‘Seeing Double’

Seeing Double: if every picture tells a story, what is one image’s most unexpected tale?’


Tuesday 8 February 2022, 17:30. This panel probed how preconceptions may be challenged or subverted. Each speaker presented the audience with an image which told an unexpected tale, which they then talked about. There was, however, an intentional catch. Given the panel’s title, it was of course no secret that the images were designed to tell an unexpected story: audience members expected their expectations to be defied.

The panel played off of this very idea. The speakers’ images were shared in advance of the event with confirmed panel attendees, who were invited to attempt to work out what the images’ stories were before the talk. This of course presented potential challenges for the speakers. However, it was also designed to spark fruitful discussion and dialogue, not only about the stories that the images told, but about questions such as whether the Internet leaves room for the element of surprise when attempting exercises like this. The stage set for the seminar, the speakers then unveiled the stories behind their images during the panel.

Panel Speakers

Alumna: Tessa Boase

Tessa Boase is a journalist and social historian. She loves the detective work involved in resurrecting stories of ordinary people – shop girls, milliners, campaigning housewives, Edwardian shopaholics… Her first book investigated life below stairs in the English country house. It is titled, The Housekeeper’s Tale. She is currently writing a book about London’s Lost Department Stores. Tessa studied English Literature at Oxford and Italian in Florence, before working for The Daily Telegraph, then pursuing a career as a freelance journalist. She now combines writing with teaching and lecturing, and lives in Hastings with her family. 

MCR Speaker: Branwen Phillips

Branwen has received her BA (Hons) in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History from the University of Oxford in 2020 and is now in her second year of an MPhil in Classical Archaeology at Lincoln College (writing her thesis on disability in Ancient Greece Healing sanctuaries). Her research interests include representations of disability, gender, and expressions of mourning in the material record of Ancient Greece and Rome, as well as the receptions of these artefacts, and how they have been used and abused by contemporary societies. This is the third year in which Branwen has been selected as speaker for Lincoln Leads. 

Fellow: Joseph da Costa

Joseph was an undergraduate at the University of Exeter (2008-2011) before taking a short diploma in Portuguese Language and Culture at the University of Coimbra. He completed his MA in Early Modern European History at King’s College London in 2013 and was able to continue his dissertation research through the LAHP Doctoral Training Partnership in 2015. He submitted his thesis, ‘Decoloniality and early colonial thought: Grammar and Cartography in the Sixteenth-Century Portuguese expansion’, in August 2019. From then, he taught Early Modern Global history at the LSE for two years and in March 2021, was awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship. This began his association with the Portuguese department at Oxford. 

MCR Chair: Maria Murad

Maria Murad received her BA (hons) in Cultural/Linguistic Anthropology, Cinema and Media Studies, and Ancient History from the University of Pennsylvania in 2021. For her senior thesis she created a documentary and research article which pieced together the life of Native Tlingit ethnographer, Florence Shotridge (1882-1917). This thesis received the Student Achievement Award from the National Association of Practicing Anthropology in 2021. She served as News Photo Editor of The Daily Pennsylvanian newspaper in 2019 where her and her staff’s photographs won several Gold Crown and Pacemaker Awards. Her short films are featured in the Screening Scholarship Media Festival and the Oxford University Filmmaking Festival. Now, she is pursuing an MPhil in Visual, Material, and Museum Anthropology at the University of Oxford and hopes to pursue filmmaking as her career. 

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