A Date with History: Imagining Revolutions

Saturday 9 Jun 2018, 12:30pm – Sunday, 10 Jun 2018, 5:00pm
Venue: King’s Manor, York
Free admission
Booking required: Book tickets
#DateHistory

Event details

What are revolutions and how important are they to how we see ourselves? The second in our series of A Date with History – our annual Franco-British collaboration with York Festival of Ideas – explores the place of revolutions in our collective memory, as well as modern uses of the idea of revolution.

Presented by the French Embassy in the UK, our expert speakers discuss how national narratives are written, from revolutions and empires, to the industrial revolutions in France and Britain. The political uses of the past and the way national heroes can be instrumentalised to political ends needs to be addressed. Dispelling myths and legends is one of the objectives of history.

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Join top historians for talks and discussion over the weekend, followed by French film screenings on Monday 11 and Thursday 14 June.

Eminent speakers at the second edition of A Date with History event include Peter Mandler of the University of Cambridge, Laura Lee Downs of the European University Institute, Máire Cross of Newcastle University, Florence Tamagne of the University of Lille, Helen Rogers of Liverpool John Moores University and Mike Savage of the London School of Economics (LSE).

Programme

Were the 1960s a Revolution? (Sat 9 June, 12.30pm – 2pm)

From Sheila and De Gaulle to Twiggy, Lawrence Black of the University of York and Florence Tamagne of the University of Lille discuss the Swinging 60s.

Speakers:
• Lawrence Black, University of York
• Florence Tamagne, University of Lille
• Laura Lee Downs, European University Institute (Chair)

About the speakers

Lawrence Black is Professor of Modern British History and Head of the Department of History at the University of York. He specialises in the history of political culture and has research interests across the modern period. He is currently writing a study of shopping in the UK and USA since 1899. He has commented on the history of affluence, consumerism and politics on BBC TV and radio.

Lawrence’s research has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and British Academy and he has been a Fellow at Harvard’s Center for European Studies and a Fulbright Visiting Professor. He is a member of the editorial board of the journals Twentieth Century British History and Contemporary British History. Lawrence joined York in 2012 having taught at the Universities of Bristol and Durham in the UK, and Duke and American University in the USA.

Laura Lee Downs is Professor of Gender History at the European University Institute (EUI). Her research explores the shifting relationships between the social and the political in 20th-century Europe via the comparative study of civil society mobilisations around social welfare in Italy, France and Great Britain from the 1870s to the late 1970s. Her current book project, tentatively titled La piu serena italianizzazione?’ Social action, nationalist politics and gender in Europe’s Northeastern Adriatic borderlands, 1890-1978, analyses the intensive labour of civil society associations in the never-ending campaign to ‘Italianise’ Slovenian/Croatian speaking and mixed language families on Italy’s Balkanic frontiers from the end of the 19th century through WWI, fascism and on into the first three decades of Italy’s First Republic. These associations offer a critical vantage point for understanding how a distant state functions in its furthermost regions, as they all played a ‘state-like’ role in this region, delivering vital socio-medical and nursery school services in lieu of the Italian state, which never managed to organise much of anything on this front before the 1970s.

This research has given rise to a European research network ‘The Quest for Welfare and Democracy’, which developed out of a series of workshops that Laura organised at the EUI in 2014 and 2015. The network brings together some 50 scholars from across Europe in a series of individual and collective projects that are inspired by a single, shared conviction: that the story of European welfare states is rooted in deeper, more long-term and local histories that are populated by activists and reformers whose names rarely appear in standard histories of the welfare state.

Florence Tamagne is Associate Professor at the University of Lille, specialising in the history of gender and sexuality. Her books include History of Homosexuality in Europe, Berlin, London, Paris, 1919-1939, Mauvais Genre? A History of Representations of Homosexuality and The Crime of The Palace. Investigation on One of the Most Famous Criminal Affairs of the 1930s in France (Prize Augustin-Thierry for the best book in contemporary History, 2017). She’s currently working on a project devoted to ‘Youth Culture, Rock Music and Politics. Britain, France and Germany 1950s-1970s’.

Revolutions and Empires (Sat 9 June, 2.30 – 4pm)

Historians will discuss imperialism and narratives of empire in France and Britain as well as the place of revolution in both countries’ collective sense of identity.

Speakers:
• David Andress, University of Portsmouth
• Charlotte Riley, University of Southampton
• Sujit Sivasundaram, University of Cambridge
• Amanda Behm, University of York (Chair)

About the speakers

David Andress is Professor of Modern History at the University of Portsmouth. He studied at the University of York from 1987 to 1994, and has since published widely on the French Revolution. His works include Massacre at the Champ de Mars (2000); The Terror (2005), and Beating Napoleon (2015). He has recently edited the Oxford Handbook of the French Revolution (2015).

