Labour History and the Emotions

Human emotions have always been a part of historical writing, but it is only in recent decades that they have featured as a specific focus of historical research. As a field of study already rich in the language of disputes, betrayal, comradeship and solidarity, labour history can readily apply the methodological approaches of emotions history to offer new historical insights. Here, we present a collection of articles and presentations on the theme of emotions in labour history.


What might labour historians do with emotions?
Dr Matthew Roberts looks at the relevance of emotions to labour history, and explains why he challenges the idea that the political sphere was an arena of reason in which feelings had no part to play. More…



Title image from the video

Anger and reason in the 1893 coal lockout
Dr Quentin Outram examines the emotions at play in one of the largest industrial disputes to take place in Victorian England. This two-part video presentation is also available on the SSLH YouTube Channel, and both the text and PowerPoint presentation can also be downloaded. More…


Labour History and emotions: a bibliography
Edda Nicolson offers a reading list and guide to sources for labour historians interested in the topic and methodologies of emotions history. More…