Talking by means of the calligraphy Brush

This blog accompanies Rebekah Clements’ Historical Journal article Brush talk as the ‘lingua franca’ of diplomacy in Japanese–Korean encounters, c.…


What does peer review do?

This blog accompanies the article The Royal Society and the Prehistory of Peer Review, 1665–1965 by Noah Moxham and Aileen Fyfe published in The Historical Journal.…


When subjecthood and citizenship did not matter: the Royal Navy and foreign seamen in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars

This blog accompanies Sara Caputo’s Historical Journal article Alien Seamen in the British Navy, British Law, and the British State, C.


Appetite for Destruction? Making Sense of the Interior Department’s Request to Destroy Files

The ability of scholars to conduct research on important political, social, and environmental events in modern American history is under a pressing if seemingly routine threat.…


Soviet famines roundtable published in Contemporary European History

The editors of Contemporary European History are delighted to present this roundtable on the Soviet famines of the 1930s, which brings into conversation leading scholars from around the world working in the field of Soviet history.


Cambridge University Press to publish Renaissance Quarterly for the Renaissance Society of America

Cambridge University Press is partnering with the Renaissance Society of America (RSA) to publish Renaissance Quarterly, the leading American journal of Renaissance Studies.…


Why Revisit the Early Modern Canon?

The thing about canons is that they seem sacred. Challenging them, even revisiting them, can seem heretical. Facing these facts is the first step in addressing the intransigence of the early modern philosophical canon. Step two involves noticing just how much the canon leaves out.


The Tudor banquet: digital text mining reveals new information

This blog accomapnies Louise Stewart’s Historical Journal article ‘Social Status and Classicism in the Visual and Material Culture of the Sweet Banquet in Early Modern England‘ Today, the term ‘banquet’ is commonly used to refer to any lavish feast.  However, in the Tudor and Stuart period the word had a different, and very specific meaning, referring to a separate meal which consisted solely of sweet foods.  In September 1591, for example, Queen Elizabeth I visited the Earl of Hertford at his estate at Elvetham.  The lavish entertainments provided for the queen during her four day stay included water pageants, fireworks, feasts and a glittering ‘banquet’.  A printed account of the entertainment makes it clear that this banquet was no ordinary meal.  It was served in the garden after supper, ‘all in glass and silver’ and accompanied by a spectacular fireworks display.  The queen was presented with a thousand sweet dishes including sculptural sugar work representing her arms, castles and forts, human figures and mythical and exotic animals as well as preserved fruits and other confections.  This elaborate spectacle was typical of the sweet banquet.…


The National Rise in Residential Segregation

People talk a lot about segregation.  Every week it seems that news reports or some new academic finding shows that segregation is related to some salient outcome.  The traditional story of how America became segregated is that blacks moved to Northern cities in the early twentieth century and whites, aided by government mortgage programs and the development of the interstate highway, fled to suburban areas, creating cities with black and poor urban cores and wealthier and whiter suburbs.  With the flight of wealthier white residents to the suburbs, the resources available to the urban core declined, leaving minorities fewer resources and effectively creating a poverty trap.…


‘Operation elections’: voting, nationhood and citizenship in late-colonial Africa

This blog accompanies the Historical Journal article Voting, Nationhood, and Citizenship in Late-Colonial Africa by Justin Willis, Gabrielle Lynch and Nic Cheeseman.…


Threats to academic freedom in US history

In my piece, I emphasized the external pressures placed on individuals and institutions—what the American Association of University Professors termed “the tyranny of public opinion” in its landmark 1915 Declaration of Principles—because the connections were so clear and the challenges seemingly eternal.


STEM frenzy: teaching science to children and young people, 1830 – 1991

We live in interesting times for those seeking to inspire children and youth to take up science, technology engineering, and mathematics (STEM).…