General Interest, Walks and Visits
The HA Annual Conference is a unique opportunity to join the history community on a weekend of engaging history. In the general pathway, you can enjoy lectures from academic researchers on every aspect and period of history, improving your knowledge and exploring new sources and areas of historical interest. This year, the pathway has been expanded to include a dedicated visits and walks strand.
Visit to Bournville
Birmingham is a city with a history of industrial change and innovation. On Friday morning, there is an opportunity to join us for a walking tour of the Bournville village designed and built by the Cadbury brothers for their workers:
‘In 1878 George and Richard Cadbury moved their successful chocolate factory from its location in the centre of Birmingham, [which] they had outgrown, to the countryside and fresh air of what was to become Bournville.
The new site was 14½ acres of greenfield located between the villages of Stirchley, Kings Norton and Selly Oak, about four miles out of the bustling city centre…
It was the aim of the Cadbury brothers to build a village that would provide better, safer, and healthier lives for those who lived there. This would be established through larger and cleaner housing, outdoor areas, and green spaces for exercise. The shared vision for the village planned to improve the lives of those living and working in Birmingham.’ (Bournville Village Trust)
The village went on to inspire social housing across the country. Led by one of the Bournville Village Trust’s expert heritage guides, this walk will explore the history of the village, the family behind it and some of those that lived there.
The coach will depart at 10:30 for an 11:00 walking tour of 60 to 90 minutes, followed by a return journey by coach. Please note that this visit does not include Selby Manor.
Steve Illingworth is a former secondary school history teacher, educational consultant and university lecturer in history education. He now works part-time with trainee teachers, as well as researching and writing various historical books and articles.
Art, commerce and the British suffrage campaigns
University of Birmingham
This talk explores the outpouring of artworks produced in support of ‘the cause’ by professional artists, commercial businesses and unnamed campaigners alike, and positions these activities amid the wider context of women’s politicised creative production that spanned the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Examining suffrage through the lens of art and commerce allows for a productive reconceptualisation of the campaigns, and is an analytical framing deserving of greater attention. Moving away from prioritising celebrated leaders or organisational politics, this talk will instead bring to the fore the breadth of politicised art, behind-the-scenes creativity and little-studied intersections between the campaigns and a burgeoning women-focused artistic and commercial culture.
Visit to Birmingham School of Jewellery
The School of Jewellery is the largest in Europe and is internationally renowned for specialist courses led by tutors with extensive industry experience. Founded by the trade in 1890 in the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, the School of Jewellery has been providing skills to the industry ever since.
‘Within the School, we teach a variety of subjects: Contemporary Jewellery and Object-making; Traditional Jewellery and Silversmithing; Horology and Gemmology. Our courses run from our Foundation Level 3, to HND, right through BA, MA and PhD and we are proud of the number of our graduates who work at all levels of the trade, locally, nationally and internationally.’
Visitors to the School can expect to see a huge variety of work in an exciting environment that juxtaposes ancient techniques with the most up-to-the-minute digital technology, all delivered by a creative and passionate staff.
The tour will be led by Dauvit Alexander and Dr Sian Hindle, both of whom teach at the School:
‘Dauvit Alexander has taught at the School of Jewellery since 2015, concentrating mainly on fine-jewellery techniques, especially optical diamond setting. His own work fuses these approaches to recycled, junk materials, adding value to things other people throw away. His research interests focus on the social messaging potential of jewellery.’
‘Dr Sian Hindle leads and teaches on the MA Jewellery and Related Products course and is responsible for co-ordinating the research programmes at the School of Jewellery. Her own areas of interest are around jewellery and identity and the role that provenance, material and form can have in shaping that identity.’
The coach will depart at 14:00 for a 14:30 tour. Participants can return to the Conference venue by coach at 16:00 or are welcome to spend time walking around the Jewellery Quarter afterwards and make their own way back.
As well as gaining an appreciation of current historical research on gender and political culture, participants will understand the connections and comparisons between the past and the present, particularly relating to women, citizenship and their opportunities for participation in hostile environments.
The queen, the concubine and the crusaders
In the public imagination, the Crusades are predominantly associated with men: a stage for knights, battles and manly endeavour. But this was not always the case. This lecture covers an extraordinary phase in the Crusade of King Louis IX of France, when his wife, the heavily pregnant Marguerite, and Shajar al-Durr (meaning ‘Tree of Pearls’), a former concubine and by this stage the regent of Muslim Egypt, took control of their respective forces and steered the conflict forwards. Interleaving these two remarkable stories, Natasha Hodgson and Jonathan Phillips will show how and why the two women were able to exert such power at moments of extreme military and family crisis for both sides.
Walking tour of Birmingham
It wouldn’t be an HA Conference without a walking tour of the local area. An expert local guide will reveal the history of this important industrial city and how it has led and developed social change over the years. Visiting parts of the intricate canal network, taking in some of the grand buildings that demonstrate Birmingham’s growing wealth in the nineteenth century, and peeling back the layers of cultural diversity will be key areas of focus.
‘Ripe for Dachau’: the German people and the concentration camps
University of Leicester
Paul Moore is a lecturer in modern European history at the University of Leicester. His research interests include: the meaning of the concentration camp in Germany prior to 1933; propaganda and the media in Nazi Germany; the social history of the Third Reich; paramilitary violence in the late Weimar Republic; and the post-war occupation and denazification of Germany. His publications include The View from Outside: the Nazi concentration camps and the German public, 1933–1945.
Saturday, Session 4
Details to be confirmed.