Lecture Programme


Lectures at the Lit & Phil

These talks are organised by the Lit & Phil (you don't need to be a member in order to attend any of their public events), and tickets cost £4 per talk, from the Lit & Phil Library, 23 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1SE, in person or over the phone (0191) 232 0192. It is advisable to book seats in advance; if you reserve a ticket and are subsequently unable to attend, please let us know as we often have a waiting list.

Gail-Nina resumes her series of triads of art lectures on linked topics in October: after her summer talks on The Bloke, she resumes in the autumn term with his counterpart, The Tragic Heroine. Across centuries and styles, artists have imagined and depicted the tragic beauties of myth, history and legend, re-creating their dramatic appeal to suit the tastes and preoccupations of their own time. These three talks follow the visual history of such figures, tracking the different ways they have been seen. These lectures can be enjoyed separately - you don't have to book for all three.

Wednesday October 3rd, 6.00 pm
Helen of Troy and the Classical Femme Fatale
Helen of Troy is the (possibly) mythic embodiment of the beauty that men will die for, a queen whose abduction by a foreign prince triggers the Trojan War. This talk tracks the imagery of Helen and other Greek heroines through the ages, as it changes to suit contemporary expectations.
Wednesday October 10th, 6.00 pm
Cleopatra and the Allure of the Exotic
Not so much a history of the historical Queen of Egypt but a survey of what her image has come to represent, this lecture looks at contemporary representations of this Graeco-Roman-Egyptian ruler then follows the way later artists (including film-makers) represented her. From dusky vamp to classical queen to luxury-loving wanton, this talk explores the contested imagery of the Serpent of Old Nile.
Wednesday October 17th, 6.00 pm
Ophelia, the Beautiful Victim
Shakespeare's creation of the frail girl driven to madness has inspired not only countless performances but also artistic re-presentations that take the character away from the limitations of the stage and re-present her as the quintessential female victim. From the actresses portraying her to the fairy-like vision drifting towards her watery grave (and, of course, with a close look at Millais' iconic Pre-Raphaelite painting) this lecture explores the appeal of the doomed innocent.

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WW1 Mythology Revisited

On Wednesday November 7th, Gail-Nina marks the centenary of the Armistice with a talk at the Lit & Phil on The Angel of Mons and WW1 Mythology Revisited.