Saturday, 22 November 2014

LSHG Roundtable on the Scottish Referendum

London Socialist Historians Group
Roundtable discussion on the historical implications of the Scottish Referendum result
Saturday 29th November Midday to 4pm
Wolfson room Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet St, London WC1

Neil Davidson (University of Glasgow) will lead off the discussion with:  'The Independence Referendum in the Longue Durée of Scottish History'

The discussion will start from around 1.30pm. From midday we will be showing a new film, Still Ragged, made to mark the 100th anniversary of the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

All welcome, admission free

Friday, 21 November 2014

Reminder of upcoming LSHG seminars

Upcoming Autumn term LSHG seminars

Mon Nov 24, 5.30pm, Olga Crisp Room (104), Institute of Historical Research, London
Merilyn Moos 
'Siegfried Moos: a lost revolutionary? The story of a German Communist who fled to Britain in 1934.'

Sat Nov 29th , 12 noon, Large Wolfson Room (basement), Institute of Historical Research, London

Neil Davidson & others.  'The Scottish vote and history'

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The John Lilburne 400 anniversary conference

The John Lilburne 400th Anniversary Conference

The John Lilburne 400th Anniversary Conference

14 March 2015, 11m-9pm, Bishopsgate Institute, London

Born 400 years ago, John Lilburne’s courage and passion for justice was unfailing during the turbulent years of the English Revolution. Whipped, pilloried and often imprisoned in his lifetime, John Lilburne was a Leveller activist and pamphleteer who campaigned for radical change. He fought to establish many of the liberties and political freedoms that we take for granted today. He was a champion of popular sovereignty, trial by jury and the rights of the ordinary citizen.

Don’t miss this one-day celebration of the life and legacy of ‘Freeborn John’.

Speakers include Martine Brant and Peter Flannery (writers of The Devil’s Whore series on Channel 4), Ted Vallance (author of A Radical History of Britain), Dr Ariel Hessayon (Goldsmiths, University of London), Katherine Clements (author of The Crimson Ribbon), Jason Peacey (author of Print and Public Politics in the English Revolution), Dr Rachel Foxley (University of Reading and author of The Levellers: Radical Political Thought in the English Revolution), Jeremy Corbyn MP and Rev. Hammer (singer/songwriter and creator of the Freeborn John song cycle).

In partnership with The Levellers’ Association.

Financially supported by the Amiel and Melburn Trust and the Goldsmiths Annual Fund.

Edited to update:

New speakers include Michael Braddick (author of God's Fury, England's Fire) and  Elliot Vernon (co-editor of The Agreements of the People, the Levellers and the Constitutional Crisis of the English Revolution). 

Also the event has a twitter account: 

Gramsci conference

Philosophy, Politics, and History in the thought of Gramsci 
International Conference
18-19 June 2015

Speakers: Fabio Frosini (Università di Urbino, Italy), Alex Loftus (King’s College London), Peter Thomas (Brunel University); including contributions from: Anne Showstack-Sassoon (Birkbeck), Cosimo Zene (SOAS). 

The legacy of the Italian theorist Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) has been widely acknowledged as one of the most significant intellectual contributions of the twentieth century. Even as the historical events of his life have faded from living memory, Gramsci’s thought has increased in influence and become diffused amongst a multitude of disciplines in the academic firmament; from philosophy to history and geography, through cultural theory and subaltern studies, to international relations, linguistics, critical legal studies and beyond. In light of the widespread and heterogeneous deployments of his ideas, it seems apt and necessary to return to the texts themselves: Gramsci’s pre-prison and his prison writings, both the Prison Notebooks and the Letters from Prison
The aim of this conference is to bring together a new generation of scholars working on Gramscian themes in order to engage closely with his writings. Working in collaboration with experienced Gramsci scholars, this conference is the first initiative of a group of early-career researchers and graduate students. Through a combination of panels and workshops, the conference will provide participants with the opportunity to present their work and to receive constructive feedback in a friendly and stimulating environment.
The two-day international conference also aims to contribute to the process of building links between Anglophone and international, in particular Italian, Gramsci scholarship. The organizers hope to create a network through which to share research and encourage interactions between researchers from different countries working on Gramscian thought and related topics. It is proposed that an edited collection of essays will be published as a product of the conference and further engagements.

Gramsci’s perspective is marked by a profound sense of the manifold connections between the explanation of the past and the analysis of the present. Our intention is collectively to investigate the rich potentialities of the theme ‘Past and Present’ in his thought. Participants are invited to explore the conceptual laboratory of Gramsci’s historical-political narration, as well as his endeavour to theorize the unity of theory and practice. This nexus between ‘explication’ of the past and strategic ‘analysis’ of the present is characteristic of the originality of Gramsci’s approach to the ‘question of theory’. More broadly, the conference aspires to study the way in which Gramsci’s historical perspective intermingles with his engaged concern for the future of a ‘big and terrible’ world, in the sense that might today be called ‘global history’.
Gramsci’s ability to dialectically unite seemingly opposed elements (i.e. civil society and the state, structure and superstructure, the spatial elements of historicism, or vice versa the multiple temporalities going across the political space) illuminates the capacity of his thought to stimulate critical renewals in various domains of thought. Further investigation of this critical project reveals the aspect of ‘reciprocal translatability’ that Gramsci identifies between different facets of the knowledge of reality as ‘philosophy’, ‘politics’ and ‘economics’. The conference aims to explore the ongoing elaboration of this ‘homogeneous circle’ (Notebook 4, § 46), that is, the constitution of Gramsci’s conception of the world and its relation to history, understood as a unitary and dynamic process.
Consequently, we encourage paper proposals that analyze Gramsci’s thought (either the prison or his pre-prison writings) from political, philosophical, economic, and historical points of view, whilst evoking the connections between these different dimensions. Inter-disciplinary papers that focus on the reappraisal of Gramscian concepts in the contemporary world (within cultural theory, post-colonial studies, International Relations, geography, history of science, etc.) are also welcome. 
Suggested topics include, but are not limited to: the Marxian legacy and the philosophy of praxis; Gramsci and global history: the ‘integral historian’; the Gramscian analysis of modernity: crisis, hegemony and passive revolution; the Party and the role of the traditional and organic intellectuals; Gramsci and pragmatism: language, truth, ideology; Anti-economism and Gramsci’s critical economy; Gramscian cultural writings; Centre and periphery; From ‘subaltern social groups’ to global subalternity. 

Abstracts of no more than 400 words should be sent by Friday 23 January 2015 to:

Supported by: 
- Department of Geography, King’s College London
- International Gramsci Society
- International Gramsci Society - Italia
- Ghilarza Summer School - Scuola internazionale di studi gramsciani
- Further support tbc
Organizing committee: 
Francesca Antonini (Università di Pavia, Italy)
Aaron Bernstein (King’s College London)
Lorenzo Fusaro (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM), Mexico)
Robert Jackson (Manchester Metropolitan University)
Published in

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Final Stop the First World War talk

The very final talk in the series Stop the First World War:
7pm, Tuesday 11th November.
Ian Birchall on "From Slaughter to Mutiny" 
Prof Christopher Read on "WWI and the Russian Revolution to 1923"
  Venue: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL. Time: 7.00 p.m.
 further info.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

CfP: What is radical history?

Call for Papers
'What is Radical History?':
A One-Day Post-Graduate Led Interdisciplinary Conference
Tuesday, March 24th 2015. Birkbeck, University of London

'Historical writing always has some effect on us. It may reinforce passivity; it may activate us. In any case, the historian cannot choose to be neutral; [s]he writes on a moving train.' 
Howard Zinn

We invite post-graduates to submit abstracts for a one-day conference exploring the relationship between rigorous historical research and active political engagement. In 1970 Howard Zinn asked a question still important for politically-engaged academics today: 'what is radical history?' This conference will provide a space to re-engage with this debate, both to ask what we can learn from radical historical practice of the past but also to question what has changed in the intervening decades, and what a radical history might look like now.

