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Profs and Pints DC presents: “Class, Culture, and Conflict in Britain,” a look at how a marginalized majority found a voice and a cause, with Martin Farr, senior lecturer in contemporary British history at England’s Newcastle University.
Britain can appear to be a place of extremes, with stereotypical aristocrats and hooligans, rolling hills surrounding post-industrial blight. It is shaped throughout by class, which gives rise to disparities and tensions and serves as a basis for self-identity, a means of abuse, and a source of inspiration.
Come learn about the recent history and consequences of class tensions in Britain with Dr. Martin Farr, a scholar of modern British politics and public life and frequent commentator on British current affairs. He’ll be stopping in Washington D.C. while on a U.S. tour that involves organizing the annual “Britain and the World” academic conference, and his talk promises to offer excellent insights to those interested in British culture, politics, and life.
Focusing on class and culture in Britain from 1945 to the present, he’ll discuss how its marginalized found a voice–and, with it, a cause—through music, television, film, art, and fashion. Britain sought to market for foreign consumption a pasteurized image of itself, served up as Swingin’ London, Cool Britannia, or the London that played host to the 2012 Summer Olympics. But it has struggled to get others to avert their eyes from its nostalgia for wars and empire and the tensions that produced Brexit and efforts to dissolve Britain itself.
He’ll discuss how the 2016 Brexit referendum triggered skirmishes over history and culture. Since then, increasingly sensationalist and conspiracist media companies helped inflame class grievances and give rise to a “red wall” of support for conservatives in working-class areas that previous had leaned left for generations. And he’ll discuss how the May coronation of King Charles III will take place in a Britain that has changed dramatically since its last coronation of a monarch, Queen Elizabeth III, in 1953. (Advance tickets: $13.50 plus sales tax and processing fees. Doors: $17, or $15 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later.)
Image: A frame from “The Class Sketch,” performed in 1966 as part of BBC’s The Frost Report.