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The Deana & Jack Eisenberg Lecture in Public History 2015


The Deana & Jack Eisenberg Lecture in Public History 2015

More than just a good day out: Bringing History to life in the National Trust

Wednesday 7th October 2015
Wolfson Conference Suite 6pm

A public lecture on history in the National Trust by Dame Helen Ghosh.

Dame Helen joined the civil service from Oxford University, where she read Modern History. She has worked in a number of government departments, starting off in the Department of the Environment, and returning to environmental issues when she became Permanent Secretary at Defra in 2005.

In between, she followed her interest in providing public services to local people with jobs in the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs and the Government Office for London. She has also worked at the centre of Goverrnment, with two spells in the Cabinet Office.  Most recently, she has been Permanent Secretary at the Home Office.

She is a long-term member of the Trust and of her local Wildlife Trust in Oxfordshire. She is married to an academic and has a son and daughter, who are in their early twenties. She lives in Oxford, and includes family life, looking after her allotment, walking and watching ballet among her relaxations.shutterstock_213121852shutterstock_36890647shutterstock_136765844

To register for this free event visit: or RSVP to the IHR Events Office (

History Now & Then


shutterstock_263368988A series of six new public seminars on current issues raised by the study of the past.

Wolfson Conference Suite, IHR

Seminar: 6-7.30pm
Refreshments: 7.30-8.30pm

Welcome: Lawrence Goldman
Chair: Daniel Snowman

14 October 2015: History, history, everywhere… The apparent paradox that, alongside the recent growth of popular interest in history, many people also seem to lack a sense of the continuity between past and present.
Panel: Ronald Hutton, Paul Lay, David Reynolds, Pat Thane

11 November 2015: History as Heritage: The preservation, distortion and commercialisation of the past.
Panel: Jonathan Glancey, Robert Hewison, Anna-Maria Misra, Simon Thurley

9 December 2015: Does the ‘Real’ Past Matter?: The history and function of historical myth.
Panel: Peter Burke, David Cesarani, Justin Champion, Roy Foster

13 January 2016: Rewriting the Past: The need felt in each generation to reconfigure the past.
Panel: Penelope Corfield, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Ian Kershaw, Jonathan Steinberg

10 February 2016: Pictures of the Past: How far can artworks provide a pathway – or a stumbling block – towards understanding the past.?
Panel: Vic Gatrell, Simon Goldhill, Marion Kant, Simon Shaw-Miller

9 March 2016: Uses and Abuses of the Past: History as ideology, consolation, nostalgia, vindication, identity, revenge. Where does ‘History’ go from here?
Panel: Anne Curry, Peter Hennessy, Paul Preston, Donald Sassoon

Registration for this seminar series is required.
Tickets are £5 per session of £25 for all 6 sessions.
Free for the Friends of the IHR.

To register for a seminar visit the University of London online store.

For any queries, please contact the IHR Events Office:

Announcing the 2015-16 IHR Junior Research Fellows!


IHR direction signAfter a highly competitive process, the Institute is delighted to have appointed eighteen Junior Research Fellows for the 2015-16 year. We received a record number of applications for Junior Fellowships this year, and panels found it challenging to select the successful candidates from a range of excellent submissions. Thank you to everyone who took the time to apply.

We greatly look forward to welcoming the new cohort in October, and will be sharing more details and news of them in the coming months. In the meantime, you can get a sense of their areas of interest from the list below.

Do remember to check back for the programme of Director’s Seminars. At these seminars the Junior Fellows will present their research. These will be held on Wednesday afternoons, 2-4pm, from 7 October – 2 December (except one on the Thursday, 26 November), in Wolfson II at the IHR.

Economic History Society Fellows

Alice Dolan (UCL) 1 year
Re-Fashioning the Working Class: Mechanisation and Materiality in England 1800-1856

Paul Kreitman (SOAS) 1 year
Economic and Social Dimensions of Sovereignty in the North Pacific, 1861-1965

John Morgan (Exeter) 1 year
Financing flood security in eastern England, 1567-1826 Warwick

Judy Stephenson (Cambridge) 1 year
Occupation and Labour market institutions in London 1600 – 1800 LSE

Jacobite Studies Trust Fellow

Mindaugas Sapoka (Aberdeen) 1 year
Poland-Lithuania and Jacobitism c. 1714 – c. 1750

Past & Present Fellows

Jennifer Keating (UCL) 1 year
Images in crisis: Landscapes of disorder in Russian Central Asia, 1915-1924

Roel Konijnendijk (UCL) 1 year
Courage and Skill: A Hierarchy of Virtue in Greek Thought

Tehila Sasson (UC Berkeley) 1 year
In the Name of Humanity: Britain and the Rise of Global Humanitarianism

Junqing Wu (Exeter) 1 year
Anticlerical erotica in China and France: a cross-cultural analysis Nottingham

Pearsall Fellow

Ben Thomas (Aberdeen) 1 year
The Royal Naval Reserve in rural Scotland and Wales, c. 1900-1939

