The Fourth Annual Whitehead Lecture: Helen King

Date(s) - 30/01/2019
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Lecture Theatre 3, Geoffrey Manton


Please join us for our Fourth Annual Whitehead Lecture on Wednesday 30th January at 5.30pm, at which we will also celebrate the winner of this year’s Whitehead Prize. The talk will be held in Lecture Theatre 3 in the Geoffrey Manton building on the Manchester Metropolitan University campus.

This event is free but spaces are limited, so please register in advance via our Eventbrite page:

Our speaker for this year’s lecture is Professor Helen King (The Open University), who will be giving a talk entitled ‘Does the Evidence Really Say That? Doing Ancient History in the Internet Age’. Prof King has kindly provided the following abstract:

‘The internet has changed how we do history of any kind. Primary sources are readily available to anyone with an interest in finding them, and more secondary material is available every day. But how do we evaluate the reliability of the evidence we find, and – even more importantly – how can we ensure that those with a general interest in ancient history have access to good materials? I’ve recently finished writing a book on how the internet does the ancient world, with special reference to Hippocrates. As part of this, I’ve engaged with some entirely fictional claims about the ‘Father of Medicine’ which now circulate widely, including the claims that he was the first to describe hysteria, and that he was imprisoned for twenty years for challenging the establishment. I suggest that, in some ways, there’s nothing new here: people have always told the stories they like and have played fast and loose with the evidence. But, in other ways, things have changed: access to bad history is now more widespread than ever.’

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