'Timeless Memories': Memory and Temporality in Histories of Education

An online conference hosted by the Domus Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Histories of Education and Childhood, University of Birmingham.

The Domus Centre is delighted to host the 2021 annual conference of the History of Education Society UK at the University of Birmingham. The conference theme this year will be ‘Timeless Memories’: Memory and Temporality in Histories of Education to be held on 5 - 7 November 2021.

Keynote speakers:

  • Joyce Goodman, Professor of History of Education, University of Winchester
  • Maria Grever, Professor of Theory and Methodology of History, University of Rotterdam 
  • Maria del Mar del Pozo Andrés, Professor of History of Education, University of Alcalá

Please note that registration for this event has now closed

Provisional conference programme (please note, all speakers to be confirmed)

11.00 - 12.00  History of Education and the current publishing landscape 
Presentation and discussion with Mark Freeman, Heather Ellis and Stephanie Olsen (Editors, History of Education), Rebecca Swartz (History of Education Book Reviews Editor), Jonathan Doney (History of Education Sources & Interpretations Editor) and Abi Amey (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group)
12.15 - 12.30 Welcome session
12.30 - 14.00  Parallel Paper Sessions 1
14.00 - 14.30 Break
14.30 - 16.00 Post Graduate Panel 1
16.00 - 16.15  Break
16.15 - 17.15  Keynote lecture 1:  Temporalities, Trajectories and Histories of (Women’s) Education     
Joyce Goodman,The University of Winchester
17.30 - 18.30 Keynote lecture 2: Historicizing historical consciousness: Visions of different timescapes in a post-colonial world
Maria Grever, Erasmus University Rotterdam
9.00 - 10.30  Parallel Paper Sessions 2 
10.30 - 11.00 Break
11.00 - 12.00  Keynote lecture 3: From personal memories to public histories of education: emotions, tensions, and future directions
María del Mar del Pozo Andrés, University of Alcalá
12.00 - 13.00 Lunch break
13.00  - 14.30 Post Graduate Panel 2
14.30 - 15.00  Break
15.00 - 16.30 Parallel Paper Sessions 3 
17.00 - 18.00  History of Education Society Annual General Meeting
9.30 - 11.00  Parallel Paper Sessions 4  
11.00 - 11.30  Conference close

Parallel paper and postgraduate panel sessions

Friday 5 November: Parallel Paper Sessions 1

1.1. Memory, Female Agency and Women’s Colleges

Chair: Jane Martin

  • Nancy Rosoff: From a Distance: Exploring Institutional Memories of a Pioneering Women’s College Online
  • Keiko Sasaki: Memories of Bryn Mawr College days and the philanthropist society: A case study of three female presidents of women’s colleges in Japan
  • Annette Rasmussen and Karen Andreasen: Schooling of Women in the first part of the 20th Century: Memorizing Female Agency 

1.2. Reading the Text for Affect, Dynamics of Memory and Timeless Truth

Chair: Sue Anderson Faithful

  • Luana Salvarani: Memories of a contested heritage: American 19th-century schoolbooks on   continental European history 
  • Naïma Lafrarchi: Time, memory and affect in the classroom: a challenge for history teachers in Flemish secondary education
  • Tina van der Vlies: ‘Timeless memories’ in English and Dutch history education              

1.3. Constructing and Contesting Memories of Education

Chair: Mark Freeman

  • David Bray: Whatever happened to the free school movement? 
  • Helen Carr: "A right to their dreams, but not to a state subsidy to realise them”: The Islamia School and the campaign for state-funded Muslim schooling 
  • Martin Johnes: ‘Wales hasn’t forgotten yet’: Memory, linguistic oppression and the Welsh Not 
Friday 5 November: Post Graduate Panel 1

Chair: Catherine Holloway

  • Sait Kirtepe: Exploring ‘Unknown Land Which We Were Forbidden to Explore’: The Transformation of Working-Class Childhood through Educational and Child Welfare Reforms in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century England 
  • Carroll-Hume: The Irish teacher: Identity, origins and contribution 
  • Inna Kravchuk: History of women’s education in Ukraine (Interdisciplinary approach) 
  • Nele Reyniers: The sound of abnormality. Educational initiatives for children with mental disabilities in Belgium from a Sound Studies perspective, 1850-1940 
  • Susan Birch: The Family Planning Association: Birth Control Education during the Second World War and post war period
Saturday 6 November:  Parallel Paper Sessions 2

