of the Sophia Centre
Welcome to the Autumn 2016 issue of the Sophia Centre News.
The Sophia Centre continues to flourish. We have a new intake of students on the MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology, and organised the annual conference of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture in Bath. Our publishing schedule continues and two new books came out in the Autumn, Heavenly Discourses and The Materiality of the Sky. We are also delighted to announce that two of our graduates, Mara Steenhuisen and Pamela Armstrong have been accepted as PhD students at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
Dr Nicholas Campion
Associate Professor Dr Nicholas Campion
The Sophia Centre is proud to announce that the University of Wales Trinity Saint David has awarded the academic title of Associate Professor to Dr Nicholas Campion. This title reflects Nick's significant contribution to the global understanding of cosmology and culture. We all congratulate Nick and wish him continued success as Associate Professor.
Gains Astrophotography Accolade
The Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year is the biggest international competition of its kind, annually showcasing spectacular images shot by astrophotographers worldwide. It is designed to gather the best celestial images taken from Planet Earth and is organised by the Royal Observatory Greenwich and the BBC's Sky at Night Magazine. Read on >>
The Marriage of Astronomy and Culture: Theory and Method in the Study of Cultural Astronomy
Anna Estaroth reports
The Sophia Centre hosted the SEAC conference this year in the historic city of Bath on 12-16th September 2016. Skyscape researchers from around the world gathered to hear of the latest news and developments in their field.
Read on >>
SEAC Award Conferred on Dr Fabio Silva
Professor J. McKim Malville
The Société Européenne pour l'Astronomie dans la Culture confers the Carlos Jaschek Award on Dr Fabio Silva for his outstanding work in skyscape archaeology.
Professor J McKim Malville reports.Read on >>
Stonehenge and Avebury
The Heel Stone at Stonehenge. Photo: Fernando Pimenta
One of the advantages of hosting SEAC in south west of England was the opportunity it gave to show our visitors monumental sites of world renowned importance.
Dr Lionel Sims reports on the guided tours he gave for SEAC delegates.Read on >>
July 8th 2016
A Personal Account by Morag Feeney-Beaton
I would like to thank my fellow graduating students for sharing their special day with me, together with their friends and family. It seemed to us all that Graduation Day was essentially a transformative one, an endless stream of happenings, which could lend themselves to a ritualistic interpretation.
Sark in the Dark
Sophia Centre Press is proud to announce the launch of the third volume in the Master Monograph series: Ada Blair's Sark in the Dark: Wellbeing and Community on the Dark Sky Island of Sark. Most studies of dark sky culture tend to focus on 'green' or grounded nature, and its effect on animals.
Blair's book is one of the first published studies to explore the missing sky factor in discussions and calculations of human wellbeing. She specifically focuses on the dark night sky and how it affects people and their communal relations. Read on >>
The Nine Lives of John Ogilby:
Britain's Master Map Maker and His Secrets
Book by Alan Ereira
Alan Ereira is a man of many skills: traveller, documentary maker, writer and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. His latest book, The Nine Lives of John Ogilby, deals with one of the least known of the many remarkable people who flourished in England in the critical decades of the early seventeenth century.
The Ethics of Space Exploration
By James S.J. Schwartz and Tony Milligan
We currently appear to be heading towards a period of renewed human activity in space. Although there has been plenty of action on the International Space Station since its launch in 1998, there has been no attempt to travel elsewhere. Now that the Chinese are laying the foundations for a Moon landing and a clutch of private entrepreneurs are developing space tourism - and Elon Musk is planning trips to Mars - the ethics of space exploration is once again of vital interest.
Alumni News and Events
The Alumni Association was proud to provide free pens for the bags for the SEAC conference held recently in September in Bath, convened and sponsored by the Sophia Centre. Wording along the barrel advertised both the Alumni Association and the MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology.
Thanks to Jennifer Fleming for helping to co-ordinate the generation of these pens. For those who want one of these handy pens, which also doubles as an iPad or Smart Phone stylus, they will be available for delegates at future conferences.
We have a rich feast of Alumni events over the autumn-winter, and my thanks go to all presenters for donating their time and energy.
Continuing the 'Continue Your Education for Free' stream on Thursday 26 January 18:30 - 20:00 Liz Hathway will present a talk based on her MA Dissertation 'Saturn: an auto-ethnographic enquiry into contemporary astrological practice'. Liz's Dissertation was short-listed for the MA Dissertation Prize. The subject matter explored the negative Capricorn stereotype and its relationship to the planet Saturn. Read on and Register >>
Our next Fund Raiser short course will take place in March-April given by Chris Mitchell who will be presenting three lectures on Medieval Astrology, Thursday 23 March (GMT), Thursday 30 March (BST) and Thursday 6 April (BST) 2017 from 18:30 - 20:30 GMT. This is a fund-raiser for the Alumni Association. The three-week short course is £25.00.
Read on and Register >>
Alumni, students and staff can register for these courses on the Alumni Association website.
The Steering Committee pays tribute to these staff and graduates who enable the Alumni Association to raise fund for its projects. Remember, that you, too, can help build the Alumni Association funds when you register for a short course, by adding a few pounds as a donation to the Alumni fund. It all counts!
Chair, Steering Committee
The Alumni Association
MA CAA Alumni Steering Committee
From left: Darrelyn Gunzburg, Nicholas Campion, Faye Cossar, Hanne Skagen, Jennifer Fleming, Chris Mitchell, Ada Blair, Paula van Kersbergen, Rod Suskin
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