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Durham University

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Faculty News

Classics: Congratulations to Alberto Rigolio

Many congratulations to our wonderful colleague Alberto Rigolio whose Oxford University Press monograph 'Christians in Conversation' is out now.
Well done, Alberto; it looks wonderful!

(23 Apr 2019)

Classics: Congratulations to Blaz Zabel

We are delighted to announce that Durham PhD student Blaz Zabel has been awarded a 'Pre-doctoral Visiting Research Award' from the Fulbright Foundation. He will be going to Princeton for 9 months (during the academic year 2019/20) to work with Dr Joshua Billings on research related to his PhD project, 'Homeric Epic and World Literature: A Comparative Study of Method'. This is an outstanding achievement and we are sure that Blaz will produce some excellent work during his time in Princeton.

Congratulations, Blaz!

(11 Apr 2019)

Music: Short-term vacancy at the Music Department

The Department of Music seeks to appoint a suitably qualified candidate to a six month fixed-term Teaching Fellow in Historical Musicology, tenable from 1 October 2019 to 31 March 2020.

(9 Apr 2019) » Music: Short-term vacancy at the Music Department

Music: World première 'Riflesso sullo spazio' by Richard RIJNVOS

On 11 April 2019 the Ives Ensemble from Amsterdam will present the world première of Richard RIJNVOS’ composition Riflesso sullo spazio

The work is part of a series of companion pieces, started in 2007 with Riflesso sul tasto, followed by Riflesso sull'acqua and Riflesso sull'arco. Each Riflesso explores the same exceptional scoring of a classic from the last century. Riflesso sullo spazio is a companion piece to Arnold Schoenberg's Suite (opus 29). It is scored for 3 clarinets, string trio and piano and lasts no less than 40 minutes.

(5 Apr 2019) » Music: World première 'Riflesso sullo spazio' by Richard RIJNVOS

Philosophy: 16th May 2019: Professor Peter Simmons (York) - Title and Abstract to be confirmed

This Weekly Research Seminar will commence at 11:30am in room 005, 48/49 Old Elvet, Durham. Refreshments will be available from 11:00am with the talk commencing at 11:30am.

(4 Apr 2019) » Philosophy: 16th May 2019: Professor Peter Simmons (York) - Title and Abstract to be confirmed

Classics: PhD success for Andrea Giannotti

Many congratulations to Andrea Giannotti who passed his doctoral viva this morning, with minor corrections, for a thesis on ‘The Pre-play Ceremonies of the Athenian Dionysia'.

His supervisor was Dr Phil Horky (as first supervisor), and he also received guidance from Dr Andrea Capra (as second supervisor), and Professor Peter Rhodes (as informal advisor).

His examiners were Dr David Carter (Reading) as external and our own Professor Polly Low as internal. The chair of the viva was Professor Ted Kaizer.

Well done and best wishes to all concerned.

(3 Apr 2019)

Theology and Religion: Durham Residential Research Library Fellow Discovers Ancient Royal Charter

An ancient royal charter might not be what everyone expects to find when they come to work, but for one of the visiting fellows of the Durham Residential Research Library, that’s exactly what happened.

Dr Benjamin Pohl was recently in Durham on a visiting fellowship and came across the rare, original charter by chance whilst studying medieval manuscripts held at Ushaw College Library, along with our archivist Dr Jonathan Bush.

Full story

(2 Apr 2019)

School of Modern Languages and Cultures: Tina Kover (O’Donnell) is a finalist for the 2019 Albertine Prize

MLaC graduate Tina Kover is a finalist for the 2019 Albertine Prize for her translation of Négar Djavadi’s novel, Disoriental.

(2 Apr 2019)

School of Modern Languages and Cultures: Chekhov’s short stories performed by the 2nd year students of the Russian department

Click here to see the performance.


(28 Mar 2019)

Central News: Ancient royal charter discovered in Durham

An ancient royal charter might not be what everyone expects to find when they come to work, but for one of our visiting fellows that’s exactly what happened.

