CFP: New Times Revisited? Examining Society, Culture and Politics in the Long 1980s

I received this CFP yesterday and it is being run by a very cool PhD student at the University of Birmingham. If I was in the UK in June next year, I would definitely be there. And so should you all!


CFP New Times Revisited? Examining Society, Culture and Politics in the Long 1980s
University of Birmingham & University of Warwick, 28th-29th June 2013

Plenary speakers: James Vernon (UC Berkeley) and Stephen Brooke (York

How should historians of Britain understand the long 1980s? This conference
takes its name from the discussion of the meaning of New Times in the
journal Marxism Today. ‘New times’ sought to characterise a period during
which ideas of post-war consensus were critiqued, Keynesian economic
frameworks were challenged, identity politics proliferated and class
solidarities shifted. This conference aims to develop and question such a
narrative by asking how a sense of ‘new times’ relates to longer term
cultural and social change. We invite papers examining society, politics,
and culture during the 1970s and 1980s from a local, British and global

We ask: Can the decade be seen as an ‘age of fracture’? To what extent did
Britain feel a ‘shock of the global’? How closely should we associate the
era with the emergence and consolidation of a new hegemonic politics
associated with Thatcherism? How was Thatcherism experienced in everyday
life? Would Thatcherism have existed without Thatcher? What narratives
best encapsulate everyday and ‘ordinary’ experience in the 1980s?

We also welcome discussion of the following themes:

* The crisis of the Left and the emergence of a ‘new right’. Was this the
‘Great Moving Right Show’?

* Britain’s position in relation to the rest of the world.

* What were the key agents in driving political, economic, cultural and
social change in the 1980s? How important were parties, social movements,
supranational institutions, big business and ‘the city’ to the changes of
the decade?

*How were issues such as race and sexuality experienced in ‘ordinary’

This conference is aimed at postgraduate, early career researchers, and
established researchers. It is geared towards creating a research agenda
for those interested in studying a ‘long 1980s’. It is a joint initiative
between the Birmingham Centre for Modern and Contemporary History and the
University of Warwick’s Institute for Advanced Studies.

Contact Daisy Payling at for further information, or to submit a proposal in the form of a 300-500 word abstract or 1,000- 1,500 word panel proposals of up to three papers. The deadline for abstracts and panel proposals is 1 March 2013.

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