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 …

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Birmingham’s furthest outpost: Michel de Certeau and the tactics of Elan Village’s navvies

The Welsh countryside It's often presumed that times moves slowly in the countryside. Seasons come and go, and the work changes little. The 1901 census for the rural Welsh parish of Llansantffraid Cwmdeuddwr reveals a mixed picture of rural labour. Farmers, agricultural labourers and their families, born and raised in this parish or the neighbouring Rhayader are in …

Foucault in Northfield: Birmingham’s reformed pubs

As I mentioned recently, apparently historians love pubs more than anything. I was particularly intrigued by a discussion with Nathan Booth at the Urban History conference in Cambridge about the internal layout of pubs in his recently-completed thesis on Stalybridge - I hadn't given this a lot of thought, focusing mainly on the streetscape. So …