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Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership


Cambridge Medieval Literature and Culture Seminar


24 January - Richard Trachsler (Universität Zürich)

Du pareil au même ? Les romans arthuriens en prose vus de loin

14 March - Roberto Antonelli (Sapienza Università di Roma):

Dante giudice del mondo terreno

16 May - Emily Kate Price (University of Cambridge)

Troubadour Entanglements

30 May - Eliza Zingesser (Columbia University)

Eloquent Animals: Animal Language in Medieval Europe


Co-ordinated by Giulia Boitani, Serena Laiena and Stefano Milonia. For more information please contact


Cambridge Latin Circle

The Cambridge Latin Circle hosts events revolving around Latin as a spoken language. Our programme of events should be of interest to members of various faculties including History, Classics, English, ASNAC and MML.

Our activities can be divided into two categories. Firstly, we organise events which explore the history of Latin as a spoken language in the ancient, medieval and Renaissance worlds. Postgraduates who work on medieval, Renaissance and neo-Latin culture, will be able to participate in our seminars, which aim to increase understanding of Latin oral and epistolary culture in the middle ages, Renaissance and beyond.

Secondly, we are interested in the use of spoken Latin as a pedagogical tool today, a method gaining popularity across the world. We organise visits from teachers and researcher at the forefront of this growing movement, allowing Cambridge postgraduate students to benefit from their expertise. The spoken method is a uniquely effective way to learn Latin quickly for research purposes; it also gives the student a greater appreciation of idiom, style and the development of the language over time. We are the first and only group in Cambridge to give postgraduates access to this sort of teaching.

This term - Lent 2019 - the fallowing sessions will be run by guests. All sessions will take place from 4-5pm, Room 5 ef the History Faculty // Hoc trimestri has scholas habebunt hospites. Omnes scholae habebuntur hora quarta usque ad horam quintam postmeridianam in conclavi scholastico quinto apud domum rerum gestarum. 

Wednesday 6th February, 4-5pm, Room 5, History Faculty 
Silvius Roggo (vulgo: Silvio Roggo) (University of Cambridge) Silvianus over Salvianus: Salvian) s On the Government ef God / / Silvianus super Salvianum: Salviani de gubernatione Dei) quidamque ludus 

Wednesday 20th February, 4-5pm, Room 5, History Faculty 
Dr. Samuel Kennerley (Peterhouse, University of Cambridge) 
I cooked in Latin: Bartolomeo Platina)s On honest indulgence// Latine coxi: Bartolomei Platinae De honesta voluptate 

Wednesday 27th February, 4-5pm, Room 5, History Faculty
Maximus Hardy (vulgo: Max Hardy) (University of Cambridge) Neo-Latin Nugae: epigrams from John Owen et al. 

Thursday 7th March 
Jaso Harris (vulgo: Dr.Jason Harris) (Director of the Centre for Neo­Latin Studies at University College Cork) 
The kisses ef Catullus and his imitators //De basiis Catulli et recentiorum

Wednesday 13th March 
Davidus Butterfield (vulgo: Dr. David Butterfield) (Queen's College, University of Cambridge) Cambridge)s Muse: more recent composers ef Latin verse //Musa Cantabrigiensis: textores versum Latinorum recentiores


To learn more email the convenors at and

Cambridge Endangered Languages and Cultures Group

The Cambridge Group for Endangered Languages and Cultures (CELC) pursues an interdisciplinary approach to the theory, methodology and practice of endangered language and culture documentation.

The group brings together linguists and anthropologists to create a forum where scholars interested in linguistic diversity and cultural heritage from Cambridge and other academic institutions can exchange ideas and discuss common concerns. We remain committed to the dissemination of research findings from language and cultural documentation research to a wider public and to source communities.

Through our series of workshops and seminars, we connect scholarship across disciplines and provide a forum for young career researchers and senior scholars to engage in a dialogue on linguistic and cultural preservation. By addressing issues of public importance and by promoting multidisciplinary research into endangered languages and cultures, we aim to meet the following objectives:

  • support the documentation, preservation and revitalisation of endangered languages, cultures and oral traditions

  • encourage fieldwork on endangered languages, and explore innovative field methods and new technologies for language and culture documentation projects

  • raise awareness of the threats facing linguistic and cultural diversity, and share information and knowledge of these issues across departments within the University of Cambridge and beyond

6th February, 18:30. Oliver Mayeux (PhD student and CELC convenor):
'What can endangered creoles tell us about language change? Three centuries of Louisiana Creole'. 

