Ethics through fiction and film: The Plague and Middlemarch

Past event
Sigmund ui Pt3 B Apz8g unsplash

This Trinity term, as the university community confronts the great challenges posed by COVID-19, we are offering an online Ethics through Fiction and Film experience. We will read and (most likely) watch alone but come together for Zoom meetings to discuss our reading and viewing experiences.

One of the (few) positive aspects of the restrictions imposed by social-distancing is that it has, ironically, collapsed the distinction between being a few miles or a few thousand miles apart. This new Ethics through Fiction and Film experience can, therefore, be enjoyed by any current or past Oxford postgraduate, regardless of whether they are still living in the city or are on the other side of the world. Wherever you are, whatever you're doing with the rest of your time, join us!

This term only, we're offering two Ethics through Fiction and Film options. You can choose one or, if you've time on your hands, participate in both:

For those who would like to look the ethics of an epidemic full in the face, we will be reading The Plague by Albert Camus and watching the 1992 film version set in Latin America and starring William Hurt. There will be two virtual meetings for those in this group, one after we have individually read the novel, and one after we have all viewed the film.

For those who would prefer to be transported far away from our current situation to provincial life in nineteenth century England, we will be reading Middlemarch by George Eliot and watching the BBC miniseries. As this is a very long novel and we will be watching a miniseries not a standalone film, this expression of Ethics through Fiction and Film will involve seven virtual meetings. Meeting after we have read each section of the novel and watched the corresponding episode of the miniseries.

Dates and times of meetings will be arranged in consultation with participants, depending on schedules and time zones.

If you would like to participate in one (or both) of these Ethics through Fiction and Film seminars, please contact Dr Jonathan Brant (