Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Anti-war perspectives on the First World War

1914-2014: One Hundred Years of War
London Conference • Bishopsgate Institute
Saturday 25 October • 12 Noon - 5pm

• Adam Hochschild • Priyamvada Gopal • Neil Faulkner
• Jeremy Corbyn MP • Seumas Milne • Lindsey German

Organised by the Stop the War Coalition and No Glory - see


Saturday 1st November 2014
Venue: Conway Hall, London
11am to 4.00pm Admission free
‘Class cohesion and spurious patriotism: trade union internationalism in the First World War’
Professor Kevin Morgan
Kevin is a historian of British Communism and the left whose latest book is ‘Bolshevism,
syndicalism and the general strike: The lost internationalist world of A.A. Purcell.
(Lawrence & Wishart 2013)
‘Imperialist Rivalries and the Origins of the First World War’
Stan Newens
Stan, a former MP and MEP, is President of the Socialist History Society and a keen
historian who recently published his autobiography, In Quest of a Fairer Society.
‘So Bloody Much to Oppose – grassroots opposition to World War One’
Keith Flett
Convener of the London Socialist Historians Group, Keith is a prolific letter writer and
author of Chartism After 1848: The Working Class and the Politics of Radical Education
(Merlin 2005).
German Women and the First World War
Dr Helen L Boak
‘Down with the war! We don’t want to starve any longer': German working-class women
and the First World War
Dr Boak will discuss working-class woman’s perspectives on the war covering attitudes to
the outbreak of war, their experiences during the war and the ramifications of the war
for women in the early 1920s. Author of Women in the Weimar Republic.

York: The War to End All Wars? The Anti-War Perspective
Saturday 1st November 2014
Priory Street Centre  • Priory Street  • York
This day-school in York aims to provide an alternative to government plans for a 'celebration of the national spirit'; to counter romantic, populist, nationalist propaganda, and bad history which serve to facilitate future wars; and to offer explanation in place of commemoration.

Sessions and Speakers:

  • The Suffragettes and the War Lindsey German
  • Imperialism and World War One John Rees
  • The Anti-War Movement and the Great War Cyril Pearce
  • Revolution and the End of the War Donny Gluckstein
  • Ireland and World War One Charlie McGuire
  • Industrial Unrest, the First Shop Stewards' Movement, the Labour Movement,& the
    Chris Fuller
  • World War One in the Middle Ease: The Legacy Steve Cox
  • The Other War Poets Owen Clayton
  • Official Commemoration, War Memorials and Private Mourning in York Martin Bashforth

See also the lecture series in London - 'Stop the First World War - advertised previously on this site here:

Saturday, 27 September 2014

The Commune of Paris in Camden

An illustrated talk by Deborah Lavin, author, academic and historian.

At the time the International Working Men's Association was meeting at 256 High Holborn, Karl Marx lived in Camden.

Thursday 9 October, 7.15pm (doors open 6.45pm), at Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre, 2nd floor Holborn Library, 32-38 Theobald's Road, London WC1X 8PA.  Admission free.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Friday, 29 August 2014

LSHG Autumn term seminars

LSHG Autumn term seminars. All at 5.30pm, Olga Crisp room (104) Institute of Historical Research, London with the exception of Saturday 29th November from 1pm - all welcome. 
For more info please contact Keith Flett at the email address above. 
Autumn term LSHG seminars

Mon Sept 29th 
'100 years of the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists'. Shut Out the Light film & discussion

Mon Oct 13th  
Steve Cushion: 'Killing Communists in Havana: 1947 and the start of the Cold War in Latin America'

Mon Oct 27th 
Mike Simons & others: 'The Great 1984/5 miners strike, why a film? Why now?'

Mon Nov 10 
Linda Grant:  'The New Universities. Higher Education and the social history of the 1970s'

Mon Nov 24 
Merilyn Moos 
'Siegfried Moos: a lost revolutionary? The story of a German Communist who fled to Britain in 1934.'

Sat Nov 29th 
Neil Davidson & others.  'The Scottish vote and history'

Mon Dec 8th tbc

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Book Launch: Helen Macfarlane - Red Republican

Book Launch

Macfarlane Front Cover

At 7pm on Monday 1st September, at the Cock Tavern, Chalton Street/Phoenix Road (NW1), the Association of Musical Marxists launches the latest from Unkant Publishers, David Black’s collection of Helen Macfarlane’s wildly fantastic journalism for Chartist newspapers: Helen Macfarlane: Red Republican. ... In 1850, a Scottish governess who’d experienced revolution in Vienna in 1848, left “respectability” behind and began contributing to Democratic ReviewRed Republican and Friend of the People, newspapers aimed at the revolutionary working class (‘the Chartists’). Macfarlane read Hegel better than S.T. Coleridge and wrote better prose than George Eliot; she translated The Communist Manifesto into English thirty years before the version you know. Karl Marx called her a ‘rare bird’. ...  At the Cock, Macfarlane will be reimagined by actress Helene le Bohec, by Dave Black as MC and by musicians as diverse as tape-manipulator Ian Stonehouse and bassist Mark Harvey. Please come down to a left pub-upstairs-meeting which is free, welcomes kids, includes ace improvising musicians ....

Friday, 22 August 2014

CfP: Workers' Education and Global Labour Movements

Workers' Education and Global Labor Movements
A Special Issue of 
With IFWEA: International Federation of Worker Education Associations
Issue Co-Editors: 
Dean Michael Merrill, The Van Arsdale Center, SUNY Empire State College
Dean Susan J. Schurman, School of Labor & Management Relations, Rutgers—The State University of New Jersey
Deadline for ABSTRACTS of proposed papers: NOVEMBER 1, 2014
Notice of ACCEPTED PROPOSALS: no later than DECEMBER 15, 2014
Deadline for FIRST DRAFTS of proposed papers: JULY 1, 2015
Deadline for FINAL DRAFTS of proposed papers: JANUARY 2, 2016
Proposed publication date: FALL 2016
We have learned a great deal about the history of global working class in the modern era and about the economic, political, and social struggles that accompanied its rise. But we still know comparatively little about the educational institutions, relationships and practices working class movements have used to develop the capacity for sustained struggle, not to mention the ability to survive their defeats and institutionalize their victories.
To encourage a deeper understanding of these efforts, the editors of ILWCH (International Labor & Working-Class History) invite proposals for articles, interviews, review essays, documents, conference and archive reports, photo essays, and reflections on the role of worker education, both formal and informal, in the development of the global labor movement and its base communities.
We are especially concerned to receive proposals for papers that describe both the formal and informal educational practices that working people have pioneered to advance their own struggles and those that explore the intellectual and cultural achievements of working people that have emerged from these practices.  
In every society in which workers’ movements have appeared, they have been concerned to provide their members with the knowledge, skills and perspectives required to live better lives and to be more effective advocates for themselves and their interests. In the service of these goals, the movements and their members have worked both to develop their own educational institutions and to secure access for all working people to the best educational opportunities their societies have to offer.
The following examples suggest the range of these important educational initiatives, of which there are many, and we invite proposals that explore them, and others like them, across the entire range: 
  • In Great Britain, the Worker Education Association has provided hundreds of thousands of workers with access to a wide range of post-secondary courses and programs of study, while employing several of the best known English labor intellectuals of the 20th century, including G. D. H. Cole, Karl Polanyi, E. P. Thompson, and Raymond Williams.
  • In Sweden, following labor movement’s devastating defeat in a general strike of 1909, Swedish trade unionists and members of the Social Democratic Party pioneered the use of “study circles” as part of a self-conscious “education strategy” to counteract the growing influence of anarcho-syndicalist and Bolshevik rivals, which resulted ultimately in the peace pact of 1938 between the unions and the employers and laid the groundwork for the postwar “Swedish model.”
  • In Brazil, movements of independent trade unionists and dispossessed rural workers have nourished and been encouraged by innovative educational programs, including mass literacy campaigns of the sort pioneered by Paolo Freire, indigenous schools associated with the ecclesiastical base communities of liberation theology, and even industry-sponsored trade schools, such as the one in which Luiz (“Lula”) da Silva got his start.
  • In South Africa, the International Labour Research and Information Group, together with its allied community groups and organizations, provided continuing intellectual and educational support to trade union struggles and worker mobilizations, which deserves to be more widely known, as do other popular education efforts, such as the two volumes of Luli Callinicos’s A People’s History of South Africa, the first volume of which, Gold and Workers, was used by the National Miners Union in its membership education.
  • In India, the Self-Employed Women’s Association (or SEWA) was founded initially to provide educational and other assistance to women in the so-called “informal sector.” It has since grown to become one of the largest labor organizations in the world and continues to provide a wide range of educational services to its members and to encourage their pursuit of their own learning, both formal and informal.
Abstracts and inquiries should be addressed to the Editors at:
c/o The Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies
SUNY Empire State College
325 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10013

Email: ILWCH@esc.edu