Thursday, 30 March 2017

The Annual Luddite Lecture / The Labours of Asa

The Annual Luddite Memorial Lecture 2017

 Dr Katrina Navickas
Places and spaces of protest in the early 19th century West Riding
Wednesday 5 April, 7:30pm, Diamond Jubilee Lecture Theatre, University of Huddersfield
Huddersfield Local History Society and the University of Huddersfield History present the fourth in a series of annual lectures focusing on aspects of the history of radicalism in the Huddersfield district.
The 2017 Luddite Memorial Lecture will be given by Dr Katrina Navickas, Reader in History at the University of Hertfordshire. Not only has Dr Navickas written about many different aspects of popular protest and social movements – she provided the keynote lecture for Huddersfield’s bi-centenary Luddite Commemoration in 2012 - but she has also been investigating how digital mapping can reflect and further her research. Dr Navickas grew up in Rochdale and her most recent book, Protest and the Politics of Space and Place, 1789-1948, just out in paperback, focuses on events in West Yorkshire and Lancashire. In her Huddersfield lecture Dr Navickas will be exploring the protest spaces of the West Riding and will show how the county’s distinct topography and spaces within its towns shaped the democratic movements of the early nineteenth century. The lecture will be introduced by historian Professor Tim Thornton, the University’s deputy Vice-Chancellor, who welcomes the way in which this annual lecture series is continuing to develop. He says: ‘Katrina Navickas promises to add a further new dimension to the already rich record of talks that have taken place under the banner of the Annual Luddite Memorial Lecture. Her focus on protest in spaces and places will be of interest to specialists and to a more general audience concerned with the region’s heritage, and is testimony to the continuing and highly productive relationship between Huddersfield Local History Society and the University’. If you want to find out more about place and protest in the West Riding in the early 19th century, then do come along to Dr Navickas’ lecture at the University of Huddersfield on 5 April.


 ******** THE LABOURS OF ASA: The contributions of Asa Briggs to Labour History

Lecture Theatre G.02, Maurice Keyworth Building, Leeds University Business School, Saturday 6 May 2017

 9.30 Arrival
10.00 Greeting by Keith Laybourn and Quentin Outram
 10.05 Malcolm Chase: ‘ Samuel Smiles (and Asa Briggs) and working-class Leeds’
 10.50 John Belchem: ‘Beyond the Age of Improvement’
11.40 Joan Allen: ‘The progressive tradition & print culture at the fin de siècle: The Monthly Chronicle of North Country Lore & Legend 1887-1891’
12.30-1.45 Lunch and EC of SSLH Executive Meeting
 1.30 Poster presentations of five minutes each from PhD students Ethan Hoskings ‘Partnership, Paternalism and Peace’ Hazel Perry – ‘Trades Councils’ John Kimberley – ‘Industrial Relations in Birmingham in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries’
 1.50 Eileen Yeo: ‘Rival Town Halls in Glasgow: Revisioning Asa Briggs’ work on ‘the urban public sphere’
2.30 Peter Ackers and Alistair Reid: ‘The Pluralist Traditionand civic society’
 3.20 Hugh Gault: ‘The BBC, Seebolm Rowntree and social reform’
4.00 Stephen Yeo: ‘Remembering Asa Briggs’
4.45 Finish

The Asa Briggs conference will be held at G.02 Lecture Theatre in the Maurice Keyworth Building, Leeds University Business School, The University of Leeds, Moorland Road, Leeds, UK This FREE conference is open to all.
To reserve a place or find out more please send an email to Dr Quentin Outram

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Saturday, 25 March 2017

Levellers Day 2017 and Levellers Night seminar

Friday 19 May 2017 : On the evening before Levellers Day, John Rees author of 'The Levellers Revolution' will be speaking as part of the Levellers seminar at the CWU training centre at Alvescot Lodge for the Levellers Night seminar talking about ‘Scottish Covenanters, English Levellers, and “Popular” Revolutions in mid-17thC Britain’ with Laura Stewart, author of ‘Rethinking the Scottish Revolution’.  Levellers’ Day 2017 will take place in Burford on Saturday 20 May 2017 - see here for more details

