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Shetland 1800–2000
Author: Lynn Abrams

This book is about the relationship between myth-making and historical materiality. It is a singular case study of the position and experience of women in a 'peripheral' society distanced - geographically, economically and culturally - from the British mainland. The book first looks at women and gender relations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries through examination of the construction of historical myth. It then looks at economic and demographic factors that underpinned the materiality of women's dominance of culture. An understanding of women's work patterns and experiences is central to any analysis of women's lives in Shetland and the gender relations contingent upon this. Shetland women were autonomous, independent workers whose day-to-day productive experiences implicated them in all sorts of social and economic relationships outside the home. The book argues that women's culture in Shetland actually had only a marginal connection to the islands' dominant economic activity - fishing. It also argues that the negligible figures for children born outside wedlock are a poor guide to understanding the moral order in nineteenth-century Shetland. Like the new visitors to Shetland, the historians of the early twenty-first century would ordinarily reach the same conclusions. They would do so, at root, because the authors are equipped with the same myth system of discourse about what constitutes women's subordination and power. The book seeks to navigate the issue of 'power' by approaching it in terms which the Shetland woman understood in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Angela McCarthy

‘but people thought that there were differences’. 3 While acknowledging that such practices may only be confined to certain members of a family or ethnic group, this chapter explores the material tokens of ethnic identity for the Irish and the Scots in New Zealand that they or others perceived as Irish or Scottish. As we saw in Chapter 2, some aspects of the national, regional, county, and local identities of Irish and

in Scottishness and Irishness in New Zealand since 1840
Leonie Hannan and Sarah Longair

There are, as we have seen, very many reasons for historians to be interested in the insights that material culture can unlock. However, for objects to yield rewards we must employ tried and tested strategies for examining them. Such established approaches have emerged from distinct disciplines and professional practices, which have their own histories and intellectual concerns. This chapter provides an introduction to the origins of historical material culture studies in terms of both academic research and museum practice, so that we can understand not

in History through material culture
Spiritualist phenomena, Dada photomontage, and magic
Leigh Wilson

3 ‘Miraculous constellations in real material’: spiritualist phenomena, Dada photomontage, and magic Leigh Wilson Debates about the relationship between photography and spiritualism have at their centre an either/or structure which has tended to distort any accurate picture of that relationship. If the focus is on the formal and aesthetic questions raised by particular photographic practices, or by photography per se, spiritualism is often used as a trope rather than being considered as a specific historical practice. In work which does take spiritualism

in The machine and the ghost
Abstract only
Representations of leadership in late nineteenth-century British battle painting
Paul Usherwood

human nature. Here were pictures which instead of depicting officers performing inspiring deeds of derring-do as in Desanges’s Victoria Cross series, or masterminding victories as in Allan’s Waterloo , implied (and occasionally actually showed) officers taking a personal interest in their men and thus able to intervene in their lives morally as well as materially. One way, then, of understanding

in Popular imperialism and the military 1850–1950
Valérie Leclercq and Veronique Deblon

. To curtail food trafficking, for instance, nuns and hospital wardens were often free to check the content of the tables whenever they pleased and to punish patients found at fault. 1 This invasion was all the more brutal because often the items stored in their bedside tables were all that patients had, the only material extension of themselves authorised in the spacious wards. Patients had no

in Medical histories of Belgium
Pratik Chakrabarti

the West Indies, Greenland and Asia. 3 The Orientalists under William Jones, on the other hand, were searching for the common civilizational roots across Asia and Europe. 4 At the same time, these pursuits were also linked to the material context of eighteenth-century colonialism and defined by the maritime and territorial power of the EEIC. This chapter will describe how these developments shaped the emergence of imperial materia medica. The term materia medica has been loosely used by naturalists and

in Materials and medicine
Trade, conquest and therapeutics in the eighteenth century

Medicine was transformed in the eighteenth century. Aligning the trajectories of intellectual and material wealth, this book uncovers how medicine acquired a new materialism as well as new materials in the context of global commerce and warfare. It studies the expansion of medicine as it acquired new materials and methods in an age of discovery and shows how eighteenth-century therapeutics encapsulates the intellectual and material resources of conquest. Bringing together a wide range of sources, the book argues that the intellectual developments in European medicine were inextricably linked to histories of conquest, colonisation and the establishment of colonial institutions. Medicine in the eighteenth-century colonies was shaped by the two main products of European mercantilism: minerals and spices. Forts and hospitals were often established as the first signs of British settlement in enemy territories, like the one in Navy Island. The shifting fortunes on the Coromandel Coast over the eighteenth century saw the decline of traditional ports like Masulipatnam and the emergence of Madras as the centre of British trade. The book also explores the emergence of materia medica and medical botany at confluence of the intellectual, spiritual and material quests. Three different forms of medical knowledge acquired by the British in the colonies: plants (columba roots and Swietenia febrifuga), natural objects and indigenous medical preparations (Tanjore pills). The book examines the texts, plants, minerals, colonial hospitals, dispensatories and the works of surgeons, missionaries and travellers to demonstrate that these were shaped by the material constitution of eighteenth century European colonialism.

History through material culture provides a practical introduction for researchers who wish to use objects and material culture as primary sources for the study of the past. The book focuses primarily on the period 1500 to the present day, but the principles put forward are equally applicable to studies of earlier historical eras. Histories of the last five centuries have been driven to a remarkable extent by textual records and it is with this in mind that History through material culture offers researchers a step-by-step guide to approaching the material evidence that survives from this period. Anticipating that many researchers will feel under-skilled or lacking in confidence in tackling artefacts of the past, the book traces the process of research from the framing of research questions through to the writing up of findings – giving particular attention to the ways in which objects can be located, accessed and understood. This practical guidance is augmented by the use of examples of seminal and contemporary scholarship in this interdisciplinary field, so that readers can see how particular approaches to sources have been used to develop historical narratives and arguments. It is written in accessible and jargon-free language with clear explanations of more complex discourses. In this way, the book demystifies both the process of researching objects and the way research practice relates to published scholarship.

Antonius C. G. M. Robben

Thousands of people died in Rotterdam during the Second World War in more than 300 German and Allied bombardments. Civil defence measures had been taken before the German invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940 and these efforts were intensified during the country’s occupation as Allied bombers attacked Rotterdam’s port, factories, dry docks and oil terminals. Residential neighbourhoods were also hit through imprecise targeting and by misfired flak grenades. Inadequate air raid shelters and people’s reluctance to enter them caused many casualties. The condition of the corpses and their post-mortem treatment was thus co-constituted by the relationship between the victims and their material circumstances. This article concludes that an understanding of the treatment of the dead after war, genocide and mass violence must pay systematic attention to the materiality of death because the condition, collection and handling of human remains is affected by the material means that impacted on the victims.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal