Friday, 3 August 2012


History Lab Bulletin 2 August 2012
Dear all,
See below for projects and events that may be of interest to History Lab members.
In this issue:
  • Symposium
  • Studentships
  • Call for papers
  • Internship
  • Job opportunity
  • Reconsidering Amateur Photography: A Symposium, Centre for Research and Development, University of Brighton, 21 September 2012
    Co-convened by Dr Annebella Pollen (University of Brighton)
    and Juliet Baillie (Birkbeck, University of London)
    This event is made possible by the generous support of The National Media Museum and the School of Humanities, University of Brighton and forms part of the Photography Research Network’s Either/And publishing project: and
    Since its inception, the overwhelming majority of photography has taken place outside of the realms of professional practice, yet little sustained and empirically grounded attention has been paid to the many nuanced forms that exist within this vast, but rarely well-defined, ‘amateur’ category. Research has tended to cluster around certain sites and themes: the ideology of the family album; the apparently artless and hapless ‘snapshot’; and the ‘found’ photograph as a form of vernacular artistic inspiration, thereby neglecting a wide and varied range of amateur photographic positions beyond and between. Existing literature broadly divides between those who are, at times, vehemently dismissive of the apparently conventional aesthetics of popular practice, and those that privilege the non-professional with an almost outsider status, closer to photographic ‘authenticity’. Through bringing together, in debate, scholars and practitioners of all stripes, this symposium seeks to problematise such binary oppositions, challenge existing knowledge, and reconsider the particular and distinctive positions of the amateur photograph and photographer, both historically and in the rapidly changing present.
    Papers and discussions throughout the day address the broad area of concern outlined above, and the specialist knowledge of the contributors, through the consideration of a number of clustered key issues:
    Fundamentally, who are amateur photographers and how might they be defined? Where do the categorical boundaries lie? What are the particular class, gender and age demographics of the aspirational amateur photographer, and how might these be shifting in new media landscapes? What are the analytical methods by which the vast body of historical and contemporary amateur practice may come to be understood? How might changing practices and critical perspectives expand and contest traditional approaches?
    What is the social significance of amateur photography beyond the ‘family function’ and the domestic sphere? How do amateur photographic institutions, societies, sites, fora and literature shape practice and products? What do new public audiences do to once private practices? What is the role of technology in constituting and performing photographic identities, past and present?
    What part do pictorial concerns play in amateur practice? Why have so-called ‘serious’ amateurs been subject to such critical dismissal? What is aesthetically distinctive about the aspirational amateur photograph? Where are the points of convergence and dissonance with professional and/or art photography? How might amateur photography correlate with other amateur creative practices?
    Venue: Boardroom, Centre for Research and Development (CRD), Mezzanine Floor, Grand Parade campus, Faculty of the Arts, University of Brighton
    11-11.30 Registration and coffee
    11.30 Welcome and introduction: Annebella Pollen
    11.45-12.45 Panel 1: Money and Art
    Juliet Baillie (Birkbeck) - Camera clubs, interwar amateurs and photography for profit
    Graham Rawle (Brighton) – Studio Studies: Photographic ‘artistry’ in 1950s men’s magazines
    12.45 Lunch
    1.30-2.30 Panel 2: Competition and Education
    Annebella Pollen (Brighton) - When is a photographic cliché not a cliché?
    Karen Cross (Roehampton) – The relational amateur
    2.30-3 Coffee
    3-4 Panel 3: Communities and Futures
    Roger Tooth (The Guardian) – Guardian Camera Club
    Stephen Bull (University of the Creative Arts) - We are all photography geeks now: Aspiring amateurs and the global camera club
    4-4.30 Round Table Discussion (all speakers)
    4.30 Close
    Attendance is free but booking is essential as places are strictly limited. To book, please contact by 7 September 2012.
  • Two AHRC PhD studentships, Institute of Historical Research/ History of Parliament Trust
    AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award: ‘Space and power in the nineteenth-century House of Commons’
    The Institute of Historical Research (IHR) and the History of Parliament Trust (HoP) are offering two three-year Collaborative Doctoral Awards (or five-year part-time) PhD studentships 2012-15 to work on the history of the Houses of Parliament and the parliamentary representative system in the 19th century. These doctoral research studentships build on the unique partnership between the IHR and the History of Parliament which dates back to the 1930s, and will benefit particularly from the expertise of the new 1832-1868 section of the History of Parliament.
    The studentships will commence on 1 October 2012. The value of the award is £16,140 for a full- time student. Part-time applications will be considered. University of London tuition fees are covered.
    The Institute is a member of the School of Advanced Study at the University of London. The School brings together the specialised scholarship and resources of ten prestigious research institutes to offer academic opportunities, facilities, and stimulation across and between a wide range of subject fields in the humanities and social sciences The successful candidates will join a lively research environment to which they will be expected to contribute.
    Short description of the project
    As Britain began to embrace democracy and reform during the 19th century, it clung to a peculiarly old-fashioned set of parliamentary institutions. The Commons continued to meet daily in what amounted to a 13th century chapel, and the MPs were returned by electoral units – boroughs and counties – which in their essential format had remained unchanged from the medieval Parliaments comprised of knights of the shires and burgesses of the towns. This project investigates how, when and why the spatial context of the parliamentary system changed in the Victorian era of reform.
    One research student will look from the inside at the debating chamber and the public spaces of the palace of Westminster, analysing how Parliament adapted its layout and functions to suit the different demands of MPs and the public after the 1832 reform act. The research will examine in detail the important differences between the three different debating chambers in use between 1832 and 1868, how they functioned physically and affected the style and tone of parliamentary debate, and relations between parties, factions and individual MPs. It will also look at public access to the lobby of Parliament, that is ‘St Stephen’s’, and will place the design and rebuilding of the Commons within the wider context of the contemporary discussion of senates around the world, especially in the British colonies, mapping the exemplary influence of the Westminster model. Sources for this research will include parliamentary papers and Hansard debates, manuscripts of successive Speakers of the Commons and other parliamentary officials such as May, procedural manuals and parliamentary journalism.
    The second researcher will look at the geography of power relations institutionalised in the electoral map of 19th century Britain. In particular the research will focus on the work of the Boundary Commissioners who in successive reform acts (1832, 1867 and 1885) worked hard to maintain the division between the separate representation of towns and counties, before in 1885 sweeping away six centuries of convention and introducing single-member constituencies. Its sources will include the reports of the Boundary Commissioners, the large body of statistical material (gazetteers, parliamentary papers, periodical articles), Hansard and constitutional writing of the 19th century, as well as Mss of key politicians (election agents, party whips, and key reformers such as Parkes, Bright and Lubbock.
    Apart from the two PhD theses – one on the Houses of Parliament and one on the Boundary Commissioners – the project will have three other outcomes, which will be produced under the guidance of the non-HEI partner, that is the 1832-1868 section of the History of Parliament. They will oversee the creation of two digital resources. First, a 3D recreation of the Commons, its sitting layout, and the working of the division lobbies in the three spaces occupied by the Commons in the period 1832-1851. As part of this the student will create materials for a small on-line exhibition looking at Charles’ Barry’s Parliament and its rivals, focusing on the alternative schemes put forward for the design of the debating chamber in the 1790s and again in the 1830s. The second digital resource will be an enhanced digital reproduction of all the constituency maps produced by the Boundary Commissioners in the 19th century, to which GIS and OS cross-referencing will be added. Finally, there will be an end of project colloquium presenting and reviewing the main findings of the PhD researchers and related research associated with the History of Parliament 1832-1868 section.
    Successful candidates for these doctoral studentships will be initially registered as MPhil students. At the beginning of the studentships, research training needs will be assessed, based on the students' MA or other experience and the needs of the project. The IHR provides a unique research training programme , with advanced guidance on archives, databases, digital applications and historical method, and the students will be expected to attend some of these courses in their first two years. They will also be expected to attend relevant IHR research seminars. At the History of Parliament Trust the students will be provided with more specialist training in parliamentary resources and research methodologies delivered by the two senior academics running the 1832-68 section. On appointment they will attend an introductory course, similar to that run by the 1832-68 section for graduate students at Warwick University ('Rethinking writing the history of Parliament'). Over the next six months, the students will then be required to research and write one biography of an MP as a training exercise, using the full range of sources available to the section. They will work on obtaining the skills necessary for this in their 90 minute consultations and visits to the section. Their draft articles will be jointly assessed by the section editor and their main supervisor and form a part of the formal qualification process ensuring that their literacy and research skills are satisfactory to progress towards their PhD.
    Applications for these two awards should be made to the IHR via the Secretary to the Higher Research Degrees Committee, Ms Elaine Walters: The closing date is 15th August 2012. Please address your completed applications with your research statement to Elaine at Institute of Historical Research, University of London, Senate House, North Block, London, WC1E 7HU. Application forms can be downloaded here from the above link. Applications for this competition are subject to the entry criteria for research degrees for the School of Advanced Study.
    Applicants will be invited for interview. These are planned to take place on Tuesday 4 September 2012. For informal enquiries, please contact Professor Taylor via 0207 862 8755 or at
Call for papers
  • Radical Americas, Institute of the Americas, University College London, 28-29 January 2013 "To be a radical is no more than... to go to the roots". José Martí, "A la raíz" in Patria
    (26 August, 1893)
    In recent years, a significant body of research has been undertaken into the various historical, political and social contexts in which political radicalism has developed throughout the Americas. However, little effort has been made to highlight the benefits of comparative or transnational approaches to these developments.
    This event (at UCL’s new Institute of the Americas) will seek to address this problem by bringing a range of disciplinary and geographical perspectives to bear on the issue of radicalism in the Americas. It will consist of a two-day symposium designed to promote the existence of an international community of researchers whose work ranges in disciplinary focus from political science and international relations to history, literature, and cultural studies. A selection of papers stemming from the symposium will be submitted for a planned edited volume. In addition to the academic papers, there will be films, poetry and songs.
    The proposed definition of “radicalism” is a broad one, encompassing both political radicalism as an object of study, and radical analytical approaches to societies and cultures of the Americas - in essence, any group or standpoint advocating fundamental change or reimagining of the status quo. We aim to begin with the democratic and republican radicalisms of the nineteenth century; to then move through the socialist, anarchist, communist, populist and social-democratic radicalisms of the early to mid twentieth century; finally, to confront identity politics, the New Left, social movements and contemporary state radicalisms.
    The symposium aims to include papers ranging both geographically and temporally, and will encourage conversation between scholars working on specific national topics and those whose focus is comparative or transnational. Subjects might include:
    State and non-state radicalisms
    Anti-imperialism and solidarity movements
    Radical populism in contemporary and historical perspective
    Race and radicalism
    Radical art, literature, music and architecture
    The Cold War
    Feminist and LGBTQ activism
    Anti-radicalism and the contested nature of radicalisms
    National and transnational labour movements
    If you wish to give a paper, please send a proposal of no more than 300 words along with a short CV to the contact details below. Papers should be of 20 minutes duration. There will be a number of travel bursaries available for postgraduate presenters, and information about accommodation options will be available shortly.
    The deadline for abstracts is 30th September 2012 but we strongly encourage an early response.
    Twitter: @radicalamericas
  • The Journal of History and Cultures (JHAC) is issuing a Call for Papers for our next issue and welcomes articles on subjects in the fields of history and cultures within a broad geographic and chronological range. We are also accepting book reviews.
    JHAC is a peer-reviewed journal and an excellent new publishing opportunity both for postgraduates and established academics. Articles should be 5,000-7,000 words in length. We encourage articles that consider and engage with historical, cultural, political, social, and theoretical research in new and original ways. Reviews should be 750-1,000 words in length. Review essays should be in-depth engagements with recent books which develop an argument to complement the reading of the text. A list of books available for review will be appearing on our website; alternatively, you can contact our reviews editor directly to request a specific book to review at
    The deadline for submissions is 1st October 2012.
    Full submission and formatting guidelines can be found at:
    Finally, we invite you to join the JHAC community on both Facebook and Twitter @UOBJHAC for regular updates.
    We are offering a £50 prize for the best article.
    Please email all submissions and address any enquiries to
  • 18th Century Collections Curatorial Department Internship Opportunity
    The National Portrait Gallery is seeking to appoint an intern for six months with a proven interest in portraiture to gain experience in general curatorial work and research across a number of projects. The main focus of the internship will be on the 18th-Century Collections but an interest in the portraiture of other periods is desirable. Tasks may include answering public enquiries, scoping out ideas for the annual redisplay of Regency miniatures, research towards a forthcoming display on World War Two and the RAF at Beningbrough Hall, the Gallery’s regional partnership in Yorkshire and research support towards an academic study of portrait print collecting and extra-illustration in eighteenth-century Britain. As a large part of the internship will involve research in libraries and archives in London, it would be an advantage to have completed an MA or be engaged in a programme of PhD study.
    The intern will be supervised by the 18th Century Curator and Assistant Curator, 18th Century.
    1 day (8 hours) per week for six months to be agreed with the curator.
    Travel Expenses:
    Travel costs of up to ten pounds (£10) per week can be claimed
    Ideally we would like candidates to be available for a 6-month period.
    Person Specification, Qualifications and Experience:
    Good general knowledge of British art history and/or history
    A proven interest in the eighteenth century and a reasonable understanding of portraiture as a genre
    The internship would ideally suit those candidates who have completed an Art History or History MA or are engaged in a programme of PhD study who have an interest in pursuing museum work
    Skills and Attributes:
    Ideal candidates will need to have a flexible approach and be prepared to contribute to a number of different projects
    Candidates will also need to be able to demonstrate a careful approach and attention to detail
    Excellent written English is an essential requirement
    Please send your CV and a covering letter either by e-mailing: or by writing to: Emily Burns, Curatorial Office, National Portrait Gallery, 2 St Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE.
    Closing date for returned applications: 9.00am Monday, 13 August 2012.
    Interviews will take place in the week beginning 20 August 2012.
Job opportunity


The History Lab team.




Post: History Lab, The Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

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