This book looks at how local history developed from the antiquarian county studies of the sixteenth century through the growth of ‘professional’ history in the nineteenth century, to the recent past. Concentrating on the past sixty years, it looks at the opening of archive offices, the invigorating influence of family history, the impact of adult education and other forms of lifelong learning. The book considers the debates generated by academics, including the divergence of views over local and regional issues, and the importance of standards set by the Victoria County History (VCH). Also discussed is the fragmentation of the subject. The antiquarian tradition included various subject areas that are now separate disciplines, among them industrial archaeology, name studies, family, landscape and urban history. This is an account of how local history has come to be one of the most popular and productive intellectual pastimes in our modern society.
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.
The history of emotions is the first accessible textbook on the theories,
methods, achievements, and problems in this burgeoning field of historical
inquiry. Historians of emotion borrow heavily from the disciplines of
anthropology, psychology, philosophy and neuroscience, and stake out a claim
that emotions have a past and change over time. This book introduces students
and professional historians to the main areas of concern in the history of
emotions, discussing how the emotions intersect with other lines of historical
research relating to power, practice, society and morality. Providing a
narrative of historical emotions concepts, the book is the go-to handbook for
understanding the problems of interpreting historical experience, collating and
evaluating all the principal methodological tools generated and used by
historians of emotion. It also lays out an historiographical map of emotions
history research in the past and present, and sets the agenda for the future of
the history of emotions. Chiefly centring on the rapprochement of the humanities
and the neurosciences, the book proposes a way forward in which disciplinary
lines become blurred. Addressing criticism from both within and without the
discipline of history, The history of emotions offers a rigorous defence of this
new approach, demonstrating its potential to lie at the centre of
historiographical practice, as well as the importance of this kind of historical
work for our general understanding of the human brain and the meaning of human
Every piece of historical writing has a theoretical basis on which evidence is selected, filtered, and understood. This book explores the theoretical perspectives and debates that are generally acknowledged to have been the most influential within the university-led practice of history over the past century and a half. It advises readers to bear in mind the following four interlinked themes: context, temporal framework, causation or drivers of change, and subjectivities. The book outlines the principles of empiricism, the founding epistemology of the professional discipline, and explores the ways in which historians have challenged and modified this theory of knowledge over the past century and a half. It then focuses upon three important dimensions of historical materialism in the work of Marxist historians: the dialectical model at the basis of Marx's grand narrative of human history; the adaptations of Marxist theory in Latin America; and the enduring question of class consciousness. The use of psychoanalysis in history, the works of Annales historians and historical sociology is discussed next. The book also examines the influence of two specific approaches that were to be fertile ground for historians: everyday life and symbolic anthropology, and ethnohistory. The roles of narrative, gender history, radical feminism, poststructuralism and postcolonial history are also discussed. Finally, the book outlines the understandings about the nature of memory and remembering, and looks at key developments in the analysis and interpretation of oral histories and oral traditions.
This book demonstrates a fruitful cross-fertilisation of ideas between British queer history and art history. It engages with self-identified lesbians and with another highly important source for queer history: oral history. The book highlights the international dimension of what to date has been told as a classic British tale of homosexual law reform and also illuminates the choices made and constraints imposed at the national level. It embarks on a queer critical history, arguing for the centrality, in John Everett Millais's life-writing, of the strange-to-us category of unconventionality. The book aims to expose the queer implications of celebrity gossip writing. It offers a historical analysis of the link between homosexual men and gossip by examining the origins of the gossip column in the British tabloid press in the three decades after 1910. The book provides an overview of the emergence and consolidation of a number of new discourses of homosexuality as a social practice in postwar Britain. It explores a British variant on homophile internationalism before and immediately after the 1967 Sexual Offences Act by mapping Grey's cross-border connections while noting strain against transnational solidarity. The book focuses on evidence collected by the 1977 Committee on Obscenity and Film Censorship to illustrate how gay men conceptualised the place of pornography in their lives and its role in the broader struggle for the freedom.
