How do we undertake a major historical research project for the first time? In their new book, ‘Becoming a Historian’, Penelope J. Corfield and Tim Hitchcock consider the steps and skills required, and how to manage the challenges of research. Supportive, pragmatic and ‘informal’, this is a guide shaped by its authors’ long-standing commitment to scholarly community and to training the next generation of historians.
The results of the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF2021) were published on 12 May 2022. Professors Mark Jackson and Margot Finn — respectively chair and deputy chair of the History sub-panel for REF2021 — offer an overview of this latest review, its headline findings for History, and their reflections on disciplinary developments since REF2014.
In her new article for ‘Transactions of the Royal Historical Society’, Professor Rebekah Clements explores the complexities of political sovereignty in early modern Japan through the practice of ‘alternate attendance’. Long understood as statements of a shogun central power, parades also served regional lords and their communities as opportunities to confirm mutual dependence in maintaining local hierarchies of political authority.
The Society is very pleased to have recently received generous support, from the Marc Fitch Fund, for the second phase of its archive development programme. Over the coming months we will research and catalogue three further areas of the Society’s collection: papers relating to the running, membership and management of the Society, from its foundation in 1868; papers of the Camden Society, founded in 1838 to its merger with the RHS in 1897; and correspondence of the Tudor historian, Professor Sir Geoffrey Elton. Here we preview some early finds, charting the activities of the Society from the 1870s to 1950s.
What does it mean to engage audiences with complex and traumatic histories of empire and war? And how might we engage with the ‘un-commemorated’, whose names have not appeared on the memorial landscape? Dr Diya Gupta (Royal Historical Society) and Dr Anna Maguire (QMUL) recently posed these questions in workshops for school-age students and their teachers studying the British Empire and the First and Second World Wars.
How does an oral historian, working in Mozambique, respond to the lockdowns and travel restrictions of recent years? Johanna Wetzel researches the history of youth — ‘ser jovem’ or ‘juventude’ — in Maputo, with particular reference to the importance attached to youth and the young by first-generation leaders of post-independence Mozambique. Unable to travel, Johanna turned to online programmes and training funded by a research grant from the Royal Historical Society.
To coincide with the release of her new monograph, Dr Sarah Fox introduces us to the multiple stages and community focus of ‘Giving Birth in Eighteenth-Century England’. The cycle of eighteenth-century birthing began and concluded much earlier and later than the delivery of a child, and extended well beyond the confines of the birth chamber. Sarah’s book, published on 13 April, is the 12th title in the Society’s New Historical Perspectives series for early career historians.
What’s it like being supervised by one of the leading and most highly regarded historians of the day? In this post Dr Alistair Malcolm (Limerick) recalls supervisions, advice and his long-term friendship with the historian of early modern Spain, Sir John Elliott (1930-2022), who died in March.
In the early 1980s, John Landers studied as a PhD student with Sir Tony Wrigley (1931-2022), one of the founding members of the the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure. In this post John recalls his experience of supervisions and the distinctive culture of ‘Campop’, created by Sir Tony and fellow founders, Roger Schofield and Peter Laslett.
In the next in our ‘Writing Race’ series, Vishwajeet Deshmukh considers the history of racial ‘passing’ within India’s Anglo-Indian community. Mixed-race descendants of European fathers and Indian mothers, members of the Anglo-Indian community are often studied in the context of their historical assimilation within European societies. However, ‘passing’ was also a feature of colonial Indian society, as Anglo-Indians sought the higher status of ‘Europeans’.
How might a Protestant missionary understand and identify a genuine ‘conversion’? How confident can missionaries be that the people they seek to convert are not deceiving the mission, or themselves? In this post Professor Alec Ryrie and Dr David Trim introduce ‘Four Axes of Mission: Conversion and the Purposes of Mission in Protestant History’ — their new article in the Transactions of the Royal Historical Society. Throughout the history of Protestant cross-cultural missions, missionaries have considered ‘four axes’: a series of intangible proxy measures of intangible ‘true’ conversions.
In August 2021 UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) announced its future policy regarding Open Access publishing. April 2022 sees the first key date when new UKRI rules come into effect: relating to the accessibility of journal articles based on research funded by AHRC grants, excluding PhD funding. This post provides a Q&A principally for historians to explain the changes which take effect from 1 April 2022, and those concerning monographs which come into effect for titles published from January 2024.