Cambridge Union reveals its term card for Easter Term 2021
Speakers will range from Love Islander Megan Barton-Hansen to former prime minister Theresa May
The Cambridge Union has today released its term card for Easter Term 2021 and, despite the pandemic, it promises a wide range of events.
Their longest ever term card to date offers a range of events that will be virtual (and will be accessible via YouTube) until 17 May at which point the Union will endeavour to open for in-person events (with social distancing and mask wearing). In continued efforts to improve access, all virtual events will be open to non-members, as will an increased number of in-person events.
The Union’s president, Joel Rosen, said: “We are enormously proud to be releasing our busy and varied term card. From Theresa May to Love Islanders, the Union will host conversations you simply can’t find elsewhere. Our students will have the opportunity to hear from AJ Tracey live as well as Lord Sugar, Stormy Daniels and Earl Spencer.
“We are incredibly proud of the strides the institution has made to include more voices in our conversations. In lively and topical events we will speak to refugee poets, activists for the Uyghurs and those impacted by the Windrush Scandal.”
No matter what your personal interests are, there will surely be a Speaker event that takes your fancy.
As for politics, former prime minister Theresa May leads the line-up. The Union will also host Norman Lamont (who served as chancellor under John Major), Helen Clark (a former prime minister of New Zealand), Jamie Raskin (a congressman who served as the lead impeachment manager for Donald Trump’s second impeachment), and David Miliband (the former foreign secretary).
Those interested in sport will be able to hear from boxer Chris Eubank, cricketer Monty Panesar, speed skater Elise Christie, and Gymshark founder Ben Francis.
Music events will include a talk from the AJ Tracey as well as from Shygirl. Any aspiring lawyers (or those of us who are obsessed with True Crime) will be excited to hear from Alan Dershowitz, a lawyer who formed part of the team that represented O. J. Simpson, and John Dyson, a former Justice of the Supreme Court.
Other speakers are Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey, founder of the social media marketing agency Social Chain, Steven Bartlett, and candidate for London mayor and YouTuber, Max Fosh.
Easter Term will see the introduction of a new event format: Great Conversations. These events will provide “an open space for nuanced, expert discussion on a range of cultural and political issues”.
Be prepared to see some heavy-weight pairings such as the former KGB spy Jack Barsky and the author of best-selling thrillers Ben MacIntyre; the father of modern linguistics Noam Chomsky and the distinguished economist Mariana Mazzucato; and the President of Harvard Lawrence Bacow with our very own Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope.
There will also be a conversation between two Uyghur Muslim activists, Rahima Mahmut and the MP for Wealdon in East Sussex Nus Ghani, an event that the Union says will be a “particular highlight”.
Look out for panels on various topical issues. Love Islanders will be exploring mental health after life on the programme. Cambridge’s own Ibz Mo will feature in a Class panel. Soma Sara (the founder of the Instagram account Everyone’s Invited) will be fronting a panel entitled Everyday Sexual Harassment. Also look out for panels on sex workers and colonial artefacts.
A hallmark of the Union, Thursday night debates will continue with a “charged and highly relevant set of motions in store.”
There will be a virtual debate on whether we are witnessing a global fascist resurgence, featuring the eminent historian Richard J. Evans and the outspoken Putin critic Masha Gessen.
Other debate topics include big tech (featuring former education secretary Nicky Morgan), abortion (featuring Ann Widdecombe), and religion.
The Union is also launching Head-to-Head debates, starting with one on Marxism which will see Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek face off against co-founder of the Vote Leave campaign Daniel Hannan. Later Head-to-Heads will see debates on issues ranging from race relations to veganism.
In a year that has been rather dry of fun (thanks Covid-19) the Union is hoping to re-open as a social space. I hopes to bring back events such as “coffee and newspapers” and jazz nights, as well as open up as a study space. The reopening of indoor socialising on 17 May will coincide with the opening of the Orator bar which has been renovated.
President Joel Rosen said: “We are enormously proud to be releasing our busy and varied term card. Free speech is alive and well at Cambridge and you’re welcome to join the debate with us.”
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