IHR Doctoral Fellows – Royal Historical Society

Lucy Hennings (Oxford) 1 year P.J. Marshall Fellow
England in Europe during the Reign of Henry III, 1216-1272

Sarah Ward (Oxford) 1 year Centenary Fellow
Royalism, Religion, and Revolution: The Gentry of North-East Wales, 1640-88

IHR Doctoral Fellows – Scouloudi Fellows

Will Eves (St Andrews) 6 months
The Assize of Mort d’Ancestor: From 1176 to 1230

Felicity Hill (UEA) 1 year
Excommunication and Politics in thirteenth-century England

Julia Leikin (UCL) 1 year
Prize law, maritime neutrality, and the law of nations in Imperial Russia, 1768-1856

James Norrie (Oxford) 6 months
Property and Religious Change in the Diocese of Milan, c.990-1140

Joan Redmond (Cambridge) 6 months
Popular religious violence in Ireland, 1641-1660

IHR Doctoral Fellows – Thornley Fellow

Cécile Bushidi (SOAS) 1 year
Dance, socio-cultural change, and politics among the Gĩkũyũ people of Kenya, 1880s-1963

We would also like to announce that Jacob Currie (Cambridge) was awarded a six-month Scouloudi Fellowship, which has been deferred to 2016-17.

Friends of the IHR Summer Outing: Sutton House and St Augustine’s Tower


This post was kindly written by Kelly Spring, a Committee Member of the Friends of the IHR and a PhD Candidate at the University of Manchester.


Sutton House

Sutton House © House_1.jpg?uselang=en-gb

During the long, warm days of July, our thoughts at the IHR turn to the annual Friends’ outing.  In years past, the Friends of the Institute have ventured to William Morris’s house in Walthamstow and Kenwood House in Hampstead Heath.  This year, on Monday, 6 July, we travelled to Hackney to explore Sutton House and St Augustine’s Tower.

Sir Ralph Sadleir, a courtier to Henry VIII and man whom our guide described as “the servant of the servant of the King,” built the house in 1535, and it stands as a visible reminder of Tudor architecture, albeit with some modifications and additions from later owners.  Occupants of the house have ranged from merchants to, in the 1980s, squatters, all of whom have left an indelible mark on the house, inside and out.

Great Hall

Great Hall

Outing participants were treated to a tour of the house by medieval historian and archaeologist Dr Nick Holder, of Regent’s University of London.  Nick began the tour outside the house to give everyone an overview of the history and architecture of the building.  He then led us through the four floors, including the basement.  The house boasts an impressive array of rooms, including the oak-panelled parlour and great hall.  Throughout the tour of the house, Nick provided Friends with in-depth information about each room’s original use and its architectural attributes.  He even pulled up floorboards and allowed us to peak behind panels to see sixteenth century building materials and design.

After viewing the house, Friends were invited to take lunch at Sutton House’s garden café, where we ate some excellent homemade soup followed by tea and Victoria sponge.  While the first tour group had their meal, Nick took a second group of Friends around the house, and repeated his extensive tour of the premises.  Following a quick cup of tea and slice of cake, Nick took the groups for an inside view of St Augustine’s Tower in the St John’s Church Gardens, just a short stroll from Sutton House.

St Augustine’s Tower

St Augustine’s Tower

St Augustine’s Tower was erected in the early sixteenth century as part of the building of the Hackney parish church, St Augustine’s, which replaced an earlier thirteenth century church on the same spot.  Today, the tower is all that remains of the church.  Boasting a Grade I listing, it is the oldest building in Hackney.  The clock in the tower was installed around the early 1600s and remains in working order to this day.  Normally closed, except on the last Sunday of each month, Friends were treated to a private tour of the tower’s floors, allowing visitors to view the clock works, ring the bell, and get a bird’s-eye view of London from atop the building.

Turkish café

Turkish café

While many returned home after the tour of the tower, others continued socialising over coffee and pastries at the Turkish café in the gardens adjacent to the tower.  Everyone agreed that it was a fantastic day out.

Professor Nigel Saul

Professor Nigel Saul ©

Other excellent Friend’s events are planned for this autumn, including the Annual General Meeting which will be held on Monday, 19 October.  This year, we are fortunate to have Professor Nigel Saul of Royal Holloway University of London, who will deliver the Annual Friends’ Lecture following the AGM.  He will be speaking on Magna Carta.  For further details about upcoming Friends’ events, or on how to become a Friend of the IHR, please visit the Institute’s website ( or speak to Mark Lawmon in the Development Office by phone (020 7862 8791) or by email (


All photos © James Dixon, unless otherwise noted.

