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What has Facebook done to us?

RobertEagle30 January 2012

“My mum just added me on Facebook,” I said in horror last month. Those are the words we all dread uttering.

These words were also the main focus of the Lunch Hour Lecture, ‘What has Facebook done to us?’ by Professor Daniel Miller (UCL Anthropology), on 19 January.

Miller has been studying the impact of Facebook on individuals, relationships and communities. Social anthropology has always been the study of social networks – how people relate to each other, traditionally in the context of kinship. Now, Miller and others in the field of digital anthropology are examining how Facebook can both help forge closer relationship for those separated by distance and, conversely, create tensions within close-knit communities.

There is a Euro-American fear that the internet is fostering greater individualism and disjuncture in society. Miller argues that Facebook: 1) bucks this trend, as by its very nature it connects people, and 2) is used differently by each community. There are, for example, uniquely British, Filipino or Caribbean ways of using Facebook, which shape our relationship to others.

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UCL Entrepreneurship Guest Lecture 2011/12: Romain Eude, CTO, my-wardrobe.com

Wendy JTester23 November 2011

The sixth lecture of this series took place on 17 November. UCL Classics Student Carolina Mostert summarises the talk below.

This week’s guest lecture was held by Romain Eude, CTO of my-wardrobe.com. Romain lived for many years in Lille, France, where he completed a Master’s degree with thesis in IA from ICAM. Later on, his studies led him to move abroad to Pennsylvania for a Marketing course at Temple University.

Right at the start, we learnt two important things about Romain: firstly, that he “is obsessed with software”, and secondly that “creating something from nothing” is his greatest love. The lecture began with a very short video, an excerpt from Shrek, the children’s movie about the giant green ogre.

Referring to this brief video, Romain worded the most important quote of his lecture: just like Shrek the ogre, “entrepreneurs are like onions”. In fact, Romain believes there are common themes to all entrepreneurs that keep coming up throughout their work whatever they do. He calls these common themes the “layers” of entrepreneurs.

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Desirability and domination: Greek sculpture and the modern male body

BenStevens29 June 2011

The portrayal of the modern female body is a perennial subject of academic and public debate, so it was refreshing to attend a lecture last Thursday where the male body was given similar critical attention.

Professor Maria Wyke, UCL Chair of Latin, gave a witty Lunch Hour Lecture at the British Museum entitled ‘Desirability and domination: Greek sculpture and the modern male body’ in which she managed to tease out the connections between classical sculpture, Italian film and the birth of bodybuilding.

She began by explaining how much of our understanding of classical sculpture has been shaped by 18th century German art historian Johan Joachim Winckelmann through his book, The History of the Art of Antiquity.

Watch Professor Wyke’s lecture at the British Museum (45 minutes)

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A climate of fear: UCL Lunch Hour Lecture at the British Museum

newseditor14 June 2011

Dr Joe Flatman, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology, opened a series of lunchtime lectures by staff from UCL at the British Museum on 9 June with ‘A climate of fear: What the past tells us about human responses to climate change’ writes Jill Cook, Deputy Keeper, Palaeolithic and Mesolithic material, British Museum.

As a reflection on how human adaptability might help us achieve sustainable solutions to global warming, Joe selected 10 objects presented in the museum’s ‘A History of the World in 100 Objects’ series to demonstrate how peoples around the world and through time have responded to climatic change. Through these he showed the relevance of archaeology to the understanding of the modern challenges, a point well received and discussed in lively questions from the audience.

Watch Dr Flatman’s lecture at the British Museum (45 minutes)

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