Author Archives

Introducing “Negotiating Networks: new research on networks in social and economic history”

by Charlie Berry (IHR) and Esther Lewis (University of Nottingham) On 25th June 2018, the Institute of Historical Research will host a one-day conference showcasing the latest research by social and economic historians who study networks and employ techniques of Social Network Analysis (SNA). The conference is co-organised by two PhD students, Esther Lewis (University of Nottingham) and Charlie Berry (Institute of Historical Research). Esther and Charlie specialise in late medieval social history and met at the 2017 Harlaxton Medieval Symposium. We both use SNA to investigate aspects of urban social life and got chatting about the challenges and rewards of such an approach. Social Network Analysis has become increasingly popular amongst social and economic historians as part of their ‘digital toolkit’, alongside other methodologies borrowed or adapted from the social sciences such as GIS. Whilst the language of network theory has been familiar to historians since the 1980s, the advent of readily available SNA software such as QGIS has hastened its adoption as a methodology for primary research in recent years. We have both seen significant benefits to the use of SNA in our research, but recognise that there are some real challenges to its adoption. Network research takes […]

Courtney Campbell Wins Latin American Studies Association Prize

by the Past & Present editorial team We were delighted to hear that former Past & Present Scholar-Courtney Campbell-has been declared the 2018 winner of the Latin American Studies Association’s Brazil Section award for best article in the humanities. This is for “Four Fishermen, Orson Welles, and the Making of the Brazilian Northeast” which appeared in Past & Present last year. The award will be presented at the Latin American Studies Association’s annual conference in Barcelona this May. In honour of this achievement and to enable more people to read the article our publishers Oxford University Press Academic are very kindly making the article free to read for a limited time period.

Call for Papers: Substance Use and Abuse in the long Nineteenth Century

by the Past & Present editorial team Past & Present is pleased to be supporting Substance Use and Abuse in the Long Nineteenth Century on the 13th and 14th September 2018 at Edge Hill University. Convened by Edge Hill’s Dr. Laura Eastlake and Dr. Andrew McInnes, confirmed speakers include Prof. Susan Zieger (California, Riverside), Dr. Noelle Plack (Newman University), Dr. Douglas Small (University of Glasgow).       ‘The body (follow me closely here) lies at the mercy of the most omnipotent of all potentates—the Chemist.’ Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White (1859) In The Woman in White Collins’s villainous Count Fosco expounds on the power of modern pharmacology. Fosco is speaking at the mid-point of a century wherein the body and the mind seemed increasingly easily affected by the influence of substances. From 1821 opium had allowed Thomas de Quincey to explore ‘the palimpsest of the human mind’ and navigate the dream space of the human subconscious. Ether and chloroform banished pain and facilitated new surgical innovations. Stimulants and sedatives regulated waking and sleeping and the working day in between. Reports of alcoholism, addiction and criminality appeared with increasing regularity in the periodical press and featured in the plots of new literary […]

“Mind the Gender Pay Gap”

by the Past & Present editorial team Later this year Past & Present will publish “Diets, Hunger and Living Standards during the British industrial revolution” by Prof. Emma Griffin (UEA, Norwich). The article returns to, and seeks to re-frame and focus; the classic social history debates around the impact of early industrialisation upon the living standards of the poorest members of British society. Prof. Griffin recently presented a BBC Radio Four programme, broadcast on International Women’s Day, Mind the Gender Pay Gap. In the programme she explored how gendered assumptions and power imbalances structured the organisation of work, affected the division of labour’s share of the proceeds of industrialisation, during the 18th and 19th Centuries. Through doing this she demonstrates that: “…we can only make sense of the gender pay gap by taking a historical perspective. Beginning in the 15th century, [Prof. Griffin] explores how work has always been divided along gender lines. Then during the industrial revolution, when women started to enter the workplace in record numbers, women’s work was typically defined by lower wages, in comparison to men’s. [Prof. Griffin shows] how the new industrial employers maintained the gender pay gap in the burgeoning cotton mills.” Using cutting […]

Jamie Kreiner Wins Prestigious French Historical Studies Prize

by the Past & Present editorial team Past & Present was delighted to hear earlier this week that Dr. Jamie Kreiner (University of Georgia) has won the Society for French Historical Studies’ William Koren, Jnr. Prize. The prize was awarded for her article “Pigs in the Flesh and Fisc: an Early Medieval Ecology” which appeared in our August 2017 issue (No. 236). Endowed in the 1980s by friends of the late William Koren, Jnr. the one thousand dollar prize is awarded annually to the “most outstanding article on any period in French history published the previous year by a scholar appointed at a college in the United States or Canada”. Contenders must have published in a journal originating from North America, Australasia or Europe. We are delighted that Dr. Kreiner has been recognised with this highly prestigious honour for her work, and have made “Pigs in the Flesh and Fisc: an Early Medieval Ecology” free for a limited period of time, so as to encourage as many people as possible to read it.  

Introducing “Suffering and Happiness in England 1550-1850: Narratives and Representations”

by the Past & Present editorial team In honour of the career of Prof. Paul Slack (Oxford), distinguished early modern British social historian and long serving Past & Present stalwart. Current Past & Present editorial board members Prof. Michael Braddick (Sheffield) and Prof. Joanna Innes (Oxford) were recently pleased to publish the edited collection Suffering and Happiness in England 1550-1850: Narratives and Representations. The festschrift was published in the second half of last year by Oxford University press and forms part of the wide ranging and ever expanding Past & Present book series.

Reflections Upon Sovereignty, Economy, and the Global History of Natural Resources

By Natasha Pesaran (Columbia) On 18 and 19 December 2017, Magdalene College at the University of Cambridge hosted a conference on “Sovereignty, Economy, and the Global Histories of Natural Resources.” Organized by Tehila Sasson of Emory University, winner of the 2017 International Research Awards in Global History, the conference brought together scholars from diverse fields to discuss the global history of natural resources from multiple vantage points. Rather than focusing on a single natural resource or geographic region, the conference aimed to take a holistic approach and the papers as a whole transcended the global north and south divide and drew upon a number of different methods, archives, and theoretical frameworks. A central aim of the conference was to explore the ways in which a concern with natural resources might offer new ways of writing histories of empire and decolonization. This theme was taken up directly in Angelo Matteo Caglioti’s paper, which demonstrated how a focus on natural resources could lead to re-interpretation of the history of Italian colonialism. In particular, Caglioti argued that imperial competition between Britain and Italy over water resources, specifically the Lake Tana dam project, shed explanatory light on Italy’s decision to invade Ethiopia in 1935. […]