Tue 20 Sept

New Ways of Writing History with Patrick Boucheron and Olivette Otele

Books for Thought

History is not a factual report but a discourse, often written by those who benefit the most from it. However, in a globalised era of ever-growing communications, new voices have begun to arise, putting the dominant historical discourse into perspective. In a conversation chaired by Prof. Filippo de Vivo, historians Patrick Boucheron and Olivette Otele will discuss the new ways in which history can be written, going beyond the bias of national histories in order to put forward a more complete – yet complex – picture of our past.

Tue 20 Sept 2022 6.30pm | £7, conc. £5

About our guests:

Patrick Boucheron is a French historian who specialises in the Middle Ages and the Italian Renaissance. After teaching at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and the Sorbonne, he is now a Lecturer at the prestigious Collège de France, where he teaches European history. He regularly appears on publications such as Le Monde and L’Histoire, and he is also a correspondent for France Culture. He is the co-editor of the critically-acclaimed work France in the World (publ. Gallic Books, 2021), originally published in French (Histoire mondiale de la France, Seuil) in 2017, in which he examines major French historical events in relation to the rest of the world, opening new perspectives on the canonical discourse of French history.

Olivette Otele is a Professor of History of Slavery and Memory of enslavement at the University of Bristol and a Fellow and a Vice President of the Royal Historical Society. Her research focuses on colonial and postcolonial history as well as the histories of the people of African descent, and she regularly discusses those topics on major television channels and in press publications such as the BBC, the Guardian, and the New Yorker. She is the author of the award-winning book African Europeans: An Untold History (publ. C Hurst & Co, 2020) which was translated into French in 2022 (Une histoire des Noirs d’Europe, publ. Albin Michel). She uncovers the long-forgotten past of African European people, an overlooked yet crucial element of European history.

Filippo de Vivo is a Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Oxford. His area of research centres on Renaissance and early modern Italy, Europe and the Mediterranean. Not only does he specialise in the European connections of Venice, thus going beyond national and local history, but he also studies the historical method itself, bringing to light the impact of the constructions and the suppressions which shape the historical discourse.

BOOKS FOR THOUGHT is a project by EUNIC London and the Institut français du Royaume-Uni. This project is the recipient of a EUNIC Cluster Fund grant with special funding in the framework of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union. EUNIC — European Union National Institutes for Culture — is Europe’s network of national cultural institutes and organisations, with 36 members from all EU member states and associated countries.

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Tue 20 Sept