Contact Zones of the First World War

Anna Maguire, Queen Mary, University of London @AnnaMaguire24 In his oral history, A Chief is a Chief by the People (1975), Stimela Jason Jingoes, who served with the South African Native Labour Corps, recalled arriving in Liverpool in 1917. When we boarded the train, before we left Liverpool, the girls of that place arrived … Continued

Researching Early Modern Women’s Work in a Time of COVID

Alice Tomlinson, University of Manchester @alice_the_ant When I started researching women’s changing work patterns in the early modern period for an essay last autumn, I had no idea the rabbit hole I would end up exploring. Initially, I found that much work on women’s employment suggests that either women have been marching slowly towards emancipation … Continued

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

Mary Fraser, @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

Colonialism and Sex Work in French North Africa

Catherine Phipps, University of Oxford @katyaphipps ‘Madame, please, I don’t want to stay here. I want to go back to Oran. Give me the money for the trip home and I will pay it back.’ ‘Where did Madame Fernande unearth this girl?’ shouted the boss. ‘Money for the trip home! She’s insane!’ ‘If you want … Continued

Rumours of Revolt: Civil War and the Emergence of a Transnational News Culture in France and the Netherlands, 1561–1598

Rosanne M. Baars @RosanneBaars ‘Never was there a time more suited for the dissemination of rumours. After all, people mostly follow their emotions; they forge and shape news reports as they like to favour their own party, by adding something, leaving fragments out, even by inventing news reports and re-creating them from their own imagination. … Continued

Unheard and Unseen: Mining Women in British India

Urvi Khaitan, University of Oxford We are delighted to share this blog, which is runner up in the 2021 SHS Postgraduate Prize. You can read the announcement here. Somi Bowri would have been happy doing anything other than working in a coal mine. Born in the 1910s in an Adivasi (indigenous) Bowri community, she … Continued

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

Jon Verriet, Radboud University Nijmegen  j.verriet[at] ‘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

Bread of the Ghent Co-Operative Vooruit: 1880-1914

Peter Scholliers, Vrije Universiteit Brussel Until recently, the life of working-class families in many parts of the world swiveled around bread. Its price and quality dictated daily thoughts, little and big decisions, calorie intake, worries and hopes. High prices and poor quality of bread —often appearing as twins—alternated with periods of low prices and … Continued

Remploy: 75 years of Remploy Factories

Andy Holroyde, University of Huddersfield @AndyHolroyde On 29th April 1946, the doors of the Remploy Factory in Bridgend, Wales opened to admit the company’s very first group of disabled workers. Conceived towards the end of the Second World War, Remploy was established by the British Government to provide sheltered employment – a term used to … Continued