Lecturer to lead workshop at prestigious British Academy showcase

Dr Cornelia Gräbner who will lead a workshop at the British Academy’s Summer Showcase event at the impressive 10-11 Carlton House Terrace in London. picture shows the British Academy building with an inlay of Dr Grabner
Dr Cornelia Gräbner who will lead a workshop at the British Academy’s Summer Showcase event at the impressive 10-11 Carlton House Terrace in London

A Lancaster University lecturer has been selected to run a workshop at the prestigious British Academy Summer Showcase.

Dr Cornelia Gräbner will join other British Academy Fellows and Honorary Fellows, including historian and BAFTA-winning filmmaker Professor David Olusoga and sociologist and journalist Professor Gary Younge, together with other leading thinkers at the free public festival (July 12 and 13).

Dr Gräbner, a Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies and Comparative Literature from Lancaster University’s Department of Languages and Culture, will deliver a workshop entitled ‘A Poem’s Guardian: From an Argentine political prison to present-day Britain’.

Participants will be asked to ‘become the guardian’ of a poem written by a political prisoner in 1970s Argentina. Each participant will be given one out of several poems; all of them were originally published by a group of exiled Argentines in Mexico in 1981.

Dr Gräbner came across references to this book during her research at the Academic Centre for the Memory of Our América (CAMeNA) in Mexico City, which holds parts of the manuscript. One of the founders of the group, herself a survivor of enforced disappearance and political imprisonment, then provided a copy of the original book.

A selection of the poems is now about to be re-published in a bilingual Spanish-English edition by poetry publishes Girasol Press in the UK under the title Inside.

The workshop, on Saturday, July 13, co-facilitated by Dr Gräbner and the founders of Girasol Press, will ask participants to accompany their poem from its initial conception, via a secret journey to Mexico, to contextualising it during research and its translation into English.

The workshop uses copies of the original documents held at the CAMeNA, including material used at the time such as reports, testimonies and posters for awareness-raising events. Students at the Department of Languages and Cultures have helped with translating the materials.

The British Academy’s annual Summer Showcase is an interactive festival of ideas rooted in the humanities and social sciences.

Each year, it connects leading thinkers and researchers with the public, to engage and inspire them with ideas that fundamentally shape the world we live in.

The 2024 showcase is the most ambitious since the festival began in 2018, including a relaxed ‘Friday Late’ and family-friendly days.

Highlights include:

· ‘The Books That Made Me’ - a talk with British Academy Honorary Fellow Professor Gary Younge Hon FBA;

· A talk about the UK’s history of migration with former British Academy President’s Medal winners Professor David Olusoga and broadcast journalist Zeinab Badawi;

· Dr Shani Dhanda joins an ‘Ask the Experts’ talk on how to fix the UK housing crisis;

· An interactive workshop about women’s role in bookbinding – create your own take-home notepads using needle and thread;

· 10- Minute Talks: From bad jobs to tackling anxiety in children, Eurovision to music in pubs, litter picking to language learning, the public can access flashes of insight into a wide range of timely research topics;

· A screening of the British Academy-funded film Together with Lorenza Mazzetti, hosted by director Brighid Lowe at the Institute for Contemporary Art.

The programme also offers a preview of what is to come as the British Academy gears up to launch a brand new year-round, seasonal and free public events programme, beginning in September 2024.

This new seasonal programming will be enabled by a transformative, £9.6million redevelopment to the Academy’s Grade I listed home in London’s St James’s, which will see its lower floors ‘reimagined’ into three, light-filled, flexible hybrid events spaces, equipped to host talks, lectures, performances and workshops.

Visitors will also be able to see the Academy’s collection of contemporary British art, with works by Paula Rego, Yinka Shonibare and Terry Frost, among others.

The Showcase will unveil a brand-new artwork by acclaimed Guyanese-British sculptor and contemporary artist Hew Locke OBE, set for public display for the first time – with a chance to hear from the artist.

It will also see the launch of a new digital art guide, developed by the Academy in partnership with Bloomberg Connects, allowing anyone, anywhere to enjoy this unique collection with unique curatorial insights and behind-the-scenes stories.

Professor Julia Black, President of the British Academy, said: “This year’s Summer Showcase previews a more modern, dynamic and accessible British Academy. We want our visitors to step inside and experience the incredible variety of pioneering and progressive humanities and social sciences research we offer.

“From AI to the African diaspora, language-learning to dance, and climate to housing, there’s something at the British Academy for everyone.”

Events are free but booking is recommended.

For full details and booking please see here:


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