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CFP: Working Class Movement Library. “James Kier Hardie” (6/30/2015; 9/26/2015)

Working Class Movement Library, Salford, UK
September 26, 2015
Deadline: June 30, 2015

“James Keir Hardie”

Keynote Speaker: Professor David Howell, University of York

Saturday 26 September 2015 will mark the centenary of the death of James Keir Hardie at the comparatively young age of 59.  But in those 59 years Hardie had changed the political landscape of Britain: as chairman of the Independent Labour Party (founded 1893) he headed an increasingly large group of ethical socialists who desired change based on human need and empathy rather than the mechanical Marxist economics of men such as Henry Mayers Hyndman and Friedrich Engels; he was instrumental in achieving the support of the Trade Union Congress for the foundation and financial support of the Labour Representation Committee (1900 and later the Labour Party in 1906); he had been a party to the divisive Gladstone-MacDonald pact which committed the Labour Party to avoiding a direct challenge to Liberal Party candidates in key seats; he had worked alongside Sylvia Pankhurst in the demand for the female vote.  In his life he had been a miner, a journalist, the editor of a number of newspapers, the chairman of political groups and a Member of Parliament.

This conference aims to celebrate the impact Hardie had on British society and the legacy he left for those who followed.  Public-facing proposals are invited for 20-minute papers on any area of Hardie’s life and work.  Papers might address (but are not limited to) the following areas:

  • Hardie’s labours (Hardie as miner, journalist, editor, politician)
  • Hardie’s philosophies (Hardie’s attitude to trade unionism, mainstream politics, socialism, war, religion)
  • Hardie’s colleagues (Hardie’s working relations with, for example, Sylvia Pankhurst, Margaret Harkness, Henry Hyde Champion, Ramsay Macdonald)
  • Hardie’s travels (his work around the British Isles, his internationalism, his overseas tours)
  • Hardie as author (his short stories, his children’s fiction)
  • Hardie’s legacy (the long-term effect of Hardie’s work on British politics)

Deadline for abstracts: June 30, 2015
Conference Fee: £20 waged; £7.50 unwaged
Please send abstracts of no more than 200 words to Dr Deborah Mutch, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK via email: dmutch@dmu.ac.uk

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