Those most affected by COVID-19 are often unable to speak. Who else is not being heard or listened to? Historians and archivists consider what needs to be done.


Watch the recording and download the write-up.

HA22 Recording a crisis


Paul Dudman – Living Refugee Archive
The Living Refugee Archive is based at the University of East London’s Library at Docklands, the home of the Refugee Council Archive for over a decade. It facilitates accessibility to archival resources on the refugee and forced migration experience.

Jen Hoyer & Nora Almeida – Interference Archive
The Interference Archive was founded in Brooklyn in 2011 and explores the relationship between cultural production and social movements. Its archival collection comprises cultural ephemera produced by and for social movements worldwide. It also produces publications and hosts a study centre and public programmes.

Fani Arampatzidou & Chris Jones – MayDay Rooms
The MayDay Rooms collect and preserve historical materials related to social movements, experimental culture and the radical expression of marginalised figures and groups. Their current project Pandemic Notes works to build an archive around the Covid-19 crisis.


Dr Charlotte Clements is Senior Lecturer in History at London South Bank University. She specialises in youth, welfare and charity in Britain since 1945 and has worked on a British Academy project supporting charities and voluntary archives to preserve and use their archives.

Dr Andrew Flinn is Reader in Archival Studies and Oral History at University College London. His academic interests include documenting the activities of political movements and parties, particularly grassroots political activity and the use of history by political parties and activists.


How the pandemic has exacerbated existing appalling conditions in prisons and migrant detention centres, and how abolitionist and anti-prison expansion activists are adapting to socially distant forms of organising.

Tuesday 19 May 6:30PM – 8:30PM

Download the event’s write-up & watch the recording.

HA21 Prisons in lockdown – 19 May 2020


Cambridgeshire Prisoner Detainee Solidarity is an abolitionist activist group standing in solidarity with those incarcerated in Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre and the four Cambridgeshire prisons by campaigning for their safety and protection.

The Prisoner Solidarity Network is a group of people committed to dismantling the criminal justice system and building a society based on collective care. Our members include people inside and outside of prisons. Some of us are ex-prisoners and some are children, partners or friends of people inside.


Dr Ben Bethell, University of the Arts, London
Ben is an historian of penal theory, policy and practice. His publications include ‘An exception too far: “gentleman” convicts and the 1878-9 Penal Servitude Acts Commission’, and ‘Defining “unnatural crime”: sex and the English convict system, 1850-1900’.

Dr Katherine Roscoe, University of Liverpool
Katherine is a historical criminologist researching global mobilities, unfree labour and racial inequalities, with a particular focus on mid-nineteenth century crime and punishment in Britain and its former empire. Her current project focuses on the history of the Cockatoo Island convicts.


How activists can use, resist or generate the data that is being deployed in this crisis

Tuesday 5 May 6:30PM – 8:30PM

HA20 Fighting with data – Tuesday 5 May


Radical Statistics Group was formed in 1975 by researchers and statisticians with a common interest about the political implications of their work. Members are committed to helping build a more free, democratic and egalitarian society.

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project is a data-visualization, data analysis, and storytelling collective documenting the dispossession and resistance upon gentrifying landscapes. The collective primarily works in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and New York City.


Professor Oz Frankel is Associate Professor of History at the New School for Social Research, New York. His book States of Inquiry: Social Investigations and Print Culture in Nineteenth Century Britain and the United States explores the early roots of the modern informational states. 

Professor Edward Higgs is Professor of History at the University of Essex, UK. He has written widely on the history of censuses and surveys, civil registration, women’s work, the impact of the digital revolution on archives, the information state, and the history of identification.

Dr Guy Beckett is a historian of ideas. His research looks at the impact of nineeenth-century social statistics on governance and political debates. He recently completed his PhD and is a founder of History Acts.


Professor Zohreh Bayatrizi, University of Alberta, works on the history of sociology, knowledge and power, law and society, sociology of death and dying, sociological research & social policy.

Professor Tim Rowse, Western Sydney University, works on Australia’s colonial history, including the history of its official statistics, which he sees as a form of colonial knowledge.