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      KCBH 2019 Conference: Britain’s Futures: Projects, Promises and Plans in the Twentieth Century in City of London


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      July 9, 2019

      Tuesday   9:30 AM

      The Macadam Bldg, Surrey St
      City of London, Westminster WC2R 2NS

      Performers:
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      EVENT DETAILS
      KCBH 2019 Conference: Britain’s Futures: Projects, Promises and Plans in the Twentieth Century

      This is the third annual conference of King’s Contemporary British History (KCBH). We will again be running a new kind of conference – designed to generate engaged discussion. Our aim is not to provide a vehicle for the presentation for new research, but rather to generate discussion and reflection, to revisit major debates and positions and ask where they stand now. These conversations will be grounded in the current political moment, looking to the future as much as the past. We have invited speakers to stimulate general discussions with brief presentations – our aim is, once again, to generate a collective conversation. This year our theme will Britain’s Futures – the ways in which hoped for or feared futures were articulated. Our expectation is that a discussion focused on the projects, promises and plans of the past will enrich our collective understanding of both British history and how it has been written. At a time when the country may be launched on a project without a plan, only promises, it is time to look back at twentieth century British history through this lens. Historians are experts on the future. We know the most important thing about it – which is that it is radically uncertain, the future was not generally speaking what it was expected to be.  Historians thus treat plans, promises and plans for the future, not as guides to that future, but as products of their time. In the case of twentieth century British history there has been little examination of futures in this sense, though references to manifestos, white papers, royal commissions, and the like are a commonplace. We want to deepen our understanding of British history by thinking about the futures that were on offer in the past, now mostly necessarily forgotten or thought to have been doomed, to think through not what happened but what people thought would happen, hoped to happen, or wanted to make happen. What were the futures on offer in twentieth-century Britain? When did the future become important to politics? Have the ways in which the future was thought about changed or remained constant? And how did thinking about the future (and its relation to the present and the past) intersect with other temporal concerns like planning, proposing, predicting, promising and progressing? Our four themed discussions, on National and Imperial futures, Social futures, Economic futures, and Political futures, will be led by, among others: Clarisse Berthezène, Lise Butler, Sabine Clarke, Alana Harris, Kit Kowol, Helen McCarthy, Charlotte Lydia Riley, Emily Robinson, Catherine Schenk, Bill Schwarz, Peter Sloman, and Richard Toye. PIMLOTT LECTURE: On the evening of 9 July, KCBH will co-host the Ben Pimlott Memorial Lecture 2019, with Twentieth Century British History and OUP Journals. Professor Patricia Clavin will deliver the lecture, which will be entitled, ‘Britain and the making of Global Order after 1919’. Anyone who signs up for the KCBH conference is free to attend the Pimlott Lecture PhD BURSARIES: We intend to offer a small number of bursaries for UK-based doctoral students to attend the event. Please write to conor.morrissey@kcl.ac.uk with an expression of interest. More information on the King’s Contemporary British History can be found on our website: https://kcbh.kcl.ac.uk/. You can follow us on Twitter @KingsCBH

      Categories: Other & Miscellaneous

      Event details may change at any time, always check with the event organizer when planning to attend this event or purchase tickets.