anything wrong with the way more formal historical study connects with a wider audience; the explanation may lie outside the world of historiography and be more to do with the pressures on the curriculum, including official pressure to have vocational courses and the popularity of certain new subjects. However, although at the time of writing the downward trend in numbers seems to have stopped and was never evident in the universities, it does raise the question of what exactly ‘academic’ history is and how well it relates to the needs and interests of society.
History in the historiographical sense is made by us, not by people in the past,
nor by the record of their actions. This book facilitates the critical reading
of works of history. It looks at the historical profession, its predilections
and traditions. The Whig interpretation of history has been chosen to illustrate
the relationship between historiography and a prevalent culture because of its
central role in the period when the historical profession began to establish
itself in England and because of its continuing popular and political influence.
The book acts as a guide to reading historiographical texts, looking at the
relationship between 'facts' and 'theories', and at
'meta-narrative' and causation. The book examines the issues of
planning and structuring in the process of writing an essay. It offers a guide
to the writing of academic history at undergraduate level and to the skills
involved, and contrasts this with the non-academic uses of history. The book
talks about some gender historians who viewed gender identities as expressions
of social change within a wider society. It explores the unique fascination that
the Nazis has exercised on both academic and popular historiography, along with
the allied study of the Holocaust. The book also explores the works of Marxist
historians associated with the Communist Party Historians' Group and
considers the earlier approaches to cultural history, as influences on the
Group, and the development of newer theoretical positions that developed both
out of and in opposition to Marxism. The developments in British historiography
medicine is disseminated and experienced, invite
In this short essay I have used ‘history’ in a
number of ways, and this reflects its flexible, protean nature. Professional
historians need to accept that academichistory is only one form of
‘history’, and that everyone's sense of the past, their
understanding of earlier eras, is inevitably shaped by many phenomena, most of which are
outside their control
and cohesive picture of the chosen subject, confirmation of the perversity of
images that violated academic standards of beauty, form – and dignity. 34
Brown does not fit the stereotype of the mainstream Victorian painter. It
is a mistake, then, to characterise his historical paintings as misrepresentations of the
components found in orthodox academicHistory Painting. 35 The murals are crucial here, since they bring into focus a key aspect
of his vision of painting: the belief that the modern painter should place
by now, Brown rejects the spectrum model at
the heart of academicHistory Painting, where different forces are held in check by a
‘strong’ or ‘synthesising’ centre. Brown’s concern is
with situations where authority breaks down or where social energies are detached from
disciplinary powers and social leadership. His is a composite world where things compete to
dominate picture space. Third, his interest in tension, conflict and the play of continency
relates to the critical thinking devised by Carlyle, whose
) for History undergraduates to conduct primary research for their essay assignments, that is, apart from dissertations and extended essays usually undertaken in the final year of degree programmes. Secondly, that the mere extraction of causes/factors from either textbooks or monographs is an unsatisfactory approach. Thirdly, that academichistory is primarily concerned with explaining and interpreting events and developments, not simply describing them. Taken together what this adds up to is that most undergraduate history assignments require students to assess the
Chapter 1 addresses the critical and conceptual conditions in which Brown developed the Manchester murals, paying specific attention to how these works responded to debates about social experience and collective life. It explains how Brown made use of Carlyle’s theory of historical representation when identifying painting with the transmission of living human expression, and it goes on to explore why he contested the model of social life and nationhood associated with academic History Painting.
The first part of this chapter looks at different critical models of Manchester in Victorian culture and politics. It pays particular attention to the writings of Thomas Carlyle, who shaped Brown’s interest in the outsiders of official history. The second part of the chapter, which provides a set of detailed readings of the first four murals in the scheme, argues that Brown’s designs are united by an ambition to probe the critical spaces and meanings of academic History Painting.
This afterword considers the significance of medical history in period dramas in the current context of the COVID-19 global pandemic. It considers the popularity of period drama as a source of entertainment and escapism, examining the extent to which such dramas include medical storylines. It then goes on to explore the significance of particular themes in medical history, such as gender, patient/practitioner power relationships, and patient voice, particularly as they relate to the chapters in this collection. In doing so it demonstrates how such analyses bridge the gap between academic histories of medicine and popular public discourse, furthering effective public communication and dissemination of scholarship. The afterword then goes on to examine the particularities of the small screen as a medium for engaging with the history of medicine, considering the advantages and disadvantages in relation to films and written fiction. It explores the limitations of dramatising or fictionalising the past, particularly as it pertains to histories of health and medicine. Locating this debate in the current pandemic context, it argues that medicine and caregiving in period television dramas root escapist fictional narratives in the embodied reality of lived experience.
The challenge of the sublime argues that the unprecedented visual inventiveness of the Romantic period in Britain could be seen as a response to theories of the sublime, more specifically to Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757). While it is widely accepted that the Enquiry contributed to shaping the thematics of terror that became fashionable in British art from the 1770s, this book contends that its influence was of even greater consequence, paradoxically because of Burke’s conviction that the visual arts were incapable of conveying the sublime. His argument that the sublime was beyond the reach of painting, because of the mimetic nature of visual representation, directly or indirectly incited visual artists to explore not just new themes, but also new compositional strategies and even new or undeveloped pictorial and graphic media, such as the panorama, book illustrations and capricci. More significantly, it began to call into question mimetic representational models, causing artists to reflect about the presentation of the unpresentable and the inadequacy of their endeavours, and thus drawing attention to the process of artistic production itself, rather than the finished artwork. By revisiting the links between eighteenth-century aesthetic theory and visual practices, The challenge of the sublime establishes new interdisciplinary connections which address researchers in the fields of art history, cultural studies and aesthetics.