On 29 July 2020 over 150 participants joined the IHR online at its annual Historical Research Lecture: Writing histories of 2020: responses and perspectives

The annual Historical Research Lecture—which explores questions of historical practice and approach—is sponsored by the journal’s publisher, Oxford University Press.

How might future historians seek to write the history of 2020, when will 2020 become a subject for historical analysis, and how are—and how should—today's historians and record keepers prepare the ground for this task?

The 2020 Historical Research lecture, looked at current events from the perspective of three leading historians.

  • Professor Claire Langhamer (Professor of Modern British History and Trustee of the Mass Observation Archive, Sussex University)
  • Professor Kevin Siena (Trent University, Ontario, and a historian of early modern disease and contagion) 
  • Professor Richard Vinen (Professor of History, King’s College London, and a specialist in contemporary history)
  • With Professor Jo Fox (Director, Institute of Historical Research, chair)

The panel approached ‘2020’ from the perspectives of a contemporary historian, specialist in historical and contemporary record-keeping; and a historian of earlier, comparable episodes for which histories have now been written.

After the event, Jo also spoke to Claire Langhamer and Richard Vinen about historians' approaches to 2020, from the perspective of record keeping and contemporary history. Both conversations are part of the IHR's History in Conversation podcast

'Writing histories of 2020: responses and perspective'

Watch the IHR 'Historical Research' Lecture (29 July 2020)