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Image of Tony Benn: Assessing his Legacy for the Left


Tony Benn: Assessing his Legacy for the Left

Sat 26 Apr 2014, 14.00

The Socialist History Society presents

Tony Benn: Assessing his Legacy for the Left 

The Socialist History Society is hosting this seminar to assess Tony Benn's contribution to British politics; speakers will look at the historical roots of his commitment to socialism; his record in and out of office; some of the key causes he championed; and his role as a populariser of history. 

Speakers confirmed:

Lindsey German
Convenor Stop The War

Keith Flett (London Socialist Historians Group) – ‘growing more radical as he grew older' 

Dr Duncan Bowie (University of Westminster/reviews editor, Chartist magazine) –‘the roots of Tony Benn’s socialist commitment’ 

Prof Willie Thompson (Historian, former editor Socialist History) – Why regrettably the Benn project did not succeed 

Stefan Dickers (Library and Archives Manager, Bishopsgate) – Benn as archivist 

Jon Lansman (editor Left Futures/CLPD) - Setting the Standard - What the Left should look for in a Leader

Stan Newens (ex-MP, ex-MEP; President SHS) – Benn as a Parliamentarian 

Dr Kate Hudson (CND general secretary/historian) – Benn the peace and anti-nuclear activist

Image of State of the Browser

Special Events

State of the Browser

Sat 26 Apr 2014, 10.00

London Web Standards presents

State of the Browser

State of the Browser is coming back this year to bring you the latest on the web standards front and talks on where the web is going.

Our speakers will inspire us with their magic and show off the potential of today’s web.

Daniel Applequist

Jake Archibald

Martin Beeby

Andreas Bovens

Fernando Campo

Borja Salguero

Dan Donald

Christian Heilmann

Ruth John

Yoav Weiss

For SOTB we will provide a light lunch for speakers on the day as well as, naturally, tea, coffee and other refreshments. We would also like any speakers who are in London the evening before the conference to come to a complimentary speakers’ dinner and we would be more than happy to buy you drinks on the evening after the conference.

This year our full-day conference is in the centre of town at the lovely Conway Hall. Maximum ticket price £30 – a great deal! (Concessions for students also available)

Image of To Begin the World Over Again: the Life of Thomas Paine

Film & Theatre

To Begin the World Over Again: the Life of Thomas Paine

Sat 3 May 2014, 19.00

“The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion”

- Thomas Paine

Was he “one of the most brilliant minds in human history” or merely a “filthy little atheist”? He was certainly one of the most misunderstood men in American history. 

Thomas Paine is a man largely forgotten and greatly misunderstood yet his ideas about democracy, equality, slavery, social programs and morality were truly revolutionary. He changed the world, only to have the world he changed turn its back on him. He ignited revolutions but died largely ignored and disdained, yet when he was writing he was at the epicentre of world events and literally transforming nations through his words.

The one-man show “To Begin the World Over Again: the Life of Thomas Paine” , leaps from the stage and captures the living essence of America's brilliant, fiery and most radical Founding Father. It brings to life the wit, contradictions and contrariness of a man whose intellect and words shaped the American national character, inspiring Americans always to be their better selves.

His pen sparked the American Revolution,
defined the French Revolution and championed the Age of Reason. He went from hero on the streets of Philadelphia to prisoner in Paris awaiting the guillotine. His books were the biggest best sellers in history and at his funeral… there were six mourners. 

Today there is the Occupy movement, back then there was Thomas Paine.

Tickets Advance: £10 (plus booking fee), Concs. £5

Admission £15/£7 on the door.

Doors 18.30. Start 19.00

Ian Ruskin (writer/actor) trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and currently lives in Los Angeles, CA. He has performed his other one man play From Wharf Rats to Lords of the Docks about labour leader Harry Bridges well over 200 times. The film version, directed by Haskell Wexler, has aired in America on PBS for the past 4 years. This is the London première of To Begin the World Over Again: the Life of Thomas Paine which has been performed just over 30 times in the past two years.

“Ruskin’s Paine provides more than a mere history lesson; it’s a sort of performance art. Not only do we learn of a largely untold slice of the American story, we also get to see an actor in top form. So nuanced and layered is Ruskin’s performance, and so enlightening is his script, it’s as if Paine has been brought to back life just to speak to us”.

