Monthly Archives: October 2019

Past & Present Supplement Roundtable 25/11/2019

by the Past & Present editorial team Between 17:15 and 19:15 on 25th November 2019, the Institute of Historical Research’s European History 1500-1800 Seminar, are holding a rountable about Past & Present‘s soon to be published 2019 Supplement. Edited by Dr. John-Paul Ghobrial (Balliol College, Oxford), this year’s Supplement explores “microhistory and global history”, which form the subject on the rountable. The event will take place in the Institute’s Pollard Seminar Room, N301.

Antonia’s Story: A Secret History

Received from Dr. Owen Barden (Liverpool Hope University) Archives contain many secrets, waiting to be discovered. Yet accessing archives can be difficult. In this workshop, co-led by researchers with learning disabilities, you will find out how the story of Antonia Grandoni was discovered, a lady who lived with a learning disability 150 years ago. You will be able to see and try out the methods used to explore and analyse findings from a digital archive of very old medical books, and what this can tell us about living with a learning disability then and now. Come along to this workshop which shows that researching history can be inclusive, creative and fun. Event takes place: November 15, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, The Brain Charity, Norton Street, Liverpool, Merseyside L3 8LR United Kingdom This event is in partnership with The Brain Charity and the Being Human Festival 2019, as well as Liverpool Hope University. Queries can be addressed to Dr. Owen Barden. Past & Present ia pleased to support this event and supports other events like it. Applications for event funding are welcomed from scholars working in the field of historical studies at all stages in their careers.

Reflections Upon Across Colonial Lines: Empires, Commodities and Movements

by Emily Webb (University of Leeds) This one-day conference (University of Leeds, 18th September 2019) focused on how commodities circulated within and between Empire(s), with the aim of exploring how these movements affected the Empire and its parts. Using a broad definition of ‘commodities’, this conference brought together scholars of empire and commodity over a broad historical time-period. With a series of panels, a keynote speech by Dr. Jelmer Vos (University of Glasgow) and a roundtable discussion, we explored methodologies and research ideas collectively, to generate new perspectives on commodities in the colonial and post-colonial context. Conference has begun with a fantastic keynote by Dr Jelmer Vos discussing Angolan coffee and histories of labour and consumptions in Africa! A day of exciting panels ahead! #AcrossColonialLines #Commodities #history — Emily Webb (@E4Webb) September 18, 2019 The conference was well-attended, with ten speakers from a variety of UK and international institutions, being joined by an additional ten attendees. The day began with a thought-provoking keynote delivered by Dr. Jelmer Vos (University of Glasgow). Titled ‘What Angolans Got for their Coffee: Connecting Histories of Labour and Consumption in Colonial Africa’, the keynote lecture drew together broader themes of the conference before positioning […]

Syria’s Kurds and the Turkish border

by Dr. Banjamin Thomas White (University of Glasgow) The news from Syria has been nothing but bad for several years now, but things have been particularly desperate in the last few days—since Turkish forces, with a green light from the American president, invaded the region of northern Syria that had been under autonomous Kurdish rule, as Rojava. (You can read an overview of the situation and what is at stake in this Guardian article: “What is the situation in north-eastern Syria?”) Although I mainly work on refugee history these days, earlier in my career I was a Syria specialist, and I spent a lot of time researching the history of the area that Turkey has just invaded. The demarcation of the Syrian-Turkish border in the 1920s and 30s was crucial to the constitution of state sovereignty on either side of it. Turkey and Syria were newly established states, though they were quite different: Turkey was ruled by a nationalist government that had successfully fought off multiple invasions, while Syria was only nominally independent under French colonial ‘supervision’. What I was really interested in, though, was how these interconnected processes shaped the political identities of the people living in what became […]

Reflections upon ‘Domestic production and work in poor British homes, c. 1650-1850’

by Dr. Joseph Harley (University of Derby) On 12 September 2019, the University of Derby welcomed speakers and delegates for a conference on domestic work during the long eighteenth century. The event was sold out and papers discussed a wide range of themes, such as brewing, dairying, spinning, knitting and fuel use. Our most detailed understanding of domestic production still comes from the study of the middling sort and elite, and much less research has been conducted on the domestic activities of poorer people. The conference sought to address this issue by bringing in a range of researchers who work on a wide range of topics. Through this, we were able to look at the home in a more holistic manner and develop a more comprehensive understanding of the relative importance of different types of domestic production and work in poor British households. The event was very well received by delegates and received much praise. It was publicised on Twitter and used the hashtag #DomesticWorkDerby. Tweets from the conference have been assembled here. O’Connell: Estimates of 13.5 million pairs of stockings per annum required in 1619 (3 new pairs each). #domesticworkderby — Louise Falcini (@louisefalcini) September 12, 2019 The first […]

Egalitarian Swedes?

by Dr. Erik Bengtsson (Lund University) In March 2016, I gave a short course at the University of Sao Paulo on ”The Origins and Development of Swedish Egalitarianism”. Having worked on Swedish historical income and wealth inequality for some years, I was giving a course on Swedish history, and I thought this was a topic that could be of interest. Because, when presenting results on Swedish income or wealth distribution for an international audience, there is a more or less fixed set of assumptions/ideas about Swedish history and society than one must address to make the discussion intelligible (or interesting?) for non-Swedes. They are, roughly: “Everyone is [was] a Social Democrat there”. “It was always a society of free farmers, without feudalism”. “Lutheranism created Social Democracy”. “Farmers created Social Democracy”. What these different formulations have in common is the idea that Sweden was somehow always different, more egalitarian, meaning any 20th century achievements in terms of egalitarianism and social cohesion is “just” a continuation of a much older history. These assumptions are not often formulated directly and developed (but Bo Stråth explicitly uses the concept of a Sonderweg to analyse the Swedish case, and Eva Österberg and her students argue […]