'Photography and the Working Class in the 1950s'
Fri, September 13, 2013 • 2:45 PM - 4:30 PM • Tom Lea Rooms, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center 3.206
Stephen Brooke (York University, Toronto)
In the 1950s the photographer Roger Mayne took 1,400 photographs of Southam Street, a small street in London between the rail line west of Paddington and northeast of the Portobello market. A contemporary novelist described the district as ‘crazy little islands of slum habitation’ in affluent postwar London. Mayne’s photographs are now sometimes viewed with a nostalgia for a lost working-class world. In fact the photographs provide a visual chronicle of the dynamic changes in postwar London including the emergence of the ‘teenager’, the growth of multiracial communities, and above all the continuing vibrancy of working-class identity.
Stephen Brooke is Professor of history at York University, Toronto. He is the author of Labour’s War (1992), and Sexual Politics: Sexuality, Family Planning and the British Left from the 1880s to the Present Day (2011). His articles have appeared in Past and Present and the American Historical Review. He was editor of Twentieth-Century British History 2004-11.