TV historian Simon Schama and poet Ruth Padel were among the stellar speakers at a season of events to mark the official opening of ArtsTwo, the College’s flagship humanities building on Mile End Road.
From 5 to 14 March 2012, a series of lectures, seminars and performances took place to observe the completion of ArtsTwo, the new home of the School of History.
The striking £21m edifice was formally opened during the celebrations by HRH Princess Royal, Chancellor of the University of London on Friday 9 March.
The series of public events was united under the theme of 'Migration, Memory and Identity'. Highlights included:
- A public lecture by Simon Schama, Columbia University, which focused on East End explorations of Palestine during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
Natalie Zemon Davis
- The Annual Lecture of the Leo Baeck Institute of Jewish History and Culture, given by Natalie Zemon Davis, University of Toronto. She spoke about David Nassy, the seventeenth-century Portuguese Jewish catholic convert who paved the way for Dutch colonisation and supported the return of the Jews to England
- A reading by Ruth Padel from her new book, The Mara Crossing (2012). Padel is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and presenter of BBC Radio 4 series, Poetry Workshop
- A writers' event focused on 'Literature, Migration and the East End', with authors Melanie McGrath, (Silvertown, 2002) and Jeremy Gavron (An Acre of Barren Ground, 2006)
- A series of discussions with contributions by leading geographers and curators from the V&A Museum of Childhood and The Geffrye Museum of the Home, entitled 'Cities, Memories, Migrations'