All LUP journal content free for Open Access Week!

Posted on October 25, 2016 by Chloe Johnson

Free access to all Liverpool University Press journals content during Open Access Week 2016

Liverpool University Press is the UK's third oldest university press and one of its fastest growing publishers in the humanities and social sciences. LUP has an illustrious history of publishing exceptional research – including the work of Nobel Prize winners. Since its 2004 relaunch, LUP has expanded rapidly and now publishes around 80 books and 28 journals each year. In 2015, the Press won both The IPG Frankfurt Book Fair Academic and Professional Publisher of the Year and The Bookseller Independent Academic, Educational and Professional Publisher of the Year awards.

Content will be freely available across all subject areas, including: languages, literature, history, screen and media studies, visual culture, and planning. This varied collection ranges from over 90 years’ worth of Bulletin of Hispanic Studies to pioneering young titles such as Science Fiction Film and Television and Music, Sound and the Moving Image, and from over 100 years of Town Planning Review to its latest journals Quaker Studies, Studia Hibernica, and Journal of Romance Studies (2017).

LUP will not only be showcasing the richness and diversity of its journals publishing programme, but will also celebrate the press’ distinguished heritage with free access to its premium backfiles.

Content is available until midnight on Sunday 30th October simply by visiting, with no further setup required.

Follow us on Twitter/Instagram: @LivUniPress

#OAWeek2016 #OpenAccessWeek

Continue reading →

Town Planning Review sponsors EU Referendum roundtable at the UK and Ireland Planning Conference

Posted on October 19, 2016 by Chloe Johnson

Debating the Consequences of the EU Referendum Result for the Environment, Regeneration and Planning

Heseltine Institute Policy Impact Fellow and TPR editor, Dr. Olivier Sykes recently took part in a roundtable at the UK and Ireland Planning Research Conference held in Cardiff which addressed the theme of ‘The EU referendum – what just happened? Tracing the implications for planning and the environment’. Drawing on work undertaken during the EU referendum campaign which examined the decisive contribution that EU regional and structural fund investment has made to the regeneration of UK cities and regions, he joined a panel which included Trudi Elliott CBE (Chief Executive of the Royal Town Planning Institute), Gareth Clubb (Chief Executive, Plaid Cymru) and Dr. Joanne Hunt (Cardiff Law School). The discussion considered the implications of what a UK so-called ‘Brexit’ from the European Union might mean.

Key issues discussed included the role that EU legislation has played in improving the environment in Wales and the rest of the UK by providing strong environmental laws which can be used to compel polluters to improve their environmental practices. The current ‘flux’ in the UK government was also discussed with a view that in a confused rudderless situation civil servants may be more receptive to new ideas and thinking. But there was agreement that this seemed small consolation compared to the loss of certainty for environmental standards and targeted investment from EU Structural Funds on poorer communities which any UK departure from the EU would entail. There was also discussion on the panel and in the room of the implications of the way the referendum was conducted for the use of expert knowledge in society and some soul-searching about the public utility of academic research if its value is to be downplayed and decried in public debates.

The roundtable was sponsored by Town Planning Review, the world’s first academic journal dedicated to study and reflection on town planning, which celebrated its centenary in 2010. The journal has always had an international outlook which will be strongly maintained regardless of the aftermath of the EU referendum.

Continue reading →

Author Insights - Tara Martin López

Posted on October 05, 2016 by Heather Gallagher

This month, The Winter of Discontent by Tara Martin López is our chosen #FreeReadFriday title. Learn more about the book below through our chat with the author, before it's available to download free this Friday (7th of October).


Tara Martin López

 Tara Martin López is Professor of Sociology at Peninsula College.*


1. What prompted you to write this book?

I first heard of the Winter of Discontent when discussing politics with a British friend who continually referred to how bad things were in 1979 when trade unions were supposedly “out of control.” According to him Margaret Thatcher intervened and brought Britain out of a socialist mire. I was amazed not only that a person born in 1980 would have such a potent memory of the event, but also that it was a touchstone of his conversations decades later. He also used this series of events as a political cudgel against the Labour movement and social democracy. My interest was immediately piqued, and I sought to work under historian Sheila Rowbotham at the University of Manchester to write my Ph.D. thesis on the topic. After finishing my Ph.D., I was awarded fellowships from both the Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust and the Lipman-Miliband Trust, which allowed me to expand my research.

As I was completing this work, a series called “Studies in Labour History” appeared at Liverpool University Press. I thought my work would be a perfect match for that series. I was elated when LUP accepted my proposal because it gave me the opportunity to share research on an extremely important topic with a broader audience.

2. What is the main argument of the book?

I argue that Conservative and Labour Party politics were primarily responsible for the particular contours of the myth of the Winter of Discontent. Many politicians like Margaret Thatcher effectively used the Winter of Discontent as a symbol of the “bad old days of socialism” to warn British voters away from electing Labour for more than a decade. However, while this dominant image of the Winter of Discontent arose out of a very real sense of chaos and crisis in the late 1970s, I demonstrate that the mythical resonance of these experiences only developed after the series of strikes had been resolved. Furthermore, I assert that instead of a fratricidal act, rank-and-file activists and local trade union leaders were engaged in activism that was hoping to address declining real wages and shifts in the ideological, gender, and racial composition of the trade union movement and the Labour Party. This series of strikes must also be seen in the context of evolving social movements such as the New Left and the Women’s Movement. I contend that the memories of local trade union leaders and grassroots activists involved in the strikes challenge the grim implications of the myth of the Winter of Discontent. More specifically, among some of the female trade unionists, the strikes of 1978-79 provided a transformative inroad into broader activism in the Labour movement for years to come. Finally, I assert that the different rememberings of the Winter of Discontent have distinctly shaped participants’ political identities, which, in turn, helped to reconfigure the political landscape of the Left decades later.

3. Why do you think the roles of female and black activists during the strikes have been largely ignored in the past?

I think the primary reasons lie in traditions of historical scholarship, limitations in archival material, and the gendered nature of the myth of the Winter of Discontent.

Unfortunately, the absence of these women and black activists has been part of the long tradition of erasing the contributions of women, people of color, and especially women of color, from the historical narrative. Labour historians’ emphasis on social class, in particular, tended to sideline equally important issues of gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality. However, I had the privilege of researching at a time where the works of people like Sheila Rowbotham, Ava Baron, and Paul Gilroy had begun to open new lines of inquiry into these areas.

Previous accounts of the time period also privileged the perspectives of politicians and male trade unionists. By relying heavily on the biographies of Conservative and Labour politicians as primary sources, for example, by and large, perspectives were limited to those of white, middle to upper class, men. Newspapers, on the other hand, provided a broader spectrum of perspectives, including those of black activists and women, but still the coverage did not explore how and why these individuals became politically active. That is why it was so important for me to conduct oral histories with both women and men involved in these strikes. These oral histories, therefore, provided essential insight into the perspectives of women and black activists that were ignored for so long.

Finally, the absence of female activists, in particular, served a political agenda. A key element of this myth was that Margaret Thatcher was the one leader tough enough to stand up to the “trade union bully boys” who had crippled Britain during the 1970s. Politically, the potency of that dichotomous image would have been undermined if the historical reality of working class women as striking trade unionists had been brought to the fore.

4. Why do you think the myths surrounding the ‘greedy’ workers during the Winter of Discontent became so embedded?

The particular nature of the strikes, and, again, politics, played a key role in perpetuating this myth of “greedy” workers during the Winter of Discontent.

With the rise of the service sector in the UK during the 1970s, which coincided with the growth of female employment in these jobs, strikes were no longer just factory stoppages. For instance, care assistants for the elderly and the disabled were tasked with taking strike action during the Winter of Discontent without hurting the people they served. The oral histories reveal the creative ways people took action, like not doing a patient’s hair one day, but still providing essential care. Nonetheless, such strikes, especially in the NHS, provoked particular ire in the media. Headlines in The Daily Mail read “Target for Today - Sick Children” or “Patients Sent Home - Some Will Die.” I think the strikes of junior doctors in the NHS this year demonstrate the continued struggle such workers have in regards to addressing issues of workplace justice while providing essential care.

I further demonstrate that both Conservative and Labour Party politicians were instrumental in embedding the negative image of workers in popular memory. The Conservative Party, along with major media outlets like The Sun, not only evoked images of the Winter of Discontent and conniving workers in the 1979 General Election, but in subsequent General Elections, as symbols of Labour incompetence. Ironically, New Labour leaders subsequently used the same images to reinvent the party by telling voters that it was no longer the “party of the Winter of Discontent” that had been besieged by so called “greedy workers” in the late 1970s and early 1980s.


You can download The Winter of Discontent ebook free on Friday 7th of October using code FreeReadFriday at the checkout. See our blog for more instructions. 


Follow us for more updates
 @LivUniPress  |  #FreeReadFriday  |   Instagram


*Photo by Emma Jones

Continue reading →

Free Read Friday - The Winter of Discontent

Posted on October 05, 2016 by Heather Gallagher

Free Read Friday is back with a wonderful book from our Studies in Labour History series. Download the ebook free this Friday only!


Winter of Discontent

The Winter of Discontent

Myth, Memory and History

by Tara Martin López


In the midst of the freezing winter of 1978–79, more than 2,000 strikes, infamously coined the “Winter of Discontent,” erupted across Britain as workers rejected the then Labour Government’s attempts to curtail wage increases with an incomes policy. Labour’s subsequent electoral defeat at the hands of the Conservative Party under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher ushered in an era of unprecedented political, economic, and social change for Britain. A potent social myth also quickly developed around the Winter of Discontent, one where “bloody-minded” and “greedy” workers brought down a sympathetic government and supposedly invited the ravages of Thatcherism upon the British labour movement. 'The Winter of Discontent' provides a re-examination of this crucial series of events in British history by charting the construction of the myth of the Winter of Discontent. Highlighting key strikes and bringing forward the previously-ignored experiences of female, black, and Asian rank-and-file workers alongside local trade union leaders, the author places their experiences within a broader constellation of trade union, Labour Party, and Conservative Party changes in the 1970s, showing how striking workers’ motivations become much more textured and complex than the “bloody-minded” or “greedy” labels imply. The author further illustrates that participants’ memories represent a powerful force of “counter-memory,” which for some participants, frame the Winter of Discontent as a positive and transformative series of events, especially for the growing number of female activists. Overall, this fascinating book illuminates the nuanced contours of myth, memory, and history of the Winter of Discontent.
The most comprehensive, balanced and persuasive analysis of the Winter of Discontent so far available.
Pat Thane King's College London

The book makes possible a significantly more nuanced understanding, both of the ‘lived experience’ of those who participated in industrial action and of the dire economic conditions from which the strikes emerged. The result is a valuable contribution to the scholarly literature on the 1970s.
Robert Saunders Twentieth Century British History

Utilising a number of previously unseen sources, especially some stimulating and thought-provoking interviews with a number of those who participated on various sides of the 1978/9 industrial disputes, the study provides an important addition to the ever-growing historiography of late-twentieth-century British political history.
Andrew Edwards Labour History Review

An important book of considerable scholarship and historical technique, offering valuable alternative perspectives and significant insights into the industrial unrest of the British ‘winter of discontent’.
John Shepherd University of Huddersfield

Follow the instructions below to begin the download of your Free Read Friday title or check out Tara's author insights for more information behind the book. 


How to download The Winter of Discontent by Tara Martin López:

  1. Go to our website: 
  2. Select ‘ADD TO CART’
  3. Follow to your cart and click ‘CHECKOUT’
  4. Fill out your customer details
  5. Click to enter your discount code FreeReadFriday and click ‘APPLY’
  6. Press continue to complete your order, your account will not be charged.
  7. If you do not already have Adobe Digital Editions, you’ll need to download this (also for free!) here:
  8. Select your chosen download for either Macintosh or Windows
  9. Save, Open, Run and follow the prompts through to installation. It is not necessary to create home shortcuts for this programme but ensure that you tick ‘Associate .acsm and .epub file types’
  10. Closing the installer once setup is complete will open the programme
  11. From here, simply go to File > Add to Library > then select your download of The Winter of Discontent to begin reading
  12. Enjoy! 


Check our twitter for updates on the next #FreeReadFriday as well as LUP news and new books published. 


@LivUniPress  |  #FreeReadFriday  |   Instagram


Previous #FreeReadFriday titles have included:

-The Reinvention of Mexico by Gavin O'Toole

-The ‘Natural Leaders’ and their World by Jonathan Jeffrey Wright

-Sacred Modernity by Tariq Jazeel

-London Underground by David Ashford

-Zachary Macaulay 1768-1838 by Iain Whyte

-Language and Literary Form in French Caribbean Writing by Celia Britton

-Labour and the Caucus by James Owen

-Assia Djebar: Out of Algeria by Jane Hiddleston

-The Politics of Memoir and the Northern Ireland Ireland Conflict by Stephen Hopkins

-The Time Machines: The Story of the Science-Fiction Pulp Magazines from the Beginning to 1950 by Mike Ashley

Continue reading →

Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies - Call for Papers

Posted on September 30, 2016 by Chloe Johnson
Special issue: The Intersections of Disability and Science Fiction
Guest editors: Ria Cheyne (Disability and Education, Liverpool Hope University) and Kathryn Allan (Independent Scholar, Canada)

“No other literary genre comes close to articulating the anxieties and preoccupations of the present day as clearly and critically as SF, making it a vital source of understanding advances in technology and its impact on newly emerging embodiments and subjectivities, particularly for people with disabilities.”
--Kathryn Allan, Disability in Science Fiction

Reflecting the status of science fiction as a genre that spans multiple mediums and audiences, this special issue of JLCDS seeks articles that explore the intersection(s) of science fiction, disability, and disability studies. What possibilities might science fiction or science fiction theory offer to disability activists and the field of disability studies? How might disability theory, or a disability-informed approach, enrich or transform our understanding of science fiction as a genre or as a mode of thought?  

Topics might include, but are not limited to:
●    Representations of disability in science fiction literature, comics/graphic novels, film, art, music, video games, or television, and their implications for our understanding of genre and/or disability.
●    Science fiction fan culture (including conventions, fanfic and other forms of fan production).
●    Science fiction and prosthesis.
●    Science fiction and eugenics/genetic engineering.
●    Science fiction and the posthuman.
●    Accessibility and science fiction environments.
●    The political and ethical consequences of imagining future worlds with or without disability.
●    The figure of the alien or cyborg in science fiction and/or disability theory.
●    Disability and queerness in science fiction.
●    Disability and indigenous futures in science fiction.
●    Science fiction, disability, and medical humanities.
●    The influence of disability activism on professional or fan-based science fiction production.

Submissions that consider how disability intersects with other identity categories are particularly encouraged. The guest editors welcome contributions from independent scholars.  
Please email a 500 word proposal to and by March 15, 2017. Contributors can expect to be notified by April 26, 2017. Full drafts of the selected articles will be due by December 6, 2017. Please direct any questions to either guest editor.

Continue reading →

Scroll to top