Here you’ll find the events I’m speaking at, and a range of past events so you know what I do, but also about the terrific groups who organise events you might be interested in.
To book me for an event please contact my agent, Rachel Calder (see contact page)
20 October 2018: Speaking at North West Durham CLP Women’s Conference on the difference that one hundred years of some women having the vote has made.
25 October: Join me in conversation with Melissa Benn about her thought-provoking new book Life Lessons at Blackwell’s Bookshop in Oxford at 7pm. Booking free but essential here
29 October: I’ll be chairing a discussion on the future of our education system with Melissa Benn, author of Life Lessons, and Diane Reay, author of Miseducation, in Manchester. Booking free but essential here:
Events in 2017
7-8 Sept, Sweetly Sings The Donkey, Lowry Theatre, Salford, 8pm. A play based on some of the research I’m involved in for my forthcoming biography of Shelagh Delaney. Details here
27 Sept, Roundtable discussion: Could Salford produce another Shelagh Delaney? Working Class Movement Library, 2-4pm. This discussion, involving Shelagh’s daughter Charlotte, a playwright herself, MaD Theatre Company, and a live audience, will explore the obstacles faced by working-class women like Shelagh Delaney, what we can do collectively to destroy these, and what having working-class voices in the arts can contribute and challenge. Everyone welcome, free to attend. Details here
5 April, Institute of Education, London. Keynote lecture at the annual Social History Society conference. I talked about ‘The myths of social mobility in 20th century Britain’. It was filmed, so should appear at some point here
25 May, Photographers’ Gallery, London, 6.30pm. As part of a major exhibition, I’m speaking on a panel discussing the work of Roger Mayne, who took photos in working-class districts of postwar London. Details here
15 May, Almeida Theatre. Talk on poverty and drama at the Almeida Theatre, London, preceding performance of Boy
7 July 2016, WEA, Durham. I talked about the history of the working class in Britain at the annual meeting held on the eve of the Durham Miners’ Gala
5 October, Leeds Central Library. Flappers and Factory Girls: how young women changed Britain 1910-1970 5.45-7pm SOLD OUT
3 Nov, Working Class Movement Library, Salford. At 6pm I’ll be joining playwright Charlotte Delaney and MaD Theatre Company to discuss my research on Shelagh Delaney before a reading of Charlotte’s new play Sweet Responsibility, which is inspired by this work. SOLD OUT
13 Dec, Inner Temple, London. I am joining Alan Milburn and others to debate “seeking social mobility solutions: is equality of opportunity in higher education and the professions possible within the current system? Free, booking essential here SOLD OUT
24 August, Edinburgh International Book Festival. Talking about The People with writer Alison Light, author of Common People. Booking here.
11 October, Durham Book Festival. Booking here
23 May, Greenwich Book Festival. The book festival on Whitsun weekend that isn’t at Hay.
26 March Lit and Phil/Newcastle College Public Lecture, Newcastle-upon-Tyne SOLD OUT
Lecture and discussion: ‘The golden age of the grammar school? Busting the myth’. Great discussion with audience about shared experiences of education. Great topic to talk about because we were all at school once.
29 April: Stratford Literary Festival: SOLD OUT
10 March Ralph Milliband Lecture, London School of Economics
Class Matters: the working class in contemporary Britain
Lecture and launch of the paperback of The People. You can listen to the lecture here (it is no.10 in the list of podcasts)
29 Jan Almeida Theatre, London
I joined Owen Jones and others to discuss inequality before a terrific production of The Merchant of Venice at London’s Almeida Theatre. Brilliant audience and some lovely tweets afterwards. Good to hear Owen who is completely on top of statistics about inequality in the present, and made time for this between visits to schools.
NEWCASTLE LAUNCH EVENT FOR THE PEOPLE, 10 APRIL 2014 – FULLY BOOKED with 170 people attending: thank you all for coming
16 April Discussion and book signing of THE PEOPLE: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE WORKING CLASS 1910-2010, with Melissa Benn
7-8pm, Blackwell’s Bookshop, Oxford. More than 50 people attended – thanks for coming.
7 May Thinking Aloud, BBC Radio 4, 4pm. Listen again here
8 May Talk and book signing, Liverpool One Waterstones, 7-8pm. I discussed The People with Lynsey Hanley, journalist and author of Estates, and an audience of 50+ people.
1 June I discussed The People at the terrific Dangerous Times Festival, London.
6 June Talk and book signing for 50+ people at the fabulous Warwick Words festival
9 June I was honoured to appear with Harry Leslie Smith, author of Harry’s Last Stand, at Blackwells, Oxford.
22 August Excellent discussion with a lively crowd at south Manchester’s Postbox Cafe – with a 1940s-themed dinner menu! A sell-out, due to the excellent cooking. We’ll eat again.
5 October Discussed The People with a crowd of terrific people, all ages, at the wonderful Ilkley Literature Festival, Yorkshire. NOW SOLD OUT
18 October Discussed ‘Have we given up on the working class?’ with Ken Loach, David Skelton and Jason Cowley at the Bristol Festival of Ideas. Very lively, especially the audience – hurray!
11 November I was honoured to this year’s Caroline Benn Memorial Lecture at the Houses of Parliament (previous invited speakers include David Blunkett MP), on ‘The ‘golden-age’ of the grammar school: exploding the myth’. Thanks to the 110 people who came and contributed their views on how to build an even better comprehensive tomorrow. You can hear the lecture in full here
18 November University of Newcastle INSIGHTS Public Lecture: The People: the rise and fall of the working class, 1910-2010. 380 people came – fantastic! We had a great discussion about getting more women into politics and about the need for community campaigns for local control of housing and education – and the dire need to get politicians listening to what history can teach us about ordinary people’s desire for democracy, and ability to organise things when given the chance. INSIGHT hosts some great lectures, co-ordinated by the fabulous Umbereen Rafiq – do go if you’re in Newcastle.
13 December Bath Trades Council Commemoration of Miners’ Strike, with me talking about The People, showing of Still the Enemy Within and plenty of discussion and a free lunch! This was an ace event, lots of discussion and I learned a lot from some fantastic people who had been involved in supporting the miners in 1984-85. It was also great to hear about the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign who are very willing to send speakers out if you have an event or group and can pay travel expenses.
7 March University of London seminar: ‘Was it ever that good? Working-class life in Britain in the 1950s’. Seminar paper and discussion, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, University of London. Open to all, no need to book. Details here
4 April Radio 3’s Nightwaves discussion of whether working-class life is properly represented in Britain’s museums. You can listen to the programme here
11 April: Radio 3 Nightwaves debate on Thatcher’s cultural legacy, with Dominic Sandbrook, Edwina Currie and others.