Keele University

11th June, 2018 – 13th June, 2018

The annual SHS conference is the largest gathering of social and cultural historians in the UK.  Over more than four decades, our members have transformed historical research, inspired challenging work and explored the many ways in which our social worlds are made, imagined, shared and shattered. In June 2018, the SHS conference was hosted by Keele University.

Registration and booking for on-campus accommodation have now closed.



At the conference…

The 2018 keynote lecture was given by

  • Keith Wrightson (pictured left) Randolph W. Townsend Jr. Professor of History at Yale University. Keith has long been a hugely influential figure in early modern history – and social history more widely – for his pioneering use of microhistories. His keynote lecture explored the way that time was counted in Early Modern England.

The conference also included a plenary panel on History & Diversity. This featured (pictured left to right):

  • Miranda Kaufmann: Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, part of the School of Advanced Study, University of London. Among her publications on early modern Black history is her recent book Black Tudors: The Untold Story.
  • Jonathan Saha: Associate Professor of Southeast Asian History at the University of Leeds. He is actively involved in equality and inclusion work, especially around gender inequality, and has agreed to organise the creation of a new SHS historians of colour caucus. 
  • Meleisa Ono-George: Senior Teaching Fellow in Caribbean History and Director of Student Experience in History at Warwick University, and Sue Lemos, an undergraduate member of Dr Ono-George’s working group.


On the first night of the conference, there was a special public performance of SEAMS in the Keele University Chapel. SEAMS is a collaborative project between Restoke and Keele University that pays homage to the legacies of coal mining within walking distance of the University. It uses a cast of professional & non-professional performers to create movement and music to accompany original stories and poetry written by Keele academics and local people. You can find out more about Restoke at their website:

The conference also saw the official announcement of the first SHS Book Prize winner and prizes awarded for the best postgraduate paper and best postgraduate poster. There were also opportunities to meet the editors of both our journal Cultural & Social History and our New Directions in Social and Cultural History book series with Bloomsbury.

Papers, panels and posters at the conference were grouped into eight strands. Each strand featured new and established historians, covering (pre)medieval, early modern, modern and contemporary research, from the local to the global. The strands were:


Find out about past SHS conferences

Conference News