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Events and conferences 2013

The Eccles Centre for American Studies regularly organises and supports conferences, seminars, lectures and other events on North American and transatlantic themes, often in partnership with other institutions and organisations. Below here is a list of recent events.


US Politics in the Age of Obama
A One-Day Conference for 6th Form Students

When   Monday 4 March 2013   10.30 - 15.30
Where   Conference Centre, British Library, London

Speakers included two former Congressmen - Bob Carr (D-MI) and Cliff Stearns (R-FL) - and Nirmal Puwar (Goldsmiths, University of London), Kevern Verney (Edge Hill University), Lee Marsden (University of East Anglia), Maria Ryan (University of Nottingham), Iwan Morgan (Institute of the Americas, University College London) and Ketan Patel (Greater Pacific Capital) in three panels on:

Race, Obama & American Power
America at War
The Economy

This conference was organised in cooperation with the AHRC Obama Research Network.


Confessions of a Bibliographer (Yankee) in American Poetry

When    Monday 18 Mar 2013, 18.15-19.45
Where    Conference Centre, British Library

As a junior in Brown University, selling second-hand books from his dormitory room and studying Bibliography with Lawrence Wroth at the John Carter Brown Library, Roger Stoddard bought a copy of Oscar Wegelin’s bibliography Early American Poetry (1930) for reference. The book obsessed him, so now, 57 years later, he has produced a hefty revision, and he had a story to tell.

Roger E Stoddard worked for 42 years in the Harvard Library, retiring in 2004 as Curator of Rare Books in the Harvard College Library, Senior Curator in the Houghton Library, and Senior Lecturer in English. His bibliography of American Verse 1610-1820 was recently published by Penn State Press for the Bibliographical Society of America.

Supported by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at The British Library.


Abraham Lincoln, Irish-Americans and the Civil War

When    Monday 18 Mar 2013, 18.30-20.00
Where    Conference Centre, British Library

Professor Richard Carwardine presented the 2013 Sulgrave Manor Watson Chair Lecture.

He discussed how President Lincoln's emancipation proclamation of 1863 - which signalled that the war to restore the Union had become a struggle for a more profound freedom - asked trenchant questions of Union loyalism of the Irish American community.

In co-operation with the Sulgrave Manor Trust


38th Annual British Association for Canadian Studies Conference
Crediting Canada: Canada as an Economic World Leader?

When    3 - 5 April 2013
Where   Canada House and Conference Centre, British Library

Details


Conference    Movies for Hard Times: Hollywood and the Great Depression

When    Monday 22 Apr 2013, 10.00-17.00
Where    Conference Centre, British Library

A one-day conference with the participation of nine eminent scholars who analyzed the Depression Era context of some classic movies, stars and studios. Among the subjects considered were Cary Grant, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Mickey Mouse, Chaplin's Modern Times and John Ford's Young Mr Lincoln.

Conference programme
Abstracts and speakers

Organised by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at The British Library and the UCL Institute of the Americas


Wise Up America! A Friendly Word from a Foreigner...

When    Friday 10 May 2013, 18.30-20.00
Where    Conference Centre, British Library

Justin Webb, the BBC’s Today programme presenter and former chief Washington correspondent, shared his view of America’s problems and how they might be fixed.

This lecture was the Third Annual Benjamin Franklin House Robert H Smith Lecture in American Democracy and is co-sponsored by the Eccles Centre for American Studies.


Kansas vs. Darwin: A Documentary

When    Monday 20 May 2013, 18.30-20.30
Where    Conference Centre, British Library

Trailer

This darkly comic documentary explores the epic 2005 Kansas state school board hearings, in which a group of creationist politicians attempted to subvert the teaching of evolution in public schools. As the film shows, local scientists and educators sought to nullify the proceedings by staging a worldwide boycott, which subsequently backfired, resulting in an uncontested, all-out public attack on scientific orthodoxy. Featured exclusive footage of the hearings as well as often-surprising interviews with participants on both sides, Kansas vs. Darwin is by turns hilarious, touching and disturbing. Its subjects tell their story with no narration, revealing the seemingly unprincipled opportunism of the religious conservatives as well as the unwitting role played by scientists in undermining their own authority. A discussion with American filmmaker Jeff Tamblyn, moderated by Dr. Alexander Smith (Sociology, Warwick) followed the screening.


Conference The State of the Union: Challenges and Expectations for the Obama Administration

When    Friday 24 May 2013, 10.30-17.00
Where    Conference Centre, British Library

A one-day conference, with the participation of a number of eminent scholars who examined the progress of the Obama administration to date, and the challenges to be managed going forward.

Conference programme

Organised by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library, the Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London and De Montfort University


Talk   Obama’s Second Term: Power, Progress and the Partisan Divide

When    Friday 31 May 2013, 18.45-20.45
Where    Conference Centre, British Library

A panel of legal experts - Margo Miller (Democrats Abroad), Professor Robert McKeever (London Metropolitan University), Professor Gary Gerstle (Vanderbilt University) and Dr Jason Mast (University of Warwick) - examined Obama's record so far and made predictions on hot-button issues including immigration, gun control, tax, health care and energy.

Co-sponsored by American Women Lawyers in London and the Eccles Centre for American Studies


Summer Scholars
The Secretary: A Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power

When    Friday 7 June 2013, 12.30-14.00
Where    Eliot Room, Conference Centre, British Library

BBC State Department correspondent Kim Ghattas spoke about her new book, The Secretary: A Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power.

A New York Times Best Seller, The Secretary is the first account of Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. Drawing on interviews with Clinton, her staff, and major figures in the US and around the world, Ghattas presented a close-up look Clinton's style of diplomacy and how she handled a range of issues in the first Obama administration, from the relationship with Asia, to the Arab uprisings to crisis spurred by the diplomatic cables revealed by WikiLeaks.

This event was co-sponsored by the US Embassy and the Eccles Centre for American Studies


Noam Chomsky in conversation with Jonathan Freedland

When    Tuesday 19 Mar 2013, 18.30-20.00
Where   Conference Centre, British Library

Philosopher, cognitive scientist and political activist Noam Chomsky discussed the roles of the state and the mass media, 25 years on from his essential work Manufacturing Consent.

Jonathan Freedland writes a weekly column for The Guardian. He is also a regular contributor to the New York Times and the New York Review of Books, and presents BBC Radio 4's contemporary history series, "The Long View".

Watch a film of Chomsky's conversation with Jonathan Freedland on the Library's YouTube channel

This event was supported by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at The British Library.


Confessions of a Bibliographer (Yankee) in American Poetry

When    Monday 18 Mar 2013, 18.15-19.45
Where    Conference Centre, British Library

As a junior in Brown University, selling second-hand books from his dormitory room and studying Bibliography with Lawrence Wroth at the John Carter Brown Library, Roger Stoddard bought a copy of Oscar Wegelin’s bibliography Early American Poetry (1930) for reference. The book obsessed him, so now, 57 years later, he has produced a hefty revision, and he had a story to tell.

Roger E Stoddard worked for 42 years in the Harvard Library, retiring in 2004 as Curator of Rare Books in the Harvard College Library, Senior Curator in the Houghton Library, and Senior Lecturer in English. His bibliography of American Verse 1610-1820 was recently published by Penn State Press for the Bibliographical Society of America.

Supported by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at The British Library.


Propaganda in the Americas: A Historical Evaluation

When    Monday 10 June 2013, 18.30-20.00
Where    Conference Centre, British Library

Three distinguished historians offered a historical evaluation of the role played by propaganda in the modern history of the Americas: Steven Casey (Reader in International History, LSE) on 'The Human Cost of War: US Propaganda and American Combat Casualties in the Twentieth Century.'; Antoni Kapcia (Professor of Latin American History, Nottingham University) on 'Propaganda or Consciousness-Raising: Public Discourse in Revolutionary Cuba.'; Benjamin Smith (Associate Professor of Latin American History, Warwick University) on 'Revolutionary and Religious Propaganda in Twentieth Century Mexico.'

This event was co-sponsored by the Eccles Centre for American Studies and the UCL Institute of the Americas


Conference  American Conservatism: Rethinking the US Right

When    Fri 14 June 2013, 09:30 - 17:30
Where    The Senate Room (Senate House, First Floor), Senate House Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Keynote address:
"American Executive Power in Conservative Thought" given by Professor Richard Pious (Columbia University and Barnard College, USA)

Conference programme.

This event was co-sponsored by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library and the Institute for the Study of the Americas, part of the University of London's School of Advanced Study.


Summer Scholars
London Bridge in America: The Tall Story of a Transatlantic Crossing

When    Wednesday 19 June 2013, 12.30-14.00
Where    Foyle Suite, Centre for Conservation

In 1968 one of the oddest events in Anglo-American history occurred: the City of London sold London Bridge to the Arizona-based McCulloch Oil Corporation. Brick by brick the 1831 structure was dismantled and rebuilt in a decidedly dry corner of Arizona.

