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Selwyn College Lectures, Talks and Videos

Here you can listen again to recorded special interest lectures and talks given at alumni events, and videos of the choir and college.


Prof Anand Menon

Britain after Brexit by Professor Anand Menon

After all the years of debate, and the passions of the Brexit referendum and its aftermath, the United Kingdom is now outside the European Union. What really happened and what does it mean now? The distinguished academic Professor Anand Menon offers an overview of Britain after Brexit. Professor Menon is director of the UK in a Changing Europe, which provides authoritative, non-partisan analysis about UK-EU relations.

Shown live on Friday 6th May 2022
To watch it, please click here

Mark Laity

Mark Laity in conversation with Roger Mosey

As we watch in horror the attack on Ukraine, this event examines what is happening militarily - and what the implications are for the future of Europe and the wider world.

Mark Laity is a former BBC defence correspondent; a former NATO spokesman; and he was director of communications at SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe). He has reported from, and worked in, many of the world’s conflict zones.

Shown live on Tuesday 15th March 2022
To watch it, please click here.

Robert Harris in conversation

Robert Harris in conversation with Roger Mosey

Robert Harris (SE 1975) bestselling author and Selwyn Honorary Fellow discusses his book Munich. With the film Munich: The Edge of War currently widely available on Netflix, we asked Robert Harris if he would share with us his experiences of turning his bestselling book into a film and what might be gained or lost along the way. We will also be asking him about fact and fiction when writing about historical events.

Shown live on Friday 25th February 2022
To watch it, please click here.

Andrew Marr

Andrew Marr in conversation with Roger Mosey

Journalist and broadcaster Andrew Marr discusses the current state of UK politics with the Master.

Shown live on Friday 11th February 2022
To watch it, please click here


Clive Anderson

Clive Anderson (SE 1972) in conversation with the Master, Roger Mosey

Clive studied law at Selwyn and, as well as practising as a lawyer, has gone on to pursue a highly successful career as a writer, comedian and broadcaster.

He has presented a number of comedy shows including Whose Line Is it Anyway? (BBC Radio 4), Channel 4 TV and recent stage shows; chat shows Clive Anderson Talk Back (Channel 4), Clive Anderson All Talk (BBC1); and some more serious documentaries and programmes covering foreign travel, law, politics, arts, history, sport and books.

Currently he presents Loose Ends and Unreliable Evidence on Radio 4 and Mystic Britain on the Smithsonian TV channel.

Shown live on Monday 22nd November 2021
To watch it, please click here.

David Dabydeen

Black History Month: Professor David Dabydeen in conversation with the Master, Roger Mosey

Our guest for this Black History Month event is alumnus and Honorary Fellow Professor David Dabydeen (SE 1974).

Professor Dabydeen has had a distinguished career as a writer, academic and diplomat. In this webinar he talks about 'the first Black Lives Matter movement': the campaign to abolish slavery. 

This event is organised in association with the Selwyn JCR.

Shown live on Thursday 21st October 2021
To watch it, please click here

Why Free Speech Matters - Dr Arif Ahmed MBE in conversation with the Master, Roger Mosey

Universities have seen controversies in recent years about free speech, with some speakers being refused a platform and campaigners seeing this as a denial of basic rights. Others are concerned about the effects of unfettered opinion on vulnerable groups. The government is currently putting forward a bill that it says will strengthen the protection for freedom of speech in higher education. Is this necessary? And why did Cambridge have a full vote of the academic university about these issues?

Our guest, Dr Arif Ahmed, has led the campaign for free speech at Cambridge and was recently awarded a Freedom of Expression award by Index on Censorship. 

Shown live on Tuesday 19th October 2021.
To watch it, please click here

David Wilson A Plot to Kill

Talk by Professor David Wilson (SE 1980) - Murders and Murderers

David Wilson studied for a PhD in History at Selwyn before becoming a prison governor and later, Professor of Criminology at Birmingham City University. He is well known as a criminologist specialising in serial killers through his work with various British police forces, academic publications and media appearances. He has commented regularly on the criminal justice system and as a presenter on a number of television and radio programmes.

This talk is based on his latest book A Plot to Kill: A true story of deception, betrayal and murder in a quiet English town.
Shown live on Thursday 24th June 2021.
To watch it, please click here

Rana Mitter Ramsay Murray 2021

The Ramsay Murray Lecture 2021

Where China goes next: How authoritarianism, history and technology are creating a new superpower by Professor Rana Mitter

Rana Mitter OBE FBA is Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China, and a Fellow of St Cross College at the University of Oxford. He is the author of several books, including China’s War with Japan: The Struggle for Survival, 1937-1945 (Penguin, 2013), which won the 2014 RUSI/Duke of Westminster’s Medal for Military Literature, and was named a Book of the Year in the Financial Times and Economist. His latest book is China’s Good War: How World War II is Shaping a New Nationalism (Harvard, 2020). He has commented regularly on China in media and forums around the world, including at the World Economic Forum at Davos.
Shown live on Friday 4th June 2021.
To watch it, please click here

