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Upcoming Symposium: ‘Small Nations and Global Identities: Czech Questions’

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Image: “Inauguration of a statue to the first Czechoslovak President, T. G. Masaryk on 28 October 1926 in Hradec Králové,” Pestrý týden, 2 Nov 1926.

 

On Thursday 5 July 2018, the Centre is co-sponsoring a one-day symposium, which considers the formation of modern Czech identity in the arts, politics and the media, focusing on key global events of the 20th century. It responds to various celebrations in the Czech Republic and the UK, including the centenary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia in 1918 and fiftieth anniversary of the Prague Spring and Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

In addressing the relationship between the small nation and its global identity, the programme explores three themes: the mythic portrayal of interwar Czechoslovakia as a Western oriented state and of the Czech people as passive victims of global events; the cyclical gain and loss of state sovereignty, covering the separation of the Czech and Slovak Republics in 1993; the construction of Czechs identity in relation to ‘others’, including German, Slovak and Roma diasporas.

Organised by Dr. Marta Filipová and Prof. Matthew Rampley, University of Birmingham, the symposium includes an exhibition tour with Czech artist Vladimír Kokolia, curator Miroslav Ambroz and Ikon Director Jonathan Watkins.  Leading historians and theorists participating at the symposium include

  • Dr Jakub Beneš, University of Birmingham
  • Dr Rajendra Chitnis, University of Bristol
  • Prof Mark Cornwall, University of Southampton
  • Dr Tom Dickins, University of Wolverhampton
  • Dr Celia Donert, University of Liverpool
  • Prof Mary Heimann, Cardiff University
  • Dr Kelly Hignett, Leeds Beckett University
  • Dr Monika Metyková, University of Sussex
  • Dr James Partridge, University of Oxford
  • Prof Jiří Přibáň, Cardiff University
  • Dr Peter Zusi, University College London

Small Nations and Global Identities: Czech Questionsis supported by Ikon, the Birmingham Centre for Modern and Contemporary History, the Birmingham Research Institute for History and Cultures and Public Engagement Office, University of Birmingham, Czech Club Birmingham CIC and the Embassy of the Czech Republic in London.

Further details:

Thursday 5 July 2018
10-6pm – FREE
Ikon Gallery, Brindleyplace, Birmingham, B1 2HS

Register here: https://www.ikon-gallery.org/event/symposium-small-nations-and-global-identities-czech-questions

SESSION TIME ACTIVITY
Admin 9.30 – 10.10 Registration
Tour 10 – 10.45 Exhibition tour with artist Vladimir Kokolia, curator Miroslav Ambroz and Ikon Director Jonathan Watkins
Welcome 10.45 – 11.00 HE Libor Sečka, Embassy of the Czech Republic in London, Linzi Stauvers, Ikon Gallery  and Marta Filipová, University of Birmingham
Morning:

Czech sovereignty

11.00 – 12.30
Chair: Matthew Rampley
Jiří Přibáň, The history of Czech statehood and national identity
Mary Heimann, The State that Failed
Jakub Beneš, Populist nationalism between 1918 and 1948
Lunch 12.30 – 13.30 Own arrangements

Afternoon:
Czech myths
13.30 –  15.30

Chair: Klaus Richter

Rajendra Chitnis, The Czech Myth of Resistance: Silence as a Response to the German Occupation
Peter Zusi, On the Fringes of History: Richard Weiner Observes the Foundation of the Republic
Kelly Hignett, Constructing Czech Identity ‘From the Margins’
Tom Dickins, The influence of the past, as reflected in the slogans and counter slogans of the socialist era
Tea break 15.30 – 16.00 All welcome
Evening:

Czech others

16.00 –  17.30

Chair: TBC

Mark Cornwall,  Mapping a Queer Geography of Interwar Czechoslovakia in Europe
Celia Donert, The Rights of the Roma: The Struggle for Citizenship in Postwar Czechoslovakia
Monika Metyková,  Brno 1918-2018: The City of Czechs, Germans and Jews
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Annual Lecture 2018 – Priya Satia (Stanford) ‘Pacifists Making Guns: The Galtons of Birmingham and Britain’s Industrial Revolution’

On Wednesday 13 June, we are delighted to welcome Professor Priya Satia from Stanford University for the Centre’s 2018 Annual Lecture.

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Pacifists Making Guns: The Galtons of Birmingham and Britain’s Industrial Revolution

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Image courtesy Priya Satia

Muirhead Tower G15

Wednesday 13 June 2018, 17.00-19.00

All welcome! Please join us for a reception afterwards.

