For conferences and public engagement

The Society for the Study of Labour History offers financial support for conferences and public events with a focus on labour history. We take a broad view of ‘labour history’ that includes cultural and social aspects as well as political and institutional ones. Applications, for a maximum of £750 per event, are welcome at any time of year.

While any reasonable conference costs will be considered, we are particularly interested in supporting:
a) the attendance of postgraduate speakers
b) conferences that are designed to actively engage a public audience.
This engagement might be achieved by the inclusion of sessions or activities that are specifically targeted at a wider audience. We expect all events funded by the SSLH to be accessible to anyone who wants to attend, and for that reason we do not expect conference registration fees to be prohibitive.

If funds are sought to support the attendance of postgraduate speakers, we will support up to five bursaries of a maximum of £150 per student, on the condition that the recipients join the SSLH. Student membership of the Society costs £20. The bursary should be used to subsidize travel and accommodation costs, and we will require evidence of the attendance of these speakers and of their membership of SSLH.

In addition to running its own Conference and Public Engagement scheme, SSLH also participates in the BME Events and Activities Small Grants Scheme, together with the Social History Society, the Economic History Society and History UK.

How to apply

To apply, please send the following information to the SSLH conference secretary, Daniel Laqua, at

  • A description of the conference, including call for papers or indicative programme if applicable
  • A breakdown of the costs of the conference
  • A clear statement of what the funding requested from SSLH will cover.

If your application is successful we will require evidence of expenditure for the SSLH funded aspects of the conference, a short report (500 words, and images) for the Society’s website, and, in the case of subsidies being provided for postgraduate speakers, evidence of their attendance and of their membership of SSLH.

Recent events organised or funded by SSLH
  • Dr Emmet O’Connor is to deliver the Society for the Study of Labour History’s first annual John Halstead Memorial Lecture on the topic of Jim Larkin, the Irish socialist and trade union leader. The event takes place on Saturday 29 October at 2.30pm, and all are invited to join us for the online event. SIGN […]
  • Calderdale Trades Council and Calderdale Industrial Museum are teaming up this Sunday (17 July) to host a free public meeting at the museum on ‘The Great Strike of 1842: Halifax’s Peterloo?’ The event is supported by the Society for the Study of Labour History. This event is being held in person and there are limited […]
  • Keith Laybourn drew on a lifetime of learning and experience for his valedictory lecture this month to an audience filled with colleagues and friends, as Janette Martin reports. Diamond Jubilee Professor Emeritus Keith Laybourn delivered his valedictory lecture, marking fifty years’ service at the University of Huddersfield, to an audience filled with friends, colleagues and […]
  • Keith Laybourn, Diamond Jubilee Professor Emeritus and President of the Society for the Study of Labour History, will be giving a valedictory lecture to commemorate fifty years at the University of Huddersfield. He will be speaking on ’The politics of working class gambling in Britain between c1900 and the 1960s’. The event takes place on […]
  • From ‘Shabby Feargus’ to the impact of the Northern Star’s move south and Chartists as ‘premature liberal democrats’, the first Chartism Day since 2019 was as entertaining as it was informative and thought-provoking. It had been a long-time coming. But finally, after two years in which Chartism Day did not happen as the world went […]


Earlier SSLH-Supported Events and Public Engagement Activities

Non-Conformity, Critiques and Contention under Communist Rule in the 1970s and 1980s, two online symposia organised by the Histories of Activism research group at Northumbria, based on an SSLH-funded conference that had to be rescheduled owing to Covid, November 2020. Find out more.

Huddersfield’s NHS: the Caribbean Connection, a film produced by Kirklees Local TV, based on the research of Dr Heather Norris Nicholson and directed by Milton Brown, October 2020. Find out more.

Working River: Songs and Music of the Thames, a recording project by Brian Denny, 2020.

Leisure and Recreation History and Heritage Day, Middlesbrough Town Hall, October 2019.

Rebellion, Revolution and Resistance in the Twentieth Century: Class, Networks and Political Violence, Newcastle University, October 2019.

Not just Peterloo: remembering the 1969 Manchester anti-apartheid march to the Springboks match, Working Class Movement Library, Salford, October 2019.

Gender, Labour and Consumption in Historical Perspective, University of Essex, September 2019.

Peterloo 1819–2020, People’s History Museum, Manchester, May 2019.

The Global Challenge of Peace: 1919 as a Contested Threshold to a New World Order, Newcastle University, May 2019.

Labour in History and Economics, All Souls College, Oxford, April 2019.

Women, Work, and Activism: Pasts, Presents & Futures, Great North Museum, Newcastle University, 9-10 November 2018. Organisers: Hannah Martin (Northumbria University), Stacy Gillis (Newcastle University) and Jemima Short (Newcastle University). Read the full report here.

Radicalism and Popular Protest in Britain 1790-1820, Derby Museum and Art Gallery, 9 June 2017.
Organiser: Ruth Larsen (University of Derby). Full report here.

‘Grim up North? Northern Identity, History & Heritage’, 16 September 2016, The Leeds Library, Leeds.
Organisers: Michael Reeve (Hull) and Andrew McTominey (Leeds Beckett). Full report here.