Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships 2019

The School of History, University of St Andrews, welcomes applications to act as a host institution for the Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship competition. These fellowships are intended to enable early career researchers – who have a research record but have not yet held a full-time permanent academic post – to undertake a significant piece of publishable work. Further details, including eligibility criteria, are available on the Leverhulme Website.

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Photo attrib. Martin Abegglen, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

School of History selection process:

Eligible applicants must first identify and contact a potential mentor within the School of History. Applications submitted without a mentor having been specified will not be considered. Having secured the agreement of a mentor within the School, applicants need to send the following to histdor@st-andrews.ac.uk:

  1. A completed application form
  2. A CV (maximum four pages)
  3. The names, email addresses and current institutions of three referees.  No more than one referee should be from the proposed host institution and no more than one should be from the institution where you obtained your doctorate. The Head of School from your proposed host institution may not act as a referee.

The internal deadline for submission of applications to the School of History is 4 pm on January 10, 2019

All applications will be considered in line with the Leverhulme ECF guidelines.

Institutional (University of St Andrews) selection process:

Applications selected by the School will be forwarded to the internal University of St Andrews’ selection process. Successful applicants for institutional support will be notified by late January 2019. Please note: Applicants should not apply to Leverhulme, citing the University of St Andrews as the supporting institution, unless they have been given formal notification that they have been selected as an institutional candidate.

Leverhulme Trust application process:

Successful applicants for institutional support from the School of History at the University of St Andrews will need to complete the online Leverhulme application by 4 pm, 28 February 2019. Note that the Leverhulme requires a declaration of institutional support from both the Head of the host department and from an administrative officer on behalf of the host institution. Applicants should allow at least one week for this institutional approval process.

Applicants will be informed by the Leverhulme Trust of the result of their applications by email at the end of May 2019

Summer and Autumn Round Up

News

b1In celebration of Black History Month, members of the St Andrews History department have compiled a list of essential texts

Congratulations to one of our history students, Jack Abernethy, on being awarded one of six national prizes of 2018 by the British Commission for Maritime History for his exceptional undergraduate thesis.

Congratulations to Morag Allan Campbell, whose ‘Face to Faceexhibition was presented  by Professor Rab Houston in the Members’ area of the Scottish Parliament in September

Congratulations also to Professor Rab Houston in his role as a contributor to The Oxford Handbook of English Law and Society 1500-1700, which received the Sixteenth Century Society & Conference Bainton Reference Prize award

Congratulations are also in order for Dr Tomasz Kamusella for being awarded the Supporter of the Silesian Language award by the publishing house Silesia Progress

b3Staff Activity

On 3rd July , Professor Hillenbrand gave a paper titled ‘The Sultan, the Kaiser, the Colonel, and the Purloined Wreath’ at the International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds

Professor Hillenbrand presented ‘Saladin’s Spin Doctors’ for the Annual Prothero Lecture at the Royal Historical Society on July 6

On 8th July, Dr Chandrika Kaul was a Panel Guest Reviewer on BBC World Service Weekend Review

On 4th September, Dr Tomasz Kamusella gave a presentation titled ‘Tears of Blood: A Poet’s Witness Account of the Poraimos’ at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Gypsy Lore Society and Conference of Gypsy/Romani Studies at the National Library of Romania in Bucharest

Between 4th-8th September Professor Elena Marushiakova and Professor Veselin Popov presented ‘Gypsy Nomadism vs. Roma Activism in Eastern Europe during the Interwar Period’, while Dr Aleksandar Marinov presented ‘The Roma and the Protestant Mission in Bulgaria between the Two World Wars’. Professor Marushiakova was also the convenor of the panel ‘Roma in the Period between WWI and WWII’

On 27th September Dr Margaret Connolly and Ms Rachel Hart gave a paper, ‘The Marchmont Regiam Maiestatem comes full circle: a book and its owners, 1548 to 2018’, to the Edinburgh Bibliographical Society

On October 3, Paul Malgrati organised the ‘Joe Corrie (1894-1968); Miner, Poet, Playwright Anniversary’

