We are delighted to announce our first confirmed keynote for the event, Professor Helen Berry.
Professor Helen Berry is the Dean of Postgraduate Studies and Professor of British History at Newcastle University. She specialises in British history circa 1660 to 1800, and has a particular interest in social, cultural and economic history. She has worked on the history of the mass media – the rise of newspapers and periodicals that reflected and informed public debates from the late-seventeenth century onwards; coffee house sociability and politeness; the history of gender and sexuality, particularly in the shifting definitions of marriage over time.
Her most recent publication, The Castrato and His Wife, is a microhistory that explores the impact of Italian culture in the British Isles. Her next book, Orphan of the Empire: the Fate of London’s Foundings, will explore the history and welfare in Britain in the first era of global British imperialism. This book will trace what happened to those who survived the experience of being raised in Europe’s first secular corporation designed to ‘save’ children for the nation, funded at first by private philanthropy, then state aid, and finally the profits of investment and venture capitalism.
We are looking forward to hearing Helen speak about one of her earliest loves, The Athenian Mercury, in her keynote address. This periodical was one of the first to regularly circulate through the streets of London, using anonymity to engage readers of all sorts. Her reflections on the London public sphere, print culture, and coffeehouses in relation to eighteenth-century anonymity will surely be an enlightening experience for all in attendance.
More information about Helen can be found on the following sites: