Thursday, 4 December 2014

LSRG Seminar on 8 December: Laura O'Brien on 1848

The Labour and Society Research Group (LSRG) is a research forum jointly run by academics from Newcastle University and Northumbria University's Histories of Activism group. 

We are delighted to announce our next event: on Monday 08 December, Laura O’Brien from Sunderland University will present her work. Dr O'Brien is a specialist in French history whose work has shed light on republican identity in nineteenth-century France. Her book The Republican Line: Caricature and French Republican Identity, 1830-1852 is under contract with Manchester University Press.

On Monday, she will discuss 'Histories as Activism: Writing the History of the 1848 Revolution in France’.  The seminar will take place at 5:00 pm in room 035 of Northumbria University’s Lipman Building. We hope to see many of you there!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Workshop 'Students of the World Unite'

On Wednesday, 3 December, the Histories of Activism is holding a workshop entitled 'Students of the World Unite? Education and Internationalism in the Twentieth Century'. This half-day event will take place in room 206 of Northumbria University's Squires Building. The workshop is divided into two main sessions - one dedicated to various international ventures that students engaged in during the 1920s and 1930s, the other drawing attention to radical activism at school and university in and beyond the 1960s. As a whole, the event encourages reflection on the spaces in which students and educators operated, with a particular emphasis on the way in which the transnational related to the political.

13h30: Introduction

13h40: Students and internationalism in the interwar years
  • Tamson Pietsch (Sydney / Brunel): The Floating University: educational travel and international politics, 1926-27
  • Daniel Laqua (Northumbria): A new generation within a new world order: student activism as a form of interwar internationalism
  • Georgina Brewis (IOE): Service, self-help and international understanding: the work of European Student Relief / International Student Service between the World Wars
  • Chair: Tim Kirk (Newcastle)

15h10: Coffee break

15h30: Radical activism in and beyond the 1960s
  • Sarah Webster (Manchester): British students and transnational solidarity in Cold War Britain: activism beyond the NUS
  • Sylvia Ellis (Northumbria): Britihs student activism and the international protests against the Vietnam War
  • Say Burgin (Leeds): 'We must understand how sexism, racism and imperialism are connected': Boston's free schools and anti-imperialist feminism in the 1970s
  • Chair: Martyn Smith (Newcastle) 

17h00 Conclusion

 To register for this event, please contact Daniel Laqua by 30 November. Alternatively, you can register your attendance on Facebook.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Research group publishes journal issue on 'transnational solidarities'

Earlier this year, members of the Histories of Activism research group published a themed issue of the Journal of Modern European History, discussing 'Ideas, Practices and Histories of Humanitarianism' - you'll find the relevant information in one of our earlier blog entries. We are now delighted to announce our second publication for 2014: a special issue of the European Review of History: 'Transnational Solidarities and the Politics of the Left, 1890-1990'. Co-edited by Charlotte Alston and Daniel Laqua, this journal issue investigates campaigns and trajectories that transcended national boundaries. In this context, the authors consider forms of activism in which ideas or professions of activism featured prominently. The different articles can be accessed via the journal's website. There are altogether eleven contributions:

  • Charlotte Alston (Northumbria University) frames the other articles by means of an introductory essay, drawing out various connecting themes.
  • Robert Henderson (Queen Mary, University of London) sheds light on the wider context of the Hyde Park Rally of 1890; he considers how and why different groups – from British trade unionists to Russian exile activists – protested against the killing of Russian opponents of the Tsarist regime.
  • Daniel Laqua (Northumbria University) traces the international mobilisation on behalf of Francisco Ferrer - a Catalan anarchist and educator whom the Spanish authorities sentenced to death in 1909 - drawing attention to the role of freethinkers, republicans and anarchists in the pro-Ferrer protests.
  • Michael Goebel (Free University of Berlin) investigates the transnational trajectories of the revolutionary and anti-colonial activist M.N. Roy, with a focus on Roy's involvement in the foundation of the Mexican Communist Party in 1919.
  • Gleb Albert (Bielefeld University) examines the case of Soviet citizens who sought to support Republican Spain in the struggle against Franco's Nationalists and who wrote to the secretary of the Comintern with the aim of being accepted as volunteers in the Spanish Civil War.
  • Anne-Isabelle Richard (Leiden University) discusses the Congress of the Peoples of Europe, Asia and Africa (held at Puteaux in 1948), placing this event within its wider context, namely socialist visions of a united Europe and their relationship to anti-colonial stances.
  • Jodi Burkett (Portsmouth University) analyses the internationalism of the National Union of Students of England, Wales and Northern Ireland (NUS) during the 1950s and 1960s, both with regard to its link to international student organisations and its involvement in transnational campaigns such as the anti-Apartheid movement.
  • Sylvia Ellis (Northumbria University) studies the variety of British protest against the Vietnam War, shedding light on the perspectives of labour activists as well as the activism of groups such as the CND, the British Council for Peace in Vietnam, the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign.
  • Eleanor Davey (Manchester University) sheds light on French Third Worldism and the creation of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), exploring the relationship between humanitarian and revolutionary discourses.
  • Christian Helm (Hannover University) focuses on West German solidarity with the Sandinistas, tracing the motivations and experiences of Germans who travelled to Nicaragua and who organised solidarity events in their own country.
  • Kim Christiaens (KU Leuven) considers the wider Nicaragua solidarity movement, with particular emphasis on the role of exile activism and the transnational strategies of the Sandinista Liberation Front (FSLN).

