British and EU flags

“It’s Not EU, It’s Me: Brexit and the New Age of Cultural Production”

In 2016, after a long referendum campaign, British citizens shocked politicians, journalists, academics, pollsters, and even themselves by voting to leave the European Union (EU). The Department of English will host Luke Reader, a SAGES teaching fellow in the Department of History, for a discussion on Brexit. His lecture titled, “It’s Not EU, It’s Me: Brexit and the New Age of Cultural Production,” will be held Friday, Nov. 22, from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. in Guilford Hall parlor.

About the talk

Since the vote, the country finds itself mired in a deep crisis that means it cannot yet say how it will leave the EU, when it will leave the EU, or even if it will leave the EU. But there is at least a clearer sense of what Brexit means for Britain. Following the referendum, different novelists, writers, filmmakers and musicians started to question the belief that Britain was a nation comfortable with multiculturalism and diversity. Instead, a particularistic interpretation of the past—characterized by a sense of exceptionalism and a deep mistrust of Europe—seems to have contributed to Brexit. In response, a form of cultural making has emerged that attempts to give Brexit, and the Britain that has emerged from the wake of the 2016 referendum, meaning.

About the speaker

Reader received a PhD in history from University of California, Irvine, and has since published academic articles in the International History Review and Jewish Culture and History. He has also been published in a range of public venues including History News Network, Progress (UK) and The Conversation, as well as been a guest on The Attitude with Arnie Arnesen and Rising Up with Sonali Kolhatkar on the Pacifica radio network. He has given numerous talks on Brexit in the Cleveland area. Reader is writing a book, titled It’s Not EU, It’s Me, that describes Brexit as an historically constructed act.