Publication Spotlight: Roma Voices in History

Blog written by Professor Elena Marushiakova. Prof Marushiakova is a Research Professor in Modern History. Her new book Roma Voices in History, co-authored with Professor Veselin Popov, is now available with Brill.

Over the past two decades, the Roma issue has become one of the most current topics in the European public space and has become especially relevant in academia. Despite this, there are still numerous research topics that remain uncharted. One of these is the history of the Roma (formerly referred to as ‘Gypsies’ in local languages) in the period between WWI and WWII and the appearance and development of social and political projects proposed by Roma themselves. Together with my co-author and husband Veselin Popov, we have worked for over 40 years in the field of Romani Studies, during which time we developed an ambitious goal to fill in this gap. This became possible thanks to the ERC advanced grant for a research project entitled ‘RomaInterbellum. Roma civic emancipation between the two World Wars’.

Our previous research convinced us that one of the biggest mistakes made in the research of Roma has been to view them as a ‘people apart’, or a people without history and fatherland. And yet, Roma do not live isolated on an uninhabited island—they exist in two dimensions, both as separate ethnic communities and as a part of the society in which they live within their respective nation-states. The chosen historical period (the interwar) is the time when Roma, together with the majorities in the countries in which they lived, experienced breakdowns of old Empires and the establishment of national states. On the vast territories which would become the Soviet Union they were included in the building of a new political system. In this time span, Roma started to be politically institutionalised and subjected to a variety of controversial policy practices.

Prof Elena Marushiakova

We look at Roma not only as passive recipients of policy measures but also as active architects of their lives, so the aim has been, alongside studying pieces of evidence reflecting state policies regarding Roma, to collect written heritage of Roma visionaries whose published and unpublished texts reflect the main stages in the development of the Roma movement and represent its different aspirations. The overall project looks at Roma as an inseparable part of mainstream history and Roma socio-political visions as part of the history of modern political thought in Europe. In this respect, the first outcome of this project, Roma Voices in History, reflects and implements this perspective.

Apart from academic curiosity and our conviction in the importance of the topic, the reason for writing this book was a reaction to existing prejudices about the inequality of Roma with other European nations, alongside which they have lived for centuries. We repeatedly hear statements about the lack of written sources concerning the history of the Roma. We also repeatedly hear about the lack of archival material concerning the history of the Roma, material which when it does exist takes the form of police reports wherein Roma are presented merely as violators of law. Through this, Roma are most often viewed as passive objects of different state policies rather than as active creators of their own history. Because scholars do not often seek to discover sources written by Roma, the Roma point of view has de facto been absent, while the reaction of the Roma themselves (or lack thereof) to the policies implemented towards them, as well as their visions about the future of their communities, has been almost totally neglected.

Prof Veselin Popov

Our research, however, has proven that the opposite is true. It appears that source materials are, in fact, extremely numerous, and many of them represent the voice of the Roma themselves while also presenting the visions and the specific goals pursued by the Roma civic emancipation movement.  It is precisely this which is revealed in the book Roma Voices in History.

Together with a team of colleagues, we have discovered an extensive collection of primary historical sources in various languages representing original Roma voices from across the vast region of Central, Eastern and South-eastern Europe. This is the region in which numerous Roma communities have settled for centuries and which represents an inseparable part of the societies they inhabit. Much like any other nation in the region, the Roma experienced processes of nation-building during the Interwar period, a time when their national elite came into being and the establishment of national literature and press can be noted. All these shifts are clearly presented in our book by highlighting the most important source materials to reflect the broader process of Roma civic emancipation. These materials are published in the book both in their original language and their English translation, accompanied by explanatory notes and summarising comments. The notes and comments, alongside the original sources themselves, aim to discuss the specific historical realities and their interrelation to the Romani emancipatory movement in Central, Eastern and South-eastern Europe, thus presenting a comprehensive picture of the historical processes that shaped it.  

Publication Spotlight: Political Advice: Past, Present and Future

Blog written by Prof Colin Kidd and Dr Jacqueline Rose. Their new book Political Advice: Past, Present and Future is now available from Bloomsbury.

‘Could you give me some advice?’ is a question we have all asked at various times in our lives. But whom do we ask? When do we turn to a person that we feel we can trust, a friend we can confide in, somebody with experience and expertise in a particular area, or someone whose job it is to advise on such matters? Such questions are daunting. But how much more fraught for political leaders, who take decisions on crucial matters far beyond their knowledge base, is the selection of appropriate advisers.

Few would dispute the need for political advice, yet it has a remarkable propensity to cause problems. Is the leader listening to enough people? To the right people? Are they listening at all? Do they have to? Can they be made to and, if so, would this be by formally constraining them to hear advice or by changing the way in which that counsel is presented? There are certain functions that advice perennially performs—compensating for a leader’s limited knowledge, time, and (occasionally) abilities; balancing long-term objectives with crises that require immediate attention; resolving conflicts and extracting consent; providing support in the lonely and dauntingly burdensome business of governing. Yet the mechanisms for managing it have varied over time and space. Indeed, what works for one president or prime minister may be disastrous for their successor: some respond well to rigidly structured advice, others thrive in a seemingly undisciplined atmosphere in which they receive multiple pieces of conflicting counsel.

