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IHR Britain at Home and Abroad Seminar – Autumn 2020

The new series of the IHR Britain at Home and Abroad Seminar is upon us!

St. Paul's Cathedral viewed between two skyscrapers

This term the seminar will be online starting at 5.30pm via Zoom. More details and how to book can be found here.

22nd October – Agnes Arnold-Forster (Bristol)Staff Morale and Patient Complaint in the 1979 Royal Commission on the NHS

5th November – Colm Murphy (QMUL), Futures of socialism: ‘modernisation’ and the B
ritish left, 1973-1997

19th November – Peter Mandler (Cambridge), The Crisis of the Meritocracy: How Popular Demand (not Policy) Drives Educational Change

3rd December –  Saffron East (UCL) – Southall Black Sisters and the Black women’s movement in Britain & Chloe Pieters (UCL), Ideal families and women’s autonomy in the British wartime press, 1914-18

Postponed: KCBH 2020 Conference

Dear All,

Due to the current situation regarding COVID-19 we have decided to postpone the 2020 KCBH Annual Conference which was due to be held on the 8th of July on the theme of ‘Minorities and Majorities in British History.’ The TCBH Pimlott Memorial Lecture has also been postponed. Alongside TCBH we hope to rearrange both of these events for summer 2021.

We are discussing potential alternatives to this years event and hope to have news about these shortly.


Primary Sources for Dissertation on WWII and British Historiography

Dear All,

Dr. Kit Kowol, who teaches the module ‘The Never Ending War: Britain and the Second World War, 1939-2019’, has a student, Lewis Hickmott, who is in need of help!

Lewis is working on the way in which the Empire’s contribution to the war effort was described in books on British history written in the post-war period. He had hoped to get these from the British Library but, for obvious reasons, can’t go there…

If anyone has any of the following works and might be able to scan some relevant pages we would be incredibly grateful.

You can contact Lewis by email – lewis.hickmott[at] or on twitter @IncognitoWizard

Many thanks in advance!

The books Lewis is after are:


  • Arthur Bryant, A History of the Britain and the British People  Vol III The Search for Justice (London, 1990)
  • Arthur Bryant, English Saga (1940)
  • Arthur Bryant, The Battle of Britain: The Few (1944)
  • Arthur Marwick, Britain in the Century of Total War (Harmondsworth, 1970)
  • A.J.P. Taylor, The Second World War, (1974)
  • Basil Collier, The Defence of the United Kingdom (1962, Official history)
  • Basil Collier, The War in the Far East 1941–1945 (1969)
  • Correlli Barnett, Britain and Her Army, 1509–1970 (Allen Lane, 1970)
  • John Frederick Charles Fuller, The Second World War, 1939-1945: A Strategical and Tactical History (London, 1948)
  • William R. Lewis, Imperialism at Bay, 1941–1945 (Oxford, 1977)
  • Max Beloff, Wars and Welfare: Britain 1914-1945 (London, 1984)
  • Stanley Woodburn Kirby, India’s War Against Japan (1957)
  • William Roger Lewis, “The Road to the Fall of Singapore, 1942: British Imperialism in East Asia in the 1930s” (The Fascist Challenge and the Policy of Appeasement, 1983)
  • H. E. Marshall, Our Island Story: A History of Britain for Boys and Girls


Centre for British Politics and Government event – After the Defeat: Lessons from history for Labour? – Weds 18 March

On Wednesday 18 March, the Centre for British Politics and Government, in conjunction with the IHR Contemporary British History Seminar, is hosting ‘After the Defeat: Lessons from History for Labour?’. The event will take place in Bush House Lecture Theatre One (S)1.01 from 4 to 6pm.

In this event a panel of historians – including Professor Andrew Thorpe – will reflect on how the Labour, Conservative and Liberal parties have responded to previous heavy electoral defeats. They will also seek to determine what, if any, lessons the current Labour Party – on the back of winning its fewest number of seats in Parliament since 1935 – can learn from these.

