‘Why History?’ British Academy/INSIGHTS debate

At a time of global political uncertainty, there are serious and hotly contested debates over the role of the arts and humanities in civil society. Has the discipline of history become the handmaiden of contemporary politics? Can history really make a difference to how government policies are made, considering the ‘lessons of the past’? Should valuable public resources be going into preserving our heritage in an era of austerity? Organized and chaired by Prof. Helen Berry, this debate was presented on in collaboration with the British Academy, Newcastle University’s Institute for Social Renewal (theme ‘Past in the Present’) and the Newcastle University Humanities Research Institute.
Participants: Prof. Diarmaid McCulloch (Oxford), Vice-President (Engagement), The British Academy, author of Reformation: Europe’s House Divided, 1490-1700 and writer/presenter, A History of Christianity’(BBC); Dr Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire and writer/presenter, The Ascent of Woman (BBC); Dr Sam Willis, author of The Struggle for Sea Power: A Naval History of the American Revolution and writer/presenter, The Silk Road(BBC).

To listen to the debate online, click here