EP Thompson at 100: History, Law, Politics

old man in political rally with microphone
EP Thompson at 1980 protest rally (cropped) - Image Kim Traynor on Wikipedia CC BY-SA 4.0

EP Thompson (1924-1993) was one of the great British historians of the past century. His work reshaped our thinking about the relationship between law and society. His classic texts, such as The Making of the English Working Class and Whigs and Hunters not only transformed eighteenth- and nineteenth-century English history, but pioneered methods and approaches that continue to influence social, political, and legal historians around the world. Through his political activism, particularly in the field of nuclear disarmament, his was the voice—passionate, committed, sophisticated, uncompromising—of a generation of public intellectuals.

In the year of the centenary of his birth, we take this opportunity to consider, to celebrate, and to interrogate a variety of aspects of his scholarly and political legacy, ranging from his approach to the rule of law to his prophetic critique of the university. To what extent are we still the beneficiaries of EP Thompson’s legacy?

All welcome. Morning tea and lunch will be provided.

This event is organised by the Network for Law Arts and Humanities (ANU College of Law) and History Co-Lab (ANU School of History).

Confirmed speakers:

Professor Des Manderson (Centre for Law Arts and Humanities, ANU)

Emeritus Professor Ann Curthoys (University of Sydney)

Professor Martin Krygier (University of NSW)

Emeritus Professor Will Christie (former director, Cross-Cultural Research Centre ANU)

Emeritus Professor Iain McCalman (foundation director, Cross-Cultural Research Centre ANU)

Dr Tom Richardson (University of NSW Canberra)

Professor Margaret Thornton (ANU College of Law)

Dr Rhianne Grieve (School of History, ANU)

Dr Wanshu Cong (ANU College of Law)

Emeritus Professor Paul Pickering (former director, Australian Studies Insitute, ANU)

(Program in the PDF below).

Scholars and students of law, politics, and history are welcome to attend. We particularly encourage HDR students and ECRs with interest in legal history, law and society, peace studies, and nineteenth-century British history. To register, follow the link.

Date & time

Fri 09 Aug 2024, 9am–1.30pm


ANU College of Law Moot Courts


School of History


Frank Bongiorno / Desmond Manderson


Updated:  17 July 2024/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications