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Histories of Activism

Meet our staffAcademics in this group examine how different forms of activism began to take shape in the 19th and 20th centuries. They examine political protest, the efforts of interest groups, the promotion of alternative economic and social models, as well as the measures for the protection of particular groups in society.

Labour movements and social and political activism - as a result of industrial, political, professional cultural struggle - is of key interest. Issues studied include the co-operative movement and consumers' associations, credit unions, community activism, the role of women's centres at US universities and their role in female empowerment, and the anti-War and civil rights movements in the US.

The way in which transnational developments provided a framework for political activism is another key strand of research. Researchers have worked on the relations between political campaigning and the League of Nations, reform movements and campaigns among early settler communities across the empire in the late 18th and early 19th centuries and Russian emigré networks and the campaign for intervention in the Russian Civil War.

In 2014, the group hosted the annual conference of the Social History Society. It also directs the Labour and Society Research Group (LSRG) with Newcastle University. For a record of past LSRG events, please click here.

To find out more about the Histories of Activism group, take a look at their blog ( or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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