Dr Amanda Behm is a Lecturer in Modern British History at the University of York. She joined York in 2016, having taught previously at Yale University and the University of California at Berkeley. Amanda’s work focuses on the intellectual and political history of imperial Britain and the British Empire in the 19th and 20th centuries. Her first book examines the emergence of models of difference in late Victorian Britain rooted in historical scholarship and ideas about time, and explains how those models contributed to segregationist practices on a global scale. Further research interests include settler colonialism, social reform, and comparative imperial and anticolonial political thought. Her projects have enjoyed support from the Institute of Historical Research, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the Decolonization Seminar at the National History Center in Washington, D.C.

Dr Charlotte Riley is a Lecturer in 20th-century British History at the University of Southampton, specialising in the Labour Party, aid and development, and decolonisation. She is also interested more broadly in the culture of British politics, especially issues around gender politics and the British state, welfare and ideas about ’progress’ and the future.
Before moving to Southampton, Charlotte taught modern British and imperial history at University College London, London School of Economics and the University of York. She is currently working on a book exploring the Labour Party’s aid and development policies from the 1920s to the 1970s. She is on twitter as @lottelydia.

Dr Sujit Sivasundaram is Reader in World History at the University of Cambridge and Fellow in History at Gonville and Caius College. He is currently completing a book on the age of revolutions and the rise of the British Empire in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. His previous books are: Islanded: Britain, Sri Lanka and the Bounds of an Indian Ocean Colony (Chicago, 2013) and Nature and the Godly Empire: Science and Evangelical Mission in the Pacific, 1795-1850 (Cambridge, 2005). He has held visiting positions at universities in Singapore, Paris and Sydney and has conducted research in archives and collections across the Indo-Pacific world. He is Co-editor of The Historical Journal.

Gender Revolutions (Sat 9 June, 4.30 – 6pm)

Our panel will compare feminisms throughout Europe and the use of gender in France and Britain.

Speakers:
• Sean Brady, Birkbeck, University of London
• Máire Cross, Newcastle University
• Laura Lee Downs, European University Institute
• Renaud Morieux, University of Cambridge (Chair)

About the speakers

Dr Sean Brady is Lecturer in Modern British and Irish History at Birkbeck College, University of London. His research interest focuses on gender, sexuality, politics and religion in 19th and 20th-century Britain and Ireland. His published works include Masculinity and Male Homosexuality in Britain 1861-1913 (2005) and What is Masculinity? Historical Dynamics from Antiquity to the Contemporary World (ed. 2011) and The Palgrave Handbook of Masculinity and Political Culture in Europe (ed. 2018). His current research project, Sex and Sectarianism: Gender, Sexuality and Religion in Northern Ireland’s History examines religion and sectarianism in relation to masculinities and sexualities in Northern Ireland after 1921.

Máire Cross is an Emerita Professor at Newcastle University. Her publications include The Letter in Flora Tristan’s Politics (Palgrave, 2004), the first full translation of Tristan’s journal, Flora Tristan’s Diary: The Tour of France, 1843–1844 (Peter Lang, 2002), edited books, Gender and Fraternal Orders 1300–2000 (Palgrave, 2010) (with Caroline Bland) Gender and Politics in the Age of Letter-Writing, 1750–2000 (Ashgate, 2004), (with David Williams) The French Experience from Republic to Monarchy (Palgrave 2000).

She served as President of the Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France (2005–2013) and as President of the Society for the Study of French History (2014–2017). She is on the editorial board of French History. In addition to working on 19th century epistolary practice, using the correspondence sent to Flora Tristan by socialist activists in mid 1840s France, she is investigating the work of a pioneer of socialist history, Jules-Louis-Puech, political biographer of Flora Tristan.

Laura Lee Downs is Professor of Gender History at the European University Institute (EUI). Her research explores the shifting relationships between the social and the political in 20th-century Europe via the comparative study of civil society mobilisations around social welfare in Italy, France and Great Britain from the 1870s to the late 1970s. Her current book project, tentatively titled La piu serena italianizzazione?’ Social action, nationalist politics and gender in Europe’s Northeastern Adriatic borderlands, 1890-1978, analyses the intensive labour of civil society associations in the never-ending campaign to ‘Italianise’ Slovenian/Croatian speaking and mixed language families on Italy’s Balkanic frontiers from the end of the 19th century through WWI, fascism and on into the first three decades of Italy’s First Republic. These associations offer a critical vantage point for understanding how a distant state functions in its furthermost regions, as they all played a ‘state-like’ role in this region, delivering vital socio-medical and nursery school services in lieu of the Italian state, which never managed to organise much of anything on this front before the 1970s.

