Monday, 27 April 2015

Professor Tom Lawson to Lecture on "Britain and Genocide: History, Memory and Morality"

Public Lecture by Professor Tom Lawson
Professor of History, Northumbria University
When:  6.30pm, Wednesday, 20 May, 2015
Where: Lecture Theatre 002, Business and Law Building, City Campus East, Northumbria University, Newcastle
Refreshments will be available from 6pm
Free admission
Register here


In twenty-first century Britain, genocide is the ultimate atrocity. In foreign policy the allegation of genocide has been important in recent debates around military action overseas; and in memory culture genocide is represented as a fundamental transgression. Within that culture, it is the spectre of the Holocaust that dominates.

In Britain, mourning and memorialization is often combined with a celebration of ‘our’ role as saviour and liberator. This lecture will explore the view that such a discourse obscures the complex role of genocide in British history and will seek to place racial extermination at the centre of the story of Britain, and particularly its Empire. In doing so the lecture will also call for a more reflective memory culture in the British present as a means of coming to terms with a violent past and for a morally active historiography as the means of achieving it.

About the Speaker

Tom Lawson is Professor of History and Associate Dean (Academic) in the Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences. He joined Northumbria in October 2013 from the University of Winchester where he’d been Professor of Holocaust Studies and Head of Research in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Tom is the author and editor of several books including: The Church of England and the Holocaust (2006); Debates on the Holocaust (2010); and with James Jordan The Memory of the Holocaust in Australia (2008), with Thomas Kuhne The Holocaust and Local History (2010) and with Stephen Parker, God and War (2012). His most recent book was published in 2014 as The Last Man: a British genocide in Tasmania. He is also the co-editor of Holocaust Studies: a journal of culture and history and was previously a mid-career fellow of the British Academy. Tom is currently writing a history of genocide in the British Empire entitled Empire of Extermination: Genocide in the British World.

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