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5 speakers 15 minutes each

Wed 26th Sep 2012

Wellcome Collection

7.30pm

Iain Sinclair

Iain Sinclair

Iain Sinclair is a British writer who has lived in Hackney since 1969. His books exploring the myth and matter of London have acquired cult status and include London Orbital (‘sentence for sentence, there is no more interesting writer at work in English,’ Daily Telegraph) and Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire. His novels include Downriver, which won the James Tait Black Prize; Radon Daughters, Landor’s Tower and Dining on Stones. He has also written and presented a number of documentaries. Asylum won the short film prize at the Montreal Festival, and Swandown, a film about his 160-mile journey along the River Thames in a swan pedalo, was released in cinemas across the country in 2012.

Mike Jay

Mike Jay

Mike Jay is an author and cultural historian whose subjects include science, medicine, drugs, madness, literature and radical politics. Mike’s books include the Influencing Machine, about the 1797 case of an incurable lunatic, James Tilly Matthews who was confined in Bedlam and one of the most bizarre cases in the annals of psychiatry. High Society was an illustrated global history of drugs. The book accompanied the High Society exhibition, which he curated for the Wellcome Collection in London in 2010-11. Emperors of Dreams, originally published in 2000, tells the story of how today’s illicit drugs were originally discovered, and reveals their impact on the nineteenth century’s dreams and nightmares.

Sam Smiles

Sam Smiles

Sam Smiles is Programme Director for Art History and Visual Culture at Exeter University. His principal research interest is British art of the last 250 years. His other major research interest is concerned with the ways in which knowledge can be transmitted visually. His first book, The Image of Antiquity: Ancient Britain and the Romantic Imagination examined how the remote past was portrayed by painters, sculptors and landscape gardeners in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He followed this up with Eye Witness: Artists and Visual Documentation in Britain 1770-1830 , which was designed to examine the claims made in that period for images as bearers of objective knowledge. His most recent publications include: J.M.W. Turner: The Making of a Modern Artist, The Turner Book , Samuel Palmer Revisited and Envisioning the Past: Archaeology and the Image.

Bettany Hughes

Bettany Hughes

Bettany Hughes is an historian and author. She read Ancient and Modern History at Oxford University and then continued her post-graduate research while traveling through the Balkans and Asia Minor. She has written and presented a number of documentaries for radio and television including When The Moors Ruled Europe; Helen of Troy; What's The Point of Forgiveness; Atlantis: The Evidence and The Story of Buddhism. In recognition of her contribution to research, Bettany has been awarded a Research Fellowship at King's London. Her most recent series for BBC 2 is Divine Women which charts the role of women in the history of religion.