Protest and Social Activism

From eBooks and the digitally exclusive A Cultural History series, to digitised museum objects and specially commissioned teaching and learning tools, this featured content is your gateway into the study of protest and activism through the ages.

Image showing activists in Kolkata, India, 2019 (The International LGBT Rights Movement)

A History of the International LGBT Rights Movement

During the past three decades, the international lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights movement has made significant advances, but millions of LGBT people continue to live in fear in nations where homosexuality remains illegal. With a global scope, The International LGBT Rights Movement (2021) offers a comprehensive account of this global force, from its origins in the early 1970s to its crucial place in world affairs today. In this chapter, Laura A. Belmonte looks back at the origins of the international LGBT rights movement. While formal organizations aimed at securing LGBT political and legal equality were rare prior to World War II, there were transnational dimensions of LGBT advocacy long before then.

Image Showing Student Demonstrations, 1919 (Wikimedia Commons)

Protest and Revolution in Modern World History

Culture change plays a considerable role in modern protest and revolution. It helps explain why major movements develop in the first place. Indeed, historians have begun to place greater emphasis on the significance of culture change in causing major upheavals, having previously granted greater weight to more objective social and economic factors. Revolutions also typically cause further culture change; this facet became more important with the great revolutions of the twentieth century, particularly those—like Russia’s and China’s—that ultimately came under predominant Marxist influence. This chapter from Cultural Change in Modern World History (2019) explores two major revolutionary cases—the French in the late eighteenth century, and the Chinese in the twentieth century.

This image shows a demonstration (Pixabay).

A Cultural History of Democracy

Brand new to the Bloomsbury Cultural History platform, the digitally exclusive multivolume reference work A Cultural History of Democracy (2021), illustrates the physical, social and cultural contexts of democracy in Western culture from antiquity to the present. In a work that spans 2,500 years the fundamental concepts of democracy, conflict and protest are addressed by 66 experts, each contributing their overview of a theme applied to a period in history. This chapter from A Cultural History of Democracy in the Middle Ages addresses Revolutions and Civil Resistance.

This image shows Flora Drummond and Phyllis Ayrton campaigning, 1918. (Alamy Images).

Women Activists between War and Peace

In Women Activists between War and Peace (2019), employs a comparative approach in exploring women's political and social activism across the European continent in the years that followed the First World War. It brings together leading scholars in the field to discuss the contribution of women's movements in, and individual female activists from, Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Russia and the United States, alongside a timeline and illustrations, with a useful guide to further reading. This chapter brings together four case studies to examine political and popular forms of media and exchange written by and about women in the immediate post-war period, with a particular focus on Hungary, Britain and the United States.
This image BLM Protest (Pixabay).

Subject Guides and Teaching Resources

Guiding users through the wealth of content available on Bloomsbury Cultural History, our exclusive and specially-commissioned research and learning tools (2019)are designed with teachers, students, and researchers in mind. Our goal is to provide solutions to support digital learning, teaching, and course-building across a variety of disciplines. Subject Guides provide users with simple shortcuts to help them find key material across a number of topics, while Lesson Plans provide links to additional reading, discussion topics, and homework, with links that can be added to a course syllabus or reading list. From Lesson Plans on Freedom, and War and Peace, and Subject Guides exploring Protest and Social Activism, and Race and Ethnicity, click here to explore the collection.
This image shows Frances Power Cobbe, 1894 (© Wellcome Collection).

Discover Bloomsbury Cultural History’s Digitised Image Collections

Bloomsbury Cultural History provides access to carefully curated collections of digitised museum objects (2019) from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Rijksmuseum, and the Wellcome Collection. These rich and extensive digitized image collections provide a unique and invaluable pathway for students, researchers and instructors to explore the material history of objects from around the globe. This photograph shows Frances Power Cobbe, an Irish writer, social reformer, and suffragist, taken in 1894. She was founder of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, and was a member of the executive council of the London National Society for Women's Suffrage.