History Workshop Journal
ISSN / EISSN: 13633554 / 14774569
Published by: Oxford University Press (OUP)
Total articles ≅ 2,810
Latest articles in this journal
History Workshop Journal; https://doi.org/10.1093/hwj/dbac033
Using the life-writing of historian and playwright Muriel St. Clare Byrne (1895-1983), this article develops the concept of a non-binary historical methodology. It argues that historians should take gender as a historically contingent category to allow alternative logics of embodiment, selfhood, desire, and relationality to be more clearly seen. Drawing on trans studies, the article situates Byrne within contemporary conversations about universal bi-sexuality within sexology and psychoanalysis. Her rewriting of the psychosexual model in her memoir, which underwrote a claim to ‘both her sexes’, represents one of the paths foreclosed by the mid-century turn to the gender/sex/sexuality model.
History Workshop Journal, Volume 94, pp 1-4; https://doi.org/10.1093/hwj/dbac032
On 25 May 2020 the video footage of the murder of George Floyd accelerated across the multiple screens of social media. Despite entire populations living under Covid-19 lock-ins, protests broke out across the planet and Floyd was instantly accorded a posthumous existence in a globalized folklore. This was how, belatedly, Black Lives Matter entered Britain’s nervous system. As the insurrectionary spirit crossed the Atlantic it acquired a distinctive national temper. Statues of imperial men, until a little while before largely unnoticed and unremarked, moved into the sights of battling forces, emotions charged. No one seems able to explain why this manifestation of fury took off, while so many other protests stalled. In the UK it precipitated a shift in the discursive organization of race. Significant institutions in the national media now appear to be falling over backwards to accommodate black and brown voices, in a bid to be seen to be making up for the prolonged and comprehensive neglect. What this actually means, and what will follow, remain unresolved.
History Workshop Journal, Volume 94, pp 153-180; https://doi.org/10.1093/hwj/dbac029
For three afternoons on Memorial Day weekend in 2012, a ragtag group, including me, led by the Paradigm Brass Band, and accompanied by shopping carts filled with acoustic equipment and three dozen signs bearing street-style portraits, paraded through downtown Los Angeles ( Figure 1). ‘It’s a parade! It’s a performance! It’s visual art dancing down the street! It’s YOU!’ declared the newsprint program and route map that Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) members and volunteers in bright yellow t-shirts handed out to participants and bystanders of Walk the Talk, an ‘epic history of Skid Row!’ 1 The enthusiastic exclamation points following each declaration pushed back against presumptions held by many, including me, about where I stood: the corner of Sixth and Stanford, near the center of downtown Los Angeles’s Skid Row. This is where, year after year since 1984, Los Angeles has won the statistical badge of inhumanity as ‘homeless capital of America’ and ‘meanest city in the nation’ for its density of unsheltered people, their living conditions, and their rate of incarceration. 2 Worse than a refugee camp and with fewer toilets, declared a 2017 U.N. Special Rapporteur for Human Rights. This in a state with the fifth largest economy on the planet, and a city with a bigger GDP than all but the ten wealthiest countries in the world. 3 Tent dwellers and those in makeshift lean-tos shared the sidewalks around me, alongside which people had hung their belongings on the chain link fence enclosing lots where cars are granted more designated spaces than people.
History Workshop Journal, Volume 94, pp 246-250; https://doi.org/10.1093/hwj/dbac030
Social gatherings of the indoor, up-close variety have featured little in our lives since spring 2020. People crowded together in homes or restaurants or pubs, chatting as the booze flows…the ordinary pleasures of a pandemic Beforetime. I’ve missed this sociability. What I’ve missed most are the dinner parties. A dinner with old friends, maybe with a few people I’ve not met before, moving from chitchat and gossip into extended, occasionally tendentious talk of books, films, politics, the major issues of the moment. I came of age intellectually at such gatherings, especially those hosted by the socialist historian Raphael Samuel in the small basement of his Spitalfields home. Of the many vivid memories I retain from those evenings I recall in particular a quarrel over the politics of folk music (radical or ersatz?) which concluded in a noisy sing-song that must have infuriated the neighbours. Now, in the midst of this never-ending pandemic, an autumn 2019 dinner party where Corbynism was hotly debated seems almost as distant as that Spitalfields evening four decades ago.
History Workshop Journal, Volume 94, pp 223-245; https://doi.org/10.1093/hwj/dbac028
On the 4th July I received through the post a small package containing a matchbox: inside were a small bullet, an armband with a swastika, and a note saying ‘Yo
History Workshop Journal, Volume 94, pp 251-253; https://doi.org/10.1093/hwj/dbac031
Belinda Bozzoli was born in Johannesburg in December 1945. After graduating with a BA in political science and geography and BA Honours in African Studies (first class) at Witwatersrand University, she studied for an MA in African Studies and Political Science and a DPhil at the University of Sussex. Her thesis title was ‘The roots of hegemony: ideology, interests and the legitimation of South African capitalism, 1890-1940’. Together with her husband, the historian Charles van Onselen, she returned to South Africa, where she took up a lectureship in sociology at Witwatersrand. She was successively promoted to professor, head of the department of sociology and head of the school of social sciences. In 2003 she became deputy vice-chancellor of research, and subsequently chair of the National Research Foundation Board. An energetic teaching career was interspersed with fellowships at Oxford, Cambridge, Yale and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris.
History Workshop Journal, Volume 94, pp 130-152; https://doi.org/10.1093/hwj/dbac021
This article presents and analyses an exceptional and unused source: lists of the patrolmen and court-servants of the judges of fifteenth-century Perugia. These lists are exceptional because of the wealth of detail they provide on the provenance and physical description of these men, personal information that was written down as a sort of identity record. We describe and explain the nature of the source and use the data for multi-faceted exploration of personal identity, discussing the history and historiography of age, stature, hair, beards, facial disfigurement, marks, scars, eyes, noses and skin colour.
History Workshop Journal, Volume 94, pp 61-83; https://doi.org/10.1093/hwj/dbac020
This paper revisits the local leadership of the various inter-related campaigns, agitations and oppositional activities that animated many of the communities of the West Riding textile district during the 1825–40 period. After examining different levels and types of leadership, it explores how people became leaders, the attractions and drawbacks of their role, and the challenges they faced. The study argues that the emergence of a generation of leaders who tapped into and contributed to the cultural wealth of their communities helps to explain the vitality of popular radicalism and the easy replenishment of early Chartist leadership in these localities.
History Workshop Journal, Volume 94, pp 5-21; https://doi.org/10.1093/hwj/dbac022
Racial capitalism is a way of talking about the intersections of racisms and capitalisms: but how does it operate in practice? This essay explores the derivation of the term and focuses on one concrete example from the eighteenth-century Atlantic. Hereditary racial slavery and mercantile capitalism were articulated together: the expropriation of African lives and labour enabled the production of wealth for slave-owners and merchants. Both the metropolitan state and the Jamaican colonial state were critical in providing economic, legal, political and military frameworks legitimating White power and Black subjection.
History Workshop Journal, Volume 94, pp 84-108; https://doi.org/10.1093/hwj/dbac026
A school play about the Pentrich Revolution (1817) and Jeremiah Brandreth its ‘leader’, scripted in 1970–71 by teacher and novelist Stanley Middleton, reveals the history of teaching about Pentrich, to adults and children, over the previous century. Middleton’s use of the Nottinghamshire dialect to write history, in the play and his many novels, is a focus of the article.