Contesting the capital: Historical geographies of protest in London

International Conference of Historical Geographers 2015, London, 5-10 July 2015

“Contesting the capital: Historical geographies of protest in London”

Convenors: Hannah Awcock (Royal Holloway, University of London, UK) and Diarmaid Kelliher (University of Glasgow, UK).

In recent years London has been the site for a wide range of protests: marches against austerity, student occupations, the 2011 riots, UK Uncut and protests by (and against) the English Defence League. Such protests in the capital and elsewhere have coincided with a growing interest in protest in the past amongst geographers and historians (Navickas 2012). Within this work there has often been a strong rural focus (for example, Griffin 2014). This session seeks to explore the historical geographies of protest in London as a contribution to these debates.

A number of recent works in geography have suggested ways in which the politics of London is embedded in expansive translocal and international connections (Featherstone 2010; McDowell, Anitha, and Pearson 2012; Brown and Yaffe 2014). From the Peasants’ Revolt to Women Against Pit Closures marching in London during the 1984-5 miners’ strike, the national and imperial capital has also often functioned as a focus for a broad political imaginary. This session invites both empirically-based papers and methodological debates on researching London’s relationship to historical geographies of protest. A broad understanding of ‘protest’ will be employed, and we welcome papers reflecting on what constitutes protest.

Please send abstracts of no more than 200 words to both convenors by 29 August. In a separate paragraph, please provide details of any special audio-visual requirements or mobility requirements.

Hannah Awcock, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London,; Diarmaid Kelliher, School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK,

Further details on the ICHG Conference are available at:
Details of conference fees are available at:


Brown, Gavin, and Helen Yaffe (2014). Practices of Solidarity: Opposing Apartheid in the Centre of London. Antipode 46(1): 34–52.

Featherstone, David (2010). Contested Relationalities of Political Activism: The Democratic Spatial Practices of the London Corresponding Society. Cultural Dynamics 22(2): 87–104.

Griffin, Carl (2014). Protest, Politics and Work in Rural England, 1700-1850.

McDowell, Linda, Sundari Anitha, and Ruth Pearson (2012). Striking Similarities: Representing South Asian Women’s Industrial Action in Britain. Gender, Place & Culture 19(2): 133–152.

Navickas, Katrina (2012). Protest History or the History of Protest? History Workshop Journal 73(1): 302–307.


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