Skip to main content

Schama headlines season celebrating new home for History at Queen Mary

TV historian Simon Schama and award-winning poet Ruth Padel are among the stellar names speaking at a spring season of events hosted at Queen Mary, University of London. 

Published on:
Professor Simon Schama
Professor Simon Schama

From 5 to 14 March, a series of lectures, seminars and performances will take place, marking the official opening of ArtsTwo, the College’s new humanities building on Mile End Road.

The striking £20m edifice, designed by award-winning architects Wilkinson Eyre, will be formally opened during the celebrations by HRH Princess Royal, Chancellor of the University of London.

All events, united under the theme of ‘Migration, Memory and Identity’, are free and open to the public. Highlights include:

-A public lecture by Simon Schama, Columbia University, and writer and presenter of landmark BBC series’ A History of Britain and Power of Art 

-The Annual Lecture of the Leo Baeck Institute of Jewish History and Culture, to be given by Natalie Zemon Davis, University of Toronto

-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 focusing 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’

Advance booking is essential as many events are expected to sell-out quickly. For full listings and to confirm attendance, visit:

Queen Mary has expanded its undergraduate and postgraduate student recruitment in recent years, and the new building - complete with 300-seat lecture theatre, a range of seminar spaces and a senior common room - provides excellent facilities to support high calibre degree studies.

ArtsTwo is home to the School of History, and the Leo Baeck Institute for Jewish history, supporting and enhancing their world-class research and teaching.

The burgeoning Film and Drama Departments will also benefit from ArtsTwo’s in-house studio, custom built for performance-based activities.

The completion of ArtsTwo, along with the adjacent landscaping works to improve the Novo Burial Ground, marks the achievement of more than 20 years’ work on the East side of the College campus, including the creation of the Arts Quarter; bringing together the ArtsOne and Laws buildings; the Lock-keeper's Graduate Centre and the Westfield Student Village.

Back to top