Author Archives

Negotiating Networks: Thoughts and Reflections.

by Esther Lewis (University of Nottingham) At the end of June, a one day conference was held at the Institute of Historical Research which aimed to bring together researchers using the relatively new methodology of Social Network Analysis (SNA) in historical studies. SNA allows the researcher to investigate social structures through the use of networks and graphs and is proving to be a useful tool for social and economic historians. Its use for history is relatively new, but it has been widely used in other humanities and social sciences. The day was organised by two PhD students, Charlie Berry and Esther Lewis, who both felt there was a need for a discussion space regarding SNA within History. Therefore, the day aimed to provide a platform for discussion of the challenges posed by the methodology for historians. There were three panels. The first discussed women and marginal groups. Claire Richardson discussed nineteenth-century prostitutes’ networks in Stamford and Peterborough. Jonathan Blaney and Philip Carter presented preliminary findings on friendship networks between female undergraduates at Royal Holloway in the early twentieth century. Agata Bloch demonstrated that groups who have been traditionally seen as ‘marginal’ within the Portuguese empire had a voice within the […]

Introducing Global Yugoslavia

Received from Prof. Dejan Djokić (Goldsmiths, London) New research on Yugoslavia in transnational, comparative and global perspectives, 1918-2018 Taking place at Goldsmiths, University of London on the afternoon of 28th November (programme available here), this conference brings together nine academics at different career stages working on the history of Yugoslavia and the post-Yugoslav region. All the papers have been written specially for the event and will benefit from, and contribute to, a range of methodological and disciplinary approaches: transnational, global, social, intellectual, political and oral history, as well as related disciplines such as memory studies and transitional justice. More specifically, the conference aims to contribute to the scholarship in four main ways: first, each paper is based on latest, original and methodologically innovative research which goes beyond national narratives and frameworks; second, the conference situates the Yugoslav region in a wider context, sensitive to transnational, comparative and global dynamics; third, and following on from this, the papers point out some directions in which scholars of Yugoslavia can contribute to broader discussions within the fields of modern and contemporary history and related disciplines; and fourth, the event should facilitate a dialogue and closer collaboration between early career researchers and established scholars. […]

The Grain of History: Photography and Post-War Time c.1945-55

by Josh Allen (Past & Present) On the evening of the 30th May-which was then the warmest day of the year-over fifty people, split roughly evenly between academics, students and interested members of the general public; gathered at the University of Birmingham to hear Prof. Lynda Nead (Birkbeck) present her research on “The Grain of History: Photography and Post-War Time c.1945-55”. The lecture represented the high point of a Past & Present funded workshop on the uses of photographs in history organised by Prof. Elizabeth Edwards (DeMontfort) and Dr. Lucie Ryzova (Birmingham) which ran between the 30th and 31st May 2018 at the University of Birmingham. It is envisaged that the proceedings will be published in future as a supplement of Past & Present offering a bold intervention in the field. After an introduction from the University of Birmingham’s Professor Leslie Brubaker, “in the best tradition of art history lectures… the lights [were then] switched off” and Nead’s keynote lecture commenced. Nead began by contending that through “taking a small number of Picture Post photo-stories on post-war reconstruction as a case study [it is possible to] discuss how time is registered in the taking and printing of photographs in this […]

Introducing “Beyond Truth: Fiction and (Dis)information in the Early Modern World

by the Past & Present editorial team Past & Present is pleased to be supporting “Beyond Truth: Fiction and (Dis)information in the Early Modern World” at the New College, the University of Oxford between the 17th and 18th September 2018. Organised by Dr. Emma Claussen, Thomas Goodwin and Luca Zenobi (all at the University of Oxford) this “two-day interdisciplinary conference, seek[s] to explore the boundaries between truth and falsehood in the early modern period, thinking about disinformation, fiction, and power in tandem.” Featuring twenty papers and two keynote lectures, the programme has now been published; and registration has opened. Full details and further information can be found on the conference website. In addition to sponsorship from Past & Present this event is also supported by the Royal Historical Society, the Centre for Early Modern Studies at the University of Oxford and the Ludwig Research Fund for the Humanities at New College, Oxford. Past & Present is pleased to support this event and others like it. Applications are welcomed from scholars of at all career stages working on all time periods.

Substance Use and Abuse in the Long Nineteenth Century: Creative Competition

by the Past & Present editorial team Dr. Laura Eastlake and Dr. Andrew McInnes the organisers of Substance Use and Abuse in the Long Nineteenth Century at Edge Hill University (13th-14th September 2018) have announced a creative competition in the run up to the event. The competition Your Research in One Image will be judged by a panel led by Stephen Whittle the Principal Manager of The Atkinson Southport, with whom Eastlake and McInnes are collaborating to mount an exhibition related to themes explored in the conference. Past & Present has been advised that the details of the competition are as follows: We are inviting submissions of creative works which explore any aspect of nineteenth-century substance use and abuse. -Photography, painting, digital art, mixed media, posters? -Still lives of drug paraphernalia? -Microscopic images of chemical compounds -Mapping nineteenth-century drug use? -A sculpture featuring Sherlock Holmes’s 243 types of tobacco ash? This competition is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students, lecturers and researchers, and members of the public. Winners will be announced and prizes awarded at the conference, 13th – 14th September 2018 at Edge Hill University. First prize: £100 Deadline for entries: 17th August 2018 Competition entry forms can be downloaded here, along with the […]

Programme for “Beyond Circulation: The Intellectual and the Material History of the Arab Nahda

by Dr. Peter Hill (Christ Church) and Dr. Hussein Omar (Pembroke) University of Oxford (workshop organisers) ‘Beyond Circulation: The Intellectual and the Material in the History of the Arab Nahda’ is an international research workshop to be held at the University of Oxford between 21 and 23 June 2018, organised by Peter Hill and Hussein Omar. It is supported by the University of Oxford via the John Fell OUP Research Fund and the History Faculty’s Sanderson Fund, and by the Past & Present Society via a conference grant. The Arab ‘Awakening’ or Nahda of the long nineteenth century has been the object of a growing number of new histories. In these recent works, the Nahda has been regarded as the paradigmatic moment of social transformation, as Middle Eastern society was brought into ever more intense contact with expanding European imperialism and global capitalism. Yet this rich and emergent historiography has tended to be methodologically divided: with those who primarily examine the material – or how the region was integrated into the capitalist world-system – and those who predominantly examine the cultural-intellectual – or attempts to reconcile modernity with tradition – remaining unreconciled. This three-day workshop, leading to a special issue of […]

Introducing Manuscripts in the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms

from Dr. Alison Hudson (British Library) Showcasing the latest research on Anglo-Saxon manuscripts To coincide with the British Library’s Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition, the Library is holding a two-day international conference with papers by leading scholars in the fields of history, literature and art history. This will be followed by a one-day symposium for early career researchers on 15 December. These multidisciplinary, international events will re-evaluate the roles and uses of writing, manuscripts and inscribed objects in early medieval England and beyond, during a period when uses of writing and writing technologies changed and expanded considerably. Papers will cover libraries and readers, objects inscribed in runes, highly illuminated manuscripts, literary manuscripts and documentary writing up to Domesday Book. The papers will place the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in wider geographical, cultural and political contexts. The conference will begin with a keynote lecture on ‘The European context of manuscript illumination in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, 600–900’, given by Professor Lawrence Nees, and will conclude with a second keynote lecture on ‘Exon Domesday, the English and the Normans’, by Professor Julia Crick. reserved The conference will also include a private view of the exhibition. Tickets Two-day tickets are available for the International Conference only, on Thursday 13 and […]

Jamie Kreiner Wins Wayne D. Rassmussen Award

by the Past & Present editorial team We were delighted to hear that Dr. Jamie Kreiner (University of Georgia) recently was awarded the Agricultural History Society’s Wayne D. Rasmussen Award. Dr. Kreiner received the award for her article “Pigs in the Flesh and Fisc: An Early Medieval Ecology” which was published in Past & Present last summer (No. 236, pp. 3-42). The Agricultural History Society awards the Wayne D. Rasmussen prize annually “for the best article on agricultural history published outside [the Society’s own] journal Agricultural History in the preceding twelve months. In addition to the honour of the prize, recipients are granted a year’s membership of the Society, free registration at their annual conference and two hundred US Dollars in cash. In recognition of Dr. Kreiner’s achievement and to ensure the widest possible readership for her award winning research, out publishers OUP Academic have made “Pigs in the Flesh and Fisc” free to access until 29th June 2018. It also offers our web editor an excuse once again to share “The Pig[er] Picture” Dr. Kreiner’s blog post about her research which he considers “amongst the most exuberant things [he] has ever published”.   

Voyage Iron: An Archival Odyssey 20 Years in the Making

Dr. Chris Evans (University of South Wales) and Dr. Göran Rydén (Uppsala University) What took us so long? We first got interested in “voyage iron”, one of the currencies of the Atlantic slave trade, two decades back, so why does our (open access) article on the subject only appear in Past & Present in 2018? Archival research takes time, of course, but not always twenty years. The real reason lies in our failure to ask the right questions. So, not so much “What took us so long?”, more “Why were we so obtuse?”. Voyage iron came to our attention in the late 1990s. Like so many historians at the time, we were trying to push at the boundaries of Atlantic History. We were convinced that early modern Sweden had an unsuspected Atlantic dimension, one provided by its iron industry, which exported huge volumes of bar iron to Britain. As late as the 1780s, it should be remembered, most iron on the British market was shipped in from the Baltic. In some sectors of the economy there was total reliance on Swedish material. Every steel manufacturer in Britain, for example, depended upon high-grade Swedish iron. That had important Atlantic consequences. It meant […]