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History Beyond the Academy: Engaging Publics, Influencing Policy

16 March 2016

Leading figures in the worlds of broadcasting, publishing, journalism and politics, including Professor Pam Cox (University of Essex and presenter of BBC Two, Servants and Shop Girls), Paul Lay (editor of History Today), Phil Tinline (radio producer, BBC Radio 4) and Tristram Hunt MP discussed how academic historians can reach beyond the scholarly community.

Time: 1:30 - 5:30pm
Venue: British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace


Generating interest and influence beyond the scholarly community has become a serious endeavour for academic historians. 

Whether engaging wider publics through radio, television and online media, or presenting evidence to policymakers in Parliament and Whitehall, historians must develop increasingly strong communication skills if they want their research to resonate with audiences outside academia.

These workshops for early-career researchers in the field of modern British history discussed some of the issues facing academics in this area.

This event was the fourth in our series Rethinking Contemporary British Political History. It is generously funded by a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award, held by Dr Helen McCarthy of the School of History, Queen Mary University of London.


History, Media and the Public

Pamela Cox, Professor of History at the University of Essex and presenter, Shopgirls (BBC Two, 2014) and Servants (BBC Two, 2012)

Peter Snowdon, journalist and author of Cameron at 10: The Inside Story 2010-15 (Harper Collins, 2015)

Liza Filby, historian, author of God and Mrs Thatcher (Biteback, 2015) and founder of GradTrain, a public speaking training agency aimed at graduates and postgraduates

Andrew Gordon, literary agent at David Higham Associates.


Getting Commissioned

Rob Coldstream, History Commissioner at Channel 4

Phil Tinline, Producer for BBC Radio 4

Paul Lay, Editor of History Today

Sue Cameron, Daily Telegraph

Being a Public Historian

In this keynote address, Tristram Hunt MP discussed the place of historical knowledge and understanding in British public life, drawing on his experience as a writer, teacher and public servant.

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