From 5 to 7 of October, Professor Elena Marushiakova and Professor Veselin Popov took part in the 14th Asia Pacific Sociological Association Conference. They presented the paper ‘Nomadism vs. Sedentarisation: Central Asian Gypsies during 20th -21st century’

On 6 October, Konrad Lawson presented on ‘Statistical Stratigraphy and Thinking Critically about the Digital Humanities’ at the workshop Statistics, Categories, Politics: Analyzing, Interpreting, and Visualizing Data in Recent Chinese History at the University of Freiburg

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Konrad Lawson gave the paper ‘Liberating Order: The Seoul Metropolitan Police and Self-Narratives of Discontinuity 1945-1947’at the University of Edinburgh Yun Posun Memorial Symposium

On 12th October Dr Chandrika Kaul presented ‘The Monarch and the Mahatma: Political personae in a mediated world’ at the ‘Politics in Public: The Mediatization of Political Personae 1880s-1930s’ conference at KU Leuven.

On October 13, ISHR hosted ‘Re-thinking the Renaissance and Reformation in Scotland:
A Conference in Honour of Roger A. Mason, Professor of Scottish History

On 15 October, Konrad Lawson presented on ‘Su Lin Lewis Cities in Motion: Urban Life and Cosmopolitanism in Southeast Asia, 1920-1940‘ for the Institute of Transnational and Spatial History Reading Group at St Andrews

On October 18, Professor Michael Brown presented the paper ‘Leading the Realm’s Estate: Royal Authority and the transformation of fifteenth-century Scotland

Between October 24 and October 27, the Institute of Intellectual History organised the After Pufendorf: Natural Law and the Passions in Germany and Scotland conference

On October 25, Smart History St Andrews hosted the one-day conference Open Doors to Digital Heritage

On Friday 26th and Saturday 27th October, Professor Elena Marushiakova,  Professor Veselin Popov  and Dr Aleksandar Marinov hosted the conference ‘Roma Civic Emancipation between the Two World Wars: Challenges in Archival Research of Roma’

New Publications

Bavaj, Riccardo and Martina Steber (eds). Civilisational Mappings. ‘The West’ at the Turn of the Century [Zivilisatorische Verortungen. Der ‘Westen’ an der Jahrhundertwende (1880-1930)] (De Gruyter Oldenbourg, 2018)

b5Cox, Rory.Approaches to Pre-Modern War and Ethics: Some Comparative and Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives’, Global Intellectual History (26 September, 2018)

—‘Historicizing Waterboarding as a Severe Torture Norm’, International Relations (20 September, 2018)

—‘Gratian’, in Just War Thinkers. War, Conflict and Ethics series, eds. Cian O’Driscoll and Daniel Brunstetter (Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2017): 34-49.

—‘The Ethics of War up to Thomas Aquinas’, in The Oxford Handbook of Ethics of War, eds. Seth Lazar and Helen Frowe (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018): 99-121.

Dawson, Tom, Hollesen, Jorgen, Martin Callanan, Rasmus Fenger-Nielsen, T. Max Friesen, Anne M. Jensen, Adam Markham, Vibeke V. Martens, Vladimir V. Pitulko, and Marcy Rockman. ‘Climate Change and the Deteriorating Archaeological and Environmental Archives of the Arctic’, Antiquity 92, no. 363 (2018): 573-586.

Greenwood, Timothy. ‘Ananias of Shirak’, Encyclopaedia Iranica (2018).

Halstead, Huw. ‘”Ask the Assyrians, Armenians, Kurds”: Transcultural Memory and Nationalism in Greek Historical Discourse on Turkey’, Indiana University Press 30, no. 2 (2018): 3-39.

Hillenbrand, Carole. ‘Fremd wie Ausserirdische. Wie reagierten die Muslime auf die Invasion?‘, in Kulturkonflikt im Mittelalter. Die Kreuzüge, Der Spiegel Geschichte 5, no. 18 (2018): 30-35

Kamusella, Thomasz. ‘Belarus: A Chinese Solution?’, New Eastern Europe (31 July 2018)

— ‘Diskussion um Stand, Ausbau, Status und Kodifizierung des (Ober-Schlesischen [Discussion on the State, Development, Status and Standardization of the (Upper) Silesian Language]’ in Kai Witzlack-Makarevich (ed), Kalkierungs- und Entlehnungssprachen in der Slavia: Boris Unbegaun zum 120. Geburtstag (Frank & Timme, 2018): 263-302.

Ethnic Cleansing during the Cold War: the Forgotten 1989 Expulsion of Turks from Communist Bulgaria (Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2018).

— ‘Bulgaria: An Unlikely Personality Cult’, New Eastern Europe (7 September, 2018)

Marushiakova-Popova, Elena and Veselin Popov.Migration vs. Inclusion: Roma Mobilities from East to West’, Baltic Worlds 11, no. 2-3 (Sep 2018): 88-100.

Lawson, Konrad. ‘Reimagining the Postwar International Order: the World Federalism of Ozaki Yukio and Kagawa Toyohiko’ in Simon Jackson & Alanna O’Malley (eds.), The Institution of International Order: From the League of Nations to the United Nations (Routledge, 2018)

Lugt, Mara van der. ‘Les Mots Et Les Choses: The Obscenity of Pierre Bayle’, The Modern Language Review 113, no. 4 (October 2018): 714–741

b4Palmer, James. Early Medieval Hagiography (ARC Humanities Press, 2018)

— and Matthew Gabriele (eds). Apocalypse and Reform from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages (Routledge, 2018).

—‘Climates of crisis: apocalypse, nature, and rhetoric in the early medieval world’, Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies 48, no. 2 (2018): 1-20.

Rostvik, Camilla Mork. ‘Cernoises and Horrible Cernettes: A History of Women at CERN 1954-2017’, Women’s History Review 27, no. 5 (2018): 858-865.

Rowlands, Guy. ‘Life after Death in Foreign Lands: Louis XIV and Anglo-American Historians’ in Penser l’après Louis XIV. Histoire, mémoires, représentations, eds. Charles-Édouard Levillain and Sven Externbrink (Paris: Honoré Champion, 2018)

Toffolo, Sandra. ‘Pellegrini stranieri e il commercio veneziano nel Rinascimento,’ in: Elisa Gregori ed., Rinascimento fra il Veneto e l’Europa. Questioni, metodi, percorsi (Padova: Cleup, 2018): 263-284.

Woolf, Alex. ‘Columbanus’ Ulster Education’ in Alexander O’Hara (ed), Columbanus and the Peoples of Post-Roman Europe (Oxford University Press, 2018): 91-102.

Re-thinking the Renaissance and Reformation in Scotland: A Conference in Honour of Roger A. Mason, Professor of Scottish History

ramblog.jpgOn October 13, a conference was held to celebrate the contributions of Professor Roger Mason to the field of Scottish history. Roger, having only recently retired from St Andrews, wrote on many topics including Buchanan, Knox, and many other matters related to the Renaissance in Scotland. The conference was opened by Sally Mapstone, Principal and renowned scholar of Scottish literature in her own right. She shared wonderful anecdotes about Roger’s history, and highlighted his contribution to the understanding of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in Scotland.

The day continued with a lecture by Professor Dauvit Broun. In ‘Rethinking medieval Scottish regnal historiography’, he encouraged everyone to re-evaluate their study of the Fordun-Bower-Pluscarden corpus. The modern editions distort the medieval and early modern origins of these texts, and understanding their original reading would be more helpful in researching these texts. After a brief coffee break, Professor Nicola Royan presented ‘Talking for Scotland: another use of early Scottish humanism’. Moving towards the late fifteenth century, she discussed the speeches given by Scottish diplomats and how they deployed rhetoric in order to flatter and persuade foreign monarchs.

ramblog1Professor Jane Dawson looked at two formidable figures of the Scottish early modern period in her talk ‘James and John: the stormy relationship between Regent Moray and Knox’. Both men were heralded as stalwarts of the Scottish reformation, but while they often acted together, their similarities stemmed from their shared enemies, rather than any common goals. During the lunch, Special Collections arranged for a special viewing of manuscripts related to Roger’s work, career, and this conference. From a Blaeu map based on Buchanan’s work, to John Knox’s writing and a tiny manuscript by Esther Inglis, the audience was spoiled for choice.

After lunch, Dr Bess Rhodes spoke about ‘“The Tyme of Reformatione”: Early Modern Protestants’ memories of religious change’. She explored the ways in which the Scottish perception of the reformation changed within fifty years. Esther Meijers followed, and she focused on the international dimensions of Scotland. In ‘The Dutch in Scotland: The diplomatic visit of the States General upon the baptism of Prince Henry (1594)’, she examined the intricate matters of diplomacy between the newly constituted United Provinces and Scotland.

ramblog3The conference was concluded with a Lightning Round by several scholars. Ali Cathcart, Katie Stevenson, Jamie-Reid-Baxter and Steven Reid shared both personal stories about Roger’s influence on their work as well as professional opinions about where the field would be going. They will also all contribute to a festschrift, to be published in the near future. The day was truly a celebration of Roger’s contribution to Scottish history, and his impact on scholars: all the participants enjoyed thoroughly enjoyed the conference.

Essential Texts on African and African Diaspora Histories: a Reading List

What follows is an inevitably incomplete list of texts that St Andrews historians view as ‘essential reading’ on African and African diaspora histories. In many ways, the list reflects our own research interests and areas of expertise as well as, of course, the notable gaps in these. As such it is intended as a ‘work in progress’ and we welcome suggestions from students and colleagues for additions to this list. As a result of the compiling of this list, we have added eleven new books on African and African diaspora histories to our library shelves. We hope that many more will follow.

Theories of Race and Racism in Historical Perspective

Kwame Anthony Appiah, ‘Is the Post—in Postmodernism the Post—in Postcolonial?’, Critical Inquiry 17.2 1991, 336–57.

Homi K. Bhabha ‘Of Mimicry and Men: The Ambivalence of Colonial Discourse’, October 28 1984 125–33.

James Campbell and James Oakes, “The Invention of Race: Rereading White Over Black,” Reviews in American History 21 1993, 172-83.

Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000)

Angela Davis Women, Race and Class (London, Women’s Press, 1982).

Franz Fanon (Charles Lam Markmann trans.) Black Skin, White Masks (London: Pluto, 1986 c1967)

Walter Johnson “On Agency,” Journal of Social History, Vol. 37.1, Fall 2003 113-124.

Ania Loomba, Colonialism/Postcolonialism (London & New York: Routledge, 1998)

Ania Loomba et. al (eds.) Postcolonial Studies and Beyond (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005)

Brian Meeke ed. Culture, Politics, Race and Diaspora: the thought of Stuart Hall (Kingston, Miami: Ian Randle Publishers; London: Lawrence & Wishart, 2007).

Andrew Pilkington Racial Disadvantage and Ethnic Diversity in Britain (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)

Laura Tabili “Race is a relationship, and not a Thing,” Journal of Social History, Vol. 37.1, Fall 2003, 125-130.

Patrick Williams and Laura Chrisman (eds.) Colonial Discourse And Post-Colonial Theory: A Reader (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994)

African Histories

Hakim Adi Pan-Africanism and Communism: The Communist International, Africa and the Diaspora, 1919-1939 (Africa World Press, 2013)

Glen Bowersock, The Throne of Adulis: Red Sea Wars on the Eve of Islam, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013)

François-Xavier Fauvelle, The Golden Rhinoceros: Histories of the African Middle Ages. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, forthcoming December 2018)

George Hatke, Aksum and Nubia: Warfare, Commerce and Political Fictions in Ancient Northeast Africa, (New York: New York University Press, 2013)

P. Lorcin, Imperial Identities: stereotyping, prejudice and race in colonial Algeria (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2014)

Giovanni R. Ruffini, Medieval Nubia: a Social and Economic History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012)

Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History

Afro-Middle Eastern Histories

Jane Hathaway, The Chief Eunuch of the Ottoman Harem: From African Slave to Power-Broker (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018)

Afro-Caribbean Histories

Laurent Dubois, A Colony of Citizens. Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean 1787-1804 (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 2004)

A. Ferrer Insurgent Cuba: race, nation and revolution 1868-1898 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999)

A Ferrer Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014)

Charles Forsdick and Christian Høgsbjerg The Black Jacobins Reader (Durham: Duke University Press, 2017)

C.L.R. James The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (London: Penguin, 2001 [1938])

Diana Paton The Cultural Politics of Obeah: Religion, Colonialism and Modernity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).

Diana Paton and Pamela Scully eds. Gender and Slave Emancipation in the Atlantic World (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005).

Mary Prince (Sara Salih ed.) The History of Mary Prince, a West Indian Slave (London: Penguin Books, 2000).

Christopher Schmidt-Nowara Empire and Antislavery. Spain, Cuba and Puerto Rico, 1833-1874 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999).

R. Scott Slave Emancipation in Cuba. The Transition to Free Labour, 1860-1899 Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985).

Afro-European Histories

Andrew S. Curran, The Anatomy of Blackness: Science and Slavery in an Age of Enlightenment (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press 2011). (See also discussion of this book online)

T.F. Earle and K.J.P. Lowe eds. Black Africans in Renaissance Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).

Steven A. Epstein ed. Speaking of Slavery: color, ethnicity, and human bondage in Italy, (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2001).

Catherine Fletcher The Black Prince of Florence: The Spectacular Life and Treacherous World of Alessandro de’ Medici (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016)

Felice Gambin ed. Alle radici dell’Europa: mori, giudei e zingari del Mediterraneo occidentale, (Florence: Seid, 2008-10).

Kate Lowe “’Representing’ Africa: Ambassadors and Princes from Christian Africa to Renaissance Italy and Portugal, 1402-1608.” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society vol 17 2007 101-128.

Kate Lowe “Visible Lives: Black Gondoliers and Other Black Africans in Renaissance Venice.” Renaissance Quarterly, vol. 66, no. 2, 2013, pp. 412–452.

Olivette Otele Afro-Europeans: A Short History (Hurst: forthcoming 2018)

Patrizia Palumbo ed. A Place in the Sun. Africa in Italian colonial culture from post-unification to the present, (Berkeley & Los Angeles, University of California Press, 2003)

Sue Peabody and Tyler Stovall (eds.), The Color of Liberty. Histories of Race in France (Durham and London: Duke University Press 2003)

Matteo Salvadore The African Prester John and the Birth of Ethiopian-European Relations, 1402-1555, (New York: Routledge, 2016)

Jonathan Spicer, ed. Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe (Baltimore: Walkers Art Museum, 2012)

Ann L. Stoler, Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule, (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2002)

Natalie Zemon Davis, Trickster Travels: A Sixteenth-Century Muslim Between Worlds (London: Faber, 2007)

Steve Murdoch, John Brown: A Black Female Soldier in the Royal African Company

Black British Histories

Hakim Adi West Africans in Britain 1900-1960: Nationalism, Pan-Africanism and Communism (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1998)

Caroline Bressey Empire, Race and the Politics of Anti-Caste (London: Bloomsbury, 2015)

Christopher Leslie Brown Moral Capital. Foundations of British Abolitionism (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006)

Vincent Carretta ed. Unchained Voices: An Anthology of Black Authors in the English-speaking World of the Eighteenth Century (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2004)

Linda Colley, The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh. A Woman in World History (London: Harper Collins, 2007)

Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by Himself (London, 1789)

James Nott, ‘Race and the Dance Hall’ in Going to the Palais: A Social and Cultural History of Dancing and Dance Halls in Britain, 1918-1960 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 246-278.

Stuart Hall with Bill Schwartz Familiar stranger: a life between two islands (Durham: Duke University Press, 2017).

