Emma Griffin, ‘Empire and the Origins of Global Capitalism’ (16 mai)

Jeudi 16 mai à 17h : Emma Griffin (Queen Mary University of London), ‘Empire and the Origins of Global Capitalism’

The British industrial revolution has long, and rightly, been regarded as a turning point in world history, and the question of why it all began in Britain has produced a large and lively literature.

In the past twenty years, our understanding has been considerably enhanced by the repositioning of events in eighteenth-century Britain within global history frameworks. Yet this has resulted in some unwieldy comparisons between Britain, a small island, on the one hand; and very large, continental land masses – India, China, and North America – on the other. Not only do these comparisons involve a significant switch in scale, there is the added complication that some of these regions were themselves bound in complex colonial relationships with Britain.  By looking at European nations, similar in size, existing outside Britain’s empire, and indeed in some instances with imperial holdings and ambitions of their own, it is possible to shed new light on the complex and contested relationship between empire and industrialisation, and offer new answers as to why Britain industrialised first.

Emma Griffin  est professor of Modern British History à Queen Mary University of London et présidente de la Royal Historical Society. Elle a publié cinq ouvrages, dont Bread Winner: An Intimate History of the Victorian Economy (Yale University Press, 2020) et elle prépare une histoire globale de l’industrialisation.

James Fisher, autour de son ouvrage _The Enclosure of Knowledge: Books, Power & Agrarian Capitalism in Britain 1660-1800_ (25 avril)

Jeudi 25 avril : James Fisher (Exeter), autour de son ouvrage The Enclosure of Knowledge. Books, Power and Agrarian Capitalism in Britain, 1660–1800 (Cambridge, 2022)

James Fisher viendra présenter son ouvrage, The Enclosure of Knowledge: Books, Power & Agrarian Capitalism in Britain 1660-1800 (Cambridge University Press, 2022) qui s’intéresse à l’essor de la production d’ouvrages d’agriculture et d’agronomie au dix-huitième siècle en Grande Bretagne et dont voici le résumé (en anglais) :

 

“The rise of agrarian capitalism in Britain is usually told as a story about markets, land and wages. The Enclosure of Knowledge reveals that it was also about books, knowledge and expertise. It argues that during the early modern period, farming books were a key tool in the appropriation of the traditional art of husbandry possessed by farm workers of all kinds. It challenges the dominant narrative of an agricultural ‘enlightenment’, in which books merely spread useful knowledge, by showing how codified knowledge was used to assert greater managerial control over land and labour. The proliferation of printed books helped divide mental and manual labour to facilitate emerging social divisions between labourers, managers and landowners. The cumulative effect was the slow enclosure of customary knowledge. By synthesising diverse theoretical insights, this study opens up a new social history of agricultural knowledge and reinvigorates long-term histories of knowledge under capitalism.”

 James Fisher is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Exeter. He completed his PhD in History at King’s College London in 2018. Befor joining Exeter in 2023, he taught at King’s College London, Royal Holloway, and the University of East London.

Sophie Scott-Brown: ‘The Impolitics of Internationalism: The International Society for Socialist Studies (1955-1956)’ (4 avril)

Jeudi 4 avril 2024 à 17h : Sophie Scott-Brown (St Andrews) – The Impolitics of Internationalism: The International Society for Socialist Studies (1955-1956)

The International Society for Socialist Studies (ISSS)was formally launched at a conference in Paris, 23-25 March 1956. It was the fruit of efforts by veteran British socialist GDH Cole in co-operation with the great and the good of Europe’s left. Disappointed with the Soviet Experiment and welfarist Labourism in his own country, Cole believed the left needed to be weaned from the narrow nationalistic interests of politicians and reset on the universal principles of peace and anti-colonialism. Organising this should entail an ambitious, genuinely international endeavour, a great collaboration co-ordinated by a council comprised of people from different countries but not representing those countries. This council would not set down a programme or doctrine but manage an international network allowing members to learn of and support projects, protests, and activities across borders.

Cole’s idea was eagerly taken up and the Paris conference seemed to confirm that a bright new force had entered the European political arena. For two days delegates gave passionate speeches pledging whole hearted support from the left in their own countries. Cole was satisfied, a wonderful start had been made, but he was also unwell and spent much of the time he was not called to the platform in his hotel room. While he rested upstairs, a very different kind of conference was taking place below, one which highlighted the very real limits of his vision and the form that he saw it in.

In this talk, I first discuss the ‘front stage’ of the conference, the ideals Cole and fellow delegates were ready to formally affirm. I then go ‘backstage’ and show how the private discussions between members undermined the principles they publicly espoused. It will be of no surprise that political people are duplicitous, but considering this conference closely highlights the key tensions in the post-war European left, spotlighting the fault lines which hampered efforts for socialist regeneration across Europe. Cole believed socialism in a globalised world must be prepared to ‘act local and think global’. Paris ’56 showed was that the European left were only prepared to talk global and think local. While this reduced their capacity for co-operation in spring 1956, experiencing this spectacle first hand had a powerful impact on future New Left activists like the Jamaican student Stuart Hall. 

Sophie Scott-Brown is a research fellow at St Andrew’s Institute of Intellectual History, specialising in the history of activism and radical politics. She is the author of Radical Fifties: Activist Politics in Cold War Britain (OUP, forthcoming), Colin Ward and the Art of Everyday Anarchism (Routledge, 2022), and The histories of Raphael Samuel: Portrait of a People’s Historian (ANU, 2017). Her work has also appeared in Journal of the History of Ideas, Modern Intellectual History, Journal of European History of Ideas, Global Intellectual History and British Journal of Educational Studies.  She is currently working on the ‘The Artful Science: Transatlantic Dialogues on Activism and Radical Democracy 1945-1963’. 

Lauriane Simony : Le British Council et la promotion de l’Etat-Providence en Birmanie: héritages et influence du modèle culturel et politique britannique après l’indépendance (28 mars)

Jeudi 28 mars à 17h: Lauriane Simony (Cergy): Le British Council et la promotion de l’Etat-Providence en Birmanie : héritages et influence du modèle culturel et politique britannique après l’indépendance 

Cette communication portera tout d’abord sur la mise en place d’un centre du British Council à Rangoun au moment des négociations pour l’indépendance de la Birmanie, dans la perspective d’une redéfinition de la “relation spéciale” que le Royaume-Uni entend maintenir avec ses anciennes colonies au-delà de l’indépendance. Il s’agit au départ, à travers cette institution culturelle, d’encourager le développement d’une nouvelle forme de relation entre le personnel britannique et les élites birmanes, hors de la sphère politique : le British Council est alors envisagé comme un espace de sociabilité, plus qu’un lieu culturel ou un centre linguistique. Dans un second temps, cette communication analysera comment le British Council devient, à partir de l’indépendance de la Birmanie en 1948, un vecteur de transmission de l’héritage culturel britannique. Dans les années 1950, la reconnaissance du rôle de la diplomatie culturelle pour soutenir la politique étrangère du gouvernement britannique conduit à une expansion importante des activités du British Council en Birmanie. Le British Council cherche ainsi à faire la promotion du modèle d’État-Providence britannique pour influencer le processus de construction nationale de la Birmanie durant les premières années d’indépendance, mais aussi détourner l’élite politique birmane de l’alternative communiste.

 

Lauriane Simony est maîtresse de conférences à CY Cergy Paris Université et chercheuse au laboratoire AGORA (EA 7392). Ses recherches en histoire britannique portent sur le British Council en Birmanie après l’indépendance et sur les questions de diplomatie culturelle dans le double contexte de la décolonisation de l’Empire britannique et de la Guerre froide. Parmi ses travaux récents, elle a contribué à l’ouvrage From Far East to Asia Pacific: Great Powers and Grand Strategy, 1900-1954 (sous la direction de Brian P. Farrell, SR Joey Long et David J. Ulbrich ; paru en 2022 aux éditions De Gruyter). Elle a également co-dirigé, avec Mélanie Torrent, un numéro spécial de la revue Contemporary British History intitulé “Diplomatic Departures: negotiating Britain’s international outreach in the contemporary world” (paru en 2023), dans lequel elle a également contribué un article : “Cultural diplomacy in times of crisis: the British Council’s departure from Burma during the military dictatorship (1962-1966)”. Enfin, en 2019, elle a reçu une bourse de la Société des Anglicistes de l’Enseignement Supérieur afin de mener des recherches aux Archives Nationales du Myanmar.

