A male voice in a female chorus.

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Richard Hall

Richard is a post-graduate student at Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge, you can find our more about his work here. He is working on A Social and Emotional History of Fathers and Sons in Post-war Britain. He is on Twitter: @rrichhistorian


As it was in 2015, one of the best things about MBS in 2017 was the opportunity to share ideas in a stimulating and supportive space. There seems to be a particular energy around MBS, which inspires productive and challenging conversations with like-minded souls. Certainly, a sense of solidarity was powerfully represented in the round-table on feminism and history. It was – fittingly – impassioned, consciousness-raising, and sisterly.

It was an impressive line-up too: Sally Alexander, Hester Barron, Caitriona Beaumont, Claire Langhamer, Lucy Robinson and Penny Summerfield. They spoke passionately, about theory, about practice, about being surprised (and admitting it), about children, about self-reflection, about disempowerment, about working with not on sources, about working collaboratively, about being nice, and about being angry. They spoke about being feminists, and being historians. And being feminist historians.

This last point inspired several thought-provoking questions. Is a feminist, historian, who does not work explicitly on gender, a feminist historian? Is all history that acknowledges patriarchy feminist history? How do the personal and the political inform the intellectual? Responses to these and other questions led to a discussion that rested very much on the present, rather than the past: on gender prejudice and what it is to be a woman in a history department.

Perhaps I wasn’t the only man in the room to feel a little discomfited by what followed. Certainly, no-one felt inclined to add a male voice to the female chorus of discontent. I imagine most of us fancy ourselves as fairly liberal: acutely aware that battles for equality are far from over; gender-blind in all our workplace and studyplace interactions. We might also imagine that, save for a few crusty old misogynists, most history departments are relatively progressive environments. We might put the gender pay-gap down to structural issues happening outside departments; we might think everyday sexism is mercifully uncommon in them.

If any of us did harbour such misconceptions, they were quickly laid to rest. What we heard from women across the room was a catalogue of prejudice and exploitation: having your work quoted un-cited; doing more administration than men; seeing more students than men (for pastoral and academic purposes); dealing with all male reading lists; dealing with initial-surname formats that lead to false impressions of all-male reading lists; being asked to sit on panels or attend meetings simply because you’re a woman; being ignored in those panels and meetings; checking men’s work for unconscious bias because they’re too lazy to check themselves; not being taken seriously in a whole host of ways… the list went on.

Of course I am not naïve enough to say that I wasn’t previously aware of these issues; but I am saying that the vociferousness and unity of the discussion shocked me a bit. What also shocked me a bit was the complete absence of men’s voices. It got me thinking about recent work by Lucy Delap, which investigates feelings of guilt and shame among anti-sexist men in the wake of Women’s Liberation Movement politics in the 1970s and 1980s.[1] Since that moment, the study of men, as well as women, as gendered actors has become more established.[2] More recently still there has been some public debate around male feminists.[3] But given our silence about feminism both past and present at the MBS round table, perhaps we still have something to learn from the emotional journeys these anti-sexist men went on 30 or 40 years ago.

Of course, similar points might be made in relation to anyone both supportive of, and outside of, a marginalised group, for whom the political will never be quite so personal (I wonder how many white voices were heard at the Black Lives Matter workshop at MBS, for example, which unfortunately ran parallel to this session). These are difficult conversations to join: the debates presently raging within feminism around issues of white colonisation illustrate some of the complex and fiercely felt views that relationships of power give rise to.

Nonetheless, I feel like these are conversations men could and should be having: just because we believe it intellectually, it doesn’t always follow that we’re conscious and diligent in the workplace.[4] For example, when men choose to use female, rather than male, pronouns where the gender is undetermined, it can shake listeners and readers out of lazy normative practices; or when men take on the leg-work to make a panel more female (an example a female colleague recently shared with me), it can change behaviours as well as attitudes. At the very least we can be alert to the day-to-day prejudices that were reeled off all too readily in the discussion at the MBS round-table. Perhaps the best way to join the chorus, is to sing.

[1] Lucy Delap ‘Uneasy Solidarity: The British men’s movement and feminism’ in Kristina Schulz (ed) Women’s Liberation Movement: impacts and outcomes (Berghahn, 2017).

[2] Among many, see Joan  Scott, ‘Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis’ in The American Historical Review, 91 (1986); Michael Roper and John Tosh ‘Introduction: Historians and the politics of masculinity’ in M. Roper and J. Tosh (eds) Manful Assertions: Masculinities in Britain Since 1800 (Routledge, 1991); Judith Bennett ‘Patriarchal Equilibrium’ in Judith M. Bennett (ed) History Matters: Patriarchy and the Challenge of Feminism (Manchester University Press, 2006).

[3] See for example http://girltalkhq.com/feminist-conversations-the-growing-trend-of-men-speaking-publicly-about-feminism/

[4] On women working with men to improve gender equality in the workplace, see https://30percentclub.org/assets/uploads/UK/Third_Party_Reports/Collaborating_with_Men_-_FINAL_Report.pdf

 

Precarity, communality and #mbsreads

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Simon Briercliffe

Simon Briercliffe is a Postgraduate Researcher at the University of Birmingham. He blogs at https://uptheossroad.wordpress.com/ and can be followed on Twitter @sbriercliffe.


One of the things that makes MBS so unusual and productive is the central role that the PGR and ECR community play in the direction and tone of the biennial conference.

That was absolutely true in 2015: anyone who was at the opening workshop in 2015 will probably remember it as a slightly cathartic howl – from students uncertain about their prospects, from newly-minted PhDs hoping to grab a year’s contract wherever they can, from more established academics struggling against an intransigent system. Structurally speaking, little has changed, and the appearance of 10-month contracts and TEF certainly haven’t improved matters.

But at this year’s MBS conference, the tone was slightly different. The workshop, organised by a number of Birmingham PGRs including Ruth Lindley and Shahmima Akhtar, set out to turn that emotion into something constructive. If you weren’t there, Ben Mechen’s short paper that was published yesterday sums this up really well: how do we make our conditions – of precarity and uncertainty – generative? What do we do next?

Introducing #mbsreads

There are of course a million and one answers to this, none of them easy. In the spirit of at least having a go at something, though, the PGR community here at Birmingham thought it would be worth following up on one of the concrete ideas that came out of this year’s workshop: an online reading group, in which the intellectual and political challenges of the conference can be pushed forward together.

There were several important considerations in how we put this together. What books to choose? What format? What time? How to make MBS a wider conversation without appearing to try and limit or dominate the field?

Our key motivation was to represent the diversity, accessibility and flattening of hierarchies that MBS seeks to achieve. With that in mind, we’ve had to recognise that no way of running this will be perfect; but we can at least make an effort in the right direction.

I’m therefore pleased to announce that our first #mbsreads group will take place on Friday 22nd September 2017 at 1pm; our subject will be Catherine Hall’s Civilising Subjects: Metropole and Colony in the English Imagination 1830-1867; and that the conversation will take place using the hashtag #mbsreads on Twitter, and for those not on Twitter, in the MBS blog comments.

This is very much an experiment, particularly the format, and we’re extremely keen to hear feedback on making this project even better: particularly suggestions for reading (as with the conference keynotes and plenaries, we want to use our position to particularly highlight authors who are neither white nor male); for timing (this is academic work, so we’ve set it in the work day; but there are plenty of us including yours truly who work part-time and we plan to vary the time); and for format (which was the most difficult decision we had to make – I’m still curious/nervous as to how the conversations will go. This is very much open for discussion).

We have in mind here a very open project: we as PGR students at Birmingham have kicked it off, but it’s in no way intended as a PGR reading group – we want historians of all grade and none to join in on equal terms.

Civilising Subjects

Catherine Hall’s work will be a familiar touchstone to many, and I’ve no doubt there will be a huge range of historical and historiographical conversations that we can have. The ideas of identity construction proposed here are an essential part of the historian’s toolkit: that empire, just like any set of social relations, is a power relationship defined by what is outside as well as what is inside.

I particularly like her use of John Barrell’s idea of “this/that/the Other” – that identities are constructed against other identities, but that those are constantly shifting, evolving and affecting one another. I’m also looking forward to discussing the importance of transnational history to “British Studies.” This was a major theme of MBS2017, and something that Hall outlines very effectively:

“I was a historian of Britain who assumed that Britain could be understood in itself, without reference to other histories: a legacy of the assumption that Britain provided the model for the modern world, the touchstone whereby all other national histories could be judged… I have become a historian of Britain who is convinced that, in order to understand the specificity of national formation, we have to look outside it. A focus on national histories as constructed, rather than given, on the imagined community of the nation as created, rather than simply there, on national identities as brought into being through particular discursive work, requires transnational thinking.” (p.9)

Hall

While historical discussion will form part of #mbsreads I’m sure, it’s Hall’s ‘personal is political’ thinking that is perhaps most striking here. The book’s introduction is an example of what I’ve recently heard described as “ontography”: how the author has grown and how their ideas have been formed by their own experiences.

