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Liverpool’s inconvenient imperial past

Liverpool occupies a prominent position in the contemporary popular imagination. In spite of decades of economic decline, urban decay and a name associated by some with poverty and crime, the city's reputation is by no means a negative one. The book is a collection of essays that focuses on the strength of Liverpool's merchant marine, representing both informal and formal empire over centuries. It discusses the interracial relationships in 1950s and 1960s Liverpool to demonstrate that many African and Afro-Caribbean sailors (and others) married or had relationships with white women. Given existing deficiencies in the historiographies of both Liverpool and the British Empire, the book aims to reassess both Liverpool's role within the British imperial system and the impact on the port city of its colonial connections. Liverpool's success has often been attributed to, and marred by, its being the leader in the slave trade after 1750. Napoleonic Wars were a period of great turbulence and difficulty for the Liverpool commercial community. Liverpool is perceived as a diasporic city, however, its ambiguous nineteenth-century identity reflected the tensions of its complex migrant connections. An analysis of Liverpool's business connections with South America reveals its relative commercial decline and the notion of 'gentlemanly capitalism'. The African ethnology collection of National Museums Liverpool's (NML) ethnology collections are displayed in the 'World Cultures' gallery of the World Museum Liverpool, which opened in 2005. Liverpool is perhaps not exceptional, though its networks are notable and striking.

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Writing American sexual histories
Author: Barry Reay

The archive has assumed a new significance in the history of sex, and this book visits a series of such archives, including the Kinsey Institute’s erotic art; gay masturbatory journals in the New York Public Library; the private archive of an amateur pornographer; and one man’s lifetime photographic dossier on Baltimore hustlers. The subject topics covered are wide-ranging: the art history of homoeroticism; casual sex before hooking-up; transgender; New York queer sex; masturbation; pornography; sex in the city. The duality indicated by the book’s title reflects its themes. It is an experiment in writing an American sexual history that refuses the confines of identity sexuality studies, spanning the spectrum of queer, trans, and the allegedly ‘normal’. What unites this project is a fascination with sex at the margins, refusing the classificatory frameworks of heterosexuality and homosexuality, and demonstrating gender and sexual indecision and flexibility. And the book is also an exploration of the role of the archive in such histories. The sex discussed is located both in the margins of the archives, what has been termed the counterarchive, but also, importantly, in the pockets of recorded desire located in the most traditional and respectable repositories. The sexual histories in this book are those where pornography and sexual research are indistinguishable; where personal obsession becomes tomorrow’s archive. The market is potentially extensive: those interested in American studies, sexuality studies, contemporary history, the history of sex, psychology, anthropology, sociology, gender studies, queer studies, trans studies, pornography studies, visual studies, museum studies, and media studies.

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Private greed, political negligence and housing policy after Grenfell

As the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire of 14 June 2017 has slowly revealed a shadowy background of outsourcing and deregulation, and a council turning a blind eye to health and safety concerns, many questions need answers. Stuart Hodkinson has those answers. Safe as Houses weaves together Stuart’s research over the last decade with residents’ groups in council regeneration projects across London to provide the first comprehensive account of how Grenfell happened and how it could easily have happened in multiple locations across the country. It draws on examples of unsafe housing either refurbished or built by private companies under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to show both the terrible human consequences of outsourcing and deregulation and how the PFI has enabled developers, banks and investors to profiteer from highly lucrative, taxpayer-funded contracts. The book also provides shocking testimonies of how councils and other public bodies have continuously sided with their private partners, doing everything in their power to ignore, deflect and even silence those who speak out. The book concludes that the only way to end the era of unsafe regeneration and housing provision is to end the disastrous regime of self-regulation. This means strengthening safety laws, creating new enforcement agencies independent of government and industry, and replacing PFI and similar models of outsourcing with a new model of public housing that treats the provision of shelter as ‘a social service’ democratically accountable to its residents.

Brad Beaven

urban poverty. 96 Unlike in Portsmouth, the fear that urban decay would impact upon matters of nation and empire was somewhat secondary to the fortunes of the bicycle and motor industries and the reputation of the city as an industrial powerhouse. The population increase in Leeds during the nineteenth century, on the other hand, led a good many of the urban elite to worry about urban degeneration

in Visions of empire
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The Wire
Elisabeth Bronfen

), The Wire. Urban Decay and American Television (New York: Continuum, 2009), p. 9. 11 See Alasdair McMillan, ‘Heroism, Institutions, and the Police Procedural’, in Potter and Marshall (eds), Urban Decay and American Television , pp. 50–63. See also Jason Mittell, ‘ The Wire in the Context of American Television’, in Kennedy and Shapiro (eds), Race, Class and Genre , pp. 15–32. 12 See Jason Reed, ‘Stringer Bell’s Lament: Violence and Legitimacy in Contemporary Capitalism’, in Potter and Marshall (eds), Urban Decay and American Television , pp. 122

in Serial Shakespeare
The gin craze
James Nicholls

) change their meaning according to social context; the story of the gin craze, however, shows that sometimes new technologies and new commodities reverse that relationship so that culture reacts to new materials, rather than only acting upon them. At the start of the eighteenth century gin stood for modernity, free trade and economic security. By 1750 gin stood for urban decay, social disintegration and economic collapse. At the start of the century its production and retail was actively encouraged by the state. Forty years later 34 chap3.indd 34 22/06/2009 10

in The politics of alcohol
Bryan S. Turner

not approve of Hutchins’s ideas and university finances declined sharply as a result. Before the Second World War Chicago was on the same level as Harvard and the University of California at Berkeley. As Chicago declined, Harvard became richer and more influential. Hyde Park, the area around the University, also went into decline. Shils admits that Hutchins may have been unable to prevent this urban decay: ‘But I had the distinct impression that he was indifferent to it’ (Shils, 1997g: 151). Even more problematic for Shils was that Hutchins had ‘no patience for the

in The calling of social thought
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Adventures in reality: why (punk) fanzines matter
Matthew Worley, Keith Gildart, Anna Gough-Yates, Sian Lincoln, Bill Osgerby, Lucy Robinson, John Street, and Pete Webb

, while the layout of text pushed against convention to forge distinct aesthetics. Simultaneously, zines such as Guttersnipe (from Telford) began to combine social commentary with social-realist imagery, striving – as did others in their collages of urban decay, National Front marches, police mobilisations, newspaper headlines, domestic ordinariness and media clichés – to capture what Raymond Williams defined as a ‘structure of feeling’.15 By the 1980s, as the Cold War reignited, so images of domesticity, militarism and nuclear devastation were juxtaposed to evoke a

in Ripped, torn and cut
Black civil rights since 1980
Kevern Verney

cities. The phenomenon of ‘white flight’, as white residents and businessmen abandoned metropolitan centres to relocate to the suburbs, deprived city administrations of vital tax revenues. At the same time rising levels of crime and urban decay necessitated increased expenditure on education, social services and welfare programmes, placing big city mayors in an impossible position. 9 In a 1987 study, The Truly Disadvantaged , conservative black sociologist William Julius Wilson controversially argued that such inner city problems were actually evidence of the

in The Debate on Black Civil Rights in America
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The future of cities and the future of war
Adam Page

a space of danger, and solutions needed to draw on a wide range of sociological, medical and architectural knowledge and techniques. In 1932, the President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Raymond Unwin, argued that a ‘power of synthesis’ was the antidote to urban decay and the sense of pessimism among underemployed architects.74 The particular synthesis Unwin sought was of architecture and planning, which, he argued, would produce the necessary aesthetics and ordered layout of urban areas. These debates and proposals reflect the significant

in Architectures of survival