Spring Contextual Lectures 2014: A Preview

Contextual-Leture-Series-Image1-369x300Richard Thorpe and Prof. Tom Burns introduce their forthcoming lectures ‘The Welsh Wizard: David Lloyd George’s Legacy’ and ‘Sigmund Freud: Still Relevant in the 21st Century?’

The Contextual Lecture Series is a new series of Tuesday morning lectures presenting some of the world’s most influential people in a new light. These talks explore the lives of key figures in history, philosophy, politics and religion. This spring the programme covers diverse topics from Freud’s relevance today to Newton’s private lives and Pankhurst and the struggle to enfranchise women. Have a look at the full lecture programme here.

We caught up with two of the lecturers who will be speaking at Dulwich Picture Gallery in the next couple of months.

First we spoke to Prof. Tom Burns, Professor and Chair of Social Psychiatry at the University of Oxford and author of Psychiatry: A Very Short Introduction (2006) and Our Necessary Shadow, The Nature and Meaning of Psychiatry (2013). On 25 February Prof. Tom Burns will pose the question ‘Sigmund Freud: Still Relevant in the 21st Century?’

We also spoke to Richard Thorpe, the acclaimed biographer of Anthony Eden (2003), Harold MacMillan (2010) and other major political figures of the 20th Century. On 18 March D.R. Thorpe will give the lecture ‘The Welsh Wizard: David Lloyd George’s Legacy’.

Prof. Tom Burns

‘Sigmund Freud: Still Relevant in the 21st Century?’ Tuesday 25 February

freund

“Reminding us of the debt we owe Freud. Pointing out that he was in many ways much more realistic and even modest than his followers. Observing how his ideas survived adversity and spread internationally.”

What led you to pose this question?

“Freud has fallen from grace in the psychiatric world, both because of the rise of biomedicine and the focus on pharmacological treatments and also because of the prominence of other forms of psychotherapy, most particularly CBT. He also fell foul of early feminism where some of his rather Victorian views on sexuality were considered patronising and mechanistic. However, although much of his writing is controversial, the core of his practice and contributions are anything but controversial. Indeed it is precisely the innocuous nature of many of his major contributions (the impact of the unconscious, how our past haunts our present, the liberating effects of confronting painful memories) means that they have been absorbed into our daily life, and humanised it, without us often recognising the debt we owe him.”

What are you most excited about in giving this lecture?

“Reminding us of the debt we owe Freud. Pointing out that he was in many ways much more realistic and even modest than his followers. Observing how his ideas survived adversity and spread internationally.”

What would you say to encourage people to book?

“Major contributors to that change which cast a different light on the value of his utterances. Some of his early asides are now as relevant as some of the core messages.”

What will visitors take away from the lecture?

“A richer, human understanding of the complexity of the man and his ideas. Where he got it wrong (and he certainly did get some things spectacularly wrong!) And where he got them right.”

Find out more about Prof. Tom Burns.

Richard Thorpe

‘The Welsh Wizard: David Lloyd George’s Legacy’ Tuesday 18 March

David_Lloyd_George

“Lloyd George needs to be remembered and how Britain today would be totally different, perhaps most of all in its welfare provision, had he never been prime minister.”

Can you let us know a little more about what you will be talking about on the day?

“Lloyd George was indisputably the greatest British statesman of the 20th century, more so than Churchill because his peace-time legacy was more enduring. His range of activities was unparalleled.”

What are you most excited about in giving this lecture?

“The opportunity to go back into the records and give shape to ideas about why Lloyd George needs to be remembered.”

What would you say to encourage people to book?

“In the 1980s I interviewed lady Olwen Carey Evans, then Lloyd George’s only surviving daughter and she told me much about her father from personal experience. Born in 1892 she had been present in 1909 to hear her father deliver the four and a half hour ‘people’s budget’, the most important perhaps in British history and her account of it and the public reaction, both for and against, was fascinating.”

What will visitors take away from the lecture?

“Hopefully some sense of why Lloyd George needs to be remembered and how Britain today would be totally different, perhaps most of all in its welfare provision, had he never been prime minister.”

Find out more about Richard Thorpe.

– – –

Contact the Educational Public Programme Manager (Lettie Mckie) for further information: 0208 299 8732 or email l.mckie@dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk.

Tickets are available by telephone for the whole series of 20 lectures. £200 (Friends £180)

Tickets for individual lectures are available to book online or on the door from 10am on the day of the lecture £10 (Friends £9)


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