History seminars at the IHR
Convenors: James Baker (Sussex), Adam Crymble (Hertfordshire), Richard Deswarte (UEA), Beth Hartland (KCL), Matthew Phillpott (SAS), Mia Ridge (Open University), Peter Webster (Independent)
For information and enquiries, please contact: Matt Phillpott on: email@example.com
Venue: John S Cohen Room 203, 2nd floor, IHR, North block, Senate House
Time: Tuesdays, 5.15 pm
The Challenge of Digital Sources in the Web Age: Common Tensions Across Three Web Histories, 1994-2015
The sheer amount of social, cultural, and political information that is generated and, crucially, preserved every day presents new exciting opportunities to historians. A large amount of this information is being contained within web archives, which contain billions of web pages. Scholars broaching topics dating back to the mid-1990s will find their projects enhanced by web data – military historians can use forum posts by soldiers, social historians can track aspects of everyday life through blogs and comments, political historians can study changing sentiment, tropes, and link structures, and economic historians can explore the rise and fall of businesses webpages. Yet this tremendous opportunity is mitigated to some degree by the sheer challenge of dealing with all that data: we have more information than ever before, but the scale is overwhelming.
Boutique Big Data: Reintegrating Close and Distant Reading of 19th-Century Newspapers
M. H. Beals (Loughborough University)
From their earliest incarnations in the seventeenth-century, through their Georgian expansion into provincial and colonial markets and culminating in their late-Victorian transformation into New Journalism, British newspapers have relied upon scissors-and-paste journalism to meet consumer demands for the latest political intelligence and diverting content. Although this practice, wherein one newspaper extracted or wholly duplicated content from another, is well known to scholars of the periodical press, in-depth analysis of the process is hindered by the lack of formal records relating to the reprinting process. Although anecdotes abound, attributions were rarely and inconsistently given and, with no legal requirement to recompense the original author, formal records of where material was obtained were unnecessary. Even if they had existed, the number of titles that relied upon reprinted material makes systematic analysis impossible; for many periodicals, only a few issues, let alone business records, survive.
Remixing Digital Archives: The Victorian Meme Machine
History has not been kind to Victorian jokes. While the great works of nineteenth-century art and literature have been preserved and celebrated by successive generations, even the period’s most popular gags have largely been forgotten. In the popular imagination, the Victorians have long been regarded as terminally humourless; a straitlaced society who, in the words of their queen, were famously “not amused” And yet, millions of jokes were written during the nineteenth century. They were printed in books and newspapers, performed in theatres and music halls, and re-told in pubs, offices, taxicabs, schoolrooms and kitchens throughout the land. Like many other forms of ephemeral popular culture, the majority of these jokes were never recorded and have now been forgotten.
The personal heritage research environment in the 21st century
Dr Nick Barratt (Author, historian and consultant for BBC 'Who Do You think You Are)
Drawing upon case studies and examples, Dr Barratt will explore changing approaches to personal heritage – including genealogy, local and social history – over the last decade and a half, arguing that current practice threatens to undermine the evolving research infrastructure.
European or Imperial Metropolis? Depictions of London in British Newspapers, 1870-1900
Political Meetings Mapper with British Library Labs: mapping the origins of British democratic movements with text-mining, NLP, geo-parsing and crowd-sourcing
Venue: Room SH246, 2nd floor, South block, Senate House
Pride of Place: England's LGBTQ Heritage
Rosie Sherrington (Historic England), Alison Oram (Leeds Beckett University), Justin Bengry (Birkbeck, University of London and Leeds Beckett University)
‘Pride of Place: England's LGBTQ Heritage’ is a collaborative initiative between Leeds Beckett University and Historic England to explore the relationship between lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) history and the country’s buildings and spaces. The project aims to show that LGBTQ heritage is a fundamental part of our national heritage and to improve knowledge of, and access to, this diverse history. As part of this project we are using crowd sourcing techniques in the mapping the widest range of historical LGBTQ locations across England. A key feature of this initiative is engagement with the community, who are encouraged to identify sites of LGBTQ historical significance including everything from commercial and leisure locations, interiors and outside spaces, national historic sites and even domestic spaces in both the recent and more distant past. When completed the project will include not only the interactive map, but also an online exhibition, guidance packs for heritage and community groups, a teaching pack for use in schools, and other outputs. After the recent success of the iconic Royal Vauxhall Tavern being listed as Grade II on the basis of its significance to LGBTQ history and heritage, we hope to recommend further locations for listing and amend the descriptions of currently listed buildings to identify their LGBTQ historical significance.
Venue: Room S246, 2nd floor, South block, Senate House
Double Helix History: the use of DNA in Popular Genealogy?
Dr Jerome de Groot (University of Manchester)
Genealogy is one of the biggest and most profitable activities on the planet. Generally undertaken via massive gateway websites like Ancestry.com (14 billion family history records; 60 million member trees) it involves investigators around the world formulating their ‘family tree’ and imagining their relationship to the past accordingly.
Mapping Paris: Artists and their Neighbourhoods in the 18th Century