This book deals with history's relationship to memory. By individual memory, it means a memory that is located in the minds of individuals and through which those individuals have knowledge of things that fall within their personal experience. Memory of this kind is an integral part of the mental functioning of individuals and is closely linked to concepts of personality and selfhood. But, individual or personal memory is also a part of the mental equipment that allows human beings to function in social settings. Its forms are influenced by its social uses, and it makes a contribution to social knowledge and social understanding that can be explored from a social as well as an individual angle. The book explores how individual memory is a resource both for individuals within society and for societies themselves and how it is connected to larger social processes. The exploration of social memory begins as a facet of the discussion of the social dimensions of in individual; it is carried further through the discussion of the workings of memory in social groups. It is then completed by the discussion of the ways in which representations, understandings and senses of the past are produced within the larger society.
The book shows how people have come to approach the writing of imperial histories in the early twenty-first century. It explores the social and political contexts that informed the genesis and development of the Studies in Imperialism series, and the conceptual links it has sought to forge between empire and metropolitan culture. The book provides an insightful account of John MacKenzie's 'Orientalism': the problems of 'power' and 'agency'. The 'MacKenziean moment' needs to be read historically, as a product of the 'delayed arrival of decolonising sensibilities', where contemporary popular phenomena and new types of scholarship integrated Britain and its empire. Sexuality made early appearances in the Series through the publication of 'Empire and Sexuality'. MacKenzie's 'Empire of Nature', 'Imperialism and the Natural World', and 'Museums and Empire' convey the impact of his scholarship in the themes of exploration, environment and empire. The historical geographies of British colonialism have enjoyed a prominent place in the Series, and the book explores the ways in which different 'spatial imaginations' have been made possible. Discussions on colonial policing during the depression years, and on immigrant welfare during and after decolonisation, take their cue from MacKenzie's European Empires and the People. The later nineteenth century witnessed the interaction of many diasporas, which in turn produced new modes of communication. By dealing with the idea of the 'Third British Empire' and the role of the Indian press during and after the British Raj, the book repositions British imperial histories within a broader set of global transformations.
Historians interact with a variety of audiences. In the history of medicine – our
focus – audiences include government committees and commissions dealing with
ethical issues in biomedicine; journalists asking for historical perspectives on
new discoveries as well as abuses and controversies in medicine; curators and
visitors at museums; sometimes even medical researchers utilizing historical
material. A particularly prominent audience for historians of medicine is in
health care, students as well as practitioners. An important aim of the book is
to challenge the idea that communication between researchers and their audiences
is unidirectional. This is achieved by employing a media theoretical perspective
to discuss how historians create audiences for academic knowledge production
(‘audiencing’). The theme is opportune not least because the measurement of
‘impact’ is rapidly becoming a policy tool. The book’s 10 chapters explore the
history of medicine’s relationships with its audiences, from the early twentieth
century to the present. Throughout the authors discuss how historians of
medicine and others have interacted with and impacted audiences. Topics include
medical education, policy-making, exhibitions and museums, film and
The term ‘quantitative history’ covers a range of methodologies and theoretical bases, linked by their reliance on numerical data. Almost all historical writing involves quantification, however, whether implicit or explicit. We may produce statistics concerning literacy among merchants’ daughters in sixteenth-century Italy, or we may model the Canadian economy, referring to gross national product. We may compare individuals in the past according to the age at which they entered parliament or the size of their families. Or we may say, using Roderick Floud
In this chapter we will move away from the approach taken in previous chapters. Rather than looking at the use of concepts or theories to make sense of change in the past, and find patterns in, or interpret, historical sources, this chapter will explore the contemporary uses of history in the public sphere. In other words, the focus shifts from the subjectivities of historical actors to our own, and our collective relationships with the past. We will briefly outline what is included under the rubric of public history and heritage, and explore how the concepts