RHS WHITFIELD BOOK PRIZE – THE 2023 SHORTLIST
Each year, the Royal Historical Society awards two book prizes for a first solely authored monograph. The RHS Whitfield Prize is for first books by historians writing an an aspect of British or Irish History. The RHS Gladstone Prize is for first books in the field of European and World History beyond the British Isles. The 2023 Whitfield Prize Shortlist of six books – published in 2022 – was announced on 30 May. The winner of this year’s Whitfield Prize will be announced on Friday 21 July 2023.
Conversing with Historians about Mid-Career
In February 2023, the Royal Historical Society launched its ‘Mid-Career Conversations for Historians’ series. This initial series includes five themed events, hosted by Professor Julian Wright, the Society’s Secretary for Professional Engagement.The series provides a small and confidential forum for historians to discuss topics of particular relevance to them at the mid-career stage. It allows historians to share their problems, interests, priorities and solutions, and to consider new avenues for developing their career and professional networks. In this post Julian reflects on these initial discussions and what he’s learned from colleagues during these events.
How a Universal Basic Research Income Could Facilitate Historical Research
In this post, Matthew Smith considers the challenges of applying for research funding to pursue historical research. The current environment of winner-takes-all large grants is hugely time-consuming and uncertain. In its place, Matthew proposes a Universal Basic Research Income (UBRI). He explores the positives outcomes such a move could bring — for individual historians and the wider research culture. Matthew is Professor of the History of Health and Medicine at the University of Strathclyde and Director of the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare (CSHHH).
Anti-communism in Britain during the early Cold War: A Very British Witch Hunt
To coincide with publication of his new book, ‘Anti-Communism in Britain during the Early Cold War: A Very British Witch Hunt’, Dr Matthew Gerth considers the anti-communist credentials of the post-war British prime minister, Clement Attlee. Matthew’s book, published on 13 April, is the 16th title in the Royal Historical Society’s New Historical Perspectives series for early career historians, published in association with the Institute of Historical Research and University of London Press.
As with all books in the series, A Very British Witch Hunt is available in print and as a free Open Access download.
Social History From the Global South: New Voices from Southern Africa. Reflections on British Academy Funded Writing Workshop, University of the Free State, South Africa.
In February 2023, the University of the Free State, South Africa, hosted the workshop ‘Social History from the Global South: New Voice from Southern Africa’, funded by the British Academy. This workshop was organised to address the issue of research output in the humanities from the African Continent. In a series of six sessions, the participants focused on the topic of journal publishing. They identified certain limitations, discussed writing techniques, and established new approaches to the publishing process. In this blog, historians Kate Law, Andrew Cohen, Matt Graham and Alfred Tembo highlight the workshop’s aims, objectives and principal outcomes.
The Trouble with Text Mining: And why some projects take a long time, and future projects might take less time
In the sixth and final article in our current blog series, ‘Historical Research in the Digital Age’, Jo Guldi reflects on her long experience of working with digital sources and tools as a historian, with particular focus on the opportunities and challenges inherent within text mining for historical research. As historians, Jo argues, we need to remain open to changes of direction, prompted by digital innovation, while also remaining grounded in the physical archive that digital may enhance but not replace.
‘Historical Research in the Digital Age’, Part 5: ‘Digitising History from a Global Perspective; and what this tells us about access and inequality’
In this fifth post in our ‘Historical Research in the Digital Age’ series, Gerben Zaagsma explores the concept of ‘digital abundance’ in global perspective. When we speak about abundance, whose abundance are we talking about, who can access it, and why does it matter? Allocations of digital resources, and the capacity to access digital content, reflect wider discrepancies in research culture between the Global North and South. However, as Gerben argues, the realities of digital imbalance also complicate these binary divisions. These are deficits of which we all need to be aware and to address.
Are you new to teaching? Eight online guides for historians beginning careers in Higher Education
In eight new videos, experienced historians specialising in innovative pedagogy introduce and discuss approaches to History teaching. Topics include writing and presenting a History lecture; working in large and small seminar groups; teaching online; teaching creatively; and providing constructive assessment to students. The eight presentations are now available as videos for those ‘New to Teaching’ to develop their skills.
‘Historical Research in the Digital Age’, Part 4: ‘Researching with Big Data; and how historians can work collaboratively’
In this fourth post in our ‘Historical Research in the Digital Age’ series, Ruth Ahnert considers how historians can work with big data, with reference to the need for and approaches to interdisciplinary collaboration. Ruth draws on her experience of leading Living with Machines, an interdisciplinary project bringing together historians and data scientists, and based at the British Library and Alan Turing Institute.
‘Historical Research in the Digital Age’, Part 3: ‘Why archivists digitise, and why it matters’
In this third post in our ‘Historical Research in the Digital Age’ series, we hear from Anna Mcnally who is a qualified archivist with twenty years of professional experience. Here, Anna considers the development of digitised archives from the early 2000s, the behind-the-scenes work of digital archives, and how — positively and negatively — this influences the work we’re able to do as historical researchers.
Teaching the early modern Islamic World
In July 2022, Peter Good received one of two Jinty Nelson Teaching Awards given annually by the Royal Historical Society. In this post, for the Society’s ‘Teaching Portal’, Peter reflects on his classroom practice, and how he seeks to communicate the histories of early Modern Europe and the Islamic World to his students. Launched in 2020, the Teaching Portal now offers more than 60 articles and guides for History students and teachers in Higher Education.
‘Historical Research in the Digital Age’, Part 2: ‘Tools for the Trade: And how historians can make the most of them’
We continue our new series – ‘Historical Research in the Digital Age’ – with a guide to understanding and building digital tools for historians, from Professor William J. Turkel, an experienced creator of digital resources to perform and communicate research. William explains how historians should conceptualise projects when seeking to use digital tool or, indeed, create their own digital resources. This post is Part 2 of our digital history series, hosted by Ian Milligan.