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Inaugural Lectures

Our Inaugural Lectures provide an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements of our professors who are undertaking research and scholarship of international significance.

The lecture series offers an insight into the strength and vitality of the arts, humanities and social sciences at UCL, and is jointly hosted by UCL's Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences and Faculty of Arts & Humanities

All our lectures are free to attend and open to all. You don't have to be a UCL staff member or student to come along.

You will need to reserve your place using the booking links below. 

We look forward to meeting you at one of our events.


What's On

Keep up to date with details of future lectures - sign up to our public events mailing list to receive updates.

Anti-racism as Politics

Thursday 6 May 2021, 17:00-18:30

Paul Gilroy, Professor of the Humanities and Founding Director, Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism & Racialisation, delivers his Inaugural Lecture: 'Anti-racism as Politics'. With a welcome from UCL President & Provost Dr Michael Spence AC and commentary from Executive Deans, Professors Stella Bruzzi and Sasha Roseneil.

This lecture will address aspects of my scholarly career as a researcher, in several disciplinary settings, into the problems presented by ethnic absolutism and the attachment to race. It will reflect critically on approaches to the study of racial hierarchy that reduce work in this difficult area to the examination of interpersonal relations or confine understanding of the political aspects of this critical work to the matter of identity alone. 

Find out more and register your place

Art Deco: A Literary Style?

Wednesday 2 June 2021, 13:00-14:00

Maria Rubins, Professor in Russian and Comparative Literature, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies, delivers her Inaugural Lecture: 'Art Deco: A Literary Style?'.

Despite its name, Art Deco was much more than a style in applied arts and architecture of the Jazz Age. Indeed, it could be seen as the first truly global, comprehensive cultural phenomenon, informing nearly all spheres of life, including social practices, fashion, cinematography, music, visual arts, ideological preferences, gender roles, and automobile design. Could literature have escaped its pervasive influence?

In her lecture, Professor Maria Rubins will explore Art Deco fiction and its distinctive narrative strategies, genres and thematic repertoire, shaped by new conceptions of commercial success. She will discuss interwar writers’ ironic and ambivalent response to the ethos of hedonism, consumerism, the cult of speed, and the apparent dominance of cinema over other artistic media. Finally, she will consider why no subsequent style has achieved the same degree of cultural supremacy.

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