17th October (might be in RIA on Thursday??)
Setha Low

7th November, 4.30pm in SE130, School of Education Building

Professor Harry West

Co-Director of the Centre for Rural Policy Research; Lead of Exeter Food (University Research Network); and Convener of the Masters in Food Studies at the University of Exeter

Title:    "War and Cheese"

Abstract: Treatments of the relationship between war and food have often emphasized the effects of food upon war, which may certainly be profound. Such perspectives, however, over-simplify the dynamic between war and food, suggesting for example that food is a factor in war that can and should be managed by wartime leaders to desired effects. Drawing on Tolstoy’s view of war as the sum of a multitude of infinitesimal units of activity, I suggest the relationship between war and food is much more complex. Actors in wartime are driven by myriad motives, and waging war is not their only end. In such contexts, food itself may be the focus of some actions, and in any case, food may be as profoundly shaped by war as war is shaped by food. This paper considers the complex relationship between food and war through comparative historical examination on one foodstuff, namely cheese. It suggests that future scholarship see food and war as mutually constitutive, and view wartime transformations of food and foodways as historically significant in their own right.

14th November, 4.30pm, Anthropology Seminar Room, upstairs in Rowan House

Rajko Music (Creole Exchange, Ljubljana)

Title:  Walter Benjamin on Radio: Ethnographic Vignettes for Children and Other Audiences

21st November, 4.30pm in TSI118

Angela Bourke

Senior Professor Emerita Irish-Language Studies at UCD

Title: 'Máire Ní Mhongáin', a Song from Conamara: its Making and Reception

Abstract:  This sean-nós song from the Conamara Gaeltacht is attributed to the woman whose name it bears, and is said to have been made near Renvyle, at the mouth of Killary Harbour, where Irish is no longer generally spoken. Máire's verses lament her sons, who have long departed the area, expressing her fear that she won’t see them again in her lifetime. Peadar was her favourite, but her own death is not far off. My talk will explore where and by whom the song has been sung, how a tragic narrative has accreted over many generations, and what may lie behind it.