Sutton Hoo ceremonial mask cr British Museum.jpg

Sutton Hoo ceremonial mask courtesy of The British Museum

(Re)discovering the Sutton Hoo Ship Burial with Dr Sue Brunning, Curator, The British Museum
In Summer 1939, Charles W. Phillips, Fellow of Selwyn College, supervised the team responsible for excavating Britain’s greatest ever archaeological discovery – the Sutton Hoo ship burial. This spectacular grave, perhaps of a seventh-century king, dispelled the myth of the ‘Dark Ages’ and revealed a world of artistic brilliance, complex beliefs and far-flung international connections.
In this lecture, British Museum curator Dr Sue Brunning presents the burial from Sutton Hoo through the diary and photographs of Charles W. Phillips. His first-hand testimony provides a thrilling glimpse of what it was like to make the find of a lifetime, recovering material culture of a nature and quality never seen before – and all as the world hurtled towards the Second World War.
Shown live on Friday 25 May 2021.
To watch it, please click here

Sophie Wilson

Online talk: The Future of Microprocessors by Sophie Wilson CBE (SE 1976 and Honorary Fellow)
Sophie Wilson designed the architecture behind the Acorn Micro-Computer and co-designed the ARM microprocessor which today powers virtually every mobile phone and tablet in the world. She also designed the Firepath processor that supports broadband infrastructure worldwide. This talk is about the history of microprocessors. There are two laws, one equation, some graphs and a particle beam weapon out of Star Trek. It’s for anyone who wonders how their devices work and what may happen next.

She is one of the foremost computer scientists of her generation and recognised as a Fellow of the Royal Society, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Broadcom Fellow and Distinguished Engineer.
Shown live on Friday 7 May 2021.
To watch it, please click here


Online talk: Putin, Russia and Ukraine with Bridget Kendall MBE Hon FBA, Master of Peterhouse
In May 2015 Bridget Kendall gave the annual Ramsay Murray lecture entitled Russia and the West – lessons from the Ukraine crisis. Six years later, tensions between Russia and Ukraine are once again dangerously strained. To help us understand the background to the current crisis, Bridget Kendall, former BBC Moscow correspondent, provides an assessment of the current stand-off and takes a wider view of Vladimir Putin’s leadership and the kind of country Russia is becoming.
Shown live on Monday 26th April 2021.
To watch it, please click here.


Kat Arney talk

Online talk: Rebel Cell: Cancer, Evolution and the Science of Life by Dr Kat Arney  (SE 1995)
Many of us think of cancer as a contemporary killer, a disease of our own making caused by our modern lifestyles. But that's not true. Although it might be rare in many species, cancer is the enemy lurking within almost every living creature. Why? Because cancer is a bug in the system of life. We get cancer because we can't not get it.
Award-winning science writer, broadcaster, and author of the new book Rebel Cell: Cancer, evolution and the science of life, Dr Kat Arney takes us on a journey to the dawn of life on planet earth right up to the present day to get to the heart of what cancer really is and how by better understanding its evolutionary journey we might one day overcome it.
Shown live on Friday 26th March 2021.
To watch it, please click here


Selwyn College 1942 aerial photo

Online event: Before drone and satelite images were possible, aerial photography was a highly specialised and skilled branch of photography, developed in wartime and pioneered for academic study and research by Professor J.K.S. St Joseph (1912–1994), Selwyn Fellow and Professor of Aerial Photographic Studies at Cambridge from 1973 to 1980.
Shown live on Friday 12th March 2021.
To watch it, please click here.

Politics Panel

Online event: Selwyn College Politics Society Discussion Panel.
Distinguished commentators Shehab Khan (SE 2017, ITV News), Steve Richards (writer and broadcaster) and Janet Daley (Sunday Telegraph) discuss current issues and personalities with the Master, Roger Mosey.
Shown live on Wednesday 10th March 2021.
To watch it, please click here.

Gill Whitty-Collins

Online event: Gill Whitty-Collins (SE 1988): Why Men Win at Work.
Whitty-Collins tackles the burning questions: if women have equal leadership ability, why are they so under-represented at the top of organisations - both in the private and public sector and in society as a whole? Why are we still living in a man’s world where virtually all the top jobs are occupied by men? And why do we accept it? ‘Why Men Win at Work’ is her first book, published last year. If you are interested to learn more, you can buy her book here. Shown live on Friday 12th February 2021.

To watch the talk, please click here.

John Morrill talk - A sinful schoolmaster and the making of modern Ireland, 1895-1921

Online event: 'A sinful schoolmaster and the making of modern Ireland, 1895-1921'. Professor John Morrill, Selwyn Fellow.
Fuelled by his love of Ireland, this lecture will explore what happened when in 1914 a parish priest in Ballyvaughan, county Clare, sacked the teacher in his parish school for reasons which are themselves mysterious.
An intriguing episode in Irish history which shines a light on the wider battle for independence. Hosted by Vice-Master Dr Janet O'Sullivan, who takes questions from the audience. Shown live on Friday 29th January 2021.
To watch the talk, please click here.

