Slavery and the Black Country: coming home

We've recently looked at how deeply the trade in human lives was embedded in the financial and industrial creation of the Black Country, with roots running through almost every facet of life in the eighteenth century. But of course, slavery was not solely a distant project, enacted on continents and islands thousands of miles away …

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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 …