Conference: The Memory of Labour

August 23, 2010

The Memory of Labour
9-12 September 2010
Bildungshaus Jägermayrhof, Römerstraße 98, 4020 Linz
Simultaneous Translation: English – German

46th Linz Conference, organized by the International Conference of Labour and Social History and the Chamber of Labour of Upper Austria, kindly supported by the Federal Ministry of Research, the Provincial Government of Upper Austria, the City of Linz and the Friedrich Ebert-Foundation Bonn.

Preparatory Committee

Jürgen Mittag (Co-ordinator, Institute for Social Movements, Ruhr University of Bochum), Bruno Groppo (Centre d’Histoire Sociale, Université de Paris I), Eva Himmelstoss (ITH), Jürgen Hofmann (Berlin), Silke Neunsinger (Labour Movement Archives and Library, Stockholm), Berthold Unfried (ITH & Institute for Social and Economic History, Vienna University), Marcel van der Linden (International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam).

Background and Approaches

Starting point of the conference cycle is the question about the presence of labour movements in public representations of the past (“collective memory”). This approach is relevant, because the field of politics of history, historiography, communicative and cultural memory has been readjusted during the last decades. The changes in global politics and global memory politics after the end of the bipolar world system have led to very controversial debates: from questions about the exploitation of the past for political objectives and as a means of identity politics, along the debate about the prerogative of interpretation of national memory in media and memorial sites up to the debate on the transnationalisation of certain forms of “collective memory”.

Yet, in this context, the role of labour movements has remained vague and scarcely discussed. Against this backdrop, the 2010 conference is meant to analyse which modes of remembrance and repression have influenced collective memory about labour movements, which events have been fed into the memory canon and what were the changes these processes of memory have been subject to in the last few years: Are the social emancipation efforts and the call for humanisation of living and working conditions in the centre of memorization? Is it the contribution of labour movements to the formation of (European) welfare states and the creation of relatively homogenous societies in Europe – or do very different cognitive or affective traditions of thought play a role?

The conference will pursue two major targets: On the one hand, the place of labour movements and social movements in European and global commemorative politics will be analysed in view of different nation states and regions. On the other hand, commemorative politics and strategies of labour movements themselves will be analysed.

In this regard, it has to be scrutinized if, and in how far, labour movements – as actors within broader historical developments – were formative for commemorative strategies of political movements in general. Has this concept of memory lost its foundation in the era of a new “commemorative-regime” in which future disappears in the past? And how do labour and social movements position themselves towards the global attempt to provide an outlook for future through the examination of the past?

More information available on the conference web site.


Red Strains: Music and Communism outside the Communist Bloc after 1945

August 22, 2010

CONFERENCE: Red Strains: Music and Communism outside the Communist Bloc after 1945 British Academy, London, 13-15 January 2011

Keynote speakers: Prof Gianmario Borio (Pavia); Prof Georgina Born (Cambridge); Prof Anne Shreffler (Harvard) Panel session: Konrad Boehmer; Henry Flynt; Giacomo Manzoni

Themed paper sessions include: Communist Parties; Popular music; Folk song; The Black Panther Party; US-Soviet friendship; Soviet realism overseas; Communist nationalisms; Communisms cultural legacy.

Full programme (pdf)
Conference information and online registration

Dr Robert Adlington (Conference Organiser)
Department of Music
University of Nottingham

Red Strains: Music and Communism outside the Communist Bloc after 1945

April 30, 2010

Red Strains: Music and Communism outside the Communist Bloc after 1945

The British Academy, London: Thursday 13 January – Saturday 15 January 2011

Proposals are invited for this conference, to be held at the British Academy in London, in conjunction with the University of Nottingham.

The relationship between state communism and music behind the Iron Curtain has been the subject of much scholarly interest. The importance of communism for musicians outside the communist bloc, by contrast, has received little sustained attention. This conference aims to examine:

– the nature and extent of individual musicians’ involvement with communist organisations and parties;
– the appeal and reach of different strands of communist thought (e.g. Trotskyist; Castroist; Maoist);
– the significance of music for communist parties and groups (e.g. groups’ cultural policies; use of music in rallies and meetings);
– the consequences of communist involvement for composition and music-making;
– how this involvement affected musicians’ careers and performance opportunities in different countries.

Further details on conference themes, keynote speakers and format of proposals:

Deadline for proposals: Friday 18 June 2010. Programme announced and registration open: Monday 19 July 2010.

Dr Robert Adlington (Conference Organiser) Department of Music, University of Nottingham.

Biography and identity in the making of British radicals

April 12, 2010

Biography and identity in the making of British radicals
Saturday, 22 May 2010, Swansea Museum

A one-day conference in commemoration of the life and work of Nina Fishman, late Honorary Research Professor at Swansea University, also marking the Swansea launch of Nina’s Arthur Horner: A Political Biography (Lawrence and Wishart, 2010).

Sponsored by: The Richard Burton Centre for the Study of Wales, Swansea University and the Socialist History Society

1000: Coffee and Welcome by Dr Hywel Francis MP

1030: Andrew Thorpe (Exeter University): ‘Nina Fishman’s Arthur Horner and labour biography

1130: David Howell (York University): ‘“The district one calls home”: D. H. Lawrence’s writing on coalfield society

1230: Lunch

1330: Peter Ackers (Loughborough University): ‘More Marx than Methodism: Hugh Clegg and Kingswood School

1430: Angela John (Aberystwyth University): ‘Equal partners? Gender and the writing of biography

1530: Chris Williams (Swansea University): ‘Robert Owen and Wales. Wales and Robert Owen

1630: Tea and Close

Swansea Museum is located close to the city centre at Victoria Road, The Maritime Quarter, Swansea, SA1 1SN.

Coffees and teas will be available at the venue. For lunch people will need to bring their own or take advantage of nearby cafes, pubs etc.

Copies of Arthur Horner: A Political Biography will be on sale at the event throughout the day.

If further information is required please contact Prof. Chris Williams (Swansea University) on, or 07814 234403.

‘Not just Orwell’ – People’s History Museum

March 22, 2010

‘Not just Orwell’ – Saturday 8 May 2010 – 2.00pm-2.45pm

Author Chris Hall we bringing to life the experiences of British and Irish anti-fascist volunteers who fought with Orwell in the Spanish Civil War. Lecture suitable for adults. Access is free, although pre-booking required.

Peoples History Museum
M3 3ER
Tel: 0161 838 9190

For more information on the event, contact Christopher Hall [].

Servir la classe ouvrière – Sociabilités militantes au PCF

January 28, 2010

Servir la classe ouvrière – Sociabilités militantes au PCF – Julian Mischi
Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2010. ISBN : 978-2-7535-0984-9. 19,00 €

“Julian Mischi’s new study of the French Communist Party examines the work of the PCF in four Departments (Allier, Isère, Loire-Atlantique, Meurthe-et-Moselle). With materials drawn from internal documents and interviews, the book analyses the organisation of the PCF’s militants in the local districts, villages and factories, and their activities within the trade union and municipal networks. Challenging the typical monolithic image of the PCF, the mobilisation of communist militants within popular movement is revealed here as plural.”

International Conference: Strikes and Social Conflicts in the Twentieth Century

January 28, 2010

International Conference: Strikes and Social Conflicts in the Twentieth Century

Call for Papers International Conference – Strikes and Social Conflicts in the Twentieth Century
Lisbon, 17-19 March 2011

Organized by the Institute of Contemporary History (New University of Lisbon), International
Institute of Social History (Amsterdam), Archive Edgard Leuenroth (Campinas, Brasil), Centre for the Study of Spain under Franco and Democracy (Autonomous University of Barcelona) and Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (France).

The twentieth century has been confirmed as the century when the capital-labour conflict was most severe. The international conference on “Strikes and Social Conflicts in the Twentieth Century” will host submissions on the strikes and social conflicts in the twentieth century and works on the theoretical discussion on the role of unions and political organizations. We also invite researchers to submit papers on methodology and the historiography of labour.

We welcome submissions on labour conflicts that occurred in factories, universities or public services, on rural and urban conflicts and also on conflicts that developed into civil wars or revolutions. National and international comparisons are also welcome.

After the Russian revolution the relative strengths of capital and labour were never again the same, with a period of revolution and counter-revolution that ended with World War II.

Protagonist of the victory over fascism, the labour movement found itself neglected in the core countries under the impact of economic growth in the 1950s and the 1960s. But May 1968 quickly reversed the situation, with a following boom of labour studies during the 1970s. Nevertheless once the crisis of the 1970s was over, capital has regained the initiative, with the deterioration of labour laws, the crisis of trade unions and the subsequent despise in the academy for the study of social conflicts. The recent crisis, however, shows that workers, the ones who create value, are not obsolete. The social movements regain, in the last decade, a central role in the world.

The intensification of social conflicts in the last decade promoted a comeback to the academia of
the studies on labour and the social movements. This conference aims to be part of this process: to retrieve, promote and disseminate the history of social conflicts during the twentieth century.


Papers submission: January 2010 – 30 June 2010

Notification of acceptance: 30 July 2010

Papers: 15 December 2010

Conference: 17-19 March 2011

Important: The deadline for delivery of completed papers/articles is 15th December 2010. The paper should be no longer than 4.000 words (including spaces) in times new roman, 12, line space 1,5. For Registration Form see below.

