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About the Summer School programme

Each day we study a major theme that's central to History Now. The Summer School combines lectures, masterclasses, training workshops and more - all based in the Institute of Historical Research in Bloomsbury.

Subject areas we'll cover

'History Now' is based around five key subject areas, each of which we'll explore, one per day, over the week. Topics focus on new ways of thinking and studying History. Themes blend theories and practice, moving from questions of place and time, to the relationship between History and politics, to new technologies, and History's future. 

  • History & place: from global to local: how should we think about place, and connecting local, national and global? Here we'll consider historians' approaches to decolonisation, transnational history and microhistory.
  • Time, temporality & space: how do historians think about time and our relationship to the past? Here we explore different notions of modernity in global perspective, and 'long' histories of environment.
  • History, activism & policy: what role does History have in activism, identity politics and policy formation? Here we focus on the relationship between the past and modern-day campaigning: what value is History to politics?
  • Digital History & new technologies: what is digital history, & how should historians engage with new technologies? Here we consider the opportunities and challenges of historical research in a digital age.
  • The future of History: what are the next big themes, ideas and methods in historical research? How do we shape History's future by asking the right questions?

How we'll approach each day

We will begin each day with an overview lecture to a big theme in History Now. Over the course of the day we'll then focus in on how historians engage with these topics; how we critique work in these fields, and gain training to undertake such research. Teaching formats include:

  • Lectures: introductory surveys to the big themes and the most pressing issues for historians working in this field: delivered daily by a guest lecturer.
  • Research masterclasses: learn how specialist historians engage with new subjects and methods in their own work; how does an idea become a project and a publication? Presented daily by a guest historian.
  • Seminars & discussions: in smaller groups we'll critique and discuss the day's theme based on selected readings: hosted by members of IHR academic staff.
  • Training workshops: acquire skills to undertake research in the day's theme: run by IHR digital and engagement staff.
  • 'History extra': optional, informal sessions at the end of the day to discuss how we write, communicate and publish history today: led by the IHR's publishing staff.
  • IHR Historical Research lecture, 2020: the Institute's annual lecture on the theme of 'History Now': delivered by a distinguished guest lecturer.

Each day's theme is supported by a reading list of key works providing an overview and topics for discussion. Reading lists, and links to selected texts, will be made available to students well in advance of the School.

'History Now' is provided by an expert teaching staff: bringing together the IHR's academic and training specialists, with invited historians who are subject leaders in the day's chosen topic.

History Now programme, in full:

Full guide to 5 days of teaching & activitiesPDF160.5 KB

History Now at the IHR

Summer School teaching and training takes place at the Institute of Historical Research, making full use of the IHR Conference suite, Library, teaching rooms, Cafe and Common Room.

The Institute is located in the heart of Bloomsbury and the central university zone, close to UCL, Birkbeck College, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA). 

The IHR is ideally placed for transport connections and close to Bloomsbury's urban parks, including Russell and Gordon Squares. It's also just a short walk from famous landmarks, including the British Museum, British Library, Regent's Park, and central districts like Soho, Covent Garden and Fitzrovia.

About the Institute of Historical Research

The Institute of Historical Research (IHR) is the UK's national centre for history and a meeting place for historians worldwide. Established in 1921, and now part of the School of Advanced Study at the University of London, the IHR is located in the University's imposing Senate House in the central district of Bloomsbury.

The Institute is home to the world-renowned IHR Wohl Library and to research centres in the History of People, Place and Community and Digital History. It specialises in advanced teaching, at Masters and PhD level, with expertise in historical research methods, public history, and garden & landscape history.

The IHR's staff -- led by the Director, Professor Jo Fox -- brings together academic historians, digital specialists, publishers, librarians, archivists, and an administrative team who oversee our events and fellowships programme. 

Book your place on History Now

The History Now Summer School runs between Monday 13 July and Friday 17 July 2020 at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London.

Book your place on History Now 2020