Forthcoming Public History conference, Ruskin College, Oxford,

19th September 2009

The recent opening up of the History Workshop archive at Ruskin College – in addition to the Raphael Samuel Archive at the Bishopsgate Institute – provides new opportunities for thinking about History.

The History Workshops

Held in the 1960s, 70s and 80s the History Workshops provided particular opportunities for wide-ranging discussions of History and its application in the present. The History Workshop Movement was seen as a radical movement dedicated to political change and new ways of thinking about the past and present.

While discussion of the past in the public domain has arguably opened up extensively, History in schools, colleges, universities and adult education is circumscribed by different constraints to those of the early years of the History Workshop.

What are the possibilities now of practising radical history-making? Is democratic scholarship viable – and what forms can it take? What new forms of engagement are possible? What have we learned and what should be left in the past? What different roles might History have in local and community activism?

This one day conference is not intended to be a nostalgic event but to provide an opportunity to think about and discuss visions and practical examples now. We are also exploring publication of conference contributions.


Speakers include Dr Anna Davin, editor of History Workshop Journal, Ken Jones, Professor of Education at Keele University and author of Schooling in Western Europe: the new order and its adversaries (Palgrave 2008),Jorma Kalela, Professor (emeritus) University of Turku and author of The Historian in Society (forthcoming 09/10) Marjorie Mayo, Professor of Community Development & Head of the Centre for Lifelong Learning and Community Engagement Goldsmiths College, University of London and author of Global Citizens (Zed 2006)

registration fee – including coffee, teas and vegetarian lunch – is £30.

To register, please print off the registration form and send with a cheque /bank details to Kynan Gentry, Political Research Fellow, at Ruskin College,  Walton Street , Oxford O X1 2HE by 30th June at the latest.

Please direct enquiries to

Kynan on


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