Programme: British Studies in Broken World

We are excited to announce the provisional programme for Rethinking Modern British Studies to be held at the University of Birmingham between 5-7 July.

Information about travel, accommodation and accessibility is also available. You can download the Programme, but things are still provisional at the moment and might change!


9.30am-12.30pm: PGR Workshop, details TBC

1.00pm-2.30pm: PLENARY SESSION 1

Fluid Presents, Turbulent Pasts: The session will address what it means to study the British past in a moment when Britain itself is in flux. The consequences of the European Union Referendum encourage us to think about where Britain is, where it was and what it has been.

Speakers: Matthew Hilton, Susan Pedersen, Caroline Elkins.

3.00pm-4.30pm: PANEL SESSION 1

A: British Healthcare in a ‘Broken World’ (Arts Lecture Room 1)

Chair: Alex Mold

Speakers: Jennifer Crane, Philip Begley, Peder Clark, Gareth Millward

B: “The workshop of the world”: race and place in the twentieth-century West Midlands (Arts Lecture Room 3)

Chair: Izzy Mohammed

Speakers: Simon Briercliffe, Shirin Hirsch, Rachel Yemm.

C: Expertise and the Voluntary Sector (Arts Lecture Room 4)

Chair: Chris Moores

Speakers: Caitriona Beaumont, Eve Colpus, Ruth Davidson

D: Psychiatry and modern Britain, past and present (Arts Lecture 6)

Chair: Janet Weston

Speakers:  Fiachra Byrne, Hazel Croft, Louise Hide

5.00pm-6.30pm: PANEL SESSION 2

A: The cultural politics of race and nation: thirty years after Paul Gilroy’s There ain’t no black in the Union Jack (Arts Lecture Room 1)

Chair: Camilla Schofield

Speakers:  Kennetta Hammond Perry, Marc Matera, Rob Waters

B: Partnerships, progress and pragmatism: rethinking feminist politics in the interwar period (Arts Lecture Room 3)

Chair: Caitriona Beaumont

Speakers: Helen Glew, Alexandra Hughes-Johnson, Lyndsey Jenkins

C: Broken Bodies, Fractured Empire (Arts Lecture Room 3)

Chair: Lucy Delap

Speakers: Will Jackson, Kate Imy, Hilary Buxton

D: Manhood in Crisis? Masculinities in Late Twentieth Century Britain (Arts Lecture Room 6)

Chair: Amy Milne-Smith

Speakers: Ben Mechen, Katie Jones, Paul R. Deslandes


9.00am-10.30am: PANEL SESSION 3

A: Remaking Liberalism in the 1960s and 1970s: Race, Capitalism, and Civil Liberties (Arts Lecture Room 1)

Chair: Guy Ortolano

Speakers: Camilla Schofield, Chris Hilliard, Tim Rogan

B: Radical Britain? The Reception of ‘Foreign’ Radical Ideas in Twentieth Century Britain (Arts Lecture Room 3)

Chair: Matt Worley

Speakers: Max Hodgson, Benjamin Bland, María Fernanda Lanfranco

C: Money and Modernity in Modern British Studies (Arts Lecture Room 4)

Chair:  Pam Cox

Speakers: George Gosling, Kathleen McIlvenna, Kate Bradley

D: Contested Expertise in Late Twentieth Century (Arts Lecture Room 6)

Chair: Rhodri Hayward

Speakers: Zoe Strimpel, Natalie Thomlinson, Chris Millard

11.00am-12.30pm: PANEL SESSION 4

A: Working as Feminist Historians in a Broken World – A Conversation (Arts Lecture Room 1)

Speakers: Sally Alexander, Hester Barron, Caitriona Beaumont, Claire Langhamer, Lucy Robinson, Penny Summerfield

B: The Art Object and British Culture (Arts Lecture Room 3)

Chair: Greg Salter

Speakers: Sarah Monks, Kate Nichols, Amy Tobin, Alice Correia, Jiyi Ryu

C: History Acts: Black Lives Matters (Arts Lecture Room 4)

This is a workshop organized by History Acts. Further details will be provided at a later date.

D: British Sport at the end of Empire (Arts Lecture Room 6)

Chair: Martin Johnes

Speakers: Mathew Taylor, Tiffany Boyle, Matthew McDowell

E: Believing in Britain: Disruptive Narratives of Spiritual Modernity (Arts Lecture Room 7)

Chair: Lucy Delap

Speakers: Tim Jones, Ruth Lindley, Jane Shaw

1.30pm -3.00pm:PLENARY SESSION

Public Histories, Engaged Historians: In the context of the suspicion of ‘expertise’ in political and media discourse and the continued reforms directed towards the Higher Education sector, our interests as historians intersect with a more general interest in the roles of the University as civic institutions. A plenary session will bring together a variety of voices to reflect on historians’ relationship with the public.

Speakers: Pam Cox, Lucy Delap, Margot Finn, Peter Mandler.

