HistFest 2020: Saturday Day Pass

Michael Wood
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  • Tel: +44 (0)1937 546546
  • Email: boxoffice@bl.uk
  • Full Price: £50.00 Other concessions available

A dynamic history festival that celebrates the brightest and the best in the world of history.

HistFest is an exciting festival that celebrates the brightest and the best in the world of history. Over the course of three days, the festival will entertain and educate, featuring an eclectic mix of talks, panels, live performances and workshops.

Saturday line up:

Succession: Bastards, Heirs and Pretenders

10:00 – 10:50
If history tells us anything, it is that royal successions are rarely straightforward. There has never been a time when this was more the case than during the Wars of the Roses and the Tudor period, with uncles plotting against nephews and nieces, mothers and fathers clashing with sons and daughters, and warring houses battling over competing claims to the throne. This unique event brings three leading historians together to explore how ideas of primogeniture, gender, legitimacy and ancestry have played into the politics of royal successions and profoundly shaped English history. Historians Nathen Amin, Lauren Johnson and Dr Joanne Paul will shine a light on a rogue’s gallery of royal bastards, infamous pretenders and the suspicious deaths of first-born sons.

Dead Famous: Greg Jenner in Conversation with Dr Naoise Mac Sweeney

11.30 – 12.20
Celebrity, with its neon glow and selfie pout, strikes us as hypermodern. But the famous and infamous have been thrilling, titillating and outraging us for much longer than we might realise – from the scandalous and steamy Lord Byron to the cheetah-owning, coffin-sleeping, one-legged French actress Sarah Bernhardt. In this fascinating talk, broadcaster and historian Greg Jenner talks to Dr Naoise Mac Sweeney and reveals why celebrity burst into life in the early eighteenth century, how it differs to ancient ideas of fame, the techniques through which it was acquired, how it was maintained, the effect it had on public tastes, and the psychological burden stardom could place on those in the glaring limelight.
This event is kindly supported by PLB Ltd

Don’t Touch My Hair: Emma Dabiri in Conversation Ferren Gipson

13.30 – 14.20
Despite our more liberal world views, black hair continues to be erased, appropriated and stigmatised to the point of taboo. Why is that? In this event, historian and broadcaster Emma Dabiri speaks to art historian and podcaster Ferren Gipson about the cultural significance of African hairstyles, using them as a blueprint for decolonisation - from pre-colonial Africa, through the Harlem Renaissance, Black Power and into today's Natural Hair Movement, the Cultural Appropriation Wars and beyond.

On Savage Shores: The Native Americans who Discovered Europe

15:00 – 15:50
The story of the sixteenth century is one of movement and meetings, of iconic explorers crossing great oceans and setting foot on strange shores, sowing the seeds of our modern global world. Yet for too long the narrative of this period has focused on Europeans ‘discovering’ America. In this fascinating talk, Dr Caroline Dodds Pennock draws upon years of research to present a compelling new history, one of the thousands of native Americans travelling to Europe during this period: from the Brazilian king who met Henry VIII, to the Inuit who harpooned ducks on the Avon; from the Aztecs who mocked up human sacrifice at the court of Charles V, to the Mayan nobles who made chocolate for the Spanish king. They forged the course of European history, just as surely as Europe shaped America. For such indigenous travellers and discoverers, Europe was the savage shore.

This event is kindly supported by The Eccles Centre for American Studies

Artemisia: Mistress of Blood

16.30 – 17.20
She was the first woman to be accepted into the Accademia di Arte del Disegno in Florence, famous for her blistering works of biblical and mythological brilliance and sought after by the great and the good all across Europe. With the launch of the first ever retrospective in the UK of her powerful works of art, we bring together leading thinkers in the world of art history to explore the formidable life, work and legacy of Artemisia Gentileschi. Hers is a story of fierce talent, singular ambition and the wider history of female artists. Panellists include National Gallery curator Dr Francesca Whitlum-Cooper, renaissance historian Dr Catherine Fletcher, and art historian and podcaster Ferren Gipson.

Æthelflæd: Lady of the Mercians

18.00 – 18.50
Æthelflæd (c870-918) is one of the most remarkable women in medieval Britain, but the fragmentary records of her career are a striking example of the erasure of women’s history. Eldest child of Alfred the Great, she governed the ancient kingdom of the Mercians for thirty-two years, the last eight as sole ruler. She founded cities, built fortresses and even led her troops into battle against the Danes, playing a crucial role in the creation of the kingdom of the English that emerged in the 920s under her foster son Athelstan. In this fascinating illustrated talk, historian and broadcaster Professor Michael Wood explores the life, times and legacy of the Lady of the Mercians.

Day and weekend pass holders have access to all Knowledge Centre Theatre talks as well as the live performances, stalls and living history demonstrations throughout the Knowledge Centre. In addition, a number of places for the Eliot Room events will be reserved for day and weekend pass holders on a first come first served basis. Please sign up on the day.


Name: HistFest 2020: Saturday Day Pass
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Full Price: £50.00
Student: £25.00
Registered Unemployed: £25.00
Senior (60+): £43.00
Young Person (18-25): £25.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546
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