Oliver will share some of his findings from his soon-to-be-completed PhD    project.

20th February, 18:30, Prof Janet Watson (University of Leeds):
'Endangered languages, cultures and ecosystems: The case of Modern South
   In her talk, prof Watson will discuss a community documentation project conducted in southern Oman between January 2013 and December 2016. She will begin by appraising the language/culture situation in the region, looking at the relationship between language, culture and environment. She will then examine decisions taken during the documentation period, and discuss steps taken by the team and community members towards language revitalisation of the languages. During the documentation period, video material on topics relating principally to traditional culture and the relationship of humans to the natural environment were collected. Revitalization processes have included development of an Arabic-based orthography and children’s e-books, dissemination with native speakers and work with the Mehri Center for Studies and Research based in al-Ghaydhah, Yemen.

13th March, 17:15, Prof Eleanor Coghill (University of Uppsala, Sweden):
'North-eastern Neo-Aramaic: Endangered communities and languages in
   North-eastern Neo-Aramaic (NENA) is one of the modern branches of the (Semitic) Aramaic language family. The NENA dialects are (or were) spoken by Christian and Jewish communities across northern Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran. Most dialects of NENA are severely endangered and many have already died out, due to the persecutions, wars and ethnic cleansing the various communities have endured. A large majority of the remaining speakers can be found in the world-wide diaspora rather than in the homeland. Events in Iraq and Syria within the next few years will probably be decisive for the survival of NENA. The languages in contact with NENA are genetically diverse: Kurmanji and Sorani Kurdish (Iranian), vernacular and standard Arabic (Semitic), Iranian Azeri and Turkish (both Turkic), as well as Persian (Iranian). Contact influence on NENA seems to have arisen mainly through long-term bi- and multi-lingualism rather than through language shift. Contact influence is apparent at all levels of the language, lexicon, phonology, morphology and syntax. This talk will give an overview of the current endangerment of the dialects before discussing some contact-induced influences in NENA dialects and the socio-linguistic situations that gave rise to them.


For further details on events, please visit and

Body and Food Histories Research Group

The Cambridge Body and Food Histories Group is an interdisciplinary network of scholars based at the University of Cambridge and online. The group brings together graduate students interested in bodily practices, bodily representations, and embodied ways of knowing from antiquity to the present, with food and drink as a major topic.

Each term we delve into a different ‘embodied’ theme through: a reading group, a student paper session, and a guest speaker seminar. Past themes have included 'bodily modifications', 'cleanliness and bodily expulsions', and 'sex and reproduction'.

Our themes for the coming academic year, which will conclude with a 2019 conference, are as follows:

Michaelmas Term — ‘Extreme Bodies: Sports and Physical Limits’

Lent Term— ‘Shrinking Bodies: Slimming and Fasting’

Summer Term— ‘Dying Bodies: Death and Ageing’


  • Tuesday 29th January: Guest Speakers

Dr Emily Troscianko (Cognitive Literary Studies, University of Oxford): 'How do we read (old) texts about disordered eating?'
Dr Jessica Hamel Akré (HPS, University of Cambridge): ‘The dangers of overreading and undereating: An eighteenth-century perspective on women’s appetite control’
Sukanya Raisharma (History, University of Oxford): ‘Medieval Bodies kept the scores: shrinking bodies in 5th and 6th century France’

  • Tuesday 12th February: Reading Group

(Please ask to join our mailing list to receive the suggested readings for this term.)

  • Tuesday 26th February: Graduate Papers

Niamh Colbrook (Theology): ‘Christianity, culture and the shrinking body: the place of theology in eating disorder studies.’
Kylie Lui, (Gender Studies): ‘A transpacific study of the history of anorexia awareness and popular culture.’
Room 11, The History Faculty, Sidgwick Site. Sessions begin at 5pm. All welcome!