Other examples (perhaps for future discussion) are Stuart Hall’s Familiar Stranger and Geoff Eley’s A Crooked Line. In particular, Hall’s experiences of being “inside” and being “outside” are central. The inside-ness of Baptist religiosity in Kettering was challenged by the outside-ness of a narrow-minded Baptist culture in Leeds. The inside-ness of Englishness and whiteness which, as Hall notes, “seemed irrelevant to my political project” was challenged by the outside-ness of visiting Jamaica with a Jamaican husband himself grappling with the idea of “home” (pp.4-5).

With that in mind I want to suggest that #mbsreads considers that personal/political side of historical practice as well: to think about our own inside-ness and outside-ness, and where it places us, how it directs our work. I’m particularly thoughtful about this after Ben’s post yesterday.

Some reading this will be in secure positions; some will not. Some of us are “inside” an institution, a discipline, an academic world; some of us are not. We who are living precarious lives are perhaps both inside and outside some of these things. So, in Ben’s terms, how can this be generative? What can we take from historical experiences, and how can we apply them to our own work and our own selves?

Be there or be square

To recap then, we’re launching the #mbsreads conversation at 1pm on Friday 22d September. It’s not intended as an MBS Birmingham© Production but as a way of exploring those conversations which began at MBS2017.

We’ll be reading Catherine Hall’s Civilising Subjects: Metropole and Colony in the English Imagination 1830-1867, both on Twitter (using the hashtag #mbsreads and trying, where possible, to keep on top of all the threads) and on the MBS blog. We would love you to join us.

MBS 2017 Response: Doing history within precarity

Mechen Image

Ben Mechen

Ben Mechen was a Teaching Fellow in Modern British History at the University of Birmingham in the academic year 2016-2017. The following blog is the text of his paper at last month’s Modern British Studies Conference. You can get in touch or follow Ben on Twitter @benmechen.


To contribute to this conversation, I thought I would just pull together some thoughts about how, as PGRs and ECRs, we might do history from within precarity.

The starting point here is that, with the job market as it stands, our status as historians and, related to this, our personal wellbeing and our relationships with each other, with more senior colleagues as well as with those at home, are precarious and will be precarious, and that we must therefore, from a position of realism rather than pessimism, think not just about the many ways in which academic precarity is disabling and disenfranchising – which it is – but also how we can make our precarity generative, both in terms of the ways we work with and relate to each other, and the kinds of history we write.

To make precarity generative, when it is us rather than the university harnessing it, isn’t necessarily a celebratory or reinforcing gesture. It is instead to use precarity as our historically or generationally-situated starting point for thinking radically about history as work and also for thinking about the work of history.

The energy for doing this, for generating something new, comes, I think – and to refer back to the framework of the Modern British Studies PGRs – precisely from our double positionality as PGRs and ECRs as both seekers of legitimacy, each trying to establish a professional toehold, and as ourselves conferrers of legitimacy, like all historians, on particular historical subjects through particular acts of attention.

So how might we build outward from precarity in these two areas?

Firstly, history as work.

This has mainly to do with how we relate to each other and the university as a cohort of precarious researchers, and the forms of solidarity we might try to build given our positions of individual weakness. I want to suggest a few things here – and I emphasise that these are just ideas for discussion.

Firstly, where we can, we must try to break the logics of competition enforced on us by marketisation. One way to do this – the most obvious way – is by joining the union and being active in it. Another is to support grassroots networks like FACE.

Sharing information, feelings and ideas, though, is yet another, and one that can go alongside and outside these formal affiliations and acts of resistance: information, feelings and ideas about working conditions at particular institutions, about real rates of pay, about teaching loads, about bad days at the office, about failed as well as successful applications.

Let’s have honest conversations, publicly when we can, privately when we need. WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook, shared Google docs: these can be good weapons of the weak. A move from precarity to security sometimes feels dependent on communicating to the outside world a constant narrative of success, industriousness, happiness, in which we’re completing a redraft, a conference proposal and a lesson plan by lunchtime, when really we’re struggling to keep going and keep smiling.

Everything is not always “fine”. We might think about the utility for us, as well as more senior colleagues looking to be our allies, of Sara Ahmed’s concept of the ‘killjoy’, vocalising frustration, indeed anger, at the status quo when rubbing along would be more painless, as well as Jack Halberstam’s notion that we should reclaim failure as a powerful and liberating form of critique. Harry Stopes’ recent blogpost about pay at the New College of the Humanities, or Rachel Moss’s on the unruly body in modern academia, are excellent examples of this, but put one’s head above the parapet like this would be less risky were we more inclined to kill joy – or to fail – together.This doesn’t have to be our permanent stance but it should be one we’re all ready to hold when needed. Let’s keep our precarity visible. Let’s make our presence awkward.

Secondly, and following from this, if we move from a precarious position to something more stable, let’s not pull the ladder up. Instead, let’s remember our former precarity and try to leverage our new security into shaping the profession in ways that alleviate precarity’s worst effects and most pernicious manifestations.

To accept as part of this that academia is not a perfect meritocracy is not to discount your own right to be there: one problem is that there are too many good people and not enough good jobs. Another is that this is a profession struck through with deeply-embedded forms of inequality.

Finally, and following this, when doing history from within precarity we need always to think about precarity in the plural. My precarity as a fixed-term teaching fellow, and as a cis straight white male, might be different – might be far less precarious – than your precarity, even if at some level precariousness unites us.

Before we even get to the question of academic precarity, meanwhile, there is the question of academic access: we are here, within the university, whilst others are not. Intersectional analysis and awareness is a condition of our generational solidarity as precarious academics and as members of a larger, multi-layered precariat, not a danger to it. In every encounter with each other, we must remember this.

Secondly, from history as work to the work of history, because doing history from within precarity must be more than just navel-gazing about our place in the profession.

What can precarity be generative of here?

The key point is this: that despite our precarity we remain in positions of authority as historians, and that in fact our appearance as “serious” historians depends on this exercise of authority over sources, subjects and audiences in order to make claims – plausible claims – about “the way things were”.

Like all historians, we tell stories about the past that we hope others – other historians, the public – will believe and we do this because we care about and are interested in the past and what we, and what others, know about it. Like other historians, we make decisions about what needs to be brought to light and what remains in the shadows.

We must therefore recognise the authority of the postgraduate or early career historian at the same time that we recognise our relative weakness within the profession. By embracing the duality of this position, we can make histories that better recognise other, and no doubt more extreme forms, of marginality and precarity across time and space.

In doing history from within precarity, we can as a cohort continue to reanimate the study of history from below, as others have already called for; to consider with fresh eyes how precariousness and other forms of marginality were developed, sustained and lived in the past as well as how they stretch into the present.

In my current research project on pornography in postwar Britain, to take a personal example, this is partly to centralise, where I can, the experience of the sex worker. To take examples from our current political moment, Grenfell, creeping Islamophobia and environmental degradation similarly present to us stories of marginalisation and precariousness rooted in history and demanding further historical work, some of which is already underway.

This is not to draw equivalences between our precariousness as academics in a rich country and the precariousness of others, now or in the past. It is simply to say that we have a particular vantage point on these questions and that we should consider how this might inform the questions we ask, the sources we use, and the histories we do.

 

MBS/CBH PGR Prize

We are delighted to announce three winners of the Modern British Studies and Contemporary British History Prize for postgraduate research papers at British Studies in Broken World.

Our three winners are Hira Amin, Hilary Buxton and Laura Cofield.

Here is what the editors thought about each of these papers:

Hira Amin‘s paper focuses on the history of Islam among Britain’s postwar ‘pioneering generation’ and the shifting emphasis from ethnic/national identities towards the influence of a global Islamic movement. This paper challenges contemporary British historians to engage with the ‘translational’ beyond merely seeing British subjects acting outside of Britain. Through this paper, we see that we cannot understand transformations in British muslim identities detached from movements in South Asia and the Middle East. In this sense, this paper truly takes up Susan Pederson’s call in her MBS Plenary to see British history as the product of (rather than merely an agent in) global transformations.’

