Event Archive

Below you’ll find past events that SSLH has featured but now are displayed for information only

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  • Marking the centenary of the foundation of the Communist Party at the Marx Memorial Library

    Marking the centenary of the foundation of the Communist Party at the Marx Memorial Library

    15 May 2020


    This event has been funded by the Society for the Study of Labour History and is being held to mark the centenary of the foundation of the Communist Party.

    The day is targeted at undergraduate and postgraduate students, Communist Party history enthusiasts, archivists and other heritage professionals.

    We anticipate a number of outcomes from the session, including developing the archival research skills of attendees, mapping and promoting existing Communist Party archive resources, and enthusing early career academics and heritage professionals on labour history.


    11.00 – 11.20
    Registration & refreshments

    11.20 – 12.00
    The History of the Communist Party and its archives - Professor Mary Davis (Royal Holloway, University of London/Marx Memorial Library), Dr Andrew Flinn (University College London).

    12.00 – 13.00
    Mapping resources - panel discussion chaired by Janette Martin (John Rylands Library) with contributions from Simon Sheppard (People’s History Museum), Alain Kahan (Working Class Movement Library), Lesley Ruthven (Goldsmiths, University of London), and Meirian Jump (Marx Memorial Library).

    13.00 – 13.45

    13.45 – 15.15
    Workshops (access to digital resources and originals) led by Marco Humbel (University College London), Simon Sheppard, and Meirian Jump & tour of the MML led by Simon Renton (Marx Memorial Library)

    15.15 – 16.00
    Archives in action: reflections - panel discussion chaired by Marj Mayo (Goldsmiths, University of London) with contributions from Ben Harker (University of Manchester), Lydia Syson (writer), and Phil Katz (Communist Party).

    Capacity will be limited to a maximum of 30 attendees to ensure maximum participant engagement throughout the day.

    If you are interested in attending, please register for a ticket through our Eventbrite page: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/explore-archives-on-the-centenary-of-the-foundation-of-the-communist-party-tickets-93480371307.

    A limited number of bursaries are available to cover the cost of travel for postgraduate students wishing to attend the Explore Archives Day. Students wishing to apply for a bursary should contact Meirian Jump, Archivist & Library Manager at the Marx Memorial Library at m.jump@marx-memorial-library.org.uk. The deadline for bursary applications is 5pm Monday 2 March 2020. Applicants will be notified on the outcome of their application by Friday 6 March 2020.

    This event is, unfortunately, postponed as a result of the ongoing covid-19 crisis.

  • Social Movements and the Challenges to State Socialism in Central and Eastern Europe

    Social Movements and the Challenges to State Socialism in Central and Eastern Europe

    27 March 2020

    Following the dramatic events of 1989, the political landscape looked significantly different and continued to be in flux throughout 1990. The German Democratic Republic held its first (and final) democratic election in March 1990, setting a path that ultimately led to reunification in October that year. In June 1990, the holding of parliamentary elections in Czechoslovakia confirmed the outcome of the previous year’s Velvet Revolution. And in Poland, the country’s political transformation was symbolised by the election of Solidarność founder Lech Wałęsa to the presidency in December 1990. Throughout the year, challenges to the status quo in the Soviet Union came from a variety of national, political and environmental movements, extending into many aspects of everyday life.

    Thirty years on from these seismic changes, our conference intends to offer a fresh assessment of the way in which communist rule was being contested before the collapse of state socialism. We are particularly interested in the ways that social movements and transnational actors challenged the existing systems and power relations. We invite proposals on different countries in the region, with a focus on movements and events in the 1970s and/or 1980s.

  • Leisure and Recreation History and Heritage Day

    Leisure and Recreation History and Heritage Day

    22 October 2019

    Middlesbrough Town Hall, 22 October 2019

    Organised by Heritage Unlocked and supported by Creative Factory, Middlesbrough Council and the Society for the Study of Labour History, the event in the recently renovated Courtroom brings together speakers from across the country exploring a wide range of themes relating to leisure and recreation across the ages. Part of the Discover Middlesbrough Festival, topics explored as part of the one-day event include boxing, cricket, football, rambling, working class leisure, photographic exploration of Teesside, philanthropy and the Middlesbrough Winter Garden.

    Organiser Dr Tosh Warwick said: “We are delighted to be bringing the Leisure and Recreation History and Heritage Day to Middlesbrough Town Hall. The event features experts and the latest research in the field, including aspects of the local past such as Swatters Carr, Stockton Cricket Club and the Winter Garden alongside leisure histories of other towns and cities across Britain and Europe”.

    “With support from Creative Factory and the Society for the Study of Labour History, the event provides a good opportunity to share practice and research with a broader audience and will hopefully encourage attendees to delve into their own leisure and recreation history and heritage”.

    Tickets for the event are priced at £10.00 and include lunch and refreshments. Programme details and booking information can be found at www.heritageunlocked.com/leisurehistory or at https://www.middlesbroughtownhall.co.uk/event/discover-middlesbrough-leisure-recreation-history-heritage-day/.

  • Rebellion, Revolution and Resistance in the Twentieth Century: Class, Networks and Political Violence

    Rebellion, Revolution and Resistance in the Twentieth Century: Class, Networks and Political Violence

    4 October 2019

    Armstrong Building, Newcastle University, Friday 4 and Saturday 5 October 2019

    Keynote speakers: Professor Niall Ó Dochartaigh (National University of Ireland, Galway) & Professor Sarah Waters (University of Leeds)

    Writing in 2006, Jim Smyth argued that ‘social movement theory and research have tended to focus upon middle-class and peaceable movements in advanced industrial societies. In general, movements with a nationalistic, ethnic or religious dimension have been ignored’. This two-day workshop follows Smyth’s call, connecting the intellectual field of social movement theory and studies of actors and organisations with radical objectives, tactics, and strategies.

    This workshop will situate radical social movements (violent and non-violent) in domestic and transnational contexts, throughout the twentieth century and in the contemporary world. With papers connecting concepts from social movement theory with case studies spanning radicalism in labour, feminist, and nationalist movements, it aims to understand more fully global cycles of contestation between the micro-dynamics of contention and broader historical processes.

    Themes of the workshop include, but are not limited to:

    Networks and transnational activism; Political violence; Class and labour movements; Mobilisation; Radicalism; Nationalism; Feminism; Reformism and counter-revolution; Researching and writing activism; Memory and commemoration.

    The workshop will feature papers from postgraduate researchers working on labour movements, nationalisms, and feminisms worldwide, and keynotes from two major scholars. Professor Sarah Waters (https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/languages/staff/150/professor-sarah-waters) (Leeds) offers expertise in post-1968 social movements, globalisation, and neoliberalism, with specialism in protest organisations in France since 1968. Dr Niall Ó Dochartaigh (https://www.nuigalway.ie/our-research/people/political-science-and-sociology/niallodochartaigh/) (NUI Galway) has research interests in conflict, negotiation, and new technologies, with expertise in the politics of civil rights and republicanism in Ireland.

    FOLLOW the conference on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NewcastleWorks1.

  • Not just Peterloo: remembering the 1969 Manchester anti-apartheid march to the Springboks match

    3 October 2019

    As part of the Library’s ‘Not just Peterloo’ series of events, looking at the policing of popular protest, this witness event brings together a panel of people who were at the demonstration on 26 November 1969 against the controversial South African rugby tour. 7,000 people marched, to be met by nearly 2,000 police officers. 150 protestors were arrested, with 77 charged. At the time they were students, lecturers, unemployed, probation service staff, library workers. They include people active in the underground press (Mike Don) and Manchester Anti-Apartheid (Janet Murphy), rugby player Peter Winterbottom and Bonnie Muirhead, postgraduate student who will be skyping in from Chicago.

    The discussion will include why the protest was so large, the second largest of the whole tour (the Anti-Apartheid Movement organised protests at all 26 matches), and why the police acted so decisively with the chief constable telling the press afterwards they could say the demonstrators were frightened.

    Please contact organiser Geoff Brown via the Library on info@wcml.org.uk or 0161 736 3601 if you were there on the day and would like to join the panel.

    The workshop will be inclusive, encouraging everyone to take part. It will be recorded and – thanks to funding from the Society for the Study of Labour History - a transcript made available to researchers in the WCML and published in an edited version with historical commentary in the journal Socialist History.

    All welcome; admission free; light refreshments available.

  • Gender, Labour and Consumption in Historical Perspective

    Gender, Labour and Consumption in Historical Perspective

    13 September 2019

    Over the past four decades or so, gender scholarship has transformed our understanding of many key issues of historical concern. Particularly fruitful have been explorations of consumption in its varied manifestations, undertaken by researchers studying the subject within different disciplines. Labour historians have been slow to address these important developments, though there are signs that the situation is now slowly changing. This major international conference hosted by the Department of History at the University of Essex on 13/14 September 2019 aims to begin a conversation between these approaches, in the belief that there are fruitful overlaps of interest between them and that they can learn from each other in productive ways.

    Organisers: Professor Peter Gurney and Dr. Vicki Howard, Department of History, University of Essex

    Featuring keynote lectures by Professor Erika Rappaport (University of Santa Barbara) and Professor Pamela Cox (University of Essex).

    TO REGISTER: Contact Professor Peter Gurney: https://www.essex.ac.uk/people/gurne70903/peter-gurney

  • Annual Chartism Day Conference 2019

    Annual Chartism Day Conference 2019

    1 June 2019

    The Labour and Society Research Group in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, Newcastle University, will host the annual conference on the Chartist movement (1838-58) for workers’ rights and democracy.

    The conference has always attracted a diverse range of research papers reflecting yet again the continuing expansion of interest in all aspects of Chartist history but has sought to embrace a transnationalist agenda that deepens our understanding of the international links between Radicalism and Chartism.

  • Peterloo 1819-2019

    Peterloo 1819-2019

    18 May 2019

    The People’s History Museum, Manchester

    A one-day conference looking at the history and legacies of the Peterloo Massacre in its bicentenary year, featuring talks by the foremost historians in the field. Includes: Professor John Belchem (University of Liverpool), Dr Janette Martin (University of Manchester) and Dr Katrina Navickas (University of Hertfordshire).

    Latest programme:

    10.45: Arrive 11.00: Welcome 11.15 – 1.00: Papers 1, 2 & 3 Chair Dr Quentin Outram Dr Janette Martin (University of Manchester/The John Rylands Library) and Mike Powell (PHM) Sources for Peterloo and the Manchester Histories Festival

    Professor Robert Poole (UCLAN) Peterloo: a Manchester event Professor John Belchem (University of Liverpool) “Orator” Hunt, radical mobilisation and the Peterloo massacre

    1.00 – 2.30: Break for lunch and an opportunity to see the Peterloo Exhibitions at the People’s History Museum (tour by Mike Powell) and the nearby John Rylands Library.

    SSLH Exec Meeting takes place during the lunch break

    2.30 – 4.15: Papers 4, 5 & 6 Chair – Dr Nicole Robertson Dr Alison Morgan (University of Warwick) “Rise Britons, Rise Now From Your Slumber”: Songs of Peterloo

    Dr Katrina Navickas (University of Hertfordshire) The national as well as local significance of Peterloo in the history of the democratic movement

    Dr Joe Cozens (University College London) The British left and the memory of Peterloo, 1819-1919 4.15 – 4.30 closing remarks Post conference drinks in the Sir Ralph Abercrombie Pub on Bootle Street

    Register FREE online: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/peterloo-1819-2019-tickets-54600032166.

  • The global challenge of peace: 1919 as a contested threshold to a new world order

    The global challenge of peace: 1919 as a contested threshold to a new world order

    17 May 2019

    This conference will scrutinize the events of 1919 from below: the global underside of the Wilsonian moment. During 1919 the Great Powers redrew the map of the world with the Treaties of Paris and established the League of Nations intending to prevent future war. Yet what is often missed is that 1919 was a complex threshold between war and peace that was contested by a variety of social and political forces and that that contestation like the war itself had a global scale.

    Yet what is often missed is that 1919 was a complex threshold between war and peace that was contested by a variety of social and political forces and that that contestation like the war itself had a global scale. This year might be conceived of as a transnational wave of contestation. This process began prior to war’s end with mutinies, labour and consumer unrest, colonial revolt but reached a high point in 1919. Most obviously, the Russian Revolutions of 1917 (which should not be seen as an exclusively European affair) continued into 1919 which signalled a decisive year for the Bolshevik regime. The Irish Republic was declared. Afghanistan gained independence. Labour unrest was widespread. Post-colonial scholarship can complicate traditional narratives of 1919 from below.

    This year witnessed the emergence of anti-colonial insurgency and movements across Europe’s colonies (notably Afghanistan, Algeria, China, Egypt, India, Ireland, Korea, Morocco); in metropolitan centres of Empire, race riots took place in the UK and during the ‘red summer’ in the US, anti-colonial movements, as well as an important moment of political enfranchisement for women but their expulsion from the wartime labour force. 1919 has many legacies: the first Arab spring, with the awakening of nationalism in the Wilsonian and Bolshevik context; the moment (as a consequence of Jallianwala Bagh) that Britain definitively lost its moral claim to India; the definitive announcement of Black presence in the UK; the great reversal of women’s participation in the skilled occupations; the first Fascist movement was founded. We are looking to address the following questions:

    • Are local instances of mutiny, military repression, race riot, peasant revolt, or labour unrest amenable to wider comparison? • How did contentious politics reshape metropolitan-colonial relationships in 1919? • How did race, gender, class and nationality intersect at the micro- and macro- scales? • Can post-colonial, global and transnational approaches help with a re-evaluation of 1919? • How did the post-war re-emergence of transnational networks, conferences and activism affect the pattern of contentious politics? • How did 1919 contribute to remaking political ideologies with the emergence of both fascism and international communism? • How did military/civilian dynamics shape matters, with the return and demobilisation of millions of military personnel? • How did the contentious politics context shape high politics at national and international level?


    The organisers invite individual papers of 20 minutes or panels of three colleagues. We welcome submissions from PhD students and ECRs and may be in a position to provide some help in terms of travel and accommodation in the shape of bursaries. Please contact the organisers.

    Please send brief CV and abstract of 250 words to: 1919conference@gmail.com

    Deadline: 11 January 2019

    Conference website: https://www.ncl.ac.uk/hca/events/

    Conference organisers: Matt Perry and Rob Dale. Supported by: Labour and Society Research Group and Conflict and Revolution research strand (Newcastle University).

  • Annual Luddite Memorial Lecture 2019: Peterloo Retold: 1819-2019

    Annual Luddite Memorial Lecture 2019: Peterloo Retold: 1819-2019

    29 April 2019

    University of Huddersfield | The Brontë Lecture Theatre (room BLG/05).

    Dr Janette Martin, Modern History Archivist at The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester will deliver the 6th Annual Luddite Memorial Lecture. Janette will talk about the many ways in which the Peterloo Massacre of 16 August 1819 has been remembered and retold.

    From the contemporary commemorative mugs, handkerchiefs, poems, fiction and engravings to the how the City of Manchester has responded across the centuries to this traumatic episode in Manchester’s history. She will also explore the reaction of West Riding Radicals on the events in Manchester and how Peterloo was remembered and commemorated this side of the Pennines. Her talk will be illustrated with objects and sources from John Rylands Library’s collections.

    For more information: http://www.huddersfieldhistory.org.uk/evening-talks/.

  • Unity is Strength: 120 Years of the General Federation of Trade Unions

    Unity is Strength: 120 Years of the General Federation of Trade Unions

    30 March 2019

    Saturday 30 March 2019, Mechanics Institute, Manchester

    2019 will mark the 120th anniversary of the formation of the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU). As Alice Prochaska observed the creation of the GFTU was an expression of the “highest and most visionary hopes of many leading trade unionists in Great Britain..[for an] instrument of unity” which might transcend sectional interests. Created primarily to organise a strike fund which could be drawn upon by affiliated trade unions, the GFTU also found itself involved in discussions about general unionism, industry amalgamations and the need for separate labour political representation. Additionally, the GFTU was the main body conducting relations with trade unions internationally until 1914. After the First World War the GFTU increasingly became a federation of the smaller craft and industry unions. Currently the GFTU supports a broad range of affiliates from sport to music, furniture makers to educational psychologists. The GFTU has always had a strong educational ethos and plays an important role assisting unions in building a new generation of skilled leaders, engaging young workers in new ways and passing on knowledge of the history of the labour movement.

    Speakers to include: Dr Alice Prochaska (former Principal of Somerville College) Professor Kevin Morgan (University of Manchester) Professor Geert Van Goethem (Ghent University Doug Nicholls (General Secretary of the General Federation of Trade Unions)

    Call for papers available here: http://sslh.org.uk/news-post/2018-06-13-call-for-papers-unity-is-strength-120-years-of-the-general-federation-of-trade-unions.

    Deadline for proposals: 14 December 2018

  • Sisters Beyond the Workplace: Working-class Women & Political & Social Reform

    Sisters Beyond the Workplace: Working-class Women & Political & Social Reform

    24 November 2018

    Half day conference organised by the SSLH followed by AGM. The Mechanics Institute, Manchester.

    This event will explore aspects of labour, gender and radical history, within the historic grade-II listed Mechanics Institute in Manchester (established in 1824), where the Trades Union Congress was formed in 1868.

    Confirmed speakers:

    Kerrie Mcgiveron (University of Liverpool), ‘Women Organising in the Area’: Big Flame & women’s activism in Kirkby & East London, 1972-74.’

    Sarah Hellawell (University of Sunderland), ‘The English Women’s Co-operative Guild & Internationalism during the interwar years.’

    John Belchem (University of Liverpool), ‘Feminism, homophobia & adultery: Henry Hunt, William Cobbett & the first petition for female suffrage.’

    2.30- 4.00 - AGM of the Society for the Study of Labour History

    This free event will take place at the Mechanics Institute in Central Manchester - https://www.mechanicsinstitute.co.uk/ Lunch provided - please email organiser if you have specific dietary requirements keith.laybourn@hud.ac.uk

    Register for free here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sisters-beyond-the-workplace-working-class-women-political-social-reform-tickets-49991314367?aff=ebdssbdestsearch.

  • Reappraising the Representation of the People Act, 1918

    Reappraising the Representation of the People Act, 1918

    14 September 2018

    Reappraising the Representation of the People Act, 1918, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, 14 September 2018

    2018 marks the centenary of the Representation of the People Act (RPA). Passed in the last year of the First World War, the RPA enjoyed all party support, in recognition of the contribution to the war effort made by women and some working-class men, previously excluded from the franchise. Although the RPA still excluded women under 30, it tripled the electorate and transformed British politics into a representative democracy. The RPA and its legacy are still the subject of intense historical debate relating to gender, class and nationhood. As part of UCLan’s contribution to the centenary commemorations of the First World War, this day conference will draw together speakers who are currently involved in the debate.

    The conference complements the exhibition Represent! Voices 100 Years On, held by UCLan’s long term partners, the People’s History Museum in Manchester between 2nd June 2018 to 2nd February 2019. Attendance is open to interested members of the public as well as academics.

    Speakers include: Dr Julie Gotlieb (University of Sheffield), Professor Karen Hunt (Keele University), Michael Reeve (PhD Candidate, University of Hull), Dr Jack Southern (University of Central Lancashire), Dr David Stewart (University of Central Lancashire), Dr David Swift (Ben Gurion University of the Negev), Dr Daniel Weinbren (Open University).

    Register for the free conference here: https://tinyurl.com/yczegupo.

  • European Labour History Network (ELHN) Conference 2017

    2 November 2017

    The migration of European workers within the continent, from the early modern period to mid-20th C.
    Paris, 2-4 November 2017

    In 1951, Eric Hobsbawm argued that the history of labour was one of constant movement, and his thesis has been confirmed since. Between 1840 and 1940, about 50 million people emigrated to the Americas. This unprecedented flow in human history not just transformed the New World but also Europe, where in some countries up to a third of the population emigrated. Although not all of these migrants were workers, many were. On top of transatlantic emigration, workers emigrated within each of the European countries and regions, from the countryside to towns, across territories to manufacturing areas, to building sites, harbours and mines. Millions of workers also emigrated on a temporary or seasonal basis. This workshop wants to focus on migration flows within Europe.

    For further details contact Fabrice Bensimon (f.bensimon@ucl.ac.uk) or Philippe Rygiel (rygiel.philippe@wanadoo.fr)

  • The Red and the Black: The Russian Revolution and the Black Atlantic

    The Red and the Black: The Russian Revolution and the Black Atlantic

    13 October 2017

    Conference to be held at the Institute for Black Atlantic Research (IBAR), University of Central Lancashire, Preston, 13-15 October 2017, to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution. With sponsorship and support from the British Association for American Studies, the US Embassy London and the Lipman-Miliband Trust.

    ‘Every Negro who lays claim to leadership should make a study of Bolshevism and explain its meaning to the coloured masses. It is the greatest and most scientific idea afloat in the world today…’ – Claude McKay, 1919.

    The Russian Revolution was not only one of the most critical events of the twentieth century in its own right but an inspirational event across the ‘black Atlantic’ as a blow against racism and imperialism. For colonial subjects of European empires internationally as well as black Americans, the Russian Revolution promised the hope of a world without oppression and exploitation. This conference aims to build on the growing scholarship and literature in this area to explore the impact the revolutionary events in Russia during 1917 made across the African diaspora and the subsequent critical intellectual influence of Marxism and Bolshevism on the current of revolutionary ‘black internationalism’ in its aftermath.

    Keynote speakers: Prof. Winston James (University of California, Irvine), Prof. Hakim Adi (University of Chichester) and Dr. Cathy Bergin (University of Brighton). With special performances from Linton Kwesi Johnson, Tayo Aluko and David Rovics.

    Event organisers: David Featherstone, Christian Høgsbjerg, Alan Rice and Olga Tabachnikova. Submission guidelines:

    For more information on the event including details on how to register and to download a copy of the provisional programme please see this link: http://ibaruclan.com/exciting-conference-on-russian-revolution-and-the-black-atlantic-to-be-held-at-ibar/.

    Conference website: https://theredandtheblack.wordpress.com/.

  • Russian Revolution

    Russian Revolution

    15 September 2017

    Re-thinking the Russian Revolution of 1917 as a global event in local contexts

    Major international conference to be held at the University of Essex. For further details see

    Conference organisers:
    nrossol@essex.ac.uk, fschnell@essex.ac.uk, lhaid@essex.ac.uk

  • Scales of Struggles

    Scales of Struggles

    23 June 2017

    Scales of Struggle: Communities, Movements, and Global Connections Conference of the Labor and Working-Class History Association June 23-25, 2017 University of Washington Seattle, Washington

    The Labor and Working Class History Association, an organization of scholars, teachers, students, labor educators and activists, welcomes individual and session proposals for the 2017 LAWCHA conference in Seattle, June 23-25. The conference theme will be Scales of Struggle: Communities, Movements, and Global Connections.

    Further information on this conference will appear in due course in the meantime contact Shelton Stromquist: shelton-stromquist@uiowa.edu

  • Radicalism and Popular Protest in Britain 1790-1820

    Radicalism and Popular Protest in Britain 1790-1820

    9 June 2017

    Described by E.P. Thomson as ‘one of the first attempts in history to mount a wholly proletarian insurrection, without middle class support’, the Pentrich Uprising of June 1817 happened nearly 200 years to the date of this conference.
    This conference, sponsored by SSLH, will consider popular protest and radical reform movements during the outbreak of social and political unrest; the tumultuous years of war, famine and unrest between 1790 and 1820 and how this became central to debates about the history of modern Britain. We will examine how several revolutions have changed our understanding of this period.

  • Wars of Position: Marxism and Civil Society

    Wars of Position: Marxism and Civil Society

    8 June 2017

    8th - 10th June 2017

    People’s History Museum, Manchester, UK

    Key-note speakers: Kevin Morgan (Thursday), Jodi Dean (Friday), Neil Faulkner (Saturday)

    This three-day international conference brings together: analysis of the theory and practice of twentieth-century Marxist parties in relation to civil society; analysis of contemporary Left movements’ approaches to civil society; and analysis of the ‘idea of communism’ today and the relevance or obsolescence of ‘the party’ in the twenty-first century.

    Book (deadline 26th May):http://estore.manchester.ac.uk/conferences-and-events/faculty-of-humanities Full price/concession: £100/£65 (three days), £40/£25 (Thursday), £30/£20 (Friday, Saturday)

    Further details: http://www.alc.manchester.ac.uk/english/research/projects/wars-of-position/

    Contact: warsofposition2017@manchester.ac.uk; Twitter:@WarsOfPositMCR

    You can down load the poster here Click here for the conference programme

  • Frow Lecture 2017

    6 May 2017

    Eddie and Ruth Frow and the making of their library

    The Working Class Movement Library is delighted to announce that Kevin Morgan, Professor of Politics and Contemporary History, University of Manchester and Library trustee, will speak about the Library’s founders at the annual Frow Lecture.

    ‘Wait while you and I get our books together’: Ruth and Edmund Frow and the making of the Working Class Movement Library will draw on Eddie and Ruth’s own archive to tell how political comradeship and a remarkable Cold War love story gave rise to the Library as we know it today. Recently Kevin helped in cataloguing the Frows’ papers, and found the story of the Library’s origins documented in an extraordinary cache of personal letters that vividly bring to life the couple’s social ideals and political commitments.

    The event, on Saturday 6 May at 2pm at the Old Fire Station, Crescent, Salford, is the eighth annual Frow Lecture, held in honour of the Working Class Movement Library’s founders.

    The lecture is free, with light refreshments available afterwards. All are welcome. WCML is grateful to the University of Salford for making the Old Fire Station space available.

    Press release can be read here

  • The Labours of Asa

    The Labours of Asa

    6 May 2017

    The Labours of Asa: the contributions of Asa Briggs to Labour History

    Lecture Theatre G.02 in the Maurice Keyworth Building, Leeds University Business School, The University of Leeds, Moorland Road, Leeds, UK
    Saturday 6 May 2017.

    This conference, sponsored by the SSLH, explores the contributions of Asa Briggs to the field of labour history.

    the provisional programme can be downloaded here

    This FREE conference is open to all. To reserve a place or find out more please send an email to Dr Quentin Outram Q.Outram@lubs.leeds.ac.uk.

  • Visualising Labour

    5 May 2017

    Visualising Labour: Workers and work in photography and film

    The Labour and Society Research Group at Newcastle and Northumbria Universities is organising a two-day conference on the photographic and filmic representations of labour on the 5th- 6th May 2017 at Newcastle University. There will be keynote addresses from Professor Jonathan Long (Durham University) and Dr Simon Dell (UEA). We would welcome short abstracts (300 words) for papers relating to any aspect of the conference’s theme.

    Visualising labour is not a neutral process. Surveillance, propaganda and advertising have depicted labour on behalf of capital or the state. Through genres such as social documentary or activist film and photography, that hegemony has been challenged. This conference seeks to draw together labour historians and scholars of visual culture to examine the visual representations of labour. This cross-disciplinary dialogue has the potential to develop a fruitful exchange of insights, affinities and critical perspectives.

  • ‘Comment is free, but facts are sacred’

    ‘Comment is free, but facts are sacred’

    6 April 2017

    Registration is now open for the following free conference at the John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester:
    ‘Comment is free, but facts are sacred’:The Guardian in Local, National, and Global History
    Thursday 6 April 2017, The John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester
    Keynote speaker: Martin Wainwright, journalist, author and former Northern Editor of the Guardian
    This conference celebrates the rich history of the Guardian newspaper, as told through its remarkable archive.

    Founded in 1821, the Manchester Guardian began life as a local paper, but under the inspired editorship of C.P. Scott it was transformed into a national newspaper with a reputation for journalistic integrity and honesty. The Guardian is still remembered in the North West of England as a great Manchester institution, but today its reach and standing are truly international – ground-breaking journalism is brought to the widest audience through its pioneering use of digital media.
    This event marks the culmination of a project by The University of Manchester Library to catalogue C.P. Scott’s Editorial Correspondence in the Guardian Archive, an initiative which was made possible by the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives.
    Reflecting the long history and significance of the newspaper, the conference features papers which focus on the Guardian’s involvement in local, national and international events over a 140-year period.

    The full programme is available here.

    The conference is free, but booking is essential. To register click here to the Eventbrite page.

  • Annual Luddite Lecture

    Annual Luddite Lecture

    5 April 2017

    Dr Katrina Navickas will deliver the annual Luddite lecture at 7.30pm on 5 April 2017.
    The title of her talk is: Democratic and trades’ meeting sites in the West Riding in the early 19th century.

    Katrina will explore the protest spaces of the West Riding of Yorkshire. Her research shows how the distinct topography and civic spaces of West Yorkshire towns shaped the democratic and trade union movements of the early nineteenth century.

    Katrina has mapped protest sites across northern England for a long time – finding out when and where people used to meet to campaign for the vote, workers’ rights, and protest against injustices. She has also used digital tools to find and visualise these protest spaces. Her favourite sites, in particular, are in the Pennines, especially Blackstone Edge, where generations of political movements went to hold meetings.

    The event is jointly sponsored by the Huddersfield Local History Society and the University of Huddersfield.

    For further information and to book a place please check Hudderfield Local History Society website http://www.huddersfieldhistory.org.uk/ or email the HLHS secretary secretary@huddersfieldhistory.org.uk

  • Alice in Westminster: The Political Life of Alice Bacon

    Alice in Westminster: The Political Life of Alice Bacon

    2 February 2017

    On 2 February 2017, Rachel Reeves MP will be delivering the 2017 SSLH Annual Lecture at the University of Leeds. The lecture is based on her successful new book Alice in Westminster: The Political Life of Alice Bacon. This talk will be held at the Great Woodhouse Room in University House commencing from 6.30 pm onwards with a question and answer session following it.

    Download full details here

  • Women's Work: women's employment in the First World War and Interwar Years

    Women's Work: women's employment in the First World War and Interwar Years

    27 January 2017

    During the First World War, as men left Britain to go to the Front, women demonstrated they were able to undertake a variety of tasks. This workshop explores the experiences, working practices, myth and realities for middle-class and professional women during the war years and the decades that followed. It will examine these women at work on the land, as nurses, in the Civil Service, at the BBC, in trade unions, as secretaries, as office clerks and as portrayed in fiction, considering career opportunities as well as challenges and restrictions. In exploring women’s employment, it will examine how occupational identities, training and working practices were shaped by class and gender. The full programme is available using the booking link below.

    Booking: This is a free event supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Sheffield Hallam University. To reserve a place please register via the following link by 18 January: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/womens-work-womens-employment-in-the-first-world-war-and-interwar-years-tickets-30292247929

    Venue: Charles Street Building (rooms 609 and 613), Charles Street, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University, S1 1WB. A map of the University campus can be downloaded from:

    Contact: For further information, please contact Dr Nicole Robertson (n.robertson@shu.ac.uk)

  • Michael Sanders on 'The Chartist Hymnbook'

    10 December 2016

    A lecture sponsored by the Manchester (with Liverpool and Chester) branch of the Historical Association

    Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount Street, Manchester M2 5NS

  • Voting for Change edit-a-thon

    Voting for Change edit-a-thon

    20 November 2016

    The Working Class Movement Library and the People’s History Museum are working together to acquire material related to the fight for the vote, from the Peterloo protest in 1819 to lowering the voting age in 1969.

    We need your help to share knowledge of these significant moments in British history and invite you to come and spend a day researching and editing Wikipedia. Wikimedians Tomasz Kozlowski and Doug Taylor will be on hand to show you the ropes, and staff from both venues will help decipher source material. Please bring a laptop, and we’ll provide the coffee! In partnership with Wikimedia UK. Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Part of UK Parliament Week 2016.

    Suitable for adults and young people – particularly suitable for those with experience of editing Wikipedia or knowledge of British political history.

    Booking required via Eventbrite – http://votingforchangewiki.eventbrite.co.uk

    Free, refreshments provided. Please bring a packed lunch.

    Voting for Change edit-a-thon

    Event location: People’s History Museum

    Date: 20th Nov 2016

    Event time: 10:00 to 16:00

  • Women, Activism and Reform Workshop

    19 November 2016

    On Saturday 19th November, the Women’s Committee of the Economic History Society will hold its 27th annual workshop. The event will take place in the Mining Institute (a 2 minute walk from Newcastle central train station). Please book your place at the workshop by 4 November 2016. Ten free places are available for postgraduate students on a first-come first-served basis. For more details contact Nicole Robertson (n.robertson@shu.ac.uk)

  • Revolutionary Pasts: Representing the Long Nineteenth Century’s Radical Heritage

    4 November 2016

    How did activists remember, represent and reassess the revolutionary heritage of the ‘long nineteenth century’? On 4–5 November 2016, Northumbria University’s ‘Histories of Activism’ research group will examine this question in association with the Society for the Study of Labour History (SSLH) and with the support of Durham’s Centre for Nineteenth Century Studies.

    We will explore how movements, groups and organisations evoked the memory of particular events (e.g. the revolutions of 1789 and 1848, the Paris Commune, the Haymarket Affair) and how they cast or recast the legacy of particular movements (e.g. utopian socialism, Chartism, feminism). In doing so, the event explores narratives about radical and revolutionary legacies in both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  • Organise, educate and agitate

    26 October 2016

    “Organise, educate and agitate”: trade unionism and office workers in Britain, 1914-39

    Talk by Nicole Robertson, Sheffield Hallam University.

    The rising prominence of the clerical sector was one of the most important changes in the twentieth century workplace. As organisations grew larger and more complex the need for greater communication and documentation transformed office work. Clerical workers became a key component of cityscapes and urban communities. Trade unionism during the 1914-39 period is often associated with manual workers; however, office workers were engaged in trade union activity. This talk explores how these white-collar workers challenged, resisted and negotiated their working conditions through clerical unions.

