There are 6 panels split over three sessions, with 2 panels running concurrently in each session.
Session 1: a) Radical historiographies, and b) Urban and rural workers.
Session 2: a) Political commitment, and b) The state and authority.
Session 3: a) Social movements and protest, and b) Radical education.
"We are very pleased with the quality and variety of the abstracts submitted and very much look forward to the day. We hope you can join us!"
For more information see: http://radicalhistoryconference.wordpress.com/
This Call for Papers led to the email discussion summarised (anonymised) below
Many of us involved in 'radical history', although some of us have doubts about the meaning of the term, are not academics, graduates or even 'historians'. Our interest in the past is linked powerfully to our interest and experience in the present and our desperate need to change it. To paraphrase some dodgy old geezer - history is too important to be left to historians. Many of us also have serious doubts about academia and its relationship to capital and the reproduction of value. Although useful work can be done by academics, to limit discussion in this way (a mistake too often fallen into these days) would be laughable...
To all people wanting to oppose oppression and to support positive alternatives...
Celebrate our history, avoid repeating our mistakes, and get inspiration to help create a better society for the future.
Bulletin for the Study of Labour History
Around 1980 were debates along lines of non academic / academic, non professional / professional. Where labour history existed and who pursued the work?
The debates focused on at least two matters. One, an editorial in the Bulletin that may inadvertently have suggested that professional meant academic trained, because academic training was necessary to be professional. Two, that the History Workshop and especially Raphael Samuel's pushing for emotionally engaged history was counter to this criteria of professional adequacy. However, one contributor from Ruskin raised the problem that HW was not in fact the originator of labour history, which had its inspiration elsewhere in the college. There were also comments that the then HWJ Editorial Board may have been less inclined to labour history than it professed.
For a less exclusive arrangement, we might look across the border to Cymru and Llafur, started in 1970/71. That greater openness may have been because Cymraeg history is very different to English, not least in terms of culture, class, education and learning.
Hope contributions continue. Maybe they could find expression in staged exchange at some point? Call for papers anyone?
To introduce myself... my history (into the present) is a fusion of activism, policy work and research ... and - more recently, also part-time academia. My background is in monitoring police and intelligence since the 1980s, the focus on corporate spying on campaigners was added a bit more recently.
I am now working with what we have called The Undercover Research Group: a small set of dedicated activist-investigators who individually and collectively have already been diligently researching the subject of state and corporate spying for a number of years. Many exposures in the mainstream media were initially based on the research of activists – several of them directly linked to our group, eventually supported by investigative reporters at the Guardian.
Trying to get funding for the work of some of us (research and building a website), we pitch charities as well as academia ... only to discover that the work is often considered too political for either.
However, I strongly believe in research that is driven by commitment as long as the result is well-sourced. MIT emeritus professor Gary T. Marx (indeed) is convinced that research on dirty tricks cannot be done by academics alone, he said something like “While secrecy seriously hampers research in the field of surveillance, academics rely on the work of investigative journalists, citizens and on the occasional whistle-blower. Ideally, bringing together research from different fronts would result in projects and publications that draw from the best of those worlds”.
Taking this a little further, the story ‘from below’ has to be told, or change will not happen. In their research on terrorism victims in Italy, Bull and Cooke (2013) describe the process that transforms objects of state interference (as a form of state violence) to what they call ‘agents of truth’. They understand ‘the act of storytelling’as a method that complements investigative research, which is of interest as a social process and valuable as a political strategy.
In a similar way, people targeted by undercover operations and those now involved in the research, become campaigners on this issue ‘attributing a public and social meaning’ to their experiences.
Well, this might be an academic way of Bull and Cooke to say what we already know.
Somehow, the label ‘academic’ still seems to add a certain kind of value to one’s work, which we might want to use if it helps the cause, so to say, but needs to be undermined at the same time... have a look at this: http://resistancestudies.org/