The curator of the latest V&A exhibition traces the development of the fashionable white wedding dress and its treatment by key fashion designers such as Charles Frederick Worth, Norman Hartnell, Charles James, Vivienne Westwood and Vera Wang in this sumptuously illustrated lecture. Chaired by Corisande Albert.The exhibition Wedding Dresses, 1775–2014 is at the Victoria & Albert Museum until 15 March 2015.
Why is the human female the only female animal to have curves, and how do these curves rule our lives by influencing not only sexual selection but also social hierarchy and self-image? The Clinical Veterinary Anatomist at the University of Cambridge applies the science of evolutionary biology and cutting-edge psychology to the female shape. Chaired by Sarah Crompton.
The writer discusses the film adaptation of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, her screenplay for Joe Wright’s Pride And Prejudice movie and her new novel Heartbreak Hotel in which the irrepressible Russell ‘Buffy’ Buffery has upped sticks from London and moved to a decrepit B&B in rural Wales. He needs to fill the beds, and what better way than with ‘Courses for Divorces’…?
The Secret History of the American Dream
Now used to describe everything from reality television to The Great Gatsby, ‘the American Dream’ is a phrase that most people assume stretches back to the founding of America. But the history of this catchphrase is much more recent – and surprising – than our casual usages suggest. Professor Churchwell traces the emergence of this cliché in the first decades of the 20th century from debates that drove it into the heart of American popular culture. At the same time, she reveals the ways in which the very idea of the ‘American Dream’ was invented to address the same troubling questions about immigration and nationalism, education and job creation, economic and cultural breakdown, individual ambition and social responsibility, that continue to define our society today.
A conversation with the legendary British cyclist, gold medallist in the Barcelona Olympics, Tour de France hero, and latterly the backroom ‘marginal gains’ genius of British cycling in his role as head of the R&D team, The Secret Squirrels.
Actors Catrin Stewart and Jacob Ifan, with screenwriter Roger Williams, talk to broadcaster Guto Harri about the acclaimed S4C Port-Talbot-based crime drama - now available on S4C.cymru and with subtitles on the BBCiplayer.
Nativel Preciado and Rosa Montero speak about their literary works Si yo tuviera 100.000 seguidores (Planeta) and La ridícula idea de no volver a verte (Seix Barral). Each is a profound reflection on intimacy, society, work, life and memories. Chaired by Ana Gavín.
Co-organized with Fundación Lara
The triumphant, concluding volume in David Crystal’s trilogy on the English language combines the first history of English punctuation with a complete guide on how to use it. The punctuation of English, marked with occasional rationality, is founded on arbitrariness and littered with oddities. Professor Crystal leads us through this minefield with characteristic wit and clarity. [DC on semi-colons is hilarious; also painfully funny on exclamation marks! Ed.]
International bestselling Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård has written autobiographical books that have sparked controversy and fascination in equal measure. His novel A Time For Everything was described by the New York Review of Books as ‘marvellous’. He talks to Jonathan Levi about his six autobiographical novels in the My Struggle series.
Event in English
The Reformations project is the programming spine of the Hay Festival’s 30th anniversary year. Great writers and thinkers have been invited to reform authorities and institutions in the spirit of Martin Luther, whose 95 Theses were published 500 years ago in 1517. In this powerful polemic, the leading civil rights lawyer proposes radical progress in international Human Rights and Equality law. Chaired by Rosie Boycott.
Taneja's debut novel We That Are Young sets Shakespeare’s King Lear in contemporary India, where the clash of youth and age, the rise of the religious right wing, the repression of free speech and civil conflict in Kashmir are ongoing. She discusses the hidden history, politics and urgent contemporary relevance of Shakespeare’s plays in India. Chaired by Anil Dharker, Founder & Director of Tata Literature Live! the Mumbai LitFest