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Comments on Adam Hochschild: Twelve Men in a Printing Shop, London, May 22, 1787: A Great Human Rights Movement is Born

I went into convocation on Thursday not really knowing what to expect. Even though that could have been due to failure to read the program summary, I was surprised with the history lesson-a significant change from the chemistry lecture last week. Despite the surprise, the speaker kept my attention throughout the presentation because he presented a specific part of slave history I never learned in history class. I thought it was fascinating that such a large abolition movement in England began with a college essay contest. Granted, it was not just any college essay contest, but the simple genius of a college president to assign a topic to get students thinking about abolitionism (and one promising student) began a movement that spread around the whole world. As we begin writing our research paper, it is funny to think how influential one school assignment can be on the rest of your life. Even though writing a research paper on trademarks might not trigger a worldwide social movement, the story reminded me to always keep my mind open when researching-especially information I don’t initially agree with. --MC

Unlike the previous convocation, I was actually able to follow Mr. Hochschild. It might not have been the most interesting topic, but I enjoyed the way he used photos and diagrams with his speech. He obviously knew the subject very well, and has probably done that presentation many times. He also seemed to have one of the voices that makes people sleepy, not only did I almost doze off, but I could count at least four people around me who actually did. However, he did a very good job, and I would be willing to go to another convocation of his someday.--AF

.I too was not exactly sure what the convocation topic was going to be. What Thomas Clarkson did was brave, especially for the time period he lived in. Slavery was a huge deal, and he fought to abolish it, using some techniques such as going to a news company and presenting that company with devices used on slaves in transport. Something inside me knew that a t some point a story about an attack on Clarkson would come up. Turns out that he escaped and continued to fight slavery later in life. While the topic was interesting, it was difficult for me to stay awake. I fought through it though. And since this was a few days ago, I don't remember everything (maybe I should start writing some points down...).--AC

I arrived to convocation on time in hopes that this convocation would be interesting unlike the previous ones. Unfortunately to my despair I was sadly disappointed. I found myself extremely bored not only with the subject matter but also in the presenter. He spoke in a very monotone voice and the pictures on his power point were boring. Lucky Sid came to my rescue and promptly prodded me whenever I began to dose off. I did not like how he started his presentation. It was a weird tie into his actual subject. Rather confusing or maybe its because i was dosing off throughout. All and all probably the most boring speaker so far. JC

Adam Hoschchild...his name even sounds academic. His tweed jacket and the fact that he teaches at UC Berkeley only solidifies my initial apprehensions. Yes, I said apprehension because anyone who wears a tweed jacket and gives a talk about the slave trade is usually very boring. however, I was pleasantly surprised with Mr. Hoschchild's convocation. He did a great job of contextualizing the 1700's and actually got me a little interested in the Slave trade. You could tell that he was very passionate about the subject, it showed in his voice. The amount of detail in his examples and his recounting of Thomas Clarkson's life story clearly painted a vivid picture of the life and times back in the 18th Century. His little jab at RayK lightened the mood and kept the audience engaged. All in all, twas quite an educational convocation. 'Burying the Chains' sentiment was quite a nice finishing touch too. -Sid

I was interested in this week’s convocation because I had not bothered to read what subject the lecture would be about. I was surprised to find that the subject was mainly the abolitionist movement in Great Britain (or was it still England?) with historical background on the movement in the mainland and information on the ships that carried the slaves and other objects. The lecture was very fluid, very professional, and very informative. However, Mr. Hoschild’s pattern of speech was static, and I had trouble staying completely awake. Overall, the lecture was very good. -RC
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Topic revision: r7 - 2010-10-12, RogelioCalderon

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