Denial: Reflections on a Movie and a Trial

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Monday, April 16th, 2018

Monday, April 16, 201810:00AM - 12:00PMThe Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility, Munk School of Global Affairs
1 Devonshire Place
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Munk Distinguished Speaker Series


Munk Annual Lecture in European Affairs

Denial, a British movie directed by Mick Jackson from a screenplay by David Hare, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2016. Starring Timothy Spall, Rachel Weisz and Tom Wilkinson, it tells the story of a celebrated libel action brought before the High Court in London by writer David Irving over accusations of Holocaust denial levelled against him by American academic Deborah Lipstadt. In this lecture, Richard Evans (the principal expert witness in the trial, played in the movie by John Sessions), reflects on the screen adaptation and the trial, and their relationship to one another.

Richard J. Evans is a historian of modern Germany and Europe.

Among his many books is a three-volume history of Nazi Germany, The Coming of the Third ReichThe Third Reich in Power, and The Third Reich at War, published by Penguin books (2003–2008), and translated into sixteen languages. His most recent book is The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815–1914 (volume 7 in The Penguin History of Europe). He has written extensively on historiography, with books including In Defence of History (1997) and Altered Pasts: Counterfactuals in History (2014). His collected essays have been published in The Third Reich in History and Memory (2015).

He has held chairs at the University of East Anglia, Birkbeck (University of London) and Cambridge, where he was Professor of Modern History from 1998 to 2008 and Regius Professor of History from 2008 to 2014. From January to May 2018, he is Douglas Southall Freeman Visiting Professor of History at the University of Richmond, Virginia. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto.

Professor Evans has served as Chair of the Faculty of History at the University of Cambridge, and (from 2010 to 2017) President of Wolfson College, Cambridge. He has been Provost of Gresham College in the City of London since 2014. He has been a member of the Spoliation Advisory Panel at the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport since its inception, advising the British Government on claims for the return of artworks looted in the Nazi era.

He has been awarded the British Academy Leverhulme Prize and Medal for services to German history, the Civic Medal for Arts and Sciences of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, the Medlicott Medal of the Historical Association for outstanding services to history, and the William H. Welch Medal of the American Association for the History of Medicine. He holds honorary degrees from the universities of Oxford and London.

In 2012 he was knighted for services to scholarship.

Professor Evans is a frequent broadcaster on radio and television and a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines, including the London Review of Books and the Times Literary Supplement.

He was portrayed by the actor John Sessions in the Hollywood film Denial (2016) , which depicts the David Irving Holocaust denial libel case (2000), in which Professor Evans served as the principal expert witness.

This event is co-sponsored by

Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, Munk School of Global Affairs

Joint Initiative in German and European Studies, Munk School of Global Affairs

Department of History, Faculty of Arts And Science

Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, Faculty of Arts and Science

Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Toronto

German Academic Exchange Service


Sir Richard J. Evans

Prof. Randall Hansen


Munk School of Global Affairs


Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies

Joint Initiative in German and European Studies

Department of History

Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures

Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies

German Academic Exchange Service

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