    This free talk is part of our autumn Invisible Histories series. All welcome.
    Date: 26th Oct 2016
    Event time: 14:00 to 15:00

    Working Class Movement Library
    51 The Crescent,
    Salford, M5 4WX
    United Kingdom


    22 October 2016

    The Autumn Conference of the Irish Labour History Society will take place on Saturday October 22nd in Dublin and among the speakers already declared are both D R O’ Connor Lysaght along with Charles Callan (on Peadar Macken); Michael Halpenny on Irish Prisoners at Frongoch; a speaker on Saothar 41. The working title of the Conference is: Leaving 1916 and Entering 1917 and beyond: Turbulent Times.

    For further details please consult the ILHS at the contact addresses below.

    Irish Labour History Society
    Beggar’s Bush, Haddington Road, Dublin 4
    Tel & Fax: (01) 6681071
    Email: info@irishlabourhistorysociety.com
    Website: www.irishlabourhistorysociety.com

  • Barnsley Festival of Labour History

    Barnsley Festival of Labour History

    14 October 2016

    Barnsley Festival of Labour History 14th-16th October 2016. Organised by Barnsley Trades Council to celebrate the 125th anniversary of our founding

    Highlights include:

    Friday 14 October – opening with gig by David Rovics (£5 entry) at The Old No. 7 Market Hill Barnsley

    Saturday 15 October – Sunday 16 October

    Speakers include Malcolm Chase, Dave Burland, Jill Liddington, Keith Laybourn, Louise Raw, John Newsinger, Donny Gluckstein, John Field, Anandi Ramamurthy, Ralph Darlington

    On Saturday night there will be a screening of Ken Loach’s film The Price of Coal.
    Friday 14th-Sunday 16th October 2016

    The Civic, Hanson Street, Barnsley, S70 2HZ

    Talks, discussion, music film – weekend ticket £10

    Tickets / more info from Barnsley Trades Council c/o 33 Western Street, Barnsley, S70 2BT. Cheques payable to Barnsley Trades Council. Tel 07594857960 for more info.
    download full programme here
    Sponsored by the Society for the Study of Labour History

  • 'Race, racism and the working class struggle'

    'Race, racism and the working class struggle'

    4 October 2016

    ‘Race, racism and the working class struggle’ – talk by Lou Kushnick, founder of the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre.

    Date: 4th Oct 2016

    Event time: 14:00 to 15:00

    Working Class Movement Library
    51 The Crescent,
    Salford, M5 4WX
    United Kingdom

  • Conference ‘Radical Women 1880-1914’

    17 September 2016

    Conference ‘Radical Women 1880-1914’
    Keynote speakers Karen Hunt and Sheila Rowbotham www.wcml.org.uk/radicalwomenconf

    Saturday 17 September
    The Working Class Movement Library
    51 The Crescent
    U.K. M5 4WX
    0161 7363601

  • Pit props: music, international solidarity and the 1984/85 miners' strike

    Pit props: music, international solidarity and the 1984/85 miners' strike

    14 September 2016

    Talk by Granville Williams.

    A new book from the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom, edited by Granville, marks the end of an era in coal mining in the UK and highlights how the year-long struggle by the miners in defence of jobs and communities still resonates today. It focuses on the vital creative links between music, politics and protest which grew up during the strike, and on the flood of international support – money, food, toys, clothes, toiletries as well as holidays abroad – which sustained the miners and their families during that year of struggle. It also covers the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, and the current and future consequences of the lack of a coherent energy policy.

    This free talk is part of The Working Class Movement Libraries autumn Invisible Histories series. All welcome.

    Event location: The Working Class Movement Library

    Date: 14th September 2016

    Event time: 14:00 to 15:00
    Further information here

  • Child Labour and the First World War

    Child Labour and the First World War

    9 September 2016

    Free Study Day: Child Labour and the First World War
    Date: September 9th, 2016 | Time: 11:00 — 15:00

    Child labour and the First World War – a local history

    Free talk and study day led by W.E.A. family historian Jackie Depelle and historian of childhood Dr Rebecca Gill.

    Join us to investigate the untold story of child labour in the Great War – and discover the role of the local W.E.A. in its abolition

    • Participate in a hands-on session using original documents from the archives
    • Explore why and where local children worked during the war
    • Discover the role of the local W.E.A. in bringing about reform – and its educational work for a fairer peace
    • Learn about individual histories of child labour and the WEA and about how to trace family stories

    Date : Friday 9 Sept 2016, 11am – 3pm (lunch will be provided)
    Sheppard Room, University Library, Parkinson Building, University of Leeds

    All welcome, no prior experience necessary.
    This is a FREE event, but please book a place by 1 September either using the Eventbrite website

    We are interested in collecting family stories of education and work during the war – please get in touch if you would like to share your family history – R.Gill@hud.ac.uk

  • Britain and the Easter Rising

    Britain and the Easter Rising

    9 September 2016

    Britain and the Easter Rising: a one-day symposium on the impact of the Easter Rising on Britain, University of Central Lancashire, Preston
    Friday 9 September 2016

    Conference poster

    Registration – 9.00am to 9.45am (with tea/coffee)Liveseycafé, Livesey House.
    Livesey House 013 (LH013)
    Opening remarks: Dr Nick Mansfield, University of Central Lancashire

    Session 1 – Macro and micro perspectives (10-12pm)
    • ‘The British State and the Irish rebellion of 1916: An intelligence failure or a failure of response’
    Dr Geoffrey Sloan, University of Reading
    • ‘Responses to the Easter Rising in the West Riding of Yorkshire’
    Andrew Maguire, Ulster University

    LUNCH: 12.00-1.00pm

    Session 2 – Protagonists and antagonists (1-3pm)
    • ‘From Shepherd’s Bush to Sackville Street: Volunteers from Britain in the Easter Rising’
    Dr Gerard Noonan, Trinity College, Dublin
    • ‘Political imprisonment and the Irish in Great Britain’
    Dr Darragh Gannon, National Museum of Ireland


    Session 3 – Fighting pensioners (3-5pm)
    • ‘English 1916 pension applications’
    Dr Keiko Inoue, Trinity College, Dublin
    • ‘Advocacy, memory and the Scots 1916 pensioners’
    Dr Máirtín Ó Catháin, University of Central Lancashire

  • Democracy Drop In

    4 July 2016

    Democracy may be a right, but too often in the world it is a privilege. As part of our Voting for Change project with the People’s History Museum, come and see some of the exciting newly acquired objects that help both organisations better tell the history of the fight for the vote. These include an archive of 1835 election material, and an 1819 cartoon arguing it would be ‘the scum’ who would rise to the top if more people got the vote. Drop in, no need to book.
    Saturday 4 July 11am-2pm

    Working Class Movement Library
    51 The Crescent
    U.K. M5 4WX
    Tel: 0161 7363601

  • Radical Histories/Histories of Radicalism

    1 July 2016

    This international event commemorates twenty years since the death of the leftwing social historian Raphael Samuel and forty years since the founding of History Workshop Journal. The event will explore radical approaches to the past and histories of radical ideas and action through lectures, panels, performances, screenings, workshops and exhibitions.

    The event is organised by the Raphael Samuel History Centre. It is intended to engage a diverse audience, and to bring together practitioners of many varieties of historical research, curatorship, writing and performance, from both inside and outside the academy.

    1-3 July 2016
    Queen Mary University of London

  • Captain Swing

    Captain Swing

    30 June 2016

    On Thursday 30 June at 5.30pm Professor Peter Bailey will give a musical lecture on Eric Hobsbawm, popular culture and jazz music.
    All are welcome to this free event which will be held in the John Casken Theatre at the Martin Harris Centre.

    Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama
    The University of Manchester
    Bridgeford Street, off Oxford Road
    M13 9PL

    Tel: 0161 275 8951

    The Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama is situated on the south side of Manchester city centre in the heart of the University’s campus. It is located just behind the Manchester Museum, on Oxford Road, approximately a mile south of the city centre. The Centre is easily accessible by public transport networks.

    you can download the poster here

  • Chartism Day Conference, University of Chester

    11 June 2016

    This annual one-day conference marks the presentation to parliament of the first petition for the People’s Charter in 1839.
    Department of History and Archaeology, University of Chester

    Speakers include

    Kate Bowan (Canberra): The Marseillaise and British radicalism

    Victoria Clarke (Leeds): Pledges and pint pot politics: journalistic representations of the rise of temperance Chartism

    Jacob Dengate (Aberystwyth): The “time honoured humbug of our ancestors”: Helen Macfarlane’s critique of the British constitution and late Chartism, 1849-50

    Josh Gibson (Cambridge): Chartism and the age of democratic revolutions

    Katrina Navickas (Hertfordshire): The meanings of space and place in the Chartist movement

    Paul Pickering (Canberra): ‘The Celestial Empire’: Chartists and the Far East

    Matthew Roberts (Sheffield): Chartism and Repeal: parallel movements

    Michael Sanders (Manchester): ‘Tilting with the Parsons’: Chartism’s challenge to the Churches, 1840-1842

    Chartism Day conference 2016 agenda

    Chartism Day Conference 2016 booking form

  • Radical protest in constitutional democracy

    6 June 2016

    Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law (CISRUL)at the University of Aberdeen
    Monday 6th – Tuesday 7th June 2016

    Deadline for submission of abstracts: 30 March 2016

    Protest is a hallowed right within constitutional democracy, allowing for political expression outside the electoral process and established public sphere channels such as the media. But to what extent and in what ways can and/or should constitutional democracy accommodate more radical forms of protest, and particularly illegal forms? What do particular varieties of protest reveal (empirically and normatively) about the scope and limits of constitutional democracy? And how do organizations which use radical protest in a constitutional democracy relate to those which choose not to?

    For further information, please visit https://cisrul.wordpress.com/radicalprotest/

  • Fishing in the Dustbowl

    5 June 2016

    Sunday 5 June 2pm
    Fishing in the Dustbowl

    The Library, in conjunction with the University of Salford, is extremely pleased to invite you to its second musical fundraising concert. It features Will Kaufman, performing and talking about some of his Woody Guthrie songs, and John Conolly performing and talking about his own songs about life and work in the east coast fishing industry. We are promised Ewan MacColl songs as well…
    Peel Hall, University of Salford
    Tickets at £10 (£8 concessions) available shortly from the University online shop at http://shop.salford.ac.uk

  • Talkin’ ‘Bout That Representation

    3 June 2016

    Friday 3 June 2pm
    Manchester Histories Festival event – Talkin’ ‘Bout That Representation
    As part of the Working Class Movement Library’s Voting for Change project with the People’s History Museum, this event will look at the votes for 18 campaign of 1969 and the votes for 16 campaign of now. We want to bring together the youth of the 1960s and today’s young people to discuss all matters relating to the right to vote and youth culture. We want to hear from you – sign up to attend at https://representation.eventbrite.co.uk.

  • Film Screening at WCML

    1 June 2016

    To begin the world over again: the life of Thomas Paine
    This film of Ian Ruskin’s one-man play addresses a multitude of contemporary issues that challenge us today. The story of Paine, ‘a man who changed the world with his pen’, also inspires us to always speak the truth as one sees it, no matter the consequences’.

    Wednesday 1 June 6.30pm
    The Working Class Movement Library
    51 The Crescent
    U.K. M5 4WX
    0161 7363601

  • Film Screening at WCML

    25 May 2016

    Watford’s quiet heroes: resisting the Great War

    A film made by members of the Quaker Meeting in Watford, one of whom is a retired professional film-maker. It tells the stories of three local conscientious objectors but aims to frame them within an explanation of the national context and to generate interest in the legacy and relevance of war resistance today.

    Wednesday 25 May 6.30pm
    The Working Class Movement Library
    51 The Crescent
    U.K. M5 4WX
    0161 7363601

  • Film Screening at WCML

    18 May 2016

    In the Company of Joan
    Wendy Richardson’s documentary about Joan Littlewood’s legacy in opening a door in theatre to the working classes.

    Wednesday 18 May 6.30pm
    The Working Class Movement Library
    51 The Crescent
    U.K. M5 4WX
    0161 7363601

  • Salford’s Sarsaparilla Sounds

    12 May 2016

    Thursday 12 May 5.00-10.30pm
    Salford’s Sarsaparilla Sounds – Manchester After Hours
    The Library joins forces with Salford Museum & Art Gallery and Islington Mill to fly the flag for Salford as part of Manchester After Hours/Museums at Night. Using WCML and Salford Museum as locations, Islington Mill will curate a live programme of music and spoken word. And there’ll be a temperance bar…

  • 7th Annual Frow Lecture

    7 May 2016

    7th Annual Frow Lecture, The Working Class Movement Library

    Richard Cleminson’s topic is “A new world in our hearts”: anarchism and the Spanish Civil War. Richard is Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Leeds. In this talk he will outline and critically assess the anarchist political and cultural contribution to social progress in the 1930s, and anarchist participation in the revolutionary period of the Spanish Civil War.

    Old Fire Station, University of Salford
    Saturday 7 May 2pm

  • Huddersfield’s Chartist Roots

    25 April 2016

    Alan Brooke will talk about Huddersfield’s Chartist Roots at an evening talk for Huddersfield Local History Society.
    Cost for non members £2.00, payable on the door.
    For more information
    Venue – University of Huddersfield WG/54

  • Luddite Memorial Lecture

    21 April 2016

    The Huddersfield Local History Society/University of Huddersfield Joint Luddite Memorial Lecture will take place in the Diamond Jubilee Lecture Theatre, The Business School, University of Huddersfield, on Thursday 21 April 2016 at 7.30pm, with light refreshments available from 7pm.

    The speaker will be Dr Robert Poole of the University of Central Lancashire and his subject will be ‘The Rebellions of 1817’.

    Dr Poole believes that this fascinating episode in Huddersfield’s history was part of a series of radical attempts to force parliamentary reform in 1816 and 1817: ‘It began with a constitutionalist mass petitioning campaign emanating from London, and proceeded through the Spa Fields meetings, the march of the Blanketeers and the Manchester rising to the last stand in Huddersfield and Pentrich (in Derbyshire)’.

    There is no charge for this event, for which ​places should be booked ​
    via Eventbrite or by telephoning the University History Department (weekdays, during office hours) on 01484 ​ 471873.

  • Women and Labour Activism in a Transnational Context

    14 April 2016

    A two-day International Symposium to be held in Newcastle University, 14-16 April 2016

    What is the effect of transnational approaches to the history of women in Labour activism? From Mary Wollstonecraft to 2014 Nobel Peace winner Malala Yousafzai: this two-day conference aims to discuss the current polemical issues of the field and promote findings in new research on women’s engagement from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century, from individual to collective movements, in specific revolutionary moments and over several generations, in local and international associations, in particular where Labour activism intersects with other political religious and cultural aspects of women’s activism.

    Our invited keynote speaker is Susan Zimmermann, University Professor, Central European University, Budapest, specialist of international gender politics, labour women’s transnational activism, women’s work, and the ILO.

    We are interested in women’s roles as both political activists and intellectuals across borders and generations; on women’s biographies, both of lone women activists and of collective groups, of key figures as well as obscure ones, and on the role of biographies in establishing activist women’s reputations. We also welcome reflections on the methodology of activism and on problems inherent to the use of archives. We are keen to include researchers at all stages of their career: please ask the conference organisers about support available for ECR and postgraduate speakers.

    Please submit a 200 word proposal and CV by 31 January 2015 to:

    EITHER Dr Claudia Baldoli, Senior Lecturer in Italian History, claudia.baldoli@ncl.ac.uk
    OR Professor Máire Cross, Head of French, m.f.cross@ncl.ac.uk

  • Labour (dis)united conference

    4 April 2016

    Labour (dis)united. Disputed legitimacies within the British labour movement

    This conference at the People’s History Museum, Manchester aims to bring together historical and contemporary perspectives on the study of the British labour movement, from the point of view of the tensions that have, time and again, challenged it, if not fractured it, from the inside.

    The study of labour organisations as such has sometimes been criticised as too institutional. Yet the organisers of the conference believe that the turn towards a “new labour history” in the 1960s-1970s and a “global labour history” since the 2000s, far from making the study of organisations outdated, has continuously generated, and will continue to generate, innovative research on traditional topics such as: the Labour Party, the CPGB, trade unions, the Co-operative movement, friendly societies, etc.

    The focus on internal dissensions seems a particularly enticing avenue of investigation, precluding any celebration of a linear and consensual “forward march of Labour”.

    Labour Disunited CFP

  • First Conference of the European Labour History Network

    First Conference of the European Labour History Network

    14 December 2015

    14 – 16 December 2015, Torino/Turin (Italy)
    The European Labour History Network (ELHN) is pleased to announce its first conference from 14-16 December 2015 at the University of Turin facilitated and hosted by Stefano Musso (President of the Società Italiana di Storia del lavoro/SISLav – Italian Society of Labour History).
    Conference language: English
    For more information please contact:
    Astrid Verburg (IISG): ave@iisg.nl
    Lukas Neissl (ITH): ith@doew.at.
    click here for full details of all the working parties

    Call for Papers

    ‘Women’s work in the rural areas: a long-term perspective (XII-XXI century’ full details here

    Military Labour between XV and XX century full details here

  • History of Adult Worker Education

    History of Adult Worker Education

    28 November 2015

    History of Adult Worker Education Conference
    The SSLH autumn conference explores the History of Adult Worker Education from its nineteenth century origins to the demise of adult education in an age of austerity. The provisional programme can be down loaded here

    *Saturday 28 November 2015
    University of Huddersfield, West Building, WG17*

    This is a FREE conference but advance booking is necessary via Eventbrite

  • Death or Liberty - Film Premier

    Death or Liberty - Film Premier

    19 November 2015

    Join the UK premiere of an exciting new dramatised documentary about the rebels, radicals and reformers exiled as convicts to Australia. Featuring an original folk-punk soundtrack performed by Billy Bragg, Mick Thomas and Lisa O’Neill.

    based on the book by Dr Tony Moore, Death or Liberty tells the story of political prisoners convicted in Ireland, England, Wales and Canada and transported to the fatal shore in chains. Their sacrifice paved the way to democracy at home and the triumph of egalitarianism in Australia.

    Screening followed by panel discussion with director Keith Farrell (Tile Films), author Dr Tony Moore (Monash University) and Dr Janette Martin (University of Huddersfield). Part of Parliament Week 2015 and the Salford International Media Festival.

    Suitable for adults and children 10 years and over with parental guidance.


    Booking required via Eventbrite
    5.30pm – 7.30pm

  • Keir Hardie Conference

    Keir Hardie Conference

    26 September 2015

    Keir Hardie conference

    Keynote Speaker: Professor David Howell, University of York
    A One-Day Public Conference Working Class Movement Library, Salford, UK Saturday 26 September 2015 Conference Fee: £20 waged; £7.50 unwaged Contact Dr Deborah Mutch, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK via email: dmutchdmu.ac.uk for further information

    download poster here

  • 51st ITH Conference 'Work and Non-Work'

    24 September 2015

    *24-26 September 2015
    Humboldt Universität zu Berlin / IGK Work and Human Life Cycle in Global History
    The 51st ITH Conference investigates the topic of “work and non-work” in an interdisciplinary perspective, in particular, from the point of view of the political construction of work and non-work.

    Draft programme


    for more information contact ith@doew.at

  • Societies Beyond Borders? New Horizons in Transnational Studies

    17 September 2015

    International conference organized by the Center for Research on the English-Speaking World (CREW, EA 4399), Université Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle

    While open to a variety of subject matter, this conference will feature three major themes in contemporary transnational studies: the sociology of migrations; international/transnational political economy; and transnational mobilizations, both in the contemporary era and in modern history.

  • 46th IALHI conference - Edinburgh

    46th IALHI conference - Edinburgh

    16 September 2015

    46th Annual Conference of the International Association of Labour History Institutions (IALHI)

    Call for Papers

    Global Connections in Labour History: Collecting and Discovering Migrant Workers’ Heritage

    16-19 September 2015, National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh

  • Duncan Tanner - a festschrift

    Duncan Tanner - a festschrift

    12 September 2015

    The Art of the Possible: Politics and Governance in Modern British History: essays in memory of Duncan Tanner (Manchester University Press), has now been published. A link to the book can be found here:

    You are invited to the book launch on Saturday 12 September @ 2.30 pm at the People’s History Museum in Manchester.

  • William Morris in the 21st century

    William Morris in the 21st century

    5 September 2015

    William Morris Society presents a one-day symposium, examining various aspects of Morris’s legacy. The aftermath of the general election provides a very appropriate opportunity to explore Morris’s political ideas and their contemporary relevance.

    Birmingham and Midland Institute
    Margaret Street
    B3 3BS Birmingham
    United Kingdom

    full conference programme

    Saturday, 5 September 2015 from 10:00 – 17:00

  • Petitioning symposium

    Petitioning symposium

    29 June 2015

    Transnational Cultures of Petitioning Symposium, Roscoe Building,The University of Manchester.
    Programme can be downloaded here
    For further information contact Dr Henry Miller henry.miller@manchester.ac.uk

  • Guided Walk Around Radical Bradford

    13 June 2015

    Wakefield Socialist History Group are organising a Guided walk round RADICAL BRADFORD.
    The event will take place on Saturday 13 June 2015.
    Meet 2pm at the ILP mural, corner of Chapel Street and Leeds Road for short speeches.
    The guide for the walk itself is John GIll.
    There is no charge and all are welcome; free bottled provided.
    The walk is approximately two miles long and does involve some inclines.

    For more information contact alanharperstewart AT hotmail.co.uk

  • Chartism Day 2015

    Chartism Day 2015

    13 June 2015

    Chartism Day 2015: Newcastle upon Tyne,
    The 2015 Chartism Day will be held in Newcastle upon Tyne on Saturday 13 June at the University of Newcastle (Armstrong Building). Joan Allen is the lead organizer. Contributions will include papers on Chartism and the Canadian Rebellions of 1837-8, female Chartism (the Leeds radical printer and publisher Alice Mann, and Mary Ann Walker and her associates of London) and the Gwent Archives Chartism project. Everyone is welcome and the full programme will be circulated as soon as it is available. Meanwhile, save the date!

  • A World to Win

    A World to Win

    29 May 2015

    A World to Win: learning from the past, making the future- 29-30 May 2015, Barnsley
    A weekend of interactive workshops exploring key events in working class history at the beautiful Northern College.
    Further details and sign up

  • Collective Bargaining by Riot.

