Homerton Fellows' and Graduates' Research Seminars showcase the latest research by members of the College community. These events normally take place on Tuesday at 1800, so that people may continue on to formal hall if they so wish. Usually the speaker(s) will present for thirty minutes, and thereafter the audience will ask questions.
We welcome contributions from all disciplines studied at Homerton. In the past we have heard presentations on everything from contemporary adolescent literature to self-replication and the origin of life, and everything in between.
Graduate student contributions are particularly welcomed.
All are most welcome to attend the Seminars, whether Fellows, students, alumni, staff or visitors. If you require further information, or have any questions, please contact Dr Hayley J. Hooper.
You can also follow our twitter account @HomResearch for the most up to date information.
You can also download our Termcard for Research.
Refreshments will be provided.
The eighteenth-century French political theorist the Baron de Montesquieu described honour as the ‘principle’—or animating force—of a well-functioning monarchy, which he thought the appropriate regime type for an economically unequal society extended over a broad territory. Existing literature presents this honour in terms of lofty ambition, the desire for preference and distinction, a spring for political agency, or a spur to the most admirable kind of conduct in public life and the performance of great deeds. Perhaps so. But it also seems to involve a great deal of what the contemporary philosopher Aaron James calls ‘being an asshole’, and the paper will explore what happens to Montesquieu’s political theory of monarchy—which may be foundational for understanding modern politics—when we reverse the usual perspective and consider it through the lens of the arsehole aristocracy.
Dr Brooke is a member of POLIS and a University Lecturer. He is a fellow of Homerton College, Cambridge
From a royal charter to develop trade with Africa in 1672 to the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act, Britain was heavily invested in the slave trade. In the same period, British newspapers emerged in print, initially recycling genres and an orientation to speech from long-established oral news-sharing traditions. In topical songs and poems, letters, anecdotes, travel narratives, book reviews, memoirs, parliamentary proceedings, trial reports, play scripts and lectures, direct speech is commonplace and vernacular, and because of British slavery interests, this includes Jamaican Creole speakers and speech. This material is of interest to Historical Sociolinguists concerned with ‘invisible’ languages and language history ‘from below’, but multiple issues of authorship, agency and authenticity make it messy. Building on recent work on the representation of speech in nineteenth century popular culture products, I will explore how interdisciplinary perspectives might help to calibrate the messy data of early newspapers.
Julie Blake is a PhD student in Education. Her thesis will examine the nature of the poetry specified for study by some fourteen million people in England since its mandatory inscription in the National Curriculum in 1988. She is interested in digital methods, large archives, and processes of cultural transmission.
Billions of blood cells are produced and destroyed daily. Improper regulation of this system can lead to leukaemia, a type of cancer sustained by transformed blood stem cells that have acquired mutations which permanently disrupt their normal behaviour. This lecture explores the process of tumour evolution from single blood stem cells.
Dr David Kent earned a B.Sc. in Genetics and English Literature at the University of Western Ontario, Canada (1999-2003) and obtained his Ph.D. in Genetics at the University of British Columbia, Canada (2003-2009). His postdoctoral research was at the University of Cambridge where he studied normal and malignant blood stem cell biology. His independent research group studies fate choice in single blood stem cells and how changes in their regulation lead to cancers. David is currently the Stem Cell Institute’s Public Engagement Champion.
Imagine I toss a coin ten times in a row and note the outcomes as H for heads and T for tails. The two sequences:
are equally likely to occur, and yet as humans we would be much more surprised by the second sequence than the first. We might even be somewhat suspicious that the coin was rigged. Our intuition tells us
that the first sequence looks more "random" than the second. It turns out that this intuitive idea that one sequence can be more "random" than another can be made precise, and is really quite useful in many branches of mathematics.
In this talk I will give some examples of how this notion works and what it can be useful for. I will avoid technical details, and you should need essentially no mathematical knowledge in order to understand the talk.
Dr Matthew Tointon is a Junior Research Fellow in Mathematics at Homerton College, Cambridge.