Monthly Archives: January 2019

CFP: Domestic production and work in poor British homes, c. 1650-1850

Received from Dr. Joseph Harley (University of Derby) Thursday 12th September 2019, University of Derby Keynote Speaker: Professor John Styles, University of Hertfordshire In recent decades the ‘home’ has come to the forefront of historical investigations. Domestic production and work, such as spinning and farming, has received some renewed attention as part of this, yet there remain gaps in the literature and issues that need addressing. Our most detailed understanding of the domestic sphere comes from studies of the middling sort and elite, and much less research has been conducted on the domestic activities of the poor, who (defined in their broadest sense) made up well over half of the contemporary population. There has been something of a growth in the study of the poorer sorts over the past decade, but more is still needed. For example, domestic work such as spinning and farming has been subject to historical study for long periods of time; however they are often considered almost in isolation of other activities, while other forms of production such as brewing and baking have not received quite the same attention. This is surprising considering that being involved in myriad activities was crucial for many to make ends […]

Past & Present Fellowship: Race, Ethnicity & Equality in History

by the Past & Present editorial team Between 2019 and 2021 the Past & Present Society is funding a two year postdoctoral position (to run 2019-2021) to support and continue the Royal History Society’s equalities work, with an especial focus on race and ethnicity. The Fellowship is a follow on from the publication in October 2018 of the Royal Historical Society’s research into the state of “Race, Ethnicity and Equality in UK History”. Upon their appointment-which will be held jointly at the Royal Historical Society and the Institute for Historical Research-the Fellow will spend fifty percent of their time engaged in: research, writing, engagement, organisational work and event management to advance the work of the RHS Race, Ethnicity & Equality Working Group (REEWG), and fifty percent engaged in: research, writing and seminar/conferences/workshop attendance to develop the Fellow’s academic career as a historian. Explaining why the Past & Present Society was funding this position, the journal’s Editors Prof. Matthew Hilton and Prof. Alexandra Walsham said: “The Past and Present Society acknowledges that race, ethnicity and equality present some of the most signficiant issues facing the  discipline of History today. We are delighted to support the RHS and this excellent initiative. It is of […]

Call for Papers: Bestsellers in the Pre-Industrial Age

Received from Dr Shanti Graheli (University of Glasgow) Bestsellers, TV series, spin-offs, fan fiction, are all deeply embedded in our perception of literary consumer culture today. Yet the notion of a bestseller with spin-offs is a very old one indeed. The consolidation of the printing press in the Renaissance led to the first major re-assessment of the book as an object of ‘mass’ consumption. Lower production costs, paired with a rise of literacy levels, brought more books to an ever-growing reading public. Printers and publishers devised marketing strategies to meet demand, such as serialisation and branding, the creation of abridgements and illustrated editions, spin-offs and games inspired by the most successful texts. Foreign and ancient texts were re-packaged in translation or alongside new commentaries. Bestsellers catered for all types of readers, or indeed users, with oral transmission playing an important part in the dissemination of texts. While individual aspects of this production cycle have been explored – from popular print to the concept of a literary sequel, marketing strategies and readers’ reactions – there has been no attempt to investigate bestsellers as a phenomenon in the round. This conference takes a holistic approach by combining approaches to the materiality of the […]