Call for Papers | BSSH South Sport and Leisure History Network – Spring 2015 Workshop: Leisure and Organised Labour | March 14, 2015

Bolton Loco’s Mutual Improvement Class on a coach trip in the 50s (photo courtesy of Bert Welsby, from

In association with Anglia Ruskin’s Labour History Research Unit

Venue: Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge Campus
Date: Saturday, 14 March 2015

Call for Papers

Worker organisation has been key to the development and expansion of leisure provision. Trade unions have fought to reduce the length of the working day, and to secure paid holidays. Moreover, they have facilitated collective engagement among their members in a range of activities, alongside other forms of class-based associational culture. Unionisation has also shaped industrial relations across a range of commercial entertainment sectors. This workshop therefore aims to highlight these and other multiple dimensions to the relationship between leisure and organised labour.

We are seeking proposals for papers on events across a range of different leisure forms (including sport, cinema, popular music, tourism, shopping, etc.) and time periods. Papers with a focus on the South of England are particularly welcome, but we are also happy to consider proposals for papers on leisure and organised labour elsewhere in Britain, and in other countries.

Potential topics could include, but are not restricted to:

    • Trade unions and the battle for leisure time and opportunities
    • Leisure activities among trade unionists
    • Associational culture as a form of worker organisation
    • Approaches to leisure among labour parties and politicians
    • Unionisation in leisure industries
    • Coverage of leisure in organised labour’s publications and media
    • Gender and race issues in the relationship between leisure and organised labour

If you would be interested in giving a paper, please send an abstract (c. 200-300 words) and a brief biography to by Sunday, 12 January.

This workshop is organised by the British Society of Sports History’s South of England Sport and Leisure History Network (BSSH South), which aims to bring together individuals in Greater London, the South East and the East of England interested in the history of leisure in all of its forms.

It is being co-hosted with the Labour History Research Unit at Anglia Ruskin University, which was founded in 2007 by members of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences in order to promote fresh approaches to labour history:

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