A landmark charity for London’s independent intellectual, political and cultural life. Over 200 years of apostasy, radicalism and rebellion, all under one roof.
‘Seven years ago I moved down from Yorkshire to London, and began painting canvasses. My work is inspired by the lines, textures, and reflected light of the city, the ever changing mirror of the River Thames, and the mesmerising dazzle of the City at night’.
Wednesdays to Saturdays • 10am – 4pm – Sundays • 11am – 5pm. Our new, ground floor cafe, open to all, with an appetising variety of sandwiches, salads, soup, cake, hot & cold drinks and local honey… plus a live feed from our rooftop beehive!
Conway Hall’s nineteenth century pamphlet collection and putting ourselves in the shoes of radical pamphleteers such as Annie Besant, Ernestine Rose, Thomas Paine and Richard Carlile. Sharing their thoughts on topics such as women’s rights, freedom of the press, contraception and suffrage, we will inhabit their lives, creating poetry, short stories and blog posts to form an online exhibition.
Journalist, broadcaster and eco lifestyle expert Lucy Siegle provides a powerful call to arms to end the plastic pandemic along with the tools we need to make decisive change. It is a clear-eyed, authoritative and accessible guide to help us to take decisive and effective personal action.
From a cyber-crime raid in suburbia to the engine rooms of Silicon Valley, and from the digital soldiers of Berkshire to the hackers of Las Vegas, pioneering technology researcher Carl Miller traces how power – the most important currency of all – is being transformed, fought over, won and lost.
A series of Wednesday evening talks starting on 5th September running until 10th October. Featuring Dr Stacy Banwell, Dr Kevin Brown, Dr Jane Jordan, Dr Julia Laite, Dr Siobhán Hearne and Prof Roger Matthews.
Presented by Conway Hall Ethical Society and curated by Deborah Lavin.
From the moment syphilis appeared in Europe at the end of the 15th century and its direct connection to sex was worked out, prostitutes were blamed while male clients were viewed as hapless victims. Kevin Brown will discuss how gendered attitudes informed the health debate around syphilis from 1495-1945.
Thinking on Sunday: The Pink Pound – Do Homosexuality and Capitalism have a History? | Sunday 16th September
There has been a long and vibrant relationship between LGBTQ people, homosexuality and consumer capitalism since the late nineteenth. Using sources ranging through early men’s magazines and erotic publications, government documents, business archives and oral histories, Justin Bengry asks who benefited from commercial interest in homosexuality?
Josephine Butler and the “Ladies Campaign” against the Contagious Diseases Acts | Wednesday 19th September
Blaming prostitutes for venereal disease in the military, the Liberal government decided on a gendered policy of incarcerating infected prostitutes, while letting their infected male clients remain free. This talk, by Dr Jane Jordan, demonstrates how the feminist Josephine Butler and her Ladies demanded a rethink.
White Slaves to “Hard Girls”, Increasing Criminalisation and its Consequences 1885-1960 | Wednesday 26th September
In the 1880s, Victorians imagined prostitutes as ‘white slaves’, exploited and helpless. In the 1950s, politicians declared prostitutes were ‘hard girls’. This talk by Dr Julia Laite demonstrates how these very different images of prostitution engendered different policies and laws; with different consequences.
Nic Cheeseman and Brian Klaas present an eye-opening study which offers a sobering overview of corrupted professional politics, while providing fertile intellectual ground for the development of new solutions for protecting democracy from authoritarian subversion.
Dr Siobhán Hearne traces the transition from Tsarist regulation of prostitution to Bolshevik ambitions to completely eradicate the “Bourgeois Evil”, which they saw as totally incompatible with women’s equality.
This talk by Professor Roger Matthews is sixth in the series Prostitution, Pimping and Trafficking, curated by Deborah Lavin.
Prof Joad Raymond discusses how dreamers of a better world used pamphleteering to communicate alternative political ideas and challenge power in early modern Britain.
The Elimination of Slavery from the Whole World: Problems of Anti-Slavery in Victorian Britain | Wednesday 7th November
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.
Dr Gregory Claeys considers whether, despite Marxism’s well know 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.
Blasphemy, the Individual and the State: From Historical Flashpoint to Contemporary Grievance | Wednesday 21st November
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.
Karen Douglas will discuss why conspiracy theories are popular, who is more likely to believe them (and why), and what some of the potential consequences of conspiracy theories are for politics, health, and the environment.
Annie Besant and the Liberal, Radical, Socialist and Feminist Opposition to Birth Control in the 19th Century | Wednesday 28th November
The story of birth control is usually told as one of almost linear progress against blinkered bigotry. Deborah Lavin reveals how opposition to contraception may have been blinkered and bigoted, but it was also often liberal, radical, socialist and feminist.