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.
Gender history is more than the recovery of women's pasts and inclusion of female experiences into history. This book brings together two traditionally separate areas of historical literature: writings on women and gender on the one hand, and scholarship on British imperialism and colonialism on the other. It marks an important new intervention into a vibrant area of scholarship, creating a dialogue between the histories of imperialism and of women and gender. By engaging critically with both traditional British imperial history and colonial discourse analysis, the book demonstrates how feminist historians can play a central role in creating new histories of British imperialism. The first part of the book offers new perspectives on the nature of British imperial power through exploring the gender dimensions of the imposition of British control. It discusses study of the age of consent, body of scholarship, and British women missionaries in India. The second part talks about the gender dimensions of a spectrum of reactions to British imperialism. The focus is on colonising women and the colonized women. The third part switches from colonial contexts to explore the impact of imperialism within Britain itself. It presents both the anti-slavery discourse constructed by women anti-slavery campaigners and the 'triple discourse' of anti-slavery in early feminist tracts of 1790 to 1869 as marking key roots of the 'imperial feminism'. Finally, the inter-war period is explored focusing on the under-researched area of white women's involvement in imperial politics and race issues.
This book explores the experiences and contributions of British women performing various kinds of active service across the Eastern Front in Serbia, Russia and Romania during the First World War. The book is roughly chronological, but also examines related themes such as gender, nationality and legacy. Upon the outbreak of the War in 1914, rejected by the British military, surprising numbers of British women went to work for the allied armies in the East. The book considers their experiences before and after the fall of Serbia in 1915. Other women were caught in Russia and remained there to offer service. Later, women’s Units moved further East from Serbia to work on the Romanian and Russian Fronts, only to be caught up in revolution. This book explores their many experiences and achievements, within an appropriate historical and cultural context and interprets their own words by examining the many and varied written records they left behind. Women such as Dr Elsie Inglis, Mabel St Clair Stobart, Flora Sandes and Florence Farmborough are studied alongside many others whose diaries, letters, memoirs and journalism help to shape the extraordinary role played by British women in the East and their subsequent legacy.
Genderhistory arose from women’s dissatisfaction with their historical invisibility, but subsequently expanded its scope to investigate men’s history as well. 1 While professional historians such as Alice Clark, Ivy Pinchbeck, Eileen Power, and Mary Beard had been researching women’s lives from the early twentieth century, in fact there had been much amateur history written by and about women from the beginning of the nineteenth century. 2 It was during the 1960s’ women’s liberation movement, however, that women historians began actively working to address
’s Ornamentalism: How the British Saw their Empire , where he states that he will investigate the British Empire as a place ‘that both reflected and reinforced commonplace perceptions of the domestic social structure’. 2 Cannadine, in other words, viewed the Empire as a structure that served to buttress the meanings conveyed by British institutions. To illustrate this point one might contrast Cannadine’s view of ‘Ornamentalism’, with Marxist accounts that interpreted the experience of Empire as a stage in Britain’s economic development. 3
Genderhistory can, perhaps, be seen
separate origins and differing preoccupations of women’s/genderhistory and traditional British Imperial History, and then proceeds to
discuss the challenges to traditional Imperial History posed by new
‘post-colonial’ histories of imperialism. This section
provides a background for the survey which follows of existing
scholarship on gender and imperialism, which leads in turn to an outline
Each summer, a “perpetual fair” plagued eighteenth-century London, a city in transition overrun by a burgeoning population. City officials attempted to control disorderly urban amusement according to their own gendered understandings of order and morality. Frequently derided as locations of dangerous femininity disrupting masculine commerce, fairs withstood regulation attempts. Fairs were important in the lives of ordinary Londoners as sites of women’s work, sociability, and local and national identity formation. Rarely studied as vital to London’s modernization, urban fairs are a microcosm of London’s transforming society demonstrating how metropolitan changes were popularly contested. This study contributes to our understanding of popular culture and modernization in Britain during the formative years of its global empire. Drawing on legal records, popular literature, visual representations, and newspapers, this study places official discourse regarding urban amusement into the context of broader cultural understandings of gender and social hierarchies, commerce, public morality, and the urban environment. Entertainments, such as theatre, waxwork displays, and “monsters” are examined as cultural representations that disseminated ideas about “Britishness” and empire to a diverse audience. Such entertainment is often overlooked in works focused on elite culture or exhibits in the later era of World’s Fairs. This book demonstrates a thriving world of exhibition in the eighteenth century, which is a vital component to understanding later expositions. Examples drawn from literary and visual culture make this an engaging study for scholars and students of late Stuart and early Georgian Britain, urban and gender history, World’s Fairs, and cultural studies.
Women Art Workers constitutes the first comprehensive history of the network of women who worked at the heart of the English Arts and Crafts movement from the 1870s to the 1930s. Challenging the long-standing assumption that the Arts and Crafts simply revolved around celebrated male designers like William Morris, this book instead offers a new social and cultural account of the movement, which simultaneously reveals the breadth of the imprint of women art workers upon the making of modern society. Thomas provides unprecedented insight into how women – working in fields such as woodwork, textiles, sculpture, painting, and metalwork – navigated new authoritative roles as ‘art workers’ by asserting expertise across a range of interconnected cultures so often considered in isolation: from the artistic to the professional, intellectual, entrepreneurial, and domestic. Through examination of newly discovered institutional archives and private papers, and a wide range of unstudied advertisements, letters, manuals, photographs, and calling cards, Women Art Workers elucidates the critical importance of the spaces around which women conceptualised alternative creative and professional lifestyles: guild halls, exhibitions, homes, studios, workshops, and the cityscape. Shattering the traditional periodisation of the movement as ‘Victorian’, this research reveals that the early twentieth century was a critical juncture at which women art workers became ever more confident in promoting their own vision of the Arts and Crafts. Shaped by their precarious gendered positions, they opened up the movement to a wider range of social backgrounds and interests, and redirected the movement’s radical potential into contemporary women-centred causes.
This book recounts the little-known history of the mixed-race children born to
black American servicemen and white British women during the Second World War.
Of the three million American soldiers stationed in Britain from 1942 to 1945,
about 8 per cent (240,000) were African-American; the latter’s relationships
with British women resulted in the birth of an estimated 2,000 babies. The
African-American press named these children ‘brown babies’; the British called
them ‘half-castes’. Black GIs, in this segregated army, were forbidden to marry
their white girlfriends. Up to half of the mothers of these babies, faced with
the stigma of illegitimacy and a mixed-race child, gave their children up for
adoption. The outcome for these children tended to be long-term residency in
children’s homes, sometimes followed by fostering and occasionally adoption, but
adoption societies frequently would not take on ‘coloured’ children, who were
thought to be ‘too hard to place’. There has been minimal study of these
children and the difficulties they faced, such as racism in a (then) very white
Britain, lack of family or a clear identity. Accessibly written and illustrated
with numerous photographs, this book presents the stories of over forty of these
children. While some of the accounts of early childhood are heart-breaking,
there are also many uplifting narratives of finding American fathers and gaining
a sense of self and of heritage.
Gender and conversion in the early modern Mediterranean
Century Journal , 12 ( 1982 ), 180.
Marc Baer, ‘Islamic conversion
narratives of women: social change and gendered religious
hierarchy in early modern Ottoman Istanbul’, Gender &
History , 16 ( 2004 ), 426; Stephen Ortega,
‘“Pleading for help”: gender relations and