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HCA Tasters: Ancient and Modern Selves

Venue: Online

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Ancient and Modern Selves

Professor Catharine Edwards and Professor Daniel Pick

Is ‘human nature’ as old as homo sapiens, or has that ‘nature’ changed over time? Are ancient and modern ‘selves’ basically similar? In this wide-ranging conversation Catharine Edwards, historian of the ancient world, and Daniel Pick, historian of modern Europe, reflect upon their research findings, and compare conceptions of ‘the human’ and ‘nature’ , past and present. Catharine and Daniel will draw on several examples, from Homer to Freud and beyond, to probe our contemporary assumptions about identity, passion and reason, dreams and the unconscious.

Booking is essential so that we may send you the joining link.



This event is part of a series of six 60-minute on-line taster events exploring histories of London, of migration, of sex and sexuality and much else besides, designed to give a flavour of studying at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in our department.

You can join one session or the whole series. Video introductions to the topic will be available ahead of most sessions and each one will conclude with a short question and answer session about the department and opportunities for studying with us.

All are welcome – from offer holders and those thinking of applying to those simply interested in the topics.  

Taster 1: Mon 24 January 6:00 - 7:00pm, Migrants in London from the Tudors to the Twentieth Century

Taster 2: Thu 24 March 11:30am - 1:00pm, London: the world in a city

Taster 4: Mon 28 April 6:00 - 7:00pm, Sex and Sexualities in Modern and Contemporary History

Taster 5: Thu 26 May 6:00 - 7:00pm, Historical Approaches to the Climate Crisis: from Mennonite farmers to modern Consumers

Taster 6: Thu 30 June 5:30 - 6:30pm, Ancient and Modern Selves


This taster series 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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