Category: Essays

Collecting Contexts – Why Do We Collect?

WILL BURGESS During the summer of 2019, I volunteered at the V&A’s Lansbury Micro Museum in Poplar, East London, to help run an exhibition called For the Love of Things. The exhibition put the personal collections of the museum’s visitors on display, its shelves changing… Continue Reading “Collecting Contexts – Why Do We Collect?”

Material Culture and Identities: The Case of Eighteenth Century Toby Jugs

KERRY LOVE A main principle of material culture theory (the study of objects and their relationships to people) is that they can reflect or shape the people who lived alongside them in any given time. I have always enjoyed studying objects more than any… Continue Reading “Material Culture and Identities: The Case of Eighteenth Century Toby Jugs”

HMT Dunera 80 years on: How rough justice changed the life of a child refugee to Britain

DR RACHEL PISTOL AND DR MELISSA STRAUSS 2020 marks the 80th anniversary of when 2,546 men were deported from Britain to Australia on the HMT Dunera. The convict ships of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries may have ceased their travels some 70 years before but that… Continue Reading “HMT Dunera 80 years on: How rough justice changed the life of a child refugee to Britain”

Everyday Decolonisation: the local museum in 2020

PIPPA LE GRAND A few Monday mornings ago, I stood outside Weston Park Museum, Sheffield, enjoying my job and welcoming visitors. There were few enough around that I was able to gaze at the frieze over the door and even discuss it at length… Continue Reading “Everyday Decolonisation: the local museum in 2020”

Feeling Sickness: Emotional responses to pandemic diseases

DR MONICA O’BRIEN It’s a wintery afternoon and, once again, I’m scrolling through news articles about Covid-19. Since countries entered their first lockdowns, much has been written on the pandemic’s emotional and psychological impacts.  Loss, loneliness, fear, stress, anger; these emotions figure prominently in… Continue Reading “Feeling Sickness: Emotional responses to pandemic diseases”

Remembering English Saints in 2020: A Pilgrimage in Print

Stained glass window from Canterbury Cathedral depicting the cure of woman through prayer to St Thomas a Becket

DR PAUL WEBSTER 2020 will be a year that lives long in the memory.  For historians of the medieval saints, and at cathedrals and great churches across England, and for historians of the medieval saints, it began as a major anniversary year. The Association of… Continue Reading “Remembering English Saints in 2020: A Pilgrimage in Print”

Deep Mapping Migrant Settlerhood: Unfolding histories of Finns in Canada

DR SAMIRA SARAMO At the turn of the twentieth century, Finnish migrants, drawn by the familiar landscape of lakes, forests, and rocky outcrop, settled in the rugged wilderness of Northern Ontario in Canada and overcame the harsh conditions of the early years through their… Continue Reading “Deep Mapping Migrant Settlerhood: Unfolding histories of Finns in Canada”

Role Theory and Protestant Spirituality in Early Modern Scotland

CIARAN JONES I recently submitted my PhD thesis on Protestant spirituality in early modern Scotland. Focussing on witchcraft trials, my thesis was mainly concerned with how your average seventeenth-century peasant articulated certain spiritual ideas. Using mostly manuscript records of witchcraft trial confessions as my source base,… Continue Reading “Role Theory and Protestant Spirituality in Early Modern Scotland”

A Global History of Sex and Gender

DR HANNAH TELLING What is gender history and why does it matter? For me, it is a discipline that provides a fascinating insight into the often-overlooked aspects of history. I was first introduced to gender history as an undergraduate and the University of Edinburgh,… Continue Reading “A Global History of Sex and Gender”

Heritage or Highway: York’s city walls as tourist and civil infrastructure

Louisa Hood This blog explores two very particular histories of York’s city walls. Although known generally as Roman or medieval defences, the social, material, economic, and other histories of the walls are layered, obscured, or unknown. York’s extant walls are a key aspect of… Continue Reading “Heritage or Highway: York’s city walls as tourist and civil infrastructure”