    Collective Bargaining by Riot.

    18 May 2015

    Holmfirth Film Festival Presents: Collective Bargaining by Riot
    Young film-maker Alex Hopley has taken historian Eric Hobsbawm’s phrase to describe the Swing Riots of the early 1800s to produce a really interesting film on the Luddites which shows that there was much more to them than merely smashing machines.
    Monday 18 May 2015. Starts at 7.30pm FREE
    Venue Holmfirth Adult Education Centre

  • Creating and curating community histories – independent community-led archives and the ‘useable past’

    18 May 2015

    Presented by Dr Andrew Flinn (UCL)
    Monday 18th May 2015
    The People’s History Museum

  • “History is the new punk”: The International History From Below Network

    11 May 2015

    Presented by Peter Box, David Rosenberg and Roger Ball
    Monday 11th May 2015
    Geoffrey Manton Lecture Theatre 4

    More information and reserve a place

  • The History of People’s History: Ideals, Meanings and Legacies

    27 April 2015

    Lecture by Professor Sally Alexander (Goldsmiths) and Professor Alun Howkins- University of Sussex/ University of East Anglia
    Monday 27th April 2015
    Geoffrey Manton Lecture Theatre 4

  • Nationalism and Internationalism in Labour History

    Nationalism and Internationalism in Labour History

    25 April 2015

    This one-day conference will explore the entangled relationship between nationalism and internationalism – both in the pasts of workers and in the political formations that addressed working-class concerns. Having become increasingly aware of the problems of methodological nationalism, institutional history and Eurocentrism, labour historians have expressed a significant interest in transnational phenomena. However, this line of enquiry must not obscure the ongoing role of nationhood – both as an idea and as an organisational principle. The conference will shed light on competing and interrelated strands of activism and their connections with imperial rule, globalising processes and nation-building. The event seeks to explore the complex ways in which ideas, people and social contestation circulated beyond borders. It shows how individuals, parties and social movements negotiated the intertwined tenets of nationalism and internationalism in these contexts.
    Conference Programme

  • Socialism and the Cold War

    Socialism and the Cold War

    17 April 2015

    Conference on ‘Socialism and the Cold War in Western Europe’ at Queen’s University Belfast on 17-18 April 2015
    With a focus on Western Europe, this conference will explore ideological responses to the sustained period of Superpower tension between 1945 and 1989. Diplomatic studies of the Cold War have, of course, abounded and, more recently, there has been an increasing interest in the cultural aspects of the Cold War. Yet the Cold War was, in fundamental respects, a war of ideas and it these that this conference will seek to understand in greater depth. With coverage that includes Britain, it will consider Social Democracy, the New Left, Communism and Eurocommunism as well as labour and the trade union movement more widely. Anti-socialism and anti-communism will be prominent themes. This conference will further examine transnational trends through the impact of European integration and the development of human rights as well as reflecting on the diversity of national experiences. It will also consider American and Soviet views of West European Socialism in its various guises.

    This conference is sponsored by the Society for the Study of Labour History (SSLH) and Queen’s University Belfast.

    Please register here
    full conference programme

  • York Castle and its political prisoners

    York Castle and its political prisoners

    16 April 2015

    The University History Department and the Huddersfield Local History Society are delighted that Professor Malcolm Chase professor of Social History at the University of Leeds joins us for the Annual Memorial Lecture – “York Castle and its political prisoners: the Luddites in a broader context”.

    The lecture takes place on Thursday 16 April starting at 7:30pm in the Diamond Jubilee Lecture Theatre on the University campus. The event is free and open to the public with light refreshments from 7:00pm. Free parking is available on campus

  • Shaping the Labour Party Conference 2015

    Shaping the Labour Party Conference 2015

    23 March 2015

    To commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the election of the first majority Labour government in 1945, the School of History, Welsh History and Archaeology at Bangor University will be hosting a conference on the history of the Labour Party, entitled ‘Shaping the Labour Party’. The Conference will take place on Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th March 2015.

    More information

  • Still the Enemy Within

    Still the Enemy Within

    18 March 2015

    Film Screening and discussion presented by the University of Huddersfield History Society.
    FREE event. Register online Arrival at 5.30pm for a 6.00pm start
    West Building Lecture Theatre WG/54
    University of Huddersfield

  • Fighting against war: peace activism in the twentieth century

    Fighting against war: peace activism in the twentieth century

    11 February 2015

    Conference: University of Melbourne, Australia, 11-13 February, 2015
    Throughout the twentieth century, labour movement activists have been in the forefront of challenges to war and militarism. This conference, hosted by the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, seeks to restore their role to our historical memory.

    For further information contact: phillip.deery@vu.edu.au

  • World Wars and Historical Memory

    World Wars and Historical Memory

    27 November 2014

    Raphael Samuel Memorial Lecture 2014
    Tariq Ali ‘World Wars and Historical Memory’
    6.30pm, Thursday 27th November 2014

    Tariq Ali is a longstanding editor at the New Left Review, and has written over two dozen books on history and politics, seven novels and scripts for stage and screen. He will speak about how history can become distorted, instrumentalised and decontextualised when viewed from the ideological needs of today’s establishments.

    The lecture will be followed by a wine reception.

    All welcome, but booking is necessary. To reserve your place, go to www.tariqalilecture.eventbrite.co.uk

    (Map and directions:http://www.qmul.ac.uk/about/howtofindus/mileend/)

    Arts Two Lecture Theatre
    Queen Mary University of London
    Mile End Road, London E1 4NS.

  • Fundraiser for the WCML

    23 November 2014

    Christopher Eccleston and Maxine Peake to tell story of Salford’s radical history at fundraising event
    Salford stars will be joined by actress and broadcaster Sheila Hancock at university event to help pay for upkeep of Working Class Movement Library.

    Tickets for this fundraising event are £12 (£8 student concessions), and are available from the University of Salford online shop. For enquiries please contact the University events team on 0161 295 5241, or email events@salford.ac.uk.

  • The Miners' Strike 1984-1985

    The Miners' Strike 1984-1985

    17 November 2014

    Anglia Ruskin University labour History Research Unit presents:
    The Miners’ Strike 1984-5: thirty years on. An evening in which the strike will be recalled through oral testimony. Miners strike poster
    For more information please email Mary Joannou (mary.joannou@anglia.ac.uk)

  • Labour and the Left in the 1980s

    Labour and the Left in the 1980s

    8 November 2014

    This conference aims to reassess Labour and the Left in the age of Thatcherism. This is the moment to take stock of Labour’s long period in the wilderness especially with an election due next year. Are there new ways of thinking about Labour and left wing politics in this period? How should we interpret this period of the left’s history? Papers will consider (amongst other subjects) Labour in opposition, the Miner’s Strike, feminism, Greenham, racial politics, trade unions, the GLC, and the cultural politics of the left. The conference will host the AGM of the Society for the Study of Labour History 12.15-1.30pm.

    Conference bookings can be made here

    For further information, please contact the organiser, Dr. Richard Carr richard.carr@anglia.ac.uk

  • Conference: The Resurgence of 'Class' in History?

    12 September 2014

    International History Conference for Postgraduates and Early Career Historians. 12-13 September 2014. Department of History, University of Essex

    Just over fifty years ago E. P. Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class put the concept of class firmly at the centre of historical debate. Over subsequent decades, however, the academic agenda has shifted considerably. Postmodernists and others have questioned the usefulness of ‘class’ as a key analytical category and historical narratives emphasizing class conflict as a driver of social change have become increasingly unfashionable.Yet class now appears to be making a comeback. This two-day conference will critically evaluate this key concept and consider how a sense of class enables better understanding of past societies and how they change.

    Resurgence of class conference programme

    To register please email Joe Cozen jtcoze@essex.ac.uk your name, affiliation and contact details.

  • Clothes, Working Lives and Social Change 1880-1939

    Clothes, Working Lives and Social Change 1880-1939

    12 September 2014

    A two-day international conference at Bishopsgate Institute, London, 12-13 September 2014.

    Keynote speakers: Professor Eugenia Paulicelli (Queen’s College and The Graduate Center City University of New York) and Professor Lou Taylor (University of Brighton)

    This cross-disciplinary conference explores the relationship between work, clothes and social change at the turn of the twentieth century. Hosted by the Bishopsgate Institute in London’s East End, it brings together scholars from the Humanities, the Social Sciences and the Creative Arts with research interests in the intersecting histories of clothes and labour.

    This event is part of the AHRC-funded research network “Tailored Trades: Clothes, Labour and Professional Communities (1880-1939)” organised by Dr Vike Martina Plock (University of Exeter) and Dr Nicole Robertson (Northumbria University).

  • 250th birthday of John Thelwall,

    25 July 2014

    The conference, ‘John Thelwall at 250: Medicine, Literature, and Reform in London, ca. 1764-1834’, will be held at the University of Notre Dame London Centre (1 Suffolk Street, London, England), 25-27 July 2014

  • Transnational and Comparative Labour History

    Transnational and Comparative Labour History

    21 July 2014

    The University of Huddersfield will host a one-day international conference on 21 July 2014 bringing together academics from Britain, the USA, Australia and France. Confirmed speakers include:
    Professor Donald MacRaild, (University of Ulster), Dr. Antony Taylor, (Sheffield Hallam University),Dr. Gwenda Tavan, (La Trobe University); Professor Paul Pickering, (Australian National University),Dr. Daniel Laqua, (Northumbria University),Professor Karen Hunt, (Keele University), Professor Kevin Morgan, (University of Manchester), Professor John Shepherd, (University of Huddersfield), Dr. Mark Hearn, (Macquarie University), Dr. Emma Robertson, (La Trobe University), Dr. Yann Beliard, (Universite Paris 3), Professor Colin Davies, (University of Alabama at Birmingham),Professor Greg Patmore,(University of Sydney)

    Cost (includes lunch and refreshments) £15. To book a place click here.
    provisional conference programme
    Conference poster

  • Chartism Day 2014

    4 July 2014

    4-5 July 2014
    Chartism Day 2014: Ireland & British Democracy

    •When? Friday & Saturday 4 (evening) and 5 July (09.30- 17.00)
    •Where? National University of Ireland, Galway
    •Speakers include Joan Allen, Maura Cronin, Ian Haywood, Michael Huggins, Christine Kinealy, John McGrath, Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Matthew Roberts.
    Further information (programme, travel and accommodation, booking form etc)

  • 150 years ago:The First International

    150 years ago:The First International

    19 June 2014

    Conference at the Sorbonne, Paris (19-20 June 2014)

    On the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the International Workingmen’s Association (IWMA), this conference will open up a new phase in the study of the IWMA, taking into account recent research, new approaches and issues as well as newly-accessible sources.

    For further information contact fbensimon@free.fr

  • Revolutionary Jews

    18 June 2014

    Revolutionary Jews – an illustrated talk by Daniel Randall
    Randall considers the question of why so many Jews have been attracted to revolutionary politics, and looks at the movements and traditions they animated. It focuses on European and American Jews, from the mid-19th century

    Daniel Randall is a London Underground worker and an activist in the RMT union, and a member of Workers’ Liberty. He also performs hip-hop and spoken-word poetry as The Ruby Kid.

