Call for Proposals: Care for the Future Early Career Researcher Conference

Past Matters, Research Futures

Deadline for proposals: 31 July 2016
Further information can be found in the call document: Care for the Future ECR Conference call document June 2016

Past Matters, Research Futures will take place at the Royal Society, London, 12-13 December 2016 and will showcase the exciting research conducted by Early Career Researchers (ECRs) related to Care for the Future: Thinking Forward through the Past, one of four strategic research themes supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). ECRs are represented in the theme in a variety of ways, and are recognised as playing a key role in its development, dynamism and legacy.  

We welcome proposals for papers, panels, workshops, and discussion groups, and also encourage applications incorporating creative modes of presentation, including film screenings, music, artwork and performance. These should come from ECRs[1] who have been involved in Care for the Future funded research projects, the Labex Pasts in the Present programme, or whose research closely aligns to the Care for the Future theme (see theme description) – ECRs researching in arts and humanities fields with strong links to the theme, but who are not funded within the theme, are also invited to apply. Proposals may come from individuals or project/cross-project team duos, and may also include representatives from non-academic partner organisations.
Conference Themes: 

  • Fact, fiction and cultural representation
  • Selling the Past – Securing the Future? Commercialisation and commoditisation of the past
  • Anniversaries and commemorations
  • Environmental Histories and Sustainable Legacies
  • Instrumentalising the Past

The conference aims to raise the profile of arts and humanities research within affiliated academic institutions and partner (and potential partner) organisations, as well as to highlight the public value of collaboration. Emphasis will be placed on the processes and particular challenges of early-career research and partnership working as well as outputs, and on activities that encourage the development of a sustainable, interdisciplinary research community that will function successfully as part of the theme’s legacy.

Refreshments and accommodation (to a maximum of 2 nights) will be provided. Bursaries are available for reasonable travel costs (standard class) for reimbursement following the event. Applicants must therefore commit to attending both days of the conference (Monday approximately 9am – 9pm and Tuesday 9 – 5pm).

[1] ‘ECR’ is defined as within eight years of the award of your PhD/equivalent professional training OR within six years of your first academic appointment. ‘First academic appointment’ refers to any paid contract of employment, either full-time or part-time, which lists research and/or teaching as the primary function. These durations exclude any period of career break, e.g. for family care or health reasons.


Connecting with the Past – the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in Connecting with the Past, Fundamental Principles front imageCritical Historical Perspective symposium to be held at the ICRC Humanitarium, Geneva, 16-17 September 2015

A two-day historical symposium jointly organized by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, the University of Exeter and the ICRC. Participation is by pre-registration only; please see details for our livestreamed public event below.

Programme with speaker abstracts abd participant bios

Stubborn realities, shared humanity: History in the service of humanitarian action: This livestreamed public event, to be held on 16 September from 18:00 to 19:30 (BST+1), will gather internationally recognized historians, academics and senior humanitarian practitioners to discuss the doctrine of humanitarian principles in critical historical perspective.

Call for all postgraduate students of slavery and antislavery

The Antislavery Usable Past Postgraduate Research Network
This new network will bring together postgraduate students of historic or contemporary slavery and antislavery studies from across the humanities and social sciences. An annual workshop will create research and learning networks; provide opportunities to debate current topics in the field; and provide a supportive environment where postgraduates can establish valuable contacts for the future.

The Antislavery Usable Past is a five year project (2014-19) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) under its ‘Care for the Future’ theme. It will unearth the details of past antislavery strategies and translate their lessons and legacies for today’s movement against global slavery and human trafficking. It includes Professors and scholars at the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation (WISE) at the University of Hull, the University of Nottingham and Queens University Belfast.

For the first workshop, to be held at WISE on 16-17 October 2015, we are pleased to invite doctoral students to submit proposals for papers, of no more than 300 words, on the theme: ‘Antislavery lessons and legacies’. The deadline for submissions is 31 May 2015.

The organisers welcome research that ranges geographically and temporally, and which encourages interdisciplinary conversations. For this first workshop, priority will be given to researchers of antislavery, historic and modern.

The workshop will include introductions from Professor John Oldfield, Director of WISE, and Professor Kevin Bales, antislavery activist and scholar. Professor David Blight, Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale University will offer a series of reflections. There will also be an evening film event from the anti-trafficking charity, Unchosen.

Network members will be encouraged to form their own committee, and to formulate future workshop themes. Funding will be provided for UK travel, one nights’ accommodation, and meals.

To submit a proposal, to express an interest in joining the network, or for any further information, please contact Sarah Colley,

Call for Papers

AHRC Care for the Future: Thinking Forward through the Past and Labex Pasts in the Present: History, Heritage, Memory are pleased to announce the second in a series of three joint workshops. The workshops seek to bring together researchers, ECRs and practicioners/professionals from project teams across the two programmes for two days of ideas exchange and discussion on shared themes.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2nd workshop, to take place at the Royal Society  on 22nd and 23rd April 2015. Please see the Care for the Future and Pasts in the Present Joint Workshop 2 – Call for Papers for more information and the short application form. The deadline for applications in 15th March 2015.

AHRC logo                     labex-passes-present-logo

Thompson - Integration Brief ImageIntegration and Integration Policy Roundtable Meetings

Following the highly successful ‘Making History Work’ seminars organised by AHRC Care for the Future, AHRC Translating Cultures, and Institute for Government, Andrew Thompson was asked to participate in the roundtable on 20 October 2014, ‘What is Integration?’

The following information and text is from

COMPAS Oxford co-organised three roundtables on Integration and Integration policy with the Integration and Faith Division of the UK’s Department of Communities and Local Government, hosted at their London office. The aim was to inform understanding and stimulate debate on integration processes, outcomes and policy interventions.

What is Integration?

This roundtable explored differing concepts of integration processes, aims of integration policies and the history of policy approaches in the UK: highlighting integration as not one but a series of processes; the role of local versus national approaches and of mainstream versus targeted integration policies.


Thompson’s briefing can be downloaded here: Thompson Briefing, What is Integration – 20 Oct 2014

Call for Papers– Symposium on Utopias, Futures & Social change

The Care for the Future and Connected Communities themes are co-hosting a symposium in May on ‘Utopias, Futures and Temporalities: critical considerations for social change’. Deadline for proposals is 14th February 2015 to

Utopias, Futures and Temporalities: Critical considerations for social change
An Interdisciplinary Symposium 19 & 20 May, 2015, Bristol Zoo, Bristol

Keynotes: Professor Ruth Levitas (University of Bristol) and Professor Kevin Birth (CUNY)

Call for Papers: Deadline Feb 14, 2015
2016 is the 500 year anniversary of the first publication of Thomas More’s Utopia. Such a moment encourages reflection on the uses and misuses of utopias and dystopias in social change as well as critical reflection on the contribution of ideas of the future and of temporality to the processes of social transformation.

The ideals of citizenship encourage us all to desire a stake in the future – whether trying to shape our own lives, those of our families, the places we live, or wider society – and to imagine a better or different world. But what is this entity that we name ‘future’? Senses of time vary across and within human societies, and disciplines from philosophy to natural science present equally differing conceptions of it. By invoking ‘utopias/dystopias’ we wish to explore the questions of positionality, power, hope and despair that are at play in the imagination of new times and the way that these effect change in the present. By pluralising ‘futures’, we want to explore the diversity of ways in which anticipatory practices can be performed by people and communities. And by invoking ‘temporalities’, we want to reflect on how the qualities of time – endurance, succession, speed, rhythm, for example – interact with imaginings and perceptions of what is to come. Perhaps, by better understanding the temporal qualities of society, culture and environments, we could create social change at a scale and pace that connects communities with their futures, rather than disenfranchises them. Perhaps again, by invoking utopias and dystopias, we may recognise that questions of future possibility are not simply technical, but involve politics, fear, despair, hope, imagination, dreams, desires and aspirations, all of which may act as stimulus or disincentives for social change

For further information, please see the call document: First CFP Utopias Temporalities Social Change Symposium

‘History in the Making’

Andrew Thompson is interviewed for The Magazine of the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement:

Archives into the Future symposium, British Library
Monday 5 January 2015

The event is free, but booking is essential via

The day features all three of the large grants recently funded under Care for the Future; it is co-hosted by ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’ and ‘The Antislavery Usable Past’, with contributions also from ‘Assembling Alternative Futures for Heritage’.

The event will include contributions from key Care for the Future partners, including the British Library, The National Archives, and others. It will culminate with the official launch of the large grant project ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’, and a short performance.

For more details and to book a place, please visit the website of ‘Performing the Jewish Archive’,


12th December Launch event for ‘The Antislavery Usable Past’ at WISE, University of HullAntislavery Usable past Hull announce

Celebrate the launch of Care for the Future large grant ‘The Antislavery Usable Past’, which will unearth the lessons of historic antislavery as a ‘usable past’ for the contemporary antislavery movement. With new digital resources, exhibitions, advisory documents, networks, partner seminars and publications, the project team will apply the successes and failures of past antislavery strategies to the movement to end the enslavement of more than 30 million people around the world today.

Come for wine, nibbles and a short introductory speech by Professor Kevin Bales, and meet the rest of the project team: Professor John Oldfield, Director of WISE, Professor Zoe Trodd of the University of Nottingham, and Professor Jean Allain of Queens University Belfast.

Venue: Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation, Oriel Chambers, 27 High Street, HULL, HU1 1NE.
Date and time: 12th December, 4.30 – 6.30pm.
RSVP: Sarah Colley on


‘Reframing Disaster’ – activities from the Post-Colonial Disasters project

2014 is a really significant one for global disaster commemoration – the 30th anniversary of the Bhopal Gas Disaster in India; the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide;  the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami. Activities include an exhibition at The Tetley gallery (26 Nov – 7 Dec:; a conference; film screenings in collaboration with the Leeds International Film Festival; various talks & public engagement events; fundraising; and schools workshops. There are more details about these events on the website:

Reframing Disaster Activities Poster


Integration was the talk of the town in the 60s too. PA Archive


8_abbaye-de-royaumontCall for Papers

AHRC Care for the Future: Thinking Forward through the Past and Labex Pasts in the Present: History, Heritage, Memory are pleased to announce a series of three joint workshops. The workshops seek to bring together researchers, ECRs and practicioners/professionals from project teams across the two programmes for two days of ideas exchange and discussion on shared themes.

Applications are now being accepted for the 1st workshop, to take place at the Royaumont Foundation near Paris on 16th and 17th January 2015. Please see the Care for the Future and Pasts in the Present 1st Franco-British workshop – Call for contributions for more information and the short application form. The deadline for applications in 17th November 2014.

AHRC logo                     labex-passes-present-logo

HERA Uses of the Past call: Intend to apply for HERA Uses of the Past call? You may wish to apply to attend this Matchmaking Event: .


Education, Value, and the Art of Living event

14 November 2014, St Michael’s Cornhill, City of London, 10pm to 5pm

This one-day event aims to prompt discussion about the meaning and purpose of education in the context of its perceived instrumentalization in the United Kingdom at present. Exploring the topic from a host of perspectives—contemporary and historical, political and cultural, personal and institutional, at home and away—the colloquium will open up a set of arguments about teaching, learning, value, and the ‘art of living’. In contradistinction to any conception of education as merely a service industry for advanced capitalism, the papers offer a bracing challenge to prevailing orthodoxies in the search for a more adequate understanding of what education can be for human flourishing.

Twenty-minute papers will include the following and there will be plenty of opportunity for discussion (paper titles subject to confirmation).

The Joys and Dangers of Distinctiveness
The Revd Dr Matt Bullimore

Union and Division: Irish Education around 1801
Professor Claire Connolly

More value than many sparrows?
Marius Carney, English Martyrs Catholic School, Leicester

Education and the Common Good
Lord Glasman

On forgetfulness
Professor Francis O’Gorman

The liberal tradition and human flourishing
The Rt Revd Dr Stephen Platten

Teaching Contested Pasts: the Educative Value of the History of Empire
Professor Andrew S. Thompson

JOINING DETAILS: Waged: £17; unwaged £13: lunch (included) will be provided by the Drapers’ Company in Drapers’ Hall. To reserve a place at the colloquium, please send a cheque made out to ‘St Michael’s Cornhill P.C.C.’ to Kay Norman, St Michael’s Cornhill, St Michael’s Church Vestry, Cornhill, London, EC3V 9DS or email by 1 November 2014.


ECR Engaging with Government programme

AHRC and Institute for Government are accepting applications for their joint ‘Engaging with Government’ programme in February 2015. Applicants must be ECRs and must have received an AHRC award at some point in their career (further details on site):

The course is designed to provide an insight into the policy making process, and help participants develop the skills needed to pursue the policy implications of their research. It also aims to build links between policy makers and new research in the arts and humanities. Past participants have found the course interesting and useful.

What: ECR Engaging with Government programme
When: 24, 25, and 26 February (must attend all 3 days)
Closing date for applications : 5pm on Monday 20 October 2014

For any queries or further info, please use contact details provided on the AHRC website.


Three Large Grants announced!

The Care for the Future: Thinking Forward Through the Past theme is pleased to introduce the newest members of its research family! The theme aims to generate new understandings of the relationship between the past and the future, and the challenges and opportunities of the present. The successful grants are innovative and collaborative research projects involving over 50 different UK and international partner organisations – we expect they will make a large contribution to the development of the theme. Welcome aboard!


What Can Red Cross Records Say About History of Humanitarianism & Human Rights?


Check out the new ECR fellowship award websites and summaries below!


Thompson on ‘The Presence of the Past and the Crucible of Empire’ – See more at History News Network


3 Postdoctoral opportunities with French (labex) Pasts in the Present: History, Heritage, Memory programme

The Cluster of Excellence (labex) Pasts in the Present: history, heritage, memory is concerned with the presence of the past in contemporary society. More specifically, the cluster seeks to understand mediations of history in the digital age, politics of memory, social appropriations of the past up- and downstream from heritage policies. It is coordinated by the University Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense (UPO), in association with the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), and networks with a wide range of national and international institutions and universities.

Three projects are seeking one-year full-time postdoctoral researchers, who will conduct project research as well as developing their related own project. They are:

  1. “Ordinary” conceptions and “vernacular” vocabulary in the mediation of history
  2. Reception, use and appropriation of historical exhibitions in a commemorative context
  3. The impact of archives digitization on social sciences and humanities research

More information can be found at, and the application form is also available here. The application deadline is Monday, 12th May 2014, at 12:00.


Leadership Fellow Prof Andrew Thompson’s article in Red Cross Life magazine

Joan Whittington with prisoner of war food parcels at national headquarters in 1956. Image: British Red Cross

Prof Andrew Thompson writes about Joan Whittington, post-war pioneer of the British Red Cross.

Read the article here, courtesy of the British Red Cross and Red Cross Life Magazine Oct 2013. You can now also read the article online at the AHRC website, which includes an additional image.


Care for the Future Early Career Researcher Workshop

18th and 19th February 2014 at the Royal Geographical Society, more information on the event page on the AHRC website

Care for the Future: Thinking Forward through the Past organised an Early Career Researcher (ECR) Workshop on 18-19 February 2014 at the Royal Geographical Society. ECRs are defined as being within eight years of the award of their PhD or equivalent professional training or within six years of first academic appointment.

The aim of this facilitated workshop was to bring together early career researchers from a range of arts and humanities disciplines to identify key future research opportunities under the theme. Designed to give ECRs the opportunity to network outside of their own universities, sectors and disciplines, the workshop was quite successful in this respect. The workshop was highly participative, interactive and open to innovative ideas from participants about future research opportunities and priorities – and our 45 participants certainly delivered! We look forward to working with this cohort of ECRs interested in the Care for the Future theme further.