2023 Programme

Clock Tower Stage

10:00-11:00

From White Teeth to killing Charles Dickens: Zadie Smith talks to Merve Emre about her dazzling career and first foray into historical fiction

Great Hall

10:00-11:00

Resurrection or recession: what next for the British economy?
Chair: Camilla Cavendish
Panel: Octavius Black, Ian Livingstone, Emma Walmsley 

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11:15-12:15

The fashion manifesto: how Gabrielle Chanel revolutionised the way women dress
Chair: Catherine Ostler
Panel: Oriole Cullen, Tristram Hunt, Justine Picardie

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11:30-12:30

The metaphysical and the modern: Nick Laird and Katherine Rundell speak to Jonathan Bate about the infinite allure of poetry

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12:45-13:45

Swing Time: is Labour’s election triumph inevitable?
Chair: Martin Ivens
Panel: Joanne Cash, Daniel Chandler, David Lammy, Emily Maitlis

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14:00-15:00

The Imagination Muscle: how creativity can thrive in the age of AI
Chair: Yana Peel
Panel: Yonca Dervisoglu, Will Gompertz, Albert Read

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14:00-15:00

The fables of Maggie O’Farrell: the author of Hamnet and The Marriage Portrait discusses a life in literature with Martha Kearney

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15:30-16:30

War on trial: from Nuremberg to Ukraine, can international justice ever be delivered?
Chair: Jonathan Freedland
Panel: Daniel Finkelstein, Olesya Khromeychuk, Philippe Sands

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15:30-16:30

The Empress of Rome: Britain’s celebrated classicist, Mary Beard, discusses bread, circuses and Caesars with Albert Read

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17:00-18:00

Making history great again: The Rest is History’s Tom Holland talks to Simon Sebag Montefiore about his Roman Empire trilogy and the world’s most popular podcast

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17:00-18:00

From Selfies to sculptures: one of the founders of the British contemporary art scene, the acclaimed and multi-talented Marc Quinn talks to Alice Thomson about the evolution of his art

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Clock Tower Stage

10:00-11:00

Soldiers, surveillance, and secret agents: redefining the role of espionage in modern warfare
Chair: Simon Sebag Montefiore
Panel: Pauline Neville-Jones, Andrei Soldatov, Calder Walton, Alex Younger, Mikhail Zygar

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Great Hall

10:00-11:00

A year in fiction: the power and practice of the modern novel
Chair: Merve Emre
Panel: Tom Crewe, Marlon James, Fatima Farheen Mirza, Hannah Rothschild

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11:30-12:30

The Earth Transformed: global historian Peter Frankopan talks to Natalie Livingstone about the past and future of the planet

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11:30-12:30

The fantastical universe of Marlon JamesIona McLaren talks to the Booker Prize-winning novelist

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13:00-13:45     

Living in a material world: Jonathan Maxwell and Ed Conway explain why the past and future of humanity is a story of resources

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14:00-15:00

The deadly puzzle: how Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iran and Israel are redrawing the Middle East
Chair: Peter Frankopan
Panel: Maryam Aslany, Mansoor Abulhoul, Jake Wallis Simons, Einat Wilf, Alex Younger

14:00-15:00

The world of Simon Schama: the eminent historian talks to Natalie Livingstone about his glorious career and his new book, Foreign Bodies

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15:30-16:30

A study in warfare: General Petraeus and Andrew Roberts talk to Con Coughlin about the evolution of modern conflict

15:30-16:30

The Carolean question: predicting King Charles’ reign and the future of the monarchy
Chair: Robert Hardman
Panel: Ailsa Anderson, Jane Ridley, William Shawcross

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17:00-18:00

Atlantic dominion: how American culture has distorted Britain’s view of itself
Chair: Anne McElvoy
Panel: Emily Benn, James Marriott, Munira Mirza, Tomiwa Owolade

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17.00 – 18.00

‘We shape our buildings: thereafter they shape us,’ said Churchill; the talented interior designer Flora Soames, his great-granddaughter, talks about her inherited love of making homes with her aunt, editor and writer Emma Soames

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Please note that on occasion the programme and speaker list may be subject to change.