Sites of Resistance: Radical Bookselling – A Discussion Event


The Applied History Network is pleased to announce that its next event ‘Sites of Resistance: Radical Bookselling‘ will be held at UCL’s Institute of Archaeology, Room 6.12, 31-34 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PY  on Tuesday 9th February at 6.30pm until 8pm. Please go to the Eventbrite page to register. The event is free of charge but registration is required.

The event will be looking at the importance of radical bookshops as “sites of resistance.”  The 1970s saw a peak in the numbers of bookshops dedicated to providing access to alternative publications covering the growing anti-racist, LGBT+ and feminist movements, amongst others. Many of these bookshops also acted as meeting places and support centres for new and established groups, and offered a template for encouraging further grassroots and community activism and campaigning. More recently, the numbers of these vital “sites of resistance” have closed due to increasing rents, funding cuts, the growth of online bookstores and competition from larger bookshops.

Although bookshops have been a core element of campaigns, as a subject this seems to have been neglected by researchers and historians of social history. Key questions that we will cover are: has the internet already filled the space left by these important centres? What is the future of activism and campaigning? And the future of radical bookshops?


Sarah Garrod: Archivist, George Padmore Institute

Nik Gorecki: Co-ordinator, Alliance of Radical Booksellers and co-manager of Housmans

Ken Worpole: Author

Rosa Vilbr: Oral Historian and founder of On the Record


This event is supported by Raphael Samuel History Centre, and the Public History Discussion Group.


Event Info:

Date: Tuesday 9th February 2016

Time: 6.30pm-8pm

Venue: UCL’s Institute of Archaeology, Room 6.12,  31-34 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PY.

Eventbrite: Register here

Website: Applied History Network

The Applied History Network is a group of PhD students and early career researchers committed to politically engaged history. We put on regular evening events in London which aim to apply an historical perspective to contemporary events and debates.

The event grew out of conversations started at the ‘what is radical history?’ conference at Birkbeck in March 2015. In an effort to carry on these important debates, we put on free events every two months in central London.



Image credit: Bookstore in Florence, Italy by Warburg (


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: