18thC Studies, the Colston Verdict And Other History Matters

BSECS Annual Conference

Last week I took part in some of the sessions of the on-line Annual Conference of the British Society for 18thC Studies, including asking questions of the speakers. For those readers who are not members or did not sign up to take part the sessions were recorded and can be seen on YouTube until 22 January.

My recommendations: Wednesday: Female Minds on the artists Rhoda Delaval of the Northumberland family whose brother became involved in slave plantation development in East Florida, and Angelica Kaufmann; Thursday: Teaching 18thC in the 21stC panel & keynote address re-18thC Indian history; Friday: Books and Libraries and the Aristocracy and Politics sessions. The latter includes a talk on 18th India.




One those taking part in the Teaching panel was Croydon resident Karen Lipsedge, Associate Professor in English Literature at Kingston University, and Senior Adviser for Teaching and Learning (Access, Participation & Inclusion, Students). Her views on teaching about race at the July Advance HE’s Teaching and Learning Conference, can be heard on You Tube.


BSECS And 18thC Black History, Enslavement & Abolition

My involvement in the BSECS Conference has been reduced in the last couple of years. Because of overload of some normal and potential participants it was not  possible to organise panels of talks and round table discussions on black history, enslavement and abolition and links for 2020 Conference. I had to pull out because of jury service. My immune condition problems meant I had to pull out of the 2021 Conference and my two papers had to be read on my behalf. I did not have new material to justify submitting proposal for a talk for this year’s Conference. A participant who is also a reader of my history blog posting has asked me to try and organise panels for 2023’s Conference. I will be starting discussions around ideas for on themes such as (1) The future of 18th Black History in the Black Lives Matters era; (2) Cultural Representations of 18thC Black History, Enslavement and Abolition; (3) Decolonising the 18thC University and Schools Curricula. I might offer a talk on either 18thC Croydon, Merton and Sutton or on the British slave owners in the Floridas 1763-83. I will be posting a discussion on my other blog site later this month. If any readers want to take part in this discussion please let me know at sean.creighton1947@btinternet.com.

I have started discussions with Durham University about doing another set of sessions on 7 and/or 8 February,  and on 10 February I will be doing a session on John Archer with the 6th formers at Emmanuel School in Battersea. I hope to incorporate some of the approaches discussed at the BSECS Conference session on teaching.

The Colston Statue Verdict

The culture wars have hotted up given the jury’s not guilty verdict in the Colston statue criminal damage case. The Guardian has given good coverage including two pages on the verdict and its editorial (7 January), and front  page lead (continued on page 9) on the Tory reaction (8 January). The Guardian Journal has had comment pieces by David Olusoga, This verdict puts Bristol on the right side of history – at last, and Nesrine  Malik’s The Colston Four’s critics are deluded to think Britain owes no apology for its past (7 & 10 January). I do wonder whether the Tories objected to the ‘criminal damage’ involved when statues were torn down in the Soviet Union and Iraq.

 Thursday 13 January. 7pm (US Eastern time). Black Lives, Native Lands, White Worlds: A History of Slavery in New England

 On line talk by  Dr. Jared Hardesty about his book. 


Mapping the Holocaust – 1 February .6.30pm

Online talk by Professor Tim Cole, University of Bristol 


Miscellaneous History Items

My blogs are partly dependent on information sent to me by readers. I have just received the link to the British Library’s page on the African Abbott in Anglo-Saxon England from 2016.


The historical importance of Croydon continues to find new researchers and authors. C.J. Schüler, author of  The Wood That Built London: A Human History of the Great North Wood (Sandstone Press) discusses the Wood on the History News Network website of George Washington University.

The artist Lubaina Himid (born Zanzibar, 1954)who uses black history as an inspiration is beginning to get the recognition she deserves.




The Daring To Hope – A personal History Of The Politics Of The 1970s talk by historian Shelia Rowbotham for the Socialist History Society last Saturday can now be seen on You Tube.

Black Cultural Archives has re-opened on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

In addition to teaching Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Charles Villiers Stamford left a larger legacy of influence.


Black History Wallchart


Kandace Chimbiri

Kandace is a black history author for children:  The Story of Afro-Hair and The Story of the Windrush.




She also comments on African artfects in museums.


Her website is:


She also works with schools.






About seancreighton1947

I have lived in Norbury since July 2011. I blog on Croydon, Norbury and history events,news and issues. I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I have submitted views to Council Committees and gave evidence against the Whitgift Centre CPO and to the Local Plan Inquiry. I am a member of Norbury Village Residents Association and Chair of Norbury Community Land Trust, and represent both on the Love Norbury community organisations partnership Committee. I used to write for the former web/print Croydon Citizen. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics history database. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour, radical and suffrage movements, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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1 Response to 18thC Studies, the Colston Verdict And Other History Matters

  1. Pingback: Additional Events from 12 January | Norbury Watch

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