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CFP: Rewriting British Political History

Published: February 20, 2017

‘Brexit’ and associated events in 2016 in Britain, including the construction of a new government under a second woman prime minister, strains within the Labour Party, and renewed calls for Scottish independence, have reminded us of the centrality of political institutions in history. Events have been dominated by elections and referenda, foreign diplomacy and negotiation, constitutional procedure and judicial review. In recent years, meanwhile, the definition of politics used by historians has expanded, influenced by new work in social history on culture, personal identity, language, ethnicity, race and gender among many other categories. The opportunity of revisiting the history of politics and writing it more broadly, linking insights from other historical genres and approaches to a more conventional focus on political institutions now presents itself. What might a new British political history look like? What should it include? And are there any limits to the definition of ‘politics’ used by historians of Britain?

This conference, organised by the Institute of Historical Research with the support of the North American Conference on British Studies, and to be held at the IHR in Senate House, London, on Thursday and Friday June 29-30 2017, will consider how we should write the political history of Britain under the influence of new approaches and in light of recent events.

Prospective speakers are invited to submit panel proposals on any period of British history – medieval, early modern, and modern – which examine a common political theme, subject or period.

The 300 word proposals must include:

- Three papers with a nominated chair
- The title of the panel session
- Synopses of the individual papers
- Speakers’ names and affiliations
Please submit your proposals to [email protected] by 1 April 2017 


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