Forthcoming Seminars

Please find below details of the Pudding Seminar programme for Lent Term 2018.

All seminars will take place in the Principal’s Lodge. Coffee and cake will be available from 1pm with the Seminars starting promptly at 1.15 pm.

If you are interested in giving a pudding seminar, or would like further details about the series, please contact Delphine Mordey (


9 February: Bao Nguyen Nguyen Thi (PhD), 'Supramolecular Cages as Membranes for Chemical Separations'

Supramolecular cages have been well known in host-guest chemistry applications, in which the cages serve as cargos to transport materials between liquid phases. Here we demonstrate a separation system using two cages as membranes which coordinately ‘filter’ a mixture of guest compounds. The process is spontaneous and is driven by the difference in binding strength of the guest molecules to the cages, that in turn causes the cages to prefer encapsulating some guests to the others. Going along the separation system, the initial guest mixture is well sieved after passing each cage membrane layer and ultimately purified at the end of the separation process. The project demonstrates a new low energy separation system, which will potentially apply in petroleum refining and cosmetic purification processes

Bao Nguyen Nguyen Thi is a PhD student in the Department of Chemistry. Nguyen is from Da Nang, Vietnam. She obtained her bachelor degree from Imperial College London. After graduating, she briefly joined the Singapore Agency of Science Technology and Research (A*STAR) for one year before returning for her PhD, with the support of an A*STAR National Science Scholarship.



16 February: Samatha Leggett (PhD), 'Food and Faith in Anglo-Saxon England, the challenges of multi-disciplinary research'

The sixth to eighth centuries in Europe and the significant political, social and economic changes during this period, present an interesting set of challenges for scholars. These challenges are multi-scalar and go beyond the remit of any one discipline. Questions surrounding the catalysts and progress of such changes are complex, and scientific techniques such as stable isotope analysis and ancient DNA may offer new avenues for approaching them. This paper uses the case study of the Christianisation of Anglo-Saxon England to explore how biomolecular archaeology when used in conjunction with funerary archaeology and history can help elucidate some of these processes in the long seventh century and beyond.

This paper will present stable isotope data in conjunction with funerary evidence to see how and if changes in diet and mobility align with the conversion and Christianisation of Anglo-Saxon England. It will also explore the unique challenges and advantages of this kind of multi and interdisciplinary research, reflecting on best practice for collaborations with other disciplines and creating a multi-scalar and multi-proxy research project of this nature.

Samantha studied a BSc in Immunobiology combined with a BA (1st class honours) in Archaeology and Medieval Studies at the University of Sydney. Followed by a MA in History at the University of New England. Her previous theses all focussed on Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian Christianisation, with one winning the Maureen A. Byrne Prize for Best Archaeology Honours Thesis (USyd).

She was also a laboratory demonstrator and prosector in the Faculty of Science at Sydney, as well as an Education Officer at the Nicholson Museum, and Visitor Interpretation Officer for Sydney Living Museums.

Samantha’s research focuses on utilising stable isotope analysis to investigate cultural changes in 7th century Anglo-Saxon England. Themes of this research include changes in burial practice, diet, mobility and Christianisation. It aims to compare a wide geographical sample from across England and explore the impact of religious conversion with an expanding European identity during the early medieval period.

23 February: Artricia Rasyid (MCR), 'Anthropologist, Quo Vadis? Deriving Private-Public Sector Knowledge from Multi-Modal Ethnography in Indonesia's Chinese Mosque (2018), Bali "Aga" Village (2017) and Urban Slums (2015)'

Can “thick descriptions” of localised cultural practices be extrapolated to inform national-level policy prescription? Can the ethnographic praxis (laden in the “design-thinking” trend and STEM innovations such as Affective Computing) serve private-sector organisations and contribute to the double bottom line of positive financial performance and social impact? What are the ethical considerations of multi-stakeholder, inter-disciplinary anthropology? To highlight applied anthropology’s potential strengths and limitations, I draw from three ethnographic research case studies, conducted between 2015 and 2018, on Indonesia’s ethnic and economic marginal groups. The subjects of these case studies include: Urban Poor from Ciliwung slums who were facing threat of forced displacement; aboriginal Balinese or what I termed “Mountain People-in-Transition” who are navigating the influx of technological and Western imports for the first time; and lastly, a Chinese minority ummah who are situationally-maneuvering their plural identity-categories and multiple sense of belonging. To conclude, I propose the extent to which ethnographic data are well-suited for governmental policies and business decisions. I will end the presentation on a reflexive note: how the presence of an Anthropologist-as-Observer may shift the dynamics in the field and inadvertently influence the outcome of such research.

Artricia is an MPhil in Social Anthropology candidate specialising on the Medical track with full merit scholarship from the Indonesian Ministry of Finance. Before her Master’s, Artricia was a molecular anthropology researcher at the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology and a strategic communications consultant within FleishmanHillard’s Public Affairs and Healthcare practice group. Artricia obtained a double first-class degree in Anthropology (Highest Honors) and Comparative Literature from New York University. At NYU, she was named the Alvin H. Zagor Scholar and was the recipient of the Annette B. Weiner prize for excellence in Social Anthropology and the Phi Beta Kappa prize for Best Thesis. Outside of research, Artricia is the co-founder and advisor of Yayasan Indonesia Mengglobal, Indonesia’s largest non-profit educational platform which has served more than one million audience members aspiring to study and work at a global scale.

2 March: Elizabeth Campion (LLM), will talk about her experience advocating in disability benefits tribunals pro bono.