2.1. Temporalities and Remembered Pasts: The Case of India

Chair: Sian Roberts

  • Tim Allender: Class Divides and gender separations: traumas and memories of the colonial India boarding experience, 1790-1960 
  • Anurag Shukla: Education, Temporalities, and Discontinuities: Re-reading the History of Education in India from a temporal lens 
  • Laura Day Ashley and Inderjit Baines: Understanding policy uptake through lenses of the past, present and future: analysis of India’s 25% reservation policy for disadvantaged children in private schools 

2.2. Time Past, Time present (Sat 9.00am)

Chair: Heather Ellis

  • Vincent Carpentier: Education, long economic cycles and crises of survival 
  • Rooney Figueiredo Pinto and Ana Catarina Amorim de Lima: A Primary School in the time and memory of village of Ponte de Lima – Portugal
  • Krishna Kanta Roy and V. Kalyan Shankar: Time and Origins of Computer Education in Schools in India:The case of West Bengal 

2.3. Education Time, Education Memory and the Visual: an ecological workshop

Chair: Kevin Myers

  • Eulàlia Collelldemont, Inês Félix, Ian Grosvenor, Björn Norlin, Núria Padrós and Angelo Van Gorp (History of Educational Ecologies International Research Group): Education Time, Education Memory and the Visual: an ecological workshop
  • Ruth Felstead: Teaching morality, patriotism and empire in Worcestershire and Birmingham elementary schools 1880-1902: a view of the everyday through the prism of school log books 
Saturday 6 November: Post Graduate Panel 2

Chair: Ellie Simpson

  • Deniz Altındağ: How does spatial memory work in childhood? 
  • Magdalena Rzepka: Education to and through aviation – socio-pedagogical phenomenon of the interwar Poland (1918-1939) 
  • Emre Altındağ: The Place Where the Unending Time Is: Discovering the history of silent-graphic novels in terms of their timeless communication 
  • Rebecca Orr: Decolonisation and the foundation of the new universities in 1960’s Britain 
  • Michael Donnay: Middle-Distance Reading: Digital Humanities Experiments in Higher Education History 
Saturday 6 November: Parallel Paper Sessions 3

3.1. Representing, Resignifying and Revisiting Teachers (Sat 3.00 pm)

Chair: Helen Carr

  • Larry Prochner: Revisiting an Anecdote in the Historical Narrative of Early Childhood Education: Patty Smith Hill and the Story of the Kindergartner Walkout of 1896 
  • Claire Tupling: The Lax family of Staindrop: Re/presenting a narrative of occupational reproduction in the making of a teaching dynasty   
  • Maiza Trigo and Rooney Figueiredo Pinto: The school time and childhood in Portugal during Estado Novo under the lenses of a sociodynamic perspective 

3.2. Ways of Remembering: Local, Sensory and Radical 

Chair: Ian Grosvenor

  • Maureen Royce: Vikings, Country Dancing, Catechism, Football and Times-tables: Primary School memories from Everton, Liverpool 1944-1979 
  • Heather Ellis: Making sense of school feeding: Memory, experience and sensory histories of hungry children in England, 1900-1930 

3.3. Memory: Spaces, Spectacle and Activism

Chair: Laura Day Ashley

  • Susanne Spieker: Emigration from the Palatinate: Traces of Memory in Public Spaces 
  • Mark Freeman: ‘Truly memorable events’: reflections on the memorialisation of historical pageants 
  • Susannah Wright: Memories of the First World War, children and the peace movement in the interwar years 
Sunday 7 November: Parallel Paper Sessions 4

4.1. Memory Narratives, Life Stories and Authoritarian Politics

Chair: Jody Crutchley

  • Tibor Darvai: “My real life started with the liberation”. Hungarian socialist education scientists’ narratives about their life and works 
  • Lajos Somogyvári: A school principal’s asylum and exile in the 1950's Hungary countryside 
  • Rooney Figueiredo Pinto & Maiza Trigo: A case of early childhood care in Portugal: between the memory of authoritarianism and the History of Education                  

4.2 Memory, Experience and Expectation in English Education

Chair: Stephen Parker

  • Pam Mansell: Representations of educational pasts: a case study of pupil memories from four girls’ and four boys’ state grammar schools, 1902 to 1939 
  • David Civil: A Crisis of Expectations: Education and Meritocracy in Post-War Britain, c. 1944-1974 
  • Lynda Maddock: Changing Wine Into Water? The Place of the Bible in Scripture Knowledge Public Examinations 1944-1954

4.3. Institutions: Learning, Regulation and Resistance

Chair: Geert Thyssen

  • Thomas Walsh: The impact of the ‘12 Practical Rules for Teachers’ (1845) on the social regulation of teachers in Ireland 
  • Kelly Power: 'Registers Not Marked': Regularity and Resistance in the Mid-Victorian School 
  • Carole Nahum: École Polytechnique, how was it really? 

