of Waugh’s literary journey as a novelist, while attempting also to do justice to his various journalistic roles, and his remarkable letters.

Eighteenth Century British Painting


Amina Wright, Senior Curator, Holburne Museum, Bath

20 July 2015


Remembering the Past: Memoirs of a Psychosexual Doctor


Dr Ruth Skrine

16 March 2015


Dr Ruth Skrine, who lives in Bath, gave this talk following an earlier one in 2014 at Topping’s Bookshop. The title of her new book uses the last part of the talk’s title, but is headed by the words ‘Growing into Medicine’.

Dante: Truth and Fiction in ‘The Divine Comedy’


Professor Peter Hainsworth, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University

16 February 2015


Iris Murdoch: Morality and the Novel


Dr Anne Rowe, Associate Professor of English, Kingston University

19 January 2015


Iris Murdoch’s novels do not prove anything; they attend as much to what is intricate and ambivalent in experience, as much as to what is absolute and ambiguous.
- Professor John Haffenden: Introduction to his interview with Iris Murdoch in Novelists in Interview (Methuen, 1985)

The Families Who Never Forgot: Archaeology of The Great War and the Phenomenon of ‘The Missing’


Mr Richard Osgood, Senior Archaeologist for the UK Defence Infrastructure (D.I.O.)

19 October 2014


The Importance of the Versailles Peace Treaty


Dr Steve Wharton, Senior Lecturer in French and Communications University of Bath

19 October 2014


Sing When You’re Winning: The Great War and Song


Dr Guido Heldt, Senior Lecturer in Music, University of Bristol 

19 October 2014


The Quick and the Dead: Families and Children of The Great War


Richard Van Emden, First World War Historian and BBC Documentary Maker

19 October 2014


Appendix To The Talk On German Expressionist Poetry: Some Notes On German Expressionist Drama 1910-1925


Dr Robert Blackburn, Convenor, Literature and Humanities, BRLSI

18 October 2014


The Role of Women in France and Britain During The Great War


Professor Alison Fell, University of Leeds

18 October 2014


Medical Improvements for Wounded Soldiers During The Great War


Dr Emily Mayhew, Department of Humanities, Imperial College, London

18 October 2014


German Expressionist Poetry, 1914-1918


Professor Robert Vilain, Department of German, University of Bristol

18 October 2014


Note: The original intention was to include some reference to the British war poets, among them Brooke, Blunden, Sassoon, Graves, Owen, Rosenberg, Gurney and Thomas. In the event, this proved impossible. Readers are recommended to look up two excellent modern general studies:

Nicholas Murray: The Red Sweet Wine of Youth: British Poets of the First World War Little, Brown 2010.

The Great War Symposium: II - The Many Faces of World War One Trench Art


Paul Cornish, Historian and Senior Curator, Imperial War Museum

18 October 2014


The Great War Symposium: I - The Origins Of The Great War


Professor Keith Robbins, former Vice-Chancellor, University of Wales at Lampeter

17 October 2014


This is an expanded version by Dr Robert Blackburn, Convenor for Literature and Humanities, BRLSI, of Professor Robbins’ talk. It contains all his detailed points and arguments, but includes some supplementary factual material.

The Great War: Responses and Reactions – A Symposium of Nine Talks and an Exhibition


17 - 19 October 2014


Lord Kitchener says:

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