I had the pleasure of speaking with Sir Simon Schama ( @simon_schama ) on May 2nd 2019 at the Atheneum Theatre in Melbourne when he was a guest of the Wheeler Centre for their Mayhem series. You’ll find the link to the event below.
Sir Simon Schama is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University, a television writer and presenter of documentaries, and a writer of a range of large and impressive histories ( of Britain, of the French Revolution, of The Jews, of The Slave Trade, Of Art …and there’s more). His knighthood is for services to history but he has written journalism since his student days at Cambridge when he showed what he’s described as a “precocious knack for hackery.”
He is a master of the big picture and a lover of the small detail, which makes him a formidable profile writer as well as a communicator of history, food, theatre, music, politics and almost any version of culture you’d like to name.
His new book of essays and articles is Wordy – Sounding off on high art, low appetite and the power of memory, and for those that know only Sir Simon’s history and Art writing, you’re in for a treat and a surprise.
In his journalism, you can engage with everything from Mary Quant’s 60s fashion to the politics of Brexit, from “the giddy black comedy that is the Trump presidency” (as he puts it) to the genius of Tom Waites, from Shakespeare to a recipe for a rhubarb tart. And he’s an accomplished Twitter aficionado as well.
Here’s the video link to the event: