01
Aug
16

Teaching Russian Revolutionary History in the Centenary and Beyond: Sources, Approaches, Events

Teaching Russian Revolutionary History in the Centenary and Beyond: Sources, Approaches, Events

 

Location: University of Leicester

Date and Time: September 6, 2016. 10:00-13:00.

We are delighted to announce the following workshop, to be held at the University of Leicester on the morning of September 6, 2016 (10:00-13:00). The initiative is funded by the East Midlands Centre for Teaching History and Learning (EMC – http://historycentre.org/) and is organised by Dr. Sarah Badcock (University of Nottingham) and Dr. Zoe Knox (University of Leicester). Looking forward to the centenary of 1917, it will explore ways of bringing the Russian Revolution to life in the classroom. The workshop will be accessible and open both to specialists working and teaching directly on the Revolution and to scholars teaching broader modules touching on the Revolution.

The workshop aims to disseminate and develop best practice in teaching aspects of the Russian Revolution across the East Midlands. It will:

  • bring together scholars researching and teaching revolutionary history to discuss latest research agendas and assess the state of the field;
  • produce a critical teaching guide and bibliographic survey for teaching the Russian Revolution;
  • share information on innovative teaching initiatives and public facing events relating to 1917.

The workshop will consist of short several presentations on research and teaching innovation in the field, followed by a structured discussion on teaching materials and methods. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Sarah Badcock (Nottingham)
  • Nick Baron (Nottingham)
  • Alexandre Christoyannopoulos(Loughborough)
  • Alistair Dickins (Manchester)
  • Zoe Knox (Leicester)
  • Paul Maddrell (Loughborough)

 

Limited funding is available to support the travel costs for attendees and lunch will be provided. Due to limited space, all potential workshop attendees are asked to register their interest to teaching1917@gmail.com by no later than midday on August 26, 2016.

17
Jul
16

SHS Meeting – LIBERTY’S APOSTLE

Liberty’s Apostle: the Life and Times of Richard Price 1723 – 91 
Dubbed by an eminent historian as ‘Britain’s first left-wing intellectual’ the Reverend Richard Price was a major figure in the Enlightenment. A supporter of the American and French Revolutions it was a Price sermon that provoked Edmund Burke into writing Reflections on the Revolution in France in answer to what he viewed as Price’s ‘wicked principles’. This talk will look broadly at Price’s life, the nature of his wide-ranging contribution to political ideas and explain his continuing relevance.
 
Speaker Dr Paul Frame, a Welsh historian of the Enlightenment period and author of the book, Liberty’s Apostle: the Life and Times of Richard Price, University of Wales Press, 2015.
2pm, 1 October
Marx Memorial Library
03
Jun
16

Walter Rodney Socialist Historian & Political Activist

Walter Rodney
Socialist Historian & Political Activist

Socialist History Society Public Meeting – 7:00 pm, Thursday 23rd June 2016
MARX MEMORIAL LIBRARY
37a Clerkenwell Green EC1R 0DU nearest tube Farringdon
Free to attend, but you need to register

Speakers: Cecil Gutzmore & Leland De Cambra
download a leaflet…

Walter Rodney, the prominent Guyanese historian, political activist and scholar, was assassinated in Guyana on 13th June 1980. At long last, the report of the Commission of Inquiry into his murder has been handed to the Parliament of Guyana. It is therefore a good time to revisit the legacy of the author of A History of the Guyanese Working People and How Europe Underdeveloped Africa.

Rodney was also founder of the Working People’s Alliance, a political movement in Guyana dedicated to social transformation and unity of the Indian and African workers. He made a great contribution to revolutionary thought by establishing new thinking on questions of fighting racism and racial domination, the humanisation of the planet and the self emancipation of working peoples. He was murdered for uniting this political theory with practical, militant activity.

50 years after Guyana’s independence, it is time to assess his relevance to Continental Africa and Guyana today

rodney
03
Feb
16

Conference: “Before ’68: the left, activism and social movements in the long 1960s”

Saturday February 13, 2016 and Sunday February 14, 2016

Hosted by the School of History, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, and organised in conjuction with Socialist History journal and the Institute of Working-Class History, Chicago.

Venue: 2.02, Norwich Medical School Building (MED), University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

Registration is now open. Speakers include: Toby Abse – The Origins of the Italian New Left • Irene Andersson and Roger Johansson – Experiences from the 60s – activism for Peace Education in the 80s • Ian Birchall – Peace Is Not Enough. Algeria and Vietnam and their impact on the French and British lefts • Geoff Brown – Before ’68 in Greater Manchester, a worm’s eye view • Pau Casanellas – The road to violence. Radicalization under Franco regime in the 1960s • Matthew Caygill – The Left and the Counterculture: ‘The Dialectics of Liberation’ Congress (1967) and the Moment of Libidinal Politics • Madeleine Davis – Activist intellectuals: the British New Left as a social movement • Jared Donnelly – Learning to Protest: Anti-War Protests in West Germany in the Late 1950s • Radha D’Souza – Two Registers, Two Trajectories: The Sixties and the Left in the First and Third Worlds • Axel Fair-Schulz – Robert Havemann: From Party Loyalist to East Germany’s Most Famous Marxist Dissident in the 1960s • Jack Fawbert – Blacklisted! A history of rank-and-file class struggle on construction sites • Wladek Flakin – German Trotskyism in the runup to 1968 • Sharif Gemie – Racism, Orientalism and Anti-Colonialism on the Hippy Trail, 1957-78 • Nicolas Helm-Grovas – Early Wollen: Cultural politics in New Left Review, 1963-1968 • Mark Hobbs – The Enemy on Stage: Battles for Trafalgar Square. Fascism and Anti-Fascism • Beáta Hock – Feminist intersectionality and equality claims-making in the global 60s • Christian Hogsbjerg – C.L.R. James and the British New Left in the long 1960s • Alan Hooper- The Long 1960s: challenges, consequences and (dis) continuities • Rozena Maart – Pavement Politics, Protests and the Mechanisms of the Mind: the emergence of the Black Consciousness Movement of Azania in South Africa • David Morgan – The 1960s: A Decade of Anarchy; A Decade of ‘Anarchy’? • João Arsénio Nunes – On the course to victory? The Portuguese Communist Party before the Carnation Revolution of 1974 • William A Pelz – The View from across the Great Pond: US Intelligence on the European Left, 1945-1968 • Pritam Singh – The Maoist/Naxalite movement in India • Bart van der Steen and Ron Blom – Trotskyist youth in the Netherlands, 1950s and 1960s • Giulia Strippoli – The PCI before ’68: operaismo, intellectuals and other troubles • Ernest Tate and Phil Hearse – Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s and 1960s • Tom Unterrainer – Ken Coates and ‘The Week’ • Derek Weber – The Austrian Left, pre 1968 • Benjamin Wynes – ‘Djilasism’ and ‘New Leftist’ Dissidence in Sixties Yugoslavia.

For further information or to register to attend, please contact f.king@uea.ac.uk. Attendance is free of charge but registration is necessary.

03
Feb
16

Call for Papers: British Communism and Commitment

Day-school, 9th June 2016. Manchester

‘I am not ready to join the party’, wrote the novelist Harold Heslop to leading CPGB party theoretician, Rajani Palme Dutt in 1936, recognising the forbidding level of activism expected.  The mandatory Communist hyper-commitment repelled potential recruits and actual members alike, especially in the early years.  But others who joined the party then and later found through Communist commitment a meaningful way of life and a framework for understanding the world.
Bringing together academics from a wide range of disciplines and former party activists, this day-school analyses the complexities of commitment in the British Communist Party over its seventy-year history (1920-1991).  Papers (20 minutes) might cover, but aren’t restricted to:
•    The motivations and trajectories of party ‘hardliners’ who dutifully observed party discipline and the party line, regardless of misgivings;
•    Communism as a way of life;
•    Expulsion and the fear of it;
•    Autobiographies written by former Communists;
•    Figures who struggled to reconcile vocational, professional or artistic commitments with their Communism;
•    ‘Loyal dissidents’ who remained fundamentally committed to the party while often challenging and seeking to enlarge its assumptions, procedures and priorities;
•    Those who challenged what they saw as dominant party perceptions that ‘race’, gender and sexuality were secondary to class as sites of oppression;
•    Activists who considered their ultimate commitment as being to Communist principles from which they believed the party to have deviated, and who challenged the party on those grounds;
•    Those who transferred their abiding Marxist commitments to different currents or organisations—Trotskyist, New Left, Maoist—and the complex relations with the CPGB that followed.
Part of the AHRC-funded project ‘Wars of Position: Communism and Civil Society’, the day-school will be held in the Reading Room of the Labour History Archive and Study Centre in the People’s History Museum, Manchester, and will include a tour of the CPGB archive holdings.  It will mark the opening to researchers of a new tranche of significant CP archive material relating primarily to the 1950-91 period (the papers of John Attfield, Monty Johnstone and Paul Olive).  The event will conclude with a round-table discussion about Communism, commitment and the archive chaired by Professor Kevin Morgan and featuring Francis King (historian, former CP activist and archivist, editor of Socialist History), and John Attfield (historian and former secretary of the Communist Party History Group).
Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be e-mailed to Ben Harker (ben.harker@manchester.ac.uk) by 1/4/16

