Thursday, 25 June 2015

SHS meeting - Diggers, Ranters and Fifth Monarchy Men

Socialist History Society Public Meeting
Date: Saturday 18th July 2.00pm
Diggers, Ranters and Fifth Monarchy Men: An Overview of the Revolutionary and Radical Sects in the 1640-60 Era
Speaker: Professor Bernard Capp, University of Warwick
The speaker is author of numerous works on 17th century social, political and cultural history including The Fifth Monarchy Men (1972); Astrology and the Popular Press: English Almanacs 1500-1800 (1979), Cromwell's Navy: The Fleet and the English Revolution (1989) and When Gossips Meet: Women, the Family and Neighbourhood in Early Modern England (2003 )
Professor Capp is a fellow of the British Academy.
Venue: Marx Memorial Library, Clerkenwell Green
Attendance is free of charge.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

John Lilburne and the Struggle for Democracy

John Lilburne and the Struggle for Democracy

Wednesday 24 June. 7pm

Talk by John Rees (Levellers Association) on the development of ideas for democracy to commemorate the 400th anniversary of ‘Free borne’ John Lilburne, a leader of the Levellers in the English Civil War and Revolution.

Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Rd, Croydon, CR0 1BD, not far from Fairfield Halls.

This talk is free but £2 donation requested towards costs.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Book Launch: A History of Riots

Picture of A History of Riots

A launch event for A History of Riots is planned for Monday 15th June Room 102 at the Institute of Historical Research at 5.30pm. Details of the book here

A History of Riots is the result of a conference held by the London Socialist Historians Group in early 2012, designed to look again at the historical aspects of riots in the wake of the August 2011 riots in the UK.

Many historians had thought that riots were a method of protest and revolt which had given way to more organised forms of expression, from trade unions to political parties, during the course of the nineteenth century. Events have proven this idea to be incorrect. Riots still take place around the world on a regular basis.

The contributors to A History of Riots probe various aspects of riots in order to examine the historical issues and concerns that motivate them and dictate their course and to better understand why they take place in the current day.

Sean Creighton looks at the Trafalgar Square riots in London in 1887, referred to as ‘Bloody Sunday’. Ian Birchall analyses how riots have been represented in fiction, while Neil Davidson reviews riotous activity around the Scottish Act of Union in 1707. Keith Flett looks at what is sometimes held to be the peak of British riot history, the Chartist period of the 1840s, while John Newsinger offers a different perspective: not a riot inspired by the crowd or the ‘mob’, as media commentators persist in naming protesters, but one driven by authority, a police riot in the US in the 1930s.

There are editorial introductions and conclusions that place these specific historical studies of aspects of the history of riots in a wider methodological and theoretical framework, looking at the work of some of the foremost historians of riots, including George Rude, and more recent material by Adrian Randall, Andrew Charlesworth and others.

The perspective of the book is clear. Riots are something which is an important part of history, but they also remain part of the present too. In this sense, understanding their history is an important task for historians and all those interested in how, and in what forms, protest develops.

This book represents a contribution to, and promotes, a discussion of both the history of riots and how an examination of this can help provide a better understanding of riots today.

The Idea of Revolution in the 21st Century

Neil Davidson and Colin Barker are speaking on "The Idea of Revolution in the 21st Century" @ the Vernon Square SOAS campus at 7.30 on Wednesday 17th June - 

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

CfP: Radical Histories / Histories of Radicalism

1-3 July 2016
Queen Mary University of London
This international event commemorates twenty years since the death of the leftwing social historian Raphael Samuel and forty years since the founding ofHistory 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 hosted by Queen Mary University of London and 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. Other venues and partners for the event include Bishopsgate Institute, the London Metropolitan Archives and Tower Hamlets Local Studies Library.
The event will open on the evening of Friday 1st July with a plenary session ‘Radical history then and now’ involving radical historians, historians of radical movements and movement activists, past and present. It will close with a panel discussion on ‘Raphael Samuel and his Legacies’. In between these plenary sessions, there will be papers, film screenings, workshops, meetings and performances, all exploring a wide range of themes and ideas in radical history. We have grouped these themes as follows:
A. Radical movements:
History of radical movements and organisations; parties; left-wing activism; working-class radicalisms; national liberation struggles; popular mobilisations, past and present.
B. Diversity, difference and beyond:
Histories of feminism, gender and sexuality; histories and activism of race and ethnicity; disability politics.
C. Local and global histories:
Radical London; migration/movement of peoples; empire/post-colonial histories; globalisation; internationalism in a global age.
D. Culture, art and environment:
Heritage and public history; radical arts; environmental activism; housing politics.
E. History, policy, and the idea of politics:
Europe; government; elites; the move to the right; austerity; neo-liberalism; the politics of the academy
How to contribute:
Contributions that reflect on any of these themes in relation to any period of history are invited from academic and non-academic historians, and from those working or practising in the arts, education, heritage and culture, as well as activists campaigning in any of these areas.
The themes are indicative only, and we will consider proposals that fall outside them so long as these relate to the overall conference theme. We welcome offers of traditional academic papers but would particularly like to encourage proposals for other session formats likely to engage a varied audience, for example panel discussions, interactive hands-on workshops (for example, around primary source materials), photo-essays, exhibitions and performances. Contributions that focus on any period of history are welcome, as are contributions that offer reflections on methodologies (whether of the historian or the activist).
Please send a 250 - 500 word proposal, including a description of the format and content of the proposed paper, session, workshop, meeting, screenings, or performance. Include an abstract if appropriate, and the names of any other speakers or participants. AT THE TOP OF YOUR PROPOSAL PLEASE INDICATE THE CONFERENCE STRAND (A –E above) TO WHICH YOU THINK YOUR PROPOSAL RELATES MOST CLOSELY.
Please submit your proposal to Katy Pettit, Raphael Samuel History Centre administrator ( by Monday September 14th. Proposers will be notified by November 30th.
About the Raphael Samuel History Centre (RSHC)
Originally founded by the historian Raphael Samuel at the University of East London in 1996 as the Centre for East London History, and renamed after him in 2008, the Raphael Samuel History Centre has since expanded into a partnership between UEL, Birkbeck College University of London, Queen Mary University of London and Bishopsgate Institute in the City of London.
An extensive range of events, projects and research activities operates under our umbrella as we seek to stimulate debate about the continuing force of the past in the present. Our dynamic and engaged approach to history goes beyond the limits of the academy to include people of all ages and backgrounds.
The Centre is recognised nationally and internationally as the hub for intelligent debate that links history to present-day concerns and crosses boundaries between academic and public/popular history. We aim to put history in conversation both with other disciplines, and with contemporary activism and politics. In the spirit of Raphael Samuel and more broadly of the History Workshop movement, we are committed to a democratic, non-elitist and inclusive approach to history. We aim to support, nurture and encourage both new-career academic historians and those working in history outside academia. We provide a forum for debate about the place of history in public life, in schools, heritage organizations and the media.  We enter into partnership with other organizations – large and small – in order to stimulate interest in and discussion of history.