University of Liverpool, Stories we Tell: History, Mythologies, Memories and Monuments

granite faces of famous politicians carved on mount
Photo by Samuel Karle on

Unfolding Our Shared Future talk series: University of Liverpool Public Lecture

The event occurred: 24th March, 5 – 7.30pm, Museum of Liverpool

History, myths, memories, and monuments each tell their own stories. This event will focus on how history is interpreted and represented in the US and the UK. The panellists will discuss how ‘History, Mythologies, Memories, Monuments’, and narratives on both sides of the Atlantic influence how history is taught, perceived, and portrayed, as well as used to mould current political rhetoric and future ideas. More broadly, the event will cover issues facing the US and UK in domestic, trans-Atlantic, and global contexts, including asking the essential question: what is the value of democracy?

A video of the event is available below:

An abridged audio recording of the event available on:

Spotify: here

Amazon Music: here

Google Podcasts: here

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Photos from the event:

Lavinya Stennett, Photo by Richard Ortiz
Sarah Churchwell, Photo by Richard Ortiz
Panel Discussion, Photo by Richard Ortiz

About the Speakers:

Lavinya Stennett

Lavinya Stennett is a writer, activist, and Founder and CEO of The Black Curriculum. Graduating with a first-class from SOAS in 2019, she’s most recently authored a paper exploring Maroon ecology in Jamaica and Brazil. She was recently named one of the Sunday Times’ 50 Women of the Year and was awarded Trailblazer of The Year by Hello Magazine, as well as featured in Vogue, and GQ for her activism. 

The Black Curriculum is a social enterprise founded in 2019, working to teach and support the teaching of Black history all year round, aiming to empower all students with a sense of identity and belonging.

Lavinya is currently writing her debut book on Black History: Omitted due out for publication in Spring 2023.

Sarah Churchwell

Sarah Churchwell is Professor in American Literature and Chair of Public Understanding of the Humanities at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. Her books include Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and The Invention of The Great Gatsby, The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe, Behold, America: A History of America First and the American Dream, and The Wrath to Come: Gone with the Wind and the Lies America Tells. Her journalism has been published widely, including in the New York Review of Books, Atlantic, Washington Post, Guardian, FT, TLS, New Statesman, and many others, and she has frequently contributed to radio, television, and documentary film projects. She was co-winner of the 2015 Eccles British Library Writer’s Award, and longlisted for the Orwell Prize for Journalism in 2021.

Dr Laura Sandy

Dr Laura Sandy is a historian of slavery, North America and the Atlantic World. She is also the Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of International Slavery (CSIS). She teaches undergraduate modules on colonial America, American slavery and Civil Rights, comparative slaveries, and public history. She joined the University of Liverpool in 2015, having previously held full-time posts at Oxford Brookes University and Keele University. Laura’s ESRC funded PhD and Post-Doctoral award supported research on American slavery and led to the publication of works which review the lives of overseers (free and enslaved) and their wives on slave plantations in Virginia and South Carolina. Her first book is entitled The Overseers of Early American Slavery: Supervisors, Enslaved Labourers, and the Plantation Enterprise. She is also the editor of several collections of essays including, The Civil War and Slavery Reconsidered: Negotiating the Peripheries and Women and Slavery: Agency, Violence, and Constraint in the Nineteenth Century American South. Her work has involved archival research in every former “slave state” in the United States, looking at slavery, plantation management, resistance, agency, “free people of colour,” voluntary enslavement, the theft of enslaved people, and the laws of slavery. Her most recent work investigates the illegal trafficking of the enslaved in North America in the 18th and 19th centuries. Laura has advised on museum exhibitions and given talks on her research to historical societies, institutions, and schools in the UK, Europe, and across America.

This talk is part of a series, titled ‘Unfolding Our Shared Future’, which is delivered by the American Politics Group of the Political Studies Association and the host universities with the support of the British Association of American Studies and US Embassy in London.