Mile End Institute

History Beyond the Academy: Engaging Publics, Influencing Policy

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16 March 2016

Time: 1:30 - 5:30pm
Venue: British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace


Generating interest and influence beyond the scholarly community has become a serious endeavour for academic historians. 

Whether engaging wider publics through radio, television and online media, or presenting evidence to policymakers in Parliament and Whitehall, historians must develop increasingly strong communication skills if they want their research to resonate with audiences outside academia.

These workshops for early-career researchers in the field of modern British history discussed some of the issues facing academics in this area.

This event was the fourth in our series Rethinking Contemporary British Political History. It is generously funded by a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award, held by Dr Helen McCarthy of the School of History, Queen Mary University of London.


History, Media and the Public

Pamela Cox, Professor of History at the University of Essex and presenter, Shopgirls (BBC Two, 2014) and Servants (BBC Two, 2012)

Peter Snowdon, journalist and author of Cameron at 10: The Inside Story 2010-15 (Harper Collins, 2015)

Liza Filby, historian, author of God and Mrs Thatcher (Biteback, 2015) and founder of GradTrain, a public speaking training agency aimed at graduates and postgraduates

Andrew Gordon, literary agent at David Higham Associates.


Getting Commissioned

Rob Coldstream, History Commissioner at Channel 4

Phil Tinline, Producer for BBC Radio 4

Paul Lay, Editor of History Today

Sue Cameron, Daily Telegraph

Being a Public Historian

In this keynote address, Tristram Hunt MP discussed the place of historical knowledge and understanding in British public life, drawing on his experience as a writer, teacher and public servant.