2021 Annual Thatcher Network Conference 29 July 2021

Martin Farr's picture
July 21, 2021
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
British History / Studies, Political History / Studies, World History / Studies, Economic History / Studies, Contemporary History

New scholarly perspectives on Thatcher and Thatcherism.

About this event

Our 2020 conference was postponed due to COVID-19, and this year we intend to hold the conference that would have gone ahead but for the pandemic.

However, the last year has presented historians of Thatcher and Thatcherism with new material and new questions to ponder.

Boris Johnson's premiership - particularly his commitment to level up the north, invest in public services, and his personal fondness for major infrastructure developments - had already led some to question the extent to which his government had abandoned Thatcherism. But the scale of the economic intervention overseen by Chancellor Rishi Sunak during the pandemic has changed the nature of the debate: undoubtedly the current approach is not Thatcherite, but will the post-pandemic approach return to something more aligned Mrs Thatcher's?

Our roundtable discussion on the topic 'Is the current government Thatcherite?' will explore the likely future of Thatcherism in a post-Brexit, post-COVID world.

In popular culture, Netflix's The Crown and Channel 4's It's a Sin both turned to the 1980s and imagined two very different 'hidden' histories of the decade: the Queen's private relationship with Margaret Thatcher and the experience of gay men living in London during the AIDS epidemic.

The interdisciplinary nature of our conferences invite discussions not just of traditional approaches to history and political science, but consideration of how cultural representations such as these shape and influence public understanding of the period, the people and the politics of the Thatcher era.

Newcastle Upon Tyne

As the UK exits national lockdown, we look forward to welcoming guests to Newcastle University.

The conference will be held in the historic Armstrong Building, on the central Newcastle University campus. It is within walking distance of the Newcastle Central Station and directly opposite the Haymarket metro station.

We are delighted to announce that, befitting our location, Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (historian and former Political Secretary to the Prime Minister) will be our keynote speaker.