Join UoP History’s second research webinar ‘British student newspapers online: mining and mapping protest and activism’

About this Event

Join Dr Jodi Burkett, Principal Lecturer in History, and Dr Ryan Deschamps (Balsillie School of International Affairs, Waterloo, Canada) this Wednesday 3 June at 4pm for UoP History’s second research webinar. The pair will deliver a research paper titled ‘British student newspapers online: mining and mapping protest and activism’.

British Student Newspapers

A growing number of archives and special collections have been digitising student newspapers over the past five years. There are now 7 Universities in England and Scotland that have digitised their collection of student newspapers, some dating back to the late 1940s. These newspapers offer a wealth of information, freely available to anyone around the world, about the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people. They offer insight into Higher Education, fashion, music, they record local information, and illuminate the thoughts and attitudes of young people towards important topics of the day.

Student Protest and Activism

These newspapers also offer a crucial window into the political lives of young people. This paper reflects on the preliminary findings of a project which seeks to use the wealth of material in student newspapers to examine and explore student activism and protest in the period after 1968. While there is significant anecdotal evidence from those who were students during the 1970s and 1980s that these were decades of significant political activity on campuses, the historiography of this era continues to paint students as apathetic, apolitical or disinterested.

Using the wealth of digitised student newspapers we can begin to challenge this assumption showing the sheer number of protest activities, their breadth of tactics, and the variety of issues that students were active about. We can also begin to map this activity within the campus space, allowing a deeper understanding of the ways in which certain spaces, particularly union buildings, were seen, understood and used by students over time. This paper engages both with the historiographical issues of student protest and activism, but also the methodological issues of how we can best use the increasing number of digitised primary sources to write better history.

Join the event

This webinar is free to join and takes place this Wednesday 3 June (4pm-5pm). To access the event, please see event details on Eventbrite.

If you have any questions about the webinar please contact Rob James or Maria Cannon.

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