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Introducing #TopTenThursdays
4th Mar 2021
[[{"fid":"15097","view_mode":"large","fields":{"height":"1404","width":"2800","class":"media-element file-medium","format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Top Ten Thursdays","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"height":"1404","width":"2800","class":"media-element file-medium","format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Top Ten Thursdays","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"attributes":{"height":"1404","width":"2800","class":"media-element file-large"}}]]This week we are launching #TopTenThursdays on Twitter and Instagram.  Over the coming months we’ll showcase some of the best, most well-loved collection items UCL Culture has to offer.Look out for our stunning Hawara Mummy portraits from the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, dating from the period of Roman rule over Egypt. Or see the Grant Museum's boxes of dodo specimens up close, from southeast Mauritius.  You can also enjoy some of the stunning prints and drawings from UCL Art Museum. We’ll be challenging other museums and collections to join our #TopTenThursdays project, beginning Thursday 4 March 2021. It’s like a big, online museum ‘Top Trumps’ game.What are your top tens?Follow UCL Culture on TwitterFollow the Grant Museum on TwitterFollow the Petrie Museum on TwitterFollow UCL Art Museum on Twitter
Jeremy Bentham Auto-Icon
Jeremy Bentham’s lifelong plans for the auto-icon
4th Mar 2021
[[{"fid":"13691","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Jeremy Bentham Auto-Icon","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Jeremy Bentham Auto-Icon","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"attributes":{"height":"500","width":"800","class":"media-element file-large"}}]]Born in London in 1748, Jeremy Bentham was one of the world’s great thinkers and reformers. Bentham studied law and was called to the Bar in 1769, but quickly abandoned the practice of the law in favour of a lifetime seeking to reform it. Bentham is famous for developing the doctrine of utilitarianism — that an action is right if it increases happiness — as a critical standard by which to judge laws, institutions and practices. Bentham's liberal and egalitarian ideas inspired the founders of UCL and, by chance, his preserved body ended up here too. You can still see his Auto-icon on display in the Student Centre. The Auto-Icon is the preserved skeleton of Jeremy Bentham. It was prepared according to his own instructions, wears his own clothes, sits in his own chair and carries his own stick which he nicknamed Dapple. But how did Bentham come to such a radical decision about his body?  The answer to this question lies, in part, in his many Wills which have now been transcribed by UCL Research Dr Tim Causer. It was common for people in the 1700s to make multiple Wills, particularly before travel or after changes in family status. Bentham’s Wills tell the story of how he refined his plan to leave his remains to benefit medical science over decades, and it was not the last whim of an eccentric Englishman.  From at least the age of 21, Bentham had thought about how he might benefit humankind after his death by donating his body to science for dissection. You can trace this line of thought from his first will of 1769, to his last will and testament made a few days before his death on 6 June 1832.The research highlights a range of fascinating snippets and insights into Bentham’s life:•    In his first will of 24 August 1769, made when he had come of age, Bentham first mentioned leaving his body to medical science ‘to the intent and with the desire that Mankind may reap some small benefit in and by my decease, having hitherto had small opportunities to contribute thereto while living’. He requested that his remains be delivered to the renowned Scottish physician George Fordyce - whose daughter, Mary Sophia, married Bentham’s younger brother, Samuel, in October 1796.•    Bentham’s second will of 17 August 1785 was made near Paris when he was setting out to visit his brother Samuel in Russia, presumably in case he didn’t survive the voyage.•    His third will, made on 15 July 1792 not long after his father’s death and on Bentham’s becoming head of the family, is very short and simply revokes his earlier wills, leaving all of the family property to Samuel.•    In a codicil to the will of 1792, dated 29 March 1824, Bentham restated his desire to leave his body to science, and for the first time described how his remains might be assembled—he does not use the word ‘auto-icon’—and brought to a meeting of his friends at ‘a club in commemoration of my birth and death … at one end of the table, after the manner in which, at a public meeting, a chairman is commonly seated’.•    In Bentham’s final will and testament of 30 May 1832, he revoked all of his previous wills, and in an annex described how the auto-icon was to be assembled. There are some intriguing insights into Bentham’s private life too. For instance, the will of 1785 reveals that he travelled to Russia in the company of a Scottish explorer called Logan Henderson, and Henderson’s two nieces; Bentham subsequently discovered that one of the women was in fact Henderson’s mistress, and she and Bentham hated one another. Meanwhile, his last will and testament of 1832 is revealing about the elderly Bentham’s domestic arrangements. He left money to his servants William Stockwell, Mary Watson, and Ann Lay, as well as to his long-serving gardener John Elrick. The list of individuals to whom he bequeathed twenty-six gold mourning rings—including his dentist, Thomas Cartwright, the Marquis de Lafayette, Sarah Austin, and the Guatemalan politician José del Valle—is revealing about Bentham’s friendships and international influence.Want to find out more?Ten Things you Didn’t know about Jeremy BenthamHelp transcribe more of Bentham’s writings via the Bentham Project 
Incognito Society is back
Incognito Society is back!
11th Feb 2021
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Claudio Schwarz via Unsplash
Festival of Intimacy Open Call
18th Jan 2021
[[{"fid":"14737","view_mode":"medium","fields":{"height":"1292","width":"1934","class":"media-element file-large","format":"medium","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Claudio Schwarz via Unsplash","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"height":"1292","width":"1934","class":"media-element file-large","format":"medium","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Claudio Schwarz via Unsplash","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"attributes":{"height":"1292","width":"1934","class":"media-element file-medium"}}]]Out of Touch: A Festival of Intimacy is a day-long festival of intimate performances, conversations and interactions that responds to the themes of touch and intimacy, and asks what intimacy has meant whilst living through the Covid19 pandemic. Contributing work will be created by artists, UCL students and academics, and the event will take place across UCL’s Bloomsbury Theatre, Grant Museum, Petrie Museum and a variety of outdoor spaces in between. Whether you are a student, academic, artist or any combination of the three, we invite you to pitch ideas for the festival that responds to the themes, can work within social distance measures, and be open to being performed in unusual spaces across the UCL Culture venues.We are interested in small scale work which has a ‘pop up’ feel as well as large scale ideas. We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary pieces and those which push you and the audience out of comfort zones. We are open to all types of performance from dance, theatre, music, spoken word and poetry, circus, comedy, multimedia as well as talks and facilitated conversations. This is a funded opportunity and the application deadline is 9am on Friday 26 February 2021. The Festival is due to take place on Sat 19 June 2021.To enter, complete the Word document form below and send it to sylvia.harrison@ucl.ac.uk.[[{"fid":"14729","view_mode":"small","fields":{"format":"small"},"link_text":"Out of Touch Festival Open Call information (PDF)","type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"small"}},"attributes":{"class":"file media-element file-small"}}]][[{"fid":"14741","view_mode":"small","fields":{"format":"small"},"link_text":"Out of Touch Festival application form (Word Doc)","type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"small"}},"attributes":{"class":"file media-element file-small"}}]]
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