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

CfP: Mobilising Militant Pasts

The extent of retrospection in culture and politics is a topic oft-commented upon and lamented. Public engagements with history and heritage are frequently lumpenly categorised as ‘nostalgia’: sanitised, selective, reassuring. Yet this obscures the sheer diversity of militant pasts in the present, and of the contexts and processes that facilitate their re-manifestation. Che Guevara’s face adorns posters and t-shirts worldwide, while Garibaldi gets dunked in tea. Historic campaigns for racial and gender equality have been regularly dramatized, including in the recent films Selma (2014) and Suffragette (2015). Internecine violence is frequently documented, and its martyrs commemorated, in the fabric of the physical environments where it occurred, as the murals of Belfast and Derry testify. Such remembering and half-remembering of histories of divided societies, of protest, unrest and insurrection, is far from inherently safe, nor easily categorised.

This conference seeks to thrust treatments and legacies of the militant past into the academic spotlight. We seek papers on retrospective representations of themes including (but not limited to):
·         Industrial action
·         Campaigns for women’s rights
·         Campaigns for gay rights
·         Campaigns for religious tolerance and freedom
·         Campaigns for racial and ethnic equality
·         Intercommunal violence
·         Protests, riots and revolutions

There exists a vast array of models available for unpicking our individual and social relationships with the past: Freud’s conception of repeating, remembering and working through; Baudrillard’s of collecting and of retro; de Certeau’s of memory and place; Hobsbawm’s of invented tradition; Boym’s of restorative and reflective strains of nostalgia. Following on from these examples, we seek papers that address the role of format-specific and contextual dynamics and accompanying motivations in shaping the way militant pasts are represented and used. When and where are different modes of representation and appropriation – such as the reproduction of imagery and motifs, re-narration, preservation of heritage, adaptation, re-enactment, anniversaries, remembrance and commemoration – employed? How are these shaped by the contexts in which they appear, whether in popular cultural forms, high politics, heritage sectors, social movements, educational institutions, biographies and autobiographies, or the internet? What purposes do they serve: nostalgia; entertainment; commodification; education; calls to action; warning or pacifying gestures? How have these narratives, images and artefacts diffuse across time and space, and across formats and forums? How have their meanings contested, and by whom?

We welcome proposals for twenty-minute presentations from all disciplines and concerned with any time-period, including those with a contemporary focus. Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words, along with a short CV, to conference organisers Ruth Adams, Dion Georgiou and Andrew Smith at by 31 May 2017.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Commemorating the Leeds Convention of 1917

To mark the centenary of the historic Leeds Convention of 3 June 1917, where some 3,500 democrats and socialists pledged solidarity with the Russian Revolution and voted to set up Worker's and Soldiers' Councils in Britain, Leeds Trades Council and the Ford-Maguire Society with the generous support of the Lipman-Miliband Trust are holding a one day event at the Swarthmore Centre in Leeds on Saturday 3 June from 10-4pm. Speakers include Michael Meadowcroft on the Leeds Convention, John Newsinger on the Russian Revolution, Janet Douglas on Arthur Ransome, Leeds and the Russian Revolution, and Jill Liddington on 'Leeds Suffrage Stories: Isabella Ford, Mary Gawthorpe and Leonora Cohen'. There will also be an evening Love Music Hate Racism gig at the Fox and Newt with American folk singer David Rovics performing.

A new centenary edition of the original conference proceedings together with other material relating to the Convention has recently been published in time for the anniversary by Spokesman Books British Labour and the Russian Revolution - the Leeds Convention of 1917, edited by Janet Douglas and Christian Hogsbjerg with Ken Coates' original introduction.