History Workshop 8, on the subject of Family, Work, Home, was held at the London School of Economics on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 October 1973. This was the first time that the Workshop had been held away from Ruskin College. The format was similar to previous Workshops, although less crowded than the schedule for Workshop 6 had been. A video of the play Fall in and Follow Me, based on a History Workshop pamphlet by Dave Marson about a wave of strikes by school-children in 1911, was shown on the Saturday evening. The play, written by Billy Colville and Dave Marson, was performed at the Half Moon Theatre, Aldgate, in July 1973.

In contrast to Workshop 6, where there had been a number of concurrent sessions, sessions ran one at a time. Themes for sessions included ‘Domesticity and the Home’, ‘Ideologies of Motherhood’, ‘Workshop and Factory’, ‘School and Home’, ‘Genteel Openings’, and ‘Class, Caste and Home’. Papers included The History of the Housewife, Imperialism and the Cult of Motherhood 1900-1914, Black Country Chainmakers 1880-1914, and Women and Home in the Chinese Revolution.

Speakers at this Workshop were split between professional academics and worker-students from Ruskin. As with the previous two Workshops, the importance of the women’s movement and feminist history as a part of the History Workshop movement can clearly be seen. The choice of subject, the intersections and conflicts between family, work, and home was a significant one for socialist-feminist historians.

Publicity for History Workshop 8 © History Workshop Archive, Bishopsgate Institute

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