Thursday, 3 August 2017

'50 Years of Activism': day school in collaboration with North East Labour History Society

Venue: Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne

9:30am to 4:30pm, Saturday 16 September 2017

A collaboration between the Histories of Activism Group at Northumbria University and the North East Labour History Society.

This day school will reflect on the last fifty years in the North East, and especially the great changes that have occurred in politics, culture and society.
The workshops will focus on specific subjects such as Labour Activism and Music and we believe it will revive the spirit of the History Workshop conferences. The backgrounds of the participants will be mixed, including academics presenting their research, as well as activists and historians working outside of a formal academic framework.
To book your place in this Day School, please let us know at Attendance is free, and coffee and lunch will be provided.

Updates and new information will be posted on our day-school page:

Fifty Years of Activism

9:30 – 10:00 Coffee and Registration
10:00 – 11:00 Plenary, Keynote Speaker: John Charlton
11:00 – 11:30 Coffee
11:30 – 1:00 Three Parallel Workshops
Culture and Music: Workshop Leader, Dr Jude Murphy
Labour Activism: Workshop Leader, Ben Sellers
Women and the Women’s Movement: Workshop Leader, Dr Liz O’Donnell. During this session Dr Julie Scanlon will be talking about her research into the 1976 Women’s Liberation Conference held in Ponteland.
1:00 – 2:00 Lunch
2:00 – 3:00 Three Parallel Workshops
The Peace Movement: Workshop Leader, John Creaby
Politics: Workshop Leader, Nigel Todd
Cooperatives: Workshop Leader, Professor Tony Webster
3:00 – 4:00 Two Parallel Workshops
Trade Unions and the World of Work: Workshop Leader, John Stirling
Growth of Ethnic Diversity in the North East: Workshop Leader, Dr Avram Taylor
4:00 – 4:30 Plenary: Concluding Remarks: Dr Matt Perry

To book your place in this Day School, please let us know at Attendance is free, and coffee and lunch will be provided.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Histories of Activism lunchtime sessions on 2 May and 16 May

The 'Histories of Activism' research group at Northumbria University is pleased to announce two forthcoming lunchtime sessions. These are one-hour meetings, consisting of brief and relatively informal presentations, with plenty of scope for discussion. We’ve deliberately conceived these sessions as bringing together scholars from different disciplinary background.

These meetings are taking place at 12h30 pm at Northumbria University's Institute of the Humanities. For information on the venue and format, feel free to contact Daniel Laqua.

Histories of Activism Lunchtime Sessions

Tuesday 2 May
  • Victoria Bazin (Senior Lecturer in American Literature) – ‘A Hidden Heritage: Women’s Activism and Feminist Periodical Culture’
  • Sophie Roberts (PhD candidate in History) – ‘Margaret Stanton and the Birmingham Campaign for Peace in Vietnam: A Case Study in Local Activism’

Tuesday 16 May
  • Paul Griffin (Lecturer in Geography)– ‘Clydeside’s Working-Class Presence: Political Identities and International Connections’ 
  • Jasmine Calver (PhD candidate in History) – ‘French and Soviet Anti-Fascist Collaboration: A Case Study of the Visit of the Comité Mondial des Femmes contre la Guerre et le Fascime to the Soviet Union, 1935’

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

The Russian Revolution in Global Perspective

In January 2017, Northumbria University will host the annual conference of the Study Group on the Russian Revolution, which forms part of the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES). Given the centenary of 1917, this will be a special event, evaluating the state of research on Russia's revolutionary year.

As part of the wider conference, the organisers are running a public session, entitled 'The Russian Revolution in Global Perspective'. It will take place on Friday 6 January at 5:30 pm in Newcastle's Mining Institute. Speakers will explore the global impact of, and responses to, the Russian Revolutions of 1917, as well as the role of ideas about world revolution in early Soviet politics and society.

Chair: Matthias Neumann (University of East Anglia)

Steven Marks (Clemson University) - 'The Global Impact of the Russian Revolution: Historical Comparisons

Alice Pate (Kennesaw State University) - Global Responses to the 1917 Revolutions

Gleb Albert (University of Zurich) - World Revolution and Early Soviet Society

Discussant: Chris Read (University of Warwick)

All are welcome and entrance is free. However, to guarantee a place, guests should sign up via our Eventbrite page. For further questions, feel free to contact the organiser, Charlotte Alston.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

[Conference Programme] 'Revolutionary Pasts: Representing the Long Nineteenth Century's Radical Heritage'

How did activists remember, represent and reassess the revolutionary heritage of the ‘long nineteenth century’? On 4–5 November 2016, Northumbria University’s ‘Histories of Activism’research group will examine this question in association with the Society for the Study of Labour History (SSLH) and with the support of Durham’s Centre for Nineteenth Century Studies.

