I emerged after a long day in the soundproofed cabins at the back of the reading room in the onetime Institute of Marxism-Leninism, which pieces of black sticky tape now proclaimed as the ‘Institute of the Labour Movement’. It was spring 1990 and I was in East Berlin, as one of the first western researchers into the German Democratic Republic.
The History Manifesto is an attempt by its authors to emphasize, perhaps, even, reimagine, the important function that historians might perform in the 21st century. It is at once a diagnosis of the field’s missteps, as the authors characterize them, and a prognosis that implores historians to reclaim their rightful place in international governance and…
Women’s History in the Digital World 2015, the second conference of The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education, will be held on the campus of Bryn Mawr College on May 21-22.
We aim to bring together experts, novices, and all those in between to share insights, lessons, and resources for the many projects emerging at the crossroads of history, the digital humanities, and women’s and gender studies. Continuing a conversation begun at our inaugural meeting in 201… »
What does it mean to do British studies today? Modern British Studies at Birmingham was launched in February 2014 to explore new and interdisciplinary ways of thinking about British society, culture, politics, and the economy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will host our first international conference on 2-3 July 2015, and now invite scholars working…
By Benjamin Wilkie in Cultural History and Economic History. By examining the commercial and migratory connections forged between Australia and Scotland between the wars, this article extends discussions of the relationship between the Empire and the
When Dr. William Levingston came to town, he arrived wearing a silk hat and peddling a cure for one of his age’s most terrifying ailments: uncontrollable growth. At $25, the cost was steep for the farmers and tradesmen of the rural countryside where Levingston did most of his huckstering.
By Rachel A. Snell Between 1835 and 1870, Sarah L. Weld of Cambridge, Massachusetts collected twenty-three recipes for gingerbread. This repetition of recipes, particularly recipes for baked goods, was not uncommon in nineteenth-century recipe collections. In fact, it was the … Continue reading →
This essay explores H.G. Wells’s attempts to reform the teaching of history between the two World Wars. Holding history teachers largely responsible for creating the mood of bellicose nationalism that made the First World War possible, Wells concluded that only a fundamentally reformed history education would ensure the survival of the human species. He pressed for a global history, to be taught in all the world’s schools, that began with the origins of the universe and ended with the … »
As a part of the History of Working- Class Marriage project, my PhD research is investigating the effects of marriage and family life on children in Scotland between 1920 and 1970. At this point in time there is no comprehensive history of childhood experiences in Scotland, and very little existing information on the experiences of children growing up in different family forms and circumstances. ‘Family breakdown’ is something that we are hearing more and more about, and there is increasing pol… »
When I describe my research project to other scholars–often in a conference setting–I am reminded that it is difficult for the study of a single province to speak for all of South Vietnam. Some simply consider a province study as hardly representative of anything outside the province. Making the connection between one province out of forty-four and the rest of the country is a challenge, yet far from impossible. Think about the other studies of the Vietnam War and the sources used. In Working-C… »
At times, the History Manifesto feels like the call-to-arms it claims to be: a passionate and enthusiastic case for the relevance of the past. It is refreshing to read a work which takes on big, important, political questions and makes the case that the interventions of historians matter. The notion that anyone thinking seriously about…
The following is a guest post from Keisha N. Blain, an historian of the 20th c. United States with broad interdisciplinary interests and specializations in African American History, the modern African Diaspora, and Women’s and Gender Studies. She completed a B.A. (Magna Cum Laude; Phi Beta Kappa) in History and Africana Studies from Binghamton University (SUNY) and a Ph.D. in History from Princeton University. She is currently a postdoctoral research fellow in the Africana Research Center (ARC)… »
This post comes out of my experiences this fall teaching a senior seminar on “Writing Recent History” (which my students are finding especially challenging), and thinking about what that might mean in the Mormon context. And it’s also prompted by something that Laurel Thatcher Ulrich said about Claudia Bushman at the Exponent II 40th celebration last month that caught my ear and which I’ve been thinking about ever since. Laurel said that one of the motivations for starting the journal was Claud… »
By Jordan Taitel As a doula, I have the privilege of attending other women’s labors and deliveries. Recently I attended a delivery assisted by a midwife at a large-scale hospital. The midwife and the nursing staff supported the fearless mama as she labored away in a large room with a wall of windows looking out on a beautiful river. The room was decorated with pretty pictures of flowers and soothing paint tones. Most of the medical equipment remained hidden in easy-access drawers. Everything in… »
Connected Histories of Decolonisation
A two-day workshop organised by the Institute of Commonwealth Studies in conjunction with the Centre for European and International Studies Research at the University of Portsmouth and King’s College London
The Senate Room, Senate House (First Floor)
Register for this event online at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies website.
