Archive for December, 2010


latin america events

Spring series of Public Seminars and
Conferences from the Centre for Caribbean and Latin American Research and Consultancy, London Metropolitan University
Admission to these events are free but please let us know by email if you
wish to attend:

1. INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE on the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of
our America – ALBA. 29 January 2011, 10am – 4.30pm:

The Vice Chancellor of London Metropolitan University, Norman Gillies, is
to open this conference, the first international academic conference on
the ALBA to have been held anywhere in the world.

A pdf poster is attached. Please help by passing this to others who may be


2. PUBLIC SEMINAR: Miguel Barnet’s Diary of a Runaway Slave with Dr
William Rowlandson of the University of Kent at Canturbury. 23 February
2011, 7pm.

Venue: Room TM1-83
Tower Building
London Metropolitan University
Holloway Road,
N7 8DB

Dr William Rowlandson of the University of Kent at Canturbury will deliver
a seminar on Cuban ethnologist Miguel Barnet’s seminal book: Biografía de
un cimarrón and sign copies of the newly published student edition, which
William has annotated.

3. PUBLIC LECTURE: General Gustavo Chui, Chinese-Cuban General and
co-author of the book: “Our History is still being written” 15 March 2011,

Venue: Henry Thomas Room
Tower Building

4. TWO DAY CONFERENCE: Responding to Climate Change in the Caribbean.
13-14 June 2011.

A conference organised jointly by London University’s Institute for the
Study of the Americas (ISA), London Metropolitan University’s Centre for
Caribbean and Latin American Research and Consultancy (CLARC) and the
International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

Venue: TBA

5. International Journal of Cuban Studies

Vol. 2. Nos. 3 and 4 is now published. To subscribe:

Call for articles

Academics are invited to contribute articles to the journal.

Send your proposals, titles and abstracts to Dr Stephen Wilkinson:

For guidelines visit the website:

To unsubscribe from this list please go to:

Dr Stephen Wilkinson
Centre for Caribbean and Latin American Research and Consultancy,
London Metropolitan University
31 Jewry Street,

+44 (0)20 7320 3060
+44 (0)7956 381640


SHS April and May 2011 meetings

For updated information about the SHS meetings with Harry Landis on 14 April 2011 and the AGM and seminar on London’s East End on 21 May 2011, please see the SHS website news page.


Chartists: Public library find is only surviving copy of rebel hymn book

Press release from Manchester University

A tiny 165-year-old pamphlet, stored in a box at a Yorkshire public library, has been identified by a University of Manchester academic as the only surviving copy of a Chartist hymn book.

Dr Mike Sanders, who came across the ‘National Chartist Hymn Book’ in Todmorden public library, has confirmed it contains 16 hymns sung by the Victorian radicals who campaigned for democracy and workers’ rights.

According to Dr Sanders, who is an English lecturer, the hymn books were designed in an attempt to produce a standard hymn book for the movement as a Chartist forerunner of ‘Hymns Ancient and Modern’.

While Chartist historians know of two earlier attempts to produce a hymn book for the whole movement – Cooper’s ‘Shakespearean Chartist Hymn Book’ and Hobson’s ‘Hymns for Worship’, before now, there have been no references to the Todmorden collection.

Heavily influenced by dissenting Christians, the hymns are about social justice, ‘striking down evil doers’ and blessing Chartist enterprises, rather than the conventional themes of crucifixion, heaven and family.

Some of the hymns protested against the exploitation of child labour and slavery. Another of the hymns proclaimed: Men of wealth and men of power/ “Like locusts all thy gifts devour.

“This fragile pamphlet is an amazing find and opens up a whole new understanding of Chartism – which as a movement in many ways shaped the Britain we know today”, said the lecturer based at the University’s School of Arts, Histories and cultures.

“It’s pretty rare – even the British Library doesn’t have a copy.

“What is so fascinating is that hymn-singing was not the best known feature of Chartism so this attempt to produce an equivalent to Hymns Ancient and Modern is significant.”

Dr Sanders was first told about the pamphlet by Linda Croft, a local historian working for the Workers Educational Association.

He said: “After speaking to Linda, I asked for the pamphlet at the library and they gave me three boxes of uncatalogued material.

“I was about to give up hope until I got to the second to last item in the last box and found a pamphlet with a cigar box glued on to it for a cover – it was very fragile.”

Three 1845 items in the Chartist newspaper Northern Star – tracked down by Dr Sanders – helped him confirm the origins of the find.

One, from January 1845, asked for readers to send ideas for a Chartist hymn book to an address in Manchester. A second item in February stated that West Riding Chartists approved the idea of producing a new hymn book.

Nine months later, another item said the hymn book was now available.

The Poetry of Chartism, by Dr Mike Sanders is published by Cambridge University Press.

Examples of poems and writings are available.

The Chartists fought for the “People’s Charter” of 1938 which comprised six demands, five of which were adopted. Although the Chartist movement petered out towards the end of the 1840s, its aims were taken on by others. The Charter demanded:
• Equal electoral districts.
• Abolition of the property qualifications for MPs
• Universal manhood suffrage
• Vote by secret ballot
• The payment of MPs
• Annual parliaments, which was not adopted
Dr Sanders is available for comment.

Images are available.