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

'Tailored Trades' conference at the Bishopsgate Institute

The conference of the AHRC- funded network ‘Tailored Trades: clothes, labour and professional identity 1880-1939’ took place on 12 and 13 September. This research network, coordinated by Nicole Robertson (Northumbria University) and Vike Plock (University of Exeter), is a series of linked workshops and public events investigating the significance of clothes and costumes in the development of professional communities. The network conference, Clothes, Working Lives and Social Change’, explored the relationship between work, clothes and identities during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This two-day, interdisciplinary event brought together scholars from across the Humanities, Creative Arts and Museum sector to examine the intersecting histories of clothes and labour. It was hosted by the Bishopsgate Institute (London), project partners in the ‘Tailored Trades’ network. Keynote lectures were given by Professor Lou Taylor (University of Brighton) and Professor Eugenia Paulicelli (Queen’s College and The Graduate Center City University of New York). Further information about the conference and the network (including Podcasts of the workshop papers) can be accessed on the Tailored Trades project website. 

Monday, 4 August 2014

Workshop on 'Women, Clothes and the New Workforce'

The fourth workshop in the 'Tailored Trades: Clothes, Labour and Professional Communities, 1880-1939'  project took place on 14 July 2014.  This AHRC-funded research network is co-ordinated by Nicole Robertson (Northumbria University) and Vike Plock (Exeter University).  The  July workshop dealt with the subject of  ‘Women, Clothes and the New Workforce’ and was held in Exeter.  This one-day event examined the role of clothing in discourses on women’s professional opportunities. Papers were given by Lucy Noakes (University of Brighton), Becky Munford (Cardiff University), Fiona Hackney (Falmouth University) and Rhonda Garelick (University of Nebraska-Lincoln).  Topics explored during this workshop included: feminine and military identities in First World War Britain; Virginia Woolf, trousers and the work of the woman writer; dress and workplace identities in British women’s magazines; and Coco Chanel, myth and fashion. The final event of the research network is the 'Clothes, Working Lives and Social Change' conference that takes place 12-13 September at the Bishopsgate Institute (London).  Further details can be found on the 'Tailored Trades' website.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Activism and Integrity

Over the past year members of the Histories of Activism group have worked alongside members of the Integrity Project at the Universities of York and Durham to host a series of events which explore the relationship between activism, reform and integrity. Two events have so far been held:

Activism and Integrity. Workshop at Northumbria University, 16 December 2013
This workshop, which was run in conjunction with the Integrity Project (but which was fully funded by the Histories of Activism group), explored 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. Two guest speakers – James Gregory of the University of Plymouth and Mark Pitchford of KCL – and two internal speakers – Charlotte Alston and Joe Street – delivered papers at the event. Podcasts of some of the papers can be found on the Project website.

Integrity Lost/Integrity Regained: Social Conditions and Institutional Pressures. Two-Day Conference held at the Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle, 11-12 April 2014
For this conference, Joe Hardwick organised a panel, entitled ‘Integrity and the Reform of Public Life in the Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic World’, which considered the ways in which discourses of integrity informed debates about the reform of institutions and public life during the transatlantic ‘age of reform’ of the early nineteenth century. The speakers were Heath Bowen (St. Thomas Aquinas College, New York), James Gregory (Plymouth) and Aashish Velkar (Manchester). Details on the event – which featured three research papers and an introduction – can be found here.

Joe Hardwick and James Gregory are currently developing this panel into an edited collection, entitled Cultures of Integrity, c. 1775-1851. The call for papers for the edited collection will be disseminated shortly.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Research group publishes themed journal issue on humanitarianism

In 2012, the 'Histories of Activism' group hosted a workshop on 'Transnational Solidarities', supported by the Department of Humanities and the Society for the Study of Labour History. We can now announce the publication of the first output that originated in this event – namely a themed issue of the Journal of Modern European History (vol. 12, no. 2), edited by Daniel Laqua and Charlotte Alston. Taken together, the articles shed light on ‘Ideas, Practices and Histories of Humanitarianism’. The issue contains the following contributions:

  • Daniel Laqua, 'Inside the Humanitarian Cloud: Causes and Motivations to Help Friends and Strangers)'
  • Norbert Götz, 'Rationales of Humanitarianism: The Case of British Relief to Germany, 1805-1815' 
  • Charlotte Alston, '"A Great Host of Sympathisers": The Doukhobor Emigration and its International Supporters, 1895-1905'
  • Stefan Dyroff, 'Minority Rights and Humanitarianism: The International Campaign for the Ukrainians in Poland, 1930-1931' 
  • Isabella Löhr, 'Solidarity and the Academic Community: The Support Networks for Refugee Scholars in the 1930s'
  • Angéline Escafré-Dublet, 'Aid, Activism and the State in Post-War France: AMANA, a Charity Organisation for Colonial Migrants, 1945-1962'
  • Jochen Kemner, 'Fourth World Activism in the First World: The Rise and Consolidation of Euroepan Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples' 

You can access the articles via the following URL (please note that the first and final article on the site are separate pieces and do not form part of the themed issue).

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

LSRG Workshop on Labour Movements and Religion in the 19th and 20th Centuries

On 22 May 2014, the Labour and Society Research Group - a joint research project of Newcastle and Northumbria University - will host a workshop on 'Labour Movements and Religion in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries'. The event features speakers from both universities: Joan Allen, Claudia Baldoli, Martin Farr, Matt Perry and Felix Schulz from Newcastle; Charlotte Alston and Daniel Laqua from Northumbria.

The keynote speaker is Prof. Patrick Pasture, head of the Centre for European Studies at KU Leuven. His lecture is entitled 'Standing Up: Christian Social-Political Activism in the Twentieth Century'.

Friday, 11 April 2014

SHS Conference at Northumbria

From 8 to 10 April, the annual conference of the Social History Society (SHS) took place at Northumbria University, preceded by a pre-conference event on 7 April. The largest annual gathering of social and cultural historians in the UK, the conference brought 220 delegates from 15 countries to Newcastle. There were 191 papers presented across seven thematic strands.  The conference attracted new and established scholars in the field. The 'Histories of Activism' group was responsible for the local organisation of the event, with Daniel Laqua and Nicole Robertson acting as coordinators and several PhD students and Northumbria historians helping out as volunteers.

In addition to the conference panels, the event featured a number of special activities: on 7 April, an afternoon event inaugurated the new conference strand on ‘Global and Transnational Approaches’ (reflecting Northumbria’s own work in this area). On 8 April, a reception at the Great Hall of the Sutherland Building marked the launch of the SHS’s new book series. This was followed by a very memorable event at the North East Mining Institute, with stories and folk music performances by Vic Gammon and Benny Graham. Finally, on 9 April, we had the pleasure to welcome Prof. Colin Jones, who gave the keynote lecture on the topic of ’24 hours in the French Revolution’, followed by a conference dinner at the Assembly Rooms.

Friday, 21 March 2014

British Academy support for 'Portraits of Integrity'

We are delighted that the British Academy has agreed to support a project that the 'Histories of Activism' group is involved in: Portraits of Integrity. This initiative has secured £9,068 in funding, with the aim of building a series of detailed portraits of historical, fictional and contemporary figures whose lives raise questions about the nature, value and limits of integrity. The British Academy grant will fund a monthly reading group, a public conference at the end of 2015, and the publication of a series of essays. The successful bid was put together by Rachael Wiseman (University of Durham), Charlotte Alston (Northumbria University) and Amber Carpenter (University of York). It is one component of a wider research project on integrity.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Workshop on Activism in the 1970s

On Tuesday, 18 February, the 'Histories of Activism’ research group hosted a one-day workshop on  ‘Activism in the Face of Crisis: Conflict and Contestation in the 1970s’.

The half-day workshop included contributions from several visiting speakers:
Prof. Lawrence Black (York University) discussed the ‘New Right’ in Britain.
Dr Maud Bracke (Glasgow University) considered ‘second wave’ feminism in light of broader patterns of cultural change. 
Dr Eleanor Davey (Overseas Development Institute) examined French humanitarian campaigns.
Prof. Matthew Worley (Reading University) shed light on the relationship between punk and politics.

There were also several local speakers: Claudia Baldoli and Felix Schulz from Newcastle University compared developments in 1970s Italy and Germany; Nicole Robertson considered activism for consumers’ rights; and Daniel Laqua traced the relationship between left-wing politics and musical journalism in West Germany.