We invite contributions from post-graduates from any disciplinary background who have a strong historical component to their research. We have identified three themes on which we especially invite reflections:
1. What identifies 'radical history' as 'radical'? Does its radicalism lie in its subject of study or in the
approach of the researcher?
2. How does 'radical history' negotiate the relationship between 'objectivity' and politics?
3. What use is 'radical history'? Does it have a role to play in emancipatory politics?
We welcome theoretical responses to the question 'what is radical history?' as well as contributions rooted in empirical research. We invite submissions of 10-20 minutes in length: these could be collaborative or individual in nature, and encompass interviews, short films, and papers, as well as other appropriate methods. We aim to generate a multidisciplinary analysis of the nature of 'radical history' today and of the challenges that politically active researchers across various departments currently face within academia and wider society.
The conference will end with a round-table between activist-academics including Dr. Becky Taylor (Birkbeck, History, Classics and Archaeology) and Dr. Robbie Shilliam (QMUL, International Relations), and an audience-participatory discussion. The event will be free to attend.
Prospective speakers are invited to submit abstracts of 250-300 words. Separately, please also include your name, affiliation and contact details, as well as full-details of the presentation method and any audio-visual or mobility requirements. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 22nd December 2014. For more
information about the conference, or to submit an abstract, please email the organising committee: Luca Lapolla (Birkbeck), Diarmaid Kelliher (Glasgow) and Julie Russell (Exeter) at:
Please also see our website for more information:
We are very grateful to the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck, University of London for funding this conference.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

CFP: Manchester Social Movements conference

From 1995 to 2014, Manchester Metropolitan University hosted a series of very successful annual international conferences on 'ALTERNATIVE FUTURES and POPULAR PROTEST'.
We're very happy to announce that the Twentieth AF&PP Conference will be held, between Monday 30th March and Wednesday 1st April 2015. (Will we make it to Twenty One? Place your bets….)
Problems in getting information out of the university bureaucracy mean that we can’t yet definitely state what it will cost to attend. It should be very much as in previous years. But we wanted to get this information out now, with a promise of more to follow.
The Conference rubric will remain as in previous years. The aim is to explore the dynamics of popular movements, along with the ideas which animate their activists and supporters and which contribute to shaping their fate.
Reflecting the inherent cross-disciplinary nature of the issues, previous participants (from over 60 countries) have come from such specialisms as sociology, politics, cultural studies, social psychology, economics,  history and geography.  The Manchester conferences have been notable for discovering a fruitful and friendly meeting ground between activism and academia.
We invite offers of papers relevant to the conference themes.  Papers should address such matters as: 
* contemporary and historical social movements and popular protest 
* social movement theory
* utopias and experiments
* ideologies of collective action 
* etc.
To offer a paper, please contact either of the conference convenors with a brief abstract:  
EITHER Colin Barker,  
OR Mike Tyldesley, Dept. of Politics and Philosophy  
Manchester Metropolitan University  
Geoffrey Manton Building, Rosamond Street West  
Manchester M15 6LL, England  
Tel: M. Tyldesley  0161 247 3460   
Fax: 0161 247 6769 (+44 161 247 6769)  
(Wherever possible, please use email, especially as Colin Barker is a retired gent. Surface mail and faxes should only be addressed to Mike Tyldesley)  
We ask those giving papers to supply them in advance, for inclusion on a CD of the complete papers which will be available from the conference opening.
Preferred method: send the paper to Colin Barker as an email attachment in MS Word. Any separate illustrations etc. should be sent separately, in .jpg format.
* if this is impossible, post a copy of the text to Mike Tyldesley on a CD disk in MS Word format
* Final date for receipt of abstracts: Monday 9th March 2015
* Final date for receipt of actual papers: Monday 16th March 2015