Histories of the Self

Penny Summerfield (Emerita Professor of History at University of Manchester) recently published a new book, Histories of the Self: personal narratives and historical practice (Routledge, 2018). As she explains, the book was inspired by teaching courses on personal testimony and historical research at Manchester. One of my favourite courses, when I taught at Manchester, was…

RESEARCH NEWS: “Opportunities and challenges in the sharing economy” Dr Alexia Yates discusses what Airbnb can tell us about nineteenth-century Paris.

As a historian of cities and economic life, I am interested in how markets transform our understanding and use of space, as well as how local governments grapple with the political and social consequences of those economic changes. Studying real estate as an object with a history offers useful insights for some contemporary urban issues….

RESEARCH NEWS: “Corpses of Mass Violence and Genocide”: Dr Jean-Marc Dreyfus discusses uncovering the ‘forensic turn’ in his recent ERC-funded project.

Skulls displayed at the Nyamata Memorial Site, Rwanda. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. What was the starting-point for this project? Histories of genocide have tended, to date, towards examining the aftermath of mass violence in relation to issues of trauma and memory, and how these factors shape the subsequent political, cultural, and social characterisations of…

Manchester’s Transnational Friendship with France: James Connolly discusses the ‘adoption’ of Mézières.

The 1921 Lord Mayor’s pageant raising funds for Mézières. Image courtesy of Manchester Central Library: http://www.manchester.gov.uk/news/article/7160/central_library_exhibition_to_celebrate_the_link_between_manchester_and_m%C3%A9zi%C3%A8res My last post touched upon my recent side project on British towns adopting French towns and villages after the First World War. Here, I would like to briefly highlight how this transnational history also had a highly local and…

British Colonialism Built Corruption: Dr Steven Pierce discusses the legacy of empire in Nigeria

It’s nothing new—a politician said something offensive and silly about other countries, angering people around the world. When David Cameron declared last week that Nigeria and Afghanistan were “fantastically corrupt,” my social media accounts blew up. Nigerian friends and commentators were very angry, and rightly so. The sad thing is that Cameron probably doesn’t understand why they’re…

Only out to save themselves? Dr Sarah Roddy explores the history of fraudulent charity fundraisers.

Camilla Batmanghelidjh, founder of Kids Company. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. To anyone with even a passing knowledge of Victorian and Edwardian charities, the recent spectacular demise of Kids’ Company will have thrown up some strikingly familiar tropes. The charismatic, well-intentioned figurehead and founder, adept at using the media to build support, but then, virtually…