“Police as Ploughmen”: temporary release to help farmers in the food crisis of First World War Britain

Mary Fraser, writingpolicehistory.blogspot.co.uk @drmaryfraser My new open access article for Cultural and Social History develops the surprising and, to date, untold story of the release of policemen across Britain to help farmers plough the fields. Britain faced starvation in March 1917 due to the German blockade which sank increasing numbers of ships bringing essential foodstuffs. … Continued

Fat activism and resistance against ‘traditional’ lifestyle advice in the U.S. and the Netherlands

Jon Verriet, Radboud University Nijmegen  j.verriet[at]let.ru.nl ‘A fiercely antifat culture’, is how the LA Times described U.S. society in 1976. In the corresponding article, the founder of the activist Fat Underground, Vivian Mayer – then known by her radical name Alderbaran – was interviewed about prejudice against people with high relative body weight. At the … Continued

Artisan-authors at the early modern Tower Mint

Jasmine Kilburn-Toppin, Cardiff University Kilburn-ToppinJ@cardiff.ac.uk There are few heritage sites as iconic as the Tower of London. For most twenty-first century Londoners and tourists, the Tower is associated with famous prisoners, grisly executions, and the Crown Jewels. To the early modern mind, the Tower had a more varied range of associations. As well as being … Continued

The Enduring Romance of Waterscapes

Dr Andrew McTominey, Leeds Beckett University @123McTom Water has been in the news a fair amount recently. The torrid rains of February 2020 have once again highlighted the inadequate nature of flood defences across the country. Similarly, the partial collapse of Whaley Bridge Dam, Derbyshire in December 2019 reminded us of the fallibility of Victorian … Continued

Cultural History’s Absent Audience

Dr Christine Grandy, University of Lincoln cgrandy@lincoln.ac.uk Peter Mandler’s piece, ‘The Problem with Cultural History’, published in Cultural and Social History’s inaugural issue, did what all good methodological interventions in the field should – haunt the historian for years. His use of the term ‘throw’, as an elegant analogy for the transmission of cultural knowledge, … Continued

The Holocaust, Refugee Children, and Canada’s National Narrative

In April 1947, the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) was authorized to bring 1000 young Holocaust survivors to Canada through the War Orphans Project. The Canadian federal government required all young newcomers to be placed in foster families. This led the CJC to set up a campaign to find potential foster parents. Bringing together scholarship on … Continued

The Cinema as an Emotional Space

Dr James Jones, University of Sussex @JamesTJones   We all have experiences of visiting the cinema: memories of going as a child; a first independent visit with friends; visiting today to catch the latest superhero blockbuster or to make a pilgrimage to an independent screening. That cinema-going is still a popular past-time in an age … Continued

First World War Memorials Come in All Sizes

The house was a miracle of miniature technology, from the pair of Purdy shotguns that actually broke even if they didn’t fire, to the electric lift and working plumbing. It was also packed with beautiful and very tiny works of art and literature that represented a major shift from their creators’ wartime output. C.R.W. Nevinson’s “Paths of Glory” had been banned in 1918 because of its shockingly unpatriotic content of faceless British corpses lying in the trench mud, but his contribution to the dolls’ house was a pretty watercolour of a mountain town.