Category: Essays

Will Africa be included in a global history of Covid-19?

ANNA ADIMA Over a year into the Covid-19 pandemic, one would be hard-pressed to deny that future history books will record this as a global milestone in the 21st century. Every individual around the world has in some way been affected by the virus; however,… Continue Reading “Will Africa be included in a global history of Covid-19?”

Lacquer as Art and Medicinal Material in Early Modern England

CHENG HE Look up the word ‘lacquer’ in an art dictionary, or on Google, and you usually find the word ‘varnish’; a sticky liquid applied to the surface of objects to form a shiny coating. The word can also refer to the objects coated… Continue Reading “Lacquer as Art and Medicinal Material in Early Modern England”

Saints, Beggars and Scapegoats

Why depictions of status and disability in the Early Middle Ages still matter JUTTA LAMMINAHO ‘A lame man crawling along on his hands led a blind man to the paupers’ hostel at St Gall, where both of them stayed the night, and were both… Continue Reading “Saints, Beggars and Scapegoats”

Communications and Complaints: Revisiting Nineteenth-Century Germany

JEAN-MICHEL JOHNSTON We’ve all been there: a patchy Zoom connection, an interrupted online transaction, a YouTube video that just won’t load. We all recognise the everyday frustrations that come with the malfunctioning of the Internet, even as we celebrate ever faster broadband or cheaper… Continue Reading “Communications and Complaints: Revisiting Nineteenth-Century Germany”

Reflections on ‘The World At War’

DANIEL ADAMSON I was recently intrigued to find a repeat of the 1973 documentary The World at War buried in the depths of Freeview television. Across 26 hour-long episodes, this series chronicled the course of the Second World War and charted the key experiences of the… Continue Reading “Reflections on ‘The World At War’”

Analysing Jacobite Prisoner Lists with JDB45

Analogous Analysis Paralysis: The Stultifying Weltschmerz of Jacobite Prisoner Lists DR DARREN SCOTT LAYNE Now nearly three centuries on from Jacobitism’s imminent threat to the British post-revolution state, the movement’s historical record is still a living entity with plenty of room for growth. To… Continue Reading “Analysing Jacobite Prisoner Lists with JDB45”

Stitches of Resistance: Reclaiming the Narratives of the Enslaved Seamstresses in Martha Washington’s Purple Silk Gown

DR CYNTHIA E. CHIN A single object was the subject of my doctoral dissertation: a heavily faded purple silk gown owned and worn by Martha Dandridge Custis Washington (1731-1802), the wife of ‘His Excellency’, President George Washington. One of three surviving intact dresses belonging… Continue Reading “Stitches of Resistance: Reclaiming the Narratives of the Enslaved Seamstresses in Martha Washington’s Purple Silk Gown”

Trouillot in the Digital Age: A Fifth Crucial Moment for Public Historians?

AARON SHUMAN Last semester, one of my professors assigned a chapter of anthropologist Michel-Rolph Trouillot’s Silencing the Past as a jumping off point for considering how silences can work their way into the historical narrative. During our weekly Zoom-based class, conversation homed in on the ‘four… Continue Reading “Trouillot in the Digital Age: A Fifth Crucial Moment for Public Historians?”

What It Feels Like for a Girl: Gendering the History of the Senses

SASHA RASMUSSEN When asked to describe my work, I tend to say that my research sits at the intersection of gender and sensory histories. Gender as a lens of historical analysis has by now been widely adopted, but the concept of ‘sensory history’ may… Continue Reading “What It Feels Like for a Girl: Gendering the History of the Senses”

Richard III, the Princes in the Tower, and Thomas More – answers to the mystery?

PROFESSOR TIM THORNTON The fascination evoked by Richard III and the mystery of the ‘princes in the Tower’ continues to grow. The discovery of Richard’s body under a carpark in 2012 and his reburial in Leicester Cathedral in 2015 drew international attention, and a… Continue Reading “Richard III, the Princes in the Tower, and Thomas More – answers to the mystery?”