All members of Darwin are encouraged to present their research at informal seminars held on Tuesdays and Thursdays during term. Everyone is welcome, whatever your degree or discipline.
Darwin members pick up lunch from 12:00, taking it into the Richard King Room (on the left at the top of the stairs leading to the dining hall) or 1 Newnham Terrace (straight through at the far end of the dining hall). Wine is served. Non-Darwin members are welcome to attend, although lunch is only available to guests of members. The talk begins at about 1:15 and lasts for about 20 minutes and is followed by questions over coffee. We adjourn at 2:00pm at the latest.
Recent work on the formation of regional identity in the ancient world has focused on the importance of 'bottom-up' factors, such as long-term collaboration and interchange between neighbouring population groups, or cooperation to resist external interference. While such work has produced important insights, it may underestimate the importance of 'top-down' factors, particularly in the monarchic states of the ancient world where autocrats had broad capabilities to intervene in the political and social geography of a region. This talk will investigate these issues in ancient Epirus, a region in the northwest of the Balkan peninsula around the modern Greece-Albania border. It will argue that royal policy played a crucial role in the formation of a regional identity in Epirus in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC.
Dr Ben D. Raynor is the Moses and Mary Finley Fellow at Darwin College, Cambridge.
Parasites have co-evolved with their hosts through millions of years are arguably provide some of the finest examples of adaptability to a ever changing environment. One particular flatworm parasite called Schistosoma mansoni, is responsible for infecting ~ 200 million people worldwide. Using the latest genomic and informatics technologies, such as those used for the sequencing of the human genome, we can now start to investigate what makes these parasites so adaptable and remarkably successful in surviving hostile conditions inside their hosts even for decades!
Bio: Dr. Anna V. Protasio graduated with a BSc. in Biochemistry from the University of the Republic, in Uruguay. She then moved to Cambridge to pursue a PhD in Molecular Biology at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of Cambridge. During this time, Anna developed a great appreciation for parasitology and became a pioneer in the use of massive parallel sequencing applied to the understanding of gene expression in these parasites. She remained at the Sanger Institute with a Postdoctoral Fellowship for further 4 years. in 2016, she became a NCBS-InStem-Cambridge Fellow and an "awaiting" Research Affiliate at Darwin College (to join in Oct 2017)
Few things seem more quintessentially English than the most widely read vernacular translation of the Bible, the ‘King James’ or ‘Authorized’ Version of 1611. But new sources for the making of the translation, presented in this talk, show that it was heavily influenced by continental scholarship. Indeed, the revision of some of its most important sections was overseen by a French emigré, the scholar and religious controversialist, Isaac Casaubon — even though Casaubon hardly spoke English. I propose to use the example of Casaubon to shed some light on the international culture of research and controversy surrounding the biblical text that animated the translators’ decisions about how to render it.
Nick Hardy took his BA in Classics and English (2008) and DPhil in English (2012) at Oxford before taking up Fellowships at Trinity College, Cambridge (2012-2016) and now at the University Library and Darwin College. His interests lie in later sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English and continental humanism, biblical scholarship and translation.
The Islamic State (ISIS) has usurped the government in swathes of eastern Syria and western Iraq. It is engaged in a brutal war against an array of state and non-state actors, many of which are also in conflict with one another. There are many theories that seek to explain why and how states go to war. We can use these extant theories to understand the whys and wherefores of state behaviour in the case of the war against ISIS, and much excellent scholarship has been conducted in this regard. However, it is far from clear that we can apply them to the war between non-state actors that is arguably the more important part of this particular conflict. Do the extant theories of war help us understand why and how non-state actors go to war? If they do not, how can we adapt them in order to synthesise an approach with more explanatory power? This paper seeks to test extant theories of war to the case study of the ongoing conflict involving the Islamic State. This is a particularly pertinent case study as many the central protagonists are non-states, and indeed the war itself is against a non-state actor. The paper specifically dismisses the role of state actors in this conflict in order to focus attention on the drivers and factors at play in non-state wars; this is a theoretical assumption rather than a statement of reality. However, in viewing the conflict through a lens that is blind to the state, the paper aims to help us understand the conflict in a novel way, as well as to reveal the contributions that different theoretical approaches can make and the potential ways in which these can be combined to synthesise a non-state theory of war.
Dr Michael David Clark is a lecturer in the department of Defence and International Affairs at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He gained his PhD in Politics and International Studies from Darwin College, Cambridge, in 2016. His doctoral research addressed the formulation of foreign policy in Hezbollah and the Sadrist Movement and built on prior work in the same field undertaken as part of his MSc at Bristol and MRes at Exeter. Michael's current research focuses on the application of IR theory and theories of war to armed non-state actors, particularly in the case of the war against the Islamic State. He is the author of a forthcoming monograph with Cambridge University Press.