frank davis memorial lecture series

Resistance and Interpretation: Disciplinary Perspectives

Traditions of Resistance: The Case of History

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

17.30 - 18.30, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

photo of Peter Burke
Photo of Peter Burke. Source:

Speaker(s): Peter Burke (Emeritus Professor of Cultural History, University of Cambridge, and Fellow of Emmanuel College)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Francesco Lucchini

Like art historians, general historians have paid too much attention to the victors, to innovation, to the vanguard. It is good news that this series of lectures will seek to compensate for that trend by emphasizing the ideas of the vanquished, the rearguard in the culture wars. This lecture is concerned with the discipline of history itself, especially in Britain 1950-2000, asking what was resisted (social and then cultural history for instance, quantitative methods, foreign models imported from Paris or Chicago, and so on); by whom, when, where and why? Having experienced most of these debates as they occurred, Professor Burke feels that he cannot pretend to be above the battle, but will do his best to combine the points of view of a contemporary witness and a -slightly - later historian.

Peter Burke (1937) taught at the University of Sussex 1962-78 before moving to Cambridge. He has written more than 20 books, translated into more than 30 languages, including Culture and Society in Renaissance Italy (1972), Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe (1978), The Fabrication of Louis XIV (1992), The European Renaissance (1998), Languages and Communities in Early Modern Europe (2004).

This series proposes a range of ways of approaching the specific resistance found in objects of enquiry, calling attention to the ways in which contemporary scholarship attends to the conditions that set up resistances with respect to disciplinary investigation. Distinguished scholars from different disciplinary traditions are invited to consider how the notion of resistance is dealt with in their field of research and reflect on the ways in which material and cultural factors inhibit or disturb smooth assimilation of artefacts and cultural activities into theory and predetermined categories of interpretation.

Sponsored by the FM Kirby Foundation

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