The IHR History Now & Then Series returns for 2016/17
Wolfson Room I | IHR | Senate House | Malet Street | WC1E 7HU
This series of public lectures at the IHR takes off from an extraordinary (and potentially dangerous) paradox. On the one hand, ‘history’ seems to be more popular than ever: in schools and universities, on film, TV and the internet, in sales of historical biographies, visitor numbers to heritage sites, the growth of family history, re-enactment societies and the like.
Yet we also live in an aggressively here-and-now culture in which many people seem to lack any real understanding of how the present is linked to all that has preceded it. Thus, major current issues are frequently discussed with little sense of their longer-term historical roots: migration policy, for example, or continued British membership of the EU or Russian involvement in Ukraine. As Jo Guldi and David Armitage argued in their ‘History Manifesto’(published in 2014), it is vital to understand the past if we are to have any chance of planning sensibly for the future.
Welcome: Professor Lawrence Goldman, Director of the Institute of Historical Research
Chair: Daniel Snowman, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Historical Research
5 October 2016: Rhodes statue and Beyond
How far can/should history be re-written in accordance with current values? History and the pros and cons of ‘apology’. Are there things about the past that it is not acceptable to mention (or research)?
Panel: Martin Daunton, Margot Finn, Jinty Nelson & David Starkey
2 November 2016: History and Change
Is history necessarily the story of ‘change’? Who/what makes things change? The role of ‘Great men/women’ – and other factors?
Panel: Margaret MacMillan, Rana Mitter, Andrew Roberts & Gareth Stedman Jones
7 December 2016: The Focus of History
Much history is national history. But should ‘history’ focus on the nation? Or the locality – or maybe the wider world? Or on ‘things’? And should it have a short, precisely defined temporal focus – or a longer durée?
Panel: Maxine Berg, Jerry Brotton, Richard Drayton & Chris Wickham
11 January 2017: Lessons from the Past
Does history ‘repeat itself’? What kind of ‘lessons’ can we learn from history? ‘Counterfactual’ history: could the past have been different?
Panel: Jeremy Black, Taylor Downing, Ian Mortimer & Lucy Riall
8 February 2017: History and Religion(s)
What role has religion played in the unfolding of history? Has it provided a fundamental motivating force? Or has religion primarily reflected deeper socioeconomic trends and priorities?
Panel: Felicity Heal, Diarmaid MacCulloch, Miri Rubin & Brian Young
8 March 2017: The Future of the Past
How will future historians judge today’s historiography? What do we over-emphasise (or under-emphasise)? ‘Big’ History, ‘big’ data: how is ‘history’ changing in the digital age?
Panel: Caroline Barron, Anne Curry, Charlotte Roueché & Jane Winters
Advanced registration for this seminar series is required.
Tickets are £5 per session or £25 for all 6 sessions.
Free for the Friends of the IHR.
For any queries, please contact the IHR Events Office: IHR.Events@sas.ac.uk