Skip to main content

Discover the Past

Birkbeck’s Department of History, Classics and Archaeology will open its doors to the public with a series of free events exploring histories ranging from ancient to modern. 

A rich programme of events exploring histories from ancient to modern is coming to Birkbeck this autumn term, as part of the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology’s Discover the Past lecture series.

The department has a distinguished tradition as an international centre of excellence, covering a wide range of periods and cultures, from prehistory to the twenty-first century. It is the only university department in London to include archaeologists, classicists and historians.

The Discover the Past programme includes events on historical fiction with acclaimed author and Birkbeck research fellow, Philippa Gregory; an exploration of the psychology of antisemitism and its historical context; and a masterclass on the history of society.

All events are free to attend, with details of booking below.

PHILIPPA GREGORY IN CONVERSATION WITH STELLA TILLYARD
MONDAY 16 SEPTEMBER 5.30PM-8.00PM, CLORE LECTURE THEATRE, TORRINGTON SQUARE

The acclaimed author of The Other Boleyn Girl talks about her new book Tidelands, historical fiction and why she is now, as honorary research fellow at our department, writing a history of women in England. Philippa Gregory will be in conversation with Stella Tillyard, visiting professor and author of George IV: King in Waiting. Booking is essential. Book your place here.

HOW DO WE UNDERSTAND THE HISTORY OF SOCIETY? EXAMPLES FROM THE STUDY OF 20TH-CENTURY BRITAIN
MONDAY 7 OCTOBER 6.00PM-7.30PM, BIRKBECK MAIN BUILDING, TORRINGTON SQUARE

Professor Pat Thane, author of Divided Kingdom: A History of Britain since 1900, gives a masterclass to mark the beginning of her visiting professorship at Birkbeck. Booking is essential. To reserve a place please email admin@history.bbk.ac.uk.

REWRITING THE ANGLO-GERMAN PAST: BRITAIN AND GERMANY, 1807-1990
THURSDAY 10 OCTOBER 6.00PM-8.00PM, ROOM 202, 28 RUSSELL SQUARE

Professor Jan Rüger discusses his book Heligoland and how to write a history of modern Britain and Germany. Organised by the Birkbeck Postgraduate Reading Group. Booking is essential. To reserve a place please email admin@history.bbk.ac.uk.

COLLEGE OPEN DAY
SATURDAY 19 OCTOBER 10.00AM-2.30PM, BIRKBECK MAIN BUILDING, TORRINGTON SQUARE

Meet colleagues from across the department to find out more about studying history, classics and archaeology at Birkbeck. Staff will give presentations for prospective undergraduates and postgraduates. Advice about the application process and student finance will also be available. Book your place here.

ACTORS, AUDIENCES AND ANTISEMITISM: THE OBERAMMERGAU PASSION PLAY, 1860-1910 MONDAY 4 NOVEMBER 6.30PM-8.00PM, ROOM B34, BIRKBECK MAIN BUILDING, TORRINGTON SQUARE

Dr Robert Priest (Royal Holloway) explores the Oberammergau passion play which, performed at regular intervals since 1634, has become a byword for the continuities of anti-Jewish prejudice in Germany and Europe more generally. Hosted by the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck. Please book tickets via the Institute’s website: www.pearsinstitute.bbk.ac.uk.

FLORENCE UNDER SIEGE - BOOK LAUNCH
WEDNESDAY 6 NOVEMBER 6.00PM-8.00PM, KEYNES LIBRARY, 47 GORDON SQUARE

Professor John Henderson discusses his new book, Florence Under Siege: Surviving Plague in an Early Modern City, with Dr Jane Stevens Crawshaw (Oxford Brookes) and Professor Carole Rawcliffe (East Anglia). Followed by a drinks reception. Book your place here.

RETHINKING THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ANTISEMITISM
TUESDAY 19 NOVEMBER 1.00PM-2.00PM, ROOM 202, 28 RUSSELL SQUARE

Seminar with Professor Anthony Kauders (Keele) who traces the recent critique of ‘realistic conflict theory’ in antisemitism studies. Hosted by the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck. No booking required.

NOTION: THE BIOGRAPHY OF AN ANCIENT GREEK CITY
FRIDAY 22 NOVEMBER 6.00PM-8.00PM, ROOM 202, 28 RUSSELL SQUARE

Masterclass with Professor Christopher Ratté (Michigan) who is directing excavations at Notion, the ancient city on the west coast of Anatolia. How did communities there responded to tumultuous events ranging from the conquest of Alexander the Great and to the expansion of Rome? Book your place here.

MAOISM: A GLOBAL HISTORY - INAUGURAL LECTURE
6.00PM THURSDAY 12 DECEMBER (BIRKBECK MAIN BUILDING)

Professor Julia Lovell explores in her inaugural lecture how Mao’s ideas have shaped the world, as well as China, since the Second World War. The lecture will conclude by assessing China’s current partial Maoist revival (taking place at a time when China is far more globally powerful than it was under Mao) and its significance for China’s self-positioning in the world. To pre-register email events@bbk.ac.uk.

Further Information