Can the humanities help solve conflicts?

The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) is to co-host a conference on the relationship between the humanities and social change.

Held between Thursday 13 and Saturday 15 March, the event will cover a wide range of national and cultural contexts, bringing together academics, artists and audiences for three days of presentation and conversation.

Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Souief is one of the speakers at the conferenceEgyptian novelist Ahdaf Souief is one of the speakers at the conference

The conference, organised in partnership with the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), the University of Virginia and Ertegun House, forms part of the Humanities and the Public Good series, which considers the role of the humanities in addressing contemporary challenges. The event is being supported by the British Council.

Themes of the conference will include artistic expression and political struggle, academic reflection and social responsibility, faith and society, and the circulation of texts, images and bodies at the start of the 21st century. 

Saturday's programme includes a number of panel discussions featuring 30 leading scholars from countries including Nigeria, Tunisia, China, Egypt and India. They will be discussing, from a global perspective, topics such as subversive action, migration and translation, and religion and secularism.The conference begins with a series of events at SOAS on Thursday evening and Friday morning before moving to Oxford. Among the highlights is a conversation at Pembroke College on Friday evening between the Booker Prize-nominated Egyptian author Ahdaf Soueif, prize-winning American historian and scholar-activist Robin Kelley, and Paul Smith, Director of the British Council in the USA, on 'The Activist Humanities in a Global Context'.

The full programme of events and information on how to attend is available online. All events are free and open to the public. Registration is recommended to guarantee a place, but some seats will be available on the day on a first-come, first-served basis.