History seminars at the IHR

Education in the Long 18th Century

Convenors: Michèle Cohen (RAIUL and IOE), Mary Clare Martin (Greenwich), Mark Burden (Oxford)  

Venue: John S Cohen Room 203, 2nd floor, IHR, North block, Senate House

Time: Saturday 2.00-4.00pm

We aim to provide a relaxed forum for conversation and debate on all aspects of research into education during the long eighteenth century. To this end, we will explore a variety of modes of presentation as starting point for discussion and debate, from reading group led by an invited speaker, to papers and panels.

We usually continue the conversation over tea and cakes afterwards.

We expect contributions to be last between 25 to 40 minutes maximum, to allow for discussion, and we welcome papers-in-progress from all, especially graduate students who would like to air and share ideas. Most of all, we aim to provide a space for friendly and supportive discussion where everyone feels they can participate, and bring together researchers on eighteenth-century education dispersed throughout the British Isles and beyond.

Summer Term 2015
DateSeminar details
6 June Foppish Masculinity and Generational Identity in Eighteenth-Century Oxbridge

Heather Ellis (Liverpool Hope)

This paper aims to bring Oxford and Cambridge back into the debate about elite masculine socialization in eighteenth-century England. It argues that the ancient universities in this period are too often described by historians as bastions of moral stability and man making. It will offer an alternative view of the universities’ role in shaping the identities of young men in the eighteenth century is offered, one which takes into account the significant effect of rising student ages, generational and class tensions. In particular, it will trace the characteristics and development of foppish masculine styles among Oxbridge undergraduates, highlight their opposition to book-learning and academic regulations, and analyse the increasing suspicion which they incurred from the university authorities against the background of the American and French Revolutions.


Autumn Term 2015
DateSeminar details
3 October A necessary part of a woman's duty?: Learning to sew and the place of needlework in working class lives

Bridget  Long  (UCL Institute of Education)


24 October Total eclipse of the lamp: familiar astronomy in the long eighteenth century

Melanie Keene  (Cambridge)


14 November Morals or Piety? French and English educational board games in the Long Eighteenth Century

Adrian Seville  (City University)

Venue: Past and Present Room 202, 2nd floor, IHR, North block, Senate House


Spring Term 2016
DateSeminar details
30 January Pinnock's Catechisms, 1812-1840: schoolbooks for "he meanest capacity"

Margaret Lock  (Independent Scholar)


5 March Needlework Education in the Long Eighteenth Century

Rosanne Waine  (Bath Spa)

Venue: Past and Present Room 202, 2nd floor, IHR, North block, Senate House


Summer Term 2016
DateSeminar details
23 April "Passionate, dedicated and loyal": characteristics of the leaders of early Mechanics' Institutes in south-east England, 1825-1840

Jana Sims (Independent Scholar)


7 May Natural graces, natural genius: gender and 'accomplishments' in the long eighteenth century

Michèle Cohen  (UCL Institute of Education)