Simon Schama 1995

The Event

Simon Schama

Landscape and Memory

Thursday, 5 October 1995

Credit: Prospect Publishing

Credit: Prospect Publishing

The John Adams Institute proudly presents an evening with historian Simon Schama in the series American Literature Today.

Simon Schama was born in London in 1945, educated at Cambridge, and has taught at Oxford and Harvard. He is Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University. Simon Schama has won international fame with his lively and immensely detailed mammoth historical works, of which The Embarrassment of Riches (1977) and his first book Patriots and Liberators: Revolution in the Netherlands 1780-1813 (1977) have particularly appealed to the Dutch public because they deal with Dutch history.

Schama’s preference for the anecdotal and his free interpretation and use of historical sources appeal to a large reading public but have brought him criticism from his colleague historians. Some attack him for being too literary. Schama himself is proud of the literary quality of his work. “History is telling a story”, he says.

In his latest, richly illustrated book, Landscape & Memory, Schama mixes myths, philisophical reflections and personal memories, and links these with the development and history of the landscape that surrounds us. He examines our relationship with the landscape, the impact it has had on our culture, and imaginations and the way in which we, in turn, have shaped and exploited it to serve our needs. Have we lost touch with our natural environments? “History is an argument without end”, says Schama.

Gary Schwartz, art historian and Rembrandt specialist, will introduce Simon Schama, interview him, and lead the discussion with the audience.

source text: newscard American Literature Today 1995

Context

The Speaker:

Simon Michael Schama, CBE (born 13 February 1945) is a British historian specialising in art history and French history. He is a University Professor of History and Art History at Columbia University, New York.[2] He first came to popular public attention with his history of the French Revolution, Citizens.[2] In the United Kingdom, he is perhaps best known for writing and hosting the 15-part BBC television documentary series A History of Britain.

source text: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Schama

Media:

The Guardian Website on Schama and his work

The BBC Television Series on Landscape and Memory, presented by Schama

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