26
Dec
15

Some Books Worth Discovering

I discovered these books in 2015 and they might interest readers of this blog.

 
Enlightenment – History of an Idea by Vicenzo Ferrone
THE INVENTION OF IMPROVEMENT: Information and material progress in seventeenth-century England by Paul Slack
Greek Popular Morality: In the Time of Plato and Aristotle by Kenneth Dover
Sacred Violence: African Christians and Sectarian Hatred in the Age of Augustine by Brent D Shaw
Complete Stories by Clarice Lispector
Magic, Reason and Experience: Studies in the Development of Greek Science by G E R Lloyd
The Reformation of the Landscape: Religion, Identity, and Memory in Early Modern Britain and Ireland by Alexandra Walsham
Charlotte Brontë: A Life by Claire Harman
Myths of Mighty Women: their application of psychoanalytic psychotherapy by Arlene Kramer Richards
Marginal Comment: A Memoir by Kenneth Dover

26
Dec
15

Recent SHS Activities

 

Meetings Round Up
In the latter part of 2015 the Society was involved in organising public meetings on the themes of slavery and public housing policy.
The series on the business of slavery which ran throughout the autumn and concluded on 8 December proved to be very successful.
With an emphasis on the British business of this atrocious trade, the series endeavoured to highlight the commercial structures and networks of individuals who made slavery into an extremely lucrative and enduring enterprise.
Deliberately deciding to probe far deeper than the traditional Tory narrative of Britain’s laudable role in abolishing the Transatlantic trade in slaves, the programme established convincingly that a large part of this country’s economic strength had been founded on slave labour.
The series, which was a Conway Hall event supported by the SHS, also pointed to the rich body of research being carried out in this field.
The value of business history to the left was another issue that was highlighted. There is always a need to know who owned what and the stimulating talks proved much that was new, at least to me.
Speakers included respected veteran experts such as James Walvin and younger researchers like Katie Donington and Perry Gauci.
Each methodically exposed all the intricate links between modern corporations in the City of London and old companies that derived much of their wealth from slave plantation labour. Much of these business connections are only now being brought to public attention by historians who are combing the vast archives held in London and in places like Jamaica.
The series managed to attract a large audience including many young people and provoked lively debate. One key concern that recurred each week was the topic of reparations for the victims of slavery. The practicalities of how to pay, how much, to whom and who actually should pay, were brought out in the discussions.
I especially applaud the way that this series didn’t avoid the continued existence of slavery in various parts of the modern world. As consumers of cheap products we are all to an extent responsible whether knowingly or not for the slave conditions that prevail in sweatshops where our designer clothes are produced. This important point was raised in the talk by Aidan McQuade, Director of Anti-Slavery International.
SHS committee member Deborah Lavin curated this series for the Ethical Society with some valuable input from other members of the SHS.
Finally, another meeting that should not be forgotten was the talk for the SHS at Marx House (21 November 2015) given by Duncan Bowie on the history of labour and socialist inspired housing campaigns. The subject of housing is an urgent issue in contemporary society with no credible solution in sight.
Bowie, a leading expert within the labour movement on housing policy and planning, shared his insights into the contributions of progressive political activists to the development of social housing and urban planning over the last century. He has a new book out on the same subject.
Duncan’s talk was chaired by Stan Newens, who as an MP was closely involved in the post-war growth of new town in Harlow.

David Morgan




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