We are proud to be a strongly interdisciplinary group with current members from the faculties of history, english literature, history of art, anthropology, archeology, and modern and medieval languages. Graduate students are welcome drop in to our meetings and contact our convenors to be added to the mailing list. To find out more about the group’s activities, or to learn about our recent conference, ‘Food and Embodied Identities in the Early Modern and Modern World’, follow us on Twitter (@cambodyfood) or visit our website:

Convenors: Eleanor Barnett ( and Katrina-Louise Moseley (

The Anthropocene in the Humanities Research Group

Since being brought to wide attention at the turn of the century, interest in, and contestation of, the concept of “the Anthropocene” has rapidly grown and pluralised. It has already given rise to a plethora of counter concepts from the humanities and social sciences – Capitalocene, Plasticene, Eurocene, Plantationocene, Misanthropocene, and Chthulucene. But this plurality signals a potential unity: the political and ethical questions raised by the Anthropocene warrant, and even demand, investigation and conversation across disciplines.

The Anthropocene in the Humanities combines reading, speaker, and visiting practitioner sessions. Discussion topics include periodization debates and disciplinary formations; wilderness and rewilding projects “after nature”; political economy, oil, and the Capitalocene; humanism in the Anthropocene and Dipesh Chakrabarty’s “negative universalism”; imaginaries of extinction and survival; and time, timeliness, and the Anthropocene as a crisis for democratic politics. In Michaelmas term we will host a visiting artist, with visiting speakers to follow in the New Year.


For further information, email


Gender and Politics Action Group

The Gender and Politics group seeks to place gender and its relation to political thought at the centre of discussion in the intersecting and related disciplines of political philosophy, intellectual history, cultural history, and history of political thought, drawing together graduate students across faculties, including, but not limited to, Philosophy, Politics, and History. 

There are two facets to the Gender and Politics group’s programme for the academic year 2018-19. Throughout the year, we run regular low-pressure lunchtime meetings. These are meetings at which women academics are invited to present work-in-progress to their peers. Work with a gender and/or political thought focus is particularly encouraged. In addition to exposing one another to work being done across various disciplines, the goal is also to provide women with a space outside the larger seminar format in which to gain confidence in presenting, workshop new ideas, and receive constructive feedback – all in the relaxed setting of a lunch.

In the spring, we will host a two-day graduate conference, “The Body and Politics.” The conference will address the variety of roles the body plays in politics, with a particular focus on the interface between gender and politics, featuring a keynote from Dr Anna Becker (University of Copenhagen).

For further information, please email or

Early Modern Interdisciplinary Seminar

Lent Term 2019

30 January - Lunchtime Seminar

Dr Booby Xinyue (University of Warwick) "The Renaissance fasti poem: from politics and classical reception."

12.00-1.00 Room 7, Faculty of History

A buffet lunch will be provided after the talk

13 February - Graduate Symposium

Discipline and Disciplines in the Early Modern Word

17.00-18.30 Boardroom, Faculty of History

Drinks will be served after the papers.

20 February - Lunchtime Seminar

Dr Anthony Ossa-Richardson (University of Southampton), Title tba.

12.00-1.00 Room 12, Faculty of History

A buffet lunch will be provided after the talk

27 February- Lunchtime Seminar

Dr Maya Corry (Oriel College, University of Oxford), "Leonardo and the Horned Womb: The gendered body in Italian Renaissance Art and Medicine."

12.00-1.00 Room 10, Faculty of History

A buffet lunch will be provided after the talk


If you have any questions, please contact one of the convenors: Frances Hughes (, Alice Blow (, Christa Lundberg (

‘Protestant Political Thought: Religion, State, Nation’ Reading Group

2018-2019 theme: Religion, State, Nation

Dates for Easter Term:

Time and Venue: Wednesdays at 1:30, HC1 at Magdalene College (chapel court)

Wednesday 8 May, 1.30-3.00 – Biggar and Wolterstorff

Nigel Biggar, Between Kin and Cosmopolis: An Ethic of the Nation (2014), ch 2 (22pp)

Nicholas Wolterstorff, The Mighty and the Almighty: An Essay in Political Theology (2012), chs. 10-11 (22pp)