Call for papers

The last decade or so has seen both a ‘temporal turn’ in historical research and a growth in memory studies, to the extent that as one historian has noted the discipline of history has refreshed itself.  Historians have used public and private memories as a lens to observe and tell the stories of the past in the present. Memory is used to encode, process and save information. It gives meaning and legitimacy to the present. Of course, the concepts of time and memory in circulation are part of the Western episteme and there is an intimate connection between the imperial project and the imposition of Western temporalities and coercion to abandon indigenous temporalities.  These processes not only fostered a ‘temporality of trauma’ but also had an impact on determining what and how moments and events were memorialised and by whom? What is forgotten and what is remembered is a political act, whether within the imperial project of colonial domination or under totalitarian regimes.

Time is not a neutral concept in which history ‘unfolds’ but as Christopher Clark notes in Time and Power (2019) it is ‘a contingent cultural construction whose shape, structure and texture have varied.’ The literature of the temporal turn has been particularly concerned with mapping a transition from pre-modern or traditional temporal orders to modern temporalities. So, how has this transition in temporality been experienced? Apprehending and experiencing time has been characterised by a sense of time accelerating and a consequent distancing from the past and its authority as a site of wisdom. Time has been experienced as discipline, as rhythm, as duration, as liminal. In the West the religious certainties associated with Christian beliefs about the future fractured because of the processes of cultural secularisation and consequently impacted on society’s ‘horizon of expectation.’ Time became a commodity that could be wasted. Such changes have contributed to a sense of nostalgia for what was perceived as lost including past imaginings of the future. At the same time History as a discipline has continued to be accommodated within a liner narrative of modernisation.  

What is, and what can be the role of historians of education in addressing the temporal turn? How do we engage with memory and remembering in our field of study?  How as historians do we see the past and our different but connected present? All these questions are what prompted the present call for papers. 

Please submit abstracts of approximately c.300 words to s.roberts.2@bham.ac.uk by 31 July 2021.

Conference themes

The following is a list of indicative themes. It is far from being exhaustive or prescriptive and we welcome papers that address any aspect that broadly connects to issues of time and/or memory in the histories of education and childhood:

  • Time, memory and affect in the classroom
  • Silences and absences in the memory archive
  • Historical memory and localised narratives of education
  • Memory, historical justice and pedagogy
  • Histories of Education futures
  • The schooled body in memory and time
  • Colonial education and counter memories
  • Representations of educational pasts
  • Memory, temporality and refugee education
  • Public policy and memorialisation of the past
  • Methodologies of narrating time and memory in in/formal education
  • Public and community memories
  • Collecting and/or (re)presenting memories in archives, museums or other heritage contexts
  • Time perception and psychological time in periods of education crisis 

The Postgraduate panel

Call for Papers (Postgraduate Panel)

The 2021 History of Education Society (UK) conference will be held online and hosted by the Domus Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Histories of Education and Childhood, University of Birmingham. Further details about the online format will be available in due course.

The theme for the conference this year is ‘Timeless Memories’: Memory and Temporality in Histories of Education and the keynote speakers will be:

  • Maria del Mar del Pozo Andrés, Professor of History of Education, University of Alcalá
  • Joyce Goodman, Professor of History of Education, University of Winchester
  • Maria Grever, Professor of Theory and Methodology of History, University of Rotterdam 

The History of Education Society (HES) UK would like to invite students to submit abstracts for the postgraduate panel at the 2021 annual conference. This panel is a longstanding and important feature of the HES conference, allowing new researchers to present a 10-minute paperon their current research. Papers in this session do not need to address the conference theme.

Please submit a title and abstract (max. 200 words) to the HES postgraduate student representatives, Catherine Holloway and Ellie Simpson (C.Holloway.14@unimail.winchester.ac.uk) by 31 July 2021.

Alternatively, postgraduate students are invited and encouraged to submit 20-minute papers that address the conference theme. Abstracts for these main session papers should  be sent to s.roberts.2@bham.ac.uk. Please see above for the separate call for papers.

The post graduate panel is a highly anticipated feature of the annual HES conference. It provides an opportunity to share your research with a vibrant and diverse community of researchers and academics.  Conference registration will be free for postgraduate students.


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