The idea of ‘civilisation’ has always been debated, even fought over. At the heart of those debates lies the big question of how people – from prehistory to the present day – have depicted themselves and others, both human and divine. Distinguished historian Mary Beard explores how art has shaped, and been shaped by, the people who created it. How have we looked at these images? Why have they sometimes been so contentious?

Join us for this important conversation.



Tourists using digital devices – iphones, tablets, ipads, cameras – photograph the dawn at Angkor Wat; waiting to see the light come up over the main temple of Angkor. (Photo by In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images)


Terracotta Army, guarded the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huangdi’s tomb, Xian, Lintong, Shaanxi, China, Asia



Book now


Logan Hall, University College London

20 Bedford Way
London WC1H 0AL

View map
Book now