November events at The British Academy

The ‘Big Data’ Debate

Monday 5 November 2012, 6 – 7.30pm, followed by a reception

Panel Discussion jointly organised with SAGE Publications Ltd. Part of the 2012 ESRC Festival of Social Science

What opportunities does ‘Big Data’ offer to the social sciences?  What challenges are there, what skills, training and resources are needed? And what are the wider implications for public scrutiny and debate?  In this panel discussion arranged by SAGE and the British Academy, hear funders, researchers, civil servants and media explore these challenging topics.
Please click here for further information.
FREE but registration required.

How did we become unprepared? Emergency and resilience in an uncertain world

Wednesday 7 November 2012, 6 – 7.30pm, followed by a reception
Panel Discussion arranged in association with the Cabot Institute and the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law, University of Bristol. 

We have entered a new geological age – the Anthropocene.  For the first time, human activity is shaping biospheric change and global evolution.  For good or ill, we have become the architects of our own planetary future.  

In this debate, Professor Mark Duffield will explore the implications of the dominance of radical interconnectivity and uncertainty as a way of explaining global events, including the shift from modernist attempts to protect from contingency to resilience-thinking with its call to embrace risk as opportunity. His fellow panellists from the University of Bristol’s Cabot Institute will discuss this social-ecological understanding of society, the built environment and resilience-thinking.
Please click here for further information.
FREE but registration required.

Modern History Week: The Making and Breaking of States

In association with BBC History Magazine

The End of Empire in India Revisited
Raleigh Lecture on History, Professor Judith M Brown

Tuesday 27 November 2012, 6 – 7.15pm followed by a reception

Recent events in the Arab world have sharpened and widened public interest in the way states can be broken and made – often very publicly and dramatically given the role of the modern media. Since the end of the Second World War the world has seen three great waves of state-breaking and state-making: the end of European empires; the collapse of the Soviet Union; and the contemporary “Arab spring”. By revisiting perhaps the greatest “imperial ending”, the end of British imperial rule in India in 1947, we can investigate issues which may prove helpful in probing the dynamics of other phases of turbulence in the structures and nature of states

This lecture is being repeated at the University of Leeds on Wednesday, 5 December at 5.30pm. For more information please see our website nearer the time.

Ronald Reagan and the Re-Constitution of American Hegemony
Sarah Tryphena Phillips Lecture on American History, Professor Arne Westad

Wednesday 28 November 2012, 6 – 7.15pm followed by a reception

During the 1960s and 1970s US global hegemony seemed to be in decline. The reduction in relative US economic advantage, political and cultural conflict within the United States, and the wars in Indochina created the impression of a sickly Superpower, which no longer knew how to impose its will on others. With no other hegemon on the horizon, intellectuals began revising their concepts of what power consisted of. Both in the United States and elsewhere political leaders wondered if the future would belong not to the United States, but either to economic powers, such as Europe and Japan, or the non-capitalist challenger, the Soviet Union.

The Greek War of Independence in a Global Era
Elie Kedourie Memorial Lecture, Professor Mark Mazower

Thursday 29 November 2012, 6 – 7.15pm followed by a reception

The War of Greek Independence was a turning-point in modern history as it marked the emergence of the first nation-state in Europe and was of course hailed by the champions of liberty and by philhellenes all over the world. This lecture asks how this event was interpreted by three other sets of contemporaries.

First, new research casts a fresh light on the Ottoman response to the Greek rebellion, a response characterised both by violence – as in the massacres on Chios – and by a perhaps surprising equanimity. Second, how was it interpreted by the members of the Concert of Europe and what implications did it seem to carry for this new effort at managing international relations. And thirdly, how was it interpreted more widely, by commentators and statesmen, at a time when affairs in Europe reverberated in Asia and the Americas and helped to produce a new consciousness of the global character of international politics.

All three events are FREE. Seats allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Please click here for further information.

Additional events are often added to the programme. To find out more visit:


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