12 June 2017

Dr Katrina Navickas, Reader in History at the University of Hertfordshire, explores the history of British protests in a new anthology of short stories, Protest, Stories of Resistance, to be published on 6 July 2017 by Comma Press.

The new anthology celebrates the often overlooked history of British protest; bringing together authors, academics, and witnesses to create fictional stories true to history.

Brexit, Trump, Black Lives Matter – political causes are once more stirring people across the UK to stand up and fight for what they believe in. But British people have been taking to the streets, the picket lines and the battlegrounds for centuries.

It may not be a history taught in classrooms, but Britain has a great tradition of protesting; indeed, often only real political progress has come from people power movements. Some have succeeded, like the pubcrawl protesters of Smethwick who helped put an end to colour bars and enforce new equal rights laws; others have fought battles that have still to be won fully, like the Night Cleaners of the early 70s, fighting for their rights to fair and safe working conditions.

Protest: Stories of Resistance asks 20 leading authors such as Kit de Waal, Alexei Sayle and Frank Cottrell Boyce to bring crucial moments of British protest to life, through specially commissioned stories written in partnership with experts on each protest - historians, sociologists and in some cases activists - who have also provided historical afterwords to each of the stories. Together, they provide fictional and non-fictional insights into defining moments in Britain's 'other' history, its people's history.

Dr Katrina Navickas has contributed to the chapter, ‘Lydia’, by Andrew Hedgecock which explores the Luddite movement and the Pentrich armed uprising in the East Midlands which occurred exactly 200 years ago this month.

Dr Katrina Navickas said: ‘I’m honoured to be one of the historians consulted for this fabulous volume of imaginative ways of bringing history to life through short stories by such renowned authors.’