Thursday 13th November 2014
11-11.30: Coffee and welcome
11.30-13.00: Panel 1 – Creating spaces, connections and net… »
Remember, remember! The fifth of November Gunpowder, treason and plot. I see no reason Why the gunpowder treason Should ever be forgot! Versions of this rhyme have been chanted in the UK for centuries…
By Stephen Vider
Can the home be queered, or has the home been queer all along? This was the question I posed earlier this month as the organizer of The Queerness of Home: Intimacy, Normativity, Domesticity. The symposium, hosted by the Yale Research Initiative on the History of Sexualities, brought together three scholars for a public panel and discussion: Deborah Cohen, Peter B. Ritzma Professor of the Humanities and Professor of History at Northwestern University; Marlon M. Bailey, Associa… »
While The History Manifesto is a welcome reminder of the duty of historians to speak beyond the academy – a duty that has in the past been too easily neglected – there is a risk that the approaches outlined by Guldi and Armitage risks underselling the contribution that historians can make. Others have written about…
In 1698 a painter and his wife, William Seeks and Mary Brittell, appeared in court in central London. The crime for which they stood before the Middlesex Sessions in the borough of Clerkenwell was to have sent their nine-year-old daughter out of the country to be educated in a convent in France.
The fifth of November is not just an excuse to marvel at sparklers, fireworks, and effigies; it is part of a national tradition that is based on one of the most famous moments in British political history. The Gunpowder Plot itself was actually foiled on the night of Monday 4 November, 1605. However, throughout the following day, Londoners were asked to light bonfires in order to celebrate the failure of the assassination attempt on King James I of England.
This is the third of three posts surveying the London Catholic community at the time of the Gunpowder Plot. View the first here and the second here.
Yesterday we discovered that records of fluctuating levels of persecution might in fact provide us with more information about shifting international relations and official anxieties than changing levels of commitment to Catholicism. In this final post I use more qualitative data in an attempt to flesh out our understanding of the Ca… »
Jo Guldi and David Armitage’s The History Manifesto was published in autumn 2014 by Cambridge University Press. Polemical and forceful, it is a ‘call to arms to historians and everyone interested in the role of history in contemporary society’. Guldi and Armitage argue that historians should think big – addressing long-term processes of historical change,…
19th-century prostitutes champion, Josephine Butler, has lessons for how society needs to change its attitude to todays abused young woman, a new biography says
The death of a child would destroy most people, but the tragedy acted as an inspiration for the Victorian reformer Josephine Butler (pictured below). In the years following her five-year-old daughter Evas death, in 1864, the Northumberland aristocrat, who was related to the former prime minister Earl Grey, began to search the streets, … »
There is plenty to admire in The History Manifesto. In our uncertain times, Guldi and Armitage’s call for historians to ‘speak truth to power’ and intervene in public debates about society, the economy, and the environment, is both an ethical and a political imperative. While few would disagree with this, the Manifesto’s vision of the…
On the eve of Gough Whitlam’s memorial service, Guy Betts reminds us of Whitlam’s respect for the historical perspective.
One of the treasures of the Whitlam Institute’s collection is a remarkable series of school reports. These school reports comment on Gough Whitlam’s character and his intellectual development from the age of seven.
