Innovation Provocation: Transnational Avant-Gardes

This Season tracks the disruptive, creative energy of avant-garde artistic practice across history, across the world, and into present practice. We will explore the transnational reach and momentum of the avant-garde, and celebrate its enduring capacity to engage and excite, innovate and inspire in equal measure.

The Humanities Cultural Programme has as its core mission to collaborate and to connect, to bring into creative tension the worlds of research and artistic practice. In collaborating with world-leading artists and experts across different cultural fields, we seek to contribute creatively to public debate, engaging audiences in thinking about issues and questions critical to our own times.

The HCP is part of TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities), and is dedicated to exploring ways in which innovative work in race and resistance, and in the medical, environmental, and intersectional humanities, might meaningfully engage with audiences and participants of all ages. In so doing we hope to increase the social impact of humanities research and reaffirm its value to our common future.

In this Season, we are especially interested in connecting with individuals, collectives, and other collaborators who will work towards generating understanding and appreciation of the value of the provocative, public, and political dimensions of avant-garde art in all its forms and moods -- across and between poetry, painting, and film; art, ethics, and aesthetics; dance, theatre, and theory....




The following events are scheduled to take place as part of the Innovation Provocation: Transnational Avant-Gardes Season. Fuller details will be published on the event specific pages below.


26th April: Pop-Up Avant-Garde: Performances on the Schwarzman Centre Site. A collection of poets and musicians performing on a pop-up staff on the Schwarzman Centre site.

9th May: Race, Protest and Media in the United States - Parade of the Old New: A historical panorama of The Trump Years by Zoe Beloff. A round table discussion hosted by Prof Tom Kuhn.

20th May: Avant-Garde! Ashmolean After Hours. Join us for a jaunt through multi-disciplinary, transnational jaunts in the Ashmolean museum. 

10th June: Day of Dance: Transnational Conversations. A day exploring dance innovation in transnational contexts, focused on what constitutes 'avant-garde' in the last hundred years or more.

16th and 17th June: The Teapot Prince / La Ballet des Porcelaines. This work reimagines the lost baroque work with an Asian-American creative team, aiming to make it relevant and meaningful for a contemporary, multiracial audience. 2 performances at Waddesdon Manor.

28th June: Moliere on Stage. Ariane Mnouchkine in conversation with Professor Wes Williams. Hosted by Maison Francaise.

12th July: Performance by John Falsetto. Join us in early July for a performance by the multi-talented Zimbabwean composer, singer, performer, and mbira player John Falsetto. 

17th July: Physic - an event featuring Alice Oswald, Peter Oswald, Stevie Wishart, Saju Hari, Erica McAlpine, and the work of Kiki Katezi. In collaboration with the Oxford Botanic Gardens. 

18th July: Between Khayal and O Sole Mio - A World Premiere performance by singer and novelist Amit Chaudhuri at the Holywell Music Room. 

29th August: Rick Wakeman CBE - In conversation with Professor John Covach (Eastman School of Music)


Innovation Provocation 2022 Collaborators:
We are hugely grateful to the following collaborators for their engagement with and support for the Innovation Provocation season:
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