12th Aug 2018

Social Histories of Revolution: the long 1960s

A series of events on an era of extraordinary global upheaval


Social Histories of Revolution: the Long 1960s explores the spirit of an era of extraordinary global upheaval, from the perspectives of those whose marches, strikes and movements shook the world.

Through a monthly series of public discussions, to be held in central London from September 2018 to June 2019, we hope to get beyond the usual famous figures to the “social history” that propelled them; that is, history as made and lived by the masses of ordinary people who entered the political stage in collective struggle.

Each session will be opened by historians or direct participants, whose research as academics and experience as militants gives them a unique perspective on the events we will discuss.

But these are not academic lectures; nor do the talks uphold any particular political or party “line”. The majority of each session will be given over to open debate, and we encourage people of all ages, backgrounds, and experience to attend, participate, and contribute. Through collective and equal discussion, we hope to reach a deeper understanding of revolution as the active participation of millions of people in changing history.

Registration for each session will open one month prior to the event. Follow our Facebook page for updates or see our website for more details.

The talks are co-hosted by the organising committee of last year’s highly successful Social Histories of the Russian Revolution and  Haymarket Books, a radical publisher of political literature.

The discussion will usually (but not always) be held monthly at 6.30 pm, in central London, on a Tuesday or Thursday – although note that the first session is on a Monday! See below for confirmed sessions. We hope to see you there!




Monday 17 September, 2018, 6.30pm: The Sixties and ‘the Long 1968’: Social Transformation and Revolutionary Conjuncture. Neil Davidson, University of Glasgow. Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS, University of London, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG.


Tuesday 9 October, 2018, 6.30pm: The French Sixties and the Refusal of Work. Michael Seidman, University of North Carolina Wilmington. Marchmont Community Centre, 62 Marchmont Street, London WC1N 1AB.


Tuesday 23 October, 2018, 6.30pm: Workers in the Cuban Revolution. Steve Cushion, University of London. Marchmont Community Centre, 62 Marchmont Street, London WC1N 1AB.


Thursday 29 November, 2018: Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Iran, 1979. Torab Saleth, Revolutionary Socialist Tendency, interviewed by Simon Pirani. Venue TBC.


Thursday 13 December, 2018: “You’re not a worker, you’re a pair of hands.” The unofficial Leeds clothing strike of 1970. Liz Leicester, historian and trade union activist. Venue TBC.


Thursday 31 January, 2019: “She’s leaving home”: women’s sixties renaissance. Lynn Segal, Birkbeck, University of London. Venue TBC.


Thursday 28 February, 2019: China and the “cultural revolution”. Steve Smith, University of Oxford. Venue TBC.


Thursday 14 March, 2019: Revolutionary Protest in the Vietnam War Era. Alexandr Sedlmaier, University of Bangor. Venue TBC.


Thursday 28 March, 2019: The Feminist Movement in Italy in the 1960s. Maud Bracke, University of Glasgow. Venue TBC.


Thursday 25 April, 2019: The 1960s and Gay Liberation, Colin Wilson. Venue TBC.


Thursday 30 May, 2019: Revolutionary Change in Egypt. Brecht de Smet, Ghent University. Venue TBC.


Thursday 28 March, 2019: Socialism and Republicanism in Ireland in the 1960s-70s. Brian Hanley, University of Edinburgh. Venue TBC.


Other confirmed speakers (dates to be confirmed soon):

  • The women’s movement in the 1960s. Sue Bruley, University of Portsmouth

Enquiries to: thelong1960s@gmail.com