British academy

Writing National History

A joint British Academy/Oxford University Press panel discussion chaired by David Horspool, History Editor, Times Literary Supplement

6.30pm-8.00pm, followed by a drinks reception

Thursday, 4 March 2010 

British Academy, Carlton House Terrace, London SW1

 

Given recent pressures towards fragmentation, does the nation still provide a satisfactory framework for historical enquiry? If not, what shape SHOULD national histories take?  Is nationality as a way of looking at a society that is more appropriate to some periods or nations than to others? To celebrate the publication of Finding a Role? The United Kingdom 1970–1990, Brian Harrison and other leading historians will debate these and related issues, with audience participation encouraged.

About the Speakers

Professor Sir Brian Harrison FBA, Emeritus Professor of Modern British History at the University of Oxford, has published on many aspects of British history from the 1790s to the present. His most recently published books are the two concluding volumes in the New Oxford History of England series – Seeking a Role, covering the years 1951 to 1970 published in 2009, and Finding a Role?, covering 1970 to 1990 to be published in February 2010.
David Horspool is History Editor of the Times Literary Supplement. His most recent book, The English Rebel: One Thousand Years of Trouble-making from the Normans to the Nineties, was published in 2009.
Linda Colley CBE FBA is currently Shelby M.C. Davis 1958 Professor of History at Princeton University.  She writes for The Guardian.  The New York Times named her book The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh and her Britons: Forging the Nation 1707-1837 one of the "Ten Best Books of the Year" for 2007.  It won the Wolfson Prize and has just been re-isued by Yale University Press in a 5th paperback edition.
Richard English FBA is Professor of Politics at Queen's University Belfast and author of the award-winning books Irish Freedom: The History of Nationalism in Ireland (2006) and Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA (2003).  He is a frequent media commentator on Irish history and on terrorism, and he has lectured widely on these subjects in Europe and America.
Rana Mitter
is Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China at the University of Oxford.  He won the title Times Higher Young Academic Author of the Year 2005.  His A Bitter Revolution was named by Foreign Affairs as one of five 'must-read'  Notable Books on China.  He presents and comments regularly on radio and television.

6.30–8.00pm, followed by a reception. Registration is not required for this event. Seats will be allocated on arrival. 

The Times Literary Supplement is our media partner for this event

Stream availableAudio recordings

Introduction (3.8MB)

Brian Harrison - Frameworks for writing history (9.3MB)

Rana Mitter - Writing national history outside Europe (12MB)

Richard English - National identity matters to actors and history (9.6MB)

Linda Colley - National history is necessary but not sufficient (12.4MB)

Questions (40MB)