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Bookings open for Festival of Ideas events

The Intellectual Forum runs a number of events in College throughout the year, and are pleased to be offering free tickets to five events in this year’s upcoming Cambridge Festival of Ideas.

Bookings are offered on a first come, first served basis. 

Marriage, what is it good for?

19:30 on 15 October 2018, Frankopan Hall, West Court, Jesus College, Cambridge, tickets available here.

For the 2018 Festival of Ideas we ask: many states have recently expanded their definition of marriage to allow marriage between same-sex couples: a welcome move towards equality, but does this go far enough? Philosopher Dr Clare Chambers argues for a more extreme position: that the state should not recognise marriage at all. State recognition of marriage, she will argue, is a violation of both equality and liberty - no matter how marriage is redefined.

The Ballet of the Nations

19:30 on 16 October 2018, Frankopan Hall, West Court, Jesus College, Cambridge, tickets available here.

Dance, particularly ballet, is often referenced as a medium of art to which the concepts of grace and control are central. Impermanence Dance Theatre’s film adaptation of Vernon Lee’s 1915 pacifist satire The Ballet of the Nations will explore the aestheticization of war and beauty, and the terrible corporeal reality of historical events. The film begins its distribution at the beginning of nationwide commemorations observing the 1918 Armistice, and foregrounds pacifist and dissenting voices, at a time when these narratives are more than ever in peril of being ignored. The film is part of a larger project and online exhibition, Theatres of War, curated by Dr Grace Brockington and Dr Claudia Tobin and hosted by British Art Studies (Paul Mellon Centre, London). It will explore the material culture and social networks of the London little theatres where the dance developed. The film screening will be followed by a Q&A with Impermanence, and discussion with Dr Claudia Tobin (University of Cambridge) and Dr Grace Brockington (University of Bristol).

Antisocial media - what is social media doing to our society?

19:30 on18 October 2018, Frankopan Hall, West Court, Jesus College, Cambridge, tickets available here.

For the 2018 Festival of Ideas, we come together to discuss how Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and other social media companies have hit the headlines over the last years, with many people concerned about the effects social media are having on our democracy and society. Hear from our expert panel of Dr Nóra Ni Loideain (Director of the Information Law and Policy Centre at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies), Professor John Thompson (Professor of Sociology, Director of Polity Press and Fellow of Jesus College), and Professor Siva Vaidhyanathan (author of 'Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy’).

Why Net: Can New Media Help Democratic Transformations?

17:00 on 22 October 2018, Webb Library, West Court, Jesus College, Cambridge, tickets available here.

In the left corner - inefficient state institutions, oligarch controlled media outlets and the military invasion from Russia. In the right corner - Ukrainians lacking money but not enthusiasm, expertise and digital literacy to create digital civic initiatives pushing for reforms and providing public service in the spheres where the state fails to deliver. Who are you betting on? This talk for the 2018 Fstival of Ideas, cohosted by the Intellectual Forum, Jesus College, and the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages, will describe something Europe hasn’t witnessed before - an emerging digital civil society. It will also discuss how the case study of Ukraine shows that we have previously underestimated the potential of the Internet for democracy.

Extreme Climates: Ice and Environmental Change

19:30 on 23 October 2018, Webb Library, West Court, Jesus College, Cambridge, tickets available here.

For the 2018 Festival of Ideas, Professor Julian Dowdeswell, Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute, joins us at the Intellectual Forum, Jesus College to discuss ice and environmental change. Both ice sheets and sea ice are changing rapidly in the polar regions. The Arctic is widely regarded as the most sensitive part of the global climate system. This talk will explore the nature of polar ice, the climate changes which we are experiencing and how these changes are likely to affect issues such as global sea-level over the coming century.

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