Cultures of secrecy and transparent archives?

In April 2019, during  a panel discussion at Australia’s Parliament House, Anne Twomey, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Sydney, declared that the National Archives of Australia (NAA) have become ‘completely dysfunctional’. This was due to failures in procedures for sensitivity reviewing government files in order to provide access. Twomey argued that this was symptomatic of a ‘culture of secrecy’ which was ‘a serious problem when it comes to transparency in government’. In this post, Richard Dunley argues that this developing culture of secrecy is, paradoxically, a direct product of drives for transparency.  Continue reading “Cultures of secrecy and transparent archives?”

In All Our Footsteps: Tracking Walking Histories in Post-War Britain

May is National Walking Month. In this piece, Clare Hickman and Glen O’ Hara reflect on their new collaborative project which has emerged from personal as well as academic interests in walking, and has led them to reflect on the intersections of environmental, political and health histories. Continue reading “In All Our Footsteps: Tracking Walking Histories in Post-War Britain”

Seeking Thomas Howard in Rotherham: local groundings for a global life

In the last weekend of April, as part of the program for Professor Elena Smilianskaia, a visiting fellow at the University of Exeter, Dr Julia Leikin, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, organized a trip to the town of Rotherham in South Yorkshire, to find out more about Thomas Howard, the third Earl of Effingham (1746-1791). In this post, Julia Leikin recounts the surprising results of the trip. Continue reading “Seeking Thomas Howard in Rotherham: local groundings for a global life”

New Camden Volume: British Envoys to the Kaiserreich, vol. 2: 1884-1897

The Royal Historical Society is pleased to announce the publication of British Envoys to the Kaiserreich, 1871–1897, Volume 56 in the Camden Fifth Series, edited by Markus Mösslang. In this post, Dr Mösslang introduces the volume, and its part in the larger British Envoys project. Continue reading “New Camden Volume: British Envoys to the Kaiserreich, vol. 2: 1884-1897”

Beyond this Day – 6 May 1919: The Third Anglo-Afghan War and the Attack on “Warlike” Pathans.

Monday, 6 May 2019 marks a hundred years since the outbreak of the Third Anglo-Afghan War (6 May – 8 August 1919). In the first of a new series of posts examining the histories beyond significant dates, Kate Imy (Assistant Professor of History, University of North Texas) examines the significance of the conflict in the context of the World War that preceded it, and the longer history of British military recruitment of, and violence against, Pathans in the region. Continue reading “Beyond this Day – 6 May 1919: The Third Anglo-Afghan War and the Attack on “Warlike” Pathans.”

The Emperor, His Castle and Modern Japan.

On May 1, 2019, Prince Naruhito (b. 1960) becomes the emperor of Japan following the abdication of his father, emperor Akihito (b. 1933), after a thirty-year reign. The enthronement ceremonies will take place in the Imperial Palace, a vast former castle complex that dominates the centre of Tokyo. Yet, the new emperor will only be the fifth to reside in Tokyo, after the so-called Meiji Restoration of 1868 saw the imperial institution move to the “Eastern Capital” following more than a millennium in the ancient city of Kyoto. In this blog post, Oleg Benesch explains the history and significance of this modern imperial location. Continue reading “The Emperor, His Castle and Modern Japan.”