Thursday, 30 April 2015

Routledge Studies in Radical History and Politics

From John Roberts:

 We are currently looking for book proposals to be included in a new book series, Routledge Studies in Radical History and Politics
The series has two areas of interest. Firstly, it aims to publish books which focus on the history of movements of the radical left. ‘Movement of the radical left’ is here interpreted in its broadest sense as encompassing those past movements for radical change which operated in the mainstream political arena as with political parties, and past movements for change which operated more outside the mainstream as with millenarian movements, anarchist groups, utopian socialist communities, and trade unions. Secondly, the series aims to publish books which focus on more contemporary expressions of radical left-wing politics. Recent years have been witness to the emergence of a multitude of new radical movements adept at getting their voices in the public sphere. From those participating in the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement, community unionism, social/new media forums, independent media outlets, local voluntary organisations campaigning for progressive change, and so on, it seems to be the case that innovative networks of radicalism are being constructed in civil society that operate in different public forms. 

 The series very much welcomes titles with a British focus, but is not limited to any particular national context or region. The series will encourage scholars who contribute to draw on perspectives and insights from a variety of disciplines. 

 If you do have a book proposal that you think might fit the remit of the series then please email it to Thomas Linehan at and John Roberts at

Monday, 13 April 2015

CfP; Before '68: The Left, activism and social movements in the long 1960s

Call for Papers
Before ’68: The Left, activism & social movements in the long 1960s
Dates: 13 and 14 February 2016
Venue: School of History, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK
and hosted by UEA School of History in conjunction with the journal Socialist History and the Institute of Working Class History (Chicago).
The events of 1968, particularly those in France, have achieved a mythical status in both the memory and the historiography of the 1960s. For some, 1968 marked the end-point of a realignment of the European ‘New Left’. For others 1968 represented a student generation in revolt, and many of the first accounts which sought to explain the history and meaning of ’68 were written by that generation.
More recently historians have tried to demythologise ’68, looking both at less ‘glamourous’ locales and at the deeper histories of anti-colonial struggles and worker activism prior to the events of that year. The aim of this conference is to explore the diverse histories of social activism and left politics in Britain and elsewhere, and how they prepared the ground for and fed into ‘1968’. Themes might include, but are not limited to:
  • Anti-nuclear & peace movements
  • Civil Rights struggles
  • The Black Power movement
  • Anti-colonial politics
  • The activities of the Labour movement and the ‘traditional’ Left
  • The grassroots activism of the ‘New Left’
  • Far Left challenges: Trotskyism & Maoism
  • Campaigns around housing and the built environment
  • Campaigns around race and discrimination in the workplace and housing
  • Solidarity movements with struggles abroad (e.g. South Africa, Vietnam)
  • Campaigns for Homosexual Equality
  • Second Wave Feminism
    We are seeking papers of 5000 to 10000 words on any aspects of left activism and social movements in the period preceding 1968 to be presented at the conference. Selected papers will be published in a special issue of the journal Socialist History. Attendance at the conference will be free of charge, but we ask that anyone wishing to attend registers in advance. Proposals for papers and any enquiries should be submitted to Ben Jones. Email:
    Deadline for proposals for papers: 31 October 2015

Monday, 6 April 2015

The Chartists Were Right

Socialist History Society meeting: 
2pm, Saturday 25 April 2015
David Goodway speaks on 'The Chartists Were Right: George Julian Harney's Late Journalism, 1890-97'. 
David Goodway is the author of London Chartism 1838-1848 (CUP 1982), The Real History of Chartism (SHS Occasional Publication No 32) and editor of George Julian Harney: The Chartists Were Right. Selections from the Newcastle Weekly Chronicle, 1890-97 (Merlin 2014). 
Time: 2.00 pm
Venue: Tenants Hall, Red Lion Square

George Julian Harney: The Chartists Were Right. Selections from the Newcastle Weekly Chronicle, 1890-97 (Merlin 2014).

Harney is a key figure in the history of English radicalism. His long life witnessed the Chartist movement from 1830s through to the beginnings of socialism from the 1880s. He wrote about literature, foreign affairs and politics, subjects that should interest anyone with an interest in Victorian Studies.

In his youth Harney was an admirer of the most radical figures of the French Revolution. The youngest member of the first Chartist Convention, he was an advocate of physical-force Chartism in 1838-9. His interest to historians has tended to be as the friend of Marx and Engels, the publisher of the first English translation of the Communist Manifesto and leader, with Ernest Jones, of the Chartist left in the early 1850s. Yet his finest period had been 1843-50, when he worked on the Northern Star: for five years he was an outstanding editor of a great newspaper. Almost everyone will be astonished to discover that not only did he live until as late as 1897, but also that in the 1890s he was producing a weekly column for the Newcastle Weekly Chronicle edited by W.E. Adams, another old Chartist and his younger admirer. The column was superbly written, politically challenging, and vigorously polymathic.

This is the first selection of Harney's writings to be published.