    This is a Jewish Socialists’ Group public meeting
    FREE, all welcome.
    For further information: jsg@jewishsocialist.org.uk

  • Unofficial Histories

    Unofficial Histories

    7 June 2014

    Unofficial Histories is a public conference to discuss how society produces, presents, and consumes history beyond official and elite versions of the past.
    7-8 June 2014 at the University of Huddersfield

  • Commemorating Eric Hobsbawm

    Commemorating Eric Hobsbawm

    10 May 2014

    The Society for the Study of Labour History will host a
    day conference on Saturday 10 May 2014 at the University Of Huddersfield to commemorate the life and work of Eric Hobsbawn, renown historian and former President of the Society. Confirmed speakers include Professor John Belchem, Professor Logie Barrow, Professor Rohan McWilliam, Professor David Howell, Professor John Shepherd, Professor Richard Evans, Dr Katrina Navickas, Ian Gwinn and John Halstead.

    This is a FREE event. To reserve a place please contact

    Conference Poster

    Conference Programme

  • Blackstone Edge - Let's gather

    Blackstone Edge - Let's gather

    4 May 2014

    Sunday 4th May 2014

    Join other singers on Bank Holiday Sunday to commemorate the gathering of thousands of Chartists on Blackstone Edge in August 1846.

    Walk up to the rocky outcrop on Blackstone Edge in the early afternoon, to picnic, to enjoy the walk and the views, to sing, and to meet and listen to other singers. All as a memorial to the great Chartist gathering there, more than 160 years ago.

    All are welcome.

    If you would like to contribute a song or reading, or if you are willing to lead a walk up to Blackstone Edge from one of the valley towns or railway stations, please contact: gwyneth@blackstoneedgegathering.org.uk

  • Labour and the First World War

    3 May 2014

    Labour and the First World War
    Saturday 3 May,
    Anglia Ruskin University,
    East Road, Cambridge,
    (Lord Ashcroft Building, LAB 002)
    For further information contact:
    Dr Richard Carr rcarr100@gmail.com
    Click here for more details and a programme

  • Tony Benn: Assessing his Legacy for the Left

    Tony Benn: Assessing his Legacy for the Left

    26 April 2014

    The Socialist History Society is hosting a seminar assessing Tony Benn’s contribution to British politics; speakers will look at the historical roots of his commitment to socialism; his record in and out of office; some of the key causes he championed; and his role as a populariser of history.

    The event will take place on
    Saturday 26th April between 2pm and 4.30pm
    Conway Hall, London.
    The SHS AGM will take place at 1pm.
    Speakers confirmed
    Keith Flett (London Socialist Historians Group) –‘growing more radical as he grew older’
    Dr Duncan Bowie (University of Westminster/reviews editor, Chartist magazine) –‘the roots of Tony Benn’s socialist commitment’
    Prof Willie Thompson (Historian, former editor Socialist History) – Why regrettably the Benn project did not succeed
    Stefan Dickers (Library and Archives Manager, Bishopsgate) – Benn as archivist
    Jon Lansman (editor Left Futures/CLPD) – Setting the Standard – What the Left should look for in a Leader
    Stan Newens (ex-MP, ex-MEP; President SHS) – Benn as a Parliamentarian
    Dr Kate Hudson (CND general secretary/historian) – Benn the peace and anti-nuclear activist

  • The Rise and Fall of the Working Class

    The Rise and Fall of the Working Class

    10 April 2014

    The People: The Rise and Fall of the Working Class, 1910-2010 By Selina Todd
    Thursday 10th April 2014, 6pm
    Newcastle City Library,
    Charles Aviston Building
    Tickets: Free
    To book tickets click here
    Refreshments included

  • Luddite Memorial Lecture

    16 January 2014

    Huddersfield Local History Society and the University of Huddersfield would like to invite you to the inaugural Luddite Memorial Lecture on Thursday 16 Jan 2014 at 7.30pm (refreshments from 7pm) , Canalside East CEG/28

    Dr Matthew Roberts (Sheffield Hallam University) will be speaking on ‘Luddism through the Chartist-Looking Glass: Shirley and the Modernisation of Popular Protest’.
    If you would like to attend this event please rsvp huddhistorysecretary@gmail.com.

    for more on this event

    Luddite poster

  • Activism and Integrity workshop

    16 December 2013

    This workshop will explore the ways in which concepts of integrity have shaped debates among activists from across the political spectrum; how it has governed action as well as intention; and how forms of organization and collective action are negotiated to preserve the integrity of the actors.

    The workshop is organised by Northumbria University’s Histories of Activism reseach group.


    6 December 2013

    Communism and the Leader Cult: national and transnational perspectives
    University of Manchester, Friday 6 December 2013, 10.00-5.15
    Arthur Lewis Building (boardroom), Social Sciences, University of Manchester.
    Download poster here

  • Exploring Trade Union Banners

    Exploring Trade Union Banners

    30 November 2013

    Join renowned artist David Jacques, at Tate Liverpool for a talk centering on the history of British Trade Union Banners.

    image: © People’s History Museum

  • North West Labour History Society 40th anniversary conference

    23 November 2013

    The North West Labour History Society is celebrating 40 years of activity promoting labour history with a conference on women’s history on 23 November 2013 in Manchester. There will be sessions on topics such as music, trade unionism, socialism, votes for women, socialism and feminism. The speakers will include Lindsey German, Claire Mooney, Alice Nutter, Louise Raw, Rae Street and Sonja Tiernan. The fee for the day will be £10 waged/£5 unwaged.

  • A Radical Inheritance?

    23 November 2013

    A Radical Inheritance? Commemoration, Memorialisation, and Traditions of Protest in the History of Political Radicalism.

    The University of St Andrews, in conjunction with the Society for the Study of Labour History, the Scottish Labour History Society, and Liverpool University Press, will host a one-day conference on Saturday 23 November 2013. Entitled ‘A Radical Inheritance? Commemoration, Memorialisation, and Traditions of Protest in the History of Political Radicalism’, and featuring keynote addresses from Dr Tom Buchanan (University of Oxford) and Dr Gordon Pentland (University of Edinburgh), the conference will explore contested histories, popular memory and forms of commemoration in both radical politics and in the writing of labour history itself.
    Conference programme
    Conference information

    Malcolm Petrie, School of History, University of St Andrews, St Katherine’s Lodge, The Scores, St Andrews, KY16 9BA. Email: mp49@st-andrews.ac.uk

  • E P Thompson Symposium

    E P Thompson Symposium

    16 November 2013

    Join us at Halifax Square Chapel for a lecture and discussion on the life and work of E. P. Thompson (1924-1993), leading radical historian and author of the seminal The Making of the English Working Class (1963). Professor Bryan D. Palmer (Trent University, Ontario) will deliver a key note lecture on ‘History as Argument: The Contrarian Analytics of The Making of the English Working Class’ followed by a roundtable discussion chaired by Professor Neville Kirk. Panelists will include: Professor John Belchem, Professor Malcolm Chase, Professor Joe White, Professor Paul Pickering, Dr Peter Gurney, Professor D. Palmer and Dr Matthew Roberts. In the afternoon Dr John Hargreaves will lead a local history walk to the house where the Thompsons lived where a plaque will be unveiled.
    Click here for more details and a programme

  • Labour Behind the Label: Working With Textiles

    8 November 2013

    This one-day cross-disciplinary workshop investigates the impact operational and professional developments in the British textile industry had on workers and workers’ communities. The programme explores the trade, working environment and identity of textile workers across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Speakers include: Dr Pete Maw (University of Leeds), Dr Sally Tuckett (University of Edinburgh), Professor Jutta Schwarzkopf (Bielefeld University), Dr Janet Greenlees (Glasgow Caledonian University) and Professor Joseph Melling (University of Exeter).

    WHERE: Sutherland Building, Northumbria University, Newcastle

    WHEN: 8 November 2013, 9.00am-5.00pm

    BOOKING: The event is free, but please register for a place before 31 October

  • Labour and Empire in the Age of Decolonisation: The British Experience (1919-1984)

    Labour and Empire in the Age of Decolonisation: The British Experience (1919-1984)

    8 November 2013

    Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3

    Specialists of the British Empire and researchers in British labour history can no longer afford to ignore each other. According to Bernard Porter and Catherine Hall, the time has come for a social history of the Empire, and one might add – following the stimulating examples recently provided by Stuart Ward and Andrew Thompson – for a social history of decolonisation.
    In most studies attempting to explain the demise of the British Empire, the world of labour does not stand in the limelight, the key roles being allocated to metropolitan statesmen on the one hand and native elites on the other. Our one-day conference will seek to counter-balance that neglect (as Frederick Cooper and the ‘subalternists’ have already done), by focusing on the role played by the voiceless and their experience, initiatives and organisations, in the dissolution of the British Empire. Marcel van der Linden once declared that ‘the history of the British working-class can only be written as a transcontinental one’ and John MacKenzie has never ceased to strive for a socialisation of imperial studies. Hopefully the conference will confirm that the history of the British Empire, including that of its liquidation, can only move forward by putting common people back on the map.

    Contact: yann.beliard@univ-paris3.fr or n.kirk@mmu.ac.uk

  • Radical history in the Valleys

    Radical history in the Valleys

    2 November 2013

    A one day conference of radical history in the Colne and Holme Valleys
    The Red and Green Club,
    42 Bankwell Road, Milnsbridge,
    Huddersfield HD3 4LU
    For more details and to book a place contact Rob Walker at: radicalvalleys@hotmail.co.uk
    Download poster here

  • 1913 Dublin Lockout Centenary Conference

    1913 Dublin Lockout Centenary Conference

    19 October 2013

    Struggle, Solidarity and Defeat: 1913 Dublin Lockout Centenary Conference

    Saturday 19 October 2013
    Old Fire Station, The Crescent, University of Salford, Salford, M5 4WT.
    Dublin Lockout conference flyer

  • E P Thompson at Harvard

    3 October 2013

    ‘The Global E. P. Thompson: Reflections on the Making of the English Working Class after Fifty Years” Oct. 3-5 2013

    The Program on the Study of Capitalism and the Initiative on Global History at Harvard University are excited to announce an upcoming conference on the Making of the English Working Class after Fifty Years

    For those unable to attend in person, the conference will be streamed live online:

  • 25th Desmond Greaves Annual School 2013

    25th Desmond Greaves Annual School 2013

    15 September 2013

    A Forum for Debate
    25th Desmond Greaves Annual School 2013

    A weekend of political debate running from 13 – 15 September 2013 at the Ireland Institute in the boyhood home of Pádraig Pearse.
    Bookings and Admission
    Full School €25
    Individual sessions €6
    Students/unwaged half-price

    Venue: 27 Pearse Street, Dublin 2 Des Greaves Summer School flier

  • AHRC-funded workshop 'Uniforms and Identity'

    13 September 2013

    This one-day cross-disciplinary workshop, ‘Uniforms and Identity’, analyses the role of clothes and textiles in the organisation of professional and social groups across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Speakers include: Dr Charlotte Alston (Northumbria University), Dr Clare Rose (The Royal School of Needlework), Dr Laura Ugolini (University of Wolverhampton), Dr Geraldine Biddle-Perry (Central St Martins College of Art & Design) and Professor Mike French (University of Glasgow).

    WHERE: Northumbria University, Newcastle
    BOOKING: The event is free but please register for a place (before 4 September)

  • Ethel Carnie Holdsworth

    Ethel Carnie Holdsworth

    7 September 2013

    Ethel Carnie Holdsworth (1896-1962) and working-class women’s writing: A centenary celebration

    Saturday 7th September at the Working-Class Movement Library (WCML), Salford. For further information contact Nicola Wilson: n.l.wilson@reading.ac.uk

    click here for conference poster and programme programme

  • Chartism Day 2013

    Chartism Day 2013

    29 June 2013

    The annual Chartism day will take place at St Mary’s Church on Bramall Lane
    Provisional programme:
    Martin Hewitt (Huddersfield University), “Chartism and the Taxes on Knowledge Campaign”
    Robert G Hall (Ball State University), “Bookstores for the Millions: The Politics of Reading and Chartism, 1838-1848”
    David Goodway, “Julian Harney’s Late Journalism: The Newcastle Weekly Chronicle column, 1890-97”
    Jenny Cadwallender (Manchester University), – “Amidst Tears, Cheers and Execrations: Domesticity and the Politics of Chartist Women”
    Timothy Keane, “Ireland and Irish Nationalism in Chartism”
    Philip Lockley, “Chartism and Millenarianism”
    Steve Poole, “Rural Chartism in the West”

    • Katrina Navickas, “What next for Chartist Studies”
      For further details contact Dr Matthew Roberts matthew.roberts@shu.ac.uk

  • Chartism Public Lecture

    28 June 2013

    Professor Paul Pickering (Australia National University), will deliver a public lecture: ‘Telling the peoples’ story: writing, representing and selling the past in the age of affective history’
    Peak Lecture Theatre, Sheffield Hallam University.
    For further details contact Dr Matt Roberts matthew.roberts@shu.ac.uk

  • Remembering Michael Foot

    Remembering Michael Foot

    15 June 2013

    Public discussion at the People’s History Museum remembering Michael Foot, Leader of the Labour Party, 1980-1983. The day event draws together party colleagues, trade unionists, journalists and family members.
    Find out more

  • The Making of the English Working Class

    The Making of the English Working Class

    11 May 2013

    The Making of the English Working Class: Fifty Years On – a one-day conference
    To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of E P Thompson’s ground-breaking book ‘The Making of the English Working Class’, a one day conference will be held at Anglia Ruskin University Cambridge. The conference is organised by the Labour History Research Unity at Anglia Ruskin University in co-operation with the Victorian Studies Centre at Saffron Walden.

    Saturday, 11 May 2013 10.00 pm – 5.15 pm
    Lab 107, Anglia Ruskin University, East Road, Cambridge

    Speakers include:
    David Goodway: The Making of The Making of English Working Class’
    Emma Griffin: The Dark Myth of the British Industrial Revolution.
    John Seed: ‘Watchwords from the walls of Zion’: Edward Thompson and religious dissent
    John Gardner: Continuing After Defeat; ‘Radical Anger’ and the Established Church

  • Blackstone Edge

    Blackstone Edge

    5 May 2013

    Join other singers on Bank Holiday Sunday to commemorate the gathering of thousands of Chartists on Blackstone Edge in August 1846.

    Walk up to the rocky outcrop on Blackstone Edge in the early afternoon, to picnic, to enjoy the walk and the views, to sing, and to meet and listen to other singers. All as a memorial to the great Chartist gathering there, more than 160 years ago.

    All are welcome.

  • Northern Radical History Network

    20 April 2013

    The next Northern Radical History Network meeting will take place on Saturday 20 April 2013 in Bradford.

    This year marks 50 years since the publication of E. P. Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class, and the book, its author and the book’s impact and legacy will be our meeting’s topic of discussion.

    We are delighted to be joined by David Goodway a social and cultural historian who has become increasingly known as an authority on anarchism. His publications include London Chartism, 1838-1848 (1982), Talking Anarchy (with Colin Ward) (2003) and Anarchist Seeds beneath the Snow: Left-Libertarian Thought and British Writers from William Morris to Colin Ward (2006).

    The meeting will take place at The Equity Centre, 1 Longlands Street, Bradford, on Saturday 20 April 2013 from 11am – 3pm. ALL WELCOME. For further details please contact Fiona Cosson, email f.cosson [AT] mmu.ac.uk


    20 April 2013

    10.30 – 3.30
    Working Class Movement Library
    Salford, near Manchester M5 4WX
    £5.00 includes lunch.
    Please email us to book a place: iwceducation@yahoo.co.uk

    The presentations will be short and include lots of vigorous non-sectarian discussion. Rob Turnbull: The Plebs League in the North East; Greg Coyne: Active Learning and the WEA; Phoebe Moore: What ‘decent work’ means in the crisis; Joel Lazarus: The Free Education Network political economy workshops; Joyce Canaan: Critical pedagogy within and outside the neo liberalised university; Paul Smith: Reading groups.

  • 50 years of E.P.Thompson's 'The Making of the English Working Class,'

    50 years of E.P.Thompson's 'The Making of the English Working Class,'

    13 April 2013

    A day conference organised by the People’s History Museum and the Working Class Movement Library.
    p. Edward Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class appeared in 1963 and has become one of the most influential history texts of the twentieth century. It is still in print fifty years on, having survived challenges from Marxist, feminist and postmodern historians. This day conference celebrates Thompson’s classic, and considers its reception, its critics, and why it endures.

  • Votes For Women

    Votes For Women

    10 March 2013

    This walk explore the history of the campaign for votes for women from 1868 to 1928 and the role played by Manchester women such as Lydia Becker, Eva Gore-Booth, Esther Roper, Margaret Ashton and the Pankhurst family. Meet at the Friends Meeting House, Mount Street. Advance booking strongly advised.

    More information and booking : redflagwalks@gmail.com.

    website : http://redflagwalks.wordpress.com

  • Manchester’s Radical Women

    8 March 2013

    Friday 8 March, 10. 45am. “Up Then Brave Women; Manchester’s Radical Women”.

    On International Women’s Day, this walk explore the rich radical history of Manchester and the role played by women. It will include the Owenite feminists, the Clarion movemnt, women journalists on the Manchester Guardian and women artists. Meet at the Robert Owen statue, outside the Co-op Bank, Corporation Street. The walk will end at Three Minute Theatre on Oldham Street for tea and biscuits. Advance booking strongly advised.
    More information and booking : redflagwalks@gmail.com.

    website : http://redflagwalks.wordpress.com

  • Chartism in Barnsley and Yorkshire

    Chartism in Barnsley and Yorkshire

    26 January 2013

    Barnsley College UCU has organised a Chartist public lecture at Barnsley Central Library.
    Malcolm Chase and Graham Mustin will be speaking on Chartism in Barnsley and Yorkshire.
    Download poster here

  • Luddites at York Castle 2013

    Luddites at York Castle 2013

    19 January 2013

    York’s Alternative History will be hosting an event to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the execution of seventeen Luddites at York Castle. This will take place on Saturday 19th of January 2013

  • Independent Working-Class Education Network Day School

    24 November 2012

    ‘Can We Rebuild the Plebs Tradition?’

    24 November at Northern College, near Barnsley.

    Speakers include Hilda Kean (formerly dean of Ruskin College) and Alex Gordon (president, RMT).

    Entry: £12.00 including lunch.

    To book, please contact: venables_keith@yahoo.co.uk

  • Celebrate the Luddites 200th anniversary

    Celebrate the Luddites 200th anniversary

    18 November 2012

    Celebrate the Luddites 200th anniversary

    2012 is the 200th anniversary of the Luddites’ uprisings against machinery that was destroying weavers’ livelihoods. Were the Luddites mindless hooligans opposed to progress, or, as EP Thompson suggests, trades unionists fighting for their jobs in desperate conditions?
    Time 13:00 – 17:00
    People’s History Museum, Manchester

  • Rambling and Working-Class Leisure in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Britain

    17 November 2012

    The annual meeting and autumn conference of the Society for the Study of Labour History
    Saturday 17 November 2012

    Venue: The Working Class Movement Library, 51 The Crescent, Salford.

    full details

  • Peace History Conference

    Peace History Conference

    9 November 2012

    From Local to Global: the north’s role in peace and cooperation

    9th-10th November 2012
    The annual national Peace History Conference aims to increase understanding of past peace movements and activity and alternative ways of responding to conflict, to inform the present and the future.
    The Conference is organised by the movement for the Abolition of War and peace organisations active in the north of England in association with the People’s History Museum in Manchester.

  • George Lansbury event

    George Lansbury event

    7 November 2012

    Join an evening of discussion and celebration of women’s suffrage. Dr Jon Cruddas, MP for Dagenham and Rainham will be reflecting on the events of November 1912 when George Lansbury MP clashed with the Asquith in the House of Commons over the issue of women’s suffrage and resigned his seat in order to stand in a by-election in support of the Suffragette movement.
    7 pm, Thursday November 8
    Heart of Bow Community Centre, St Paul’s Church, St Stephens Road, E3 5JL

    Register to attend by emailing eastlondonfawcett@gmail.com.

  • Landscapes of resistance

    Landscapes of resistance

    29 September 2012

    New approaches to the history of popular protest and resistance in Britain & Ireland, 1500-1900. Workshop 3, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, Saturday 29 September Landscapes of resistance: figuring the places and spaces of protest past.

    This workshop, building upon those held at the Universities of Hertfordshire and West of England, explores how we can conceptualise the places and spaces of protest past.

  • Remembering Dorothy and Edward

    29 September 2012

    Dorothy and Edward Thompson were renowned historians. E.P. Thompson is best known for the seminal The Making of the English Working Class; Dorothy Thompson for the ground-breaking The Chartists.

    Sheila Rowbotham will present the inaugural Dorothy and E.P. Thompson Lecture.

    Time: Doors open at 1.00 p.m. Lecture starts at 1.30 p.m.
    Venue: The Perdiswell Young Peoples’ Leisure Club, Droitwich Road, Worcester.
    email: dandeptlecture@talktalk.net

  • Contested Democracy

    Contested Democracy

    20 September 2012

    Contested Democracy: Contestation and Participation in the English Speaking World
    20-22 September 2012, Sorbonne Nouvelle University, Paris

    For details, and to download the programme, visit the conference website

  • Education for Emancipation: Radical Workers' Education in Yorkshire

    8 September 2012

    To celebrate Heritage Weekend, join Tom Steele, University of Glasgow, at The Hepworth Wakefield to discover why Yorkshire was the most lively and radical district in Britain. Education for Emancipation: Radical Workers’ Education in Yorkshire, will focus on the WEA background to the work of historian E.P. Thompson, as featured in 2012 Turner Prize nominee Luke Fowler’s film currently on display.

  • 50 years of E P Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class

    50 years of E P Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class

    29 July 2012

    A day conference to be held at People’s History Museum,

    Saturday 13 April 2013

    Fifty years of the Making of the English Working Class

  • Enoch's Hammer: the Luddites & Other Early 19th Century Protest Movements

    Enoch's Hammer: the Luddites & Other Early 19th Century Protest Movements

    15 May 2012

    The University of Huddersfield will host a day seminar on Luddism and other early nineteenth century protest movements at 09:45 in WG/13 (Ground Floor, West Building).

    Confirmed speakers:

    Malcolm Chase, Michael Sanders, Katrina Navickas, John Hargreaves, Kevin Binfield, William Marshall, Matthew Roberts, Alan Brooke, John Walton, Lesley Abernethy.

    Booking for this event is now closed.

    facebook event.