Power to the people! Revolutions season at the British Academy

7 Sep 2017

The British Academy today launches a brand-new series of free events exploring the theme of revolution.

Kicking off on 30 September with a tour of Karl Marx’ favourite Soho haunts, the Academy’s Revolutions season will comprise lectures, panel discussions and talks on subjects including the Russian Revolution of 1917, the life and legacy of suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst, and Caribbean slave revolts at the dawn of the 19th century.

What is a revolution? How has communication technology affected religious change? And what role did social media play in the Arab Spring uprisings?

Leading minds from the humanities and social sciences will join forces to answer all of these questions and more.

The events, organised to mark key anniversaries including the centenary of the Russian revolution, the 150th anniversary of the publication of Karl Marx’s Capital, and 500 years since the Reformation, will take place in London and across the UK.

For further information and to book tickets, please visit:

Full listings below:

Saturday 30 September, 11.00am-12.30pm
Karl Marx in London
The Criterion Theatre, 218-223, Piccadilly, St James’s, London, W1V 9LB

Karl Marx spent the final 25 years of his life living and working in Soho. Join Dr Lucia Padella for a walk back in time to the 1850s and discover where Marx lived, worked, and met fellow revolutionary thinkers.
Free. Please register online at:

Tuesday 3 October, 6.30-8.00pm
What is a revolution?
The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH
Panel discussion
In an age where the latest iPhone can be called a revolution, we explore the true meaning of the term and whether today’s ‘revolutions’ are revolutionary at all. Join our panel, including former rock critic and Mercury Prize judge Simon Frith FBA, WIRED editor Victoria Turk and one of the world’s leading voices on modern Russian history, Robert Service FBA, as they explore art, music and history to ask, when is a revolution a revolution?
Free. Please register online at:

Wednesday 4 October, 6.30-8.00pm
Speech, script and social media: How communication technology has changed religion
Leicester Cathedral, St Martins House, 7 Peacock Lane, Leicester, LE1 5PZ
Panel discussion
Join our panel as they discuss whether developments in communication technology – from the invention of the printing press to the rise of social media – are catalysts for religious change. With Rev Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch FBA of the University of Oxford, Dr John Maiden of The Open University, Professor Jolyon Mitchell of the University of Edinburgh, and Rabiha Hannan, Co-founder of New Horizons in British Islam.
Chaired by Tracey Byrne, chief executive of OneBodyOneFaith.
Organised in partnership with the St Philip’s Centre.
Free. Please register online at:

Thursday 19 October, 6.30-8.00pm
Fighting for freedom: rebellion, revolt and revolution in the Caribbean
The Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, SW1Y 5AG
Panel discussion
The Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) heralded the beginning of the end of slavery in the Western Hemisphere, and the overthrow of colonial powers. Successive revolutions have shaped the region’s political, economic and cultural landscapes today, as slavery has been challenged, and freedom sought. Join our panel for a fascinating insight into the legacies of rebellion, and challenges faced today across the Caribbean.
Speakers include Director of Research at the CNRS (Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique) Professor Christine Chivallon, Dr David Howard of the University of Oxford, and Dr Karen Salt, Assistant Professor and Co-director of the Centre for Research in Race and Rights at the University of Nottingham.
Free. Please register online at:

Tuesday 31 October, 6.30-7.45pm
Russia in revolution: An empire in crisis, 1890-1928
The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH
In conversation
The Russian Revolution of 1917 transformed the face of the Russian empire politically, economically, socially and culturally. To mark the centenary of this epochal event, Professor Steve Smith FBA discusses his latest book, offering a panoramic account of the history of the empire from the late 19th century to the end of the 1920s.
Includes live subtitling.
Free. Please register online at:

Thursday 9 November, 6.30-8.30pm
Research Spotlight: Russian Revolution
The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH
New research highlights that there is still so much to learn about the Russian Revolution and its impact on the course of world history. Hear current and former British Academy award holders explore the topic further in this evening of short talks.
Speakers include Dr Katy Turton, lecturer in European history at Queen’s University Belfast, and Dr James Harris, senior lecturer in Modern European history at the University of Leeds.
Free. Please register online at:

Tuesday 21 November, 6.00-7.15pm
Karl Marx’s changing picture of the end of capitalism
The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH
Master-mind lecture
In this lecture, Professor Gareth Stedman Jones FBA argues that the fundamental change in Marx’s conception of revolution and the end of capitalism was not in the 1840s (as is usually thought), but in the ten years leading up to the publication of Capital in 1867, when he began to think of the end of capitalism as a process, not an event.
Chaired by Professor Stefan Collini FBA, University of Cambridge.
Free. Please register online

Tuesday 5 December, 6.30-8.00pm
Thinkers for our time: Sylvia Pankhurst
The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH
Panel discussion
A leading campaigner for women’s and workers’ rights, Sylvia Pankhurst (1882-1960) helped shape the policy and the methods of the suffragette struggle. She attended the Royal College of Art, as both an artist and an activist, she placed visual imagery, performance, costume and colour at the heart of political activism and argument. Join our panel as they discuss Sylvia Pankhurst, her creative approach to fighting oppression and the contemporary resonances of her work.
Speakers include Katherine Connelly, author of Sylvia Pankhurst: Suffragette, Socialist and Scourge of Empire, Dr Naomi Paxton of the University of Lincoln, Hester Reeve of Sheffield Hallam University, and Rachel Holmes, author of Eleanor Marx: A Life.
Chaired by Professor Sally Shuttleworth FBA.
Free. Please register online at:









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