Researching Student Histories Workshop Series

8 February 2022

Researching Student Histories: Methodological and Theoretical Aspects

Workshop series to mark NUS100

Organising committee: Dr Georgina Brewis, Dr Jodi Burkett, Dr Sarah Crook, Mike Day and Emily Sharp

Student life has changed radically over the last hundred years, and research is increasingly highlighting how changes in the student community, organising and experience has anticipated broader social and cultural changes. This is an apposite time to take stock of these shifts: 2022 marks the 100th anniversary of the creation by students’ unions of the National Union of Students (NUS) in England and Wales. To celebrate, a series of events are being organised to highlight the history and work of students. Over the past few years research into the history of students’ unions/NUS, and student movements more broadly, has grown substantially. This scholarship has drawn attention to how students have negotiated issues around citizenship, service, politics, youth, sexuality, health, welfare and the very purpose of the university. This research has stimulated interest in and questions around sources, theories and methodologies: how can historians grasp and understand student life in the past, and what particular challenges and opportunities do student-produced materials present?


Workshop 1: The Archive was held online, Wednesday 26 January 2022 – you can view this here.


Workshop 2: The Student Press, Media and Film was held online and in-person at Portsmouth University, Wednesday 27 April 2022 – you can view this here.


Workshop 3 – Student Stories: Finding, using and making oral histories and recorded voices was held online and in-person at the University of Swansea, Monday 11 July 2022.


Workshop 4 – The ‘stuff’ of student life: material culture and ephemera was held online and in-person at UCL, Wednesday 14 September 2022.