RHS Video Archive

RHS Presidential Address – Professor Peter Mandler ‘Educating the Nation II: Universities’

Gustave Tuck LT, 6pm, Friday 28 November 2014

In his first lecture, Peter Mandler argued that ‘meritocracy’ was an unstable basis on which to found universal secondary education, as from the early years of compulsory secondary education in the 1950s most people wanted one kind of education for their children – ‘the best’ – much as they only wanted ‘the best’ health service.   The same cannot quite be said about post-compulsory education, the subject of his second lecture.  A wider range of considerations went into the expansion of higher education – technocratic (what kind of higher education did the nation’s society and economy need?), meritocratic (who was capable of benefiting?), and democratic too (shouldn’t everyone have equal access?).   This mixture of motives, as well as a complex set of economic, demographic and fiscal considerations, are brought together to explain the strange go-stop-go pattern of expansion of higher education in Britain from the 1960s to the present.

 

RHS lecture – Professor Mark Cornwall ‘Traitors and the Meaning of Treason in Austria-Hungary’s Great War’

Gustave Tuck LT, 6pm, 26 September 2014

Treason is a ubiquitous historical concept yet one that is singularly under-researched. This lecture explores the “landscape of treason” in the Habsburg Empire in its final years. It places it in a broader historical context, theoretically and legally, then explores how and why the legal weapon of treason as wielded during the Great War in Austria-Hungary.  It especially seeks to understand what we can learn – the meaning of treason – from the notorious large-scale trials that were staged of Serb and Czech traitors. By 1918 most of the traitors had been amnestied and were turning the accusation of treason upon the Habsburg monarchy itself.

Mark Cornwall is Professor of Modern European History at the University of Southampton and a leading authority on the Austro-Hungarian empire.

 

 

RHS seminar: Gender Equality and Historians in UK Higher Education

Gustave Tuck LT, 2-5pm, Thursday 18 September 2014

To accompany the RHS Gender Survey for historians in UK Higher Education, the RHS held a seminar to discuss its findings with a view to making recommendations to improve gender equality in the sector. Most of the afternoon was devoted to workshops discussing the policy recommendations which will inform the final report which is due to be published in early 2015.

CHAIR: Nicola Miller, Chair of the RHS Research Policy Committee and Professor of Latin American history, UCL

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:

Peter Mandler, President of the RHS and Professor of Modern Cultural History, University of Cambridge
Bronach Kane, Lecturer in History, Cardiff University
Jo Fox, Honorary Director of Communications and Professor of History, University of Durham

RHS Gender Seminar Programme

 

RHS Prothero Lecture – Professor Tim Blanning ‘Richard Wagner and the German Empire’. View lecture.

RHS Lecture, Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, UCL, 2 July 2014

The (partial) unification of Germany as ‘The German Empire’ in 1871 was the great political event of Wagner’s life (1813-83). In August 1876 the new German Emperor William 1 went to Bayreuth to attend the first complete performance of The Ring of the Nibelung in the Festival Theatre Wagner had built for the purpose. The relationship between these two events, however, was much more problematic than the chronology suggests. In this illustrated lecture, Tim Blanning will argue that Wagner’s attitude to the new German state was highly critical, despite an initial burst of enthusiasm for Prussia during the war of 1870-1. He will pay particular attention to the influence of Friedrich Schiller and Constantin Franz, concluding with an examination of the much-misinterpreted final scene of The Mastersingers of Nuremberg.

 

 

Professor Peter Mandler ‘Educating the Nation 1: Schools’. View lecture.

Presidential Address, Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, UCL, 22 November 2013.

This is the first in a series of lectures that consider the impact of mass education (at secondary and university levels) on postwar Britain. Their emphasis is on the ‘democratic political theory’ of education – what do voters and their elected representatives want from an educational system in conditions of universal suffrage? The first lecture focuses on the instability of the allegedly ‘meritocratic’ system established by the Butler Act in 1944, which brought universal secondary education to Britain for the first time. It assesses how a democracy (in which everyone is politically equal) co-exists with a meritocracy (which is designed to accept and nurture inequality).

RHS Peter Mandler Lecture I

 

Professor Ann Hughes ‘Preachers and hearers in revolutionary London’. View lecture

RHS Lecture, Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, UCL, 27 September 2013

Ann Hughes has been Professor of Early Modern History at Keele University since 1995. She served as Head of the School of History and Classics, 2000 -2003, and currently acts as Director of Research in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. She won the Alexander Prize of the Royal Historical Society in 1980 and her major publications include Politics, Society and Civil War in Warwickshire 1620-1660 (1987), The Causes of the English Civil War ( 2nd edition, 1998), Gangraena and the Struggle for the English Revolution (2004), Gender and the English Revolution (2011). She has edited (with Richard Cust) Conflict in Early Stuart England (1989), and (with Tom Corns and David Loewenstein) The Complete Works of Gerrard Winstanley (2009). She is now working principally on a reassessment of the impact of parliamentarian preaching during the English.

RHS Ann Hughes Lecture

 

Professor Chris Wickham ‘The feudal revolution and the origins of Italian city communes’. View lecture.

Prothero Lecture, Cruciform Lecture Theatre I, UCL, 10 July 2013

The ‘feudal revolution’ debate in the 1990s focussed on the years around 1000 and on France, and was an argument about whether or not that rough date marked a major change in political structures, with more privatised local powers focussed on castles and an effectively total breakdown of the ‘state’. It ended in something of a stand-off, with more extreme versions of both sides largely set aside, but no real consensus. Italy was not a major part of this debate; but the crisis years of the late eleventh century produced a similar breakdown of traditional political structures in the centre-north of Italy around 1100, and the emergence of local powers in much the same way as in parts of France. The most dominant of these local powers were, however, not private lordships, but cities. The question is what difference this makes to our understanding of how a version of the ‘feudal revolution’ might work in Italy; and also whether this ought to make us rethink how we interpret the emergence of the bodies which ran these autonomous cities, the city communes.

RHS – Chris Wickham Lecture