“Landscape, Ancient Monuments and Memory in Early Modern Britain,” Professor Alexandra Walsham (Cambridge University)


Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 7:00pm

28th Annual Town and Gown Lecture: “Landscape, Ancient Monuments and Memory in Early Modern Britain

Professor Alexandra Walsham, Professor of Modern History and Fellow of Trinity College at Cambridge University, United Kingdom

Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 7:00 pm

The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, Ares Auditorium (Room 164)

Lecture and reception are free of charge and open to the public

What did Stonehenge and other ancient monuments mean to the inhabitants of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Britain? This lecture will investigate perceptions of the tangible remnants of the prehistoric past that remained scattered across the landscape of the British Isles in the early modern period. It begins by exploring the body of medieval traditions, legends and myths that accumulated around these mysterious structures, before turning to examine how attitudes towards them were shaped by the religious and political upheavals of the Reformation and the Civil Wars of the 1640s and 50s. It explores the ways in which they became the focus of violent iconoclastic attacks by a zealous minority intent upon eradicating traces of heathen idolatry and how, simultaneously, they provoked antiquarian curiosity and archaeological speculation. It seeks to illuminate the ways in which the physical environment is a critical agent in the formation of historical memory and cultural identity.

Alexandra Walsham is a graduate of the Universities of Melbourne and Cambridge. She held a Research Fellowship at Emmanuel College between 1993 and 1996 before being appointed as Lecturer in History at the University of Exeter in 1996. Promoted to a personal chair in Reformation History in 2005, she served as Head of Department at Exeter between 2007 and 2010. She was appointed to the Professorship of Modern History at Cambridge in 2010 and is also a Fellow of Trinity College.

She has published widely on the religious and cultural history of early modern Britain and her books include “Providence in Early Modern England” (Oxford UP, 1999) and “The Reformation of the Landscape: Religion, Identity and Memory in Early Modern England” (Oxford UP, 2011), joint winner of the Wolfson History Prize.

Professor Walsham has been a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society since 1999 and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2009. She is currently co-editor of the journal “Past and Present.”

Presented by:

The University of Arizona, Division for Late Medieval and Reformation Studies

Co-Sponsored by:

The University of Arizona, Department of History

The University of Arizona. Religious Studies Program

Supported by:

Group for Early Modern Studies (GEMS)

Institute for the Study of Religion and Culture (ISRC)

UA Medieval, Renaissance, and Reformation Committee (UAMARRC)


Luise Betterton, Senior Program Coordinator.

Phone: (520) 626-5448; <bettertm@email.arizona.edu>

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Contact Us

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