Hilary Buxton‘s paper tells an important and little-known story of the experience of disabled Indian WWI soldiers and, particularly, the imperial government’s uneven provision of prosthetic limbs to them in the interwar years. Indian veterans ‘experienced sharp disparities in the level of care they received’ and were routinely provided with old-fashioned and uncomfortable shaped wooden legs rather than new duralumin limbs, unlike their British counterparts. This exceptionally well-written paper masterfully draws together the history of medicine, veteran’s care, empire and racism.’

‘Using teen magazine advice columns, Laura Cofield reveals the historical significance of regimes of body hair removal at a moment of uncertainty and contestation in gender roles in the 1970s and 1980s. As she explains, ‘body management presented a means for girls to navigate a sense of selfhood which oscillated between an expanding sense of freedom and independence on the one hand and the sustained importance given to conformity to traditional gender roles on the other.’ We especially appreciated Cofield’s innovative use of archival materials and real intervention in the field of ‘everyday’ uses of feminism.’

We want to thank everyone who submitted papers, they were of impressive quality and made for fascinating and invigorating reading.

 


 

 

 

Contemporary British History / Centre for Modern British Studies Postgraduate Prize

Contemporary British History, Taylor and Francis, and the Centre for Modern British Studies offer a prize of £250 to postgraduate researchers giving a paper at the conference.

PGRs: we invite you to submit the written text of your conference paper to modernbritishstudies@contacts.bham.ac.uk. This does not have to be a polished or final draft, but should be no more than 3500 words long.

All conference delegates: if you want to commend a particular PGR paper or papers please let us know! Email modernbritishstudies@contacts.bham.ac.uk noting what you value in the paper and why you think it matters.

Submitted papers will be read by three Contemporary British History editors: Lucy Robinson (Sussex), Camilla Schofield (UEA), and Matt Houlbrook (Birmingham) and judged on the basis of their originalityclarity, and rigour. The deadline for submissions is 5.00 pm on Monday 10 July. We aim to announce the result by Friday 21 July.

The successful postgraduate will have the opportunity to work with one of the Contemporary British History editors in developing their paper for submission to an appropriate academic journal (which does not have to be CBH).

Thank you to Taylor and Francis for their generosity in supporting this prize.

 

British Studies in a Broken World: Info

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Chris Moores

The Conference is nearly upon us and we are very excited to welcome people here. This blog provides some important information about the event.

It also outlines the conference guidelines on social media, some info for presenting and chairing sessions and invites you all to use this blog to respond to the conference and to participate in our PGR-led events on the morning of Wednesday 5 July.

I hope all this is useful – but get in touch if we have missed anything obvious.

Change of Venue & Registration

The most important thing to note is that the Conference will be taking place in a different venue on the University campus than previously advertised. Because of building works, we will now be using the Gisbert Kapp Building (this is G8 on the green section of the attached campus map) for panel sessions and the Education Building (R19 in the red section of the map) for plenary sessions and conference roundtables instead of the Arts Building. Gisbert Kapp is a 5-10 minute walk from the University Station.

We have updated our travel, accomodation and accessibility information on the blog to help with this change. This includes a description of getting to the building from University Station and the routes between buildings.

More general directions to the University itself can be found here.

Registration will take place in Gisbert Kapp and will be open from 8.30am on Wednesday. The first full plenary session will start at 1.00pm the Education Building, so please make sure you allow time to register before making your way over there.

Information on accessibility for Gisbert Kapp can be found here: http://bit.ly/2sPyKdu and here http://bit.ly/2rCa44J for the Education Building. If required there are plenty of spaces designated for Blue Badge holders to park outside Gisbert Kapp. It is a short walk between the two buildings, and members of MBS will be around to provide directions and assist if required. Please get in touch if you require any further information on accessibility on or around campus.

Programme

The full programme can be found on our conference pages here:

The Conference provides lunch on Thursday and Friday. Refreshments will be available during morning and afternoon breaks on each day. These will take place in the Link space in the Gisbert Kapp Building (1st floor). Wine receptions will be held on both the Wednesday and Thursday evenings after the final session/lecture. On Wednesday this will be hosted in the University’s Barber Institute (a short walk from the Education Building) from 6.30pm and the wine reception on Thursday will take place in the Link in Gisbert Kapp at the same time.

Once you arrive you will recieve the conference programme which contains guides to campus, eating and drinking in Birmingham and lots of other helpful information.

PGR Workshop

The conference opens with a postgraduate workshop taking place on 5th July from 9:30am – 12:30pm. The morning will consist of two sessions: a roundtable discussion exploring the possibilities for new researchers in the academy and a publishing workshop led by Josie McLellan (University of Bristol) and Guy Ortolano (New York University).

