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22|09|14 The Queen is Dead, Long Live The King - Current Affairs Lecture by scholar of cultural studies Dennis Kersten and historian Dries Raeymaekers

Queen Elizabeth22|09|14 The Queen is Dead, Long Live The King | Current Affairs Lecture by scholar of cultural studies Dennis Kersten and historian Dries Raeymaekers | Wednesday 14 September 2022| Theatre Hall C | Radboud Reflects and VOX

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VOX - Waarom besteden we zoveel aandacht aan de dood van Queen Elizabeth?

Announcement - Why has the death of queen Elizabeth II touched such a nerve in Great Britain? The dynastic succession is one of a series of turning points that the country is facing, argues scholar of cultural studies Dennis Kersten. He forecasts that the death of the queen can either break or heal a polarising UK. See full announcement below.

Review - The Queen is Dead, Long Live The King - Current Affairs Lecture by scholar of cultural studies Dennis Kersten and historian Dries Raeymaekers

The Queen of England has passed away after seating the throne for over 70 years. The Union Jack is flying half-mast and British TV is full of old footage of the Queen. It is clear that her death has made a significant impact on the Brits. The UK mourns: Is this the end of an era? Will this break or heal the United Kingdom as it is? These questions are central in this Current Affaire Lecture of Radboud Reflects and VOX with scholar of cultural studies Dennis Kersten and historian  Dries Raeymaekers both from Radboud University.

Dennis Kersten, Adriaan Duiveman, Dries Raeymaekers - foto Ramon Tjan

A historical moment for the UK and the world

Dennis Kersten, who specializes in the UK and its history, states that the public outcry that has risen from the death of the monarch is due to her tremendous influence. However, the British people are also in need of a kind of escape route with the wars, energy crisis and recovering from the covid period. Historian Dries Raeymaekers argues this is a gigantic moment for anyone interested in history, dynasties and England. “We are witnessing a ritual that is ages old, in the shape of present times”, he states.

For now, we have to see whether the UK will thrive or deteriorate with their new king. The first big event we have to look forward to is the coronation of the new king. The coronation of Charles III could be something that is a repetition of the past but is also a chance to show that things have changed in the last 70 years. Of course, the media have changed significantly since the crowning of Queen Elizabeth in 1953.

The Queen was loved, but is there also room for critique

In the light of the death of the queen, most of the media coverage of the royal family so far has been very positive. However, more critical voices are becoming more and more present as the days move on. Especially from former colonies of England. Even despite all the social changes in Britain, the monarchy still has a 60% approval rating. Dries Raeymaekers shows that the monarchy is rather persistent in its existence, but this happens thanks to its flexibility. From the outside, they seem like one continuous entity, but when you look closely you see they are changing all the time. Dynasties are starting to look more and more like family businesses. Like a family-run corporation, they too need to adapt and improvise on current affairs.

Dennis Kersten, Adriaan Duiveman, Dries Raeymaekers - foto Ramon Tjan

This changing requires flexibility and intelligent choices. The monarchy also needs to show its humanity. But can a monarch be too human? Should he or she be replaced by a robot? A human element is always important. Dr Raeymaekers argues that part of the magic of the monarchy is the fictional narrative that they created, which is necessary for their power. They are continuously coming closer to the people. Yet,  if they come too close, they may lose the magic of the monarchy.

What will Charles III do differently?

On the question whether Charles will have a different ruling approach than his mother, Dennis Kersten has an interesting take: On the one hand people admire Elizabeth for being steadfast, not showing emotion and staying in the role of the Queen. On the other hand, you also hear the argument that the best option to speak out on topics. Dennis Kersten predicts that Charles III will take his opportunity to show that sometimes taking action can be best. It is likely that Charles will address some of the problematic aspects of the monarchy, such as its colonial past.

Both scholars agree that the monarchy will still exist in 20 years. However, Dennis Kersten noted that Brexit also was something that was outside his realm of expectation. From both a historical and cultural perspective, both academics are curious to see how the UK will develop its identity with this succession.

