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What makes an activist?

Venue: Online

What makes an activist? 

George Severs discusses his work on AIDS activism in the 1980s and 1990s with fellow historian of sexuality, Matt Cook.  George’s work expands our sense of what activism meant in the context of the epidemic in the UK – running the gamut from radical direct-action campaigns to the less visible moves for change in workplaces, universities and religious organisations. More people were activists in this period than we tend to think; this conversation, chaired by Julia Laite, will reveal how varying forms of activism looked, felt and functioned during the last decades of the twentieth century. 

Dr George Severs is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology. As part of the SHaME project, he is working on the impact of the AIDS epidemic on medics and sexual health advisors who interacted with survivors of sexual violence across the UK. Prof Matt Cook is currently Head of Department and has also worked on the history of the AIDS crisis in Britain. Dr Julia Laite is the Birkbeck Director of the Raphael Samuel History Centre.  

The event is free but you need to book so we can send you information on how to join. 


This event is part of the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology's Discover the Past events series, open to the public and students. To see the full list of events, visit the Discover the Past web page.

The Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck has a distinguished tradition as an international centre of excellence. We are the only university department in London to include archaeologists, classicists and historians investigating every period from prehistory to the early twenty-first century. Join us to discover the past and engage with the present across continents and cultures.

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