Perry Gauci, “Friends and Countrymen: The London Private Banker in Eighteenth-Century Society”  (14 mars)

Jeudi 14 mars, de 17h à 18h30, salle D421 :

Perry Gauci (Oxford), “Friends and Countrymen: The London Private Banker in Eighteenth-Century Society” 

Avec la publication imminente d’une nouvelle étude sur le monde de la banque britannique à l’époque moderne, Perry Gauci (Oxford) s’interroge sur l’émergence de ce nouveau métier et sur ses fondements culturels et sociaux. Son intervention portera en outre sur la place de la banque privée dans la société du 18ème siècle.  Il évoquera la professionnalisation des métiers de la banque au 18e siècle, l’importance des réseaux amicaux et familiaux et l’émergence d’une culture propre au milieu bancaire. La nature des relations entre les banquiers et leurs clients se trouvera au cœur de ses interrogations et permettra d’aborder de manière nouvelle, l’éternelle question de la coexistence entre les élites négociantes et foncières.

Perry Gauci est l’auteur de plusieurs livres, notamment Politics and Society in Great Yarmouth 1660-1722 (Oxford, 1996), The Politics of Trade: The Overseas Merchant in State and Society (Oxford , 2001), William Beckford: First Prime Minister of the London Empire (Yale, 2013), Emporium of the World: The Merchants of London (Hambledon Continuum, 2007). Il a également publié une collection d’essais consacrée à Paul Langford : Revisiting the Polite and Commercial People (Oxford, 2019).

Béatrice Robic, « Le travail des enfants en Angleterre et au pays de Galles (1870-1914) » (29 fév.)

Jeudi 29 février 2024 à 17h

Béatrice Robic (Paris Nanterre), « Le travail des enfants en Angleterre et au pays de Galles (1870-1914) »

Cette communication apporte un éclairage sur le travail des enfants en Grande-Bretagne au moment où celui-ci, bien qu’il touche à sa fin, est loin d’être devenu un phénomène marginal.

L’abolition du travail des enfants outre-Manche fut le fruit d’une longue marche : entamée en 1788 avec, pour premier pas, l’interdiction de l’emploi d’enfants ramoneurs de moins de huit ans, celle-ci ne s’acheva que 130 ans plus tard, en 1918. Il fallut en effet attendre la fin de la Première Guerre mondiale pour que furent levées les dernières dérogations autorisant les écoliers des classes populaires à quitter l’école deux ans avant d’avoir atteint les quatorze ans réglementaires. De fait, tout au long du dix-neuvième siècle, l’action des réformateurs sociaux se heurta à de vives résistances, alimentées par une offre et une demande de main-d’œuvre enfantine soutenues.

Si le sevrage de l’économie britannique au travail des enfants s’avéra difficile, il semble toutefois que ce processus connut une nette accélération entre 1870 et 1914. Entre ces deux dates, le pourcentage d’enfants (âgés de dix à treize ans inclus) déclarés actifs dans les recensements de l’Angleterre et du pays de Galles fut divisé par quatre, passant de près de 20% à 5%. Or cette période fut aussi celle de l’introduction, puis de l’extension progressive, de l’obligation de scolarité élémentaire. Dès lors, on peut se demander dans quelle mesure le retrait des enfants du marché du travail est allé de pair avec la démocratisation de l’accès à l’école. Autrement dit, peut-on mettre l’élimination du travail des enfants en Grande-Bretagne au crédit de l’État ?

Béatrice Robic est maitresse de conférences en civilisation britannique à l’université Paris-Nanterre.

Luxe Blaxill,’Text Mining and Political History: challenges and opportunities in the age of Big Data’ (8 fév.)

Jeudi 8er février 2024 à 17h : Luke Blaxill (Oxford) – ‘Text Mining and Political History: challenges and opportunities in the age of Big Data”
 
This paper is about the challenges and opportunities afforded by the computational analysis of unreadably large textual datasets. I argue that historians have broadly failed to grasp these profound opportunities. Despite the abundance of machine-readable data liberated by digitisation, there has been no widespread embrace of text mining or more general revival of cliometrics. This ambivalence has arisen mainly through apathy and side-lining computational analysis to a specialist methodological niche. The absence of justification is damaging to the intellectual vitality of the discipline and its capacity to face the dawning age of data science and associated developments in artificial intelligence, seen recently with Chat GPT 4.

This paper will showcase examples of text mining in action in modern British political history. Case studies will include election speeches in the period 1880-1910, the contributions of women MPs in Parliament since 1945, and nineteenth century election violence.

I argue for a reopening of the wider debate about the historian and the computer. This requires informed sceptics to come forward to meet the advocates to discuss how we face the future. British political history has a proud tradition of methodological innovation and is a subfield which could begin a debate that has fundamental implications for the whole discipline

Luke Blaxill is college lecturer in Modern British History at Hertford College University of Oxford. He has published widely on text mining in History, especially British politics. His first book, The War of Words: the language of British Elections 1880-1914 was published in 2020 with the Royal Historical Society.

Alison Cathcart, ‘James VI & I and his empire of islands’  (1er fév.)

Jeudi 1er février 2024 à 17h

 Alison Cathcart (University of Stirling):  

‘James VI & I and his empire of islands’ 

 

As King of Scotland (1566-1603) and then King of Scotland, England, and Ireland (1603-1625) literature on James tends to focus on his governance either north or south of the border and thus adopts a rather national or territorial focus. Indeed, there remains a focus on court, council, church, and parliament with James regarded as an imperial monarch keen to assert his royal authority throughout his kingdom. But within the wider arguments regarding state formation, the outlying, or so-called peripheral, regions of his ‘impyre’ are ignored. This paper seeks to examine James’ rule over such outlying regions, specifically island communities, to determine how these communities were viewed from the centre and how James sought to integrate them into his wider realm. While historians of Scotland tend to view James (post-1603) as a king increasingly out of touch with his ‘his native soile and place of birth …and breeding’, this paper will challenge such perspectives arguing that James was coordinating policy across his realms and dominions. In doing so it will focus on Orkney and Shetland and the Channel Islands.

—————

Alison Cathcart est Professor of early-modern History à l’université de Stirling. On lui doit notamment Plantations by Land and Sea: North Channel Communities of the Atlantic Archipelago c.1550-1625, Oxford: Peter Lang, 2021, et Scotland and the Wider World: Essays in honour of Allan I. Macinnes. Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2022.

 

 

Myriam-Isabelle Ducrocq, ‘Harrington’s republic in eighteenth-century France’ (21 déc.)

Jeudi 21 décembre 2023 à 17h : Myriam-Isabelle Ducrocq (université Paris Nanterre), ‘Harrington’s republic in eighteenth-century France’

In his major book The Commonwealth of Oceana (1656) and his subsequent writings, James Harrington vindicated democracy in an age when the term was often synonymous with anarchy (Cuttica and Peltonen, 2019). Beyond the act of resistance to tyranny, he exposed the constitutional means of implementing popular sovereignty in a vast country. In doing so, Harrington has incarnated a distinctive form of republicanism in seventeenth-century England, and, as I tried to show, in eighteenth-century France to inspire various constitutional projects.

By reconstructing the history of his reception, La République de Harrington dans la France des Lumières et de la Révolution (Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, 2022) aims to bridge the gap between the great Pocockian narrative of Machiavellian republicanism in Great-Britain and the American colonies (The Machiavellian Moment, 1975) and the historiography of the French Revolution. The present book is set against the panorama offered by Rachel Hammersley (The English republican tradition in eighteenth-century France, 2010) and aims to go further. On the one hand, it shows the major role played by authors such as Hume, Jaucourt or Rousseau, along with numerous minores, notably translators and commentators, in reviving Harrington’s ideas. On the other hand, it shows the diversity of his intellectual legacy. He did not only stand as the inspirer of specific political institutions: as political economy developed, Harrington also appeared as the theoretician of a distribution of wealth among the people, perceived by many as the true basis of a stable political order.

Myriam-Isabelle Ducrocq is Professor of British civilisation at Paris Nanterre University. Her research has focused on the history of political thought in early modern England and more particularly on English republicanism and its reception in eighteenth century France. She has authored a monograph, Aux Sources de la démocratie anglaise. De Thomas Hobbes à John Locke (Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, 2012) and has directed a collective volume with Laïla Ghermani, Le Prince, le despote, le tyran : figures du souverain en Europe de la Renaissance aux Lumières/The Prince, the Despot, the Tyrant : figures of the sovereign in Europe from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment (Honoré Champion, 2019). She has also translated Rachel Hammersley’s book: Entre Anciens et modernes. La Tradition républicaine anglaise dans la France du dix-huitième siècle (Le Bord de l’eau, Nouvelle Bibliothèque républicaine, 2022).

 

 

Emily Ward, « “I witness this myself”: adolescent rulers and political “belonging” in Britain and France, c. 1150 –c. 1260) » (7 déc.)

Jeudi 7 décembre 2023 à 17h

Emily Ward (University of Edinburgh), « “I witness this myself”: adolescent rulers and political “belonging” in Britain and France, c. 1150 –c. 1260) ».

Small shifts in the formulae and content of medieval acts and letters are often highly revealing, especially for what they can tell us about responses to political change and ideas of image making. This paper focuses on a Latin formula, teste me ipso (‘I witness [this] myself’), that appeared in Scottish royal acts early in the reign of Alexander III, king of Scots. Alexander had become king in 1249 at the age of seven, and his adoption of the new clause coincided with the years of his adolescence, when a chief preoccupation was to assert how fully the young king ‘belonged’ within the same political sphere as his royal counterparts both in England and across the continent. But Alexander was not the only adolescent ruler trying to establish an independent, authoritative voice for himself on the political stage. Placing the king of Scots within a much wider context, this paper argues that there were a cohort of rulers across Britain and France all drawn to the same Latin formula to help impress the personal nature of their rule early in their youth.

Résumé :

Les changements minimes dans les formules et le contenu des actes et des lettres du Moyen Âge sont souvent très révélateurs, en particulier pour ce qu’ils nous apprennent sur les réactions aux changements politiques et sur les idées de création d’images. Cette communication porte sur une formule latine, teste me ipso (« étant moi-même témoin »), qui apparaît dans les actes royaux écossais au début du règne d’Alexandre III, roi d’Écosse. Alexandre était devenu roi en 1249, à l’âge de sept ans, et l’adoption de cette nouvelle clause correspond à son adolescence, où l’une des principales préoccupations était d’affirmer à quel point le jeune roi « appartenait » à la même sphère politique que ses homologues royaux, tant en Angleterre que sur le continent. Mais Alexandre ne fut pas le seul souverain adolescent à tenter d’établir une voix indépendante et d’autorité sur la scène politique. Situant le roi d’Écosse dans un contexte beaucoup plus large, cette communication suggère qu’un groupe de souverains, en Grande-Bretagne et en France, furent tous attirés par la même formule latine pour aider à faire comprendre la nature personnelle de leur règne dès leur plus jeune âge.

Dr Emily Joan Ward is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Edinburgh and, from January 2024, she will take up a permanent position there as Lecturer in Medieval Scottish History. Her current project, ‘Adolescence and Belonging in Medieval Europe, c. 1000–c. 1250’, explores ideas about age, authority and identity. Her first monograph, Royal Childhood and Child Kingship: Boy Kings in England, Scotland, France and Germany, c.1050–1262 was published with Cambridge University Press in 2022 and is now available in a paperback edition. She has also published on topics such as motherhood, royal succession, queenship and guardianship, and her most recent article is in the current volume of Thirteenth-Century England, entitled ‘“A Star Lit by God”: Boy Kings, Childish Innocence, and English Exceptionalism during Henry III’s Minority, c. 1216–c. 1227’.

Emily Joan Ward est titulaire d’une bourse postdoctorale de la British Academy à l’Université d’Édimbourg ; à partir de janvier 2024, elle y occupera un poste permanent de lecturer en histoire écossaise médiévale. Son projet actuel, intitulé « Adolescence and Belonging in Medieval Europe, c. 1000-c. 1250 », explore les notions d’âge, d’autorité et d’identité. Sa première monographie, Royal Childhood and Child Kingship: Boy Kings in England, Scotland, France and Germany, c.1050-1262, a été publiée par Cambridge University Press en 2022 et est maintenant disponible en édition de poche. Elle a également publié sur des sujets tels que la maternité, la succession royale, la royauté et la tutelle, et son article le plus récent, intitulé « “A Star Lit by God” : Boy Kings, Childish Innocence, and English Exceptionalism during Henry III’s Minority, c. 1216-c. 1227 », figure dans le dernier volume de Thirteenth-Century England.

William J. Ashworth  : ‘The Legacy of the Chemical Industry in Northwest England, 1824-1863’ (23 nov.)

Jeudi 23 novembre 2023 à 17h

William J. Ashworth (U. of Liverpool) : ‘The Legacy of the Chemical Industry in Northwest England, 1824-1863’

Abstract : My institution, the University of Liverpool, is based in an area associated with the heart of the country’s chemical industry. It is also one of the most polluted and deprived regions of the country. My talk is based on a project I am hoping to put together looking at the history and legacy of this industry within this region. The aim is to document the impact of the industry on the landscape, health, and economy of the north-west of England: Merseyside, Widnes, Runcorn, St Helens and Newton-in-the-Willows. Why did the industry commence here on such a large scale during the early nineteenth century and what industries did it serve? The focus here will be on textiles in Lancashire, soap in Liverpool, Runcorn and Warrington, and glass in St Helens.

William J. Ashworth est Reader en histoire contemporaine à l’université de Liverpool. Ses travaux portent sur l’histoire de l’industrialisation, des sciences, des technologies et des finances en Angleterre entre 1640 et 1850. On lui doit notamment The Trinity Circle Anxiety, Intelligence, and Knowledge Creation in Nineteenth-Century England (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2021); The Industrial Revolution: The State, Knowledge and Global Trade (Bloomsbury, 2017), et Customs and Excise: Trade, Production and Consumption in England, 1640-1845 (Oxford UP, 2003).

Ophélie Siméon : « Anna Doyle Wheeler (1785-1848): itinéraire politique et militant d’une pionnière du féminisme » (9 nov).

Jeudi 9 novembre à 17 h: attention, la communication de John Tolan est reportée à une date ultérieure.  Elle est remplacée par : Ophélie Siméon (Sorbonne Nouvelle), « Anna Doyle Wheeler (1785-1848): itinéraire politique et militant d’une pionnière du féminisme »

Résumé : Cette communication examine l’oeuvre et le parcours d’une pionnière oubliée du féminisme, l’Irlandaise Anna Doyle Wheeler (v. 1785-1848). Si son rôle d’intermédiaire au sein des premiers mouvements socialistes européens est relativement bien documenté, sa contribution à l’histoire des femmes et des idées demeure peu connue. Elle est pourtant l’inspiratrice et la co-auteure de l’un des ouvrages fondateurs de la cause féministe, Appeal of One Half the Human Race (1825), rédigé avec son compatriote William Thompson (1775-1833) mais paru sous le seul nom de ce dernier. Si Thompson préface l’ouvrage en reconnaissant publiquement l’apport de Wheeler à The Appeal, l’historiographie a le plus souvent réduit sa collaboratrice à un rôle de simple muse.

Il s’agira donc, à travers une étude croisée de la formation intellectuelle de Wheeler et de son oeuvre politique, de lui redonner sa place aux côtés des travaux de Thompson (conformément aux revendications de The Appeal), mais aussi des écrits de Mary Wollstonecraft et du couple Mill. En effet, The Appeal se distingue des écrits proto-féministes de son temps par sa radicalité. S’ils ne sont pas les premiers à revendiquer publiquement le vote des femmes, Wheeler et Thompson identifient cependant l’exploitation des femmes à celle des travailleurs au sein du système capitaliste. Par conséquent, ils s’insurgent contre un féminisme purement libéral pour revendiquer une réforme totale des structures sociales, économiques et politiques sur un mode coopératif, seul à même, selon eux, de garantir l’égalité des sexes. En outre, la section finale de The Appeal, rédigée de la seule main de Wheeler, constitue le premier appel connu à la formation d’un mouvement de femmes à l’échelle internationale. L’étude de cette pensée radicale, entre féminisme et socialisme, permettra d’évaluer la postérité de Wheeler et d’en rappeler l’actualité.

Louise A. Jackson, ‘Gender equalities at work: writing an interdisciplinary history of feminist campaigning in the UK c. 1970-2020’ (19 oct.)

Jeudi 19 octobre à 17h : Louise A. Jackson (Edimbourg), ‘Gender equalities at work: writing an interdisciplinary history of feminist campaigning in the UK c. 1970-2020’

It is 50 years since landmark legislation – the Equal Pay Act 1970 and Sex Discrimination Act 1975 – gave legal effect to the principle of gender equality in the workplace as a statutory requirement in the UK. Whilst campaigns were stimulated by the Women’s Liberation Movement, which rejected formal organisational models, they were taken forward by trade unionists as well as those who moved into occupational roles as lawyers, journalists, equal opportunities experts, policy advisers and ‘femocrats’ within mainstream institutions. This paper draws on interdisciplinary research conducted for the AHRC-funded project Gender Equalities at Work, which seeks to map the trajectories and experiences of equal pay and anti-discrimination campaigning since the 1970s and up to the present. The project overall provides a comprehensive analysis of the strategies, mechanisms, networks and tools that were used by key actors to shift the terms of legal and cultural discourse. This paper will discuss two discrete elements of our work. Firstly, it will explore some of the methodological challenges and benefits of working across disciplines to write a contemporary history of feminist campainging. Secondly, it will focus in on one particular strand: campaigning against workplace sexual harassment (which was judged to be a form of sex discrimination in 1986), to provide a characterisation of campaigning phases from the 1970s through to #MeToo. In so doing, it will seek to comment on how understanding of its history contributes to current debates on legal responses to sexual harassment. 

 

Louise A. Jackson is Professor of Modern Social History at the University of Edinburgh. Her research has traversed the social history of childhood and youth, women’s history, gender history and histories of the law, criminal justice and policing in Modern Britain. She is the author or co-author of five monographs including Women Police: Welfare and Surveillance in the Twentieth Century (2006), Policing Youth: Britain, 1945-70 (2014) and Police and Community in Twentieth-Century Scotland (2020). She is an editor of Social History, the international academic journal. The paper draws on the project ‘Gender Equalities at Work – an Interdisciplinary History of 50 Years of Legislation’, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and a collaboration between researchers at the University of Edinburgh, University College London, and The University of the West of England.

Les ressources numériques en histoire britannique

Jeudi 5 octobre 2023 à 17h (salle D421 à Serpente) :

 

Frédérique Lachaud, Stéphane Jettot et Fabrice Bensimon (Sorbonne Université) : « Les ressources numériques en histoire britannique »

 Cette séance, à l’intention des étudiants de master et de doctorat, évoquera les principales ressources numériques en ligne en histoire britannique. Après une présentation générale, certaines collections en histoire médiévale, moderne et contemporaine seront plus particulièrement présentées.

Ci-dessous, le résumé de la séance:

Ressources numériques en histoire britannique