(26 Mar 2019) » Central News: Ancient royal charter discovered in Durham

Music: Music Alumni leads his school to win Best Music Department of the Year

The Music Department is proud to celebrate the success of alumnus Matthew O’Keeffe (Durham 2005) who is now Head of Music at the Belvedere Academy. His music department has just won Best Music Department of the Year!

(19 Mar 2019) » Music: Music Alumni leads his school to win Best Music Department of the Year

Theology and Religion: Postgraduate Scholarships and Bursaries for 2019/20

Applications are open for Postgraduate Scholarships and Bursaries for 2019/20. Full details, including an application form, are available here.

(18 Mar 2019)

Theology and Religion: Gabby Thomas: A Woman Making a Difference!

Congratulations to CCS member Gabby Thomas who was nominated as one of Durham's Women Making a Difference, an award set up to celebrate International Women's Day 2019. Gabby's nominator said:

Gabrielle gave our first lecture in theology and made us all laugh by showing a photograph of herself with a fake white beard. Whilst it was a bit cheesy she explained that in studying early Christian theology we might get the idea that only men can do theology but actually it's for anyone - including women. Because she did this early on I've been able to think about how it's possible for me, as a young woman, to be a theologian. She's really inspiring and always has time for my questions, and always answer emails! Gabrielle tells us that women can do theology. We don't get lots of female professors and so when we do it's important to be a brilliant teacher and gets us really engaged in her lectures. She's also kind which matters.

You can find more CCS women making a difference listed on our staff pages!

(18 Mar 2019)

Classics: Congratulations to Durham alumna Lilah-Grace Canevaro

Many congratulations to our talented Durham alumna Dr Lilah Grace Canevaro, now in post at Edinburgh, who is one of the nominees for this year's Runciman Award for her OUP monograph 'Women of Substance in Homeric Epic'. Good luck, Lilah! We very much hope you win!

(13 Mar 2019)

Theology and Religion: Mgr Denis Edwards RIP

It is with great sadness that the CCS heard of the death of Monsignor Denis Edwards of Adelaide on Monday 4 March 2019. During the 2007-2008 year, Denis was the inaugural holder of the St Cuthbert’s Fellowship in Catholic Theology. We have lost a good friend who embodied the fine theology that he spoke and wrote. A full obituary is available here.

(11 Mar 2019)

Music: Music Department - International Women’s Day

This week the music department held two events to raise awareness of the ways that gender categories and inequality intersect with musical life, continuing the discussions we’re currently having in the department as part of the Athena Swan initiative.

(7 Mar 2019) » Music: Music Department - International Women’s Day

Classics: Congratulations to Kathryn Stevens and to Justine T. Wolfenden

Congratulation to Kathryn Stevens and to J. T. Wolfenden who have both been nominated as Durham Women Making a Difference as part of the University’s celebrations for International Women’s Day 2019. This is the second consecutive year in which J. T. has been nominated.

Nominations are anonymous but Kathryn and Justine were nominated because they were felt to have a made a difference to the lives of their students, colleagues, and to the wider community. Kathryn’s nomination opened by saying that ‘Kathryn is one of the most inspirational members in a department studded with greatness.’ J.T.’s ran ‘Justine is an outstanding and hugely inspiring tutor who goes above and beyond the call of duty in encouraging and supporting her students and colleagues, both within the department of Classics and outside it.’ You can read the full nominations here.

As this is a celebration and not a competition, there is no outright winner but nominees are invited to a celebration lunch at Hotel Indigo later in March.

(6 Mar 2019)

Classics: Durham Classics in QS World University Top 50 rankings

Congratulations to the Department of Classics and Ancient History which was ranked number 31 in the top 50 universities for Classics worldwide in the QS World University subject rankings for 2019. Durham is one of only seven UK universities to be placed in the rankings for Classics.

