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

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