Seminar 1 – Past

Images and representations of welfare over time

Our first seminar took place on the 12th June at the Storey Institute in Lancaster. While future seminars will look to the present day (seminar 2) and the future (seminar 3). In this first seminar, we kicked off the series by looking back to the past, considering images and representations over time. As well as hearing from a fantastic range of speakers (see below), delegates also explored welfare pasts through zine-making (led by Jean McEwan) and a ‘welfare walkshop’ around Lancaster (led by Tracey Jensen).

You can view and download PDFs of all our speakers’ presentations and listen to their presentations or SoundCloud or below.

Tracey Jensen: Opening Remarks

Chris Renwick: “The Future of the Welfare State, from the Perspective of its Past”

View Chris’ presentation here

Chris is senior lecturer in modern British history at the University of York and works mainly on the history of the social and biological sciences. His most recent book is  ’Bread for All: The Origins of the Welfare State’  (Allen Lane, 2017).

Gill Crawshaw: “Shoddy: disabled artists challenging assumptions, learning from history, and fighting back”

View Gill’s presentation here

Gill organises disability arts exhibitions and projects, drawing on her previous experience as an activist in the disabled people’s movement. Her last project, Shoddy, centred on an exhibition of textile art by disabled artists, and called out the government’s “shoddy” treatment of disabled people, with cuts to welfare benefits and public services. 

Michael Lambert: “Too much welfare and not enough state: historicising bureaucracy, less eligibility and marginality in the post-war welfare settlement, 1945-79”

View Michael’s presentation here

Michael is a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Liverpool, working as part of a Wellcome-funded project exploring the changing  governance of the National Health Service from 1948 to the present day. His research  focuses on the operationalisation of the welfare state at the regional and local levels, particularly on the granular and everyday processes by which welfare is governed by the state, and how this impacts on those accessing its services.

Stephanie Snow:  “Voices of the NHS at 70: Past, Present and Future”

Stephanie is a historian of medicine and healthcare with publications ranging from the introduction of anaesthesia to Victorian medicine in the nineteenth century, to the experiences of black, minority and ethnic clinicians in the NHS.  She is currently leading a national programme of work around the 70th anniversary of the NHS, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

Lynsey Hanley: “‘It’s how we’ve decided to run the country’: council housing and class in Britain”

View Lynsey’s presentation here

Lynsey Hanley is the author of two books, ‘Estates: an Intimate History’ (Granta, 2007) and ‘Respectable: Crossing the Class Divide’ (Penguin, 2017). She writes on issues of class and education, social housing and urban policy for The Guardian, writes book reviews for the Financial Times and others. In 2017 she wrote and presented Streets Apart, a ten-part series for BBC Radio 4 on the history of social housing.

Tracey Jensen: Closing Remarks