Unofficial Histories

The “unofficial histories” conference seeks to bring together those who work in the academic, community and cultural fields to consider the value and purpose of historical engagements and understandings that take place within, on the edges of, or outside “official” sites and channels for the communication of historical ideas. Taking its cue from the assumption that history is, as Raphael Samuel put it, “a social form of knowledge; the work, in any given instance of a thousand different hands”, the conference aims to open up to examination the ways in which historians, curators, writers, journalists, artists, film makers, activists and others, seek to represent the past in the public realm, and in the spheres of popular culture and everyday life.

What kinds of subjects, ideas and themes are presented? What styles and mediums are used to construct history? How is this history produced, transmitted and consumed?

We hope to sharpen the awareness of the different sites and forms of historical production and consider how they impact public perceptions and consciousness of history. We are also concerned to understand the interactions between competing (and corresponding) impulses in the processes of formation: the scholarly and the political; the academic and the everyday; the imperatives of funding, ethics and access.

Finally, we would like to consider whether or not such “unofficial histories” have political effects that might serve democratic and emancipatory goals, and/or can be seen as sources of dissent and resistance against conventional, privileged models of historical knowledge.
Presentations of between 10 and 20 minutes (different approaches to communication are encouraged) are welcomed on any aspect of the above, which may include:

People’s History and the History of Everyday Life
• Consuming History: History as Commodity
• TV, Radio and Internet
• Literature, Poetry and Folksong
• Museums, Heritage, Archives, and Education
• Feminist and Women’s History
• Historical Re-enactment and Living History
• Memory, Myth and Folklore
• Oral History, Testimony, and Biography
• Local, Regional and Community History
• Family History and Genealogy
• Art, Drama and Theatre
• The Role of the Historian in the Public Sphere


Please submit abstracts of 250-300 words by Tue 31 Jan 2012 to Fiona Cosson, fiona.cosson[ at ]northampton.ac.uk
Unofficial Histories


What: Unofficial Histories
Associated Events: Conference takes place Sat 19 May 2012 at Bishopsgate Institute in London, free to attend, all welcome.
Further Details:
- Visit the Unofficial Histories website
Contact: fiona.cosson[ at ]northampton.ac.uk
Deadline: Tue 31 Jan 2012