Dr Jacqueline Rose

It was with the aim of reflecting on these themes that we embarked on what became Political Advice: Past, Present and Future. Somewhat embarrassingly for a pair of historians, we can’t pinpoint its precise beginning and causes. But it may have had something to do with conversations about Joan Quigley, the Reagans’ astrologer, an adviser on auspicious dates whose role, originally revealed by a disgruntled former chief of staff, proved to be a revealing way into the politics of counsel in the late-twentieth century White House. The themes of formal vs informal advice, access and influence, and the interplay of personal trust with official constitutional structures, seemed to be ones offering excellent opportunities for dialogue across periods and disciplines.

Assembling a team of interdisciplinary contributors from academia and public life, we began with a day-long workshop in the ‘Public Life’ series at All Souls College, Oxford, settling on a date of 8 June 2017. As it turned out, we were not the only ones for whom 8 June 2017 ended up being an important day, for it was the one that the then-prime minister, Theresa May, chose as the date for a snap general election. The aftermath of that election included the high-profile removal of May’s joint chiefs of staff, Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy. Media attention to the vicissitudes of advice in the Trump White House, the advent of Dominic Cummings as a key adviser to Boris Johnson, and a steady stream of reports about projects to reform Whitehall kept political advice constantly in the news during the period in which our volume took shape.

Prof Colin Kidd

Even as we put the final touches to the introduction in early 2020, conflicts over ministerial control of special advisers and civil service reform were still making headlines. We thought we were up to date in including a mention of Sajid Javid’s resignation letter, which urged the importance of advice. It’s just as well, therefore, that we expressed ‘the characteristic historian’s caution about predicting tomorrow’s headlines’ in the acknowledgements (dated February 2020). For the volume ended up being dispatched on one of the last days before we moved to working from home. In the early weeks of lockdown, it looked like the politics of advice had vanished from view. A year later, less so. At the point of publication, the other forecast in our acknowledgements—that ‘future events will continue to generate stories about political advice’—holds true. Indeed, the still-unfolding story about who gave what advice to whom and when during the pandemic demonstrates the vital and contested role of political advice—past, present, and future.

Staff Spotlight: Felicity Loughlin

Blog written by Dr Felicity Loughlin. Dr Loughlin is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of St Andrews, where she is working on the ‘Learning & Unbelief’ strand of the After the Enlightenment project. Her research and teaching interests lie in the intellectual, cultural and religious history of Scotland and Europe, c.1650–c.1850.

I came to St Andrews as a postdoctoral Research Fellow in September 2018. I’ve spent over two happy years here as part of the After the Enlightenment project team. Before that, I was a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, where I wrote my thesis on the Scottish Enlightenment’s fascination with ‘pagan’ (non-Abrahamic) religious cultures. I’m now working on transforming my thesis into my first book, The Scottish Enlightenment Confronts the Gods: Paganism & the Nature of Religion.

More generally, I’m fascinated by the history of religious belief, which has profoundly shaped how individuals view the world and their place within it. I’m especially interested in how religious thought and ideas about religion have contributed to long-term patterns of intellectual and cultural change. Joining the After Enlightenment project has allowed me to pursue these interests in the context of nineteenth-century Scotland.

The project aims to explore Scottish intellectual life, c.1789–1843, reconstructing the legacies of the Scottish Enlightenment’s debates in three fundamental areas: natural philosophy, political economy, and religion. My contribution belongs to the religion strand and focuses on unbelief. Working with a variety of colourful material (anti-infidel apologetics, freethinking newspapers, court records, catalogues of infidel bookshops, and scientific, literary, theological, and historical writings), my research seeks to answer several interlocking questions. What did unbelief mean in the early nineteenth century? How far did unbelievers continue the religious debates of the Scottish Enlightenment? In what ways did they take unbelief in new directions? And how did infidelism, and the civil and ecclesiastical responses it elicited, transform the Scottish religious landscape?

Pamphlet produced in 1824 by the Edinburgh Freethinkers’ Zetetic Society, found in the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh. Credit: Felicity Loughlin

Strikingly, unbelievers are at present almost entirely absent from existing historiography on nineteenth-century Scotland. Yet from the 1820s, unbelievers of various stripes – including sceptics, deists, and atheists – acquired unprecedented visibility in Scotland’s urban communities. Freethinking societies were formed in numerous towns and cities, attracting hundreds of members from the middling and lower classes, and infidel bookshops appeared in Glasgow and Edinburgh, prompting the last blasphemy trials in Scottish history. Numerous scientific and literary works were also accused of endorsing or fomenting unbelief, including the writings of the phrenologist George Combe (1788–1858), the writer Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881), and the publisher Robert Chambers (1802–71). Christian thinkers engaged actively with the perceived rise of unbelief, responding diversely with abhorrence, qualified respect, or sympathy. Strikingly, shared commitment to issues such as freedom of speech, ultimately led to tentative alliances between certain religious and non-religious groups. Debates on religion were often framed in highly emotive language, and I’ve recently become especially interested in probing the emotional as well as intellectual factors that determined changing belief positions and relations between believers and unbelievers.