Ben Miles, showmag.com, Los Angeles

“Ian Ruskin’s performance had a profound impact on our students…who are all in their own right struggling to realize their own value and contributions to this world, and the lessons learned as a result of experiencing this brilliant performance are many…for weeks following they commented on such things as: wanting to read more about the extraordinary life of Thomas Paine; wanting to read a particular work mentioned in the play…It is our upmost pleasure to give the highest praise and to recommend this play without reservation”.                                   

Julie Davis, Professor, History and Women’s Studies, Cerritos College

“It is a spectacular way to introduce people to the historical struggles and the ideas of the most important revolutionary thinker of the late eighteenth century. You bring Paine alive and create throughout the play excitement for history and the world of ideas, and deliver important lessons for our own time…to the possibility that democracy can attain great things, and that we have visionaries who can get us back on that virtuous forward path.”         

Elaine Bernard, Executive Director, Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School

Image of The Surveillance Society

Special Events

The Surveillance Society

Sat 3 Mar 2014, 10.30

Centre for Inquiry UK and Conway Hall Ethical Society presents
The Surveillance Society
Including Caspar Bowden, Tom Sorell, Judith Rauhofer.
Post Snowden, where do we go now? When is surveillance acceptable, and when is it wrong? Should whole swathes of public policy regarding surveillance now be junked? Three leading experts in the field present accessible and fascinating talks on our emerging surveillance society – and what to do about it.
Organized and chaired by Stephen Law
£10 (£5 students, Members of Conway Hall Ethical Society, and the British Humanist Association). Free to friends of CFI UK.
10.30 registration. 11.00 – 15.45
11.00 Caspar Bowden. Caspar Bowden is an independent advocate for information privacy rights, and public understanding of privacy research in computer science. For nine years he was Chief Privacy Adviser for Microsoft for forty countries.
12.00 Tom Sorell. Professor of Philosophy, University of Warwick. Tom will be talking about the relation between the power of an agent of surveillance and the prima facie wrongness of surveillance.
13.45 Judith Rauhofer. Is a lawyer and lecturer in IT law at the University of Edinburgh. She will be speaking about about surveillance and the rule of law, the different understandings of "lawfulness" and the concept of privacy as a common good.
14.45 Plenary.
15.45 END
CFI UK reserves the right to change the programme due to unforeseen circumstances.

Image of London Burlesque Festival

Special Events

London Burlesque Festival

15 - 25 May 2014

Chaz Royal presents

The 8th Annual London Burlesque Festival 
Red Carpet Rollout

VIP Opening Gala

Thursday May 15th

The 8th Annual London Burlesque Festival is back in full glory and the Red Carpet Rollout previews some of the finest and most inspiring talent this year. Witness high octane glamour and sheer opulence at this prestigious 5 star VIP Opening Gala.

Crown Jewels - 'Best of British'

Saturday May 17th

LBF has scoured the nation for the most talented and unique British Burlesque & Variety acts. Bringing new, emerging and established performers together, the Crown Jewels creates a magnificent display of the best talent in the UK scene.

Hollywood Revue

Tuesday May 20th

Lights, camera, action! LBF pulls out all the stops for an evening of star-studded glamour, paying tribute to the greatest film stars and most memorable moments from the silver screen.

Burlesque, Gin & Jazz

Wednesday May 21st

Infusing sultry classic Burlesque with a night of sizzling hot, steamy wailing jazz from the 1930′s-60′s. Dust off your dancing shoes and prepare for an evening at LBF like no other with Burlesque, Gin & Jazz, the hottest show around!

Sexy Circus Sideshow

Thursday May 22nd

If you're looking for candy floss this isn't it. If you're after a thrilling boozy freak show, then you've come to the right place! A 'Carnival cavalcade of saucy showgirls, sexy sideshow stunts, neurotic novelty and vaudeville variety', this acclaimed extravaganza is guaranteed to blow your mind!

Big Burlesque Day Out

Saturday May 24th

A fun and informative daytime event for all fans of Burlesque. Whether you're a performer, fan, promoter or complete newbie, if you love Burlesque we can guarantee that this event will have something for you! With seminars, a vendors market, fashion shows, workshops, tea, cakes, cocktails and an afternoon Burlesque show, The Big Burlesque Day Out is the No.1 social event for any Burlesque aficionados calendar.

LBF All-Stars

Saturday May 24th

LBF has become renowned for bringing together the most superior acts from around the globe and this year is no exception. The most acclaimed names from past LBF moments and award winning artists from the World Burlesque Games come together for a prestigious evening of show-stopping entertainment. LBF at its very best! 

London's Premiere Burlesque, Cabaret & Variety Festival Since 2007.

*Early bird prices are marked at 50% - 63% OFF (Select Shows) until December 27th.

LBF 2014 All Access Pass: General £109, VIP Pass £199. For Day tickets. Please check website.

Image of Boring Conference

Special Events

Boring Conference

Sat 31 May 2014, 10.00

The Boring Conference is a one-day celebration of the mundane, the ordinary, the obvious and the overlooked – subjects often considered trivial and pointless, but when examined more closely reveal themselves to be deeply fascinating.

It was created in response to the cancellation of the 2010 Interesting Conference. It seemed like the obvious thing to do.

Previous speakers have included Jon Ronson, Robin Ince, Josie Long and Adam Curtis. People have talked about sneezing, toast, IBM tills, the sounds made by vending machines, the Shipping Forecast, barcodes, yellow lines, London shop fronts, the television programme Antiques Road Trip and the features of the Yamaha PSR-175 Portatune keyboard.

Tickets will go on sale in batches to ensure everyone gets a chance to get a ticket (in previous years they have sold out very quickly).

The first 100 tickets will be available at an early bird price of £15, and then after that, they’ll be £20 (£15 concs).

The first batch of tickets will go on sale on Friday 28th February at 1pm.

The second batch of tickets will go on sale on Friday 7th March at 1pm.

Photo: Ed Moore

Image of Rhinegold Live: Andrew Litton plays Oscar Peterson

Special Events

Rhinegold Live: Andrew Litton plays Oscar Peterson

Mon 2 Jun 2014, 18.30

World-renowned conductor Andrew Litton returns to his first love – the piano – for this very special recital. Based on scores transcribed by fellow pianist Steven Osborne, the programme spans four decades of Oscar Peterson’s legacy and launches Andrew’s forthcoming CD release, A Tribute to Oscar Peterson.

The concert will be preceded by a complimentary drinks reception (for ticket holders) and followed by a Q&A conducted by International Piano Magazine's Editor, Claire Jackson. 

6.00 - doors open
6.30 - concert begins
7.30 - Q&A / drinks reception begins

Registration Free - Booking Needed for Entry.

Image of God in the Lab: The Science of Religious Belief

Talks & Lectures

God in the Lab: The Science of Religious Belief

Sat 14 Jun 2014, 10.30

Centre for Inquiry UK and Conway Hall Ethical Society present

God in the Lab: The Science of Religious Belief

What lies behind exorcism and speaking in tongues? How rational are atheists? Does morality depend on religion? Profs. Chris French, Jon Lanman and Glen Carrigan discuss some fascinating recent research and findings re. religious and atheistic belief systems.

Presented by Stephen Law

£10 (£5 students, Members of Conway Hall Ethical Society and the British Humanist Association). Free to friends of CFI UK.

10.30 registration. 11.00 – 15.45

11.00 Glen Carrigan.

An introduction to a morality where God is not at its centre. Using the 4 S’s of science, skepticism, sarcasm and satire whilst employing neuropsychological research and a humanistic world view, we’ll look at what the alternatives are to a pious moral code and why people and groups might make the decisions they do. 

Glen is a neuropsychology researcher and senior demonstrator at the University of Central Lancashire specialising in moral psychology, youth engagement and with an interest in all things science.

12.00 Chris French. 

Chris French is Professor of Psychology at Goldsmith’s College, London and will be talking about, among other things, possession, exorcism, and speaking-in-tongues. His latest book is Anomalistic Psychology: Exploring Paranormal Belief and Experience.

13.00-13.45 lunch

13.45 Jon Lanman. 

"Atheism: The View from Cognitive Science" Cognitive Science is the interdisciplinary study of the mind and is in principle and in practice relevant to our understanding of atheism. In this talk, I will review how cognitive science enriches our understanding of belief and rationality, challenges commonly discussed theories of religion and atheism, and provides a more empirically grounded account of the mind that we can utilize to better understand the causes and effects of atheism and anti-atheist prejudice.Dr Jonathan Lanman is the Assistant Director of the Institute of Cognition and Culture and Lecturer in Anthropology at Queen's University Belfast.

14.45-15.30 Roundtable and Q & A.

15.30 END 

CFI UK reserves the right to change the programme due to unforeseen circumstances.

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