History seminars at the IHR


This thematic seminar series addresses issues relating to the life-cycle including age and ageing, intergenerational relationships, parenthood, rites of passage, childhood and youth. We are captive neither to chronology nor particular country, welcoming instead topics pertaining to any historical era or setting, and interdisciplinary perspectives.  Our seminars offer a friendly and welcoming space for discussion for all, including postgraduates and early career scholars.

Convenors: Dr Mary Clare Martin (University of Greenwich); m.c.h.martin@greenwich.ac.uk,  Dr Tim Reinke-Williams (Northampton), Dr Simon Sleight (King’s College, London), Dr Zubin Mistry (Queen Mary, University of London)

Venue:  John S Cohen Room 203, IHR, 2nd floor

Time: Tuesdays, 17.15

We usually go for a drink and a meal afterwards.  ALL WELCOME.

Summer Term 2015
DateSeminar details
28 April Infancy Rites of Passage in Mamluk Society (Egypt & Syria, 1250-1517)

Catherine Rose (Queen Mary, University of London)

5 May Subjectivities in the aftermath: children of disabled soldiers in Britain between the wars

Professor Michael Roper (University of Essex)

19 May Decline through survival: the lives of the younger sons of the English landed gentry 1700-1900

Dr Mark Rothery (University of Northampton)

2 June The moral economy of the Victorian 'folk' funeral

Dr Helen Frisby (University of the West of England)

From ‘bidding’ the neighbours to a funeral with specially baked funeral biscuits and the practice of waking (which is in fact an indigenous English custom that both predates and extended well beyond immigrant Irish communities), to assorted hospitality and gifting customs, I will highlight and discuss some of the funerary customs which made up the Victorian/early-C20th working-class ‘moral economy.’ Far from merely being fragmented, discreditable survivals from the imagined pre-industrial past, a waste of economic resources or a threat to public order - as they were often portrayed by contemporary commentators – I will contend that vernacular funerary customs functioned as a means of (re)constructing, consolidating and sometimes also contesting social relations within the bereaved community. In so doing I will show how contemporary folklore collections can afford us insight into otherwise poorly documented areas of historical lived experience.

16 June 'Abandoned', 'Impudent', 'Poor': Female Offending and Desistance from Crime in the Early Nineteenth Century

Dr Helen Rogers (Liverpool John Moores University)

This paper explores how girls and women responded to imprisonment and Christian rehabilitation in an early Victorian gaol where, unusually, inmates were taught by a working woman, the dressmaker Sarah Martin (1791-1843). It focuses on Great Yarmouth Gaol and House of Correction where about 15% of inmates were female. The paper considers the benefits and challenges of using life-course analysis to examine the circumstances that led to offending and desistance from crime and how these were shaped by the dynamics of gender, family, poverty and work.

30 June 'Where were you when we were getting high?': Britpop nostalgia and technological, social, cultural and generational change in 21st-century Britain

Dion Georgiou (Queen Mary, University of London)

Co-hosted with the Sport and Leisure History Seminar