Three speakers will provide papers on the response of each of the main parties to a particular election defeat:

  • Dr Iain Sharpe will discuss the Liberal Party’s experiences at the turn of the 20th century and the influence of Herbert Gladstone in securing its return to power at the 1906 election
  • Professor Andrew Thorpe (Leeds) will discuss Labour’s response to its defeat in 1935
  • Dr Michael Kandiah (KCL) will discuss the Conservative Party and how it dealt with losing power in the 1945 general election

IHR Britain at Home and Abroad Seminar: Spring 2020

It is with great pleasure that King’s is once again hosting the Institute of Historical Research’s ‘Britain at Home and Abroad, 1800-‘ Seminar.

The seminar is open to everyone and offers the chance for all those studying, working on, or simply interested in contemporary Britain to hear the latest exciting research on the topic. One of the few times and places in which historians and scholars from across London and the South East can regularly come together the Seminar also has a lively social life associated with it…

Convenors: Lise Butler (City), David Edgerton (KCL), Kit Kowol (KCL), Charlotte Riley (Southampton), Jack Saunders (KCL), Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite (UCL), Natalie Thomlinson (Reading).

All seminars are on Thursday and start at 17:15, unless otherwise stated.


23rd January, Jack Saunders (KCL) , ‘Assembling Cultures: Workplace Activism, Labour Militancy and Cultural Change in Britain’s Car Factories, 1945-82’, KCL, Bush House – South East 2.01


6th February, Lyndsey Jenkins (Oxford),  ‘‘Nothing read of the squalid, the sexy and the sordid’: education, Christianity and socialism in the formation of working-class feminist identity, c.1890-1905’, KCL,  Strand Building – S -1.04


20th February, Agnes Arnold-Forster (Roehampton), ’Emotions & Work in Contemporary Britain: Talking to Surgeons about their Feelings, c.1970-present’ , KCL, Bush House – South East 2.01


12th March, Jenny Pleinen (German Historical Institute London), ‘The landed gentry in British politics after World War Two: From taxed decadence to subsidized cultural heritage’ , Public lecture at German Historical Institute (joint event). N.B. Start time 17:30

19th March, Fariha Shaikh (Birmingham), ‘Catherine Helen Spence’s Autobiography: Literary Culture and Associational Life in Nineteenth-Century South Australia’, KCL, Bush House – South 2.01

IHR ‘Britain at Home and Abroad’ Seminar Series, Autumn 2019

Below is the schedule for this semesters Institute of Historical Research (IHR) ‘Britain at Home and Abroad’ seminar series. The seminars bring together scholars from across London and the South East working on all aspects of modern and contemporary British history since 1800.

Appropriately, this semester the seminars are being held at Bush House. Today part of King’s College London, Bush House was formerly the home of the BBC World Service. Please note that the last three seminars are in a different room from the first two.

For directions and information on getting to Bush House see,

Britain at home and abroad, 1800 –

Autumn 2019 programme

 Seminar convenors: Lise Butler (City), David Edgerton (KCL), Kit Kowol (KCL), Charlotte Riley (Southampton) , Jack Saunders (KCL), Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite (UCL), Natalie Thomlinson (Reading).


All seminars start at 5 for 5:15 and finish at 7pm.

Thursday 3 October 2019 – Roundtable on diversity in our field: RHS Gender and Race reports plus class and LGBTQ+: Meleisa Ono-George (Warwick), Eve Worth (Oxford), Charlotte Riley (Southampton) and Rebecca Jennings (UCL).  Seminar to be held at KCL, Bush House (S) 2.05


Thursday 17 October –  Luke Blaxill (Anglia Ruskin University), ‘Text Mining Modern British Political and Social History. A presentation of computerised linguistic analysis techniques applied to Victorian electioneering, postwar women MPs’ speeches, and interwar public health reports’. (Bush House (S) 2.05 )


Thursday 31st October – Chris Bischoff (University of Richmond), ‘Judging Freedom: Special Magistrates and Emancipation in the British West Indies’. (Bush House (SE) 1.06 )


Thursday 14th November – Katrina Moseley (University of Cambridge), ‘Thigh Anxiety? Weight loss clubs and women in Britain, c. 1967–1990’. (Bush House (SE) 1.06)


Thursday 28th November – Jack Saunders (KCL), ‘Assembling Cultures: Workplace Activism, Labour Militancy and Cultural Change in Britain’s Car Factories, 1945-82’. (Bush House (SE) 1.06)