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Girton150 Festival – Saturday

Blue Stockings

Highlights from our packed programme on Saturday included lectures and discussions with Dr Rowan Williams, Professor Martin Rees, Professor Caroline Humphrey, Daphne Todd, Dr Ingrid Pollard, Martin Rowson, Dr Phil Hammond, Lady Hale, Lady Arden, Dame Rosalyn Higgins, Professor Dame Marilyn Strathern and Professor Stephen Toope, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. Dame Karen Pierce also gave the fifth and final Girton150 Anniversary Festival Lecture. Students, alumni, staff and Fellows competed in Girton’s answer to University Challenge (hosted by Dr Margaret Mountford).

Festival goers learnt about the early history of the College with Dr Hazel Mills and investigated the groundbreaking research of today’s Girton Fellowship. Guided (and self-guided tours) of the buildings, historic gardens, orchard and the People’s Portraits Collection enabled everyone to explore the large College site. Internationally renowned musicians Dr Martin Ennis, Professor Margaret Faultless, Andrew Kennedy, Nicholas Mulroy, Jeremy West and Gareth Wilson, combined forces to perform in a special Early Music Concert.

The daytime events concluded with the first ever on-site full-length outdoor performance of Blue Stockings, a light show extravaganza, ‘Kaleidoscope’ and a concert with special guests, Tricity Vogue’s All-Girl Swing Band and Mystery Train, which ensured the celebrations continued late into the evening.

Selected video highlights:

Girton150 Festival: The Collegiate University and the Future of Higher Education

In a session facilitated by the Mistress, Professor Susan J. Smith, the Vice-Chancellor is 'in conversation' with Professor Dame Madeleine Atkins, Professor Stefan Collini, and you.

With Brexit, fees, financial uncertainties and a changing world stage, what role can the collegiate university have in shaping the future of higher education? Do colleges matter, can learning be life-long, are two-year degrees feasible? No question is off the agenda.

Girton150 Festival: Women growing older gracefully?

A panel discussion chaired by Dr Phil Hammond with Alex Rotas, Professor Wendy Savage and Professor Sarah Harper. This discussion challenges the stereotypes about ageing and investigates the issues associated with living longer.

Girton150 Festival: Explore The Future – The World in 2050 and Beyond

The world has existed for 45 million centuries but this is the first when one species, ours, has the planet’s future in its hands. This talk addresses the opportunities offered by new technologies; bio, cyber, AI and space and the challenges stemming from the unsustainable pressures we’re collectively imposing on resources and the environment.

Girton150 Festival: Religion and Equality

How important is the concept of equality in religious traditions and beliefs? What part does religion play in promoting equality and justice in society, and what are the challenges that arise? This talk explores questions arising from Dr Williams’ experience in advocating for a fairer, more equal society.

Girton150 Festival: Good Finance, Bad Finance and Ugly Finance

How can finance be used to serve all citizens? The panel, led by Dr Kamiar Mohaddes, considers the role of finance in exacerbating crisis, but also its potential in ending poverty and increasing productivity.

Girton150 Festival: Women in Law

Lady Hale, Lady Arden and Dame Rosalyn Higgins in conversation. Girton has supplied the first woman Judge, then President of the International Court of Justice, the first women Law Lord and Supreme Court Justice. Watch all three in conversation with the Vice-Mistress Karen Lee, another very distinguished Girton lawyer.

Girton150 Festival: The Festival Lecture by Dame Karen Pierce

The UN Today: Parliament of Man or Parliament of Futility

The multilateral system is under stress as never before, with the accustomed certainties of the post World War Two period gradually breaking down under pressure from global power dynamics. As the UK prepares to leave the European Union, and as the UN nears its 75th anniversary in 2020, what needs to be done to keep the UK an active force for good on the international stage and maintain the UN at the apex of the multilateral system that on the whole has kept the world safe from global war since 1945. Girtonian Karen Pierce is the British Ambassador to the United States at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and previously the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations. Prior to this role, Dame Karen served as the Director General for Political Affairs and Chief Operating Officer of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, from 2016.

Girton150 Festival: Kaleidoscope 

Kaleidoscope is an unmissable 30 minute light and sound extravaganza celebrating Girton's history, created especially for our celebrations at the Girton150 Festival weekend. Spanning 1869 to the present day, Kaleidoscope weaves together live performances, video material, archive photographs, stunning lighting and birthday wished from rather special virtual guests. 

Girton150 Festival: Mystery Train

We ended the evening celebration of all things Girton with our very own ‘Rocking Rev’ – Malcolm Guite – who fronts up Cambridge’s best loved rootsy, blues and R’n’B band, Mystery Train. They brought a good-time set featuring original songs as well as fantastic covers of 60s & 70s hits and got the guests dancing under the stars. Humour was also included – one of their tracks is called ‘Stuck on the A14’ which remains a local favourite.