Travis Elborough, freelance writer, author and cultural historian, spoke about his book, London Bridge in America: The Tall Story of a Transatlantic Crossing.

Organised with support from the Eccles Centre for American Studies


Summer Scholars
Rorschach Audio - Ghost Voices, Art, Illusions and Sonic Archives

When    Friday 28 June 2013, 12.30-14.00
Where    Foyle Suite, Centre for Conservation

Writing in Playback: the Bulletin of the British Library Sound Archive, Toby Oakes observed that the archive 'deals with the voices of the dead every day, but our subjects tend to have been alive at the time of recording'. 'Mortality was no impediment' however, in the case of tapes recorded by parapsychologist Konstantin Raudive, who claimed that Galileo, Goethe and Hitler communicated with him through the medium of radio waves. Raudive was the most famous exponent of Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP), as it is known, and the British Library holds a collection of 60 of his unedited tapes.

Rather than dismissing the claims of EVP researchers out-of-hand, author Joe Banks demonstrated with a number of highly entertaining audio-visual illusions how the mind can misinterpret recordings of sound and of stray communications chatter, similar to the way viewers project images onto the random visual forms of the psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach's famous ink-blot tests.

Organised with support from the Eccles Centre for American Studies


Summer Scholars
East meets West: Uncovering connections between the East India Company and the Caribbean through the British Library's collections

When    Wednesday 3 July 2013, 12.30-14.00
Where    Foyle Suite, Centre for Conservation
Price    Free, but it is essential to book a place by emailing summer-scholars@bl.uk.

Chris Jeppesen, Research Associate at the UCL Department of History, talked about his recent work on the Library’s collections tracing links between the East India Company and the Caribbean through the movement and correspondence of families.

"Historians have tended to draw a binary between British involvement in India and the Caribbean. Rarely, do they acknowledge the intricate connections between the Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds that facilitated the transfer of people, capital and goods during the late eighteenth/early nineteenth centuries. My ongoing research project based between UCL and the BL has sought to uncover some of the connections between the East India Company and the Caribbean and to suggest ways that other interested researchers can expand our understanding of these links.

Crucial to many exchanges were family networks that spanned India, Britain and the Caribbean, allowing members access to opportunities that promised wealth and prestige. My talk will seek to demonstrate how by following one family - the Martins of Antigua - through the BL's collections one can start to uncover the all too often ignored links between India and the Caribbean."

Organised with support from the Eccles Centre for American Studies


Summer Scholars
The Rise and Fall of the American Industrial Foodscape

When    Wednesday 24 July 2013, 12.30-14.00
Where    Foyle Suite, Centre for Conservation
Price    Free, but it is essential to book a place by emailing summer-scholars@bl.uk.

In recent years, the American-inspired agro-industrial food system has been under attack. Technological innovation has provided cheap food to millions, but this has come at a cost in terms of rising obesity and other diet-related health problems; food safety; workers rights; animal welfare and the environment. There was a time, however, when the American industrial food system was revered, its innovations celebrated for their significant contribution to the success of social and economic life in twentieth century America. So what happened? Certainly much of the answer is rooted in evolving consumer needs and tastes. But the food industry also has been a major player in the process. Over the years the industries' self image shifts from public citizen and champion of American free-market capitalism to a defender of a system now widely viewed as broken. This illustrated talk will trace the history of the American industrial food system from its early years in the 1920s to its world dominance in the post-war period. It draws on the major business and science food journals of the period to show how the industry, in its own voice, views its contributions to the American economy and to global society.

Betsy Donald is an Associate Professor of Geography at Queen's University in Canada. She is the 2012-13 Visiting Professor in North American Studies at the Eccles Centre for American Studies and Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge. She is the author of over 40 journal publications, book chapters and policy reports. Her most recent paper on food policy, "Food Retail and Access after the Crash: rethinking the food desert problem" (2013), is published in Economic Geography. She is an editor of the Cambridge Journal of Regions Economy and Society.

Organised with support from the Eccles Centre for American Studies.


Power and Persuasion: Michael Dukakis in conversation - Cancelled due to ill health

When    Tue 6 August 2013, 18.30-20.00
Where    Conference Centre, British Library
Price    £7.50 /£5 concessions.

At this exclusive event, former US Presidential candidate Mike Dukakis was joined by one of the leading British political figures of recent decades - Kenneth Baker - to discuss the complexities of winning support for policies, and the business of elections on both sides of the Atlantic.