Stuart Hall, ‘New Ethnicities’, in Black Film, British Cinema, ICA Documents 7, London: Institute of Contemporary Arts (1989)

Colin Holmes, John Bull’s Island: Immigration and British Society, 1871-1971 (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1988)

Miranda Kaufmann Black Tudors: The Untold Story (Oneworld: 2017)

P. Kirkham and D. Thomas (eds) War culture: social change and changing experience in World War Two Britain (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1995)

H.L. Malchow, “Frankenstein’s Monster and Images of Race in Nineteenth-Century Britain,” Past & Present, No. 139 (May, 1993), pp. 90-130.

David Olusoga, Black and British. A Forgotten History. (Pan, 2017)

Panikos Panayi, Immigration, ethnicity, and racism in Britain, 1815-1945 (Manchester & New York: Manchester University Press, 1994)

Panikos Panayi An immigration history of Britain: multicultural racism since 1800 (Harlow & New York: Pearson Longman 2010)

David Reynolds, ‘The Churchill government and Black American Troops in the Second World War’ in Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, Vol 35, p. 113-133.

Sonya O. Rose, Which People’s War?: National Identity and Citizenship in Wartime Britain 1939-1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2003), Ch. 3 & 7

Sonya O. Rose, ‘Race, empire and British wartime national identity, 1939-45,’ in Historical Research, no 184 (May 2001), 224.

Laura Tabili Global Migrants, Local Culture: Natives and Newcomers in Provincial England, 1841-1939 (London & Basingstoke: Palgrave 2011)

Chris Waters ‘”Dark Strangers” in Our Midst: Discourses of Race and Nation in Britain, 1947-1963’, Journal of British Studies, Vol. 36, No. 2, Twentieth-Century British Studies (Apr., 1997), pp. 207-238.

African American histories

Mia Bay The White Image in the Black Mind: African-American Attitudes towards White People, 1823-1925 (New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000)

Kathleen Brown “Gender and Race in Early America,” Reviews in American History 26 (March 1998), 96-123.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me: Notes on the First 150 Years in America (New York, Spiegel & Grau, 2015)

Glenda Gilmore, Gender and Jim Crow: Women and the Politics of White Supremacy in North Carolina, 1896-1920 (Chapel Hill, 1996)

Winthrop D. Jordan White Over Black: American Attitudes Towards the Negro, 1550-1812 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968)

Maghan Keita Race and the Writing of American History: Riddling the Sphinx (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000)

Ethan Kytle and Blain Roberts, Denmark Vesey’s Garden: Slavery and Memory in the Cradle of the Confederacy (New Press, 2018)

Danielle L. McGuire and John Dittmer (eds), Freedom Rights: New Perspectives on the Civil Rights Movement (Lexington: Kentucky UP, 2011)

Lauren Sklaroff, Black Culture and the New Deal: The Quest for Civil Rights in the Roosevelt Era (Chapel Hill: North Carolina UP, 2009)

Thomas Sugrue, The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit (Princeton, 1996)

Brian Ward, Just My Soul Responding: Rhythm and Blues, Black Consciousness and Race Relations (London: Routledge, 2004)

Jenny Woodley, Art for Equality: The NAACP’s Cultural Campaign for Civil Rights (Lexington: Kentucky UP, 2014)

Celebrating Black History Month

Blog post written by Dr Kate Ferris

black history month.jpg

Photo attrib. St Andrews University Library, CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0

As a way of marking Black History Month (October 2018), staff in the School of History have put together a reading list of ‘essential texts’ on African and African Diaspora (including Black British, African American, and Afro European) histories. Drawing at least in part on our collective teaching and research interests, most of these books and articles were already to be found in our library; many of them are texts that we use in modules we teach at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. However, some of the texts we thought ‘essential reading’ were not part of the library’s existing collection. In these cases, we have ordered copies for the library, meaning that all of the works that figure on this reading list are now, or will very soon be, available for you to read here in St Andrews.

In addition, the library has joined us in marking Black History Month by putting on a display of works in their collection highlighting black authors, artists, visionaries, leaders, directors and activists. The display is on the second floor of the library right now, so do go and see it. The library will be adding material from the Special Collections over the coming week.

Inevitably, of course, this reading list is incomplete. It reflects the collective expertise and interests of staff teaching and researching in the School but it is also reflective of the notable gaps and absences in our expertise and understanding. As such, this list is very much a ‘work in progress’ and something that we intend to continue to add to and improve. If you have suggestions for works that we have missed out, that you think constitute ‘essential reading’ in these fields, and that we really should add to the list, then please do send these to Dr Kate Ferris (kf50). In the mean time, we hope that you will delve into some – or even all – of the texts on this list, and that you find them as enlightening, fascinating, instructive and useful in your history studies as we do.

This is a small contribution to celebrating Black History Month. We will be following it up with more events in the months to come, so please watch this space for news of those!

Publication Spotlight: Early Medieval Hagiography

medhagiography.pngBlog written by Dr James Palmer

“How is your book… your novel going?” Angus inquired politely as he sipped at his coffee. “The one about the Scottish saints?” Antonia sighed. “Not very well, I’m afraid. My saints, I regret to say, are misbehaving”. Love over Scotland, Alexander McCall Smith

And indeed, for Antonia, they are. They get grumpy and might not even really like each other. Saints are, after all, people, and not always particularly pure. They also have to live in the same societies as everyone else, full of petty jealousies, alcohol, greed, and people with bad ideas. Or, Antonia fears, maybe she is projecting her ideas on them.

I wrote Early Medieval Hagiography with these issues firmly in mind. Saints, or at least writings about them, have long been seen as both reflections of the societies that produced them and efforts to shape those societies. Hagiographies can supply wonderful, rich data for studying the early Middle Ages, from Ireland to Byzantium and sometimes beyond. But they can also present minefields for those dealing with them, both because they were not written to tell us about the past in a straightforward manner, and because of the baggage of how we have tried to study them ourselves.

Initially, I was approached by Arc Humanities Press (an imprint of Amsterdam University Press) to write an introduction to these saintly biographies that was, apart from being introductory, provocative, different, and grounded in enough hard research to say things to a hardcore audience. And preferably with a global angle. In short: it was going to be a challenge. We needed a twenty-first century guide to the subject that captured the field and at least attempted to tilt it to an awkward angle. It also need to bring scholarship on different regions – actually, in the end, stretching from Ireland to Japan – into sight to help future comparative studies.

Columba.jpg

Schaffhausen, Stadtbibliothek, MS Gen. 1, f. 1 – a copy of the Life of Columba, made on Iona before 713, image attrib. e-codices, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

My plan was simple: I wanted to write a study that took the reader through the process of writing about saints, from their creation to our efforts to use saints’ Lives. It needed to start with people reading old saints’ Lives, hearing oral legends, remembering and misremembering things, and then trying to make their friends look like saints. There was no process of canonisation in the early Middle Ages, no rules about ‘how to make a saint’. Of course, some saints, like the Englishman St Boniface of Mainz (d. 754), looked like a saint in life because he had read all about them. His enemies were capable of doing so too, which was inconvenient for him and his followers, but which was good (for me) for showing how people negotiate status when there are not really any rules to follow. It also allowed plenty of scope for unusual saints: married-with-children saints, bishop-murdering saints, holy fools hanging out with prostitutes, saints who had performed no miracles whatsoever but who were a bit angsty. Every time one subverts our modern expectations about what a saint should look like, we should be jolted to consider what that says about shifting social norms, then and now.

Once somebody had written an account of their favoured saint, what they did with it was important. Hagiography did not just exist as stories: they were parts of books, of libraries, of sermons and debates, with real institutional contexts and with people engaging with them. Turning to the early manuscript evidence as I did, you can see people attempting to recontextualise saints by juxtaposing the new and the old, women and men, martyrs and confessors – all to give them new meaning. People composed calendars and martyrologies as guidebooks that linked into liturgical cycles (or often, more likely, just to help to decide what stories to read out at dinner time for entertainment). Order controls meaning.

