Arts and Humanities Festival 2011
Posted on 07/10/2011
Arts & Humanities Festival 2011
The Power of Stories will be the theme for this year's Arts and Humanities Festival when the School throws opens its doors to the public to showcase the diversity and impact of its research on society.
From 24-29 October King's academics, artists, performers, theologians and politicians will debate how, where and why story-telling has shaped our world. In a week of exhibitions, free lectures, lively discussion, opera, music, dance and much more, King's shares its expertise to find if stories can ever offer a coherent view of the world.
'People make sense of human action by telling tales about what they've done or are going to do,' says Dr Jon Wilson, Senior Lecturer in British Imperial and South Asian History and organiser of King's Arts and Humanities Festival.
'From the Greek philosophers to conflict resolution now, politicians, managers and peace-makers, soldiers, scholars and saints all rely on stories to get things done. Stories strike a chord in a way dry arguments don't.'
Professor Jan Palmowski, Head of the School of Arts & Humanities, adds: 'As one of Britain's pre-eminent centres of research in the Arts and Humanities, King's is well positioned to host a week of events that pose some fascinating questions about the Power of Stories: how do we use them to make sense of our own culture, our history, and the economic and political events around us? And what forms of stories are there to help us make sense of past, present and future. Stories matter to us all, and I encourage students, staff, alumni, friends and members of the public to join the debate.'
Most events are free, and don't require prior booking but to check the full programme of events, please visit the festival website.
The Opera Group Performance
Monday 24 October, 19.00, Great Hall
Soprano: Rhona McKail
Pianist: Yshani Perinpanayagam
To mark its residency at Kings, The Opera Group performs two short theatrical pieces written by composers at the beginning of their careers, plus a solo piano piece by Leonard Bernstein. Judith Weir's 1979 tour de force announced the arrival of a witty and important operatic voice. 29 year old Charlotte Bray is a new talent.
King Harald's Saga is a three-act opera based, as is a good deal of 19th century opera, on an actual historical event; in this case, the Norwegian invasion of England in 1066 led by King Harald 'Hardradi'. As the opera is scored for solo soprano and lasts just under ten minutes, a certain amount of compression has been necessary. The soprano sings eight solo roles, as well as the part of the Norwegian army; and none of the work's musical items lasts over a minute.
Touches, a chorale, eight variations and coda, dedicated by Bernstein "To my first love, the keyboard" takes us on a journey of a series of musical interpretations around the title word of the piece.
Charlotte Bray's Midnight Closes are three short, evocative settings of Hardy poems.
Taken together they are a snapshot of varieties of story-telling with music and words - and an insight into The Opera Group's exciting work.
The evening's performance is to be followed by a conversation with the composer Charlotte Bray, chaired by The Opera Group's new Artistic Director, Frederic Wake-Walker.
City Portraits: Telling stories through portraits
Exhibition runs all week around Strand Campus
Exhibition Talk: Tuesday 25 October, 18.30, Exhibition Room
Laura Hensser & Paul Sweetman
City Portraits was a site-specific installation by artist Laura Hensser that took place during summer and autumn 2010, featuring 20 life-sized, full-length photographic portraits of Southampton residents on banners located in and around the City's newly refurbished Guildhall Square. Part funded by the Creative Campus Initiative, and developed in association with the John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton, and Paul Sweetman, then School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton, now Senior Lecturer in Culture, Media and Creative Industries, King's College London, the artwork was intended to celebrate the lives and diversity of the City's inhabitants, and helped to mark the inauguration of its new Cultural Quarter. It was also research-led, reflecting Paul's concerns with visual methods of research, and issues of both ethics and anonymity and representation and recognition.
The artwork was intended both literally and metaphorically to bring Southampton's residents into the new Cultural Quarter, to make them visible and to mark their presence in, and ownership of, this important new space. Paul was fully involved in developing the project from its inception, and conducted focus groups with participants once the artwork had been taken down, asking about their experiences of having taken part. The exhibition as part of Arts & Humanities Festival will display the portraits that made up the original installation, and will be accompanied by a discussion of both the concepts and issues underpinning the project, and some of the results of the research – telling the stories of those who took part.
Coral Fantasy - Music Performance
Wednesday 26, 18.00
Launch of new CD of the Music of Wendy Hiscocks
Australian composer and pianist Wendy Hiscocks celebrates the release of her chamber music CD on the Symposium label, recorded by some of Britain's finest musicians – Rachel Nicholls (soprano), Madeleine Mitchell (violin), Sarah Thurlow (clarinet), Brian Mullan (cello), Michael Turner (viola) and Philippa Mo (2nd violin).
