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Previous AKC lectures


Highlights from the 2018/9 AKC Lecture series - Autumn Term 2018. 

This cross-disciplinary AKC series introduced students to the study of dreams, visions, and utopias broadly conceived. Its starting-point was the idea that humans are visionary beings, able to look beyond our immediate experience to envision how the world might be. Dreams are perhaps one of the great human 'universals' that are experienced by people everywhere. Across the Arts, Humanities, and even the science of sleep labs, the contents of dreams are examined with the view to revealing how people routinely envision the world in extraordinary ways. The field of dreaming is, however, vast. It encompasses not just daydreaming, lucid dreaming, or even religious dream forms. Dreams may also give rise to visions and utopias, which, in turn, may constitute an 'ideal dream life' or the stuff of nightmares.

From everyday reveries to Paul's vision on the road to Damascus, from utopian (or dystopian) visions of new political regimes to revisionist or Reformationist visions of the world, the triad of dreams, visions, and utopias has underpinned key moments that have shaped the course of human history. With this AKC series, we took a multi-disciplinary approach to dream forms, visions, and utopias, exploring how they are manifest in a variety of geographic locations and with reference to their textual, religious, historic, philosophical, ethical, and social scientific dimensions. In so doing, we invited students to rethink their own dream experiences in novel ways.


Highlights from the 2018/9 AKC Lecture series - Spring Term 2019. 

This series of AKC lectures explored the multiple imaginative and creative possibilities generated by the biblical texts, in fields such as the visual arts, literature, music, theatre, film, and psychoanalysis.  Students were introduced to the Bible as a multicultural collection of documents, which has shaped and been shaped by the imaginative life of many different communities.  The lectures traced receptions and reinterpretations of these rich texts through different times and places, showing how the Bible yields images of belonging and salvation, family and race, sexuality and creativity, death and money, hope and eschatology.


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