Continuing Education lectures
Continuing Education (History) at the University of Liverpool
& Merseyside Maritime Museum
Spring 2012 Public Lecture Series

The World at the Time of the Titanic

Lectures will be held 1-2pm at the Merseyside Maritime Museum, Albert dock (Floor 4 Lecture Theatre – with lifts and disabled access).

Note: These lectures are free and no prior booking is required. Those attending the lecture are eligible for a 10% discount in the Museum café/restaurant on the day .

Wednesday 2 May: John Welshman: The Last Night of a Small Town

It was historian Walter Lord in A Night to Remember (1955) who described the sinking of the Titanic as 'the last night of a small town'. This lecture builds on this famous account to include first, second, and third class passengers; women as well as men; children as well as adults; crew members as well as passengers; and people from countries other than Britain and America. As well as exploring themes such as the ship's construction, social class, migration and radio, Dr Welshman will investigate passenger’s histories and hopes and ask who survived and why? And who perished?
John Welshman is author of Titanic: The Last Night of a Small Town (Oxford University Press, 2012).

Wednesday 9 May: David Molyneux: The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the Age of the Titanic-two unsinkable entities!

When the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine was formally inaugurated in 1899 it was the first of its kind in the world. In this lecture, Professor David Molyneux of the LSTM tells the story of this pioneering institution in the context of empire and the challenge to understand and overcome tropical disease in the Edwardian era.

Wednesday 16 May: Zachary Kingdon: Collecting West Africa for the Liverpool Museums: Arnold Ridyard and Elder Dempster & Co.'s Africa Service.

The British Empire in West Africa was essentially a group of territories held together by steam shipping: Imperial power and culture was sustained through the flow of goods carried on steamers. As a chief engineer on the steam ships of Elder Dempster & Co., Arnold Ridyard was responsible for keeping these "tools of empire" moving; he also contributed thousands of objects to the collections of the Liverpool Museums. This lecture will discuss Ridyard's remarkable collecting operation on behalf of the Liverpool Museums and illustrate the significant extent to which his collecting operation, and his range of contacts along the Western coast of Africa, reflected the nature of empire.

Wednesday 23 May: Pauline Rushton: Dress in the Age of Titanic.

When the Titanic set sail on 10 April 1912, on board were women for whom the wearing of fashionable, beautiful clothes was a way to signify their own status and that of their families. In this lecture, Pauline Rushton, Curator of Costumes and Textiles, will guide us through the fashions worn by women and their significance in the elegant Edwardian era, including clothes worn by women in Liverpool in the period 1910-1914.

Wednesday 30 May: Sam Pryke: The Titanic, The Boy Scouts and Edwardian Youth

Founded in 1907, the Boy Scouts soon became the biggest youth movement in Britain – as they are to this day. Influenced by the eccentric personality of founder Lord Baden-Powell, scouting was coloured by ideas of chivalry, a love of nature born of folk craft and a frontier evocation of Empire and British nationalism. It was little surprise that an event of the magnitude of the sinking of the Titanic caught the imagination of the organisation and even became the subject of a campfire song. This lecture by social historian Dr Sam Pryke will explore the rise of the early scout movement and specifically how the Titanic was covered in the two Scout publications of the day: The Scout and Headquarters Gazette.

Wednesday 13 June: Roger Luckhurst: Titanic Ghosts: Spirits, Prophecies and Curses of the Maiden Voyage

Did you know that news of the sinking of the Titanic was first communicated not by the telegraph but by the global network of spirit mediums, who received ethereal communications faster than radio waves? Did you know that of the numerous Ancient Egyptian artefacts that sank on the Titanic, there was a rumour that the notorious Unlucky Mummy of the British Museum was secretly on board and had cursed the voyage? Many spooky stories circulated in the wake of the catastrophe. Many were connected with one of the most famous Englishman on the boat, the world-famous sensational journalist and advocate of Spiritualism,
William T. Stead, one of the heroic martyrs of the voyage. Explore Stead's extraordinary career, his obsession with predicting shipping disasters, and his fateful love of the latest technological marvel that led him to leap at the chance of a first-class berth on the Titanic.

Roger Luckhurst’s latest book, The Mummy’s Curse: A New Cultural History, will be published in 2012.