Christopher Smith: AHRC Keynote Lecture


June 7, 2023 | Kelvin Hall Lecture Theatre, 1445 Argyle Street, G3 8AW, University of Glasgow* (please note venue has changed from original listing)

“the darkness thinking the light” (W. S. Merwin): Imagination infrastructures for the present and future

Our most significant contemporary challenges, from political unrest to climate change, are inevitably translated for us into story – crisis is itself a mythical narrative, and we are poorly attuned to crisis without resolution.  Yet crisis without resolution seems to be where multiple interlocking crises, the challenge of the Anthropocene, is taking us.

In this lecture, I want to focus on why we need the skills and affordances of arts and humanities education to decode and translate the narratives that block human flourishing and imagine alternative futures; how those skills should best be experienced, acquired and deployed; and why we should be developing a strong notion of imagination infrastructures as a critical support for social, economic and political success.

Professor Christopher Smith is the Executive Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and International Champion for UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). He has been Professor of Ancient History at the University of St Andrews since 2002, and he was also Vice- Principal (2007-2009), before being seconded as Director of the British School at Rome, the UK’s leading humanities and creative arts research institute overseas, from 2009 to 2017.

He is the author or editor of over 20 books from textual editions to museum studies. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Member of the Academia Europaea.

All are welcome to attend. This event is part of the Thinking Culture programme, an initiative led by the School of Culture and Creative Arts.

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