"Hidden Histories" Alternative Lecture Series

Hidden Histories is an alternative lecture series run by staff and students at Warwick which seeks to explore often-erased stories of oppression and resistance. The Students’ Union are launching this series as part of the work we are doing around liberating the curriculum. The aim of the series is to give a platform to academic narratives and discourses which are often neglected or even deliberately erased from mainstream curricula, and to open these discussions up so that students from any and all disciplines can access and engage in them. The series will seek to highlight how the erasure of these histories impacts on contemporary perceptions of the world around us, and thus why it is important to learn about them. Though this initiative is extra-curricular, we hope that through “Hidden Histories”, as a student and staff community, we can collectively explore and showcase what a truly liberated curriculum could look like.

Next lecture in the series:

Coming soon...


Previous events in the series:

“A Queer History of the Holocaust” delivered by Dr Anna Hájková

Watch a recording of the lecture here.

"Why were certain stories connected to sexuality of the Holocaust victims, such as people who engaged in same sex conduct, never told?

This event will explore the intersection of sexuality and violence in the Holocaust, and the erasure of certain sexualities from what has become the Holocaust canon. Through examining the narrative erasure of lesbians and gays who were deported as Jews, homophobia of the victim society, and sex barter, and by looking at cases of what the lecturer has termed “transgressive sexuality,” this event will contribute to our understanding of gender and sexual violence, consent, normative behavior during the Holocaust, and the politics of Holocaust archives.

This lecture will be delivered by Dr Anna Hájková. Anna is Assistant Professor of Modern Continental history at the University of Warwick. Her book manuscript on everyday history of Theresienstadt was awarded the Irma Rosenberg as well as the Herbert Steiner prize for 2014. She was coeditor of Theresienstädter Studien und Dokumente, and she also co-edited Alltag im Holocaust: Jüdisches Leben im Großdeutschen Reich, 1941-1945. Her essay on sexual barter received the Catharine Stimpson Prize for Outstanding Feminist Scholarship 2013. She is working on a project on transgressive sexuality in the Holocaust."


"Transgender Moral Panic - A Brief Social History" delivered by Ruth Pearce

"Over the last few months, there has been an enormous upsurge in media commentary that expresses concern about the role of trans people in public life. Gendered changing rooms, non-binary people, trans children and notions of self-definition have all come under intense scrutiny, with psychologist Meg-John Barker describing 2017 as "the year of the transgender moral panic".

For the 2nd lecture in our Hidden Histories series, Ruth Pearce will explore the background to the recent wave of media interest, taking in radical feminist theories, scientific racism and proposed changes to UK law. She will show how the transgender moral panic has been shaped by deep-seated cultural anxieties around sex and gender, brought to the fore by the precarious successes of the trans liberation movement.

Ruth Pearce is a trans feminist scholar. Her research primarily examines discourses, practices and experiences of trans health. Her PhD was awarded by the University of Warwick in 2016. Her thesis looked at how trans health is differently understood within trans communities, activist groups and professional literatures, with a range of meanings and practices contested within and between these spaces."


"Race, Intimacy, and the Hidden Histories of Extraction" delivered by Lisa Tilley

"What does 'race' have to do with resource mining and other forms of 'extractivism' such as oil palm and soya bean production? What does 'intimacy' have to do with race and the racialisation of populations in resource-rich areas? How do mining and other extractive operations impact upon cultures of intimacy and why do sites of industrial-scale prostitution emerge alongside sites of extraction?

In this talk, Lisa Tilley looks at one resource frontier in Indonesia in order to answer these questions. Working from the Dutch colonial era through to the present, she provides an examination of how colonial discourses and practices have been adopted and performed by corporate agents in order to racialise the Indigenous locals.

Integrally, she considers how racialised colonial representations of Indigenous intimacy have formed the rationale for the interventions of actors from missionaries through to corporate and state agents in Indigenous intimate habits.

This talk will cover how such interventions are performed simultaneously through the discouraging of polygamy and through the introduction of operations of industrial-scale prostitution alongside mining sites. Overall, by mapping out the connections between race and capital in relation to intimacy, this talk will add to our understanding of how racial difference is produced and deployed in the service of extraction, dispossession, and expropriation.

Lisa Tilley is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Queen Mary University of London in the UK and co-convenes the Colonial, Postcolonial, Decolonial (CPD) Working Group of BISA as well as the Warwick-QMUL Raced Markets collaborative research project."


"British National Eugenics - The Golden Age" featuring contributions from Lara Choksey, Nathaniel Adam Tobias C----, and Clive Harris.

Listen to the audio recording of the event here:

"Eugenics, the science of good ("eu") breeding ("genes"), was invented in Britain by Francis Galton, Charles Darwin's cousin, in the nineteenth century. Presenting a pseudo-scientific justification for racism, ableism, and imperial ventures abroad, eugenics fascinated thinkers across the political spectrum in Britain, presenting the opportunity to breed in "good" stock, and to breed out the "bad" in the name of social improvement.

In this student-staff roundtable, we look at how eugenics shaped imperial world-building during its golden age: the "Scramble for Africa", Birmingham's back-story in the invention and institutionalisation of British National Eugenics at University College London in 1904 and 1911, and the role of public scientists in promoting eugenic agendas in the years leading up to World War II. How is eugenic thought embedded in contemporary notions of what it means to be "British", what are some of its contemporary manifestations, and how can we go about dismantling this inheritance? The roundtable features contributions from Lara Choksey, Nathaniel Adam Tobias C----, and Clive Harris.