Thursday, 5 December 2013

Activism and Integrity Workshop

Hosted by the 'Histories of Activism' group at Northumbria, this workshop will explore the ways in which concepts of integrity have shaped debates among activists from across the political spectrum; how it has governed action as well as intention; and how forms of organization and collective action are negotiated to preserve the integrity of the actors. 

The event will take place from 1:00 to 4:30 pm on 16 December 2013. The location is room 121, Lipman Building at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne.

1pm: Arrival and Welcome 

1.15-2.30pm: Panel One: Integrity and nineteenth-century reform movements
  • Dr Charlotte Alston (Northumbria) ‘Facing life as a whole: Tolstoy, Tolstoyans and the philosophy of non-resistance’
  • Dr James Gregory (Plymouth) ‘”What’s my motivation?”Personal integrity and other “springs of action” in the lives of nineteenth-century reformers”
2.30-3pm: Coffee break

3-4.14pm: Panel Two: Conservativism and radical activists in the twentieth century
  • Dr Joe Street (Northumbria) ‘The Black Panther Party and street protest’
  • Dr Mark Pitchford (Visiting Research Fellow, KCL) ‘Conservative activism’
4.15-4.30: Concluding remarks and close

Feel free to take a look at the website of the Integrity Project for further information on the event and the wider project that it forms part of.The workshop is free and all are welcome. For further details on this event, please contact the workshop organisers: Dr Charlotte Alston (charlotte.alston[at] and Dr Joe Hardwick (joseph.hardwick[at]

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

AHRC Research Network Workshop: Labour Behind the Label: Working with Textiles, Northumbria University, 8 November 2013

This one-day AHRC-funded cross-disciplinary workshop will investigate the impact that operational and professional developments in the British textile industry had on workers and workers’ communities. Organised as part of the ‘Tailored Trades Tailored Trades: clothes, labour and professional identity 1880-1939’ research network, speakers will include Dr Pete Maw (University of Leeds), Dr Sally Tuckett (University of Edinburgh), Professor Jutta Schwarzkopf (Bielefeld University), Dr Janet Greenlees (Glasgow Caledonian University) and Professor Joseph Melling (University of Exeter). The event will take place at Northumbria University on 8 November. For further information, please visit the event pages. After the event, you will also be able to access podcasts from the project site.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

AHRC Research Network Workshop: Uniforms and Identity, Northumbria University, 13 September 2013

This one-day AHRC-funded workshop was held at Northumbria University as part of the ‘Tailored Trades Tailored Trades: clothes, labour and professional identity 1880-1939’ research network. The event examines the role of clothes and textiles (especially uniforms) in the organisation of professional and social groups. Organised by Nicole Robertson (Northumbria University) and Vike Plock (University of Exeter), speakers included a member of the Histories of Activism group, Dr Charlotte Alston (Northumbria University), who presented a paper on ‘Ethics and Identity: Dressing for the Simple Life in the Late Nineteenth Century’.  Other speakers included  Dr Clare Rose (The Royal School of Needlework), Dr Laura Ugolini (University of Wolverhampton), Dr Geraldine Biddle-Perry (Central St Martins College of Art & Design) and Professor Mike French (University of Glasgow).  Podcasts of the papers can be found here.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Death and Labour Workshop (18 April, Newcastle University)

Our colleagues at Newcastle University are holding a very interesting workshop on 'Death and Labour' this week. The initiative is tied to the 'Labour and Society Research Group', a joint research initiative by Newcastle and Northumbria.

Labour and Society Research Group,

Thursday 18 April, 11am-4pm

Panel one: Burial and Labour (11-12.30)

Felix Schulz: ‘The Flames of the revolution: the funeral and cremation of August Bebel’

Máire Cross: ‘Ideological transmissions in sickness and in death: valedictory treatment of Flora Tristan in Socialist and Feminist History’

Sarah Campbell: ‘Notable Irish republican deaths: bodies, funerals and martyrdom’

1.30-2.30 food

Panel two: Labour Deaths, Labour Martyrs (1.30-3.00)

Martin Farr: ‘ Comparing the deaths of Labour leaders: the cases of John Smith and Hugh Gaitskell’

Matt Perry: ‘The death of Red Ellen: Ellen Wilkinson, obituaries and the making of a Labour martyr’

Chris Bannister: ’Posthumous cult of personality of Buenaventura Durruti’

Keynote (3.00-4.00):

Paul Strangl, Associate Professor, Western Washington University. 

