The History of Work
Contemporary British History Summer Conference
14-16 July 2004, University of London, Senate House.
The conference will be on the history of paid work in Britain during the last century. Work has attracted widespread interest in recent years in a wide range of research programmes, monographs and seminars. These have often been preoccupied with assumed changes over time in the experience of work, such as: the end of the ‘job for life’; the decline of manual labour; the lengthening of working hours; increasing ‘work-life’ balance problems. Yet the reality, or otherwise, of these assumptions is rarely subjected to historical scrutiny and the work of historians in this field is fragmented and diffuse. This conference aims to bring together those interested in the past and present of work to look at what has and has not changed over the past century.
The history of paid work covers a wide range of topics, including: the evolution of workplaces and technological change; skills and training; health and safety; labour processes; regulation and labour market institutions; the gender division of labour; trade unions and employer associations; unemployment and labour market legislation; wages and working hours; labour migration; occupational class and status divisions at work; the impact of war on work; the management of work and the evolution of working practices.
We welcome offers of papers from all disciplinary perspectives.
The conference will consist of plenary sessions on broad themes concerning the history of paid work, plus a range of shorter papers (c. 20 minutes) on specific aspects of the topic. There will be presentations of television documentaries and films on the theme of work.
Offers of papers should be sent by January 9 2004 to the address below. They should preferably be sent by email attachment.
Contemporary British History
Institute of Historical Research
Malet St, London WC1E 7HU
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