Contemporary Political History in the Digital Age


The transformation of politics in the era of the internet is a subject of endless debate and discussion, but what are its implications for political history and historians? How does the current ‘digital revolution’ compare to technological change in earlier periods, from the birth of radio and television to the arrival of the fax machine and photocopier? How are digital technologies changing the methodological and conceptual terrain of political history? And how should we preserve and analyse ‘born-digital’ sources, from central government emails to activist tweets? In short, if digital technologies have changed politics in our time, how are they changing political history?

This event will bring early-career and more established historians together with archivists, policymakers and digital specialists to consider these and other questions about the relationship between politics, digital technologies and the writing of history.

The event, hosted in partnership between the Mile End Institute at Queen Mary University of London and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Historians, forms part of a wider programme of activity on the theme of Rethinking Contemporary British Political History, which is funded by a British Academy’s Rising Star Engagement Award held by Dr Helen McCarthy at Queen Mary University of London. For more information:

Please email Dr McCarthy to reserve your place (, including a brief paragraph on your area of research and interest in digital politics.

As places are limited, priority may be given to advanced postgraduate research students and early-career researchers (defined as within 10 years of award of PhD) working on British political history, broadly-defined, since 1945. Scholars at other stages of their careers, and those working in related fields (eg archives, heritage, think-tanks) with relevant interests are, however, very welcome to apply.

Full or partial travel bursaries will be available to early-career scholars travelling from outside London. Please contact Dr McCarthy for more information.

Event Link: