Mark Bray will present Selkirk College’s Spring 2018 Mir Centre for Peace Lecture Series event on March 22 at Nelson’s Civic Theatre.

U.S. scholar to speak at Selkirk College

Historian and author Mark Bray will be a featured speaker at Selkirk College’s Lecture Series in Nel.

NELSON — Historian and author Mark Bray will be a featured speaker at Selkirk College’s Mir Centre for Peace Lecture Series in Nelson next month.

His talk will focus on the history of anti-fascism in Europe and North America over the past century, particularly as it pertains to recent citizen organization against the far-right movement of neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

Bray was thrust onto the international academia stage this past August when images from the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia encapsulated the tinderbox tension south of the border.

A historian of human rights, terrorism and political radicalism in modern Europe, Bray is the author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook that was released in early 2017. Bray’s scholarly work makes him a coveted guest on American political talk shows and a valued source for media attempting to explain a movement that few understand.

“Most historians want what we write to matter,” says Bray, who is an associated visiting scholar at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. “The study of the past should influence how we live the present. So in that sense, it’s gratifying to see this level of interest in the work about the relevance of the history to current politics. On the other hand, a lot of the interest happened because someone died. If Heather Heyer hadn’t been murdered in Charlottesville (last year), then Charlottesville as a moment would not have risen to the level of public conversation that it did.”

Bray’s book traces the history of Antifa dating back to the early 20th Century and offers a roadmap for putting the movement’s principles into practice. Much of what the average observer has seen in media coverage over the last few months in regards to Antifa has been the opposite of peace, but Bray asserts that the movement is misunderstood.

“It brings up a lot of interesting questions,” he says. “Does a peaceful world include police and prisons and militaries? Do you have to be an absolutist pacifist who condemns physical force under any context in order to qualify as a peaceful person? If there is a threat of a violent white supremacist movement or a neo-Nazi movement that is intimidating people, then is self-defence contrary to the notions of peace? These are the very questions at the heart of it.”

Bray has presented his work in Toronto and Montreal, but the stop in Nelson will be his first visit to a rural Canadian community.

Bray’s lecture, The History and Politics of Anti-Fascism, will take place on Thursday, March 22 at 7 p.m. at the Civic Theatre in Nelson. Tickets are available online at selkirk.ca/mir or at the door ($17 general public and $15 student/senior). For more information call 250.365.1261.

Just Posted

Michelle Mungall on maternity leave

The Nelson-Creston MLA will return by the end of September

Starbelly Jam hits the stage this weekend

The annual festival runs Friday to Sunday in Crawford Bay

COLUMN: What it took for Nelson to win gold

Former Nelson Star editor Bob Hall reflects on a local soccer achievement

Nelson Star wins three national awards

One photo, one news story, and an editorial impressed judges at Canadian Community Newspaper Awards

West Kootenay Community Teeth Clinic Society in need of dentists

The society works with clinics to offer affordable care

VIDEO: Endurance cyclists ride West Kootenay trails

The TransBC Enduro swung through Rossland, Castlegar and Nelson

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

BC Games marks 40 years in 2018

Cowichan Games a milestone for BC Games Society

VIDEO: Life’s a beach at this B.C. sand sculpting contest

More than $50,000 was up for grabs at the annual contest held in Parksville

Most Read