Attendance of this event is free, but all guests are asked to register via this link no later than 26 October. All registered participants will subsequently receive further information on the event. If you have any questions, you can contact the organisers (Daniel Laqua, Charlotte Alston and Laura O'Brien) via


Friday 4 November

14h00             Opening by the organisers

14h15             Radical histories of Ireland and Irishness

  • Terence McBride (University of the West of Scotland) – The radical narrative and Irishness in post-1848 Glasgow: the role of the Glasgow Free Press
  • Felix Larkin (Newspaper and Periodical History Forum of Ireland) – Riding the back of the tiger: Irish rebellions of the 19th century as portrayed in the Sunday Freeman newspaper
  • Ultán Gillen (Teesside) – Rethinking Wolfe Tone, reimagining revolution in 1960s Ireland
  • Chair: Peter O’Connor (Northumbria)

15h45             Coffee break

16h10             Echoes of 1848

  • Abigail Green (Oxford) – Children of 1848: Jewish liberal activists and the revolutionary tradition
  • Laura O’Brien (Northumbria) –  ‘These great ideas bestowed to us by the past’: education, commemoration and the 1948 centenary of the French revolution of 1848
  • Daniel Laqua (Northumbria) – Nationhood between reconstruction and reunification: commemorating the 1848 revolution in 20th-century Germany
  • Chair: Timothy Baycroft (Sheffield)

17h40             Spaces and traces of radicalism

  • Joseph Hardwick (Northumbria) – Mapping Tyneside radicalism
  • Nigel Todd (WEA) – Newcastle’s radical past: a walking tour

20h00             Conference dinner

Saturday 5 November

10h15             Images and imaginations of revolutionary change

  • Ben Partridge (Newcastle) – Imagining revolutions:  radical heritage in the photography of May ‘68
  • Laura Forster (King’s College London) – The battle for the Commune: Raspouteam and the remapping of Paris, 1871–2011
  • Discussant: Timothy Baycroft (Sheffield)
  • Chair: James Koranyi (Durham)

11h30             Coffee break

11h50             British activism and the construction of radical legacies

  • Joe Cozens (Essex) – The memory of the Peterloo Massacre in the long nineteenth century, 1819–1919
  • Mark Nixon (Edinburgh) – Political heritage in the 1884 franchise demonstrations in Scotland
  • Discussant: Joan Allen (Newcastle)
  • Chair: John Belchem (Liverpool)

13h05             Lunch break / AGM, Society for the Study of Labour History

14h15             National and international narratives

  • Tom Stammers (Durham) – Globalising the French Revolution in interwar France
  • Christian Hogsbjerg (UCL) – Globalising the Haitian Revolution in interwar Paris
  • Chair: Charlotte Alston (Northumbria)

15h15             Coffee break

15h30             Political movements and the uses of the past

  • Máire F. Cross (Newcastle) – Peace in our time? Revolutionary aspirations of French utopian socialists narrated in a twentieth century pacifist context
  • Marcella Sutcliffe (Cambridge) – Fighting for the soul of the British Left under Mazzini’s banner: co-operators versus socialists (c. 1885–1949)
  • Amerigo Caruso (Saarbrücken) – Anti-revolutionary paranoia and the foundation of modern conservative political discourse in the long nineteenth century
  • Chair: André Keil (Sunderland)

17h00             Closing remarks

Sunday, 18 September 2016

'Women, Activism and Reform' workshop on 19 November

On Saturday 19 November, the Women's Committee of the Economic History Society will hold its 27th Annual Workshop. This time, the event will be held at the Mining Institute in Newcastle upon Tyne. Our 'Histories of Activism' group members Sarah Hellawell and Laura O'Brien will speak at the workshop, and our associate member Nicole Robertson is the co-organiser of the event.

For further information, please contact Nicole Robertson or Anne Murphy. Please register by 4 November. You can access the document containing both the programme and the booking form via this link.  

Provisional programme

10:30 am     Registration and Coffee

11:00 am – 12:30 pm     Maternity and the Family
Katrina Navickas (University of Hertfordshire): ‘The impact of imprisonment of radical reformers on their families’ economic and political strategies of survival in early nineteenth-century England’
Diana Paton (University of Edinburgh): ‘Maternity as a site of struggle in the slavery-era British-colonized Caribbean’
Sarah Hellawell (Northumbria University): ‘“What women can do for peace”: maternal rhetoric used by the Women’s International League and the Women’s Co-operative Guild during the interwar years'

12:30 pm     Lunch 

1:20 pm – 1:45 pm     Guided Tour of the Mining Institute 

1:45 pm – 3:15 pm     Activism and the Individual
Laura O’Brien (Northumbria University): ‘“A duty to publish”: Marie d’Agoult and writing the history of revolution in nineteenth-century France’ 
Clare Midgley (Sheffield Hallam University): ‘Sophia Dobson Collet and feminist activism between Britain and India in the late nineteenth century’ 
Matt Perry (Newcastle University): ‘Ellen Wilkinson and the possibility of a social movement approach to biography’

3:15 pm     Coffee/Tea Break

3:45 pm – 5:15 pm     Women’s Organisations
Cathy Hunt (Coventry University): ‘“Doing each our duty for our common womanhood”: examining the realities of union activism in the National Federation of Women Workers 1906-21’
Joanne Darnley (Manchester Metropolitan University): ‘Co-operative women, gender identity and the everyday: a visual and material approach to the co-operative movement in interwar Britain’
Pamela Schievenin (University of Glasgow): ‘Challenging traditional views on women’s work: women’s organisations and welfare reform in post-war Italy’  

5:30 pm    Closing Remarks