Victorian Light Night


In November 2018, more than 2,500 visitors came to the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter in Oxford for TORCH’s Victorian Light Night, part of the national Being Human Festival and Oxford’s Christmas Light Festival.

TORCH and researchers from the European Research Council (ERC) funded ‘Diseases of Modern Life' Project teamed up with the award winning Projection Studio for a spectacular large scale building projection and sound show onto Oxford's original Radcliffe Infirmary.

This was a large-scale public engagement with research event, connecting current humanities research with families and young people. The audience of 2,500 people was made up of a wide range of ages and 50% of them were new audiences to Oxford Humanities research events.  

Based next door in the Andrew Wiles Building and St Luke's Chapel, were stalls, games and performances by researchers from the ‘Diseases of Modern Life’ Project, all themed around the Victorians’ concept of the ‘speed of life.'

Together, the researchers and artists developed and co-created a 5-minute video projection that shared some of the research outcomes - Victorians were worried about the speed of technology and communication and how it would affect their daily lives and mental health. The lead academic, Prof Sally Shuttleworth, shared some of these thoughts with Year 8 children from Cheney School thanks to the Rumble Museum. The children did their own responses to the 'speed of life' and how technology plays a part in our lives today, as it did with the Victorians. 

Vice-Chancellor's Public Engagement with Research Award

On 10 July 2019, it was announced that the Victorian Light Night project had won one of the University of Oxford's Vice-Chancellor's Public Engagement with Research Award in the Project category. The video below was produced as part of the Awards, introducing the people behind the research and project to find out more about what they learned.


Reflections after the event
Listen here to the podcast by Prof Sally Shuttleworth and the Projection Studio below:


Read this blog from Cheney School's 'Rumble Museum'.

Missed the event? See the highlight videos below!

If you are an Oxford researcher, and you would like to work with TORCH to share your research, please contact Vicky McGuinness:


The videos below show some of the highlights of Victorian Light Night: a two-minute overview of the event; short interviews with Professor Sally Shuttleworth, Ross Ashton and Karen Monid; and a recording of the spectacular five-minute light and sound projection 'Victorian Speed'.




Seven researchers from the Diseases of Modern Life project gave ten-minute FlashTalks on an aspect of their research.









Victorian Light Night Programme