Warwick Oral History Network
The Warwick Oral History Network has recently been awarded just over £700 of Public Engagement Funding to support the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust 'Memories of Binley Colliery' oral history project. The project is being led by Daniel Loveard of WWT. The application was drawn up by the OHN's administrative assistant, Pierre Botcherby, a PhD candidate in the department.
The aim is to interview local residents to collect memories of the colliery site as a working mine, in its derelict state post-closure, and in its current form as Claybrookes Marsh nature reserve. The project ties into WWT's larger National Heritage Lottery funded project for the Dunsmore Living Landscape, which aims to both restore the rural landscape (e.g. 300ha of historic woodland, 20km of historic hedgerows, 10 ponds, 20ha of grassland) and reconnect local people with the natural beauty on their doorstep. Tapping into residents' personal memories of the area is a key way of doing this. The funding will support the use of undergraduate volunteers from Warwick for archiving, interviewing, and transcribing, as well as contribute towards the costs of a community event in Binley upon completion of the project and the preparation/producing of a small booklet about the project findings.
More information on the project can be found here: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/schoolforcross-facultystudies/networksandinitiatives/oralhistorynetwork/ongoingprojects/binleycolliery/
More information about WWT/Dunsmore Living Landscape can be found here: https://www.exploredunsmore.org/the-fingerprint-of-man/
Dr James Poskett featured in Audible short story collection
Dr James Poskett recently featured as part of a new Audible short story collection, produced in collaboration with the Wellcome Collection. In Homeless Bodies and Other Stories, leading authors were paired with objects from the Wellcome Collection. In the third episode (“The Master and the Student”), James discusses a skull used by phrenologists with the author Haroun Khan.
Humfrey Butters (1946-2019)
It is with sadness that we report the death of Humfrey Butters following a short illness. Those of us who knew him will have many memories of his many years of service in the department. It goes without saying that the Venice programme stands as an enduring reminder of his contributions to the university. He will be greatly missed. There will be a small family funeral followed by a memorial service later in the year. Some memories of Humfrey are gathered here.
Dr Sarah Richardson awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Historical Association
We are delighted to announce that Dr Sarah Richardson has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Historical Association. Each year the Historical Association awards a small number of Honorary Fellowships to recognise and celebrate outstanding contributions to history and to the Historical Association.
The provisional results of the Warwick University Students' Union 2019 elections have been announced.
Congratulations to all of the successful candidates, and particularly to History students Charlotte Lloyd, Warwick SU Sports Officer Elect, and Taj Ali, Warwick SU Ethnic Minorities Officer Elect. 523 History students voted in the elections, the largest turnout of all of the University's academic departments.
The Warwick University History Department wishes everyone a happy Chinese New Year, particularly those staff and students, past and present, with a Chinese background or connection. We hope that 2019, the Year of the Pig, will be a great year for everyone.
Dear Warwick history students,
I was intending to write to you tomorrow to let you know that after five years serving as an outstanding head of department, Professor Dan Branch will be stepping down to become the Chair of the Faculty of Arts. I’ll be taking over as department head, and I wanted to say hello.
The need to write to you has however become much more urgent.
I am sure you are aware of the continuing and distressing situation resulting from last year's group chats. You may have seen the University’s official statement, as well as the multiple reports in the press. The department is deeply concerned about the impact of these recently-reported events on our community.
We in the department have tried hard to provide as much moral and academic support as we can to the individuals affected by this case. We will continue to work to limit its impact on the studies of the women involved, and also to provide the necessary structures to support this. This has been a priority since the incidents first came to light.
We also recognise the need to address the challenges posed to the department as a whole.
Although the department had absolutely no input into the disciplinary cases, and although we are bound by a legal requirement to uphold the confidentiality of all students involved, we feel a pressing need to make sure that our students have a chance to fully express their views on this case.
We are currently in discussion with the University with the aim of organising a series of meetings for you to meet with representatives from the administration who can answer questions about the situation and listen to your concerns. Your legitimate and very understandable unhappiness need to be addressed right now. We will also work to design the necessary mechanisms to ensure that next academic year is not blighted by the after-effects of the toxic events of last year.
When the case first received public attention last summer, Dan Branch wrote to all of you to stress the department’s commitment to supporting any student who experiences misogyny, racism, homophobia or any other form of prejudice. Any such behaviour is unacceptable and runs contrary to the ethos of the department. This commitment remains central to our principles as a community. Please contact your personal tutor or myself if there is anything that you wish to bring to our attention, whether that be something that you have been subjected to yourself or have witnessed.
I’ll be writing again as soon as I have details about the meetings we are hoping to set up.
Child Protection in England, 1960-2000: Expertise, Experience, and Emotion is a new book by Dr Jennifer Crane, Research Fellow for the Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award "The Cultural History of the NHS" at the Warwick University History Department.
This book explores how children, parents, and survivors reshaped the politics of child protection in late twentieth-century England. Activism by these groups, often manifested in small voluntary organisations, drew upon and constructed an expertise grounded in experience and emotion that supported, challenged, and subverted medical, social work, legal, and political authority. New forms of experiential and emotional expertise were manifested in politics - through consultation, voting, and lobbying - but also in the reshaping of everyday life, and in new partnerships formed between voluntary spokespeople and media. While becoming subjects of, and agents in, child protection politics over the late twentieth century, children, parents, and survivors also faced barriers to enacting change, and the book traces how long-standing structural hierarchies, particularly around gender and age, mediated and inhibited the realisation of experiential and emotional expertise.