Past Armchair Events

On this page you can find a list of our previous MUP Armchair Events, from the beginning of April 2020. All of the events are recorded and you can watch these recordings below. Enjoy!

April Events

Author talk: Alison Phipps

Me not you: the trouble with mainstream feminism

Tuesday 7th April 3.30pm BST

‘This is a book I will be carrying everywhere, eager to share, excited to have Phipps’ words fighting alongside me.’
– Mona Eltahawy, author of The Seven Necessary Sins For Women and Girls

Author talk: Rory Medcalf

Indo-Pacific Empire: China, America and the contest for the world’s pivotal region

Thursday 9th April 10am BST

‘Rory Medcalf has been crucial to both defining and promoting the idea of an Indo-Pacific region – and has now written a fast-paced and fascinating guide to this vital strategic concept.’
– Gideon Rachman, chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times

Author talk: Nadine El-Enany

Bordering Britain: Law, race and empire

Thursday 16th April 1pm BST

‘Bravely speaking in terms of repatriation rather than refuge, El-Enany’s book is as much a blueprint for racial justice across the globe as it is a forensic investigation into its racialised infrastructure.’
– David Lammy MP

Author talk: Mikael Klintman

Knowledge resistance: How we avoid insight from others

Friday 17th April 3pm BST

‘At all levels of society, our world is becoming increasingly dominated by an inability, even refusal, to engage with others’ ideas. It does not bode well either for democracy or for science. Mikael Klintman’s book offers just the kind of in-depth exploration of the issues that surround this disturbing phenomenon that is desperately needed.’
– R.I.M. Dunbar, Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at Oxford University

Author talk: Gabriel Feltran

The entangled city: Crime as urban fabric in São Paulo

Tuesday 21st April 2pm BST

‘The entangled city breaks new ground in our understanding of cities.’
– Professor Caroline Knowles, Goldsmiths, University of London 

Author talk: Ben Rogaly

Stories from a migrant city: Living and working together in the shadow of Brexit

Thursday 23rd April 10am BST

‘A powerful, thoughtful and much needed book.’
– Fatima Manji, correspondent, Channel 4 News

Life, lust and livestock in Georgian England

Thomas Almeroth-Williams and Emily Brand in conversation, chaired by Lucy Inglis

City of beasts: How animals shaped Georgian London

The Fall of the House of Byron: Scandal and Seduction in Georgian England

Tuesday 28th April 2pm BST

‘Beautifully written, attentive and thoughtful, City of beasts is alive not only with the sights, sounds, and smells of the eighteenth-century metropolis, but also with its animal voices.’
– Lucy Inglis, author of Milk of Paradise

‘Brand is a great historian, equal to the huge challenge of telling the story of history’s most turbulent and colourful lives’.
– Dan Snow

Author talk: Caspar Melville

It’s a London thing: How rare groove, acid house and jungle remapped the city

Thursday 30th April 5pm BST

‘This book is rare and special. It combines loving appreciation of London’s overlooked black music scenes with a richly detailed social history of their place in the evolving life of our city. There really is no other book like it.’
– Paul Gilroy is a recovering vinyl junkie who teaches at UCL

May events

Author talk: Ida Milne

Stacking the coffins: Influenza, war and revolution in Ireland, 1918–19

Tuesday 5th May 2pm BST

‘Stacking the coffins is a superb new book on how this influenza affected Ireland. […] I cannot recommend it enough.’
– Dr Maurice Gueret, Editor of the Irish Medical Directory

Author talk: Philip Cunliffe

Cosmopolitan dystopia: International intervention and the failure of the West

Thursday 7th May 2pm BST

‘Written by one of the top analysts in the peacebuilding field, this highly readable book provides a wealth of fresh and powerful insights…a must read.’
– David Chandler, Professor of International Relations, University of Westminster

Author talk: Jonathan Chatwin

Long Peace Street: A walk in modern China

Tuesday 12th May 2pm BST

‘Filled with insights, observations and anecdotes, Chatwin brings to life the past – and present – of one of the world’s great cities in an account that is as thoughtful as it is informative.’
– Peter Frankopan, Professor of Global History, Worcester College, Oxford

