The State We’re In

Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities:

‘The State We’re In’ – Manifestos for History: A Workshop

A group of influential historians and theorists will reflect on the nature of history and historiography. In recent years, there have been significant shifts in the very idea of history and its power and function in the modern world. What is history now? Even more controversially, what should it become?


John H Arnold, Professor of Medieval History, Birkbeck College. He has published extensively on gender, culture and faith in medieval Europe.

Dipesh Chakrabarty is the Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor in History, South Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago. He is a founding member of the editorial collective of Subaltern Studies, a co-editor of Critical Inquiry, and a founding editor of Postcolonial Studies.

Keith Jenkins, Professor of History and Theory, University of Chichester. He is the author of Rethinking History (1991); On ‘What is History’: From Carr and Elton to Rorty and White (1995); Refiguring History (2003).

Joan Wallach Scott is the Harold F. Linder Professor of Social Science at the School for Advanced Studies, Princeton. Her work has challenged the foundations of conventional historical practice, including the nature of historical evidence and historical experience. Written more than twenty years ago, her now classic article, “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis”, continues to inspire innovative research on women and gender.

Joanna Bourke (Chair), Professor of History, Birkbeck College. She has published on Irish history, gender and “the body”, the history of psychological thought, modern warfare, and the emotions. Recent books include An Intimate History of Killing: Face-to-Face Killing in Twentieth Century Warfare (1999), Fear: A Cultural History (2005), and Rape: A History from the 1860s to the Present (September 2007).

Saturday 26th January 2008 – Room B36 – Birkbeck Main Building, Malet St

3pm, followed by a drinks reception

Free – all welcome