Although we urge PGRs and ECRs to come along, attendance is not limited to new researchers. We also encourage tenured and senior academics are also present to listen and share in the debate: the more diverse and inclusive the room, the more valuable the discussion. We will provide lunch for participants, but need you to register separately for this event. If you are interested in attending, please sign-up using this Eventbrite.

Panel Sessions

In standard panels with three speakers we ask that presentations last a maximum of 20 minutes to allow 30 minutes for discussion. For those with four speakers, each presenter has 15 minutes to also allow 30 minutes for discussion. On roundtable sessions, we are happy for organizers to be more flexible, but please also allow plenty of time for discussion with those not speaking on the panel. We insist that all speakers keep to time as all chairs are under strict instructions to keep things punctual (see below).  All lecture rooms have AV equipment, we ask that you bring your presentations on a USB device, as we do not have access to the various adaptors required by different computers. We also ask that you arrive to your session early, in order to make sure that your presentation is set up and ready to go when attendees arrive.

Chairs Instructions and Discussion

We strongly encourage and expect Panel Chairs to keep speakers to time. Timings are tight across the conference, so we need to make sure that everything runs smoothly. It is important that each speaker receives the same amount of time and that we have adequate time to discuss the work presented.  Please make sure that you take questions and comments from New Researchers as well as familiar faces. For those asking questions or offering points for discussions, please keep your observations fairly short and to the point to allow us to take opinion from the whole room. In accordance with our social media policy (see below), we also ask chairs to let the room know if panellists do not want their panel to be live tweeted by those in the audience.

 Plenary Sessions and Final Roundtable

The conference features three plenary sessions (details in the programme). Speakers will be talking broadly around these themes and/or reflecting on how they relate to their own practice before we open up to a more general discussion. These will be big sessions featuring all those attending the event and we hope to encourage a participatory and collaborative conversation across the conference.

Because not everyone – including the conference organizers – likes speaking in massive rooms, we are also happy for people to send questions before or during the conference to the organizers using the address modernbritishstudies@contacts.bham.ac.uk. These will be passed onto our plenary chairs for discussion where possible. If you wish for your question to be anonymous, please indicate this on your email. To avoid distraction, we will not be taking email questions during the sessions, so please send in good time.

There will be a final roundtable to pull together some of the threads of the conference and reflect on the event together. We encourage people to send questions in advance to this session and we will do our best to put them to the panel and the room as a whole. Obviously, we cannot guarantee that all questions will be asked, but we at least hope to include more participants this way.

Social Media

Modern British Studies aims to make the conference as accessible as possible. We encourage the use of social media, especially the live-tweeting of panels, so that those unable to attend are able to keep track of the discussions and follow the main talking points that arise from these. If you would like to contribute, the hashtag that we are using is #mbs2017 which we hope will create an intruiging contrast with the American Legion Boys State of Missouri (whatever that is) which is currently occupying the hashtag. After the conference, we aim to collate as much of the twitter discussions as possible into a number of ‘Storify’ threads, that we will then publish on our blog for posterity and later use.

At the same time, we also need to respect the intellectual property of individual panellists and understand that you may not want public comments on work in progress to circulate. Moreover, we are aware that some find tweeting off-putting during panels and we want sessions to be as welcoming for both panellists and audience members as possible. If you would rather social media engagement kept to a minimum during your panel or prefer your paper not to be commented on, please communicate this with your chair beforehand, who will ensure that the room is aware of this at the start of the panel (see above).

Blogging

In the weeks following the conference, we will curate a series of reflections on the conference, touching upon its themes and how they interact with the current state of historiography on modern Britain, conferences, working conditions, etc…  In keeping with the value that we place on the importance of postgraduates and early career researchers within these discussions, we are especially keen to publish personal reflections from PGRs/ECRs. This was productive at our previous event and helped us shape aspects of the programme this time around. You can read these here.

If you are interested in writing a short blog post on your experience of the conference, get in touch with Jacob Fredrickson, who you can email at: jtf614@student.bham.ac.uk. Jacob will be pestering you all for blogs and responses as part of his paid Postgraduate Taught Research Scholarship, please be nice to him as he curates the response to the conference.

With a conference this big, we will have inevitably misses something, so please let us know if you have any queries or if we have forgotten some key bits of info.