Centre for the Study of Modern and Contemporary History

Seminar series

The Centre runs a regular seminar series with invited speakers.

The Centre's theme for 2020-21 is 'Crisis'. Our seminars are open to all staff and students at the University of Edinburgh, as well as members of the public - registration is via Eventbrite - and everyone is warmly welcome. 

Time and location

Seminars are usually held on Tuesdays from 5pm to 7pm online via Zoom unless stated otherwise All papers are followed by a 10-15 minute comment. See below for further details. 

Event schedule

Semester 1, 2020-21 

Date Speaker(s) Title
Tuesday 29 Sept Various 'The Concept of Crisis' - a panel evenet featuring Janet Roitman (New School), Jeremy Adelman (Princeton), David Sepkoski (University of Illinois), Keren Weitzberg (University College London), AbdouMaliq Simone (University of Sheffield)


Tuesday 13 Oct Simon Balto (University of Iowa)

'Racial framing: Blackface criminals in Jim Crow America'

Tuesday 27 Oct 

Jeremy Dell (University of Edinburgh) 

In dialogue with Dr Abdourahmane Seck (University Gaston Berger, Senegal) and Professor Paul Nugent (Edinburgh).

“The Banished Sufi: Succession Crises and the Religious Dimensions of Deportation in Colonial Senegal.”

Tuesday 10 Nov

Panel event

'Pandemics, Past and Present' - Adia Benton (Northwestern University), Mark Honigsbaum (University of London), Richard McKay (University of Oxford), Christos Lynteris (University of St Andrews) and Dora Vargha (University of Exter)

Register at pandemicspastandpresent.eventbrite.co.uk

A panel event co-hosted by the Edinburgh Centre for Global History Centre and History of Medicine, Science, and Technology seminar

Tuesday 24 Nov

Elizabeth Banks (University of Edinburgh)

Cold War cod: Towards an international history of Soviet fishing

Tuesday 8 Dec

Tom Cunningham (University of Edinburgh)

'Discontent in the Body Politic: Colonialism, corporeality, and the 'circumcision crisis' - Kenya, 1929'

Register: Eventbrite

Tuesday 15 Dec

Panel event: 'Fish in crisis?: Economics, environments and the multiple crises of fishing'

Jennfier Lee Johnson (Purdue), Troy Vetesse (Harvard), Ruth Brennan (Trinity College Dublin), Arianne Urus (Harvard), Moderator: Betty Banks (Edinburgh)

This panel will be a discussion of political, economic and environmental crises based in humans’ pursuit of seafood. Fishing is never just about fish but raises questions of labour, politics, sovereignty, environments, food, economics, and community life in the past and present that will drive our multi-perspective and interdisciplinary conversation. Together we will ask fishing in crisis? Are fish in crisis - and why? Is this crisis really new? Who–or what–exactly experiences crisis, who is benefitting, and what is to be done?

Register: Eventbrite

Semester 2, 2020/21

Date Speaker(s) Topic

Tuesday 19 Jan

Hilary Green (Alabama)

Hakim Adi (Chichester)

Patricia Ruberstone (Brown University)

Anindita Ghosh (Manchester)

Moderator: Diana Paton (Edinburgh)

Panel on History in Crisis: Monuments and Memory (co-sponsored with the American History seminar)

Tuesday 26 Jan

Emile Chabal (Edinburgh) Book Launch

Tuesday 2 Feb


Donald Bloxham (Edinburgh) in conversation with Alex de Waal (Tufts) and Julie Gibbings (Edinburgh) 'Towards a Global History of Political Violence since 1945'

Tuesday 23 Feb

Kalathmika Natarajan (Edinburgh) in conversation with Yasmin Khan (Oxford) and Crispin Bates (Edinburgh) 'Unskilled' and 'Unsanitary': Diplomacy and the Public Health Crisis of Indian Immigration to Britain'

Tuesday 9 Mar

Anne Eller (Yale) in conversation with Christienna Fryar (Goldsmiths, University of London) and  Diana Paton (Edinburgh)

'The French Revolution and the Laplaine Riot: Petitioning and Direct Action in Dominica'
Tuesday 23 Mar

Sarah Jaffee (Journalist, United States), Alejandro Velasco (New York University), Rima Majed (American University Beirut), Rory Scothorne (Edinburgh)

Moderator: Jamie Allinson (Edinburgh)
Panel on Crisis and the Left: Global Perspectives

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Further information

If you have any questions, or would like to be added to the Centre email distribution list to receive details of the seminars and other events that may be of interest, please email us.

The Centre for the Study of Modern and Contemporary History

Contact details



Room 02M.26
William Robertson Wing

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Find out what else is on

The School of History, Classics and Archaeology offers an exciting programme of seminars across many subjects areas. Visit the research seminars website to find out what else is happening.