By Camiel Hendriks

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Announcement

The Queen is Dead, Long Live the King | Current Affairs Lecture by cultural scientist Dennis Kersten and historian Dries Raeymaekers

Nederlands volgt Engels

Why has the death of queen Elizabeth II touched such a nerve in Great Britain? The dynastic succession is one of a series of turning points that the country is facing, argues scholar of cultural studies Dennis Kersten. He forecasts that the death of the queen can either break or heal a polarising UK.

The deaths of monarchs, historian Dries Raeymaekers argues, are the moments at which dynasties are most vulnerable. Like a family firm, the House of Windsor wants to continue their business and their mystique. Raeymaekers: ‘The end of the magic, is the end of the monarchy’.

Come and learn from scholar of cultural studies Dennis Kersten and historian Dries Raeymaekers about the consequences of the death of queen Elizabeth.

The end of a stable era

The Union Jack is flying half-mast, the BBC broadcasts an endless stream of archive footage, and even the posters on the bus stops show her black-and-white picture. Queen Elizabeth II has passed away and the UK mourns. For seventy years, Elizabeth II was the monarch of the United Kingdom. With her death, and the succession of her son Charles III Great Britain faces an insecure future.

About the speaker

Dennis KerstenDennis Kersten is associate professor at the Radboud Institute for Culture and History. He specializes in literature in English, particularly British fiction from the late-nineteenth century onwards. He gives public lectures about his research as well as related topics such as British history and (popular) culture.

See also the Dutch review of: Feit en fictie in The Crown en Redbad | Lezing en gesprek met historicus Sven Meeder en cultuurwetenschapper Dennis Kersten. More.

Dries RaeymaekersDries Raeymaekers is assistant professor of Early Modern History at Radboud University. He specializes in the political culture of the early modern period, with particular attention for the history of royal and princely dynasties, the court, and the aristocracy in Western Europe.

Participation

Participation is free of charge. Registration is not necessary.

NEDERLANDS

Waarom raakt het overlijden van koningin Elizabeth II zo’n gevoelige snaar in Groot-Brittannië? De troonsopvolging is één van de keerpunten waar het land mee te maken heeft, zegt cultureel wetenschapper Dennis Kersten. Hij legt uit hoe de dood van de koningin een gepolariseerd Verenigd Koninkrijk zowel kan breken als helen.

Bij het overlijden van een vorst zijn dynastieën op hun kwetsbaarst, zegt historicus Dries Raeymaekers. Net zoals een familiebedrijf wil the House of Windsor de eigen belangen blijven behartigen en de mystiek behouden. Raeymaekers: “het einde van de magie betekent het einde van de monarchie”

Kom luisteren naar de tekst en uitleg over de gevolgen van de dood van koningin Elizabeth.

Het einde van een stabiel tijdperk?

De Britse vlag hangt halfstok, op de BBC zijn eindeloos archiefbeelden te zien en zelfs in de bushokjes hangt haar zwart-witte afbeelding. Koningin Elizabeth II is overleden en het VK is in diepe rouw. Gedurende zeventig jaar was Elizabeth II de vorstin van het Verenigd Koninkrijk. Door haar overlijden en de troonsopvolging door haar zoon Charles III staat Groot-Brittannië een onzekere toekomst te wachten.

De voertaal is Engels.

Over de sprekers

Dennis KerstenDennis Kersten is universitair docent bij het Radboud Institute for Culture and History. Hij specialiseert in Engelse literatuur, meer bepaald in Britse fictie vanaf de late negentiende eeuw. Hij geeft publieke lezingen over zijn onderzoek en over onderwerpen zoals de Britse geschiedenis en (volks-)cultuur. 

Bekijk ook: Feit en fictie in The Crown en Redbad | Lezing en gesprek met historicus Sven Meeder en cultuurwetenschapper Dennis Kersten. More.

Dries RaeymaekersDries Raeymaekers is universitair docent Vroegmoderne geschiedenis aan de Radboud Universiteit. Hij is gespecialiseerd in de politieke cultuur van de vroegmoderne periode, met bijzondere aandacht voor de geschiedenis van vorstelijke dynastieën, het vorstelijk hof en de adel in West-Europa.