The FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival takes place from April 2-10 2016, featuring more than 250 events in venues including the Bodleian Library, the Divinity School, the Sheldonian Theatre, and Worcester, Exeter, Jesus and St John’s Colleges. A selection of the festival highlights is listed below; for more details, and the full programme, visit oxfordliteraryfestival.org.
Tickets are available from the website, from the festival box office in the Blackwell’s marquee, or by telephone: 0870 343 1001.
Gillian Tett: ‘The Silo Effect’
Saturday April 2, 4pm, Oxford Martin School, lecture theatre, tickets £12
FT assistant editor and columnist Gillian Tett explains how silos dominate the workplace and have the power to collapse businesses and destabilise the financial markets. She draws on some high-profile examples to illustrate her case, from the New York Fire Department to Facebook, the Bank of England and Sony.
Harry Parker, David Savill and Janet Ellis: chaired by Erica Wagner
Saturday April 2, 4pm, Jesus College, lecture theatre, £12
A round-table event with three exciting debut novelists. A former soldier in Afghanistan, Parker has won praise for his battlefield story of patriotism and heroism, Anatomy of a Soldier. Former BBC current affairs journalist Savill’s first novel, They are Trying to Break Your Heart, ranges from the cruelties of the Bosnian war to the devastating tsunami that wreaked havoc in Thailand. Janet Ellis, former presenter of the much-loved BBC children’s programme Blue Peter, has written The Butcher’s Hook, a dark tale set in
AC Grayling: Progress in Troubled Times: Learning from The Age of Genius
Saturday April 2, 6pm, Sheldonian Theatre, £12-£25
Professor AC Grayling describes the birth of the modern mind in the 17th century, the subject of his latest book, The Age of Genius.
Ian McKellen talks to Jonathan Bate
Sunday April 3, 6pm, Sheldonian Theatre, £12-£25
One of the greatest Shakespearean actors, Sir Ian McKellen joins the academic, broadcaster and critic Sir Jonathan Bate to discuss their lives in Shakespeare, to mark the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death.
Michael Moritz: Sir Alex Ferguson and Leading to Success
Sunday April 3, 12pm, Sheldonian £12-£25
Investor and writer Sir Michael Moritz distils the elements required to lead a team to the sort of world-class success enjoyed by Manchester United over a sustained period of time. These include discipline, control, teamwork and motivation but also delegation, data analysis and dealing with failure.
Peter Frankopan: ‘Silk Roads: A New History of the World’
Monday April 4, 2pm, Oxford Martin School, lecture theatre, £12
Writer and academic Peter Frankopan reassesses the passage of world history in his latest book, The Silk Roads, arguing that the sun is setting on the western world, and that a region stretching from eastern Europe across central Asia and into India and China is taking centre stage in international politics, commerce and culture.
Michael Frayn talks to John Thornhill
Monday April 4, 4pm, Oxford Martin School, lecture theatre, £12
Michael Frayn, author of plays such as Noises Off and Copenhagen, as well as novels including The Tin Men and Skios, talks about his life and work to John Thornhill, the FT’s innovation editor.
Neel Mukherjee and Richard Ovenden talk to Erica Wagner on: Alan Garner: A Discussion of Landscape and Legacy
Monday April 4, 4pm, Bodleian, Divinity School, £12
Booker-shortlisted author Neel Mukherjee and Bodley’s librarian Richard Ovenden talk to critic and writer Erica Wagner about the author Alan Garner, whose work is celebrated in a new collection of essays edited by Wagner entitled First Light.
Tracy Chevalier interviewed by David Grylls
Tuesday April 5, 12pm, Bodleian, Divinity School, £12
Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl with a Pearl Earring, introduces her new novel, At the Edge of the Orchard, the story of a man wrestling with his roots in 19th-century gold-rush California.
Mary Beard talks to Richard Ovenden: Bodley Lecture: A Don’s Life and Award of Bodley Medal
Tuesday April 5, 6pm, Sheldonian Theatre, £12-£25
Professor Mary Beard talks to Bodley’s librarian Richard Ovenden about her life and work as a classical scholar. She will then receive the Bodley Medal, awarded for an outstanding contribution to the worlds of literature, arts, science and communication.
AN Wilson: ‘The Book of People, How to Read the Bible’
Wednesday April 6, 12pm, Bodleian: Divinity School, £12
Biographer and novelist AN Wilson explores his own relationship with the Bible and those of other artists and thinkers throughout the ages.
Meg Rosoff talks to Suzi Feay
Wednesday April 6, 6pm, Bodleian, Divinity School, £12
Novelist Meg Rosoff talks to Suzi Feay about her first work for adults, Jonathan Unleashed, a romantic comedy about a man trying to get his disordered life back on track.
Ben Okri, interviewed by Paul Blezard: The Magic of Storytelling: A Fireside Chat by Candlelight
Thursday April 7, 6pm Worcester College, Provost’s Lodgings, £12
In the first of what is to be an annual fireside chat in the Provost’s Lodgings, Okri and Blezard will discuss life and the world of storytelling.
Mary McAleese talks to Dan Mulhall: ‘The 1916 Easter Rising: Ireland and the UK, 100 Years On’
Thursday April 7, 6pm, Oxford Town Hall
Former president of Ireland Dr Mary McAleese marks the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin with a discussion of the causes of the event, the subsequent development of Ireland and the evolution of Irish-UK relations.
Joan Bakewell: ‘Stop the Clocks: Thoughts on What I Leave Behind’
Friday April 8, 4pm, Museum of Natural History, £12
Broadcaster, journalist and writer Dame Joan Bakewell reflects on her life as one of the most outspoken public figures of recent decades.
Claudia Roden talks to Donald Sloan
Saturday April 9, 4pm, Exeter College Chapel, £12
Renowned cookery writer Claudia Roden talks to the head of Oxford Gastronomica, Donald Sloan, about her life and career in food. Roden will select six pieces of music that will be played at the event.
Richard Dawkins and Yan Wong: ‘The Ancestor’s Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life’
Saturday April 9, 6pm, Sheldonian Theatre, £12-£25
Author of The Selfish Gene Professor Richard Dawkins and fellow evolutionary biologist and television presenter Dr Yan Wong talk about the new updated version of their work on evolution, The Ancestor’s Tale.
Simon Sebag Montefiore: ‘The Romanovs 1613-1918’
Sunday April 10, 10am, Sheldonian Theatre, £12-£25
Historian and broadcaster Simon Sebag Montefiore tells how one family turned a war-ruined principality into one of the world’s greatest empires, and how their influence is still felt in Russia today.
Martin Sandbu: ‘Europe’s Orphan: The Future of the Euro and the Politics of Debt’
Sunday April 10, 2pm, Oxford Martin School, lecture theatre
FT economics writer Martin Sandbu defends the euro and argues that the eurozone’s problems are caused not by the currency but by the policy errors of member states.