Security Online: Defence Against the Dark Arts

Speaker: David Bernhard

Abstract:

Barely a week goes by without another story in the news related to cybersecurity. Passwords are stolen, credit card details hacked, personal information leaked. Our own university is regularly a target for phishing attacks. Meanwhile the government has been making noises about ‘banning encryption’. In this talk we’ll have a look at some examples and try not to despair.

Bio:

David is a Teaching Fellow in Computer Science.

 

 

 

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Medieval Romance: Unexpected Journeys and Meetings

Speaker: Bex Lyons

Abstract:

The experience of reading medieval – and indeed any – literature can open windows on to new worlds and novel encounters for the reader, with occasionally surprising consequences. This talk considers the ways in which reading medieval romance changed the life of a working class academic from a council estate, and presents some examples from medieval romance to show what this genre is capable of: fantasy, magic, love, chivalry – but most of all offering meetings with people from the past. It highlights the value in finding common ground with those from different contexts to our own, and how medieval literature can – perhaps unexpectedly – point us in the direction of shared human experience.

Bio:

Dr Bex Lyons, Executive Assistant and Teaching Associate in English and Personal Development, Department of English. Bex is a late medievalist with research interests in book and reading history, particularly female owners and readers of Arthurian literature in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century England and their interactions with this corpus. Bex also has research interests in digital academic publishing – an area in which she has a professional background as an editor. She is especially interested in the production of modern editions and translations of medieval texts, and the effects of the digital on modern academic research and publishing. Between 2015-2017 Bex was the Research Associate at University College London on the two-year AHRC and British Library funded project, The Academic Book of the Future.

 

 

 

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What is a sustainable future?

Speaker: Prof Chris Willmore

Abstract:

It’s easy to see sustainability as being about guilt, about stopping doing things. This lecture looks positively at sustainability and the future we want to inhabit. This is about what we want, not what we don’t want. How can we make it fun and achieve a real difference to our university, our city and the world. It will look at how we can change our curriculum, change the campus and learn to tread lightly on the planet. It will reveal why some of the habits you develop at university will stay with you for life- and why some will get ditched. And pose the question – what can you say?

Bio:

Professor of Sustainability and Law, University of Bristol Law School, Chris Willmore qualified and practised as a barrister, before becoming an academic. Her work particularly focuses upon education for sustainability and the concept of a sustainable university. Her UK award winning work on student engagement in city transformation for sustainability won the International Green Gown for Student Engagement in 2017. She is a fellow of the EAUC and of the RSA.

 

 

 

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Email: bob-lectures@bristol.ac.uk

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Alexander Hamilton and the development of the American single market

Speaker: Gervas Huxley

Abstract:

The Broadway musical “Hamilton” celebrates the life of Alexander Hamilton. More than any other founding father Hamilton understood the implications of creating the ‘United States of America”. One of his objectives was to promote trade between the 13 Colonies believing that “commercial enterprises will have much greater scope, from the diversity in the production of different states.” He then asks the following question: “Whether the states are united or disunited [would there not] be an intimate intercourse between them, which would answer the same ends? In other words do we need political union to promote trade? His answer what that if the states were disunited “intercourse would be fettered, interrupted, and narrowed, by a multiplicity of causes.” Hamilton’s ‘multiplicity of causes’ are the eighteenth century version of what today we call non-tariff barriers. Hamilton argued that “unity of commercial… interests, can only result from an unity of government.” This argument resulted in the Commerce Clause of the US constitution.

The lecture will examine the history of the Commerce Clause its role in creating the American Single market and the opposition the Commerce Clause has attracted for more than two hundred years from supporters of states rights. The lecture will compare Euro-Scepticism from Enoch Powel to Jacob Reese Mogg with the Anit-Federalist and States Rights tradition in American history.

Bio:

Gervas Huxley is a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Economics.

 

 

 

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Are drugs of abuse the solution to treating depression?

Speaker: Prof. Emma Robinson

Abstract:

Depression and anxiety are the most prevalent psychiatric disorders in modern society and yet treatments are still poorly understood and many patients fail to respond to current therapies. The first antidepressant drugs were developed in the 1950s but their discovery arose from serendipitous observations of drugs developed for other conditions. Psychopharmacology has sought to use these drugs to better understand the causes of mood disorders but progress with developing better treatments has been challenging. This lecture will discuss the history of antidepressants and how we have used these early treatments to better understand mood disorders and develop new drugs including the SSRIs, some of the most widely prescribed drugs used today. However, many patients still fail to respond to treatment. The final part of the lecture will consider new avenues of research and why drugs of abuse, such as ketamine and the psychedelics, are providing a new strategy for treating mood disorders.

Bio:

Emma Robinson Professor of Psychopharmacology, School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience

 

 

 

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Can Mathematics Improve Your Baking?

