Vice-Chancellor’s talks

Our VC talks will be continuing throughout Spring and Summer term with a new set of speakers announced.

23/24 dates

Autumn term

Thursday 26 October: Melanie Keen, Director of the Wellcome Collection
Thursday 9 November: Rathna Ramanathan, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Central St Martin’s
Thursday 14 December: John Kenneth Paranada, Curator of Art and Climate Change, Sainsbury Centre ** Book now **

Spring term

Thursday 18 January: Niamh White & Tim Shaw, Hospital Rooms
Thursday 15 February: Tbc
Thursday 14 March: Tbc

Summer term

Thursday 18 April: Tbc
Thursday 9 May: Tbc

The vision for the Vice-Chancellor’s talks

To encourage a more ambitious culture of critical creativity across the University, this new series of around 10 talks will take place on selected Thursdays across the academic year 2022/23, starting at 5pm in our DSR Production Theatre.

For the series we have invited outstanding and distinguished practitioners, thought leaders, researchers, and educators to talk to our community of staff and students about their latest experiences and developments in their fields of expertise, to inspire us all. The series will include speakers from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines who will share topical and important ideas and debates and cover many areas of contemporary practice and culture including film, visual art, design, architecture, fashion, creative technologies, philosophy, music, and science.

Simon Ofield-Kerr, Vice Chancellor.

Upcoming talks

Sediment spirit: Do we need to loot the planet in order to heal it?

5-6pm, Thursday 14 December 2023, Duke Street Riverside

In this talk, John Kenneth Paranada presents his interdisciplinary curatorial practice and the exhibition Sediment Spirit, which shines a light on various intersectional approaches tackling the complexities of climate change.

The talk will draw on art, philosophy, ecologies, climate science, design, architecture, and the environment. It will highlight the vital role of museums and cultural spaces as a platform for interdisciplinary exchange of information and transmission of diverse knowledge, which can become a catalyst for social change.

John Kenneth Paranada is Curator of Art and Climate Change at the Sainsbury Centre and Researcher at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, UEA.

His interdisciplinary curatorial practice focuses on experimental futures and hybrid forms, with a particular emphasis on climate change, the Anthropocene period and new media technologies.

Book your place here

Can’t attend? You can stream the talk on our YouTube channel.

Past autumn term talks

What is intercultural practice? Dr Rathna Ramanathan, Pro Vice Chancellor, Central St Martin’s

9 November 2023

Digital connectivity, international migration and a climate and global health crises have necessitated an urgent reconsideration of our approach to art, design and communication. Rathna Ramanathan’s talk evaluated western canons and frameworks of art and design, and considered why taking an intercultural approach to creative practice is critically needed.

Dr Rathna Ramanathan is a typographer, researcher and academic known for her expertise in intercultural communication and alternative publishing practices.

Things Fell Apart, Melanie Keen, Director of the Wellcome Collection

26 October 2023

In late 2022, Wellcome Collection closed a 15-year old gallery that was never meant to be open beyond 10 years. Following the public announcement, the organisation faced an unprecedented wave of public and media criticism that flood-lit the work of museums and the role of cultural workers. This talk covered the fall out of what happened next.

Melanie’s talk was not recorded but you can hear her speak on the subject on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row.

Melanie Keen is Director of the Wellcome Collection in London, a museum of health and human experience. Under her leadership, there is a strong commitment to reshaping cultural assumptions around race, disability and gender, and the human relationship to planetary health. 

Past summer term talks

Thursday 1 June 2023 – Roz Bird, Chief Executive Officer, Anglia Innovative Partnerships

In this talk, Roz Bird gave an overview of the exciting science and innovation landscape at Norwich Research Park and the opportunities for creative people to get involved. As the new CEO of Anglia Innovation Partnership LLP, she shared her ambition for the amazing potential of innovators and businesses from this area to solve world problems. She described the primary purpose of her role as getting people together to collaborate.

Thursday 11 May 2023 – Nina Menkes, independent filmmaker and director.

Celebrated independent filmmaker Nina Menkes presents her new documentary film Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power. 

Using clips from hundreds of movies we all know and love, Brainwashed illuminates the patriarchal narrative codes that hide within supposedly ‘classic’ set-ups and camera angles, demonstrating how women are frequently displayed as objects for the use, support and pleasure of male subjects.

 A collection of Nina’s work can be found in the library – Cinematic Sorceress.

Information about and recordings of past talks