Inside Out Festival presents Women Of The World and other stories…

Since Monday (20 October 2014) the 2014 Inside Out Festival has been running events all over London to explore the fascinating contribution made by London’s universities to the capital’s cultural life.  The Festival comes at a time when universities are exploring new ways to maximize the impact of their research and connect themselves to the wider world in imaginative ways.  The inspired collaborations between Higher Education, cultural and creative industries and businesses should prove mutually enriching.

The Inside Out Festival  (the 5th since 2009), curated by The Cultural Capital Exchange  (TCCE) presents a diverse mix of debates, performances, walks, talks, symposiums, screening and exhibitions in association with Times Higher Education.

With just a few days left to go, don’t miss what’s still on offer, a few highlights include:

Friday 24 Oct, 7pm - Women of the World: Female Diplomats? Unthinkable….

Join celebrated historian Helen McCarthy, from Queen Mary University of London, whose recently published book, Women of the World, the Rise of the Female Diplomat, has uncovered the stories of women who sought influence and adventure on the world stage.

Chaired by Prospect’s Digital Editor, Serena Kutchinsky, the discussion will ask why was it that until 1946, no British woman could officially represent her nation abroad? Why was it that only after decades of campaigning and the heroic labours performed by women during the Second World War that diplomatic careers were finally opened to both sexes?

Helen will launch the discussion by setting the historical scene focusing on why it took so long for diplomacy to open its doors and how that historical legacy still lingers in the 21st century. The discussion will then be expanded to the wider panel, and ask why are women still so poorly represented in politics, indeed in many areas of public life, military, sport, investment banking, political journalism and academia? Is there anything distinctive about these particular worlds that make them particularly resistant to gender diversity?

Is there something inherent in British culture that needs to change?

Chair: Serena Kutchinsky, Prospect

Dr Helen McCarthy, Historian, Queen Mary, University of London

Dame Nicola Brewer, Vice-Provost (International) at University College London, previously British High Commissioner to South Africa (2009 – 2013)

Julie Bindel, English writer, feminist and co-founder of the group Justice for Women, which opposes violence against women from a feminist viewpoint.

Dr Catherine Hakim, Pioneering British social scientist and author

Saturday 25 Oct, 3pm - Exploring Runnymede and Magna Carta

Students at Royal Holloway have worked together to create a new app, ‘Runnymede Explored’, to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta by the side of the Thames. Preparing both the code for the app, and researching the stories for 7 trails around the site along with a guide to local wildlife, the team have experimented with different styles and media to bring Runnymede and its importance to life.

This walk will be led by three of the team who created the Runnymede Explored app, giving visitors the chance to be amongst the first to test out the trails, and the opportunity to quiz the team about how they built up the app.

Sunday 26 Oct, 10am - After the Circuits Died: Exploring electronic waste

In this event, organized by The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum, visitors are invited to follow a group of artists and cultural theorists in a one-day exploration of electronic waste.

‘Electronic waste’ or ‘e-waste’ is a generic term for electric and electronic equipment that have ceased to be of value to their owners. A pile of discarded computers, telephones, printers, and microwaves will be delivered to the museum. This material will be explored by four artists and two cultural theorists, who are specialized in consumer electronics and waste, during a workshop open to visitors.

The day will conclude with a presentation of the work-in-progress by the artists, in discussion with the two cultural theorists:

·      Artists: Paul GranjonJonathan KempDani PloegerMadaleine Trigg

·      Theorists: Dr Neil MaycroftDr Toby Miller

This event is part of the AHRC-funded research project ‘Bodies of Planned Obsolescence: Digital performance and the global politics of electronic waste’, which is aimed at exploring and developing strategies in digital performance art, cultural studies, and science, to engage with the political, sociological and ecological issues around electronic waste in countries that export (UK) and import (Nigeria and China) used technology.

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