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

PHOTOS: Nelson Rhythm Ropers skip to success at provincials

The team won 56 medals last weekend at L.V. Rogers

Flying feet at taekwondo tournament

Yom Chi Martial Arts hosted a day of sparring on Saturday

Granite Pointe opens for the season

All 18 holes at the golf course opened Monday

COLUMN: Civic Theatre celebrates the past and targets for the future

See all films in Ingman Bergman’s Trilogy for the price of two

Three Nelson organizations get provincial funding to fight violence against women

The money is part of $6.5 million from the provincial government

Toronto van attack suspect faces 10 counts of first-degree murder

The suspect in the Toronto van attack that killed 10 people and injured 15 others on Monday is a 25-year-old man named Alek Minassian

B.C. hockey team to retire Humboldt Bronco victim’s number

BCHL’s Surrey Eagles to retire Jaxon Joseph’s No. 10 in light of bus tragedy

B.C. Hells Angels invited to rally by anti-SOGI organizer

The Culture Guard group has helped Hells Angels in the past, said its executive director.

B.C. bill aims to keep Indigenous kids in communities, out of care

Changes to Child, Family and Community Service Act could connect MCFD, Indigenous communities

Condo contract rules target B.C. property flippers

Regulations to prevent property transfer tax evasion

Turning vehicles into deadly weapons is easy and cheap, expert says

Not all recent vehicle attacks have been linked to terror groups, says Candyce Kelshall

Canada not properly managing fish farms, environment commissioner says

Better standards are in place in British Columbia, meaning less fish have escaped, reports show

B.C. to give municipalities final say over rental zoning

City halls will be required to provide housing needs assessment

B.C. firm linked to Facebook data scandal defends its political work

AggregateIQ says it helps customers craft messages for online political ads, use data for campaigns

Most Read