Thursday 8 February 2024

Chartism Day 2024 - Call for Papers

Plans for Chartism Day 2024 are coming together, with a date set for 7 September, and a venue agreed at the University of Reading. Make sure it’s in your diary.

All the details can be found over on the Society for the Study of Labour History website. At present it’s too early to reserve a place, but if you are interested in presenting a paper, or just want to see what sort of themes people might be talking about this year, the Call for Papers is already online.

A focus this year will be on the centenary of the great Dorothy Thompson, whose work on Chartism changed perceptions of the movement for the better and for good.

Her research and writing effectively rehabilitated the Chartist leader Feargus O’Connor after a century of neglect and downright dismissal. She worked on women in Chartism, the Irish in Chartism, and was clear that the movement needed to be understood from a class perspective - all of which was groundbreaking at the time.

For good measure, she also taught and supervised generations of students who went on to do great work on Chartism, among them James Epstein and the late Stephen Roberts.

A few years ago, when The Dignity of Chartism, a collection of Dorothy Thompson’s essays edited by Stephen Roberts was published, he spoke to me about the doyenne of Chartist studies and her legacy. The interview is here.

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