Enlightenment Corner: Jan. 18-24

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We're back in the intellectual saddle this 2017, with stimulating events that'll get those cogs in motion and clear out the braindead gunk from last year. There's cerebral fodder for the bookish in the form of Eileen Myles and a panel on creative nonfiction; for the artsy types who are worried about Brexit; for the science skeptics or reluctantly religious; and for politicos who fancy themselves citizens of the world.
18th Jan
The UK - and London especially - has long been a nucleus for creativity in the globalised world. But with Brexit looming on the horizon, the UK's status as an incubator for international talent could soon change. The government has pledged to reduce student visas by nearly half, effectively cutting off the country's link to the international community. This talk brings together international artists with academics and strategic experts, to address the sustainability of practice for non-UK artists.
19th Jan
Creative nonfiction has emerged as a hybrid genre in the past few years, and has subsequently stormed the literary scene. This burgeoning genre uses narrative techniques often identified exclusively with fiction to tie together such seemly disparate forms as poetry, philosophy, travel writing, memoir and reportage. This panel discussion brings together celebrated writers working in the creative nonfiction genre.
This lecture by Cambridge Gender Studies prof Dr. Lauren Wilcox takes a different approach from the usual doom-and-gloom narrative that pervades the discussion surrounding drones. While still by no means optimistic, Dr. Wilcox fascinatingly argues that drone warfare reproduces gendered and racialised bodies that enable a necropolitics of massacre. For Wilcox, gender is out into service to enable the algorithmic war of drone weaponry. Confused? We are a bit, too, but we're keen to go along and figure it out.
22nd Jan
It's no secret that the EU is in peril. The union's future is looking even more shaky in the post-Brexit age, with France potentially following suit, and growing EU dissatisfaction in other member countries. This talk will take a critical look at the contested infrastructure of this contentious union, and ask how we can rebuild it from scratch. The speakers will ask vital questions about integration, the four fundamental Freedoms, membership structure, and more.
24th Jan
Eileen Myles is amongst the most influential poets still working today. Their work transcends the restrictive cannon of "queer poetry", providing a template for contemporary poetry that defies any one label. Myles is the author of nineteen books, and has been a prominent figure on the NY literary underground since the '70s. They are the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Arts Writers grant, & four Lambda Book Awards.
Science and religion seem to be constantly at odds. But what if they're theorised on a single continuum? That's the modus operandi behind 'natural theology', a discipline that is understood as a way of interpreting nature as bearing witness to the existence and nature of God. This talk is led by Alister McGrath, the Andreos Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford, and one of the world’s most respected theologians.
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