This week saw the launch of the Palgrave Macmillan book series, Europe's Asian Centuries. This series investigates the key connector that transformed the early modern world: the long-distance trade between Asia and Europe in material goods and culture. This trade stimulated Europe’s consumer and industrial revolutions, re-orientating the Asian trading world to European priorities. Europe’s pursuit of quality goods turned a pre-modern encounter with precious and exotic ornaments into a modern globally-organized trade in Asian export ware. Europe’s Asian Centuries engages with new historical approaches arising from global history; it develops subject areas grounded in skills and processes of production as well as material culture, and it demonstrates the new depth of research into diverse markets, quality differences and the development of taste. The books are groundbreaking in bringing the study of traded products, material cultures and consumption into economic and global history, and in making economic history relevant to wider cultural history. It has the vision of a history over a long chronology of two and a half centuries and wide European and Asian comparisons and connections.
The website of the People's History of the NHS, ran by the research team of the Cultural History of the NHS project at the Centre for the History of Medicine in the Warwick University History Department, has now been launched:
The People’s History of the NHS allows you to help us research what the NHS means and how it has shaped our lives since its creation. It is part of our bigger academic project investigating the cultural history of the NHS, funded by the Wellcome Trust. Collecting personal stories and memories about the NHS is one of our central objectives.
Dr Elodie Duché, Alan Pearsall postdoctoral fellow at IHR University of London and Associate Research Fellow at the Warwick University History Department, has been awarded a British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (BSECS) Fellowship to visit the University of York for a week in late April.
During Dr Elodie Duché's time at the Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies at York she will organise a workshop on the visual cultures of modern warfare and work with scholars and students of various disciplines to develop her research on the visual and material cultures of Napoleonic prisoners of war. She will also take part in the series of events organised by Dr Catriona Kennedy to mark the anniversary of Waterloo, in partnership with the National Army Museum.
As a result of outstanding success in both research and teaching, the Warwick University History Department is delighted to announce the recruitment of four fixed-term assistant professors, all starting in September 2015:
The closing date for applications for all four posts is 20th April 2015. Please direct any informal queries to the Head of Department, Professor Daniel Branch, at D.P.Branch@warwick.ac.uk.
The study provides a medical and social history of English spas and hydropathic centres from the early nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. It argues that demand for healing rather than leisure drove the growth of a number of inland resorts which became renowned for expertise and treatment facilities, aspects that were actively marketed to patients and doctors. The book explores ideas about water’s healing potential and the varied ways it was used to maintain good health and treat a variety of illnesses. Water cures were endorsed by both orthodox and unorthodox practitioners and attracted growing numbers of patients into the twentieth century. The book assesses the influence of spas and hydropathic centres on broader patterns of resort development, leisure and sociability in Britain and considers why support for spa treatment from the National Health Service declined from the 1960s.
Dr Roberta Bivins and Dr Mathew Thomson have secured Senior Investigator Awards and over £1m of funding from the Wellcome Trust to support a five-year programme of research on the cultural history of the National Health Service.
Based in Warwick History Department’s Centre for the History of Medicine, ‘The Cultural History of the NHS’ (http://warwick.ac.uk/nhshistory) will investigate the changing meaning of the NHS for the British people since its opening in 1948. Conservative politician Nigel Lawson famously remarked in the 1980s that the NHS was the closest thing the English people now had to a religion, and assumptions about the meaning of the NHS remain hugely influential in public debate. In a climate in which the future of the NHS is a matter of daily speculation and as we approach a natural point of reflection with the 70th anniversary in 2018, the research will provide us with the first major study of how our beliefs about the NHS really did evolve over this period.
The research will analyse public opinion, cultural representation in literature, film and television, and the role of the NHS itself and those who worked within it in the construction of meaning. We will also ask whether and how the NHS operated as a cultural force in Britain, for instance by encouraging or discouraging the integration of various populations – the elderly, the disabled, migrants – into wider cultures of community health. A further key element of the project will be working with communities and individuals to uncover a hidden history of belief, meaning, and feeling, and in retrieving artefacts and stories to bring this story to life in a web-based ‘people’s history of the NHS’.
Congratulations are due to PhD student John Morgan, who has been awarded the Marion Madison Young Scholar's Prize for an essay on 'counterfeit Egyptians' he wrote whilst studying for his MA.
The London launch of the Warwick-BL AHRC-funded project "Africa’s Sons Under Arms" was held at the British Library on January 20th. The project team [David Lambert and Tim Lockley from Warwick, Phil Hatfield and Beth Cooper from the British Library, together with graduate students Melissa Bennett and Rosalyn Narayan] outlined the various research-focused components as well as plans for wider public engagement. Attendees included the Jamaican ambassador, community organisations with an interest in the Caribbean, academics and students from a number of different universities, and British Library staff. There was widespread enthusiasm for the project, and it became apparent that there were a number of potentially exciting avenues for future collaboration that the project team will follow up on.