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 militantpasts@gmail.com 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 event with American folk singer David Rovics performing - more details tbc.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Book Launch: 1956

Dear All
I’m inviting you to the launch meeting for the new book which John McIlroy and I have edited — 1956: John Saville, EP Thompson and The Reasoner.
It’s on Wednesday, 1 March 2017 at 19.00, at Housman’s Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX.
There is a £3 entry fee, which is redeemable against any purchase.
1956: John Saville, EP Thompson and The Reasoner contains the full text of all three issues of John Saville and EP Thompson’s magazine from 1956, The Reasoner, related Communist Party documents, and an introduction and critical essays by the editors.
Housman’s events website < http://www.housmans.com/events.php >.
Best wishes
Paul Flewers

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Oral History On The North East Labour History Website

The North East Labour History Society is pleased to announce that it has just published transcripts of the personal memories of sixty people from the North East. You can find these on our website at: http://nelh.net/oral-history/

These oral histories are from people who have spent their lives in the co-operative movement, the mines, other industries, the unions and political activity. We think these transcripts are a valuable permanent record of peoples' recollections of their lifetime experiences.

The material we have here draws on a range of activities undertaken by North East Labour History Society members and others. 

Do take a look and tell us what you think. If you have transcripts or notes from interviews with people who have been involved in the labour  movement in the North East we would be delighted to provide space for them on our site (contact@nelh.org). As well as the name of the interviewee and a photograph, it would be helpful to have their dates, where they lived and worked, the name of the interviewer and, if applicable, the project or organisation through which the interview was done. It is important to get permission from the person who has been interviewed to put their information on this site.

David Connolly

Secretary

Friday, 10 February 2017

Glad to be Gay: The struggle for legal equality

The LSE Library has a spring exhibition which runs from 9 January to 7 April: 'Glad to be Gay: the struggle for legal equality'. It draws on the unique Hall-Carpenter Archives and the Women’s Library collection to mark the 50th anniversary of a pivotal piece of legislation: the 1967 Sexual Offences Act. Before that, homosexuality was a criminal offence. With the passing of the Sexual Offences Act, homosexuality in private was decriminalised, but genuine parity still was not achieved. The struggle for legal equality continues and has only made progress by the sustained efforts of committed activists.  See photos from the exhibition here


Saturday, 28 January 2017

CfP - Manchester Social Movements conference

SOCIAL MOVEMENTS CONFERENCE  - CALL FOR PAPERS

Dates: Conference 10th-12 April Abstracts by Monday 2oth March Papers by Friday 31stMarch

From 1995 to 2016, 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 Twenty Second AF&PP Conference will be held between Monday 10th and Wednesday 12th April 2017.

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.

CALL FOR PAPERS

We invite offers of papers relevant to the conference themes.  Papers should address such matters as: 

* contemporary and historical social movements and popular protests

* 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,  
email: c.barker@mmu.ac.uk  
OR Mike Tyldesley, Politics Section, HPP,  
Manchester Metropolitan University  
Geoffrey Manton Building, Rosamond Street West  
Manchester M15 6LL, England  
Tel: M. Tyldesley  0161 247 3460   
email: m.tyldesley@mmu.ac.uk  
Fax: 0161 247 6769 (+44 161 247 6769)