Workshop on history and policy engagement at the local level

This workshop, organised in collaboration with History & Policy, will explore how historians and historical researchers from other disciplines can engage with local policy-making structures.

Date: 08-09-2017
Time: 10:00 - 17:00

This workshop will feature historians with a track record of engagement (whether successful or "learning experiences!") and local policy makers and practitioners. The workshop is designed primarily for post-doctoral and early career researchers, though established researchers interested in exploring this topic are also very welcome.

Tasked with achieving impact from their research, many aspiring and established historical researchers tend to look towards national power structures, sometimes overlooking opportunities on their doorsteps.

Three reasons for developing skills in local policy engagement 

  • Local policy making is closer to the actual practice of the activities it governs. That means that, if you can find the right application for your research, it may be easier to see what impact it has.
  • New mayors were elected to represent various cities and regions in 2017. However the future of devolution plays out, many historians have a window of opportunity now to engage with meaningful devolved power structures.
  • Universities are often perceived by local policy makers as a prestigious potential source of research and insight. You already have an in-built advantage.

Attendance is free but places are limited. To book a place please email with a couple of sentences outlining your research interests and your current position/affiliation.

This event is organised by Laura King and Will Gould (School of History) and David Churchill (School of Law), in collaboration with History & Policy. Funding is kindly provided by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures.


9.30am: Arrival and registration

10.00-10.15am: Welcome Alix Mortimer, History & Policy and Laura King, History, University of Leeds

10.15-11.30am: Session 1: Citizens and Cities

David Churchill, Law, University of Leeds – ‘Data or Concepts? Applications of Historical Research on Public Parks in Leeds’

Kevin Grady, former Director of Leeds Civic Trust - ‘A Leeds Historian’s Influence on Planning and Development in Leeds, 1987-2016’

Simon Gunn, History, University of Leicester - 'Applied history: conservation, planning and policy-making in Leicester’

William Gould, History, University of Leeds – ‘The Right to Information movement in India: Using History to work on problems of local governance’

11.30-11.45am: Coffee and tea break

11.45am-1pm: Session 2: Families and Health

Jenny Crane, History, University of Warwick - 'Comparing National and Local Approaches to Public Engagement: Children, families and health in history and policy'

Laura King, History, University of Leeds – ‘Living with Dying: History, policy and practice around dying and bereavement in Leeds’

Jane Robinson, Leeds Bereavement Forum - ‘Living with Dying: Leeds Bereavement Forum and the Dying Matters Partnership’

Antonia Lovelace, Leeds Museums and Galleries – ‘Dying Matters in the Museum’

Ian Cameron, Director of Public Health, Leeds City Council – ‘What does the history of the Medical Officers of Health in Leeds tell us about present and future Leeds?’

1-2pm: Lunch break

2-3pm: Workshop

What role do specifically historical methodologies, approaches, ideas and knowledge have in policy at a local level?

3-3.30pm: Coffee and tea break

3.30-4pm: Final panel and reflections

Location: University of Leeds, Parkinson Building
Cost: Free - Book place by e-mail