Author talk: Sam Illingworth

A sonnet to science: Scientists and their poetry

Thursday 14th May 2pm BST

‘This excellent book is a creative collision of Hadron-like proportion, scattering fragments of intellectual curiosity, fluency and unpretentiousness across every page.’
– Lemn Sissay, MBE

Author talk: Carey Fleiner

A writer’s guide to Ancient Rome

Tuesday 19th May 2pm BST

‘A really fun idea for a book – and full of great stuff.’
– Greg Jenner, public historian

Author talk: Gary James

The emergence of footballing cultures: Manchester, 1840–1919

Thursday 21st May 3pm BST

“I thoroughly recommend Gary’s book. It explains why football became Manchester’s number one passion and provides detail and evidence on how the modern day giants of United and City became established.”
– Gary Neville, former Manchester United and England international and founder of University Academy 92

June events

Author talk: Andrew Monaghan

Power in modern Russia: Strategy and mobilisation

Tuesday 2nd June 2pm BST

“A lucid and important book.”
– Sir Rodric Braithwaite, British Ambassador to the USSR/Russia 1988-92

Researching your house history

Deborah Sugg Ryan and Melanie Backe-Hansen in conversation with Nick Barratt

Ideal homes: Uncovering the history and design of the interwar house

Thursday 11th June 2pm BST

“Deborah brings to life the history of typical 1930s British houses using stories from the archives of the real families for whom such houses were home. For anyone who wants to research the history of their own house, her new introduction gives away some key tricks of the trade.”
– Professor David Olusoga OBE, presenter of A House Through Time

Author talk: Alex Schafran, Matthew Noah Smith and Stephen Hall

The spatial contract: A new politics of provision for an urbanized planet

Monday 15th June 2pm BST

Housing. Water. Energy. Transport. Food. Education. Health care. These are the core systems which make human life possible in the 21st century. The ‘spatial contract’ is a form of social contract that pays attention to a simple fact: in order for humans to be free, we rely on these basic systems that enable us to act.

Author talk: David Bolton – recovering from the trauma of Covid-19

Conflict, peace and mental health: Addressing the consequences of conflict and trauma in Northern Ireland

Tuesday 16th June 2pm BST

“This is a book full of civility, humanism and evidence in relation to the psychological consequences of societal violence.”
– Brendan Bunting, Professor of Psychology, Ulster University

Author talk: Aeron Davis

Reckless opportunists: Elites at the end of the Establishment

Thursday 18th June 2pm BST

“Aeron Davis pulls back the curtain on the wizards of Oz who rule us. And having studied them for decades he tells their story brilliantly. They were never as good as we were led to believe.”
– Danny Dorling, Professor of Geography, University of Oxford

Author talk: Peter J. Verovšek

Memory and the future of Europe: Rupture and integration in the wake of total war

Monday 22nd June 2pm BST

“For everyone who wants to understand how, in the last century, collective war memories shaped the EU we live in today and how, through generational dynamics, this “utopian vision” of Europe, which was turned into concrete politics and institutions, was eroded over time, this book is a must read.”
– Ulrike Guérot, Professor of European Politics and the Study of Democracy at Danube University Krems and Founder of the European Democracy Lab

Author talk: Katharine Dommett

The reimagined party: Democracy, change and the public

Wednesday 24th June 2pm BST

“In an era of citizen discontent with partisan alternatives, this timely and thought-provoking study draws on new public opinion data and a deep knowledge of party practices to suggest ways that British parties could change to deliver the representation that Britons want from their parties.”
– Susan E. Scarrow, John and Rebecca Moores Professor, University of Houston

Author talk: Anna Killick

Rigged: Understanding ‘the economy’ in Brexit Britain

Monday 29th June 2pm BST

“Rich and packed with detail, Rigged provides a fascinating insight into the nation’s relationship with its economy. Killick shows us that listening to people talk about “the economy”, whatever they understand it to mean, is vitally important to understanding the world today.”
– Joe Earle is co-author of The Econocracy and Chief Executive of Economy (

Author talk: Ayelet Shachar

The shifting border: Legal cartographies of migration and mobility

Tuesday 14th July 3pm BST

Recording coming soon

“The Shifting Border offers an indispensable roadmap to immigration and refugee debates all around the world.”
– Hiroshi Motomura, Susan Westerberg Prager Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law

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