History for All: Politics and the 'People' in Historical Perspective

Saturday 5 October 2019 | 1-5pm | The Forum, Norwich

Free and open to all

Do only men in power make history?  Join UEA historians on a journey from medieval England to the 1980s Soviet Union, and participate in the discussion yourself.


Registrations are now open! Please reserve your place by emailing: artsandhumanitiesevents@uea.ac.uk 


Can those operating outside political institutions influence the course of events?  And how does the ‘establishment’ attempt to channel popular activism into mainstream politics?

These questions have become particularly relevant since the 2008 financial crash, with the rise of grassroots political protest movements (in the form of the Occupy movement and gilets jaunes protests) and the success of ‘populist’ political candidates on both the left and right of the political spectrum.  Debates about the Brexit referendum and People’s Vote have also demonstrated a great deal of uncertainty about whether current political systems adequately gauge the feelings of the populace.  Such questions and debates, however, are not new to the post-2008 world. 

At History for All, UEA academics will present short papers identifying the ways in which ‘ordinary’ people have engaged in political action across history and considering how political elites in past societies have legitimated, discredited, or appropriated popular political movements.  Moreover, we shall explore how memories of popular political engagement in the past inform current debates about the role of the 'people' in politics.  There will be a roundtable discussion at the end, providing audience members with the opportunity to discuss 'populism' in past and present with leading historians.

Speakers include:

Stephen Church: Thrice Married, Twice Widowed, Once Divorced: One Woman’s Struggle to Save her Marriage in Early Thirteenth-Century England

Joel Halcomb: The People's Space: Politics in the Norwich Marketplace, 1500-1700

Matthias Neumann: Children Diplomacy During the Late Cold War: Samantha Smith's Visit of the ‘Evil Empire’

Amanda Dillon: Unheard Voices: The Time-Travelling Woman as Writer of History


Registrations are now open! Please reserve your place by emailing: artsandhumanitiesevents@uea.ac.uk 

For more information, please contact artsandhumanitiesevents@uea.ac.uk