Please contact for further details

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Tailored Trade: Clothes, Labour and Professional Identity, 1880-1939

The AHRC-funded 'Tailored Trades' network is coordinated by Nicole Robertson (Northumbria University) and Vike Plock (University of Exeter). It involves a series of linked workshops and public events, investigating the significance of clothes and costumes in the development of professional communities. Partners include the Bishopsgate Institute (London) and the People’s History Museum (Manchester).  The network conference will take place on 12-13 September at the Bishopsgate Institute. You can find further information about the network via the project website.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Programme: ‘Histories beyond borders: exploring transnational and international histories’

Date: 30 April 2013, Northumbria University (Newcastle upon Tyne)

Location: Lipman Building (City Campus), room 033



10.15 – 10.45

10.45 – 11.15 

Dr. Daniel Laqua (Northumbria): ‘Taking Transnational Steps: From Theory to Practice'

11.15 – 12.45

‘Foreign Matters: international approaches to national history’

Lee Collins (Northumbria): ‘Generosity, Sacrifice and Wholeheartedness: British Aid to the Soviet Union during the Second World War’

Paul Simpson (Northumbria): ‘Interwar Labour internationalism in transnational perspective’

Postgraduate Research Projects in Context – group work facilitated by Prof. Máire Cross (Newcastle University) and Dr. Matt Perry (Newcastle University)

12.45 – 13.45


13.45 – 15.15

‘The uses of archives: transnational research and national politics’

Dr. Charlotte Alston (Northumbria): ‘Russian and Eastern European archives’

Dr. James Koranyi (Durham University): 'Studying national minorities across national borders’

André Keil (Northumbria): ‘Archives and transitional history: the example of German archives’

15.15 – 15.45


15.45 – 16.30

Oliver Moss (Northumbria): ‘Current and future funding opportunities for international research’

17.00 – 18.30        

Keynote - Labour and Society Research Group Paper

Rebecca Gill (University of Huddersfield): ‘International relief work in war and peace: British activism in foreign conflicts, 1870-1919’

HISTORY BEYOND BORDERS - PGR and ECR training event announced (Northumbria Uni, 30 April)

‘Histories beyond borders: exploring transnational and international histories’

30 April 2013, Northumbria University (Newcastle upon Tyne).
The Histories of Activism research group at Northumbria University is holding a full-day workshop titled ‘History beyond borders: exploring transnational and international histories’ on 30 April 2013. The workshop is designed to introduce and discuss recent trends in research regarding international and transnational history. During the event, postgraduates and early-career researchers will have the opportunity to discuss their own research with established academics in this field and to connect with the wider research community.

The workshop will also include two training sessions concerned with post-doc funding and the use of overseas archives, which will give attendees the opportunity to raise any issues that they have encountered during their research. The day will conclude with a seminar paper by Dr Rebecca Gill (University of Huddersfield) on the transnational dimensions of British war relief work in the late 19th century. For the full programme, please click here!

To stimulate discussions during the day, attendees will be asked to provide a short description of their research (approx. 250 words). The organsers will also circulate a brief discussion paper before the actual event in order to stimulate debate on the day.

As we have only limited spatial capacities, we would like to ask all interested persons to register for the workshop. If you wish to attend, please contact:

For further information on the Histories of Activism research group please visit:

Twitter: @ActivismHistory

What we do (among other things...)

‘Activism’ is constantly in the news. From tuition fees to global justice, from consumer protection to human rights – there is hardly an issue which isn’t subject to the efforts of campaigners, lobbyists or pressure groups. How did different forms of activism take shape in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries? This question informs the work of the Histories of Activism research group, which brings together staff and doctoral students at Northumbria University. The group examines political protest, the efforts of interest groups, the promotion of alternative economic and social models, as well as the measures for the protection of particular groups in society. Since its foundation, the group organised a range of workshops and conferences, initiated various training events and prepared several publications.

Our research acknowledges that ‘activism’ occurs in different forms and at different levels. Action at a local level can be motivated by the desire to ‘make a difference’ through campaigning and the creation of community organisations. Examples range from cooperation in the provision of credit and welfare services to militant campaigning for the rights of a particular ethnic group. At the same time, the concerns of the research group transcend class, race, and gender boundaries.

Northumbria University hosts several microfilm collections that facilitate research on activism:
  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), 1917-1978
  • International Workingmen’s Association, 1868-1878
  • Anti-Slavery International (formerly the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society)
  • Anti-Slavery Reporter (1825-1994) 
  • Students for a Demoratic Society (SDS) papers, 1958-1970