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St Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, MS 566 – a calendar of saints that tells you in which book you could find the story about them, image attrib. e-codices, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

Having built up a sense of how people wrote hagiographies, and then one of how people used them, the third angle was no less important: how do we use them? The modern classic on the subject, Hippolyte Delehaye’s Les légendes hagiographiques (1905), came directly out of efforts to remove dubious saints by applying rigorous source criticism (much of which boils down to entirely reasonable variations on ‘don’t trust anything too much without good reason’). The development of hagiography studies in the century that followed, unsurprisingly, very much mirrored historiographical trends more generally. Ideas from philology, gender studies, anthropology, postmodernism and comparative religious studies came into play, combined, and fell out of fashion again, leaving a varied toolkit for future analysis. But always, it seems, scholars sought ways to get lost pasts to speak to present concerns, however objective and neutral they claimed to be. There is a long history of being polemical about who is right and who is wrong about how, at the end of the day, historians ought to read hagiographies. What we need to do is to be methodologically promiscuous and find questions – not answers! – from different fields. In particular, we need to get away from the surprisingly dogged insistence that we don’t need to think about method or theory if we ‘read with care’.

The final part of Early Medieval Hagiography seeks to apply lessons from the other themes of the book, and to reassess what difference studying hagiographies has made to early medieval studies. Here, I turned to the big issues: How ‘dark’ were the Middle Ages? How important were ethnic and religious identities? Did people really not have any sense of the world beyond the horizon? And, of course, for every example that confirms our worst prejudices about the period, there is at least one saint whose story has unsettled them. In fact, more often than not, hagiography forces us to see the early Middle Ages as a much more complex time than even many working on them like to admit, and forces us to see more of society in action than just a few rich white men at the top. The challenge the book ends with, then, is how we can take these kinds of observations to build new histories that are both methodologically rigorous and which speak to our needs. Antonia could rest easy: we have been projecting our concerns onto saints for two millennia and we are not going to stop now.

St Andrews Book Conference 2018: Print and Power

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Dr Alexandra Hill with her book

Blog post written by Dr Nina Lamal

Between June 21 and 23, the Universal Short Title Catalogue team hosted its annual book conference.  This year’s conference theme was Print and Power, organised by Jamie Cumby (University of St Andrews), Nina Lamal (University of Antwerp) and Helmer Helmers (University of Amsterdam) and generously supported by the History Department of the University of Antwerp. Within the scope of the conference theme , scholars from across Europe, the United States, and Canada discussed multiple ways in which civic and ecclesiastical authorities recognized the potential and power of print, and how it was used to govern and communicate with their citizens from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century.

The conference hosted sixty attendees at St Mary’s College where twenty-six papers, spread over two and half days, provided stimulating conversations and discussions. The conference began with a panel on printing for the government with case studies from Germany, the southern Low Countries and Papal Bologna. Later that day, papers discussed printing propaganda and news in papal Rome, France, the Dutch Republic, and the Holy Roman Empire. The day ended with two more papers on the role of  printed books within international relations. On Friday, panels focused on reformation in England and the Holy Roman Empire, as well as the challenging of religious authorities in Milan, Antwerp and London. Other sessions were dedicated to the power of the image within print, and how patronage enabled the tracing of careers of individual printers in Italy and Krakow. The conference ended on Saturday with a panel devoted to printing in the Dutch Republic and a session on the use of print by colonial trading companies and institutions.

20180621_174609During the evening, the conference provided further activities. On Thursday evening, Special Collections exhibited lots of wonderful material related to our participants’ papers. Among the items on display were sixteenth-century Italian ordinances printed in Bologna and Naples. A specific book of interest was an Arabic translation of Euclid’s Elements, which was printed in Rome in 1594 in the Typographia Medicea. This oriental press was a commercial venture, heavily sponsored by Cardinal Ferdinando de Medici, who aimed to sell these Arabic books in the Ottoman Empire. On Friday evening the participants enjoyed a wine and beer reception, which celebrated the launch of St Andrews’ graduate Dr Alexandra Hill’s monograph Lost Books and Printing in London, 1557-1640. An Analysis of the Stationers’ Company Register.

The proceedings of this conference will be published in Brill’s The Library of the Written Word. Next year, another conference will take place, with the theme of  Crisis or Enlightenment? Developments in the Book Trade, 1650-1750. This conference will happen between 20 and 22 June – for more information, please visit http://www.ustc.ac.uk.