Chair: Kate Smith

3.30-5.00pm: PANEL SESSION 5

A: Roundtable on Histories of Empire (Arts Lecture Room 1)

Chair: Sadiah Qureshi

Speakers:  Charlotte L. Riley, Christienna D. Fryar, Clare Anderson, John McAleer, Katie Donington, Saima Nasar, Sumita Mukherjee, Sundeep Lidher

B: The Democratisation of Hierarchy: Monarchy and Modern Britain, 1947-2017 (Arts Lecture Room 3)

Chair: James Greenhalgh

Speakers: Ed Owens, Toby Harper, Laura Clancy

C: Political Cultures and the Far Left in the 1970s and 1980s (Arts Lecture Room 4)

Chair: Matt Worley

Speakers: Daisy Payling, Diarmaid Kelliher, Jodi Burkett, Jack Saunders

D: Afterlives: Excavating the Political Ruins of the Twentieth Century (Arts Lecture Room 6)

Chair: Erika Hanna

Speakers: Sam Wetherell, Andrew Seaton, Amy Edwards

E: Learning, Transmission and Generational Change: Exploring Childhood in Twentieth Century Britain (Arts Lecture Room 7)

Chair: Christina de Bellaigue

Speakers:  Laura Sefton, Michael Roper, Eleanor Murray

5.30pm-6.30pm: PLENARY LECTURE

Leela Gandhi, ‘British Socialism and the Long History of Postcolonial Thinking’



9.00am-10.30am: PANEL SESSION 6

A: Different Worlds of Experience: Doing History with Socially Excluded Groups (Arts Lecture Room 1)

Chair: Paul Ward

Speakers:  Shabina Aslam, Jessica Hammett, Karen Harvey, Laura King, Josie McLellan, Elizabeth Pente

B: Rethinking Women and the Professions, c. 1870-1920: Methods, Scales, and Sources (Arts Lecture Room 3)

Chair: Susan Pedersen

Speakers: Emily Rutherford, Harry Smith, Zoë Thomas

C: Crises of Labour Power: Work, Health, and the Body in Industrial Modernity (Arts Lecture Room 4)

Chair: Richard Hornsey

Speakers: Violeta Ruiz, Catherine Oakley, Steffan Blayney

D:  Global Britons: transnational citizenship and belonging in postcolonial Britain (Arts Lecture Room 6)

Chair: Gurminder Bhambra

Speakers: Sundeep Lidher, Saima Nasar, Edward Anderson & Patrick Clibbens, Hira Amin

E: The Promise of Expertise: Advice literature and the self in twentieth-century Britain (Arts Lecture Room 7)
Chair: Claire Langhamer

Speakers: Jill Kirby, Sian Edwards, Laura Cofield

11.00am-12.30am: PLENARY SESSION

Crossing Disciplines, Creating Studies: The conference will invite speakers to interrogate the notion of ‘studies’ within Modern British Studies and the relationship between history and other adjacent disciplines. How might we bring British history into closer conversation with related disciplines in the humanities and social sciences?

Speakers: Gurminder Bhambra, Leela Gandhi, TBC

Chair: Kate Nichols

1.30pm-3.00pm:PANEL SESSION 7

A: Why British History Needs Irish History and Vice Versa (Arts Lecture Room 1)

Chairs: Mo Moulton & Erika Hanna

Speakers:  Mo Moulton, Erika Hanna, Shahmima Akhtar, Ciara Breathnach, Darragh Gannon, Carole Holohan, Peter Leary, Conor Mulvagh, Kevin O’Sullivan.

B: The Stupid Party: Reconsidering Conservative Political Thinking in Twentieth-Century Britain (Arts Lecture Room 3)

Chair: Gary Love

Speakers: Emily Jones, Emily Robinson, Kit Kowol

C: “Now There’s a Funny Thing”: Humour and Comedy in Post-War Britain (Arts Lecture Room 4)

Chair: Gavin Schaffer

Speakers: Leo Bird, Chelsea-Anne Saxby, Michael Potter

D: Growing Up: Children and Social Mobility in Britain since 1840 (Arts Lecture Room 6)

Commentator: Steph Lawler

Speakers: Christine de Bellaigue, Karin Eli, Steph Lawler, Diane Reay, Jono Taylor, Eve Worth

E: Glancing Back: Teaching British Cinema from an Imperial Perspective (Arts Lecture Room 7)

Chair: Hannah Hamad

Speakers: Lawrence Napper, Stephen Morgan, Kulraj Phullar

3.30pm-5.00pm:PANEL SESSION 8

A: Unwanted migrants, state power, and the spaces in-between: Immigration control in practice in Britain and the British World in the interwar years (Arts Lecture Room 1)

Chair: David Feldman

Speakers:  Julia Laite, Jean Smith, Becky Taylor

B: Rethinking Financial Neoliberalism (Arts Lecture Room 3)

Chair: Ben Jackson
Speakers: Emma Barrett, Christopher Vardy, Thomas Gould

C: Colonizing the Corporeal: Embodiment and Difference in the context of Empire (Arts Lecture Room 4)

Chair: Onni Gust

Speakers: Rachel Bright, Esme Cleall, Fae Dussart

D: Progressive Sex? Considering 100 Years of Deviance, Tolerance and Change in Sex and Sexuality in Britain and Beyond (Arts Lecture Room 6)

Chair: Matt Houlbrook

Speakers: Amy Milne Smith, Ruby Ray Daily, James Southern