Thirty years after the publication of Peter Fryer’s Staying Power, immigration is still a hotly contested topic, while slavery continues to dominate popular perceptions of Black British History. New research is revealing different stories, but how is this being presented in Britain’s classrooms and museums? We need a conversation between those actively involved in researching and communicating the history of peoples of African origin and descent in Britain about what it means to us today.
We invite you to join us at the first in what will be a series of workshops held once a term by the Institute of Commonwealth Studies. The aim is to foster a creative dialogue between researchers, educationalists (mainstream and supplementary), archivists and curators, and policy makers. It will seek to identify and promote innovative new research into the history of people of African origin or descent in the UK. Researchers and archivists will provide an introduction to the ever-growing body of resources available. We will also discuss the latest developments in the dissemination of Black British history in a wide variety of settings including the media, the classroom and lecture hall, and museums and galleries, thus providing an opportunity to share good practice. The workshops will consider a range of issues around Black British history including the way in which scholars have defined the field, debates around how and why it should be taught, especially in the light of the new national curriculum, and the tensions between celebrating the achievements of people of African descent in the UK and applying a critical perspective to the past.
The first workshop will take place at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies in Senate House, London, on Thursday 30 October 2014. The day will run from 11am to 6.30pm, followed by a Reception. The event will consist of a keynote address, followed by three consecutive panels and a round table discussion.
For our first workshop, the panels will be organised around the following themes: new directions in research; archives and records; and new methods of communicating Black British History. Each panel will consist of three presentations lasting for 15-20 minutes. An outline programme is given below. We would be delighted to hear from researchers, educationalists, archivists and curators or others interested in offering a presentation. Please submit a title and a brief description of your presentation either in writing (in which case, of no more than 300 words) or in some other form (for example a clip or podcast) with an indication of which panel you envisage contributing to, to Dr. Miranda Kaufmann at email@example.com by 31 July 2014.
The Senate Room, Senate House, London
Thursday 30 October 2014
10.45-11.00 Registration, tea/coffee
11.00-11.30 Keynote address (tbc)
11.30-1.00 Session One: New Directions in Black British History
2.00-3.30 Session Two: People of African descent in the archives
4.00-5.30 Session Three: Spreading the word: New developments
in the communication of Black British History
5.30-6.30 Round Table Discussion and Conclusions
To register for the event (discount for early registration) see here:
120 Years of Learning: Discover London at Bishopsgate Institute
Travel back to the 1890s to discover what was happening in London and at Bishopsgate Institute 120 years ago or take a look at life for Londoners during the First World War. Discover the art and design of the Tube or examine the portrayal in paintings, photographs and popular culture. Find out more at http://www.bishopsgate.org.uk/Courses#tab_289
Colin Thomas was born and brought up in Wales. In 1982. He co-founded Teliesyn and was chair of the co-operative for most of its history.Award winning programmes include The Dragon has Two Tongues, Hughesovka and the New Russia and Border Crossing – the Journey of Raymond Williams.
I met the historian Christopher Hill once, last summer. I
went with BBC producer Fiona Maclean to interview him in his
Warwickshire home for a programme about poetry and revolution. He took us into his garden on a bright summer afternoon and
questioned us closely on how much time he had on air. He ascertained
that he had a quarter of an hour. He then vanished upstairs and
re-emerged staggering under a huge pile of books. The tape recorder was switched on and he spoke, uninterrupted except
by an infernal bee, referring to and quoting freely from his books for
an hour. He spoke about Shakespeare, Andrew Marvell and above all John
Milton, and their relationship to the English Revolution. He spoke with such power and persuasive passion that we wondered, as
we made our dazed way home, whether we should devote our whole 50
minutes to him alone...Christopher Hill’s great genius as a historian is not just that he can
think himself back 300 years, and translate what often seem quaint and
absurd religious discussions into the politics of the time... Paul Foot, How history comes alive, Socialist Worker, 9 September 1993
- Paul Foot is being remembered at a special memorial meeting at this year's Marxism festival from 10-14 July in central London - for details of the Foot meeting see here
International History Conference for Postgraduates and Early Career Historians Department of History, University of Essex
12-13 September 2014
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. Within the last year, the concept of social class has been resurrected and reimagined by the authors of the ‘Great British Class Survey’. Likewise, the media furore surrounding the release of Channel 4’s ‘Benefits Street’ speaks of our continuing obsession with class in modern Britain. Within the field of history, many authors have lately reasserted the usefulness of class as a tool of historical analysis. This two-day conference therefore wishes to provide an opportunity to critically evaluate this key concept and consider how a sense of class enables a better understanding of past societies and how they change.
Keynote addresses will be given by Jon Lawrence (Cambridge) and Andy Wood (Durham). The conference organizers also wish to welcome postgraduates and early career historians to submit proposals for papers (of about 20-30 minute’s length) by the 1 July 2014. Abstracts (c. 300 words) should include the author’s name, affiliations, email address, and length of paper and should be sent to either Joseph Cozens or Emily Mason (respectively jtcoze and emason @ essex.ac.uk). Those wishing to attend the conference should also register their interest via email.
Possible themes for papers may include but are not limited to:
1932. A group of young communists throw a decadent party to celebrate the
coming New Year. But as the country succumbs to the seduction of Nazism the
friends are forced to choose between integrity and survival.
Shocking and provocative, the play caused a
sensation when it was first performed. From Pulitzer-prize winning playwright
Tony Kushner, A Bright Room Called Day examines the darkest reaches of
the human heart.
audacious, intoxicatingly visionary." - Chicago Tribune
Post-show talk on Tuesday 29th
Christopher Dillon of Kings College London will be giving a post-show on the historical
context of the play. His talk is entitled
‘Perched on the Brink: the Rise and Demise of the Communist part in Weimar
Germany.’ The talk will be free to all ticket-holders.