In them, we can see evidence that Whitlam’s passion for history began very early. The young Gough Whitlam rose to the top of his class in history. Commenting on… »
When you exit the Tiananman West subway station in Beijing and walk north for ten minutes you arrive at an intersection. If you go left and proceed one hundred meters you reach a gate of Zhongnanhai, the compound where the top Chinese leaders live and work, just to the west Forbidden City. If, instead, you turn right at the intersection and walk one hundred meters, as I have done for much of the past year, you arrive at the west gate of the Forbidden City, home to the First Historical Archives … »
1. SUSAN SONTAG’S ESSAY “Against Interpretation” is best known for its concluding pocket-sized maxim: “In place of a hermeneutics we need an erotics of art.” The setup for that declaration is a repetitive series of complaints about the “sheer multiplication,” “excess,”…
By Carrie Hamilton
In late 1960, not quite two years after the revolutionary victory of 1959, two young Cuban filmmakers, Sabá Cabrera Infante and Orlando Jiménez Leal, set out with a handheld camera, a small recording device and a limited supply of film to record shots of Havana nightlife. The result was P.M., an experimental black-and-white film of under 15 minutes, featuring working-class revelers drinking and dancing in the city’s popular bars. Hardly, one might think, the makings of a sub… »
Every month we carefully track the most popular and significant environmental history articles, videos, audio, and other items making their way through the online environmental history (#envhist) community. Also check out the second installment of our monthly #EnvHist Worth Reading videos above. Here are our choices for items most worth reading from October 2014.
1. Harold Fisk’s Incredible Maps Track the Ghosts of the Mississippi
Harold Fisk was a cartographer who was commissioned by US Army … »
This is the second of three posts surveying the London Catholic community around the time of the Gunpowder Plot. View the first here.
Recusant roll entries can give details about social status.
Having established that there were lots of missionary priests about in Jacobethan London, my question today is: how much of an appetite was there for what Catholics were selling? We are fortunate in that recusant rolls survive for Middlesex from 1603-1625, so these provide part of an an… »
Exeter’s Centre for Imperial and Global History launches a new, free online course.
We are delighted to announce that, starting in January 2015, we will be running a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the history of the British Empire.
The British Empire was the largest empire ever seen. It ruled over a quarter of the world’s population and paved the way for today’s global economy. But British imperialism isn’t without controversy, and it continues to cause enormous disagreement among histo… »
Citizen scientists report on weather and other natural phenomena. Is there a parallel for the collection of historical data? Photo credit: wienotfilms
A while ago I received an e-mail from SciStarter. I had signed up on its Web site to look for research opportunities where I live. No, I wasn’t searching for a chance to do a report on the history of science but rather to see what science research projects needed help in my area. Let me step back a bit and explain.
My employer–the Forest Preser… »
When I was an undergraduate there was a sign in the disability office at my university which proclaimed ‘Disability= Ability’. I hated it. For me, being dyslexic was not an ability but a frustration and something that set me apart from my peers. To a certain extent I still feel that way, a feeling not helped when people say dyslexia doesn’t exist.
More recently, though, I’ve started to reconsider what it means to be a dyslexic academic. I don’t see being dyslexic as wholly negative anymore. I … »
“The Hudson’s Bay Territories and Vancouver’s Island; with an exposition of the chartered rights, conduct and policy of the Hudson’s Bay Corporation”
A little under a year ago the British Library released over a million images on Flickr Commons “for anyone to use, remix and repurpose”. This huge collection of historical images was “plucked from the pages” of digitized 17th, 18th and 19th century books automatically using the “Mechanical Curator,” created by the British Library Labs project. Th… »
The other day my lovely wife returned from checking the mail and said to me – “Hey, you got something addressed to “Professor” Keith Harris.” This usually means Almae Matres or various historical societies are looking for donations. But this time things were different. It was a book. My book.
Yes friends at long last my book, Across the Bloody Chasm: The Culture of Commemoration among Civil War Veterans has taken physical form.
It’s currently available for preorder from Louisiana State Univer… »