A total of 1,222 institutions from 78 countries were assessed and the QS subject rankings looked at 48 subjects in five broad subject areas. Rankings are based on academic and employer reputation, research citations and the productivity and impact of the work published by academics. They take into account the insight of more than 83,000 academics and 42,000 employers around the world, as well as 150 million research citations from 22 million academic papers.

(27 Feb 2019)

Philosophy: 28th June 2019: CHMD Workshop ‘New Research in the History of Medicine and Science’

(26 Feb 2019) » Philosophy: 28th June 2019: CHMD Workshop ‘New Research in the History of Medicine and Science’

School of Modern Languages and Cultures: The Bigas Luna Tribute announces new events in Manchester 28-31 March 2019

The Bigas Luna Tribute has teamed up with HOME Manchester and the Instituto Cervantes for a new series of events as part of the 25th ¡Viva! Spanish and Latin American Festival, also coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the release of Bigas Luna’s film La teta y la luna.

Over a period of four days and in two different venues, the Bigas Luna Tribute Manchester will include four film screenings, two receptions and an exhibition. The exhibition will remain open for the duration of the festival, until April 13th.

The exhibition, curated by Betty Bigas (multidisciplinary artist and daughter of Bigas Luna) and Prof. Santiago Fouz Hernández (Durham University), showcases some of Bigas Luna’s controversial video artwork, including the famous short Necklace of Flies and the five- piece video installation ‘Barbaric Comedies’, which was inspired by the well-known work of Spanish dramatist Valle-Inclán.

Exhibition preview: 28 March, 6.30pm at the Instituto Cervantes
(326-330 Deansgate Campfield, Avenue Arcade, Manchester M3 4FN).
This event includes a drinks reception, a short tour of the exhibition and the first UK screening of the documentary BigasxBigas (2017), introduced by co-director Santiago Garrido Rúa, who will also lead a Q&A session at the end. Tickets for this free event can be reserved here. Exhibition notes can be accessed here.

The internationally famous ‘Iberian Portraits’ trilogy of films, including Jamón, jamón (1992), the film that launched the careers of Academy Award winners Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz, will be screened at HOME Manchester
(2, Tony Wilson Place, M15 4FN) as follows:

- 29 March 6.50pm: Jamón, jamón (1992) + introduction by Prof Santiago Fouz and followed by drinks reception in the Event space at HOME (entry and first drink included with film ticket). Tickets.

- 30 March 5.50pm: Huevos de oro (1993) + introduction by Prof Santiago Fouz. Tickets.

- 31 March 5.40pm: La teta y la luna (1994) + introduction by Dr Abigail Loxham (University of Liverpool) + discussion with Dr Loxham and Prof Fouz. Tickets.

The Bigas Luna Tribute is a series of international events organised by the filmmaker’s daughter, Betty Bigas, and Bigas Luna specialist Santiago Fouz Hernández that aims to disseminate as widely as possible the important work of the late Spanish artist and filmmaker. Starting in San Francisco in 2015, it has already visited 11 cities in six different countries. It has collaborated with four festivals and 19 venues with a total of 60 film screenings to date, including sold-out events in San Francisco, Barcelona, Sydney and San José. Participating venues have included the Roxy Theater, the Mexican Cineteca Nacional or the National Centre of Film Production in Costa Rica. It has attracted coverage in national newspapers of Spain (El país), Costa Rica (La nación), UK (The Guardian The Guide) and Australia (The Age), where it was featured as the cover of the Arts and Entertainment Guide across the Fairfax network. In Costa Rica, the Bigas Luna Tribute was declared an event of cultural interest by the government.

The Bigas Luna Tribute Manchester is sponsored by Durham University, HOME Manchester, the Instituto Cervantes, the ¡Viva! Film Festival and its sponsors (BFI, Film Hub North, The National Lottery, Cruzcampo beer, Acción cultural española and the Spanish Embassy in the UK). For more information about this and previous events, please visit or email

Downloads: Bigas Luna Tribute flyer, poster; ¡Viva! brochure. |Twitter @bigaslunahomage |Instagram bigaslunatribute

(25 Feb 2019)