Conference Languages: Portuguese, English, French and Spanish (simultaneous translation Portuguese/English)

Preliminary Program: The Conference will have sessions in the mornings and afternoons. There will be conferences of invited speakers, among others, Marcel van der Linden, Fernando Rosas, Serge Wolikow, Beverly Silver, Kevin Murphy, Ricardo Antunes, Álvaro Bianchi, Dave Lyddon, Xavier Doménech. During the conference there will be an excursion guided by Prof. Fernando Rosas (“Lisbon of the Revolutions”); a debate about cinema and labour movement and a debate about Crisis and Social Change.

Conference Fees

Fees including dinners and excursion “Lisbon of the Revolutions”: € 80,00

Fees without dinners and excursion: free

Entrance: free


  • Instituto de História Contemporânea (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal)
  • International Institute of Social History (Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
  • Maison des Sciences de L’Homme (Paris, France)
  • Centre d’Estudis de l’Època Franquista i Democràtica (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain)
  • Arquivo Edgard Leuenroth (Campinas, Brasil)
  • Scientific Committee: Álvaro Bianchi (AEL), Raquel Varela (IHC), Sjaak van der Velden (IISH),
  • Serge Wolikow (MSH), Xavier Domènech (CEDIF)


Instituto de História Contemporânea, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas
Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Av. de Berna, 26 C
1069-061 Lisboa, Portugal

For further information, contact:

Cold War Wales: Politics, Peace and Culture

January 28, 2010

Cold War Wales: Politics, Peace and Culture
A One-Day Conference organised by the Centre for Modern and Contemporary Wales
Saturday 26 June 2010


9.30-9.35: Coffee and Welcome

9.35-10.00: Dr Hywel Francis, MP, ‘Introductory Remarks and Recollections of Cold War Wales’


10.00-11.00: Wales, East-West Relations and the Nuclear Threat
Discussant: Howard Williamson (University of Glamorgan)

Martin Johnes (Swansea), ‘The Cold War in Welsh History’

Matthew Grant (Manchester University), ‘The Cold War and Voluntary Action in Atomic Age Wales’


11.00-12.00: The Labour Party
Chair: TBC

Stefan Berger (Manchester University)1/Norry LaPorte, ‘Welsh Labour MPs and the GDR’

Robert Griffiths (Cardiff), ‘SO Davies and the Cold War in Wales’

12.00-13.00: Communism and the Cold War
Chair: Chris Williams (Swansea University)

Douglas Jones (Aberystwyth University), ‘The Communist Party, British

National Independence and the National Question in Wales’.

Kevin Morgan(Manchester University) : ‘Harry Pollitt and the Rhondda in Cold War Wales’

Lunch: 13.00-14.00

14.00-15.30: Culture and Politics in Cold War Wales
Chair: Gareth Williams (University of Glamorgan)

Chris Williams, ‘Richard Burton and the Making of “The Spy who came in from in from the Cold”’

Daniel Williams (Swansea University), ”Paul Robeson, Wales and the Cold War’

Gareth Miles (Pontypridd) , ‘Llenyddiaeth Gymraeg a’r Rhyfel Oer’ [Welsh Literature and the Cold War’] in Welsh, with simultaneous translation

15.30-15.40: Coffee

15.40-16.30: Concluding remarks and discussion
Neil Evans (Llafur) and general discussion

Ffi: Dr Norry LaPorte (; Dr Fiona Reid (

Margrit Schiller – ‘Remembering the Armed Struggle’

May 27, 2009

The book launch for Margrit Schiller’s Remembering the Armed Struggle: Life in Baader-Meinhof (Zidane Press, ISBN: 978-0955485046; 0955485046) will take place Friday 6 June 2009 at the Card Room, Millbank (entrance through Chelsea College of Art and Design [near Tate Britain]), 16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU.

Attendance is by invitation only, and needs to be confirmed in advance, by emailing:

Remembering the Armed Struggle

Kiwi Compañeros – New Zealand and the Spanish Civil War

May 11, 2009

Mark Derby (ed.). 2009. Kiwi Compañeros: New Zealand and the Spanish Civil War. Christchurch. NZ: Canterbury University Press. Paperback, 304pp, b/w illust. & photos. ISBN: 978-1-877257-71-1. 240 x 170 mm, 765g. $45

“This book is the first-ever account of New Zealand’s role in the Spanish civil war of 1936–39, a war that became a ruthless rehearsal for World War Two.

Volunteers from more than 50 countries arrived in Spain to take sides. This book records the actions of New Zealanders involved, including those who worked for the Spanish cause at home by raising funds, lobbying politicians, writing poems and spreading propaganda.

Kiwi Compañeros includes contributions from some of New Zealand’s leading writers and historians. It draws on personal letters, recently released military documents and previously unpublished photographs to tell an all-but-forgotten story.”

Available for purchase online from Canterbury University Press.

Kiwi Compañeros - New Zealand and the Spanish Civil War

Kiwi Compañeros - New Zealand and the Spanish Civil War