Outside of work, I very much enjoy walking along the coastal and forest paths of the beautiful Fife countryside. I’m also an enthusiastic (if rather unskilled) knitter, an activity that became particularly attractive in the cold winter months. A great advantage of living in the vicinity of St Andrews is proximity to its excellent selection of cafés, and I very much look forward to partaking of their tea and cakes once again when they reopen!

Postgraduate Spotlight: James Earnshaw

James Earnshaw is a third-year PhD student. His research focuses on gender and ‘Englishness’ from 1850 to 1914, examining these ideas in the context of Anglo-German relations during this period. His thesis examines how concerns over English masculinity shaped perceptions of Germany and responses to German foreign policy. 

James Earnshaw

Born and raised in ‘the city of dreaming spires’, James was encouraged to apply to St Andrews on the basis that ‘it’s just like Oxford, except it has three beaches and you can walk on the quad.’ Perhaps placing an inadvisable degree of faith in these incentives, James arrived in September 2013 as an undergraduate to read history having never visited the town. Fortunately, the recommendation was well-founded: this is his eighth academic year in the town having completed an M.Litt in Modern History in 2018 before starting his PhD! 

Despite the efforts of his classicist father to guide him to Ancient History at a young age (including illicit showings of Gladiator, Alexander, and Troy), James finally allied himself to the nineteenth century after reading Richard Aldous’s The Lion and the Unicorn for an A-S history module. At honours he continued this interest by taking modules on British and German foreign policies in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In the former, he was introduced to The Battle of Dorking: Reminisces of a Volunteer (1871), a short story written by George Chesney which imagines a successful German invasion of Britain. A gripping tale which shifts effortlessly from pulsating military action to moments of tenderness, James was fascinated by the sensation caused by the story and sought to unravel its popularity. Under the supervision of Professor Aileen Fyfe, James explored how the story exhibits and exacerbates anxieties over the condition of English masculinity in ‘The Battle of Dorking: A Re-Examination Through Gender’, which was awarded the Alan Robertson Memorial Prize for best undergraduate dissertation in Modern History.

The Battle of Dorking. Reminiscences of a Volunteer, 1871

After holidaying from the nineteenth century during his master’s dissertation, which analysed British army chaplains’ responses to regulated maison tolérées on the Western Front, James returned to more familiar territory with his PhD project. Drawing on the concept of ‘gender damage’, his thesis explores how recurrent concerns expressed over English masculinity between 1850 to 1914 illuminate contemporaries’ sensitivities to the social construction of binary gender categories. Examining English press articles, public speeches and popular cultural works, James explores how these mediums encouraged contemporaries to fear non-conformity to prescribed gender roles. James applies this theoretical framework to Anglo-German relations in the period to illustrate how these sensitivities underpinned interpretations of German foreign policy and influenced ensuing political, social and cultural responses. Beyond his thesis, James also researches the histories of sexuality and emotion in the Victorian and Edwardian periods.

Outside of academia, James can be found playing cricket for both the university and staff sides. Elected captain of the latter prior the pandemic, he hopes to be able to lead the team this coming season to avoid the ignominy of being the only captain in the club’s history never to win a game. In the winter months James plays six-a-side football, martyring himself for the team as goalkeeper in the freezing conditions. Like many during the pandemic, James has become well-acquainted with Strava (other fitness apps are available) and now enjoys long walks and runs with greater enthusiasm. When travel restrictions end, James intends to complete an academic pilgrimage to Dorking and trace the Volunteer narrator’s footsteps like an ambling Michael Portillo. Hopefully the excursion will end in a less calamitous fashion.

Staff Spotlight: Bridget Heal

Blog written by Professor Bridget Heal. Professor Heal’s research focusses on the long-term impact of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations on German society and culture. She has published two monographs: The Cult of the Virgin Mary in Early Modern Germany: Protestant and Catholic Piety, 1500-1648 (2014) and A Magnificent Faith: Art and Identity in Lutheran Germany (2017).

I came to St Andrews in 2002. Before that (long, long ago) I studied history and art history in Cambridge and London and had a postdoctoral research position in Cambridge. St Andrews has been home for nearly 20 years now, and I’m very grateful for the colleagues and students who make it such a fantastic place to live and work. As a historian of Germany, I try to spend as much time as possible there. I’ve lived in Nuremberg, Munich, Cologne and most recently Berlin. Much as I love St Andrews, it’s great to escape to a big city now and again. My son, Tom, was born in 2007. Because of my work he’s spent 3 years living in Berlin and has developed a strong liking for Currywurst.

A bronze statue of Martin Luther, in front of the Frauenkirche in Dresden. Ad Meskens. CC-BY-SA-4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

My research focuses on the long-term impact of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations on German society and culture. I’ve always been particularly interested in images, and in the ways in which historians use visual evidence. My first book, based on my PhD, drew on both visual and textual sources to investigate what happened to the medieval cult of the Virgin Mary during the Reformation era. My second explains why Lutheranism, a confession that is usually understood as being built around the spoken and printed word, made such extensive use of images. It originated in my desire to explain seeming paradoxes like the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) in Dresden, a Lutheran church that deployed the visual idioms of the Catholic baroque and was compared by eighteenth-century observers to St Peter’s in Rome. If you want to know more, I wrote a blog.