Michael Dukakis served an unprecedented three, four-year terms as Governor of Massachusetts. He entered the Governor's office as a cost-cutting conservative to fix the debt-riddled state budget. Buoyed by budget success and a rapidly expanding economy, he expanded state services and promoted the "Massachusetts Miracle" as a model for America. In his, initially successful 1988 run as Democratic candidate for President, the undermining tactics employed by his opponent George Bush Snr ultimately lost him the election.

Kenneth Baker was an Conservative Member of Parliament from 1968 to 1992. He held a variety of senior ministerial positions - Secretary of State for the Environment, Secretary of State for Education, and, in John Major's Cabinet, the post of Home Secretary. He also served as Chairman of the Conservative Party.


Summer Scholars
The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession

When    Wednesday 21 August 2013, 12.30-14.00
Where    Foyle Suite, Centre for Conservation
Price    Free, but it is essential to book a place by emailing summer-scholars@bl.uk.

In this beautifully illustrated talk award-winning author and 2013 British Library Eccles Centre Writer in Residence Andrea Wulf tells the tale of a small group of 18th century naturalists that made England a nation of gardeners. It's the story of a garden revolution that began in America with the farmer John Bartram who transformed the English landscape with the introduction of hundreds of American trees and shrubs.

The talk explores the botanical passions, obsessions, friendships and squabbles that knitted together the lives of six men that changed the world of gardening and botany - including John Bartram, the cantankerous Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, and Joseph Banks who joined Captain Cook's Endeavour on the greatest voyage of discovery of modern times. Friends, rivals, enemies, their correspondence, collaborations and squabbles make for a riveting human drama set against the backdrop of the emerging British empire and America's magnificent forests. As botany and horticulture became a science, the garden became the Eden for everyman.

Organised with support from the Eccles Centre for American Studies.


Dear World: Editors, Poets and Trans-Cultural Practice

When    Fri 6 September 2013, 18.30-20.00
Where    Conference Centre, British Library
Price    £4 /£3 concessions. Tickets will be available from the BL Box Office

Five poets whose work appeared in Dear World & Everyone In It: New Poetry in the UK ( Bloodaxe, 2013) - Ágnes Lehóczky, Éireann Lorsung, Sandeep Parmar, Eileen Pun and Marcus Slease - were joined by UK editor/poet Nathan Hamilton, and US editor/poet James Cihlar, for a reading and discussion of literary migration, cross-pollination, belonging and alienation.

James Cihlar is the author of Rancho Nostaliga (2013), Undoing (2008) and Mataphysical Bailout (2010). He teaches at the University of Minnesota. Nathan Hamilton runs Egg Box Publishing, co-edited Stop Sharpening Your Knives, and edited Dear World & Everyone In It. His writing appeared in The Guardian, The Manhattan Review and The Spectator. Ágnes Lehóczky's collections include Budapest to Babel (2008), Rememberer (2012) and Poetry: the Geometry of Living Substance (2011). She teaches creative writing at the University of Sheffield. Éireann Lorsung's second collection, Her book, was out in August 2013 (Milkweed Editions (US)) and followed Music For Landing Planes By (2007). Born in Minneapolis, she lives in Belgium, where she co-runs MIEL and edits 111O. Sandeep Parmar's first collection, The Marble Orchard (2012) was published by Shearsman. She is a lecturer at the University of Liverpool. Eileen Pun was recently selected as one of ten 'The Complete Works II' poets for Spread the Word, London. Marcus Slease's latest books include Mu (Dream) So (Window), and a Polish postmodern fairy tale, The House of Zabka (2013).

This event was followed by a reception.


The Rediscovery of Wisdom

When    Mon 9 September 2013, 18.45-20.15
Where    Conference Centre, British Library
Price    £7.50 /£5 concessions. Book now via info@benjaminfranklinhouse.org or phone 020 7839 2006

According to Rory Sutherland, Vice-Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather and Technology Correspondent for The Spectator, 'recent advances in the social sciences, Darwinian psychology and behavioural economics point to one conclusion: a lot of very clever dead people were right all along.' For this Benjamin Franklin Symposium, Rory's starting point will be Franklin maxim: 'There are two ways of being happy: We must either diminish our wants or augment our means - either may do...it is for each man to decide for himself and to do that which happens to be easier.'

This event was co-sponsored by Benjamin Franklin House and the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library.


When Britain Burned the White House

When    Tue 17 September 2013, 18.30-20.00
Where    Conference Centre, British Library
Price    £8 /£5 concessions

Discussing his new book, highly respected journalist, author and broadcaster Peter Snow will detail Britain's extraordinary invasion of Washington in 1814. Using a wealth of material including eyewitness accounts, he will discuss the fast-changing fortunes of both sides in this confrontation and will describe the colourful personalities in these spectacular events: Britain's fiery Admiral Cockburn, the cautious but immensely popular army commander Robert Ross, and sharp-eyed diarists James Scott and George Gleig. And on the American side: beleaguered President James Madison, whose young nation is fighting the world's foremost military power, his wife Dolley, a model of courage and determination, military heroes such as Joshua Barney and Sam Smith, and flawed incompetents like Army Chief William Winder and W ar Secretary John Armstrong. Peter Snow will reflect upon the far-reaching consequences of this momentous event and the decision of Britain and the United States never to fight each other again.

This event is co-sponsored by the US-UK Fulbright Commission and the Eccles Centre for American studies at the British Library. It will be followed by a reception.


1963: A Turning Point in the Civil Rights Movement

When    Mon 14 October 2013, 18.45-20.00
Where   Conference Centre, British Library
Price    £4 /£3 concessions

In this talk Dr Malcolm McLaughlin and Dr Nicholas Grant, both from the University of East Anglia, will discuss the significance of 1963 for the history of the Civil Rights movement in the United States and for racial politics around the world, during a time of global change.

1963 looms in American memory as a year that changed the course of the nation's history, whilst shaping how the United States was perceived around the world. When considering the Civil Rights movement, it is so often the events of that year that come to mind: iconic images of police officers setting dogs and turning fire hoses on peaceful marchers in Birmingham, Alabama, in full view of the press and television cameras; Martin Luther King's 'I have a dream' speech at the March on Washington on 28 August. Dr Malcolm McLaughlin will focus on the March on Washington and will ask what we can learn about the Civil Rights movement, its ambitions, and its achievements, by thinking about controversies surrounding the march at the time, and how it has entered American folklore since. Dr. Nicholas Grant will open up new perspectives by tracing political connections between black activists in the United States and South Africa, and showing how the Birmingham campaign and March on Washington travelled overseas, shaping racial politics around the world.

This event is co-sponsored by the UEA School of American Studies, celebrating Fifty Years of the University of East Anglia, and the Eccles Centre for American Studies


J William Fulbright's World View

When    Fri 18 October 2013, 18.45-20.15
Where  Conference Centre, British Library
Price     Free, but booking essential

Professor Randall Woods, author of Fulbright: A Biography (Cambridge: 1995) will speak on the origins of J. William Fulbright's world view. During and after World War II, shocked by the horrendous violence of the war, the Holocaust, and the atomic bombings of Japan, Fulbright struggled to discover and implement a plan to avert similar calamities. He embraced the United Nations, World Federation, but then, frustrated, settled on an international educational exchange program. In the 1960s, he put forward an alternative Cold War policy for the United States which led him to vigorously oppose the war in Vietnam.


The Emancipation Proclamation 150 Years On

When    Monday 28 October, 18.30 - 20.00
Where   Conference Centre, British Library
Price     £4 /£3 concessions

As the recent film, Lincoln, makes clear, the Emancipation Proclamation - issued by President Abraham Lincoln on 1 January 1863 - was a wartime expedient which was eventually made permanent by the passing of the 13th Amendment. A panel of historians will discuss the manoeuvring that resulted in the Proclamation being put into effect, the impact on the course of the American Civil War and the effect on American society thereafter. Amongst the questions discussed will be: What contribution did the proclamation make to the North winning the Civil War? What effect did the proclamation have on opinion outside America, did it isolate the South? If the 13th Amendment had not been passed before the end of the Civil War, what would have been the status of the Emancipation Proclamation? Did the manner in which the Emancipation Proclamation came about limit or retard the search for equality amongst races? The evening will finish with a discussion of the legacy of the Civil War in general and its impact on race relations today.

This event is sponsored by the American Civil War Round Table (UK) and the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library.


John F Kennedy’s Presidential Heritage: A One-Day Conference

When    Monday 4 November 2013
Where   Conference Centre, British Library
Price     £15 / £10 concessions (includes buffet lunch and afternoon refreshments).

Marking the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s death, the Kennedy Memorial Trust, the UCL Institute of the Americas and the British Library’s Eccles Centre for American Studies, together with the generous support of the Paul Mellon Professorial Fund, have combined to bring together an international team of scholars to explore the Kennedy heritage.

