Rethinking Britain in the Nineties: Postgraduate Blogger Awards

Received from the organisers Dr. David Geiringer (Queen Mary, London) and Dr. Helen McCarthy (St. John’s, Cambridge)

Between January and March 2021 Dr. David Geiringer (QMUL) and Dr. Helen McCarthy (Cambridge) are hosting a series of worhshops to discuss and explore how historians can approach writing histories of Britain in the 1990s. The workshops consist of an initial “provocation” by an invited speaker, followed by further reflections from a selected panel, and then wider discussion. They are especially keen to involve postgraduate student and other early career historians in the events.  

PGR Blogger Awards

They are keen to document and reflect upon the events in the series as they happen, so as to encourage ongoing wider discussion. As such they are looking to commission 6 postgraduate students (anyone currently registered on a PGR degree, MA or PhD, in the UK or elsewhere) to produce a blog post on one of the virtual workshops in the series. They will be paid £100 for their contribution, using funds made avalible by the Past & Present Society. For further details and to apply for this commission please download the advert here.

Workshop Series Overview

Historians of Britain have only recently started doing serious, empirical work on the period since 1990 and have yet to construct new interpretative frameworks with the power to challenge and complicate settled understandings of the very recent past. Nor have they done more than scratch the surface of the opportunities afforded by working with ‘born digital’ sources (including web archives, email and electronic records) which will dominate the source base as we move beyond the mid-1990s. This workshop series aims to map existing work and stimulate new thinking on a decade which, from the perspective of our present times, looks very unfamiliar indeed. It will draw for inspiration upon the innovative scholarship produced in recent years on the 1970s and 1980s, which has done a great deal to reconfigure existing periodisations and metanarratives and to open up new avenues of research on Britain in the late twentieth century. It will also tackle head on the possibilities and challenges posed by the era of the born-digital record, embracing the so-called ‘digital revolution’ as both a subject of investigation and a methodological lens.

The workshop sessions will emphasise discussion and dialogue, with short pre-circulated ‘provocations’ kicking off what we hope will be a wide-ranging and inclusive conversation about this emerging field. The panels will cover questions of periodization, narratives and interpretive frameworks, methods and sources, and teaching and pedagogy. Our perspective will be interdisciplinary and comparative, as we draw on expertise from other disciplines and from historiographies beyond Britain.

Workshop Overview

*Panel 1: When was the Nineties? – Tuesday, 12th January 2021, 15:00-16:30 (GMT)

*Panel 2: Political Narratives – Tuesday, 19th January 2021, 15:00-16:30 (GMT)

*Panel 3: Cultural Narratives – Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 15:00-16:30 (GMT)

*Panel 4: Global Narratives – Tuesday, 16th February 2021, 14:00-15:30 (GMT)

*Panel 5: Digital Narratives – Monday, 1st March 2021, 15:00-16:30 (GMT)

*Panel 6: What is the Archive of the 1990s? – Monday, 15th March 2021, 15:00-16:30 (GMT)

Download Full Programme

Including workshop topic abstracts, and a full list of panellists. Please note that all sessions will take place virtually.

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Past & Present is pleased to support this event and supports other events like it. Applications for event funding are welcomed from scholars working in the field of historical studies at all stages in their careers.

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