Monthly Archives: March 2019

Programme Released for Contested Minorities in the ‘New Europe’: National Identity from the Baltics to the Balkans, 1918-1939

Received from Dr. Samuel Foster (University of East Anglia) The programme for Contested Minorities in the ‘New Europe’: National Identity from the Baltics to the Balkans, 1918-1939, which will take place at Birkbeck College, University of London between 1st and 2nd June 2019, has been published. Among the many challenges facing the new, or enlarged, nation-states that arose on the territories of the former empires of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe in 1918, few were as vexing or complex as the ‘minorities question’. Across this mosaic of geopolitical boundaries, what the Czech philosopher Tomáš Masaryk emphatically termed ‘New Europe’, thousands of disparate communities suddenly discovered that they now existed as minorities, often in areas adjacent to their designated homelands. Historical scholarship typically characterises this as coming to fuel authoritarian repression and nationalist animosity. This conference presents an alternative perspective to these notions of inherent antagonism by exploring how interwar minorities strove to develop or preserve their respective sense of national or cultural identity through non-violent means. It also wishes to consider how the interwar period shaped and influenced the idea of minority rights as a legal and ideological concept among international bodies, such as the League of Nations, as well […]

Introducing Belonging in Late Medieval Cities

Received from Joshua Ravenhill (University of York) Two day conference at the University of York 28-29th June 2019, programme available here. In recent years belonging has become an increasingly important concept in historical research. As a socially constructed category which revolves around an individual’s inclusion and exclusion from formal and informal groups, belonging has the potential to be a useful conceptual tool within the scholarship of late medieval urban centres. Indeed, late medieval cities were environments with many formal and informal groups to which people could belong, such as street communities, parishes, guilds and the citizenry, to name a few. Belonging can be thought of, and applied, in different ways and it is the aim of the conference (28th-29th June 2019) to explore how these different ideas of belonging might be utilised in the study of late medieval cities. The conference will provide a forum in which both early career researchers and established academics can discuss which ideas of belonging are of use, and which are problematic, in the study of medieval urban centres. The papers have been carefully chosen so that the conference showcases research regarding an array of geographical areas, with the aim that this will foster discussion […]

Introducing Eighteenth Century Now: The Current State of British History

Received from Miranda Reading (King’s College, London) This one-day conference on 26th April 2019 at UCL, will bring together postgraduate, early career and established historians to map out the current and future directions of eighteenth-century British history. The conference marks the 30th anniversary of the British History in the Long Eighteenth Century Seminar, and celebrates its work in providing an important forum for debate on all aspects of research into the history of eighteenth-century Britain, across thematic and methodological boundaries. The study of Britain in the long eighteenth century is a dynamic and rapidly expanding research area, with almost 30,000 books and articles published on the subject between 2007 and 2018, up 8% on the previous decade. Subjects experiencing the most marked growth include the senses and emotions, the body, consumption, gender, and imperial history. All of these themes, and others, will be addressed in roundtables and panel discussions at the conference, to create a dialogue about the current state of the field, generate new research questions, and map out the field’s future trajectory. Speakers include Professor Joanna Innes (Somerville, Oxford), Professor Tim Hitchcock (University of Sussex), Professor Penelope Corfield (Royal Hollaway/Newcastle University), Professor Carl Griffin (University of Sussex) and […]

Uncovering Material Knowledge: Call for Papers

Received from Dr. Leonie Hannan (Queen’s University Belfast) This conference invites scholars from the arts, humanities and social sciences to participate in a discussion about the development, experience and construction of material knowledge in the past. Contributions are welcomed from a wide range of historical eras, from the ancient through to the modern. This conference seeks to break with the age-old separation of hand and mind and uncover examples of material and embodied knowledge across a broad range of periods, geographical locations, spaces and places. Developments in histories of science, medicine and technology have fundamentally re-oriented our understanding of knowledge production. Recent scholarship has made a break with narratives that privilege a few ‘great men’ and engaged with a more diverse range of actors (e.g. women, indigenous peoples, tradesmen, technicians) and prioritised an approach that uncovers complex interactions between humans, their environments and the material things they have at their disposal. However, ‘knowledge’ or intellectual work took many different forms and scholars from fields such as food history, gender history, literary studies, historical geography and art history have increasingly viewed activities that were traditionally dismissed as unexceptional (such as cooking or craft) as playing a critical role in knowledge production. […]

Looking Back at Early Modern Global Soundscapes: A Workshop

by Hannah Rodger (University of York) On 25-26 January 2019, academics and scholars from across the world met at the University of York to take part in a workshop on ‘Early Modern Global Soundscapes’. The main aim of this workshop was to examine how sounds shaped the lives of individuals and their communities in the early modern world. Through bringing together researchers from Music, History, History of Art, English, Theatre Film and Television, and Ethnomusicology, this workshop aimed to address several, as yet unresolved, questions concerning historic sounds; especially the tension between the particular and the universal. This workshop contained four panels which consisted of short presented papers and chaired discussions. Within these, it was debated whether there were any commonalities between soundscapes, or whether all soundscapes are unique. Central issues such as what a soundscape actually is, and whether definitions are dependent on disciplinary perspectives, were also considered. These discussions ultimately enabled an examination of whether there is a collective way that all scholars can, and even should, conceptualise soundscapes. The first panel, which opened the workshop, concentrated on ‘sounds from England and Germany’. The first paper was on ballads in the soundscape: six consecutive notes, and was presented […]