Wednesday, 28 October 2015, 6:00PM
Museum of London

Free Speech and the Study of History

Timothy Garton Ash

A growing number of countries have so-called memory laws, ranging from the criminalisation of Holocaust denial, to prescriptions for the teaching of certain subjects, memorial days and public monuments. Which, if any, of these are justified? Which are more effective in combating evils they are supposed to combat, based on misinterpretations of the past?

The lecturer, who has just completed a book on free speech, will argue that phenomena such as Holocaust denial are better contested by the completely free, robust exchange of scholarly, journalistic and political debate, and that the state should not use its coercive power to limit the study of history.

This is the 2015 Colin Matthew Memorial Lecture for the Public Understanding of History. It is co-hosted by the Royal Historical Society and Gresham College.

Colin Matthew FBA (1941-1999) was a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (1976-1999) and its Vice-President from 1993-1997. He was deeply committed to the principle that academic history should be accessible to a wide public and the lecture is named in his honour.

timothy-garton-ash

Timothy is a British historian, author and commentator. He is Professor of European Studies at Oxford University.

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28 October 2015

Free Speech and the Study of History
Timothy Garton Ash

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