In the beautiful surroundings of the Downer Room at Australia House, Wendy will be joined by Rachel, Madeleine, Sarah and Brian to perform extracts fromShades of the Alhambra (clarinet, cello & piano) and Mother & Child (soprano, clarinet & piano), Nocturne (violin & piano) as well as the British première ofDry White Fire (violin & piano).
Filling the gaps - a brief history of nothing
Professor Peter Adamson
Tuesday 25 October, 18:30
Room: Edward J. Safra Lecture Theatre
In 2011 Peter Adamson began a series of podcasts covering the entire history of philosophy, "without any gaps."
In this talk he will say a bit about that project and the idea of telling the history of philosophy as a continuous narrative, without leaving anything out. Then, by way of illustration, he will discuss the problem of empty space or "void", showing how this idea evolved from the earliest Greek thinkers to authors of the Islamic world – in both science (including medicine) and philosophy.
Click here to hear Peter talk about the history of philosophy podcasts.
Telling Tales of Tradition: Rescuing Country Houses and the Invention of 'English Heritage'
Dr Ruth Adams
Wednesday 26 October, 18:30
Room: Anatomy Lecture Theatre
This lecture will examine the development and spread of the idea of ‘English Heritage’ in the latter part of the 20th century, focusing particularly on country houses or, as they came to be known, ‘stately homes’. Although the survival of such buildings arguably primarily affected and was the responsibility of the landed classes, heritage lobby groups successfully repackaged such properties as belonging the nation as a whole and, as such, their survival came to be regarded as a shared concern and a legitimate cause to be supported by public and private funding. The defenders of stately homes brought about this shift in public opinion by generating as sense of urgency, emphasizing the ‘danger’ these buildings were in and the necessity of ‘rescuing’ them. They told stories, created myths, about the nation, tradition and continuity, the family and the countryside; myths which often obscured ‘difficult’ historical truths.
Click here to listen to Dr Ruth Adams talk about the power of the stories and myths told to save country houses.
Journalistic Storytelling after the News of the World
Wednesday 26, 19.00
Safra Lecture Theatre
The phone hacking scandal that shook the UK and beyond in 2011 has had reverberations for media, policing and politics. It raises questions about privacy, corruption and celebrity culture – as well as about the very role of journalism in democratic societies. In this panel we bring together panel of distinguished academics and journalists to ask about journalistic storytelling after the News of the World.
Roy Greenslade, The Guardian
Professor Julian Petley, Brunel University
Professor Angela Phillips, Goldsmiths College
John Crace, The Guardian
This event is a co-production with the Centre for Culture, Media and Creative Industries.
London Cultural Connections – X factor meets 100 objects
Thursday 27 October, 15.00
London Cultural Connections: Arts, Academia & a Wider Audience.
Run jointly by King's College London and the Courtauld Institute of Art, and funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council
London Cultural Connections is a unique training programme that helps PhD students develop their public speaking skills and build up relationships with major cultural institutions in Britain's capital city.
The programme is run in collaboration with a number of partners including the Courtauld Institute of Art, the British Film Institute, the Globe Theatre, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Museum.
The participants have selected an object from one of these collections and their task, in eight minutes, is to create an exciting, thought provoking and prize winning presentation. The audience chooses the winner, so competition is intense.
AIDS@30: 'Patient Zero': The Legacy of a Powerful Origin Story'
Dr Richard McKay
Thursday 27 October, 18.15
Throughout history, societies visited by disease epidemics have attempted to understand their causes - efforts which have often led to accusations and blame. The initial recognition of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s was no different. One of the more notorious tales advanced to explain the origins of the North American epidemic was the story of 'Patient Zero'. This popular notion held that the disease was spread from coast to coast by a French-Canadian flight attendant who was as intent on spreading his infection as he was on ignoring the warnings of public health officials.
This lecture is part of a special 8-week series that marks 30 years since the initial recognition of the epidemic. Dr McKay will chart the emergence and dissemination of the 'Patient Zero' concept, challenge some of its popular connotations, and explore the long-reaching consequences of this powerful story.
Click here to hear Richard explain how the case study of Patient Zero demonstrates the Power of Stories.
Dancing Stories: A celebration of Emotion and Beauty
Friday 28th October, 19.00
Classical Indian dance is, in part, a story telling artform. The body is trained to express emotion. This performance lecture by Vena Ramphal gives a glimpse of the theory and practice of this process. How does the external being - the body - express the internal landscape of emotion? It introduces the way in which classical Indian dance classifies the spectrum of human emotion, and looks at the types of stories and motifs that are privileged in its repertoire. It also discusses the role of the audience and the purpose of witnessing dance. As witnessers of the stories being elaborated, audience members are considered 'rasikas' (enjoyers) of the spectrum of emotion that is presented to them. By witnessing the possibilities of their own humanity being played out before them, they have the opportunity to savour the dish without having to digest it.
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