The pamphlet can be viewed on-line at

For media enquiries contact:

Mike Addelman
Media Relations
Faculty of Humanities
The University of Manchester
0161 275 0790
07717 881567


new book about historian john saville out

John Saville volume (occasional publication 27)

The Socialist History Society is very pleased to have produced this new collection of essays in tribute to the life and work of the leading Marxist historian and lifelong Socialist, John Saville, who died in June 2009. The volume does full justice to the breadth of Saville’s interests as a historian and explains his major contribution to the understanding of British social, political and labour history. His work as an editor and polemicist are not ignored and there are incisive essays on the Socialist Register and New Reasoner; his work as a prime mover behind the Dictionary of Labour Biography is also fully covered. A strong characteristic of Saville’s writings that is reflected in this collection of essays is his uncompromising anti-imperialism which shines through in his studies of Labour foreign policy in particular. Meanwhile, his pioneering work on Chartism led him to undertake insightful research into the nature of the state’s response to the organised challenge a mass popular movement, which forms the subject of another article in this 220-page volume, whose contributors are all senior historians who have worked closely with Saville such as David Howell, Malcolm Chase and Kevin Morgan.
The volume has been sent out free to current SHS members, but additional copies can be obtained from us or from the publisher Lawrence & Wishart.
Some of John Saville’s own articles and reviews can be read online at:



an extreme case of Russophobia

It is perhaps only a coincidence that the detention of the Russian researcher of Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock occurred within hours of Russia beating Britain to host the World Cup in 2018 and incidentally severely humiliating Cameron and co in the process.

The coverage of the story, in particular the attacks on the character and integrity of the researcher in question, Ms Ekaterina Zatuliveter, have been truly grotesque, if predictable. All the old clichés about Russian spies have been rehashed. The way she has been portrayed has been truly shameful.

Christina Patterson, writing in The Independent (08/12/2010), titillated her readers with a lurid description of the “leggy Russian blonde, who may or may not be a spy, and who enjoys being photographed in bikinis and grass skirts”, before resorting to cheap sexual innuendo to question her qualifications for the post.

It is a grave injustice that the victim is not even allowed to answer back as the full weight of the British gutter press is thrown at her to malign her character and integrity as a professional person and as a woman.

It is indeed a serious infringement of basic human rights that more than a week after Ms Zatuliveter’s arrest Russian consular officials have not been permitted to visit her. This is a disgrace and a real indictment of British law; it is no exaggeration to say that someone held on suspicion of mass murder would be granted more rights than this.

In this whole sorry affair what stands out most of all however is the extreme anti-Russian racism and sexualisation of Russian women that prevails in the media and among British politicians. Chris Bryant, the unrepentant Blairite MP for Rhondda, claimed that Ms Zatuliveter “was really only interested in doing Russia stuff. She seemed slightly odd.”

What does seem odd though is that people should feign surprise that a Russian citizen should take a pro-Russian stance on major international affairs like the recent conflict between Georgia and Russia; are only Britons permitted to demonstrate patriotism one wonders?

Surely we can agree with Alexander Sternik, charge d’affaires at the Russian Embassy in London, who expressed the hope that the issue would not mark the start of an “orchestrated campaign against Russia because it goes against the current of improving Russian-British relations…It is very conspicuous that as soon as the green shoots show through the rubble in the Russian-British relationship, these sorts of scandals break out. That’s a fact of life.”

From WikiLeaks we have learned exactly how desperate some members of the British establishment are to ingratiate themselves with the United States. I suspect that the only beneficiaries of this latest outbreak of Russophobia will be those forces who want to see the UK become ever more servile to Washington. I say free Ms Zatuliveter immediately!


rural workers’ struggles

Mike Pentelow
“Wilf Page and the History of Rural Workers’ Struggles”
7pm 15 March 2011

venue Bishopsgate Institute


ideologies in the age of extremes

Willie Thompson on
“Ideologies in the Age of Extremes”
Copies of Willie’s new book of the same title will be available.
7pm, 21st January 2011

free, all welcome,

Bishopsgate Institute


Celebrating the life of Basil Davidson

Celebrating the life of Basil Davidson
27 January 2011

An event commemorating the life of Basil Davidson, long-time member of the IRR and member of Race & Class Editorial Committee.
Thursday 27 January 2011, 6-9pm
Khalili Theatre, Main Building, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H 0XG
Speakers include:
Opening remarks by Prof. Stephen Chan, SOAS
Victoria Brittain – co-chair
Richard Gott
António Gumende – High Commissioner Republic of Mozambique
Adotey Bing
Lionel Cliffe
Peter Brayshore
Senait Jones

To RSVP, contact Nick Davidson: Sponsored by the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy of the School of Oriental & African Studies, in association with the Institute of Race Relations, Review of African Political Economy and Action for Southern Africa.


Teach-In: Education for the People, Not the Market

From the Education Activist Network
Teach-in: Education for the People, Not the Market
Sunday 5th December, 12noon-4pm, King’s College London

Speakers include journalists George Monbiot and Laurie Penny, King’s College lecturer Stathis Kouvelakis and veteran of the 1968 student movement John Rose.

According to The Independent the student movement has broken through the ‘cuts consensus’. Now we have an opportunity to challenge a vision of education that is dominated by the market – where private companies are gaining the power to award degrees and young people are to be priced out of our colleges and universities. In the university occupations of May 1968 students took control of their curriculum from the authorities – thousands attended lectures by Sartre, Genet and others. At the national Teach-in, students, academics, artists, musicians, writers, precarious workers and trade unionists will be debating the alternatives for education. There will also be forums for HE and FE/school students to coordinate the next steps in the struggle.


History Workshop online

The History Workshop Journal editorial collective is launching History Workshop Online, a website devoted to the practice of politically-engaged public history. Affiliated to the journal but entirely separate in its content, the site will serve as a forum, laboratory, and virtual coffeehouse for participants in radical public history projects worldwide. In the spirit of the original history workshop movement, we’re keen to explore the diverse (and now multi-media) ways in which progressive history is being “done”, in and out of universities and the museum and heritage sector.

We welcome all pertinent contributions: reports on public history initiatives; multimedia essays and articles; flagged events for our noticeboard; fulminations, rants, and raves. For further information please contact the site’s editor, Marybeth Hamilton, at

December 2010