We were delighted to welcome so many alumnae and friends to College on Saturday for the annual St Anne’s Gaudy, part of the wider Meeting Minds weekend run by the University. We are very grateful to all of our speakers, contributors and the St Anne’s Society for their support to make the day possible.
After coffee and pastries, the day began with the St Anne’s Society AGM at 11am, followed by a talk from Birtan Demirel MA MSc : ‘Spread the Word: Eliminating Stammering during Presentations‘. Birtan describes his talk: “As a person who stammers, I developed a method last year, and since then I have delivered my public speeches without stammering, using this method. We are collecting data on this method during the summer to assess its effectiveness for others who stammer. I hope this will ultimately benefit millions of people who stammer worldwide.”
Next, Librarian Clare White showcased a variety of College’s rare books and gave a short lecture. Alumnae and friends greatly enjoyed engaging with the exhibition — touching (with clean hands) was allowed!
At 2pm, Professor Tim Schwanen gave a lecture on ‘Changing Urban Transport: Why Oxford and Other UK Cities Are Experimenting With Controversial Policies’ – Tim’s research concentrates on the geographies of the everyday mobilities of people, goods and information. It is international in outlook, interdisciplinary in scope, informed by the thinking in various sub-disciplines within Geography, and organised around five more general concerns: Low-carbon mobilities and cities – innovation and experimentation, transformations, politics and governance, justice; Futures and temporality – sociotechnical transitions, path dependency, habit, rhythm, resilience, vulnerability; Social and spatial inequality – age, gender, the role of mobility and infrastructure; Well-being – conceptualisations, relationships with mobility and place, politics; Philosophy of transport and mobility – history of thought and praxis, new concepts and modes of thinking.
Following Afternoon Tea with the Principal, visitors then progressed to the MOLT, where Dr Tinashe Mushakavanhu spoke on ‘Seeking the Cosmic Secrets’. In this talk he presented his journey as a researcher and the purpose of the work he conducts on African literary cultures. “My work exists in the cracks between creative and critical methods, and writing genres, in order to imaginatively reconfigure the strictures that conventionally separate the poetic and the theoretical. The desire for this mode of thinking was born out of an uncomfortable tension with the authoritarian politics of my home country, Zimbabwe, an environment which made it difficult to be fully expressive as an intellectual and writer. But here I am in Oxford in pursuit of knowledge.”
The day ended, as is traditional, with a Gaudy Dinner in Hall, beginning with a speech by the Principal in which she shared a selection of memories of Bevington Road, from the 1950s to the 2010s. Bevington Road was a major focus of the day as we progress with an urgently-needed renovation project, and visitors enjoyed viewing models showing how the houses will look following the renovation. You can find out more about this project on our microsite: www.transformingbevingtonroad.co.uk
If you would like to watch any of the Gaudy lectures, again or for the first time, you can find them on our website here.