Alumni Carol Service 2020

Selwyn College, Cambridge - Alumni Carol Service 2020. We know - in these extraordinary times - at least one thing, which is that our carol service will reach more people than ever before, because we can join our communities in the UK and right around the world. The service is a traditional blend of wonderful Christmas music. You will see the choir, some of them in professionally shot videos from recent years, others from the more recent streaming services brought to you by the cameras we put into chapel for the health emergency. We are  immensly grateful to our alumni guests: Tom Hollander, Zia Mody, Hugh Laurie, Kate Forbes, Tim Davie and John Sentamu who gave the readings in this Alumni Carol Service. To view the video, premiered on YouTube on Saturday 19th December 2020, please click here.

Jenny Moore

Children's storytime online event. Award-winning writer and children’s author Jenny Moore (SE 1994) reads Agent Starling: Operation Baked Beans. Jenny Moore gave a reading from her recent book Agent Starling: Operation Baked Beans and answered questions from her young readers. Suitable for ages 7 to 12.
To listen to the talk, introduced by Vice-Master and Fellow Dr Janet O'Sullivan, please click here.

Sir Stephen Wall

Online event:  'A unique perspective on Brexit'.
Sir Stephen Wall (1965), Selwyn Honorary Fellow, was a member of the British diplomatic service for 35 years. He was the UK’s permanent representative to the EU, and a key advisor to prime ministers John Major and Tony Blair. He talks to Roger Mosey about Britain's relationship with Europe. Shown live on Monday 30th November. 
To watch the talk, please click here.

Richard Budgett

Online event: Dr Richard Budgett OBE (SE 1977) in conversation with the Master, Roger Mosey.
Olympic gold medal-winner talks about rowing at Selwyn and his career as Team GB doctor and now with the International Olympic Committee. Shown live on 29th September 2020.
To watch the talk, please click here.


Commem 2020

Commemoration of Benefactors Service, Saturday 26th September 2020, 6.00pm
To watch the service on YouTube, please click here


Dr Ronita Bardhan

Online Event: 'Fixing India's slum rehabilitation housing' - by Dr Ronita Bardhan.
There was a large and appreciative online audience for our Fellow Dr Ronita Bardhan’s talk about her work in urban design. A version also appears in the latest edition of Selwyn Magazine. Shown live on Wednesday 23rd September 2020.
To watch the full lecture with questions and answers, introduced and facilitated by Roger Mosey, please click here.


Tim Dee

Online Event: 'Journeys in Springtime' by Tim Dee (SE 1980). Acclaimed author, radio producer and birdwatcher, Tim Dee talks to journalist Robert Hanks about his career and his latest book. Shown live on 22nd September 2020.
To watch the talk, introduced by Development Director, Mike Nicholson, please click here.


Dr David SmithOnline Event: Dr David Smith presents: "Oliver Cromwell: hero or villain?" - Friday 17th May 2020
The name Oliver Cromwell is synonymous with England's failed Republican experiment. But the man himself continues to fascinate us. In this illustrated talk, Dr David Smith explores Cromwell's life and career through a selection of his letters and speeches, and considers why opinion is still so divided over whether he was a hero or a villain.
To watch the full lecture with questions and answers, introduced and facilitated by Roger Mosey, please click here.


Trevor Phillips OBEAnnual Ramsay Murray Lecture 2020 - 15th May 2020
The New Normal: Diversity, Difference and Discord 
by Trevor Phillips, OBE
His lecture, introduced by the Master of Selwyn, Roger Mosey, is available to watch in full, with a concluding question and answer session.To watch the lecture, click here.


Professor David ReynoldsAnnual Ramsay Murray Lecture 2019 - 10th May 2019

Professor David Reynolds, speaking on "History: academic, personal and public".
Professor Reynolds will explore some of the achievements of academic history today and also reflect on what can get lost if history becomes too "academic".
This lecture is available as an audio recording only, click here to listen.


Ramsay Murray Lecture 2016Annual Ramsay Murray Lecture 2016 - 6th May 2016
"The Obama Impact"
Professor Theda Skocpol
of Harvard University, assesses the impact of Barack Obama as president, and analyses the current state of American politics. To watch the lecture, click here.


Ramsay Murray Lecture 2015Annual Ramsay Murray Lecture 2015 - 1st May 2015
Russia and the West: lessons from the Ukraine crisis
Given by Bridget Kendall. Selwyn College Cambridge presents the annual Ramsay Murray Lecture on the subject of modern day Russia under the Presidency of Vladimir Putin and given by the BBC's Diplomatic Correspondent, Bridget Kendall
. To watch the lecutre, click here.




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