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Birmingham Stories: local histories of migration and settlement and the practice of history

Myers, Kevin and Grosvenor, Ian (2011) Birmingham Stories: local histories of migration and settlement and the practice of history. Midland History, 36 (2). pp. 149-162. ISSN 0047-729X

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URL of Published Version: http://docserver.ingentaconnect.com/deliver/connect/maney/0047729x/v36n2/s2.pdf?expires=1330358855&id=67435954&titleid=75003502&accname=University+of+Birmingham&checksum=2F91A21548E67B28BF48E587BD9BCAA0

Identification Number/DOI: 10.1179/004772911X13074595848915

Over the last decade research on the history of ethnic minority migrant communities in Birmingham and the West Midlands has grown with investigations looking at postwar migration and settlement; ‘race’ thinking and racism; social movements and community activists; faith communities; national identity; issues of surveillance; the local state; public histories and narratives of the city; urban histories and sources; and visual evidence and history. Much of this research has been matched by the presentation of a sustained argument for new narratives of the city’s (and by implication the nation’s) history which recognizes that there is a need for a radical transformation of social memory in order to better reflect the cultural diversity and difference that is a part of everyday lived reality. This article aims to do two things: first to summarise research to date on the ethnic minority history of Birmingham and to locate it within a historiography that goes back to Eric Williams, Capitalism and Slavery (1938); and second to look at the nature of the historical practice associated with writing local histories of migration and settlement and by doing so to relate this practice to Edward Said’s (2003) idea of ‘communities of interpretation’ and the role of historians in contemporary society.

Type of Work:Article
Date:2011 (Publication)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Education and Social Justice
Additional Information:

This is an electronic postprint of an article whose final and definitive form has been published in
Midland History © 2011 Copyright Manley Publishing. Midland History is available online at:

Myers, Kevin and Ian Grosvenor. ‘Birmingham Stories: Local Histories of Migration and Settlement
and the Practice of History,' Midland History, 36: 2 (Autumn 2011): 149-162. DOI:

Keywords:historiography, migration, race, education, social justice, education and social justice
Subjects:L Education (General)
LA History of education
Institution:University of Birmingham
Copyright Holders:Maney Publishing
ID Code:1024
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