The Sir Peter Ustinov Instituteand the International Institute for Peace (IIP) kindly invite you to the lecture


Prof. Dr. Robert Knight

Monday, 3rdJune 2019at 19:00 hrs

International Institute for Peace (Möllwaldplatz 5, 1040 Vienna)


In his lecture Dr Robert Knight argues that an important explanation for the current Brexit crisis lie in Britain’s longstanding mythmaking about the Second World War. In particular a cultural memory of the crisis of 1940 has encouraged delusions and self-delusions. One striking example is the false – and absurd – analogy between Britain’s current position in relation to the EU and its war-time isolation. He argues that this – supported by the virtual sacralisation of Winston Churchill – has led to a ‘politics of fantasy‘. Dr Knight will illustrate this by examining the recent much-acclaimed film Darkest Hour, exploring the role played in one scene by Thomas Macaulay’s famous poem Horatius and concluding that the film was sophisticated but highly effective Brexit propaganda.

Robert Knight is Sir Peter Ustinov guest Professor at the University of Vienna and honorary fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies, University College London.