Humanities Cultural Building Carpe Diem!



In October 2019, TORCH collaborated with the Ashmolean Museum Oxford to deliver a special after hours event in line with the Last Supper of Pompeii Exhibition. Ashmolean After Hours: Carpe Diem! welcomed visitors into the museum after normal closing hours to enjoy a programme of special Pompeii related activities from Oxford’s researchers and students.

Highlights included; 3D digital explorations of ancient Rome, a fantastic recreation of a lively Pompeian street market from a group of students from Cheney School, excavation demonstrations, plus a fascinating series of bite-sized talks. There were also ‘Uncomfortable Oxford Tours’ taking place throughout the evening, beautiful Roman inspired musical performances in the Atrium, as well as Roman life re-enactors, including Marcus Alpius Peregrinus, Centurian in the 2nd Legion Augusta!

Humanities Light Night – Oxford Research Unwrapped! was an explosion of colour, sound and activity, including a spectacular video projection onto the 3-storey Radcliffe humanities building. The event took place at the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter on 15 November 2019 as part of the national Being Human Festival, led by the School of Advanced Studies, AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) and The British Academy. It also formed part Oxford Christmas Light Festival 2019 – a series of light installations across the city of Oxford.  

The projection premiered SOURCE:CODE, which featured the work of Oxford Humanities Professors Jacob Dahl, Richard Parkinson and Armand D'Angour. The evening also included a programme of bite-sized talks and performances themed around ‘discovery’ as well as interactive activities such as ‘make your own cabinet of curiosities’ by Professor Nandini Das, director of TIDE Project, a code-breaking treasure hunt, and memories were challenged in memory game Mycelium created by Dan Holloway.

Both events, which were free and open to all, were incredibly successful, and we were delighted to welcome over 4000 visitors across the two evenings. 

To watch highlights and talks from Ashmolean After Hours: Carpe Diem! please click here.

To watch highlights and talks from Humanities Light Night – Oxford Research Unwrapped! please click here.

Both events were part of the Humanities Cultural Programme.



What is the Humanities Cultural Programme?

The Humanities Cultural Programme, one of the founding stones for the future Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities, is an active programme of public events powered by research from across the Humanities.

In the lead-up to opening the new building (scheduled for autumn 2024) the Humanities Division will host high-profile events through the Humanities Cultural Programme. A key aim of the Humanities Cultural Programme is to share research with, and learn from, as wide an audience as possible. It will bring the world’s leading performers and artists to Oxford, lead exhibitions, and theatrical performances, film screenings, and musical performances in its facilities.

The new Humanities Centre will be home to seven humanities faculties, and also give all of Oxford humanities state-of-the-art academic, exhibition and performance spaces designed to engage the Oxford community and the public at large, and attract new audiences.

The Centre will connect humanities research to new audiences, and the research coming out of the Centre will make a major contribution to the biggest challenges facing humanity, like AI and climate change. Modern amenities and digital capabilities will finally allow for the full breadth of Oxford’s unparalleled collections and research in the Humanities to be shared more widely.


night light


Torch humanities light night
Torch humanities light night


Humanities Cultural Building Carpe Diem!


To read more about the Humanities Cultural Programme, please click here.


Written by Holly Knights and Vicky McGuinness