Monthly Archives: November 2016

*Updated* Gender Bias Past & Present?

Web Editor’s Note: this post was updated on 30.11.16 to include a series of bar charts illustrating publication and submission statistics, between 2004 and 2016; by gender. by Anna Bayman, Past & Present Associate Editor In part as a response to the Royal Historical Society (RHS) report on gender equality and historians in higher education, Past & Present recently commissioned an analysis of submissions to the journal according to the author’s gender. We are pleased to report that this showed no discernible bias in the decisions made, with acceptance and rejection rates similar and steady over the last twelve years for men and women. The recent move to double-blind reviewing appears not to have affected these rates. We do, however, note that we systematically receive fewer submissions from women, which we find regrettable. To some extent this might reflect an overall imbalance in the profession, but (using the RHS statistics on the number of female academic staff and students) that does not account for the degree of the disparity. We would welcome a conversation with the wider community about how this could be redressed. We remain mindful of our responsibility to eliminate unconscious bias from peer review and would be […]

Call for Papers: “Mothering’s many labours”

by the Editorial Team Papers are sought for a workshop in June 2018 which will lead to a field-defining essay collection on the history of mothering. This project builds on feminist approaches to mothering as an embodied and material practice. It seeks to highlight the practicalities of care, the exchange of affect, and the nature of care relations, as much as questions of ideology or identity. Dispersed or delegated mothering (by siblings and grandmothers, or by wet nurses, domestic servants, or enslaved women, for example) is placed at the centre rather than at the margins of analysis.  The organisers seek papers with a wide range of chronological and geographical coverage. Our aim is to pluralise and specify mothering and care-giving in and beyond the ‘mother-baby dyad’. Topics might include: *Labour relations and care chains *Delegated mothering *Surrogacy, fostering and adoption *‘Othermothering’ and alloparenting *Emotion work/love labouring *Body work *Carrying, birthing, lactating, providing *Material culture and maternal objects. Please submit paper proposals of 800-1,000 words and a 1-2pp CV as a Word document to either or by 17th January 2017. Notification of accepted proposals will be by 30th May 2017. A workshop for the intensive discussion of pre-circulated papers […]

Isaac and Antichrist Then and Now

by Sara Lipton My recent article, “Isaac and Antichrist in the Archives,” offers a new reading of an image widely regarded as the earliest known anti-Jewish caricature. This image, a sketch or doodle atop an English tax receipt roll from 1233, has almost exclusively been discussed as a chapter in Jewish history, a vivid instantiation of the intensifying anti-Semitism of later medieval Europe. Focusing, instead, on its origins in the Bureau of the Exchequer, I argue that the sketch is, in essence, political satire. Though the three Jews caricatured in the center of the image are undoubtedly depicted in a negative light, they serve primarily to convey a (masked) indictment of a powerful court faction. In order to safely lampoon that faction, which had recently taken over the Exchequer and implemented unpopular policies, the cartoonist – most likely an Exchequer clerk — gave concrete visual form to abstract anti-Jewish tropes, tied these signs to specific individual Jews, and then linked these Jews to the royal court. My goals for the piece were three-fold: 1) to illuminate the original meaning and function of the image; 2) to consider how and why anti-Jewish caricature developed in this particular time and place; 3) […]