Our speakers on foreign policy are John Dumbrell, Professor of Government at Durham University, and author of Rethinking the Vietnam War (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012); Matthew Jones, Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science, former Eccles Centre Fellow, Official Historian at the Cabinet Office, and author of After Hiroshima: The US, Race and Nuclear Weapons (CUP, 2010); and Andrew Preston, Reader in American History at Cambridge University and author of The War Council: McGeorge Bundy, the NSC, and  Vietnam (Harvard, 2006).

On the Kennedy domestic legacy the speakers will be Nick Bryant, BBC News correspondent in New York and author of The Bystander: John F Kennedy and the Struggle for Black Equality (Basic, 2006); and Iwan Morgan, Commonwealth Fund Professor of American History at University College London, and author of the Richard Neustadt Prize-winning volume The Age of Deficits (Kansas UP, 2009).

The historical memory that has built up around the Kennedy years will be explored by Tony Badger, Paul Mellon Professor of American History at Cambridge University, Master of Clare College and Chairman of the Kennedy Memorial Trust, and one of the UK’s leading historians of the USA; Steven M. Gillon, Professor of US Modern History at the University of Oklahoma, resident historian on the History Channel, and author of The Kennedy Assassination (Basic, 2009); and Randall Woods, Distinguished Professor and John A. Cooper Professor of History at the University of Arkansas, John G. Winant Visiting Professor of American History at Oxford University and author of LBJ: Architect of American Ambition (Free Press, 2006).

Opportunities for discussion with these experts will be afforded in each session, and during the buffet lunch and the afternoon tea break.

Advance registration is essential.

Also please see the Programme.


David Miliband: America, Britain & Europe: Lessons from JFK

This lecture by David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, was sponsored by the Kennedy Memorial Trust and the Eccles Centre. A podcast of the lecture can be found here.


London Entangled: Indigenous Histories at the Heart of Empire

When   Thursday 7 November
Where  UCL Institute of the Americas
Price     Free

Indigenous and urban histories have usually been treated as though they are mutually exclusive. The work of Coll Thrush (University of British Columbia) however, has argued that the two kinds of history are in fact interrelated. In this presentation, Dr Thrush will present material from his current book project, a history of London framed through the experiences of Indigenous people who travelled here, willingly or otherwise, from territories that became the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. Stories of Inuit captives in the 1570s, Cherokee delegations in the 1760s, Hawaiian royals in the 1820s, and more - as well as the memory of these travellers in present-day communities - show the ways in which London is an important ground of Indigenous history and settler colonialism. This event is co-sponored by the Eccles Centre and the UCL Institute of the Americas. For further information, please see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/americas/ia-events-viewer


Charles Urban: Pioneering the Non-fiction Film

When   Monday 25 November 2013, 18.45 – 20.15
Where  Conference Centre, British Library
Price    £4 / £3 concessions

Charles Urban is one of the most important figures in early British and America cinema. Widely celebrated in his day, he has remained a name in film history chiefly for his development of Kinemacolor, the world’s first successful natural colour moving picture system. He was also a pioneer in the filming of war, science, travel, actuality and news, a fervent advocate of the value of film as an educative force, and a controversial but important innovator of film propaganda in wartime when he worked on behalf of the British government to place official war films on American screens during the First World War.

In this talk Luke McKernan, author of Charles Urban: Pioneering the Non-Fiction in Britain and America, 1897-1925 (University of Exeter Press, 2013), will use Urban’s story to show how the non-fiction film developed in the first years of the twentieth century, and the dilemmas that it faced within a cinema culture in which the entertainment fiction film was dominant. Urban’s solutions – some successful, some less so – illustrate the groundwork that led to the development of documentary film.  The talk will be illustrated by examples of Urban’s film productions, including some rare Kinemacolor films from the 1910s, with a live piano accompaniment by Neil Brand.

Luke McKernan is Lead Curator, News and Moving Image at the British Library


Assassination Redux - The Assassination of JFK

When   Thursday 5 December 2013
Where  King's College London
Price     Free

This panel discussion and film screening (The Eternal Frame, 1975) will explore how the assassination of President Kennedy has been revisited, reinterpreted and ascribed new meanings by historians, journalists, novelists, conspiracy theorists, artists and filmmakers. The speakers are Professor Kathryn Olmsted (UC Davis), Dr Peter Knight (Manchester), and Oyvind Vagnas (Bergen) and Dr Clare Birchall (INAS) will chair. This event is co-sponsored by the Institute of North American Studies (KCL), the US Embassy and the Eccles Centre.


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