Wednesday, 9 January 2013

CfP: Unofficial Histories

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Saturday 15th June & Sunday 16th June 2013- Manchester, UK
- Call for Participation -
The Unofficial Histories conference seeks to bring together those who wish to consider the value and purpose of historical engagements and understandings that take place within, on the edges of, or outside “official” sites and channels for the communication of historical ideas.
After a successful first conference at Bishopsgate Institute, London, in May 2012, Unofficial Histories moves north to Manchester, and this time we’re making a weekend of it:
  • Saturday 15th June 2013 will be a day of papers, presentations and debate at Manchester Metropolitan University, Oxford Road, Manchester.
  • Sunday 16th June 2013 will be a relaxed day of informal activities (details TBC).
We now invite presentation proposals for the meeting on Saturday 15th June 2013 to be held at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Taking its cue from the assumption that history is, as Raphael Samuel put it, “a social form of knowledge; the work, in any given instance of a thousand different hands”, the conference aims to open up to examination the ways in which historians, curators, writers, journalists, artists, film makers, activists and others, seek to represent the past in the public realm, spheres of popular culture and everyday life.
What kinds of subjects, ideas and themes are presented? What styles and mediums are used to construct history? How is this history produced, transmitted and consumed? Who is producing history, and who is consuming it and why?
We hope to sharpen the awareness of the different sites and forms of historical production and consider how they impact public perceptions and consciousness of history. We are also concerned to understand the interactions between competing and corresponding impulses in history-making: the scholarly and the political; the academic and the everyday; the imperatives of funding, sustainability, ethics and access.
Finally, we would like to consider whether or not such “unofficial histories” have political effects that might serve democratic and emancipatory goals, and/or can be seen as sources of dissent and resistance against conventional, privileged models of historical knowledge.
Presentations of 20 minutes (different approaches to communication are encouraged) are welcomed on any aspect of the above, which may include:
  • People’s History & the History of Everyday Life
  • TV, Radio and Internet
  • Literature, Poetry, Music and Folksong
  • Museums, Heritage and Archives
  • Feminist , Women’s and Gender History
  • Historical Re-enactment and Living History
  • Memory, Myth and Folklore
  • Class, Culture and Ethnicities
  • Art, Drama and Theatre
  • Family History and Genealogy
  • Oral History, Testimony, and Biography
  • Local, Regional and Community History
  • The Role of the Historian
  • Teaching, Education and Curriculums
  • Uses and Abuses of History
Please submit abstracts of 250-300 words by Wednesday 20th February 2013 to Fiona Cosson, email . For more information, please see

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