Saturday, 15 September 2018

The Christopher Hill Memorial Lecture

The inuagural Christopher Hill Memorial Lecture - Saturday 3 November, National Civil War Centre, Newark Museum - facebook details here:

Sunday, 2 September 2018

LSHG seminars - Autumn 2018

Below is the provisional seminar list for the autumn term 2018. All seminars take place on Mondays at 5.30pm at the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet St, London WC1. Room 304, third floor (lift available!)

London Socialist Historians seminars: Autumn 2018

Provisional titles

8th Oct Rupa Huq MP: A recent history of imperial assumptions in the school curriculum

22nd Oct Marika Sherwood the beginning of the Cold War in Ghana (Gold Coast) in 1948

5th Nov John Newsinger The Other Spirit of '45: War, Empire and the Attlee Governments

19th Nov Daryl Leeworthy Labour Country: Social Democracy's Roots and Possibilities.

3 Dec Keith Flett. 50 years since the Pelican paperback of The Making of the English Working Class. Still relevant?

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Solidarity with London socialist bookshop Bookmarks after Nazi attack

Image result for bookmarks bookshop

Socialist bookshop calls for solidarity following Nazi attack

Bookmarks bookshop in Bloomsbury, central London, has called on
supporters to attend a solidarity event following an attack by far
right thugs.

Twelve men invaded the shop last Saturday, destroying displays,
wrecking books and chanting Alt-right slogans. One was wearing a
Donald Trump mask.

Since the attack Bookmarks the socialist bookshop has received
messages of support from leading figures in the trade union and labour
movements and thousands of activists from around the world.
Those tweeting their support include singer and activist Billy Bragg,
Rupa Huq MP, historian Louise Raw and Guardian columnist Owen Jones.
David Lammy MP tweeted: “The normalisation of far right politics is
already leading to chaos and vandalism on our streets. Fascist thugs
attacking book shops is the logical conclusion to a political movement
which rejects facts and experts. We need to be vigilant.

Bookmarks is holding a solidarity event in the shop on Saturday 11
August from 2pm. Throughout the afternoon there will author readings
as well as speakers from the trade union and labour movement.

Dave Gilchrist, manager of Bookmarks, said: “This horrific attack on a
radical bookshop should send shivers down the spine of anyone who
knows their history. The Nazis targeted books because they knew how
important radical ideas are for challenging racism and fascism. The
same is true today, and that is why we have to show that we won’t be

Bookmarks is also calling on supporters to donate funds to help
bolster security in the shop and to replace lost stock. Donations can
be transferred to: Sort Code: 30 93 29 A/c: 00089719

Bookmarks solidarity event

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

David Rovics's Musical History Tour

David Rovics's Musical History Tour poster above, for more on his upcoming gigs here.

Deborah Lavin on Annie Besant and Birth Control

Annie Besant and the Liberal, Radical, Socialist and Feminist Opposition to Birth Control in the 19th Century

Wednesday 28th November @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pmConway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, WC1R 4RL
A talk by Deborah Lavin
This talk by Deborah Lavin is fifth in the series Writing Wrongs, curated by Deborah Lavin,
The story of birth control is usually told as one of almost linear progress against blinkered bigotry. Opposition to contraception may have been blinkered and bigoted, but it was also often liberal, radical, socialist and feminist. Some very surprising figures, including Charles Darwin, Millicent Fawcett and Karl Marx, opposed the early birth controllers. With a brief look at the debates for and against birth control among early 19th century radicals and Utopians and the hounding of John Stuart Mill and Lord Amberley for their support of birth control, the talk goes on to consider the working of the 1857 Obscenity Act in relation to contraception. It will also look at Annie Besant and Charles Bradlaugh’s challenge to the law by republishing the birth control pamphlet Fruits of Philosophy and making themselves a test case; the ambiguous outcome of the trial and the foundation of the Malthusian Society, which supported birth control as the only cure for poverty; and the strong opposition of many Liberals, radicals, socialists and feminists to contraception. It’s a tale which reveals some very unexpected bedfellows and has relevance to today’s sexual debate.
Deborah Lavin is an independent historian, interested in the interface of radicalism, socialism and feminism in the 19th century. She has curated several talks series for Conway Hall and often gives talks herself. Upcoming in January at the Camden Local History, she will give a talk on on the radical Edward Truelove, who unluckier than his friends, Annie Besant and Charles Bradlaugh, ended up in prison for selling and publishing birth control pamphlets. Deborah’s short book Charles Bradlaugh contra Karl Marx, Radicalism vs Socialism in the First International was published by the Socialist History Society and she is currently finishing an enormous tome on a later 19th century figure most contemporaries thought ”best buried in oblivion”, Dr Edward Aveling.

Siobhán Hearne on Prostitution in Tsarist and Soviet Russia

From “Yellow Ticket” to “Bourgeois Evil”: Prostitution in Tsarist and Soviet Russia 1900-1930

Wednesday 3rd October 2018 19:00 
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL
This talk by Dr Siobhán Hearne is fifth in the series Prostitution, Pimping and Trafficking, curated by Deborah Lavin.
Book your ticket for From “Yellow Ticket” to “Bourgeois Evil”, here…
Prostitution flourished in Russia amidst the social, political and economic turbulence of the early twentieth century. Thousands of women sold sex in the Russian Empire’s rapidly expanding towns and cities in the early 1900s. Many registered their details with the police and attended regular gynaecological examinations in line with the Tsarist system for the regulation of prostitution, which remained in place from 1843 until the collapse of the autocracy in 1917. After their seizure of power in October 1917, the Bolsheviks made it their mission to eradicate prostitution. Early Soviet politicians categorised prostitution as a product of the undervaluation of female labour and the sexual double standard of the old capitalist regime. They claimed that socialism would bring about women’s equality and subsequently spell an end to commercial sex. However, the stigmatisation of women who sold sex continued across the revolutionary divide, which served to justify the repression of prostitutes as antisocial elements in the late 1920s. This talk examines the place of prostitution in Russian society both before and after the revolutions of 1917. In tracing continuity and change in the pre- and post-revolutionary periods, it will map state approaches to prostitution onto the turbulent landscape of revolutionary Russia.
Dr Siobhán Hearne is a historian currently based at the University of Latvia in Riga. She received her PhD in History from the University of Nottingham in 2017 for a thesis about the state regulation of prostitution in the late Russian Empire, which involved archival research in Russia, Ukraine, Latvia and Estonia. She is currently drafting her thesis as a monograph entitled Policing Prostitution: The Regulation of Lower-Class People in Late Imperial Russia. She has published several articles on gender and sexuality in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. She tweets from @siobhanhearne

Socialist History Society events

“The Labour Party in Historical Perspective”

Launch of a Socialist History Society Occasional Publication
Speakers: Graham Taylor, David Morgan and Duncan Bowie
Housmans Bookshop, King’s Cross
On Tuesday 7th August, 6.30pm
Entry fee £3 redeemable against purchase.

2pm September 22nd 2018
The Political Victims of the Nazis
with Merilyn Moos

2pm November 17th 2018
Reflections on the Legacy of 1968
with Mike Makin­Waite and David Parker

37a Clerkenwell Green EC1R 0DU
nearest tube Farringdon