Skip to main content Skip to navigation

History News

Materials of the Mind: Phrenology, Race, and the Global History of Science, 1815-1920

Materials of the Mind 
Materials of the Mind: Phrenology, Race, and the Global History of Science, 1815-1920, by Dr James Poskett (University of Warwick), is a new monograph published by University of Chicago Press.

Phrenology was the most popular mental science of the Victorian age. From American senators to Indian social reformers, this new mental science found supporters around the globe. Materials of the Mind tells the story of how phrenology changed the world—and how the world changed phrenology.

This is a story of skulls from the Arctic, plaster casts from Haiti, books from Bengal, and letters from the Pacific. Drawing on far-flung museum and archival collections, and addressing sources in six different languages, Materials of the Mind is an impressively innovative account of science in the nineteenth century as part of global history. It shows how the circulation of material culture underpinned the emergence of a new materialist philosophy of the mind, while also demonstrating how a global approach to history can help us reassess issues such as race, technology, and politics today.

Details of all the monographs and edited collection of the Warwick University History Department's current academic staff are available online, and the details of all the monographs and edited collection of the Warwick University History Department's emeritus academic staff are also available online.

 

Wed 01 May 2019, 09:19 | Tags: Research Publication

Menstruation and the Holocaust

Former undergraduate student Jo-Ann Owusu turned her excellent BA dissertation from the ‘HI31Z Sexualities, Ethnicity, Class: Reinterpreting the Holocaust’ module into an essay in History Today.

Fri 26 Apr 2019, 15:06 | Tags: Alumni Undergraduate Publication

Venice had its own ‘Airbnb problem’ during the Renaissance – here’s how it coped

Venice Airbnb

The Conversation has published an article by Dr Rosa Salzberg of the Warwick University History Department on the accommodation issues faced by Venice during the Renaissance. Please see the full article on The Conversation's website.

 

Fri 15 Mar 2019, 08:57 | Tags: Media Publication

A Retroactive #MeToo from Hollywood's Golden Age

Nobody\'s Girl Friday 
Professor J E Smyth (author of "Nobody's Girl Friday”; Professor of History at Warwick University), Karina Longworth (author of "Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes's Hollywood"; creator of the "You Must Remember This" podcast), and Victoria Riskin (author of "Fay Wray and Robert Riskin: A Hollywood Memoir"; former president, Writers Guild of America, West), were recently interviewed by KQED News:

A Retroactive #MeToo from Hollywood's Golden Age

In 2017, the #MeToo Movement began exposing Hollywood’s culture of sexual violence, which then broadened into a global rallying cry. But sexual coercion and abuse has long had a place in Hollywood as three recently-released books attest. The books examine the working conditions of women during Hollywood's Golden Age and the abuses of casting couch predators like Howard Hughes and Harry Cohn. We'll talk with the authors about the vast contributions - and challenges - for women in the studio era.

Please see the KQED News website for the full interview podcast.

 

Sat 02 Mar 2019, 08:32 | Tags: Media Publication Expert Comment

2018 BASEES Women’s Forum Book Prize

Claire Shaw
Dr Claire Shaw (University of Warwick) is the recipient of the 2018 BASEES Women’s Forum Book Prize for her book Deaf in the USSR: Marginality, Community, and Soviet Identity, 1917-1991 (Cornell University Press, 2017). The judges, Barbara Heldt and Dan Healey, issued the following citation:

‘From the beginning of the Soviet era, the social power of the deaf, their agency and autonomy, was tied to sovietness. This statement, however, oversimplifies a complex history, which Claire Shaw explicates in remarkable detail, drawing on both published and archival sources. Her book expands the scope of our understanding of behaviours and identity in Soviet history, while also providing glimpses into the pre-revolutionary and post-Soviet eras. How deaf identity has been marked by separateness v. inclusion, the status of sign language, the dignity of work, criminality, gender and many other issues will make this landmark study a classic read.’

For more details, please see the BASEES website's press release.

Fri 15 Feb 2019, 14:06 | Tags: Award Publication

Potato

Potato 
Potato (Object Lessons), published by Bloomsbury, is a new publication from Professor Rebecca Earle.

Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.

Baked potatoes, Bombay potatoes, pommes frites . . . everyone eats potatoes, but what do they mean? To the United Nations they mean global food security (potatoes are the world's fourth most important food crop). To 18th-century philosophers they promised happiness. Nutritionists warn that too many increase your risk of hypertension. For the poet Seamus Heaney they conjured up both his mother and the 19th-century Irish famine.

What stories lie behind the ordinary potato? The potato is entangled with the birth of the liberal state and the idea that individuals, rather than communities, should form the building blocks of society. Potatoes also speak about family, and our quest for communion with the universe. Thinking about potatoes turns out to be a good way of thinking about some of the important tensions in our world.

Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.

Details of all the monographs and edited collection of the Warwick University History Department's current academic staff are available online, and the details of all the monographs and edited collection of the Warwick University History Department's emeritus academic staff are also available online.

 

Fri 01 Feb 2019, 09:35 | Tags: Publication

The Right to Dress: Sumptuary Laws in a Global Perspective, c.1200-1800

The Right to Dress 
The Right to Dress: Sumptuary Laws in a Global Perspective, c.1200-1800, edited by Professor Giorgio Riello (University of Warwick) and Professor Ulinka Rublack (University of Cambridge), is a new edited volume published by Cambridge University Press.

This is the first global history of dress regulation and its place in broader debates around how human life and societies should be visualised and materialised. Sumptuary laws were a tool on the part of states to regulate not only manufacturing systems and moral economies via the medium of expenditure and consumption of clothing but also banquets, festivities and funerals. Leading scholars on Asian, Latin American, Ottoman and European history shed new light on how and why items of dress became key aspirational goods across society, how they were lobbied for and marketed, and whether or not sumptuary laws were implemented by cities, states and empires to restrict or channel trade and consumption. Their findings reveal the significance of sumptuary laws in medieval and early modern societies as a site of contestation between individuals and states and how dress as an expression of identity developed as a modern 'human right'.

Details of all the monographs and edited collection of the Warwick University History Department's current academic staff are available online, and the details of all the monographs and edited collection of the Warwick University History Department's emeritus academic staff are also available online.

 

Mon 28 Jan 2019, 11:33 | Tags: Publication

Beyond the Barricades: Government and State-Building in Post-Revolutionary Prussia, 1848-1858

Beyond the Barricades 
Beyond the Barricades by Dr Anna Ross is an original study of government after the 1848 revolutions. It focuses on the state of Prussia, where a number of conservative ministers sought to learn lessons from their experiences of upheaval and introduce a wave of reform in the 1850s. Using extensive archival research, the work explores Prussia's entry into the constitutional age, charting initiatives to transform criminal justice, agriculture, industry, communications, urban life, and the press. Reform strengthened contact with the Prussian population, making this a classic episode of state-building, but Beyond the Barricades seeks to go further. It makes a case for taking notice of government activity at this particular juncture because the measures endorsed by conservative statesmen in the 1850s sought to remove the feudal intermediaries that had lingered long into the nineteenth century and replace them with an array of government institutions, legal regimes, and official practices. In sum, this book recasts the post-revolutionary decade as a period which saw the transition from an old to a new world, pivotal to the making of modern Prussia and ultimately, modern Germany.

Details of all the monographs and edited collection of the Warwick University History Department's current academic staff are available online, and the details of all the monographs and edited collection of the Warwick University History Department's emeritus academic staff are also available online.

 

Fri 25 Jan 2019, 12:09 | Tags: Publication

Older news