Thatcher and Thatcherism: New Critical Perspectives (CFP 21st October, Conference 19th-20th January)

Margaret Thatcher on TV, by R Barraez D´Lucca (Reproduced under CC BY-SA-2.0 licence).
Margaret Thatcher on TV, by R Barraez D´Lucca (Reproduced under CC BY-SA-2.0 licence).

With the advent of Britain’s second female Prime Minister, a timely conference will give researchers the chance to look back at the legacy of the first, Margaret Thatcher, and her influence on politics, popular culture and fiction. Proposals for papers are due by 21st October, with the conference itself taking place on 19th-20th January at Durham University. Keynote speakers will be
Dr Martin Farr (Newcastle University) and Sam Bowman (Adam Smith Institute)

Despite her death in 2013, Margaret Thatcher featured heavily in recent mainstream print and broadcast media coverage of the EU referendum debate. Archival footage of her campaigning in the 1975 referendum, negotiating with the European Community, and her infamous Bruges Speech were all included in various news programmes and documentaries on Europe. Following the referendum, an article in the Guardian claimed that Brexit marked the end of Thatcherism. By contrast, another article (in the same paper) hailed Brexit as the moment of Thatcherism’s resurgence. Following Theresa May’s move to Downing Street, multiple comparisons were made between Britain’s first female Prime Minister and its second, with Thatcher positioned as the original female leader. This is not uncommon: as Dr Farr will demonstrate in his keynote talk, female politicians across the world are compared to Thatcher to underline their conviction and leadership capability. It is almost 40 years since she became Prime Minister, but Margaret Thatcher remains prominent in both domestic and international politics. This conference invites researchers from across academic disciplines to share new critical perspectives on Thatcher, Thatcherism and the Conservative Party under her leadership.

Please submit abstracts of 250-300 words (for papers lasting 20 minutes) on topics which may include, though not exclusively, the following:

  • Conservative electoral success/decline under Thatcher
  • Influences on Thatcher(ism) (e.g. F.A. Hayek, Enoch Powell, Keith Joseph, Ferdinand Mount)
  • Margaret Thatcher’s influence on the Conservative Party since 1990
  • Representations of Margaret Thatcher and Thatcherism in theatre, film and popular culture
  • Thatcher and Europe
  • Thatcherism and contemporary fiction (1980-present)
  • Thatcherism and neoliberalism
  • Thatcher(ism) and the One Nation tradition
  • Margaret Thatcher’s oratory and discourse
  • Variations/influences of Thatcherism around the world.

Please include a biographical statement with your abstract, including your institutional affiliation. The Thatcher Network can provide travel funding for some PhD students: please indicate whether you would like to be considered for this funding when submitting your abstract. Speakers will also be invited to contribute their paper to an edited collection.

Please send abstracts to by Friday 21 st October 2016.

For more information: see and @ThatcherNetwork on Twitter.


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