A series of Wednesday evening talks commencing 31 October and running until 5 December.
These talks are free. Please register for talks by clicking on the links below.
Speakers: Prof. Joad Raymond, Dr Joseph Kelly, Dr Gregory Claeys, Prof. David Nash, Deborah Lavin & Viv Regan
Presented by Conway Hall Ethical Society and curated by Deborah Lavin.
This series of talks is part of the Heritage Lottery-funded project Victorian Blogging that will see our collection of over 1,300 nineteenth-century pamphlets digitised and made freely available online.
Forgotten at the back of dusty desk drawers, foxed in crumbling box-files on library shelves, these pamphlets disguise themselves as insubstantial ephemera of little consequence, but their flimsy pages and the words they contain have proved to be quite the opposite — the catalyst igniting revolutions, overthrowing governments, and altering the course of history. These talks reflect some of the myriad issues covered in our pamphlet collection including women’s rights, slavery, socialism, blasphemy laws and the parallels between these Victorian pamphleteers and contemporary bloggers.
Wednesdays, 31 October–5 December 2018, 19:00–20:30
31 October | Brockway Room
Prof. Joad Raymond charts the rise of the pamphlet as a method to communicate alternative political ideas and challenge power in early modern Britain.
7 November | Brockway Room
Dr Joseph Kelly examines the problems faced by the slavery abolition movement in Britain after the 1830s in their efforts to eliminate slavery from the face of the earth.
14 November | Library*
Dr Gregory Claeys considers whether, despite Marxism’s well-known rejection of earlier utopian socialism, Karl Marx might be termed a utopian thinker, and how some of his ideas were adapted but also built upon by the English socialist William Morris.
21 November | Brockway Room
Prof. David Nash traces the long battle to abolish the Blasphemy Laws in England, from the seventeenth century to their abolition in 2008 and how the concept of blasphemy affects us all today.
28 November | Library*
Deborah Lavin reveals how whilst opposition to contraception may have been blinkered and bigoted, it was also often liberal, radical, socialist and feminist.
5 December | Brockway Room
Viv Regan of Spiked will explore the threats to open debate and blogging online and discuss what has happened to the lost promise of internet freedom.
Deborah Lavin is an independent historian particularly interested in the conflicts between radicals and socialists in the nineteeth century. At Conway Hall, she has given various talks, mostly on issues connected to Charles Bradlaugh, Annie Besant and Karl Marx; she has also curated several talks series, most recently The British Business of Slavery and Stop the First World War.
* We are committed to promoting inclusive practice at Conway Hall. Due to the constraints of our building, the Library is not currently accessible to wheelchair users or those with limited mobility, we are happy to discuss with you how we can make the contents and materials accessible to you. We carefully monitor which events are held in the Library, and will use your comments to enable us to develop ways to ensure that everyone should be able to attend events in the future.