SHS Annual Conference 2020

Lancaster University

29/06/2020 – 01/07/2020

The Social History Society’s annual conference is the largest gathering of social and cultural historians in the UK. For more than four decades, our members have transformed historical research, exploring the many ways in which our social worlds are made, imagined, shared and shattered. We are delighted to be returning to Lancaster University, which was the intellectual home of many of the society’s founding members, between 29 June and 1 July 2020.

Lancaster University Library by Sheppard Robson

The conference is an opportunity to share the results of research with members old and new. The programme will be organised by eight thematic strands, ranging across time and space, from the (pre)medieval to the present. We have made a number of changes to the strands for 2020, including the introduction of new strands on ‘Bodies and Emotions’ and ‘Work, Leisure and Consumption’. The full detail are available here.

If you would like to present, the Call for Papers in now live, with a 18 December 2019 deadline for submissions (note: this has been extended in recognition of the UCU dispute over pensions and pay).

Call for Papers


Our keynote speaker, Professor Martha A. Sandweiss

Our keynote lecture will be given by Professor Martha A. Sandweiss (Princeton University), who will be speaking about ‘Seeing the Past: History, Photography and the American West’.

Martha (‘Marni’) Sandweiss began her professional career as a photography curator and museum director, and taught at Amherst College for 20 years before joining the Princeton faculty in 2009. She has written widely on the history of the American West, the history of photography, and race in American life. Her prize-winning books include Print the Legend: Photography and the American West  (2002) and Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception across the Color Line (2009). She is currently the President of the West History Association, and is the founder and director of The Princeton & Slavery Project.

The conference will also include a plenary panel on ‘Public History in an era of Fake News’ featuring Professor Jo Fox (Institute of Historical Research).


In addition to research papers, the conference will also include prize-giving ceremonies for the third SHS Book Prize, the inaugural Pam Cox prize for Public History, and our annual postgraduate paper and poster prizes. There will be additional 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.

Registration will open in early 2020.

Find out about past SHS conferences

Conference News