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Live Event: The World After CoVid

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 14/10/2020 - 12:28am in

TORCH Goes Digital! presents a series of weekly live events Big Tent - Live Events! Humanities and Policy Week Part of the Humanities Cultural Programme, one of the founding stones for the future Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities. The World After COVID: In conversation with Professor Peter Frankopan (Stavros Niarchos Foundation Director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research) and Professor Ngaire Woods (Dean of Blavatnik School of Government).

Professor Peter Frankopan

Peter Frankopan is Professor of Global History, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research, and Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College.

Peter works on the history of the Mediterranean, Russia, the Middle East, Persia, Central and Southern Asia, and on relations between Christianity and Islam. He is particularly interested in exchanges and connections between regions and peoples. Peter specialises in the history of the Byzantine Empire in the 11th Century, and in the history of Asia Minor, Russia and the Balkans. Peter works on medieval Greek literature and rhetoric, and on diplomatic and cultrual exchange between Constantinople and the islamic world, western Europe and the principalities of southern Russia.

Professor Ngaire Woods

Professor Ngaire Woods is the founding Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government and Professor of Global Economic Governance at Oxford University. Her research focuses on how to enhance the governance of organizations, the challenges of globalization, global development, and the role of international institutions and global economic governance. She founded the Global Economic Governance Programme at Oxford University, and co-founded (with Robert O. Keohane) the Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellowship programme. She led the creation of the Blavatnik School of Government.

Ngaire Woods serves as a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s International Advisory Panel, and on the Boards of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and the Stephen A. Schwarzman Education Foundation. She is an Independent Non-Executive Director at Rio Tinto (effective September 2020). She sits on the advisory boards of the Centre for Global Development, the African Leadership Institute, the School of Management and Public Policy at Tsinghua University, and the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy at Cape Town University. She is Chair of the Harvard University Visiting Committee on International Engagement and sits on the Harvard Kennedy School Visiting Committee. She is a member of the UK Government National Leadership Centre's Expert Advisory Panel, and of the Department for International Trade’s Trade and Economy Panel. She is an honorary governor of the Ditchley Foundation.

Previously, she served as a Non-Executive Director on the Arup Global Group Board and on the Board of the Center for International Governance Innovation. From 2016-2018, she was Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Values, Technology and Governance.She has also served as a member of the IMF European Regional Advisory Group, and as an Advisor to the IMF Board, to the Government of Oman’s Vision 2040, to the African Development Bank, to the UNDP’s Human Development Report, and to the Commonwealth Heads of Government.

Ngaire Woods has published extensively on international institutions, the global economy, globalization, and governance, including the following books: The Politics of Global Regulation (with Walter Mattli, Oxford University Press, 2009), Networks of Influence? Developing Countries in a Networked Global Order (with Leonardo Martinez-Diaz, Oxford University Press, 2009), The Globalizers: the IMF, the World Bank and their Borrowers (Cornell University Press, 2006), Exporting Good Governance: Temptations and Challenges in Canada’s Aid Program (with Jennifer Welsh, Laurier University Press, 2007), and Making Self-Regulation Effective in Developing Countries (with Dana Brown, Oxford University Press, 2007). She has previously published The Political Economy of Globalization (Macmillan, 2000), Inequality, Globalization and World Politics (with Andrew Hurrell: Oxford University Press, 1999), Explaining International Relations since 1945 (Oxford University Press, 1986). She has published numerous articles on international institutions, globalization, and governance. She has also presented numerous documentaries for BBC Radio 4 and BBC TV2.

She was educated at Auckland University (BA in economics, LLB Hons in law). She studied at Balliol College, Oxford as a New Zealand Rhodes Scholar, completing an MPhil (with Distinction) and then DPhil (in 1992) in International Relations. She won a Junior Research Fellowship at New College, Oxford (1990-1992) and subsequently taught at Harvard University (Government Department) before taking up her Fellowship at University College, Oxford and academic roles at Oxford University.

Ngaire Woods was appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2018 New Year's Honours for services to Higher Education and Public Policy. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and an International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Live Event: Living with Pandemics: Finding New Narratives

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 13/10/2020 - 5:05pm in


pandemics, history

In conversation with Dr Erica Charters and Robin Gorna. TORCH Goes Digital! presents a series of weekly live events Big Tent - Live Events! Performance Week​ Part of the Humanities Cultural Programme, one of the founding stones for the future Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities.

How have societies responded to pandemics, throughout the world, and throughout time? What are the new narratives, meanings and cultures that emerge and shape emerging realities? As this conversation will remind us, there is no simple answer to the problem of disease – but disease is also far more than a medical or scientific problem. Robin Gorna will draw on her experiences with social movements and cultural responses to AIDS since the 1980s, which brought hope and massive social change in the midst of rage and death. She will discuss the many connections between the two pandemics - of cultural change, politics and people and emerging narratives, with reflections on her current experience of living with Covid-19 in her own body. Erica Charters will discuss a just-published special issue of Centaurus on ‘The history of epidemics in the time of COVID-19’, reflecting on how the discipline of the history of science and medicine has responded to the current pandemic. Sharing historical approaches to understanding disease, she will explore how historians have framed pandemics and what a long-term context might offer for our understanding of COVID-19.


Dr Erica Charters (History Faculty and Wolfson College) examines the history of war, disease, and bodies, particularly in the British and French empires. Her current research focuses on manpower during the eighteenth century, examining the history of bodies as well as the history of methods used to measure and enhance bodies, labour, and population as a whole, including the history of statistics. Since disease was the biggest threat to manpower in the early modern world, Erica looks at how disease environments – throughout the world – shaped military, commercial, and agricultural power, as well as how overseas experiences shaped European theories of medicine, biology, and race alongside political methodologies such as statistics and censuses. Erica's monograph Disease, War, and the Imperial State: The Welfare of British Armed Forces during the Seven Years War (Chicago, 2014) traces how responses to disease shaped military strategy, medical theory, and the nature of British imperial authority (awarded the AAHM 2016 George Rosen Prize and the SAHR 2014 Best First Book).

To read more about Erica's recent publication, please visit:

Robin Gorna is an AIDS activist and feminist who has led global and local campaigns and organisations, including SheDecides (the global women’s rights movement that she co-founded 2017), the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (hosted by WHO), International AIDS Society, and Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations. She set up the global AIDS Team for DFID (Department for International Development) in 2003, and then moved to South Africa to lead the UK’s regional and national HIV and health programmes. She co-founded, and now chairs, the St John’s College Women’s Network. She studied Theology but spent far too much time involved in student drama until the end of her 2nd year when she saw an early performance of The Normal Heart (by Larry Kramer) and signed up as a volunteer with the UK’s new AIDS Charity, the Terrence Higgins Trust. She remains fascinated by the ways in which culture and the arts inspire social movements, including the global AIDS response. She publishes regularly and wrote one of the earliest books on women, Vamps, Virgins and Victims: how can women fight AIDS? She’s now working on a feminist memoir exploring a life lived between two pandemics. For more information, please visit Robin Gorna's website here: