Open for Discussion: How Can History Strengthen Democracy?

Date / time: 19 May, 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm

Open for Discussion: How Can History Strengthen Democracy?

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Convened by Prof Sarah Churchwell, Chair of Public Understanding of the Humanities at the School of Advanced Study, University of London

How can history strengthen democracy? Increasingly the social and political conditions that foster liberal democracy are under challenge across the globe, including pluralism, civil liberties, respect for minority and migrant communities, and a social order predicated on commitment to the rule of law. These challenges have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has created a premise for (further) authoritarian interventions from regimes seeking to consolidate their power. At the same time, history has itself become a subject of intense and widespread political debate.

This panel asks what lessons, if any, can be drawn from a wide array of global histories to help strengthen civic education and recommit citizens to the democratic project around the world.

Confirmed speakers:

* Prof Peter Frankopan, Professor of Global History, Director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research and Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College, author of The Silk Roads: A New History of the World (Bloomsbury, 2015)
* Prof Sunny Singh, Professor of Creative Writing and Inclusion in the Arts, London Metropolitan University
* Dr Keri Leigh Merritt, Independent Scholar, author of Masterless Men: Poor Whites and Slavery in the Antebellum South, (Cambridge University Press, 2017)
* Zoé Samudzi, PhD candidate at the University of California, San Francisco researching German colonization, European biosciences, and how the genocide against Herero and Nama and San peoples in Namibia (1904-08) produced a Black indigenous identity.

All welcome

This event is free to attend, but booking is required. It will be held online with details about how to join the virtual event being circulated via email to registered attendees 24 hours in advance.