Is there a future for labour history? The May 1997 conference of the Society for the Study of Labour History

December 1997
Labour History Review (Maney Publishing);Winter1997, Vol. 62 Issue 3, p253
Academic Journal
The article presents information about the May 1997 conference of the Society of Labour History. The opening plenary meeting was chaired by economist Chris Wrigley who raised some of the main questions at issue in the debate about where labour history was or should be going. He talked briefly about the traditional centrality of class, the place of empirical research and theoretical constructs and the current shifts towards diversity. The concluding plenary chaired by economist Eileen Yeo, initially heard summaries from individual sessions so that all attenders would be aware of the issues raised and could make connections. The session on "Ethnicity, race and labour history" suffered somewhat from being run in parallel with the postmodernist debate. It did, however, attempt to offer a discussion beyond the British dimension by focusing on the United States, South Africa and Great Britain. One presentation from the conference, "Refabricating Labour History: Or, From Labour History to the History of Labour," has already appeared in part two of the year 1997, volume of the journal "Labour History Review."


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