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February 2011

In this issue:
I. Professor Kathleen Burk to speak in The British Scholar Society Lecture Series – 6 July 2011, King’s College London
II.
The Conference Opening Lecture Renamed the Frank M. Turner Memorial Lecture
III.
2011 British Scholar Annual Conference Icebreaker Just Announced
IV.
Details of Professor Reba Soffer’s Lecture at the 2011 British Scholar Annual Conference Announced
V. 2011 Conference Program Now Available Online
VI. Book of the Month- February 2011
VII. Featured Scholar – February 2011

I. Professor Kathleen Burk to speak in The British Scholar Society Lecture Series – 6 July 2011, King’s College London 

Professor Kathleen Burk of University College London will provide the second installment of The British Scholar Society’s Lecture Series at King’s College London on 6 July 2011. The lecture will occur in the newly refurbished Old Anatomy Theatre in the King’s Building of KCL’s Strand Campus. This is a spectacular venue to host our distinguished speaker as The British Scholar Society holds it first official event in London. More details will be forthcoming in the months ahead but please mark your calendars for the evening of 6 July 2011.

Professor Kathleen Burk Old Anatomy Lecture Theatre, Kings College London

 

II. The Conference Opening Lecture Renamed the Frank M. Turner Memorial Lecture 

In memory of our colleague and friend Frank M. Turner, who suddenly passed away last November, we are renaming the Conference Opening Lecture. The Frank M. Turner Memorial Lecture will open each British Scholar Conference as Frank opened our conference last year. The inaugural Frank M. Turner Memorial Lecture will be given by Professor Peter Clarke of the University of Cambridge on 31 March 2011. His talk will be on “The English-Speaking Peoples Before Churchill.” We hope all of you will be able to attend.

III. 2011 British Scholar Annual Conference Icebreaker Just Announced 

At the forthcoming British Scholar Annual Conference we have added an event we’re calling the Conference Icebreaker. On the first night of the conference, Thursday, 31 March, we will provide a bus from the AT&T Conference Center and Hotel at 5:30 pm that will travel downtown to a new upscale bar called Icenhauer’s. The bar is in a trendy neighborhood of old houses surrounded by new skyscrapers (the area is the epitome of what makes Austin weird – in a great way). Additionally, one of the top Mexican restaurants in the state of Texas, el Naranjo, has just opened next door to Icenhauer’s and they will be there selling food for anyone who’s hungry for some of the food that makes the southwest famous. The bus will provide service back to the hotel at 9 pm. We encourage all of you to attend our inaugural Conference Icebreaker to make some friends, do some networking, and soak in the hospitality that is Austin, Texas.

IV. Details of Professor Reba Soffer’s Lecture at the 2011 British Scholar Annual Conference Announced 

On Saturday afternoon, 2 April, at 2 pm Professor Reba Soffer will deliver her special lecture entitled “Intellectual History, Life, and Fiction” in the Tom Lea Rooms of the Harry Ransom Center. We hope you will make plans to attend what is sure to be an inspiring talk.

Here is an abstract of Professor Soffer’s talk:

Tom, the son of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, allegedly told his father that, if elected to Parliament, he would not pledge himself to any party and instead put a “For Rent” sign on his forehead. Don’t forget to add, his father replied, “unfurnished.” The difficulty for an intellectual historian, who knows that ideas matter, lies in deciding how particular ideas are expressed and received and which ones matter most to what individuals and groups. Although we try to discover what actually happened and what people thought was happening, we filter what we learn through what we think we know. New insights into the relationship of unprecedented events to new ways of thinking after the Great War are available, I believe, in fiction containing intellectual content and meant for a disparate audience. Fiction, like history, is a narrative that constructs, reconstructs, and deconstructs meaning. Every presumed fact upon which historians rely is more or less untrustworthy because every thought or word, spoken, written, heard, or read is partly fictional. Aside from deliberate lies, we confront truthful but conflicting accounts and representations of the same events. Novels, in common with other kinds of evidence, can illuminate a historical period in ways that are authentically revealing. In the decades after 1918, the loudest literary voices were the prophets of chronic disaster. Among them, I selected Evelyn Waugh as a serious, satirical voice that belonged exclusively to England in the interwar years. Uniquely, he combined dedicated dissipation, travels to very exotic places, uncompromising conservative beliefs, Catholicism, and romantic nostalgia for an imaginary aristocratic past. Waugh’s translation of his lived experience into novels–all best-sellers, issued repeatedly– are significant historical records of both popular and elite thought. This paper examines contemporary thinking through Waugh’s novels, his other writing, and his life within a national and international context.

V. 2011 Conference Program Now Available Online
The penultimate version of the 2011 British Scholar Conference Program is now available on our conference website at www.britishscholar.org/conference2011.html. We encourage you to look through our line-up of twenty panels, the Frank M. Turner Memorial Lecture given by Professor Peter Clarke of the University of Cambridge, the Keynote Address from Professor A. G. Hopkins of the University of Texas at Austin, and our special Saturday lecture by Professor Reba Soffer. In addition, we will hold the Conference Icebreaker event on 31 March, the Dinner Party on the evening of 1 April, and we will have outings around downtown Austin on Saturday night. If you are still not registered for the conference but would like to attend, please e-mail the Conference Organizing Committee Co-President Michelle Brock at mikkidotbrockatgmaildotcom  (mikkidotbrockatgmaildotcom)   for further information. We look forward to welcoming you to Austin in just over a month’s time.
VI. Book of the Month
A Genius For Deception by Nicholas Rankin, serves as the February 2011 British Scholar Book of the Month. We invite you to read the review by clicking on the cover above.
VII. Featured Scholar
We are very pleased to announce that Susan Pedersen, Professor of History at Columbia University, is the Featured Scholar for February 2011. To read her thoughtful answers to our questions, click on her photo above.
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