Discover the Past 2020
Birkbeck’s Department of History, Classics and Archaeology welcomes the public to a series of events that explore the past and the present - from the renaissance to the 21st century.
The Department of History, Classics and Archaeology will host a series of public events that shed new light on historical and current issues, including lectures from award-winning journalist Amelia Gentleman and Professor Catherine Hall who will deliver the annual Eric Hobsbawm Memorial Lecture.
Amelia Gentleman will be discussing the recent Windrush scandal and the government's hostile environment policy. Gentleman, who writes for The Guardian, was instrumental in exposing the scandal that subsequently led to the resignation of the former Home Secretary, Amber Rudd.
Gentleman said: “I am very much looking forward to talking to Birkbeck students about the still unresolved Windrush scandal and the government’s shameful treatment of thousands of Commonwealth-born people who were wrongly branded as illegal immigrants, with catastrophic consequences. With Birkbeck’s long tradition of social and political engagement, there is perhaps no better place to discuss the development of the hostile environment.”
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In March the Department will welcome Professor Catherine Hall who will give this year’s Eric Hobsbawm Memorial Lecture. Entitled ‘Racial Capitalism across the Black/White Atlantic,’ the lecture will explore racial inequalities in eighteenth-century England and Jamaica. ‘Race,’ it will argue, structured not only the plantation economy and society but also forms of capitalist organization and cultural practice in the metropole.
Professor Catherine Hall FBA is Emerita Professor of Modern British Social and Cultural History at University College London. Professor Hall commented: “It is a great honour to be invited to present the annual lecture in memory of Eric Hobsbawm this year. He remains an inspiration for those of us who aim to think critically about the past in relation to our own ‘interesting times’.”
Professor Rüger said: “We are delighted that Professor Catherine Hall is giving the Eric Hobsbawm Memorial Lecture this year. Professor Hall’s research and writing has been at the centre of the rethinking of Britain’s colonial past and the relationship of that past with the present. Her critique could not be more timely and we look forward to hearing her speak here at Birkbeck.”
The full programme of free public events can be seen below:
A BYSTANDER SOCIETY? PASSIVITY AND COMPLICITY IN NAZI GERMANY
18 February 2020, 18:30 to 20:00
Professor Mary Fulbrook, Professor of German History at UCL will deliver the Holocaust Memorial Day Lecture exploring experiences of Nazi persecution. Book your place here.
CATHOLIC NUNS AND SISTERS IN A SECULAR AGE – BOOK LAUNCH
21 February 2020, 18:00 to 20:00
Dr Carmen Mangion will be discussing her new book, Catholic Nuns and Sisters in a Catholic Age: Britain 1945 – 90, that investigates the experiences of nuns and sisters in Britain from 1945 to 1990. Book your place here.
WHY ‘SHOAH’? A CONCEPTUAL HISTORY
24 February 2020, 13:00 to 14:00
Hizky Shoham from Bar – Ilan University will discuss how the Hebrew word Shoah became a widely used term for the genocide of Europe’s Jews during the Second World War. Book your place here.
THE WINDRUSH BETRAYAL: EXPOSING THE HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT
27 February 2020, 18:30 to 20:0
Amelia Gentleman, will discuss the Windrush scandal and her role in exposing the government’s ‘hostile environment’ policy. Book your place here.
BIRKBECK FORUM FOR NINETEENTH CENTURY STUDIES: 'MARGINALIA AND OTHER FORMS OF GRAFFITI.'
11 March 2020, 18:00 to 20:00
This talk considers volumes from writer’s libraries that they have marked autographed and supplemented with matter such as pressed plants, feathers, and locks of hair. Book your place here.
ERIC HOBSBAWM MEMORIAL LECTURE: RACIAL CAPITALISM ACROSS THE BLACK/WHITE ATLANTIC
25 March 2020, 18:00 to 20:00
Professor Catherine Hall will explore what is meant by ‘racial capitalism’ a term that is used to focus on the centrality of racial inequalities to the formation of the modern world. Book your place here.
INAUGURAL LECTURE SERIES – FILIPPO DE VIVO
Filippo de Vivo will deliver his inaugural lecture ‘Imaginary Archives of the Renaissance’. Book your place here.
See the full programme here.
- The Discover the Past Programme
- Courses History, Classics and Archaeology
- Eric Hobsbawm Memorial Lecture 2019