Public Secrets: Race and colour in colonial and independent Jamaica

Prof Henrice Altink, Department of History, University of York @HenriceAltink   It was on my first visit to Jamaica as a PhD student in the 1990s that I noticed the importance of race and colour in Jamaican society. When I went to the bank to cash some travellers’ cheques, I noticed that the doorman … 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.

Cheap Street: markets and cabbages

Dr Victoria Kelley, University for the Creative Arts   Cheap Street tells the story of London’s street markets: Petticoat Lane, Berwick Street, Lambeth Walk and many others. From the 1850s, anything that could be bought in a shop could also be bought in the street markets – they were the butcher, baker, greengrocer, provision … Continued

Acknowledge the Acknowledgments

Dr Henry Irving, Leeds Beckett University @drhenryirving One of the most important things I learned during my undergraduate degree was that academics read differently. Critical analysis, the lecturers’ said, was as important as comprehension. I still remember feeling shocked when one explained that they would begin marking an essay by looking at the bibliography. “But, … Continued

The Continued Survival of the Gentleman Amateur

Dr Duncan Stone, University of Huddersfield @StoneDunk Writing of the thirteen elite public schools of England in 1891, the educationalist M. J. Rendell unashamedly pointed out that ‘of the “thicks”; “intermediates” and “clever” boys, it is the intermediates: a group of “honest workers with sound headpieces and average wits, who will soon be playing a … Continued

SHS Postgraduate Prize Winner: The Ambiguity of Taste

Katrina-Louise Moseley, University of Cambridge @trina_moseley As an avid viewer of cookery television programmes (I grew up watching Ready Steady Cook with my Grandad in the late 1990s, and continued to watch intently as the genre swallowed Ainsley Harriot’s gags to make way for the more haughty Masterchef Goes Large in the 2000s), I’ve long … Continued

Curiosity in the Archive

Dr Daphna Oren-Magidor @DaphnaOrenM “Don’t you ask a lot of questions?” says Matthew Clairmont irritably to historian Diana Bishop in the recent TV adaptation of Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches. “Hmm…” answers Bishop, with a barely-apologetic shrug. “It’s the historian in me.” For historians – as for most scholars – questions are a fundamental … Continued

Bacterial Cultures

James Stark and Catherine Stones, University of Leeds Germs have always been hidden. Impossible to see with the naked eye, microorganisms inhabit a world of their own. Invisible miniature organisms had long been theorised but were first revealed by the microscopy of Anton van Leeuwenhoek in the seventeenth century. With the increasing popularity … Continued

Settlement, Assimilation and the Monros in Early Modern England

Dr Allan Kennedy is Lecturer in History at the University of Dundee. He is the author of Governing Gaeldom: The Scottish Highlands and the Restoration State, 1660-1688 (Leiden, 2014) and numerous articles on the treatment of Scottish outsiders or ‘others’ in the early modern world.

In his contribution to the Research Exchange, he reflects on the challenges of researching Scottish migration and identity in early modern England, which he wrote about with Professor Keith Brown in their recent article ‘Becoming English: The Monro Family and Scottish Assimilation in Early-Modern England’ published online with Cultural & Social History on 27 March 2019.