Women and power

Women and power

  • Composite image of speak portraits - Mary Beard on the left and Peter Frankopan on the right
    Mary Beard and Peter Frankopan
Professor Dame Mary Beard in conversation with Professor Peter Frankopan
Sunday, 23 September 2018 - 3.00pm to 4.00pm BST
Open to: 
Alumni and guests
Art and culture

Join internationally acclaimed classicist Professor Dame Mary Beard and leading historian Professor Peter Frankopan to discuss women and power in this special Alumni Festival event.

Peter is the author of the bestselling The Silk Roads: A New History of the World and Mary's recently published Women and Power: A Manifesto has been described as 'a modern feminist classic' by The Guardian.

They will explore how history has viewed powerful women throughout the ages, from the classical world of Medusa and Athena to our own time. These two renowned academics and bestselling authors will ask: if women aren't perceived to be within the structures of power, isn't it power we need to redefine?


Professor Dame Mary Beard

Professor Dame Mary Beard
  • Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge
  • Fellow of Newnham College

Mary Beard is Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Newnham College, where she has researched and taught since 1984. She is also Classics editor of the Times Literary Supplement.

Mary has published widely, from books on the Parthenon, the Colosseum and Pompeii, which won the Wolfson History Prize, to a study of Laughter in Ancient Rome. Her most recent books are SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome and Women and Power . Her book Civilisations: How Do We Look [and] The Eye of Faith was based on her two episodes of the BBC series of the same name, which appeared on the BBC in March 2018.

She blogs and tweets and among her broadcasting credits are A Point Of View  and a documentary about grey hair, as well as a host of prgrammes about Rome and the Romans. Her research interests include Roman history, especially social, cultural and religious history, Classics in Victorian and contemporary culture, Museology, and reception and public engagement with Classics. She is currently working on a book about images of Roman Emperors in Western art of the Renaissance and later.

Alumni information: 
Newnham College

Professor Peter Frankopan

Professor Peter Frankopan
  • Professor of Global History at the University of Oxford
  • Director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research
  • Senior Research Fellow, Worcester College
  • Scaliger Visiting Professor at Leiden University

Peter Frankopan works on the history of the Mediterranean, Russia, the Middle East, Persia/Iran, Central Asia and beyond, and on relations between Christianity and Islam. His book The Silk Roads: A New History of the World was named History Book of the Year 2015 by The Daily Telegraph and, after being number one in The Sunday Times' non-fiction charts, it remained in the top 10 for nine months.

Peter often writes for the international press, including The New York TimesFinancial Times Guardian, and has a regular column in the London Evening Standard. He has recently been profiled in China Daily (China's largest English language newspaper) and in Good Times (Pakistan). The New Statesman has described him as 'the history rock star du jour'.

Alumni information: 
Jesus College

Booking information

Online booking has now closed; however, if you would like to add this event to your current booking, or book as a standalone event, please come to the Festival Hub on Friday 21 or Saturday 22 September and we can make the booking for you.

£12 / £10 concessions / free for under 12s


Babbage Lecture Theatre (David Attenborough Building)
New Museums Site
Cambridge ,
United Kingdom