What is History Workshop Online?
History Workshop Online (HWO) is a digital magazine that seeks to continue the spirit of the History Workshop movement by publishing accessible and engaging articles that deepen understanding of the past for historians and the public, and which reflect upon present day issues and agitate for change in the world we live in now.
From its beginnings in the 1960s, the History Workshop movement advocated ‘history from below’: history envisioned from the perspective of ordinary people rather than elites. It sought to move the study of the past beyond the academy into public gatherings – “workshops” – that were open to anyone. The aim was to turn historical research and writing into (as founder Raphael Samuel put it) ‘a collaborative enterprise’ that could be used to support activism and social justice, and inform politics. History Workshop Journal (HWJ) emerged from this movement to become one of the most prestigious academic history journals in the world, while still maintaining its commitment to social and cultural history ‘from below’. It is now published by Oxford University Press: hwj.oxfordjournals.org
History Workshop Online is supported by the HWJ editorial collective and seeks to add to and enrich this more formal academic history project. We provide space on our digital platforms for academic historians, early career and doctoral researchers, archivists, curators, and those in the heritage industry to share their thoughts on history writ large and to reflect upon the present uses of past. We also encourage the participation of grassroots organisations, community groups, family historians, and other interested members of the public in these conversations.
We encourage contributions that are radical, political, contentious and accessible. We explicitly want to connect radical history to social, political, and cultural issues and problems in the present day. HWO provides a space where historians and historically-minded people can passionately, professionally, and personally engage with the histories that shape our understanding of the past and the present. We welcome contributors working from disparate geographical, historical and methodological positions that work within or speak to the History Workshop tradition.
We encourage lively and engaging discussion among our readers by commenting on our published pieces. Difference of opinion is encouraged but only when expressed with respect and thoughtfulness. We reserve the right to delete comments that engage in hateful, ad hominem attacks on other persons or use inappropriate language.
Dr Hannah Elias is the Editor of History Workshop Online and the host/producer of the History Workshop Podcast. She is Associate Lecturer in the Department of History at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she teaches on the history of Modern Revolution. Her research work is focused on religion and social change in Britain and the Atlantic world in the mid-twentieth century, and she is currently writing a book on religious broadcasting and propaganda on the wartime BBC. She is also an Honorary Research Fellow at Birkbeck and a Fellow of the Raphael Samuel History Centre.
Dr Tessa Chynoweth is a Managing Editor of History Workshop Journal and Editorial Fellow for History Workshop Online. She is also Honorary Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London, and Fellow of the Raphael Samuel History Centre. Tessa has worked for various museums and heritage sites, and is interested in projects which encourage collaboration between academia and the museum sector. She is currently working as a freelance Research Assistant for Birmingham Museums on a project called Birmingham Manufactures, and is re-thinking her thesis Domestic Service and Domestic Space in London, 1750-1800 for publication. Broader research interests include women’s work, domestic and city space, and material and visual culture.
Elly Robson is an Editorial Fellow at History Workshop Online and the Royal Historical Society Centenary Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research. She is in the final stages of a thesis at the University of Cambridge, looking at social, environmental, and intellectual conflict in the seventeenth-century fens. Elly teaches on early modern riot and rebellion and the history of intellectual history. She is also an Honorary Research Fellow at Birkbeck and a Fellow of the Raphael Samuel History Centre.