This research has given rise to a European research network ‘The Quest for Welfare and Democracy’, which developed out of a series of workshops that Laura organised at the EUI in 2014 and 2015. The network brings together some 50 scholars from across Europe in a series of individual and collective projects that are inspired by a single, shared conviction: that the story of European welfare states is rooted in deeper, more long-term and local histories that are populated by activists and reformers whose names rarely appear in standard histories of the welfare state.

Dr Renaud Morieux is a Senior Lecturer in British History and a Fellow of Jesus College, University of Cambridge. He is also Associate Research Fellow in the Joint Centre for History and Economics at the University of Cambridge and Associate Research Fellow at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris.

Renaud’s research focuses on the history of Franco-British relations in the 18th century. His book, The Channel. England, France and the Construction of their Maritime Border in the Eighteenth Century (Cambridge University Press, 2016), won the 2017 American Historical Association’s Leo Gershoy Award for ’best book published in European history, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries’

Industrial Revolutions and Social Welfare in France and Britain (Sun 10 June, 11am – 12.30pm)

When was the ‘Industrial Revolution’ invented? Was Britain really the first country to have an ‘Industrial Revolution’? How is social welfare structured in France and Britain? Are inequalities greater in one country?

Speakers:
• Alexis Litvine, University of Cambridge
• Mike Savage, LSE
• Marie Thébaud-Sorger, CNRS
• Chris Renwick, University of York
• Christina de Bellaigue, University of Oxford (Chair)

About the speakers

Christina de Bellaigue is Associate Professor in History at Exeter College Oxford. Her research focuses on social and cultural history of 19th-century Britain and France. Her first book Educating Women: Schooling and identity in England and France 1800-1867 (Oxford, 2007) explored the history of girls’ education as a way of thinking about women’s lives and ideas of femininity in the 19th century. She is currently writing a book that examines the experiences of two families of the industrial middle class (one English and one French) over four generations, in order to explore ideas about family, education, inheritance and social mobility.

Dr Alexis Litvine gained first degrees in sociology and philosophy before specialising in history as a graduate student at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and Sciences-Po. He then went to the University of Cambridge to do an MPhil and, later, a PhD. He is now a Research Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, and teaches Modern European history at Birkbeck College in London. His work is essentially European and comparative with France at its core.

Dr Chris Renwick is a Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the University of York. A historian of Britain since the early 19th century, his main area of expertise is the relationship between biology, social science, and politics - in particular how the interaction of the three has shaped the way we think about, study, and govern society. He has published widely on these subjects, including Bread for All: The Origins of the Welfare State (Allen Lane, 2017), which was recently short-listed for the Longman-History Today Book Prize and long-listed for the Orwell Prize.

Mike Savage is Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics (LSE). He joined LSE in 2012 and is now Martin White Professor (the title traditionally awarded to the most senior professor in the Department). He was Head of the Sociology Department between 2013 and 2016. He is also Co-Director of the LSE’s International Inequalities Institute, where he is initial Academic Director of the Atlantic Fellows programme, the largest global programme in the world devoted to challenging inequalities.

His role at LSE builds on his long standing interests in analysing social stratification and inequality. He has played a major role in the revival of the sociology of social class in recent decades so that it has become once more a central plank of the discipline. Mike was one of the academic team who worked on the BBC’s Great British Class Survey.

Marie Thébaud-Sorger is a Research Associate Professor at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) currently based in Oxford at the Maison Française (and associated to the Centre for the History of Science and Technology – Alexandre Koyré at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) Paris).

After studying the reception of the lighter-than-air machines in French and European societies in her first book Ballooning in the Age of Enlightenment (L’aérostation au temps des Lumières, 2009), and the culture of flight on the long run, she has also carried out research on insurance and compensation practices in the context of artisanal and industrial activities in 18th-century London and Paris. Her current research on ‘The economies of improvements’ intends to link knowledge on materials, marketplace, social reform and technological hazards management. By comparing several urban contexts (in France, Britain, Germany, Netherlands...) her aim is to explore, through an array of artefacts and micro inventions, how inventive practices in 18th- century Europe shaped communities around technical improvements.

Revolutions in History Writing (Sun 10 June, 1.30pm – 3pm)

Why are national narratives of the same event written so differently in France and Britain? Was Dunkirk a defeat or a victory?

