Keith Gildart : « Writing Labour Life Stories: The Dictionary of Labour Biography in the Twenty-First Century » (23/11)

Keith Gildart, professeur à University of Wolverhampton (Labour and Social History) et co-éditeur du Dictionary of Labour Biography, présentera sa communication « Writing Labour Life Stories: The Dictionary of Labour Biography in the Twenty-First Century » le jeudi 23 novembre 2017 de 17h30 à 19h30. Maison de la Recherche, 28 rue Serpente, 75006, salle D421.

Résumé :

« The idea of a Dictionary of Labour Biography (DLB) originated with the socialist activist and theoretician G.D.H. Cole. For many years Cole had been collecting biographical snippets of labour movement figures. Names and details were initially entered into a number of manuscript volumes. In early 1959 after Cole’s death, his widow handed the volumes to Asa Briggs and John Saville. They both agreed that if research funds became available then Saville should take over the work of compiling a Dictionary using the Cole manuscripts as a starting point. It was first intended to produce a single large volume on the lines of Who’s Who but the scope of the Dictionary grew as the work progressed. Once information started to be collected it was clear that the project would have to be multi-volume and open-ended. With the publication of the first edition in 1972 the DLB has now run to 14 volumes. This presentation will explore the origins and development of the DLB, the methodological challenges it faces in the twenty first century, and the ways it can be used to explore the past, present, and future of labour history.

 

Discutant : Paul Boulland, co-éditeur du Maitron – dictionnaire biographique du mouvement ouvrier français, CNRS, Centre d’Histoire sociale du XXe siècle (UMR8058), Centre Pouchet (59, rue Pouchet, 75017 Paris)

 

Rohan McWilliam : « Labour and the Left in the 1980s: New Times, New Histories » (16/11)

Rohan McWilliam, professeur et co-directeur du Labour History Research Unit à Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, présentera sa communication « Labour and the Left in the 1980s: New Times, New Histories » le jeudi 16 novembre 2017 de 17h30 à 19h30. Maison de la Recherche, 28 rue Serpente, 75006, salle D421.

 

Résumé :

« The serious scholarly study of Thatcherism in Britain is expanding dramatically. Far less attention has been devoted to Labour in the 1980s or the cultures of the left more widely. This paper, drawn from a new edited collection, Labour and the Left in the 1980s (to be published by Manchester University Press in December 2017), seeks to redress this and calls for new historical investigations of recent progressive politics so as to put the development of modern neo-liberalism in perspective. The 1980s was a contested and divided decade.

Why did the left do so badly? Labour was defeated in the elections of 1979, 1983, 1987 and 1992. Workers’ struggles, such as the 1984-5 Miners’ Strike, ended in defeat.   This paper argues that in many ways the 1980s was actually a creative decade for the left. We need to redefine what we mean by political success. The left shaped the morality of modern Britain in distinctive ways. Arguments about opposition to gender or racial or homophobic discrimination (once controversial) are now mainstream. This paper considers the paradigms and approaches that need to shape a new history of the modern British left. »