Simon Schama: Foreign Bodies

Simon Schama

Chair: Julia Neuberger

27/02/2022 2:30 pm
Kings Place, Hall 1

One of our most popular speakers returns with an exclusive event for the 70th anniversary Jewish Book Week, including a special preview of his next book, months before publication. Foreign Bodies: Pandemics, Vaccines and the Health of Nations looks at Waldemar Haffkine, a Russian Jew who created vaccines against cholera and the bubonic plague before becoming the subject of ‘the Little Dreyfus affair’ when accused of contaminating a vial of plague vaccine which caused deaths in a Punjabi village in 1902. Expect insights and entertainment from the historian, broadcaster and author of Wordy and The Story of the Jews.

In Memory of Robin Hyman

main image cr Oxford Film & Television Ltd

Simon Schama


Sir Simon Schama, CBE is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University and a Contributing Editor of the Financial Times. He is the author of nineteen books and the writer-presenter of fifty documentaries on art, history and literature for BBC2. His art criticism for The New Yorker won the National Magazine Award for criticism in 1996; his film on Bernini from The Power of Art won an Emmy in 2007 and his series on British history and The American Future: a History, Broadcast Critics Guild awards. He won the NCR non-fiction prize for Citizens, National Book Critics Circle award for Rough Crossings, the WH Smith Literary Award for Landscape and Memory. In 2015 he received the Premio Antonio Feltrinelli in historical sciences from the Accademia nazionale dei Lincei in Rome. His The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words was published in 2015 and the second volume Belonging in 2017In the autumn of 2016, The Face of Britain, a history of British portraiture appeared as a five-part BBC television series; a book and an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. In 2018, Civilizations, a nine-part BBC television series on world art, of which he wrote and presented five. In May 2019, Wordy: Sounding off on high art, low appetite and the power of memory, was published, and in the spring of 2021 his BBC series The Romantic and Us was aired. At present, he is working on Foreing Bodies, his twentieth publication, and in a new BBC series titled Brave New World.  Image cr. Charlie Bibby  

Julia Neuberger


Rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger DBE is Chair of University College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Chair of The Whittington Hospital NHS Trust. She was Senior Rabbi of the West London Synagogue from 2011 until March 2020 and is now Rabbi Emerita. She is a cross bench Peer in the House of Lords, former CEO of the King’s Fund, and a founding Trustee of the Walter and Liesel Schwab Charitable trust, set up in memory of her parents. She is a Trustee of the Rayne Foundation, Trustee of the Van Leer Group Foundation, Chair of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and Chair of Independent Age. She chaired the Review of the Liverpool Care Pathway for Dying Patients in 2013 and was Vice Chair, Mental Health Act Independent Review 2017-2018. She is also a member of the Executive Board, Leo Baeck Institute London. Her latest book on Antisemitism ‘What it is. What is isn’t. Why it matters’ (Orion Books) was published in May 2019. Photo credit Derek Tamea

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