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The History Research Seminar

Programme 2019/2020

‘The Politics of Diversity From Historical Perspective’

Refreshments will be provided. Times and locations may vary for each event, please details below.

All staff and students are welcome!

**Please note that all remaining History Research Seminar events for 2019-20 have now been cancelled.**


Monday 27 April 2020 in OCO.04 (Oculus) 5pm-7pm (refreshments from 4.30pm)
Dr Jonathan Saha (University of Leeds) in conversation with Taj Ali (Warwick Decolonise Project)
"Colonizing Animals in British Burma"

Host: Dr Naomi Pullin

Dr Jonathan Saha is Associate Professor in the School of History at the University of Leeds. He specialises in the history of nineteenth and twentieth-century colonialism in Southeast Asia, focusing particularly on British Burma. His study of official misconduct in the fin de siècle Burma Delta explored how the colonial state was experienced and imagined in everyday life, showing how corruption contributed to the maintenance of British rule, perpetuating racial divisions and gender ideologies. He was one of the co-authors of the Race, Ethnicity and Equality Report published by the Royal Historical Society.


Thursday 21st May 2020 in room OC1.06 5pm-7pm (refreshments from 4.30pm)
Dr Christopher Fevre (University of the Free State, South Africa)
“Injustice on Their Backs and Justice on Their Minds”: Political Activism and the Policing of London’s Afro-Caribbean Community, 1945-1993

Host: Dr Simon Peplow

Dr Christopher Fevre is a historian of twentieth-century Britain with a specific interest in issues of race and racism, the development of community/political activism, and the intersection between race and the criminal justice system. He is also interested in the history of modern South Africa, particularly during the era of apartheid from 1948 to 1994.

Past Events 2019-20


Thursday 17th October 2019 in S0.20 (Social Studies), 5pm-7pm (refreshments from 4.30pm)
Dr Kennetta PerryDr Kennetta Perry (De Montfort University) in conversation with Dr Meleisa Ono-George

‘The Archive of Imperiled Black Life and the Architecture of State-crafted Violence in Postcolonial Britain’

In Celebration of Black History Month

Host: Dr Naomi Pullin

Dr. Kennetta Perry serves as Director of the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre at De Montfort University where she is also a Reader in History. Her research interests include Black British history, transnational race politics, Black women’s history, archives of Black Europe, and anti-racist movements for citizenship, recognition and social justice throughout the African Diaspora.

She has published widely, including a book-length study on Afro-Caribbean migration to Britain following World War II titled London Is The Place For Me: Black Britons, Citizenship and the Politics of Race (Oxford Press, 2016). Currently, she is researching histories of state-sanctioned racial violence and the relationship between the decline of the welfare state and the expansion of the carceral state in Britain during the second half of the twentieth century.


Wednesday 20 November 2019, MS05 (Zeeman), 2pm-6pm
Languages of Slavery Workshop
Tuesday 18th February 2020 in OC1.04 (Oculus) 5pm-7pm (refreshments from 4.30pm)
Lola Olufemi (University of Cambridge)
"Uses of the Feminist Imagination"
Co-hosted by the Queer History Reading Group in celebration of LGBT History Month

Host: Somak Biswas

Lola Olufemi is a queer feminist writer and organiser and the co-author of A FLY Girl’s Guide to University: Being a Woman of Colour at Cambridge and Other Institutions of Elitism and Power (Verve 2019).

Talk and interactive workshop:

In this talk and interactive workshop, Lola will be defining the broad contours of the feminist imagination, how it presents itself, and what it looks like in the bounds of an institution.

Who does imagining matter for? She will focus specifically on experiences of (queer) students of colour and their disappointments regarding knowledge production + reproduction of powers in institutional spaces. How does the imagination manifest, what does it engender? Drawing on her own experience in decolonial efforts, student organising and political education, she will discuss how such imagining is received, as well as the institutional backlash, oversimplification and misreadings it is surrounded by.


** Catherine Hall Seminar CANCELLED **
Wednesday 26th February 2020 in OC0.01 (Oculus) 5pm-7pm (refreshments from 4.30pm)
Prof. Catherine Hall (UCL)

"Being a Historian - Then and Now"

Co-hosted by the Feminist History Group in celebration of Women's History Month

Chair: Dr Laura Schwartz

Reflecting upon her personal and political life as a feminist and postcolonial historian, Professor Hall will consider the politics of intellectual work, how ideas emerge from movements and communities, and what politically-engaged historians should be doing in the present conjuncture.

Catherine Hall is Emerita Professor of Modern British Social and Cultural History at University College London. She is known for her work on gender, class and empire in the 19th century, particularly her pioneering Family fortunes: men and women of the English middle class, 1780-1850 (new edn. Routledge, 2002) which she published with Leonore Davidoff in 1987 and Civilising Subjects; metropole and colony in the English imagination 1830-1867 (University of Chicago Press, 2002), one of the first substantive feminist histories to take up questions of race as central to the formation of modern Britain, a work influenced by black feminism. Hall published Macaulay and Son: architects of imperial Britain (Yale University Press) in 2012 and is Chair of the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership.

Professor Hall was active in Birmingham women's liberation and attended the first national women's liberation conference at Ruskin in 1970. From 1981-1997 she was a member of the Feminist Review Collective. Her journalism and scholarship most recently includes a history of the ‘hostile environment

For further information about the seminar series, please contact Dr Lydia Plath or Michelle Nortey.

For previous seminars please see the History Dept's ARCHIVE