The future of ‘history from below’: an online symposium

Posted: July 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

the many-headed monster

Brodie Waddell

Those of us who think that historical research ought to consist of more than the study of kings, ministers and generals owe a great debt to the pioneers of ‘history from below’ . Foremost amongst them must be E.P. Thompson, who published his epic The Making of the English Working Class exactly half a century ago. The impressive wave of work that followed will be well-known to many of you and, if nothing else, I think most historians would agree that historical scholarship would be poorer if not for the intervention of these spirited men and women.

But what about the next fifty years? Has ‘history from below’, and perhaps social history more generally, outlived its usefulness? What, if anything, can it contribute to contemporary scholarship and the wider world? How should it be adapted or reoriented in the coming years? What new tools or techniques could strengthen…

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