Every Tuesday evening in August, Oxford-based orchestra Instruments of Time & Truth in collaboration with Warwick's Global History and Culture Centre and Early Modern and Eighteenth-Century Centre presents a digital series of performances and talks exploring the lives of musicians and their patrons in eighteenth-century London. The series will premiere on Youtube on 4 August at 7pm. This blog post features an historical essay accompanying the concert series by Professor Maxine Berg, detailing the rich musical culture of eighteenth-century London and Britain more generally and its historic links to empire, slavery, and changing global patterns of consumption.
Some six weeks after sending out a questionnaire to the wider GHCC community to survey their localised responses to the global pandemic (read more here), GHCC director Anne Gerritsen returns to the responses she received and surveys them in the light of the subsequent global responses to the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement. Connecting the pandemic, privilege, and global history, this post closes our GHCC pandemic mini-series.
Amidst the current Covid-19 pandemic, the issue of wearing masks has become a topic of international public concern. During the early stages of this global pandemic, wearing masks was mostly associated with certain regional identities in Asia. Yet, as Zhu Jing shows in this latest contribution to the GHCC pandemic mini-series, wearing masks as a public health precaution has a very long and global history. Perhaps surprisingly, the introduction of masks in Republican China in the first half of the twentieth century was a direct outflow of interactions with, and influences from, the West.
For those of us fortunate enough to be healthy, secure, and without caring responsibilities, the pandemic has offered an opportunity to pause and reflect on globalisation and the ways we write about it. In this guest blog, Professor Trevor Burnard, formerly Warwick History's head of department and currently Director of the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation, talks us through his lockdown reading. In the wake of Covid historians will need to revise their accounts of globalisation, he suggests, although not quite as dramatically as political economists: "at least we sometimes get the past right while others speculate badly on the future."
If anyone was under the impression that the widespread practice of wearing facemasks originated with the 2002-3 SARS outbreak in China, they would be mistaken. People in Asia have worn masks for much longer. Amy Evans, secretary of the Global History and Culture Centre for over ten years, remembers wearing face masks when she was growing up in Shanghai (and hating it with a passion). In this fourth instalment of the GHCC pandemic mini-series, Amy talks to GHCC director Anne Gerritsen about her upbringing in China, her move to the UK in the wake of the hand-over of Hong Kong, and her experience of pandemics both in Shanghai and the West Midlands.