Speakers:
• Helen Rogers, Liverpool John Moores University
• Stephen Sawyer, American University of Paris
• Clarisse Berthezène, French Embassy (Chair)

About the speakers

Dr Clarisse Berthezène is the Science, Innovation and Higher Education Attachée for the French Embassy in London. She is a former student of the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Fontenay St Cloud and holds a Masters degree in International History from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She completed a PhD at the University of Paris 3-Sorbonne Nouvelle in 2003 and joined Paris Diderot University as a Lecturer in 2004. She specialises in the political history of Conservatism and the British Conservative Party. Her most recent publications include Training minds for the war of ideas. Ashridge College, the Conservative Party and the cultural politics of Britain, 1929-54 (MUP, 2015); Conservatismes en mouvement, une approche transnationale au XXe siècle (with J.-C. Vinel, Editions de l’EHESS, 2016); Postwar Conservatism: A Transnational Investigation. Britain, France and the United States, 1930-1990 (with J.-C. Vinel, Palgrave, 2017), Rethinking right-wing women (with J. V. Gottlieb, Manchester University Press, 2017).

Dr Helen Rogers is a socio-cultural historian working in the English Department at Liverpool John Moores University. Her main research interests are in 19th-century culture and society, crime and punishment, autobiography and working-class writing, the digital humanities and creative non-fiction. She is writing a book called Conviction: Sin and Salvation in a Victorian Gaol and blog about her research and creative approach to historical writing at convictionblog.com. She tweets as @HelenRogers19c

Helen is leading a research project to set up an online archive of working-class autobiography. The project’s website writinglives.org @Writing__Lives includes c. 150 Author Blogs by her students on some of these memoirs.

Professor Stephen Sawyer is former Chair of the History Department and co-founder of the History, Law, and Society program at the American University of Paris (AUP). He came to AUP from the University of Chicago center in Paris and the Ecole Normale Supérieure where he was Lecturer in the final years of his dissertation. After receiving fellowships from the EHESS, Fulbright, and Sciences Po, from 2005 to 2009, he served as part-time assistant to Pierre Rosanvallon at the Collège de France. A specialist in urban and political history, he earned his PhD at the University of Chicago (2008).

In 2009, he was awarded a grant to complete a two-year research project for the city of Paris on mapping cultural scenes in metropolitan Paris. In January 2012, Stephen became the Associate Editor for the English version of the Annales and member of the journal’s editorial board. In 2014 to 2015, he was named Neubauer Collegium Fellow at the University of Chicago. Since 2014 he has been named Directeur de publications of the Tocqueville Review and Director of the Center for Critical Democracy Studies at the AUP. His book Demos Assembled: Democracy and the International Origins of the Modern State, 1840-1880 appeared in 2018 with University of Chicago Press.

A Revolution in Universities (Sun 10 June, 3.30pm – 5pm)

What happened to universities with the transition to mass education in the 60s? Why do universities in France and Britain face such different challenges today?

Speakers:
• Corine Eyraud, Aix-Marseille University
• Peter Mandler, University of Cambridge
• Chris Renwick, University of York (Chair)

About the speakers

Corine Eyraud is Associate Professor of Sociology at Aix-Marseille University, Associate Researcher at the Maison française d’Oxford and International member of the Centre for Higher Education Futures (Aarhus University, Denmark). Her work is at the intersection of public policy, economic sociology, sociology of Higher Education and sociology of quantification. Her current research focuses on the transformations of French and British universities.

She was Visiting Professor at Oxford University (Wolfson College, St Antony’s College, Department of Politics and International Relations), Aarhus University and at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. She is the author of Capitalism at the Heart of the State, Cinema and Social Science and Using Statistics in Social Science Research.

Peter Mandler is Professor of Modern Cultural History at the University of Cambridge and Bailey College Lecturer in History at Gonville and Caius College. Born in the USA in 1958, he was educated at Oxford and Harvard Universities and has taught in Britain since 1991 and in Cambridge since 2001.

Peter is an historian of modern Britain whose current project addresses Britain’s transition to mass education since the Second World War. From 2012 to 2016 he served a four-year term as President of the Royal Historical Society. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dr Chris Renwick is a Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the University of York. A historian of Britain since the early 19th century, his main area of expertise is the relationship between biology, social science, and politics - in particular how the interaction of the three has shaped the way we think about, study, and govern society. He has published widely on these subjects, including Bread for All: The Origins of the Welfare State (Allen Lane, 2017), which was recently short-listed for the Longman-History Today Book Prize and long-listed for the Orwell Prize.

Venue

King’s Manor, University of York, York, YO1 7EP

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Published on 27/07/2018

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