The Social World of the School

Hester Barron, University of Sussex   Most of the writing for my new monograph, The Social World of the School: Education and Community in Interwar London, was done during the pandemic. The lockdowns were a strange time to be writing anything, but to be completing a book which reflected on the purpose of school … Continued

‘Always at Work’: Oh to be a Post Office Horse?

Image of post office cart

Natasha Preger, King’s College London We are delighted to share this blog, which was runner up in the 2022 SHS Postgraduate Prize. You can read the announcement here. He begins his week’s work at four o’clock on Sunday afternoon; he ends it at half-past ten on Sunday morning; and at any time during that … Continued

‘We moved together, we breathed together’: disabled women on stage in 1980s Britain

Beckie Rutherford, University of Warwick @B_Rutherford_ We are delighted to share this blog, which is winner of the 2022 SHS Postgraduate Prize. You can read the announcement here. In 1980, Nabil Shaban (a disabled student and aspiring actor) and Richard Tomlinson (an English lecturer at Hereward College in Coventry) co-founded Graeae Theatre Company. It … Continued

Hebrew (Sexual) Labour

Women at the swimming pool of Bat Galim Casino in Haifa

James A. S. Sunderland, University of Oxford @JamesSMandate ‘I am a Zionist – and so I have come to Palestine,’ says Ruth, a young woman in Tel Aviv in the late 1930s. She is sat in a café opposite twenty-year-old British journalist Barbara Board. Unlike her male colleagues who were always clambering to grab … Continued

Why men’s suits matter: A Second World War case study

Dr Lorinda Cramer, Australian Catholic University Some consider them a symbol of modern masculinity: a marker of business, power and authority. Others call them a uniform. More still see them as stuffy and overly formal. I’m referring, of course, to men’s suits. Suit-wearing has a complex and fascinating history across the twentieth century, so … Continued

Freedom Seekers: Escaping from Slavery in Restoration London

Simon P. Newman, University of Glasgow and University of Wisconsin Jack was one of more than two hundred enslaved people who escaped from their enslavers in London during the second half of the century. There were no doubt many more, but we know about these few because of advertisements like these that appeared in London’s … Continued

Communities of Print

Dr Rosamund Oates & Dr Jessica Purdy, Manchester Metropolitan University In 2018, the Communities of Print research network hosted a conference in conjunction with Chetham’s Library, Manchester. The conference sought to bring together a range of researchers from PhD candidates to ECRs to established academics who all shared an interest in the history … Continued

Cloth, Contact and Contagion: Touching Disease in the Past and Present

Steph Bennett, University of Leeds @historiansteph Since the COVID-19 crisis began, clothing has become increasingly significant in our daily lives. From shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) to wearing face masks, our clothing choices have been paramount to our health. Like today, people in the early modern period wore certain clothing and materials to try … Continued

What Dogs have to do with Medieval Public Health

Dr Janna Coomans, University of Amsterdam Although the idea of the late medieval city as the apex of disease, chaos and dirt still looms in textbooks and popular culture, a range of recent publications have made efforts to ‘clean up’ the Middle Ages. This was not an era from which things gradually improved in … Continued

Distant Communications: The Conference and its Future

Rachel Bynoth and Ellen Smith, Bath Spa University and University of Leicester @DistantCommuni1 In the middle of July 2020, just after the end of the first lockdown in the UK, we met by chance at a postgraduate online conference thinking about distance. We had so much in common: one examining expressions of anxiety in … Continued