Thursday Lunchtime Talks

Next talk;

19 November 2015

Juliet Dusinberre, Reading, Writing and Resistance: Nella Last's War

Nella Last began keeping a diary in August 1939 in response to a request for volunteers from the recently established Mass Observation Project. An abridged volume, Nella Last's War, first published in 1981, was reissued in 2006, giving rise to an ITV film, Housewife, 49. Three other volumes have since appeared: Nella Last's Peace (2008), Nella Last in the 1950s (2010) and The Diaries of Nella Last (2012).

Nella Last's Diary is the story of a woman who, despite widespread wartime destruction in Barrow-in-Furness (a heart of the ship-building industry), was able to forge a new life for herself through her war work, but also through her writing. Her Diary, begun hesitantly, quickly became a source of resistance to loss: the lost lives of the war, the lost youth of her sons and their friends, lost peace, lost generosity, lost sense of community. But this is no elegy. The Diary celebrates life, despite the many difficulties and restrictions Nella Last encountered. It is a record as different as could be from Virginia Woolf's Diary, and yet the two writers sometimes occupy the same ground. My talk will explore some aspects of Nella Last's reading, writing and resistance.

Programme for Michaelmas 2015

8 October 2015

Joel Peck, Is Life Impossible?

22 October 2015

Qasim Ayub, The Kalash Genetic Isolate from Pakistan

29 October 2015

Jerry Kutcher, Geoffrey Keynes’ Twofold Vision: Medical Savant Connoisseur and Literary Bibliographer

5 November 2015

Literary Talk: Claire Nicholson, Virginia Woolf’s ‘frock consciousness’. Chaired by Trudi Tate

19 November 2015

Juliet Dusinberre, Reading, Writing and Resistance: Nella Last's War

26 November 2015

Richard Hayes, Stage and City: Joseph Papp and the Public Theater

10 December 2015

Literary Talk: Jane Goldman on Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. Chaired by Susan Sellers

Note: In 2015-16, we have our traditional Clare Hall Thursday lunchtime talks some weeks, and occasionally we have  Literary Talks, which this year are on the theme of Virginia Woolf.




Welcome to the Clare Hall Thursday Lunchtime Talks, which take place during term time at 1pm in the Meeting Room, in the main College building.

These talks are a platform for sharing research in progress, work experience, and the presentation of published work. They serve as a sounding board for the thoughts and ideas from all members of the College, including spouses and partners. The presentations are about 35-40 minutes long, followed by a coffee break, and ending with a 15 minutes open discussion.

Please bring your lunch to the meeting. Fresh water, napkins and fruit are provided. If you feel that you would like to give one of these talks, please e-mail or see Lynne Richards, in the President's External Office (next to the Computer Room), in College.

We look forward to seeing you and for your ideas for future talks!

Updated  Jan.28.2013