People of a Special Mould?

Conference on comparative communist biography

International conference on comparative communist biography and prosopography
University of Manchester
6-8 April 2001

Call for Papers

Under the above title a three-day conference will be held in Manchester in April 2001 to bring together recent and current work employing biographical, prosopographical and social historical approaches to communist party history. The present conference will be less concerned with issues of party strategy and policy formation than with the beliefs, activities and social composition of party members and elites. The conference is being organised in connection with a two-year biographical project on the British Communist Party funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and based at Manchester University. This project is using a major oral history programme and extensive archival research to produce a detailed profile of the CPGB's membership over its seven decades' existence. This is being recorded on a relational database, accommodating both quantitative and qualitative data, which will be demonstrated at the conference, subject to provisions made as to individual confidentiality.

The conference will be comparative in the widest sense. While we anticipate that a number of the papers will be concerned with British communism, contributions are particularly welcomed from historians of other communist parties and the conference is intended to be fully international in scope. At the same time, it is recognised that national studies are not the only or in every case the most fruitful basis for comparison. We hope that in different ways, and within different contexts, differences of social class, gender, locality, generation and ethnicity will be addressed by conference papers. We are also interested in the relationship between communist party members and other radical and working class movements.

For more details see the Conferences page of the WWW Virtual Library on Labour and Business History.

Posted: 2 March 2000