Research Student Seminar: Prof. Peter Burke


The first of this year’s series of six HCA research student seminars will take place on Monday 15 February, 6-8pm, Dreyfus Room, 28 Russell Square

The seminar will be followed by dinner at Olivelli’s in Store Street. If you would like to go along, please email Guy Beckett, Co-convener of the seminars:


Peter Burke, Professor Emeritus of Cultural History at Cambridge University 

Exiles and expatriates in the history of knowledge: some reflections’

Professor Burke writes, “I should like to reflect on the question whether exiles, forced to emigrate, and expatriates, who chose to emigrate, have made a distinctive contribution to knowledge, and if so, what that contribution might be. The answer that I shall give and attempt to justify may be summed up in one word: deprovincialization. Encounters between scholars and scientists from different cultures have often been a form of education for both parties, exposing them to alternative ways of thinking, and for a third party on the occasions when the emigres returned to their homeland.

Deprovincialization was in part the result of mediation, as many emigres informed people in their ‘hostland’ about the culture of the homeland, and also (if less frequently), vice versa. It was also the result of the detachment with which the emigres viewed the culture of the hostland. In the third place, new knowledge and insights were produced as a result of the interaction between émigrés their colleagues in the hostland, whether conscious synthesis or unconscious hybridization.”

For more on Peter Burke: Peter Burke academic profile


To see the full research student seminar series this year: HCA Student Research Seminar Programme 2016

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