People chatting iwth drinks

Humanities Society

The Humanities Society talks provide a forum for stimulating ideas across the boundaries between the Humanities and other fields of study.

People chatting iwth drinks

On Tuesday evenings in full term, Wolfson College hosts a talk in the arts, humanities or social sciences. Humanities is widely defined, including  history, literature, languages, economics, law, political science, music and fine arts. We seek to offer a programme with international and interdisciplinary interest, featuring talks on a range of cultural contexts, themes, from a range of historical periods and perspectives.The talks provide a platform both for eminent academics as well as early and mid-career scholars at the forefront of their disciplines.  

The talks are intended to promote the study of and engagement with the Humanities among Wolfson students, Fellows, Visiting Fellows, and scholars, and all are encouraged to come along. They also enable interaction between Wolfsonians and the wider scholarly community of the University and beyond. Many of our speakers are part of the University but we also invite speakers from further afield including, in recent years, from Italy, Germany, Israel, South Africa and the US. Attendance at the talks is usually excellent and the questions section often includes vigorous debate.

The talks are organised and coordinated by the Humanities Society. We do our best to make our events informal and inclusive. There is an opportunity to mix with the speaker and other attendees over drinks before and after the talk. Following the talk we take the speaker to Formal Hall and all members are welcome to continue the conversation over dinner. 

Please feel free to contact any of us if you have any questions about our events or suggestions for speakers.  

Committee Members

Dr David Clarke Shiels Email
Dr Anjali Datta Email
Dr Jennifer Davis, Chair Email
Dr Bianca Gaudenzi Email
Dr Marie de Rugy Email
Dr Rachel E. Holmes Email
Dr Mary Newbould Email
Mary-Ann Middelkoop Email
Dr Anthony Pickles Email

Lent Term 2019

Humanities Term Card


What's on

Humanities at Wolfson

Humanities Society - The restitution of Nazi-looted art in post-fascist Austria, Italy and West Germany

26/02/2019 at 17.45

Can we indeed talk of a ‘fifty-year wait for justice’, and how did restitution practices, or lack thereof, contribute to the reconstruction of these national communities?

workers with palm fronds making baskets

Lunchtime Seminar - Towards a socially conscious evolutionary science of culture

27/02/2019 at 13.00

Attempts to apply evolutionary models and thinking to human societies have a dark past, ranging from Darwin's own characterisation of 'civilised' versus 'savage' races, to social Darwinism and eugenics, and the more recent efforts of some evolutionary psychologists to naturalise oppressive social stereotypes.

Australia with soldiers and aboriginal children

Education Society - Negotiating Education

28/02/2019 at 17.30

The First School for Aboriginal Children and the Diplomatic World of Colonial New South Wales, 1814-1822

Photo by Marie Bellando-Mitjans on Unsplash

Wolfson Entrepreneurs: What have Biomedical Enginering and Medieval Studies in Common?

01/03/2019 at 17.30

What have Biomedical Enginering and Medieval Studies in Common?

The answer is that both inspired Wolfson members to create successful companies, as you'll hear in this two-speaker talk by Dr David Hampton and Dr Aaron Ralby