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Thought Leadership

Something Sublime about the Cosmos

Phillip Horky is Professor of Ancient Philosophy. He has recently been taking part in the Being Human Festival, a nationwide festival celebrating the value of humanities research for all. He tells us about his research into the Cosmos, which he shared with the public at What on Earth is That? A festival event which considered our relationship with the night sky on 17 January at High Force Waterfall and Hotel.

Criminal Justice responses to reports of sexual violence from women with learning disabilities and/or autism

Dr Alison Jobe from our Department of Sociology and Dr Helen Williams of Sunderland University share insights from their upcoming research on women with learning disabilities/autism reporting sexual violence.
Sexual violence

Islamists and the State: The puzzle of enduring competition

Dr Rory McCarthy from our School of Government and International Affairs argues that religion still shapes politics even at a time of Islamist setbacks in North Africa.
Islamist state

Neanderthals: the oldest art in the world wasn’t made by Homo sapiens

Professor Paul Pettitt, from our Department of Archaeology, sheds some light on Neanderthal art.
Cave paintings

Wind turbines are already skyscraper-sized – is there any limit to how big they will get?

Professor Simon Hogg from our Department of Engineering discusses why are wind turbines increasing in size at such a rapid rate, and is there a limit to how big they can go?
Wind turbine

Medieval great halls were at the heart of the festive season – here the community kept warm by staying together

Giles Gasper, from our History Department, is Professor in High Medieval History. Professor Gasper outlines the importance of food, a shared warm space, and what we have in common with those living in medieval times.
Medieval artwork

Christmas in wartime: how Britain coped with the ‘bleak midwinter’ of 1942

Durham University's Principal of South College, Tim Luckhurst, explains how Britain celebrated Christmas in 1942.
Old Christmas tree and decorations.

Reading our Future in the Bones of Children Past

An interview with Christian Harkensee and Rebecca Gowland discussing what the past can reveal about the social forces that shape modern health crises.
headshots of Christian Harkensee and Rebecca Gowland holding skull

The Controversy over Christmas Carols

Nothing conjures up nostalgic ideas of a wholesome family Christmas more than the idea of loved ones gathering around the piano to sing carols, or indeed voices raised in church in song on Christmas Day. However, Professor Jeremy Dibble, tells us why carols and carol singing haven’t always been seen in such a virtuous light.
Choir singing

The Undercover Elf

Lucinda Murphy, a PhD student in the Department of Theology and Religion, tells us about her research in which she has explored Christmas magic in all its varieties.
Working as an elf in Santa's grotto

Putting Santa (and anything else) on a Timeline

Dr Emily Thomas, Department of Philosophy, writes on space and time in seventeenth to early twentieth century philosophy. She shows us how you can turn any history into a timeline - this one was inspired by a history of Santa Claus.
Santa's outfits through time

Remembering Christmas Past

Simon J. James is Professor of Victorian Literature in the Department of English Studies. This festive season he discusses memory in Dickens’ work, and the importance of remembering past versions of ourselves at Christmas.
A Christmas Carol