‘84/’85: The Miners’ Strike
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|154525||‘84/’85: The Miners’ Strike||2 HS||Do 10:15 - 11:45||R. 3.306||Piskurek|
Although it happened more than thirty years ago, memories of the ‘84/’85 miners' strike are still vivid in the North of Britain: on both sides of the struggle (the striking miners and trade union members, as well as strikebreakers and the police), contemporary witnesses still testify that what started as another case of industrial action brought the UK to the brink of civil war. In 2013, foreign audiences were at a loss when the pictures of whole communities and mining villages celebrating the death of Margaret Thatcher were broadcast; this showed that Thatcher's battle with the trade unions is still regarded as the event which characterizes her decade of governing (and dividing) Britain more than any other.
In this seminar, we will explore the historical context of the strike, discuss the ideological groundwork that came to define Thatcherism, and look at a huge variety of representations of the miners and their strike. This will include documentaries by Ken Loach and Jeremy Deller, song lyrics by Billy Bragg and Attila the Stockbroker, novels like David Peace’s GB84 and films like Matthew Warchus’s Pride.
Given the Ruhrgebiet's mining history, this seminar should be of special interest to students of this university. Projects comparing British and German mining cultures are encouraged.
Course requirements will be discussed in the first session.
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