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Annual Arts and Humanities Prokhorov Lectures

We host several lectures by world-leading academics and public intellectuals each year.

Our public lectures are part of the University of Sheffield's Global Humanities Initiative. They are open to academics, students, and the general public and are supplemented by lectures by Sheffield staff as well as a range of student-centred activities – such as exhibitions, workshops, and panel debates – facilitated by the Students' Union and the student societies in our arts and humanities departments. The main themes for our upcoming lectures are capitalist markets and their ethics; thinking about the future; and the politics of faith in a multicultural context.

Upcoming lectures and highlights

Upcoming lectures

  • Mona Siddiqui (2 October 2018)
  • Lionel Shriver (1 November 2018)
  • John Gray (19 February 2019)
  • Audrey Niffenegger (April 2019)
  • Pete Wilcox, Bishop of Sheffield (26 June 2019)

We will have more details soon.

Lecture highlights

John Lanchester. Credit: Amrei-Marie

The crash ten years on: Money, markets, and morals – John Lanchester

John Lanchester gave the second 2017-18 Arts and Humanities Prokhorov Lecture on money, markets, and morals (10 May 2018).

He joined us the next day for a Q&A about his novels and a discussion on the relationship between money, market, and morals.

About our speaker

John Lanchester is one of Britain's leading novelists.

His latest novel, Capital, was made into a three-part BBC television series which starred Toby Jones and won the 2016 International Emmy for best TV movie or mini-series.

He has written for The Guardian, The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, and Esquire. Described by Michael Lewis as “one of the world’s great explainers of the financial crisis and its aftermath”, John Lanchester is also the author of the New York Times best-selling Whoops! Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay (published in the US as I.O.U.) as well as How to Speak Money.

Christianity: The big picture – Diarmaid MacCulloch

Oxford historian and BBC presenter Diarmaid MacCulloch gave the first 2017-18 Arts and Humanities Prokhorov Lecture on 22 February 2018. The lecture took place in Sheffield Cathedral and was attended by well over 200 people.

About the talk

Diarmaid MacCulloch refocuses the story of the Christian faith to show what an unexpected product modern Western Christianity is. He emphasises the power of ideas to reshape human affairs, and considers the pasts, the present, and the futures of the world's most widespread faith.

In conversation with Peter Bradley and Diarmaid MacCulloch

In this three-part interview series, the Prokhorov Centre's Henk de Berg interviews Peter Bradley and Diarmaid MacCulloch.

Watch lecture and all interviews

About our speaker

Diarmaid MacCulloch is known above all for his award-winning studies of Tudor England and his BBC television documentaries on the history of Christianity. His books include Henry VIII: Politics, Policy, and Piety; Thomas Cranmer: A Life; and The Boy King: Edward VI and the Protestant Reformation. Among his television documentaries are A History of Christianity; Henry VIII’s Enforcer: The Life and Fall of Thomas Cromwell; and Sex and the Church.

Diarmaid MacCulloch, who in 2012 received a knighthood for services to scholarship, is Professor of the History of the Church at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of the British Academy.

Dame Marina Warner

At home in your head – stories in times of displacement

Best-selling novelist, short-story writer, and scholar Dame Marina Warner gave the second 2016-17 Annual Arts and Humanities Prokhorov Lecture on Thursday 23 February 2017.

Marina Warner explored the relationship between the way we tell stories and the refugee crisis, asking: is culture strong enough to help?

In conversation with Dame Marina Warner

Writer and mythographer Marina Warner discusses Jung, Cinderella, the figure of the wicked stepmother, and more with the Prokhorov Centre's Henk de Berg.

Watch lecture and all interviews

About our speaker

Dame Marina Warner – best-selling novelist, short-story writer, and scholar – is best-known for her work on feminism and myth. Her first book, The Dragon Empress (1972), offers both a study of the Empress Dowager Cixi, or Tz’u-hsi, and a fascinating portrait of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century China, while her second book, Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary (1976), which on its publication generated fierce international controversy, now counts as a standard work in feminist cultural criticism.

Since then, she has published a large number of both fiction and non-fiction works, including From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers (1994) and Phantasmagoria: Spirit Visions, Metaphors, and Media into the Twenty-First Century (2006). Her many national and international prizes and honorary degrees include The Holberg Prize, the Commendatore dell’Ordine della Stella di Solidareità, the Aby Warburg Prize, and the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

More lectures

TJ (Jim) Reed

Beginning in their times: Homer, Montaigne, Shakespeare (and some others)

TJ (Jim) Reed
1 December 2016

TJ Reed gave the first 2016-17 Arts and Humanities Prokhorov Lecture on the topic: Beginning in Their Times: Homer, Montaigne, Shakespeare (and Some Others).

Watch lecture and interview

Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht

Annual Prokhorov Lecture 2016: The past and future of the humanities

Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht
5 May 2016

Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, one of today’s most eminent public intellectuals, gave the Annual Prokhorov Lecture: The past and future of the humanities.

Watch lecture and interview

Browse all Prokhorov Lectures