Interdisciplinary Discussion Groups

The IDG allow students in fields which have often little contact to come together in an informal setting and discuss research, both within and without their own subject, from a variety of disciplinary viewpoints – a rare and valuable opportunity.

Academics, artists, authors, scientists, and experts from all fields are invited to spark up the discussion; in the past, we have welcomed Lord John Krebs, Lord Robert Winston, Edwina Currie, Philip Pullman, and Alice Smith – and more is yet to come.

Coffee, tea, and a free sandwich lunch are offered by the college, with both meat and vegetarian options. Please do not hesitate to get in touch for any other dietary requirement.

To ensure a cosy and lively discussion, places are limited to 20 students and are first-come first-serve. Please let us know of any dietary preferences.

For questions, suggestions and further information, contact Lise or Virginia at

Michaelmas Term 2019 – Programme:

Week 3 – Wednesday 30th October, 12:45-2pm, Seminar Room 3 (48 Woodstock Rd)
Babar Suleman, “(I) LOVE (DICK) ISLAND” 

Artist Babar Suleman will discuss his current project, “Possible Lives/(I) LOVE (DICK) ISLAND”, for the practice-led DPhil in Fine Art before walking attendees through his past work (primarily moving image, and mostly conceptual/experimental), inviting conversation on the themes of desire, love, sexuality, spirituality, playfulness, vulnerability and intimacy.

Week 6 – Wednesday 20th November – 12:45-2pm, Seminar Room 3
Brittany Hause, “Language contact in Eastern Bolivia”
Drawing on data collected for the presenter’s thesis on the borrowing of suffixes and prefixes in Spanish, this talk will open a discussion on a few of the ways long-term contact between speakers of different languages has had an effect on how Spanish is used nowadays in eastern Bolivia. Evidence for the historical influence on lowland Spanish of Guarayo, Chiquitano, and other languages indigenous to the area will be presented, as well as evidence of transformative contact with Brazilian Portuguese. The impact borrowing has had on the addition of new suffixes and compounds to the vocabulary of Bolivian Spanish, in particular, will be given special attention.

Week 7 – Wednesday 27th November, 12:45-2pm, Seminar Room 3
Wole Sanwo (NSF(UK) Director), “My experience of leading a self-help group in the UK to improve education in Africa”

Wole will be sharing how and why he transformed an existing private event into a public “charitable event” related to education in Africa. This will include how he utilised and built upon existing structures and networks.

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