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“Impact of the Past” Lecture Series to Examine Current Global Affairs Through the Lens of History

September 05, 2018
Press Contact
Lee Sandberg

The Institute for Advanced Study will introduce the public lecture series “The Impact of the Past” beginning in October 2018 and continuing through 2020.

“Many of the political problems we are facing today have a long bloodline,” said Dr. Karina Urbach, current Visitor in the Institute’s School of Historical Studies and the curator of the series. “To understand how we got to where we are today we need historians. This lecture series will show how relevant history is to the present.”

The first four lectures in 2018–19 will focus on political problems in America, China, and Europe. Lectures will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Wolfensohn Hall at the Institute for Advanced Study located at 1 Einstein Drive in Princeton, New Jersey.

  • October 10, 2018 – “Applying History in Real Time: A Tale of Two Crises”
    Niall Ferguson
    Milbank Family Senior Fellow
    Hoover Institution, Stanford University

  • November 2, 2018 – “Policing the Past: The CIA and the Landscape of Secrecy”
    Richard Aldrich
    Professor of International Security
    University of Warwick

  • February 6, 2019 – “China’s Past in Its Present and Future: War and the Making of a New Order in Asia, 1937 to the Present”
    Rana Mitter
    Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China
    St. Cross College, University of Oxford

  • March 27, 2019 – “Brexit. ‘Jolly Old Storm Clouds.’ Britain and Europe, 1919-2019”
    Patricia Clavin
    Professor of International History
    Jesus College, University of Oxford

This lecture series is made possible through the support of the Director’s Fund at the Institute for Advanced Study. This will be followed in 2020 by lectures on race, class, and gender.

Registration is required. Please click here for more information:

Karina Urbach received her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and was awarded the Bavarian Ministry of Culture prize for her second doctorate. In 2015, her book Go-Betweens for Hitler triggered a public debate in the United Kingdom over denial of access to the Royal Archives. She is currently researching the history of United States intelligence operations in Germany after World War II and the fate of Jewish children who found refuge in Britain before the war. Dr. Urbach acts as historical advisor to documentaries produced by the BBC, PBS, and ZDF (German television). Her historical novel Cambridge 5—written under the name Hannah Coler—has been shortlisted for three literary prizes in Germany.