Wednesday 22 May 1.30-3.00 –  Smith, Belhar Statement, and Barmen Declaration

James K.A. Smith, Awaiting the King (2017), ch 4 (20pp)

Karl Barth, The Barmen Declaration (1934)

Dutch Reformed Mission Church in South Africa, Belhar Confession (1986)

Wednesday 29 May, 1.30-3.00 – Protestants & nationalist populism in Orbán’s Hungary

Guest speakers: Leon van den Broeke and George Harinck (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Readings tbc

Wednesday 12 June, 1.30-3.00 – Can Nationalist Populism be Understood as ‘Political Religion’? Short Answer: No

Guest speaker: Philip Gorski (Yale)

Readings tbc

Lecture: American Babylon: Christianity and Democracy, Before and After Trump - Philip Gorski (Yale)

Wed 12 June 5pm, Latimer Room

For details, see :

This reading group discusses possible intellectual-historical roots of emergent nationalist populism in relation to Protestant traditions, and explores its leading contemporary manifestations. Protestant communities in the United States and various European countries have shown a relative degree of sympathy for some of the new populist movements – a development which needs to be addressed utilising the historical and critical resources of Protestant political thought. This is especially so because there is a tendency among Protestant communities, notably its fastest-growing evangelical and Pentecostal wings, to gravitate to other tradition’s understandings of the state, rather than their own.

Protestant communities adopt very diverse standpoints to state and nation, varying across a spectrum from allying with state governments to social segregation in deep suspicion of the state’s intentions. Some of these inclinations appear to be connected to the question whether the modern state can be analogized with Old Testament Israel, i.e., whether the modern state could function as an officially ‘Christian’ (even Protestant) polity, perhaps even as some modern version of ‘theocracy’. This question has far-reaching consequences for the way in which Protestant communities relate to both state and nation today.

Provisional outline of sessions 1-8 with suggested readings

  1. 16th-century theologians:

Martin Luther, Temporal Authority, To What Extent It Should Be Obeyed (1523) (20pp)

Theodor Beza, Right of Magistrates (1574) (35pp)

  1. 17th-century political theorists and theologians:

Johannes Althusius Politica 3rd ed. (1614) Chs I – IV, p64, Ch IX (33pp)

Roger Williams, Bloudy Tenent (abbr.), in J.C. Davis, On Religious Liberty, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press 2008, pp. 86-97, 116-124, 128-130, skim 140-149

  1. 17th-century political theorists

Samuel von Pufendorf, Of the Nature and Qualification of Religion, in Reference to Civil Society (1687), from §§ 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13-17, 29, 30, 32, 35, 1, 43, 45, 49, 50, 51 (35pp)

John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration, ed. J Tully (1689) (35pp)

  1. 19th/early 20th-century theologians

Abraham Kuyper, ‘Calvinism and Politics’, in Lectures on Calvinism (1898) (32pp)

Karl Barth, ‘The Christian Community and the Civil Community’ (1946) (40pp), in Community, State and Church: Three Essays

Karl Barth, The Barmen Declaration (1934)

  1. Mid-late-20th-century theologians

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, ‘Christ, Reality, and Good. Christ, Church, and World’ (1940?), in Ethics (2009) (28pp)

Reinhold Niebuhr, ‘The Morality of Nations’, in Moral Man and Immoral Society (1960) (30pp)

  1. Late 20tht-century liberation theologians

José Míguez Bonino, Toward a Christian Political Ethics (1983), chs. 2, 3 (30pp)

Charles Villa-Vicencio, ‘Theology and Nation-Building’, ch. 1 of A Theology of Reconstruction: Nation-building and Human Rights (1992) (30pp)

  1. Late 20th/early 21st-century theologians

Jürgen Moltmann, ‘Covenant or Leviathan? Political Theology for Modern Times’, Scottish Journal of Theology 47 (1994), 19-41 (22pp)

Joan Lockwood O’Donovan, ‘Nation, State and Civil Society in the Western Biblical Tradition’, in Bonds of Imperfection (20pp).