Contact: Simon Jackson S.Jackson.1@bham.ac.uk

Abstract:

The biggest gun-making firm in 18th-century Britain was owned by a Quaker family, the Galtons of Birmingham. They were major suppliers of guns to the slave trade in West Africa, the East India Company, settlers and trading companies in North America, and the British government, which was at war almost constantly from 1688 to 1815. But a core principle of the Quaker faith is belief in the un-Christian nature of war; Quakers do not participate in war or war training. From the seventeenth century, they were a persecuted minority because they refused to swear loyalty to the king or to arm themselves in the defence of his realm. So how do we explain the Galtons?–and other Quakers’ quiet tolerance of their business for nearly a century? For nearly a century, their livelihood attracted no critical notice in the Quaker community. Then, suddenly, in 1795, the Religious Society of Friends threatened to disown Samuel Galton Junior unless he left the arms trade. What changed? Why did the Galtons’ gun-manufacturing suddenly become a scandal? Had guns changed? Had Quakerism changed? And what was the result? Was Galton disowned? These are the questions Prof. Satia’s talk will pose and answer. And the answers reveal how difficult it was in eighteenth-century British industrial society to extricate oneself entirely from participating in warfare, regardless of principles. War was integral to the Industrial Revolution.

 

Speaker Biography:

Priya Satia is a professor of British History at Stanford University. She is author of Spies of Arabia: The Great War and the Cultural Foundations of Britain’s Covert Empire in the Middle East published by Oxford University Press and her writing appeared in the TLS, Slate, the Financial Times, Washington Post, and Time Magazine, among others. She received an MSc in Development Studies (Economics) at the London School of Economics and a PhD in History at the University of California, Berkeley.

Research Seminar: Dr. Michell Chresfield, ‘The Prehistory of Multiracial America, 1870-1970’

We’re delighted to welcome our own Dr. Michell Chresfield to speak about her research.

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Half and Halves and Racially Ambiguous Others: The Prehistory of Multiracial America, 1870-1970

Dr. Michell Chresfield (Birmingham)

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Image courtesy Michell Chresfield

Wednesday 21 March 2018, 17.30-19.00

Muirhead Tower, Room 113

University of Birmingham

All welcome!

Contact: Simon Jackson: S.Jackson.1@bham.ac.uk

 

Engineering Imperialism, Building Empire 2

Back in May, the Centre for Modern & Contemporary History co-sponsored a conference on the theme Everyday Empires. A post reporting on the conference is now online and we reblog it here.

Source: Engineering Imperialism, Building Empire

Everyday Performance/Performing the Everyday: Exhibitions, Leisure, and Hospitality

Back in May, the Centre for Modern & Contemporary History co-sponsored a conference on the theme Everyday Empires. A post reporting on the conference is now online and we reblog it here.

Source: Everyday Performance/Performing the Everyday: Exhibitions, Leisure, and Hospitality

Accelerated Mobility, Travel, & the Culture of Everyday Empire

Back in May, the Centre for Modern & Contemporary History co-sponsored a conference on the theme Everyday Empires. A post reporting on the conference is now online and we reblog it here.

Source: Accelerated Mobility, Travel, & the Culture of Everyday Empire

Engineering Imperialism, Building Empire 1

Back in May, the Centre for Modern & Contemporary History co-sponsored a conference on the theme Everyday Empires. Another post reporting on the conference is now online and we reblog it here.

Source: Engineering Imperialism, Building Empire

Collecting, Politics and Exile: the Fate of Royal Heritage in Nineteenth-Century France

On Wednesday 1st February we are delighted that Dr Tom Stammers will be giving a paper for the Modern and Contemporary History seminar series.Stammers M&C.jpgThe revolutionary history of France took a particular toll on the palaces and the possessions of the French monarchy. Whilst historians of heritage have analysed the process by which the treasures of the crown became redefined as the property of the nation within France, far less attention has been directed to the fate of objects that circulated outside national borders. Yet France’s royal families- Bourbon, Orléans and Bonaparte- each spent large periods of their lives in exile, and seized on material culture as a way of affirming their patriotism and dynastic identity.

This paper will be focused on the Orléans dynasty, who lived from the 1848 Revolution to the Franco-Prussian War in the suburbs of London. Deprived of the throne, Louis-Philippe and his sons struggled to uphold their dignity and credentials as a ruling house. In this time of limbo, cultural pursuits- whether art collecting, exhibitions, literature- were a crucial means of integration into the elite tiers of British society.  The enormous correspondence of the duc d’Aumale and the comte de Paris with Lady Frances Waldegrave offers an unrivalled glimpse of the family’s evolving cultural and political ambitions, torn between trying to build a home in Britain and harbouring dreams of a restoration. This paper will analyse what collecting can reveal about the family’s affinity for British political culture in the 1850s and 1860s- and also what it discloses about the failure of liberal monarchy in France after 1871.

Tom Stammers is lecturer in Modern Cultural History at the University of Durham. He has researched and published widely on the history of collecting in post-revolutionary France. He is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Collection, Recollection, Revolution: Scavenging the Paris in Nineteenth-Century Paris. Tom has published in leading journals in European cultural history and has been awarded fellowships at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Paris and the Maison Française in Oxford; in 2015 he organized a major conference with St John’s College, Oxford and the Ashmolean Museum on collecting and cultural history entitled A Revolution in Taste: Francis Haskell’s Nineteenth Century which will become a volume published by Oxford University Press. He is starting new research on the formation, exile and dispersal of French royal collections in Britain and Europe in the nineteenth century, as well as on the evolution of the Louvre. He is a frequent contributor to the arts magazine Apollo.

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