Theme: A Date with History
Our special Focus Day provides historical perspectives on Europe, while other events explore the Holocaust, Instabul, the Reformation and emigration to the New World.
Empire of Things: Why do we have so much stuff?
Acclaimed historian Frank Trentmann unfolds the extraordinary history that has shaped our material world from late Ming China, Renaissance Italy and the British Empire to the present. He explains how we have come to live with so much more, how this changed the course of history and the global challenges we face as a result.
Zeppelins Over York: One woman's Great War diary
From her home in St Leonard's Place, York, Mabel Goode recorded what she knew would be the biggest event of her lifetime. Her diary reveals how life on the home front was transformed by a conflict without precedent. Join Mabel's great-great-nephew, Michael, as he sheds light on her recently discovered Great War diary, which was found at the bottom of a dusty trunk in 2011.
The Husband Hunters: Social climbing in London and New York
Join Anne de Courcy, author of 'The Husband Hunters', as she sets the stories of these young women and their families in the context of their times. Based on extensive first-hand research, drawing on diaries, memoirs and letters, she reveals what they thought of their new lives in England - and what England thought of them.
Real and Unreal: Recreating a lost past
Learn about the University of York’s cutting-edge work with cathedrals and other clients to recreate the lost past by digital modelling and augmented reality.
The Disappearance of Émile Zola
It is the evening of 18 July 1898 and the world-renowned novelist Émile Zola is on the run. His crime? Taking on the highest powers in the land with his open letter 'J'accuse' and losing. Forced to leave Paris, with nothing but the clothes he is standing in and a nightshirt wrapped in newspaper, Zola flees to England with no idea when he will return. Join author Michael Rosen to learn more.
Martin Luther: Catholic dissident
Peter Stanford presents a new appraisal of theological firebrand Martin Luther on the 500th anniversary of the religious revolution he triggered - the Protestant Reformation.
Why the English Sailed to the New World
Today migration still shapes us. But now most who arrive in England or in America are viewed as ‘immigrants’. Migration is ever-newsworthy: painful for those who move, and for many who don’t. We should remember now a time when many more were leaving England than arriving: when they were ‘emigrants’. Join James Evans to find out more.
Istanbul: The story of a city from Roman times to the Ottoman conquest
Join Roberta Marin, an expert in Islamic art and architecture, as she examines the origins of Istanbul and the different phases of its long history. She will discuss the important role played by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (272 AD–337 AD), who renamed the ancient Byzantium as Constantinople. She’ll take a look at his renovated Hippodrome and its famous forum, before continuing with the Byzantine Emperor Justinian (482-565) and his most acclaimed artistic achievement, Haghia Sophia (Holy Wisdom, from 532).
Objects, Stories and the Makings of Military Memory
The York Army Museum, like other military museums, contains in its collections a range of objects that may appear, at first glance, randomly eclectic: not just the usual medals and uniforms and regimental trophies, but inkwells made from the hooves of a horse that charged at the Battle of Balaklava, a mounted moose head, a bullet-damaged cigarette case from World War I, and a fragment of silk from the curtains of Napoleon’s camp bed (with coffee stain). What do such objects tell us about the memory culture of military organisations?
Europe: A history of migrations
Join historians, including Maxine Berg of the University of Warwick and Claire Zalc of the Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS), as they examine the topical issue of European migration.
Perspectives on Franco-British Relations
Renaud Morieux of the University of Cambridge and Christina de Bellaigue of the University of Oxford, together with other members of our expert panel, explore France and Britain’s relationship from different standpoints. Renaud will examine migrations from the 17th to 19th centuries, while Christina will discuss women and social mobility.
What is Europe?
Our speakers, including Jean-Frédéric Schaub of the the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and Peter Mandler of the University of Cambridge, examine issues around Europe’s identities.
Did You Say Europe?
Our Festival Focus Day begins with keynote speeches by two eminent historians, Roger Chartier and Chris Clark. Roger Chartier will explore the creation of European Literature in Early Modern times, looking at Don Quixote’s reception and translations in Spain, France and England. Chris Clark will discuss 1848 as a European Revolution. Unlike the revolutions of 1789, 1830, 1870, 1917 and 1989, the revolutions of 1848 were a continent-wide phenomenon. He reflects on the unique simultaneity of these revolutions, on their trans-national consequences and on their meaning as a European event.
Vampyres: Genesis and resurrection
Christopher Frayling has spent 45 years exploring the history of one of the most enduring figures in the history of mass culture – the vampire. Join Christopher as he discusses vampires in literature, from the folklore of Eastern Europe to the Romantics and beyond. Find out about the historical and imaginative implications of vampire mythology in the arts, from the medieval Count Vlad to President Ceaucescu.