  1. 21st-century theologians

Nigel Biggar, Between Kin and Cosmopolis: An Ethic of the Nation (2014), ch 2 (22pp)

Nicholas Wolterstorff, The Mighty and the Almighty: An Essay in Political Theology (2012), chs. 10-11 (22pp

      9. Reforming Protestant thought?

James K.A. Smith, Awaiting the King (2017), ch 4 (20pp)
Karl Barth, The Barmen Declaration (1934)
Dutch Reformed Mission Church in South Africa, Belhar Confession (1986)

    10. Protestants & nationalist populism in Orbán’s Hungary, Guest speakers: Leon van den Broeke and George Harinck (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Readings tbc

     11. Can nationalist populism be understood as ‘political religions’? Short answer: no Guest speaker: Philip Gorski (Yale)

Readings tbc

12. Lecture: American Babylon: Christianity and Democracy, Before and After Trump, Wed 12 June 5pm, Latimer Room
Further readings/figures:
Karl Barth, ‘Church and State’ (1938), in Community, State and Church: Three Essays
Luke Bretherton, ‘National: Christian Cosmopolitanism, Refugees, and the Politics of Proximity’, ch. 3 of Christianity and Contemporary Politics (2010) (48pp)
Emil Brunner, Justice and the Social Order
John W. De Gruchy, ‘A Theology for just democratic world order’, ch 8 of Christianity and Democracy (1995)
Jean Bethke Elshtain, Sovereignty: God, State, and the Self Hugo Grotius, On the Law of War and Peace (1625)
Stanley Hauerwas, After Christendom
Jürgen Moltmann, On Human Dignity: Political Theology and Ethics (1984)
Oliver O’Donovan, ‘Government as Judgment’ in O. O ‘Donovan and J. L O’Donovan (eds), Bonds of Imperfection: Christian Politics, Past and Present (2004)
Oliver O’Donovan, Ways of Judgment
Oliver O’Donovan, The Desire of the Nations
L Rasmussen, ed., Reinhold Niebuhr: theologian of public life
Walter Rauschenbusch, Christianity and the Social Crisis
Samual Rutherford, Lex, Rex (1644)
William Temple, Christianity and the State (or Church and Nation)
Helmut Thielicke, Theological Ethics vol 2: Politics
Martin van Gelderen, ed., Richard Hooker, On the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity
Martin van Gelderen, ed., The Dutch Revolt
John Howard Yoder, The Politics of Jesus
Berndt Wannenwetsch, Political Worship
Nicholas Wolterstorff, Justice: Rights and Wrongs
Nicholas Wolterstorff, Understanding Liberal Democracy


For further information, please contact Mariëtta D.C. van der Tol  at

Writing Women in History Reading Group

The AHRC-DTP funded Writing Women in History reading group provides a friendly space for graduate students based within the School of Arts and Humanities to come together and further their interest in and understanding of writing by, for, and about women, 1400-2000. The reading group will run in Lent and Easter terms of the 2018-19 academic year, with regular fortnightly meetings on Thursdays from 5pm until 6:30pm. In these meetings, we discuss a primary source (text or image) in conjunction with a piece of more theoretical writing (a short journal article or book chapter circulated in advance). Convenors come prepared with questions to facilitate discussion, but we encourage any member to lead or steer sessions that relate closely to their own research interests. This group aims to provide an opportunity for its members to consider their own specialisms from new perspectives and in different contexts. Each term we have an overarching theme, with the themes for Lent and Easter terms being ‘Motherhood’ and ‘”Masculine” Women’, respectively. At the end of each term will be a group outing to a relevant exhibition or play.

Our group blog can be found at Here, you can find details of our upcoming meetings and précis of our past discussions. To join our email list, contact or Alice O’Driscoll at


Programme of events for the year

Lent term: Motherhood

24th January: Mother Jones and the march of the mill children

7th February: Maternal advice in early modern England

21st February: Motherhood and the Soviet Union

Group outing: TBC

Easter term: ‘Masculine’ women

2nd May: Virginity and Joan of Arc

16th May: Normative white femininity and the racial politics of beauty

30th May: Virginia Woolf’s Orlando

5th June: RSC Live showing of The Taming of the Shrew at the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse