'A young man’s radicalism’: V. Gordon Childe, socialist and war-resister, 1914-1925

Start: Apr 26, 2017 06:00 PM
End: Apr 26, 2017 07:00 PM

Location: Room 612, UCL Institute of Archaeology

V. Gordon Childe

Katie Meheux (UCL) will give a seminar organised by the Institute's History of Archaeology Research Network at the Institute on 26 April.


In 1914, Vere Gordon Childe came to study at Queens College, Oxford. His experiences and the friendships he made at the university and later in Australia were to transform him into a Conscientious Objector to conscription and political radical, contemplating ‘the life of a professional revolutionary’. Although Childe abandoned revolution to become one of the most influential archaeologists of the 20th century, he remained a life-long Socialist, Communist fellow-traveller, war-resister, anti-imperialist and passionate advocate of civil liberties.

This talk examines the development of Childe’s political and pacifist views during these crucial years. His first book was financed by Bolshevik gold, his association with the hated Union of Democratic Control damaged his career and his friendships earned him surveillance by the Security Services. But the radical internationalism and Marxism learned during these stormy years were to make him one of the most challenging and innovative thinkers in the history of Archaeology.

All welcome!

Any enquiries about the event may be directed to Amara Thornton.