History A-level Webinars

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Have you ever thought about what history smells like? Can a State’s constitution be fatally flawed? And how does Black British history play a part in the Black Lives Matter movement?

This Autumn term, the Department of History at Goldsmiths is hosting a free live webinar and YouTube lecture series designed for Year 12 and 13 students and their teachers in schools and Sixth Form colleges.

All sessions address topics on the AQA, OCR and EdExcel A-Level curriculum, with our experts also introducing students to their new research and offering a taste of how studying History at Goldsmiths brings these historical periods to life. 

For further information or any questions, email history-admissions (@gold.ac.uk).

Live webinars

DateSession information
Tuesday 6 October, 1pm

Weimar’s Bitter Poison: Did World War I Doom Democracy in Germany?

Professor Alexander Watson
Thursday 22 October, 10am

Radicalism during the English Revolution, 1641-1660

Dr Ariel Hessayon
Wednesday 11 November, 2pm

Is there Black British history outside of Britain?

Dr Christienna Fryar
Tuesday 8 December, 2pm

Corporate Raiders, Corporate Empire? The Origins of British Rule in India

Dr Erica Wald 

 YouTube lectures

DateSession information
Tuesday 3 November

Sounds of February, Smells of October: The Sensory History of the 1917 Russian Revolution

Professor Jan Plamper
Thursday 26 November

Fighting for Holy Land: Muslims and Crusaders in the Medieval Middle East

Dr Bruno De Nicola

Webinar outlines

Weimar’s Bitter Poison: Did World War I Doom Democracy in Germany?

Germany’s Weimar Democracy lasted just fifteen years, from 1918 until 1933. Historians have debated the causes of its weakness at length: were the roots of democracy in German society simply too shallow? Was the state’s constitution fatally flawed? Or were the new regime’s conservative and populist opponents too strong?   

This webinar introduces students to new research exploring how the First World War fatefully stamped the politics and redrew fault-lines within German society. It looks closely at Germans’ wartime suffering – a topic usually neglected in the writing on Weimar – and explains its poisonous legacy for the young republic. 

Radicalism during the English Revolution, 1641-1660

The years from 1641 to 1660 are arguably the most turbulent in all English history. This period was marked by rebellion in Ireland; bloody Civil Wars in Britain; political, religious and social radicalism; regicide; eleven years of republican rule; and, ultimately, the restoration of the Stuart monarchy.

This webinar introduces students to the latest research and debates among historians, with a particular focus on the varieties of radicalism that flourished during the English Revolution. 

Is there Black British history outside of Britain?

Black British history has become increasingly popular in recent years and – in the wake of the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement this Summer – increasingly important. However, how we think about Black British history and what it includes is also important. What happens when we step beyond the British Isles?

This webinar is an introduction to a global Black British history, using the Caribbean as an example of the exciting possibilities this field presents. 

Corporate Raiders, Corporate Empire? The Origins of British Rule in India

This webinar examines the fierce competition between rival trading companies – the Portuguese, Dutch and the English East India Companies between the 17th and early 19th Centuries.

This corporate rivalry eventually resulted in the British gaining an imperial foothold in India. From these roots, the second British empire was born.

This webinar explores how a company, based in London, transformed into a powerful – and ruthless - political player in India. It examines how the East India Company ruled and expanded during this period and looks at some of the ways in which India transformed Britain.

Sounds of February, Smells of October: The Sensory History of the 1917 Russian Revolution

The Russian Revolution was an event of world historical significance. Historians have studied every possible aspect of this cataclysm – political, social, economic, cultural, gender, nationality.

But how did ordinary people first notice that a revolution was taking place? Not through newspapers and not even through rumours, but through the sounds of gunshots and the shattering of shop windows – through sensory impressions.   

This YouTube lecture explores the Russian Revolution from a novel sensory history perspective. In so doing we will consider olfactory class struggles and why the October Revolution was actually anticlimactic – in sensory terms.

We will close by looking at the Russian artistic avant-gardes who at the time of the Russian Revolution engaged in some of the 20th Century’s wildest experiments with the human sensorium: a coincidence?

Fighting for Holy Land: Muslims and Crusaders in the Medieval Middle East

The Crusades is a term used to describe a series of military campaigns that began in the late 11th Century. These operations were promoted by the Catholic Church and led by European lords and kings with the objective of (re)claiming for Christianity the Biblical sites of the Middle East.

However, these military expeditions were also the starting point of a new era in the History of Europe and the Middle East. The Crusades ignited the idea of ‘Holy War’, established short-lived Christian kingdoms in the Middle East and triggered a reaction by Islamic states to the Christian offensive that would re-shape the map of the Muslim World.

This YouTube lecture introduces students to new research exploring the origin, development and legacy of the Crusades from both a Christian and Muslim perspective.

Organised as a series of Q&A, it looks closely at the political, economic and social implications that the Crusades had in medieval societies, where cultural and religious diversity not only led to sectarian rivalries but also opened spaces of co-existence and collaboration.