Past Matters 2014


2014 Events:

Nixon Watergate: An Interview with Alexander Butterfield (4 March)
Women and the Politics of Work (7 March)
Family History Day (15 March)
Public Lecture: Humanitarian Photography and the Atomic Age (21 May)
Penguin Lecture: The Deluge – The Great War and the Remaking of Global Order (28 May)
Public Lecture: Holocaust Tourism (29 May)

Nixon Watergate: An Interview with Alexander Butterfield

 alex-butterfieldListen to the Podcast of This Event

4 March 2014, 6 pm | Tyndall Lecture Theatre, School of Physics, Tyndall Avenue, BS8 1TL

Alexander Butterfield was sworn in as Richard Nixon’s deputy assistant at the President’s first inauguration on 20 January 1969. A trusted and loyal member of the 37th President of The United States’ staff, Butterfield’s role inside the White House expandedIMG00066-20140304-1806 over the course of Nixon’s first administration. In February 1971, Butterfield was instructed to oversee the installation of the now infamous White House taping system. He remained one of the few people who knew of its existence.

This interview probed the extent of the secrecy, paranoia and deception that lay at the heart of the Nixon administrations. It examined the nature of the scandal that, ultimately, culminated in the President’s political demise. Butterfield answered questions on the nature of day-to-day life working under Nixon, the impact that the Watergate scandal had on the President and his closest advisors and the historical significance of the events that unfolded during this particularly turbulent period in American political history.

Speakers: Alexander Butterfield, former White House staffer to President Nixon will be interviewed by Prof. Peter Coates, Department of History (Historical Studies)

Women and the Politics of Work


7 March 2014, 6.30 pm | Watershed, 1 Canon’s Rd, Bristol, BS1 5TX

To mark Women’s History Month, we brought together women who took action in the workplace: from Sally Groves, who played a key role in the Trico Equal Pay Strike in 1976, to Miriam Glucksmann, a sociologist who wrote Women On The Line after a year working in a motor parts factory.

This event is part of the AHRC Research Network, Women, Work and Value in Europe, 1945-2015.

Family History Day

15 March 2014, 11 am | Single Parent Action Network  (176 – 178 Easton Road, Bristol, BS5 0ES)

Together, we have been researching the history of women’s work in the local area. This family history day saw the launch of our exhibition, art activities for all ages, storytelling and more.

Humanitarian Photography and the Atomic Age

21 May 2014, 6.30 pm | M Shed (Wapping Rd, BS1 4RN)

We know what calamity looks like. Stunned victims appear in countless photographs. But does seeing distress help end it? Can we really speak of ‘humanitarian photography’? Looking at the images made of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the 1940s and 1950s by famous Japanese photographers Yamahata Yōsuke, Domon Ken, and Kimura Ihei and by anonymous American photographers in the army corps of engineers, Julia Adeney Thomas, University of Notre Dame, explored how photographs might help make the world a better place.

Speaker: Prof. Julia Adeney Thomas, University of Notre Dame
2014 Visiting Deas Fellow in History and Society, University of Bristol

Penguin Lecture: The Deluge – The Great War and the Remaking of Global Order

28 May 2014, 6.30 pm | Watershed (1 Canon’s Road, BS1 5TX)


In the depths of the Great War, with millions dead and no imaginable end to the conflict, societies around the world began to buckle. Once it had ended, it left country after country having to deal with circumstances unimaginable before 1914. In this talk Adam Tooze introduced his new book which explores why the modern world was created between 1916 and 1931.

Speaker: Prof. Adam Tooze, Yale University

Holocaust Tourism

29 May 2014, 6.30 pm | Watershed (1 Canon’s Road, Bristol, BS1 5TX)


This lecture traced the history of visits to Holocaust sites from the war, through the immediate post-war period and into the present. It explored the reasons why individuals and groups have visited these places and asked what future there is for so-caled ‘dark tourism’.

Speaker: Professor Tim Cole, Department of History (Historical Studies)

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  1. Pingback: Past Matter, Object No. 1: A Burmese Bookend | Historians at Bristol

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