Slavery and the Black Country: collars and chains

Last week I looked at money: finance that filtered from Africa to Jamaica to Britain through the holdings of wealthy landlords such as the Earls of Dudley. This week I want to look at things: the industrial links that the Black Country had with enslavement and unfree labour. These are not easy to trace, just as …

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Distance and Strangeness: the murder of Anne Spencer

I sometimes feel like I've spent the last three years trying to figure out my place within history. I still feel like there's probably a huge mountain of scholarship that I've completely missed, but in general I'm starting to work out what historiography is (I'm not a historian by background - everyone else just calls it 'the literature' …

The desi dialectic

Recent blog posts have been a little sparse, and that's mostly a function of learning to be a freelancer - sometimes, apparently, work comes in thick and fast and leaves little time for much else. However, it has it's upsides: whether through teaching, writing, researching or anything else I've been getting a tremendous overview of …

Legitimate concerns?

There's been a lot said in the last few days about migrants - how they should be listed and categorised, how people's "legitimate concerns" over influxes of labour should be heard, how funding should be changed so we don't have to invite so many, say, doctors to work here. I am not a migrant in …

“I wanna see some history”: the Sex Pistols at Club Lafayette

I've been reading, on and off, Greil Marcus' fascinating, rambling account of May 1968, punk, dada, and a bunch of other things besides, Lipstick Traces: The secret history of the twentieth century. It's a liberating experience, when most history books are focused on a reasonably discrete set of dates, themes or spaces, to be carried along …

Walkies

Just a quick one to say a massive thank you to everyone that came out on a bright - but chilly - Saturday to have a walk around one of the less glamorous parts of Wolverhampton this weekend. Thanks too to Wolverhampton Art Gallery for organising it. I had a fantastic time wandering around the remains …