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History for Schools 2018-2019

When Feb 09, 2019
from 11:00 AM to 03:00 PM
Where Faculty of History
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Do you like to crack myths and find out what really happened in the past?

Do you like to imagine how it would feel to live in a different time or place?

Do you wonder how the world came to be the way it is?

Then we need you!

Cambridge History for Schools is an exciting outreach initiative from one of the world’s leading History Faculties.

Workshops are hands-on and designed to stimulate a passion for asking questions about the past and trying out new ideas.

You can investigate a real seventeenth century crime, learn about cowboys in London, and recreate meals from the past.

Come along and join in!

Cost: Free

Location: All sessions will be at the Faculty of History building, West Rd, Cambridge, CB3 9EF Time: 11am until 12:30pm

To book: email (max. 4 participants per booking)

For more projects for schools visit‐engagement



Michaelmas: Saturday 10 November

To Kill a Queen: The Lavish life and Gruesome Death of Marie-Antoinette

Dr Rhys Jones

Image2On the grim, grey morning of 16 October 1793, four years into the French Revolution, Marie-Antoinette – the queen of France – was executed. To the sound of jubilant, screeching crowds, she mounted the scaffold, placed her head beneath the guillotine, and then the blade fell...

In this workshop, we will explore just how dangerous life could be during the French Revolution and learn about daily life at court before 1789. We will examine the role that women played under the old regime and during the Revolution itself. Why did the revolutionaries hate Marie-Antoinette? We will see how men and women experienced the Revolution differently. 

Key Stage 2 (ages 7-11)

Walking the Streets of Interwar Italy and Nazi Germany

James Fortuna

Image4In the years preceding the Second World War, both Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany drastically altered the urban landscapes of their largest cities in efforts to reaffirm state authority and inspire popular consent. What kinds of structures were built and why? And how did the victorious allies deal with this material legacy after the war’s end?

By examining maps and architectural plans alongside photographic and video records, we will work together as urban historians to decode the messages embedded within the Nazi and Fascist built environments and better understand the relationship between architecture and national identity.

Key Stage 3 (ages 11-14)


Lent: Saturday 9 February

Hungry Historians: a Delicious and Disgusting Food Journey Through Time

Katrina Moseley and Eleanor Barnett

Image5What did you eat for dinner last night? Do you know what your parents ate when they were your age? What, where, and how we eat is constantly changing over time. Factors such as trade, technology, and society's values and ideas all have an impact on our taste buds and our diets. In this workshop, we will go on a delicious and disgusting journey into the past to see what a typical mealtime looked like in different historical periods; from the Tudors to the present day.

Come and learn about how cookbooks can be used to conjure up the look, smell, and taste of historical meals.

Key Stage 2 (ages 7-11)

Image-breaking: Religious Violence Against Objects in Reformation Europe

Professor Alex Walsham and Dr Ceri Law

Image6In sixteenth-century Europe, disagreements over religion were often expressed through violence directed not just against people but also things. Smashing, breaking, scratching, burning, defacing and tearing – these were all ways in which people expressed their religious beliefs under Protestant and Catholic Reformations. Many objects, including statues, artworks, and books, were mutilated or completely destroyed.

In this workshop we’ll explore what motivated people to carry out such attacks and what this can tell us as historians. Why did physical things matter so much? What did it mean to destroy something other people thought was precious? What can ruined and destroyed objects tell us about people in the past? And what do our own reactions to them reveal about how memory of the Reformations has changed in subsequent centuries? We’ll consider these questions in a range of ways – including by doing some image-breaking and defacing of our own. 

Key Stage 3 (ages 11-14)


Easter: Saturday 11 May 2019

Bringing the Wild West Across the Ocean: Buffalo Bill in Queen Victoria’s London, 1887

Lewis Defrates

Image7Before television, the ordinary person in London didn’t know much about other cultures. However, in 1887, when Buffalo Bill brought his famous Wild West show to London, millions of people in Britain had a chance to see what life was apparently like on the western frontier of the United States. Bill travelled across the Atlantic with a cast of Native American families and ‘real’ cowboys (including trick shooters Annie Oakley and Lillian Smith), as well as animals such as bison and real stagecoaches from the American West.

In this workshop, we will explore what exactly the Wild West consisted of, what it showed audiences about America (as well as what it didn’t!) and what the British thought about the show and the United States in general.

Key Stage 2 (ages 7-11)

Investigating Crimes in the Age of the Three Musketeers

Dr Tom Hamilton

Image8How did criminal courts work in the age before organised police, fingerprints, and DNA? Join Tom Hamilton in this session to solve mysteries and enter into the criminal and legal world of the early modern period. We will recreate a seventeenth-century trial for theft in France that set a poor woman against a nobleman in a potentially fatal argument over bread and cakes. Come and learn too about the value of criminal trials as sources, which are full of untrustworthy witnesses, but can also reveal crucial information about daily life that might otherwise be hidden to historians.

Key Stage 3 (ages 11-14)



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