Monthly Archives: April 2017

The Making of “Four Fishermen, Orson Welles, and the Making of the Brazilian Northeast”

By Dr. Courtney Campbell, University of Birmingham I write this blog post five years to the day from arriving in Fortaleza, Brazil to carry out research. The research from that trip would lead to my article Four Fishermen, Orson Welles, and the Making of the Brazilian Northeast about fishermen who protested their labour conditions by travelling sixty-one days by sail-raft from the city of Fortaleza to Rio de Janeiro and the movie that Orson Welles attempted to make about them (published in Past and Present’s February 2017 issue). I was in the Northeast in 2012 to carry out research on regionalism in the Brazilian Northeast, with a particular interest in how discourse about the region formed during international events. I had lived in Recife, the capital city of the northeastern state of Pernambuco, from 2003 to 2008. My personal connection with Recife melded with the already Recife-centric regionalist movement, making it all too comfortable to repeat the same narrative that assumed that Recife represented the entire region. I aimed, with my trip to Fortaleza (as well as to Natal, João Pessoa, São Luiz, and Salvador), to find stories of northeastern regional identity on the margins of an already marginalised region. […]

The Thompson-Davis Letters

By the Past & Present editorial team We are delighted to tell (and show you a snippet) of a historiographical feature we are running in the forthcoming issue (No. 235). In the spring of 1970 Natalie Zemon Davis posted E.P. Thompson a draft of the paper that became “The Reasons of Misrule: Youth Groups and Charivaris in Sixteenth-Century France”. Enthused upon receipt of the paper, and sensing synergies with his own work on 18th Century England; Thompson wrote back and the pair continued to correspond for the next couple of years about their respective projects. Davis was recently kind enough to allow Past & Present to view and the reproduce the letters for our readers. We are sure that you will as excited to read them as we were. For now though, here’s a snippet. In addition to showing the thought processes, concerns and working practices of two of the Twentieth Century’s most eminent historical scholars, it also provides a tantalising glimpse into what our co-editor Prof. Alexandra Walsham describes as “a vanishing republic of letters”. Granting us a fascinating snapshot of scholarly work and scholarly communication in an age before personal computing and ubiquitous digital networked communication. Letter 4: […]