Epitaph for Christian Lehmann and Euphrosyna Lehmann, born Kreusel, parish church, Scheibenberg (Saxony). Credit: Bridget Heal

I’m working now on a very different project: a religious history of the Thirty Years War (1618-48). During my research on Lutheran art I came across a wonderful set of sources written by a pastor, Christian Lehmann. He served in a small mining village in southern Saxony for 50 years from 1638-88 and witnessed the worst predations of the war and its difficult aftermath. I am using his writings and the records relating to his parish as the basis for a book that examines the role of religion in the survival and recovery of individuals and communities during Germany’s first ‘Great War’. Lehmann’s writings are excellent to work with, as he recorded all kinds of interesting things, from local gossip to ghost stories. And he had nice handwriting – something historians of early modern Germany can never take for granted.

Since lockdown, and the temporary end of research trips to Germany, my main achievement has been the acquisition of a kitten, Clio. I’m hoping that someday she’ll grow into her role as a muse of history and stop bouncing off the furniture. In the meantime, she’s made some star appearances on Teams…

LGBT+ History Month & ‘Queerfest’ Collaboration

In collaboration with SaintsLGBT’s ‘Queerfest’ and to celebrate LGBT history month the School hosted two fantastic papers by Dr Christin Hoene (Maastricht) and Dr Nikos Papadogiannis (St Andrews). Thank you so much to both speakers and to the audience who attended and asked such interesting and engaged questions. 

Those of you who were there know we had a few technical issues (!), and so unfortunately a few questions only came through after the event had ended. However, we sent these to our speakers and they have written some replies which we have posted below.

Question 1 (for Christin): Were colonised regions more open-minded regarding homosexuality before the arrival of the British? Was there many prejudices prior to colonisation?

Christin: Here comes my reply to a brilliant question: Given the sheer geographical expanse of the former British Empire and the multitude of indigenous cultures, it is nearly impossible to give one coherent answer to this question. In general, though, it is a fact that colonial-era sodomy laws and the prejudices against homosexuality that went with them were in most cases introduced by the British to places that did not have laws of that nature before. Moreover, many of these places culturally accepted notions of gender fluidity and same-sex desire pre-colonisation. For more information, I can recommend the following publications:

  • Han, Enze and Joseph O’Mahoney. British Colonialism and the Criminalization of Homosexuality, Queens, Crime and Empire. London and New York: Routledge, 2018.
  • Kidwai, Saleem and Ruth Vanita. Same-Sex Love in India: Readings in Indian Literature. New York: Springer, 2000.
  • Epprecht, Marc. Sexuality and Social Justice in Africa: Rethinking Homophobia and Forging Resistance. London: Zed Books Ltd., 2013.
  • Hoad, Neville. African Intimacies: Race, Homosexuality, and Globalization. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2007.

Question 2 (for Nikos): Thank you for your lecture and for the attention you’ve given to language and terminology here. As a trans femme, I very much appreciate it. I’m used to seeing anglophone nonbinary trans people self-identify with and reclaim terms like ‘transvestite’ during the 1980s, but am interested in hearing a bit more about how the trans women and femmes you interviewed felt about or interacted with similar words. Additionally, was there a clear social split between women who viewed themselves as ‘transsexuals’ and transfemmes of more nonbinary identity? Or is this not a discursive division as common in the sex worker communities you interviewed? 

Nikos: Thank you very much indeed for your comment! It means a lot to me! Some of the transgender individuals, whose autobiographies I am studying, tried to reclaim the notion of ‘transvestite’ in the late 1970s and the 1980s. For instance, an activist transgender female sex worker employed it as a way of claiming a gender identity that was neither entirely feminine nor entirely masculine and for which she was proud, as she narrated. However, the term ‘transvestite’ has been carrying very negative connotations in Greek society up to the present day. Thus, some transgender individuals, including some trans female sex workers, began to drop it and embrace the term ‘trans’ (or, more rarely, its Greek equivalent), especially in the last couple of decades. The oral testimonies of those subjects are interesting in the sense that they serve as a palimpsest: these individuals often describe themselves as ‘trans’ and ‘transvestite’ at different points during their interview, which, potentially, reflects the fact that they used both labels to identify themselves at different points in their lives. 

Concerning your second question, I have not spotted a clear social split along those lines. Regarding the autobiographies I have collected, at least, it was not atypical for the same individual to vacillate between these two identities in the 1970s.

Thank you very much indeed for your encouraging comments and your questions! I would love to stay in contact with you and discuss my research with you further if you would like!

Question 3 (for Nikos): How did transgender women cope with transphobia back in the 1970s?

Nikos: Thank you very much. Yet another excellent question! In brief, regarding the trans female sex workers that I have studied:

Transgender female sex workers forged close ties with one another in the spaces where they worked. They exchanged information and, sometimes, even supported one another in difficult situations. However, these networks were marked by contradictions. The very same individuals got often involved in quarrels with one another, as they competed over the clients they were trying to attract.

Moreover, some trans female sex workers worked for pimps, who might have also been their lovers. These pimps both exploited them and, sometimes, protected them from clients attacking them.

Those networks aside, some trans female sex workers played a prominent role in the movement for the liberation of homosexual desire, which emerged in Greece in the mid-to-late 1970s. In so doing, they challenged transphobia, which has been deeply entrenched in Greek society. However, gay cisgender men were not always supportive of transgender women and the movement was marked by tensions between the former and the latter.

LGBT+ History Month 2021- Reading List


For the past couple of years the school has celebrated LGBT+ History Month by working on a bibliography of essential texts in LGBT+ history: as February has come around again it’s time to release the updated version! We will also be ‘curating a (virtual) shelf’ on the library homepage and are looking forward to  Wednesday Week 5 at 4pm for an event of short talks on some of the latest research on LGBT+ History, including by our own Dr. Nikolaos Papadogiannis.

LGBT History and the History of Sexuality – Staff Suggestions 

Aldrich, Robert. Colonialism and Homosexuality. Routledge, 2008. 

Afken, Janin, Benedikt Wolf (eds.), Sexual Culture in Germany in the 1970s. A Golden Age for Queers?, Cham: Palgrave, 2019. 

Arondekar, Anjali. For The Record: On Sexuality And The Colonial Archive In India, Durham: Duke University Press, 2009. 

Ayalon, D. “The Eunuchs in the Mamluk Sultanate”, Studies in Memory of Gaston Wiet Jerusalem, 1977, pp. 267-95. 

Ayalon, David, “On the Eunuchs in Islam”, Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 1, (1979), pp. 67-124. 

Ballhatchet, Kenneth. Race, Sex and Class Under the Raj. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1980. 

Barker, Nancy Nichols. Brother to the Sun King: Philippe, Duke of Orleans. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989. 

Beachy, Robert. Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity. 1st edition. New York: Knopf, 2014. 

Benadusi, Lorenzo. The Enemy of the New Man. Homosexuality in Fascist Italy. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2012. 

Bentham, Jeremy. Of Sexual Irregularities, and Other Writings on Sexual Morality. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. 

Berco, Cristian, Sexual Hierarchies, Public Status: Men, Sodomy, and Society in Spain’s Golden 

Age Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007 

Betteridge, Thomas (ed), Sodomy in Early Modern Europe Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002 

Blackwood, Evelyn. Falling into the Lesbi World. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2010. 

Blank, Hanne. Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality. Beacon Press, 2012. 

Bleys, Rudi C. The Geography of Perversion: Male-To-Male Sexual Behavior Outside the West and the Ethnographic Imagination, 1750-1918. New York: NYU Press, 1996. 

Boellstorff, Tom. The Gay Archipelago: Sexuality and Nation in Indonesia. Princeton University Press, 2005. 

Brown, Judith. Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986. 

Burger, Glenn & Stephen F Kruger eds. Queering the Middle Ages. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001. 

Burrus, Virginia, The Sex Lives of Saints:An Erotics of Ancient Hagiography (Philadelphia Pa., 2004) 

Burton-Rose, Daniel, “Gendered Androgyny: Transcendent Ideals and Profane Realities in Buddhism, Classicism, and Daoism” in Howard Chiang. Transgender in China. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2012. 

Bynum, Caroline. Walker Jesus as Mother: Studies in the Spirituality of the High Middle Ages. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1982. 

Canaday, Margot. “Thinking Sex in the Transnational Turn: An Introduction.” The American Historical Review 114, no. 5 (2009): 1250–57. 

Chatterjee, Partha. The Nation and its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1993. 

Chauncey, George, Martha Vicinus, and Martin Duberman, eds. Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Gay And Lesbian Past. First UK Edition. edition. London: Penguin, 1991 

Chauncey, George. Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940. Basic Books, 2008. 

Chiang, Howard, “How China Became a “Castrated Civilization” and Eunuchs a ‘Third Sex’” in Howard Chiang. Transgender in China. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2012. 

Chiang, Howard. “Revisiting Foucault: Thinking with The History of Sexuality at Forty.” Cultural History 5, no. 2 (September 21, 2016): 115–21. 

Chiang, Howard. Sexuality in China: Histories of Power and Pleasure. University of Washington Press, 2018. 

Clark, Anna. Alternative Histories of the Self. A Cultural History of Sexuality and Secrets, 1780-1917. Continuum, 2017. 

Cleminson, Richard and Francisco Vázquez García, ‘Los Invisibles’ A History of Male Homosexuality in Spain, 1850-1940. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2007. 

Cohler, Deborah. Citizen, Invert, Queer: Lesbianism and War in Early Twentieth-century Britain. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010. 

Cook, Matt and Jennifer V. Evans, Queer Cities. Queer Cultures. Europe since 1945. New York/London: Bloomsbury, 2015. 

Crawford, Katherine, European sexualities, 1400-1800 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 

Davis, Stephen J., “Crossed texts, crossed sex: Intertextuality and gender in early Christian legends of holy women disguised as men” Journal of Early Christian Studies 10 (2002), 1-36 

D’Emilio, John & Estelle B. Freedman. Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America. New York: Harper and Row, 1988. 

Dickinson, Edward R. ‘Complexity, Contingency, and Coherence in the History of Sexuality in Modern Germany: Some Theoretical and Interpretive Reflections.’ Central European History 49 (2016), 93–116. 

Dickinson, Edward R. and Richard F. Wetzell. ‘The Historiography of Sexuality in Modern Germany.’ German History 23, no. 3 (July 1, 2005): 291–305. 

Dickinson, Edward R. Sex, Freedom, and Power in Imperial Germany. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014. 

Doan, Laura. Disturbing Practices: History, Sexuality And Women’s Experiences Of Modern War. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 2013. 

______. Fashioning Sapphism. The Origins of a Modern English Lesbian Culture. New York: Columbia University Press, 2001. 

Ebner, Michael. “The Persecution of Homosexual Men under Fascism 1926-1943,” in Perry Willson ed., Gender, Family, and Sexuality: The Private Sphere in Italy 1860-1945 (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004). 

El-Rouayheb, Khaled. Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005. 

Evans, Jennifer (ed.), Queering German History, special issue of German History Oxford: O.U.P., 34/3 (September 2016) 

Evans, Harriet. “Defining Difference: The ‘Scientific’ Construction of Sexuality and Gender in the People’s Republic of China.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 20, no. 2 (January 1, 1995): 357–94. 

Faderman, Lillian. Surpassing the Love of Men: Romantic Friendship and Love Between Women From the Renaissance to the Present. London: Junction Books, 1981. 

Faure, Bernard. The Red Thread: Buddhist Approaches to Sexuality. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998. 

Fenemore, Mark. ‘The Recent Historiography of Sexuality in Twentieth-Century Germany.’ The Historical Journal 52, no. 3 (September 1, 2009): 763–779. 

Ferguson, Gary. Same-Sex Marriage in Renaissance Rome: Sexuality, Identity, and Community in Early Modern Europe. New York: Cornell University Press, 2016. 

Foster, Thomas. Sex and the Eighteenth-Century Man: Massachusetts and the History of Sexuality in America. Boston: Beacon, 2006. 

Foucault, Michel History of Sexuality 4 vols. (1976-2018) 

Fout, John C. ed. Forbidden History: The State, Society and the Regulation of Sexuality in Modern Europe. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1990. 

Fout, John, “Sexual Politics in Wilhelmine Germany: The Male Gender Crisis, Moral Purity, and Homophobia,” Journal of the History of Sexuality, 2 (1992), pp. 388-421. 

Galeano, Javier Fernández, “Is He a ‘Social Danger’? The Franco Regime’s Judicial Prosecution of Homosexuality in Málaga under the Ley de Vagos y Maleantes” in Journal of the History of Sexuality 25 (2016), 1-31 

Garcia, J. Neil C. Philippine Gay Culture: Binabae to Bakla, Silahis to MSM. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2009. 

Gay, Peter. The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud, 3 Vols. New York; London: W. W. Norton & Company, 1984. 

Gerard, Kent & Gert Hekma. The Pursuit of Sodomy: Male Homosexuality in Renaissance and Enlightenment Europe. New York: The Haworth Press, 1989. 

Jules Joanne Gleeson and Nathaniel Dickson, “The Future of Trans Politics” – https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/4269-the-future-of-trans-politics 

Godbeer, Richard. Sexual Revolution in Early America. Baltimore & London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001. 

Goldberg, Jonathan. Sodometries: Renaissance Texts, Modern Sexualities. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992. 

Goldberg, Jonathan, and Madhavi Menon. “Queering History.” PMLA 120, no. 5 (2005): 1608–17. 

Greene, Jody, “Public Secrets: Sodomy and the Pillory in the Eighteenth Century and Beyond’ The Eighteenth Century vol. 44 2003 203-32. 

Greer, Germaine. The Female Eunuch. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2008. 

Griffiths, Craig. “Sex, Shame and West German Gay Liberation”, German History, 34.3, 2016, pp. 445-467. 

Halberstam, Judith. In a Queer Time and Place. Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives. New York/London: New York University Press, 2005 

Halperin, David M., How to do the history of homosexuality (Chicago, 2002) 

Halperin, David M. “Forgetting Foucault: Acts, Identities, and the History of Sexuality.” Representations, no. 63 (1998): 93–120. 

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Postgraduate Spotlight: Irina Mattioli

Blog written by Irina Mattioli. Irina is a second-year cotutelle PhD Student in medieval history, completing her degree at both the University of St Andrews and the University of Milan. Her research focuses on the history of animals in thirteenth-century Italy.

A portrait of Irina using the collodion process invented in 1851, by Alessio Vissani.

Irina grew up in Umbria, a region in central Italy that still looks very ‘medieval’. It is reasonable to assume that the landscape and constant exposure to ancient art and architecture played a role in her fascination with the past. She is quite confident, however, that she would not be doing her PhD in history without the input of some notable figures in her life. These include her grandmother Maria Adelaide (a schoolteacher who was very fond of humanities, history, and culture) and the inspiring mentors she worked with through her university cursus: Professor Donatella Scortecci at the University of Perugia, Professor Paolo Grillo at the University of Milano, and Professor Frances Andrews at the University of St Andrews. The last two are currently supervising her cotutelle PhD in Medieval History.

In her PhD Irina focuses on Animal History in thirteen-century century Italy, particularly on horses and their polyvalence in the society of the time. The idea is to explore the socio-economic implications, ethos, and ideology of an animal which, for a thirteen-century commune, was undoubtedly a multifaceted being. It was at one time war mount, means of transportation and communication, work resource, valuable asset, and, above all, a powerful symbol in the collective imagination and iconography. The commune of Perugia in the second half of the thirteen-century seems to provide the ideal case study for her project: it experienced a great phase of expansion, and its prosperity had visible effects both on the flourishing of architectural and cultural production. In this scenario, the horse emerged as an essential component of both the ‘state machine’ of the commune and of the needs of the society.

Credit: c. 50v, Massari 1bis, Archivio de Stato di Perugia-1277.

Irina’s choice to study animals in her historical studies was an intuitive, yet unavoidable one. She has always had a deep love and an utter fascination for nature, plants, and all the living creatures that are part of the Earth system: we share the present as we shared the past, and it is something worth investigating. To keep a broad perspective about this, she is also quite fond of ethology and ecology themed readings.

Irina prides herself on her interdisciplinary methodology in her studies. Since her bachelor’s degree, she has learned how to incorporate material evidence and iconography in her research alongside written primary sources. Due to this interest, while proceeding in her studies as a historian, she has worked at archaeological excavations every summer for the past eleven years on sites ranging from the Roman to Medieval periods.  

Irina photographing prima ballerina Joy Womack (Kremlin Ballet) in Moscow

Alongside her PhD, Irina has been a full-time professional photographer for the past fourteen years (www.irinamattioli.com). She has accomplished several artistic achievements between commissioned work with notable clients, exhibitions, publications, and prizes (first place at the Anna Pavlova international ballet photography competition, awarded in Moscow). Her photography focuses on portrait, reportage, fashion, and ballet, the latter subject being near to her heart as a former dancer with more than 20 years of experience and passion.

Postgrad Spotlight: Christin Simons

Blog written by Elena Romero-Passerin. Elena recently submitted her PhD thesis, which focuses on the comparison of public botanic gardens in Scotland and Tuscany in the late eighteenth century.

Christin grew up in the Ruhr valley, a region of Germany historically well-known for its Roman camps and important coal mining industry. Though she was not particularly taken with history at school, Christin did like practical approaches to the discipline, enjoying visits to museums and ‘medieval markets’ (which, by her own admission, might shock actual medievalists). As she finished school these visits inspired her, and she decided to take an internship in her local museum, where she guided visitors around exhibitions about—surprise, surprise—Roman history and coal mining!

After doing an undergrad in Classics at the Ruhr University of Bochum (those Romans really got to her!), Christin decided to switch topics for her master’s degree and began studying Early Modern History. This was when her great peregrinations around the world started, as she decided to leave Germany for an Erasmus exchange in Stockholm. There she began to take an interest in Swedish history, an interest that was helped along by her attending the course of a visiting professor from St Andrews who introduced her to maritime history and the East India Companies. Christin decided to continue her exploration of the world and registered for a PhD at the University of St Andrews to work with that very same visiting professor, Prof Steve Murdoch.

Before moving to St Andrews, Christin spent a year in Beijing with the support of the Chinese Scholarship Council. She ‘tingbudonged’ (Chinese for ‘I don’t understand’) her way through a language course and started to work in the archives the very same year. She then moved camp again to come to Scotland where she fell in love with St Andrews.

Christin works on the perception and legal strategies of the Swedish East India Company during its first charter (1731-1746). Her research explores the understanding of maritime conflicts in the absence of international maritime law and the role of foreign influence in the Swedish East India trade. She focuses in particular on the ‘Porto Novo affair’ of 1733, a conflict between the British and the French Companies on the one side and the Swedish East India Company on the other. The affair resulted in an eight-year-long lawsuit and illustrates the struggle between British exceptionalism and Swedish sovereignty. It involved characters such as the Scot Colin Campbell, director of the Swedish Company (but condemned ‘interloper’ by British legislation), who used his knowledge of British law to further the success of the Swedes in the East India Trade.

During her PhD Christin has continued to travel all around Europe as funding from St Andrew’s University, the Economic History Society, St Leonard’s Postgraduate College, the Royal Historical Society, the World Ship Society, the Society for Nautical Research, and the Dutch-Belgian Society for Eighteenth Century studies allowed her to go collect sources and speak at many conferences. She has also taken on a lot of organising duties, co-organising the Early Modern and Modern History Postgraduate Seminar for two years, as well as the International Postgraduate Port and Maritime Studies Network Conference twice (2019, 2020) with Scott Carballo (Stirling). In addition, she has pursued her interests in public history by developing an historical board game with her officemate Elena. ‘Merplantilism’ explores eighteenth-century trade, navigation, and science, and Christin has presented it to various audiences in Britain, Ireland, Sweden, and Germany.

Christin’s passion for engaging with wide audiences about history also shines through her work as a tour guide in Stockholm, where she now lives. She misses the time she spent riding, hiking, and dancing in Ceilidhs in Scotland. When she left St Andrews for Sweden in November 2019, she could not have foreseen that she would not be able to return before submitting her thesis, but she hopes to one day see her PhD colleagues in the flesh again

February 7, 2021- Day of Solidarity with Belarus

Blog written by Dr Tomasz Kamusella. Dr Kamusella an interdisciplinary historian of modern central and eastern Europe, with a focus on language politics and nationalism.

Belarus hardly features in the western or Anglo-American mind. When I arrived at the University of St Andrews a decade ago with the remit to teach Central and Eastern European history, our library did not sport a single monograph on this country. Most St Andrews students’ hands-on knowledge of Europe ends with Germany, beyond which a blurry area of numerous states intervenes before Russia emerges in the east as a huge splash of color on their mental map. The fall of the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall in 1989, followed by the unprecedented eastward enlargements of the European Union (1995, 2004, 2007, 2013), has hardly corrected this Cold War myopia.

Historically speaking, today’s Belarus and Lithuania used to constitute the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In turn, this Grand Duchy was the eastern half of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. When in the late 18th century Poland-Lithuania was erased from the political map of Europe, Russia annexed four-fifths of the polity’s territory, including the Grand Duchy. In the wake of the Great War, independent Belarus emerged, but Bolshevik Russia’s war on Poland led to the partition of Belarus between those two countries in 1921. Uniquely, interwar Soviet Belarus was officially quadrilingual, with Belarusian, Polish, Russian, and Yiddish as its four official languages. In 1939 Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union formed an alliance and together attacked Poland. The partition of interwar Poland led to the unification of the majority of the ethnically Belarusian lands in Soviet Belarus. In 1941, Germany’s onslaught on the Soviet Union (1941-1945) pushed Belarus into the very center of wartime genocide, wanton destruction, and multiple occupations. After World War II, due to Soviet politicking, Soviet Belarus (alongside Soviet Ukraine and the Soviet Union) became a founding member of the United Nations.

In 1991, Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine – as the sole three Soviet republics with their own seats in the UN – decided to dissolve the Soviet Union. Independent Belarus became a vibrant democratic country. However, the exigencies of market-oriented reforms led to the 1994 election of Alexander Lukashenko (Aljaksandr Łukašenka in Belarusian) as President, on a promise to recreate a Soviet system in Belarus. All of the subsequent presidential elections (in 2001, 2006, 2010, 2015, and 2020) were neither free nor fair, in line with the Leninist-Stalinist principle that those who count the votes win the elections. In 2005, this fact earned Lukashenko’s Belarus the moniker of ‘Europe’s last dictatorship.’ Uniquely for the European states, Belarus is not a member of the Council of Europe or the European Court of Human Rights.

Prior to the last presidential election in August 2020, as usual, the Lukashenko regime either refused to register or imprisoned any viable candidates. What Lukashenko did not take into account, however, was that a new post-Soviet generation of Belarusians was born, raised and educated during the last quarter of a century, a generation with access to the internet and relatively free travel to the neighboring EU states of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. This generation considers themselves Europeans, and they want to live like their peers in Riga, Vilnius and Warsaw. As such, they have refused to accept the most recent, and blatantly rigged, election results in which Lukashenko claims victory. In reality he did not get more than 10 percent of the votes. The official results, unlike those in the past, have not been recognised by a single Western country. Rather, the unlikely winner by a landslide is an imprisoned candidate’s wife who ran in the election in his place, namely, 38-year-old Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya (Śviatłana Cichanoŭskaja in Belarusian). After the election, the authorities intimidated her into leaving the country for Lithuania. With the Lithuanian government’s help, Tsikhanouskaya has established her Belarusian government-in-exile in Vilnius.

After the rigged election, Belarusians of all ages and walks of life have risen in spontaneous, unceasing and peaceful protests in Minsk and across the country, despite the repeated switch-offs of the internet and mobile phone networks. Every weekend crowds have been streaming in the streets or organising neighbourhood meetings and concerts. They protest under the red-white-red national tricolor, hated by the regime. The security forces have done their best to provoke the protesters into violence by unleashing indiscriminate beatings and incarcerations. Over 30,000 people have been thrown into prison, where they are beaten, raped, tortured, and starved. At least five protesters have lost their lives, and ten have suffered from shotgun wounds at the hands of the security forces.

What do the Belarusians want? Just the European norm, namely, a free and democratic country, fair elections, the rule of law, and respect for human and civil rights. But in Lukashenko’s dictatorship this is too much to ask. That is why this time Europe and the free world should listen to and help the protesters. Learn more about what you can do to help here.

Further information on the latest election in Belarus can be found here:

https://www.euronews.com/2020/08/11/belarus-election-opposition-sviatlana-tsikhanouskaya-now-safe-after-fleeing-to-lithuania

https://tsikhanouskaya.org/en/representatives/

https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/11/09/crackdown-peaceful-protesters-escalates-belarus

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-54953599

https://www.project-syndicate.org/onpoint/belarus-revolution-of-dignity-by-adam-michnik-and-slawomir-sierakowski-2020-08?barrier=accesspaylog

https://www.dw.com/en/belarus-police-violence-against-protesters/a-55804483

https://www.svaboda.org/a/31038312.html

https://theconversation.com/young-belarusians-are-turning-away-from-russia-and-looking-towards-europe-145562