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School of History

Research Culture and Events

The School sees historical research as an endeavour inspired by individual interest, skills, and commitment, but which always flourishes thanks to intellectual collegiality and the dynamic exchange of ideas. Hence, we aim to place the research of members of the School at all levels - from PhD students and postdoctoral researchers, to early career and advanced scholars - within frameworks of exchange that enhance and challenge their work. To this end, we organise a continuous array of activities - seminars and workshops, reading groups and conferences - and help members of the School realise ideas for such events. Most members of staff are also co-convenors of research seminars at the Institute of Historical Research, seminars which our PhD students frequent and where they can also deliver sections of their advanced research. Our Research Centres are also active venues for research events.
All these activities have drawn to the School cohorts of excellent doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, holders of competitive studentships and fellowships. They are the lifeblood of the School, a source of constant innovation and intellectual challenge, which we relish. We mentor them all with care and are delighted to see so many of them go on to successful academic careers.

15 June 2021: Where Next for Working-Class History? (The Biennial Eric Foner Symposium in American History)

From the end of Trump’s presidency to the start of Biden’s administration, election results, the Capitol Riots, popular protests, and the pandemic have posed urgent questions about labour, class, populism, and power in the US and wider world. Now is the time to think about the place of the working class in American history. This symposium asks leading scholars “where next for working-class history?” How should we think about the field's origins and mission, and are they still urgent? How has the scholarship responded to the introduction of histories of gender, race, empire, and globalisation? And how has the field contended with the rise of the new histories of capitalism? Book your free place here.

16 June 2021: Raphael Samuel Memorial Lecture (Hazel Carby, Yale presents a paper on Imperial Sexual Economies)

Drawn from Hazel Carby’s new book Imperial Intimacies: A Tale of Two Islands the lecture will examine the workings of patriarchal, racialized and gendered power through the entangled lives of free women of colour and enslaved women on a Jamaican coffee plantation. Advance registration is required.

This lecture is held as part of the Historians Collaborate series on Telling Small Stories: Telling Big Stories, which will take place on 16-17 June and is free to attend.

17 June 2021: Philanthropist, Rescuer, Collector: Remembering Wilfrid Israel (hosted by the Leo Baeck Institute, London)

A conversation with the filmmaker Yonatan Nir (The Essential Link), Naomi Shepherd (Author of the book Wilfrid Israel. German Jewry’s Secret Ambassador) and Dorothea Hauser (Stiftung Warburg Archiv). The event will take place via Zoom at 6:30 pm (UK time). Further information about the event and how to register can be found here

You can watch Yonatan Nir’s documentary film The Essential Link ahead of the event in our next LBI London Film Club. To watch the film free of charge between 10 and 17 June 2021, please click here

24-25 June 2021: The 12th Annual London Graduate Conference in the History of Political Thought 

The 12th Annual London Graduate Conference, 24-25 June 2021, will explore the theme of ‘Emergency in the History of Political Thought’. More information available here.

14 October 2021: ‘Your Heimat is our Nightmare’: Post-Soviet Poetic Interventions in German Culture (presented by Natasha Gordinsky, University of Haifa, and hosted by the Leo Baeck Institute, London)

In the past decade, post-Soviet Jewish writers, poets and artists who live and work in Germany, have been playing a crucial role in the ongoing debate on the various forms of migrant belonging in contemporary German culture. This lecture explores how these different cultural agents reflect and de-stabilize, performatively, the meaning of Heimat, a concept that is highly charged both in German and Soviet contexts. More information on this event is available here.

11 November 2021: From Heartland to Homeland? – German-Jewish Émigré Artists in Britain, c. 1933-45 (presented by Sarah MacDougall, Ben Uri Gallery and Museum, and hosted by the Leo Baeck Institute, London)

Founded as an arts society in 1915 in London’s East End, Ben Uri’s collection, exhibition history and programming were significantly impacted from the 1930s onwards by the artistic influx of the so-called ‘Hitler émigrés’. This lecture examines the conception of Heimat in relation to the lives and work of German-Jewish artists from this cohort, among them Frank Auerbach and Eva Frankfurther, as they navigated their new host culture, touching on notions of national cultural heritage and belonging. More information on this event is available here.

Our Annual and Biennial Lectures are hubs for interaction and exchange and are open to all members of the School as well as to broader audiences. These are:

The distinguished colleagues who deliver these lectures are usually the School's guests for several days, during which time they deliver seminars, advise PhD students and spend quality time with members of the School.

Our research is embedded within the various forums of the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) Faculty and the opportunities it offers. The Institute of HSS is a hub for inter-disciplinary events, ranging from workshops to lectures by visiting scholars.
The international dimension is central to our research culture, in a School whose members are diverse in terms of their educational and disciplinary formation. Alongside the regular flow of international visitors to our School and Faculty, we maintain regular contacts through annual exchanges with the universities of Basel, Delaware, Freiburg, and Northwestern. We regularly also receive researchers funded by the European Research Council, who execute their research in our School and among us.

Global Health Security and Pandemics

This digital series is organised by the Mile End Institute and available to view online.

Mile End Institute podcast - Debating politics, policy and public life

Listen in to the Mile End Institute podcast series in which we bring together politicians, commentators, academics, students, and members of the public to discuss and debate the major challenges facing the country in a fast-moving and ever-changing world.

Hidden Histories podcast series

Hidden Histories sees QMUL PhD student Helen Carr exploring some of the country's hidden treasures, as she and some of our finest historians scramble through the actual spaces where history happened. Whether she's visiting the whorehouses of Covent Garden, or retracing the steps of the Peasants Revolt, Helen and her guests are a delightful guide to the hidden histories that lie just off the beaten track. Listen to her conversations with AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinkers here.

Snapshots of German-Jewish History and Culture

This digital series, hosted by the Leo Baeck Institute, gives you an insight into the Institute's collection of rare books, historical pamphlets and documents. 

Global Health Security and Pandemics

A Mile End Institute YouTube series on global health security and pandemics, presented by Professor Sophie Harman (QMUL). Watch here.

The Future of British Democracy

The Mile End Institute's series on the 'Future of British Democracy' explores reform of the civil service, the role of the judiciary and judicial review, corruption, and the role of the House of Lords. Join here.