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The next  confirmed event is below.

How Disgust Rules The World

Richard Firth-Godbehere

When?
Monday, June 5 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

40-42 Chalk Farm Road
Camden
London NW1 8BG

Who?
Richard Firth-Godbehere

What's the talk about?

Over the last couple of decades, the topic of disgust has risen from the bowels of study to the mainstream of academic life. Probably ancient and universal, disgust is a sensation caused by a perception of boundary violation – that something can get inside us and cause harm.  In one form or another it has guided humanity and other animals away from the contagious and the toxic.

 

Disgust has also acted as a gatekeeper of morality for as far back as we have records, governing humanity’s sense of what is right and wrong as we link violations of cultural norms with feelings of revulsion. The problem is that while disgust might be universal, what causes it is not, and those causes can be a slave to the dictates of the powerful.

Richard Firth-Godbehere knows a lot about disgust. Over the past six years, he has been analysing and dissecting the history, philosophy, and psychology of disgust, culminating in a PhD in the origins of the English understanding of that feeling. He has come to the conclusion that it rules the world. From refusing certain foods to relationships to political opinions and religious beliefs, feelings of revulsion have directed human behaviour in ways matched by almost no other physical sensation. What’s more, we are as fascinated by the disgusting as we are appalled by it. Richard will be explaining how that happens, what disgust is, the history of revulsion and how one thing can always be found at the centre of it: oppression and power.

He will also be offering some six-legged treats and a little insight into your own disgust. Be prepared to be revolted.

£3 to cover expenses.

Victorian Spirit Photographs

Allison Meier

When?
Monday, July 3 2017 at 7:30PM

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Where?

40-42 Chalk Farm Road
Camden
London NW1 8BG

Who?
Allison Meier

What's the talk about?

Can a camera capture ghosts? Almost since photography's 19th century beginnings, some have believed the medium could visualize the spirit world. The technology was developed at a time when the practice of Spiritualism, which spawned seances in the United States and England, was high, and death was equally present, with the American Civil War and cholera epidemics in London.

Spirit photography used photo manipulation to manifest the departed in daguerreotypes in the 19th century, yet even into 2017 the interest in photographs of ghosts remains, haunting click bait articles in publications like the Daily Mail and ghost hunting TV shows. What does this mean about our connection to the photographic gaze, and our beliefs about the afterlife? 

 

Allison C. Meier is a staff writer at Hyperallergic, a New York-based arts publication, and previously served as senior editor at Atlas Obscura. Her byline has appeared in the New York Times, Mental Floss, CityLab, Narratively, Art Desk, and other publications that are open to articles on great trees and forgotten history. She moonlights as a cemetery tour guide in illustrious burial grounds around New York City. 

 

She has very kindly agreed to give us a talk while she is on holiday in the UK. 

£3 to cover expenses

 

PLEASE NOTE THAT WE DON'T MEET IN AUGUST. WE’LL BE BACK ON SEPTEMBER 4 WITH CARLA VALENTINE