Speaker: Thomas Jordan

Abstract:

Going way back, bakers have had to concoct various ways to efficiently mix dry fruit through dough so it is evenly distributed. How can we describe ‘even distribution’ mathematically and can we find a mathematical process which simulates the baker’s technique? And finally, how could these ideas connect to current research in dynamical systems? Come on down to find out more.

**This lecture will also be live streamed on the BoB lectures Facebook page.**

 

Bio:

Dr Thomas Jordan Senior Lecturer in Pure Mathematics, School of Mathematics, Thomas’ research focuses on dimension theory in dynamical systems.Thomas’ interests include connections between multifractal analysis, large deviations and the thermodynamic formalism, self-similar and self-affine sets, non-conformal dynamical systems and Fourier transforms for invariant measures.

 

 

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Café Cosmopolitanism in a Pre Starbucks Age: Paris Internationalism pre WW1

Speaker: Tricha Passes

Abstract:

The lecture will consider the importance of Café life as a meeting place for the exchange of art and ideas in early twentieth century Paris. Focusing on photographs and paintings that depict the cafe La Rotonde in pre First World War Paris, the paper will argue that café life continued to be integral to the exchange of artistic ideas as well as the cultural development of Paris. La Rotonde was a cornerstone in the genesis of what later came to be known as L’Ecole de Paris. Alongside La Dome, Le Select, Le Cloiserie des Lilas, and later La Coupole these cafes provided an important function in the artistic and intellectual life of Paris and were signifiers of Paris as a cosmopolitan magnet during an era that witnessed a crescendo in nationalist tensions.

Photograph of La Rotonde on the corner of the Boulevard Montparnasse and Boulevard Raspail in Montparnasse.

Bio:

Tricha Passes Teaching Fellow, Department of History (Historical Studies) Tricha’s research interests include: avant-garde modernism in France, Britain and the U.S.A; class, race and gender in the visual culture of France, Britain and the U.S.A; art and environmental awareness and the transitional period from late modernism to postmodernism; and the history of the United States in the nineteenth century and the art and visual culture of nineteenth century U.S.A. She is a member of the Visual Culture Research Group at the Faculty of Creative Arts, UWE and has conducted research for The Cabot Project on the historical reception of Bristol’s voyages of exploration.

 

 

 

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Over the rainbow: a brief (social) history of queer resistance

Speaker: Jamie Lawson

Abstract:

Designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978, The Rainbow Flag was intended to be a symbol of unity, hope and identity for the LGBTQ+ community, associated with the new wave of political activism that had followed the Stonewall Riots in 1969. It exists today alongside other symbols, and as a single component of a longer history of queer activism and resistance. This lecture will cover the history of the Rainbow Flag, and its relationship to other symbols of queer identity, before moving on to discuss the historical origins of the oppression of queer people, both here in the UK and around the world. Along the way we’ll discuss the birth of the gay leather scene, the sociohistory and impact of the HIV epidemic, and the long reach of Victorian attitudes towards sex.

Bio:

Teaching Fellow, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, Jamie’s major research interests are in sex and sexuality, with a particular focus on identity, embodiment and power. Jamie is an interdisciplinary, queer researcher with a background in quantitative and qualitative research. Jamie is currently running a project on the BDSM practice of puppy play, and was recently involved in the Art of Relationships project at the OU.

 

 

 

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How Just is the Global Response to Climate Change?

Speaker: Dr Alix Dietzel

Abstract:

Climate change is fundamentally an issue of justice. It will affect those who have done least to contribute to the problem – people living in the poorest regions of the world and people who are not yet born. These climate vulnerable people risk having their human rights (health, water, food, shelter, and even life) threatened by climate change. If we are to respond justly to the problem of climate change, we need to do as much as possible as soon as we can – in fact, according to the IPCC report released in October 2018, we have just 12 years to prevent global mean temperature from rising above 1.5C.

In this lecture, Dr Alix Dietzel will explore what a just response to the climate change problem looks like and how close we are to meeting it. Focusing on the human right to health, Dr Dietzel will examine who is making political decisions on climate change and assesses to what extent these decisions are ‘fair’ and ‘just’ – and especially to what extent they protect human health. Investigating the role of states, cities, corporations, and non-governmental organisations, she will provide insight into the ‘big picture’ of climate change (mis)management and the injustices that come along with it. Finally, she will touch on what you can (and should!) do as an individual. There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion, so please do come along.

Bio:

Dr Alix Dietzel, Lecturer in Politics, takes a global justice focused approach in order to assess the current response to climate change. Alix teaches units concerning global problems, ethics and normative theory, global governance, and international relations. Alix actively pursues public engagement and outreach activities. As a climate justice scholar, Alix thinks that it is important to share her knowledge with the local community in Bristol and engage with the wider public on climate change. 

 

 

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