Monday 5 October: Lecture
The Ethics and Logic of Iconoclasm
Marianne Talbot, Director of Studies in Philosophy
Unless we believe that all statues must fall or that no statues must fall it would be useful to have a decision-procedure to help us decide which statues must fall. This is where logic and ethics come together.
Monday 12 October: Lecture
Iconoclasm in the poetry of Tony Harrison
Dr Sandie Byrne, Director of Studies in Literature and Creative Writing
Tony Harrison aims blows, sometimes acerbically or aggressively, at the icons of established institutions and discourses, including the class system, the distinction between 'correct' and 'low' speech, the distinction between 'high' and popular culture, and the state apparatuses which perpetuate repressive conditions of production. Harrison does so in formal verse of great energy and verve, and of moving lyricism.
Monday 19 October: Lecture
The making and breaking of early medieval images
Dr Toby Martin, Departmental Lecturer in Archaeology
After Constantine the Great’s conversion to Christianity in the early 4th century, the new faith spread throughout Europe. With it travelled not just missionaries but new kinds of image with special powers pertaining to spiritual beliefs as well as identity and status. This lecture considers how the potency of objects and images changed in these centuries, and how the making and breaking of these things fits into the wider phenomenon of iconoclasm.
Friday 23 October, 5-6pm (UTC): LIVE Q&A
Join Marianne Talbot, Sandie Byrne and Toby Martin for a live online Q&A session, chaired by Dr Elizabeth Gemmill.
Monday 26 October: Lecture
Image breaking to image making: The Eastern Orthodox controversy over icons
The Rev’d Canon Dr Robin Gibbons, Director of Studies in Theology and Religious Studies
Tension has always existed over the use of imagery in Christianity. The Decalogue forbids imaging God, but theological understanding of Christ as human and divine - and the cult of the saints – encouraged the prevalence of imagery within Christian Art. Iconoclasm took place in Byzantium in two distinct waves in the eighth and ninth centuries. The rise of Islam influenced the Iconoclast, but the controversy was also deeply theological. In the end, the icon makers won!
Monday 2 November: Lecture
Iconoclasm and Art History: A Thousand Years of Destruction, Deconstruction and Development
Dr Janina Ramirez, Director of the Certificate and Diploma in History of Art
This lecture will examine the impact that different types of iconoclasm exerted on medieval art. From the annihilation of imperial images to the desecration of religious iconography, we will move from Late Antiquity to the fifteenth century and explore how past attitudes towards the destruction of art are of great resonance today.
Monday 9 November: Lecture
Medieval Friars as Iconoclasts
Dr Elizabeth Gemmill, Associate Professor in History
When St Francis publicly stripped off his clothes to symbolise his rejection of material goods he heralded a new model for religious life in medieval Europe, one based on institutional as well as personal poverty. The advent of the friars was a reaction to the growing consumerism and the attachment to physical objects that were characteristic of urban culture in the period. But did the friars really break the mould?
Friday 13 November, 5-6pm (UTC): LIVE Q&A
Join speakers Robin Gibbons, Janina Ramirez and Elizabeth Gemmill for a live online Q&A session, chaired by Dr Sandie Byrne.
Monday 16 November: Lecture
Freud: The conscious and unconscious iconoclast
Dr Alistair Ross, Director of Studies in Psychodynamic Studies and Psychology
Sigmund Freud, who once described himself as ‘godless’, was committed to destroying anything that was an illusion, most often religion. He put his faith in science, not realizing this too was an illusion, thus becoming a conscious and unconscious iconoclast.
Monday 23 November: Lecture
Iconoclasm, visual culture and climate change
Debbie Hopkins, Associate Professor in Human Geography
Climate change is an environmental issue which many people find hard to envisage. Visual culture - the creation of constructs and representational models - will play a vital role in communicating the complexity of the subject to the wider public. This lecture will explore how iconoclastic thinking will contribute to our understanding of climate - one of the most urgent issues of our time.
Monday 30 November: Lecture
Intersectionality as iconoclasm: Lessons from human rights law
Dr Shreya Atrey, Associate Professor in International Human Rights Law
This lecture will explore the theory and method of 'intersectionality' as practiced in human rights law to ask how long-standing and cherished ideas in human rights law have been challenged by intersectionality. Why has orthodoxy been challenged and what has it entailed? We explore from the perspective of the most marginalised and vulnerable groups in the world.
Monday 7 December: Lecture
Cultural Revolutions: Iconoclasm in the modern world?
Professor Tom Buchanan, Professor of History
In 1790 Edmund Burke, recoiling from the French Revolution, wrote that 'people will never look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors'. Despite Burke's warning, projects of radical change have consistently resulted in violent assaults on the symbols, narratives and physical vestiges of the past. This wide-ranging lecture, focusing on the revolutions of the twentieth century, will explore the debate launched by the French Revolution in the light of contemporary concerns about how the past is represented in our public spaces.
Friday 11 December, 5-6pm (UTC): LIVE Q&A
Join speakers Alistair Ross, Debbie Hopkins, Shreya Atrey and Tom Buchanan for a live online Q&A session, chaired by Dr Toby Martin.