7 February: Yan-Yi Lee (MCR), 'Do Different Languages Train Our Brain in Different Ways?: Revisiting Bilingualism and Cognitive Development'
It has been widely confirmed that bilingualism brings us several cognitive advantages. However, would the specific languages we choose to learn train our brain to develop different cognitive benefits over time? In light of this relatively new area of inquiry, this talk explores how the linguistic design of a second language (e.g. writing systems, phonetics, syntax complexities) and its typological distance from our first language could possibly shape our cognitive development in various dimensions.
Yan-Yi Lee is a first-year Ph.D. student at the Faculty of Education. Her research interest lies in the strategic learning of linguistically distant languages as well as how multilingualism fosters cognitive development. Prior to coming to Cambridge, she worked at the U.S. Linguistic Data Consortium and the ETS in Princeton. She has also taught languages and linguistics full-time in a Taiwanese university.
14 February: R. Ranjini (MCR), ''Whose Dance is it Anyway? Indian Classical Dance as a mirror to the Nation’
How do we look at Indian classical dance as a lens to view the state of the nation today? This talk asks questions about dance as a cultural tool deployed to repeatedly re-inscribe and transmit religious and social hierarchies through the practice and performance of Indian classical dance. How would the form look if it was to resist a Hindu majoritarian and upper-caste narrative? How do state cultural organisations, the pedagogic system, and 20th-century conceptions of the Indian national identity play a role in the the transmission and codification of such dance styles?
Ranjini is an MPhil student at the Faculty of Education, in Arts, Creativity and Education. She is also a Kuchipudi practitioner, a dance style from the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, India.
21 February: Jess Sharpe (MCR), 'A Partnership in Science and Suffrage: Dr Ethel Williams and Frances Hardcastle '
This talk will follow the lives of Ethel Williams, a doctor who attended Newnham College 1882-1885, and Frances Hardcastle, a mathematician who studied at Girton College 1888-1892 and 1897-1908. The pair met through suffrage work and built a life together in Newcastle where Williams was the city’s first woman doctor. I will consider how their partnership facilitated their successes, and look at the importance of uncovering queer stories in the history of science.
28 February: Namera Tanjeem (JCR), on the novels of Georgette Heyer
Namera is a second-year student reading English at Newnham.