Friday 17 June 2011
I'm going to be updating this page with short posts on what I've been up to. For more focused, in depth pieces, check my essay blog from the menu above. I'm also going to be updating this site soon with more about my skills and experience.
On Wednesday I made the trip down to Kent University at Canterbury to present a paper at a day's conference they were running. It was part of their South East History Hub, which hosts an annual conference. The conference was framed around the eternal question, 'Why Study History?'
It was a lovely and well-organised event in pleasant surroundings. I was pleased to meet a host of new people and hear their ideas on my work. Hopefully I was also able to offer some interesting and useful insights into the work of the other delegates.
I really enjoyed Antony Beevor during the plenary session of the conference, just as I've enjoyed reading many of his works such as Stalingrad, The Battle For Spain, and Berlin.
University of Kent
I presented a paper on 'applied history', arguing that the perceived line between polemic and academic history has been considerably blurred in the past compared to the present. I also suggested that some aspects of present day history - such as trying to improve its impact - might actually benefit from being a little more explicitly ideologically motivated rather than attempting to adhere to an allegedly objective and scientistic neutrality.
I enjoyed many of the papers, particularly Ruth Martin from Cambridge talking about (among many other things) the CPUSA, an interesting topic which I've never actually heard anyone other than me discussing. It's reaffirmed in me that attending plenty of varied events like this is definitely worthwhile.
I'll be back there in September at their Scientific Governance conference, which they've kindly asked me to deliver a paper at.
However, the next conference I shall be addressing is the Political History Network in Reading next month. I shall be talking about the Conservative MP Arnold T. Wilson and his Chairmanship of the first Parliamentary Science Committee.
I have also been asked by the Socialist History Society to prepare an article on my work on the CP for their next magazine. I shall post a copy of it on this website after they've published my article.