PASSAGE: A symposium on writing about walking in London, 1500-1900


H1170010The Dr Seng Tee Lee Centre, Senate House Library
October 27th 2015

The University of London’s Senate House Library will be hosting a symposium in connection with a new project to begin later this year being jointly run by the Centre for Metropolitan History at the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House Library and the School of Advanced Study. The Passage project hopes to address a number of research questions arising from historical texts that describe or are structured around walking around London. It’s intended to be very broad in its disciplinary approaches, as well as its period of coverage (from Stow to the early 20th century), and its research themes will be wide ranging, including:

  • The topographical development of London at various periods
  • The associations of place with specific types of activity
  • The associations of place with types of morality
  • The development of consumer services
  • Reasons for and different types of walking around London (‘strolling, striding, marching’)
  • Changes in the literary genre of ‘travel writing’, broadly defined

The body of texts to be examined by the project include tour guides, travel journals of visitors, literary/polemical discourses ‘attached’ to walks, topographical surveys, administrative records (e.g. perambulation accounts), criminal records (e.g. trespass depositions) and governmental (control of walking routes/rights of way, enclosure, management of protest etc.).

The project is still very much in its infancy at the moment – even the project website is yet to be launched! – but the symposium will provide an excellent opportunity for scholars and students from various backgrounds and disciplines to define the landscape. The symposium will fall into two halves: the first half of the day will focus on papers from invited speaks who will be discussing very different approaches to historical writing about walking in London. Speakers include Nick Barratt (SHL) will be talking about walking as recorded in official records, focusing on Medieval London; Sarah Dustagheer (Kent) will be talking about Shakespeare, walking and London; Richard Dennis (UCL) who will be talking about George Gissing, Charles Booth and 19th century walking in London; and Matthew Beaumont (UCL) who will be discussing nightwalking in London.

The second half of the day will include a round-table discussion of the themes that arise from the papers, and will also provide an opportunity to view interesting and rare examples of London walking literature. In the afternoon, Senate House Library’s Rare Books Library, Dr Karen Attar, will be displaying and talking about the Bromhead Library (, a collection from which many of works on walking come, as well as items from other collections that will be providing evidence throughout the Passage project.

The symposium is free but places are strictly limited. If you would like to attend please register in advance via Eventbrite at:

Reviews in History fashion special


Houndsditch1862x30Today is the first day of Fashion, the 84th Anglo-American Conference of Historians, and as usual, this means we’ll be publishing a series of fashion-related reviews over the next few weeks. We start this week with a book by one of the session chairs from the conference, Vivienne Richmond, Clothing the Poor in Nineteenth-Century England. Sally Tuckett recommends a volume which ensures that the dress of the historical majority is seen as being just as worthy of attention and analysis as that of the fashionable elite (no. 1790).

Next up is From Main Street to Mall: The Rise and Fall of the American Department Store by Vicki Howard, as Jan Whitaker looks at a new history of an American retail institution (no. 1789).

Then we turn to Tansy Hoskins’ Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion. Esther Leslie reviews a book which suggests that the fashion industry is deadly, and that its seductions are lethal (no. 1788).

Finally we have Kimono: A Modern History by Terry Satsuki Milhaupt. Elizabeth Kramer believes this book persuasively challenges the myth of the kimono as a traditional, static garment (no. 1787).

Local History Summer School


064_Towncentre - grayThis post has kindly been written for us by Professor Richard Hoyle, Director and General Editor of the Victoria County History.

One thing which is pretty certain is that everyone who attends this year’s local history conference sponsored by the IHR and VCH lived through a part of the twentieth century – quite probably a fair chunk of it. And yet this conference starts with the premise that the twentieth century is often the hardest and most elusive period for local historians to deal with, being of our own times, familiar, yet strangely out of reach. It saw enormous upheavals in institutions, ownership and landscape, and in individual experience. Many of the familiar sources to address these sources disappear – so estate records – whilst others loose much of their evidential value (newspapers). Many modern records are closed to users: others may not even exist, having been swept away by records management. Yet other possibilities emerge, notably oral history, and for no other period do we have such abundance of maps and, of course, photographs (including those taken from the air).

This is a conference is for everyone who wants to contribute to an emerging agenda of looking at the relatively recent past. It offers guidance on some of the sources whilst describing, through worked examples, how the researcher can make their own contribution to deepening knowledge and understanding of the twentieth century. It explores what is before us, and is sometimes too obvious to see.

For further information on the School programme or for an application form, please see:

IHR Friends Film Evening – Henry V (1944)


Professor Anne Curry_V1

Professor Anne Curry

2015 seems to be a year marking many notable anniversaries: 800 years since Magna Carta; 750 years since the first elected Parliament representing all of England; 200 years since the Battle of Waterloo; 50 years since the death of Sir Winston Churchill; and the First World War centenary remembrances continue.  This year also represents another momentous anniversary—600 years since the Battle of Agincourt.  To commemorate this milestone of the Hundred Years’ War, the Friends of the IHR are hosting a film evening on 16 March, showing Laurence Olivier’s acclaimed film, Henry V.  The evening will feature a guest lecture from Professor Anne Curry, an expert on medieval history and a prolific author on the Hundred Years’ War.

Agincourt-Henry V publicity poster_WikiCommons

Henry V Film Poster ( 93_1944_UK_film_poster.jpg)

Crafted in 1944, The Chronicle History of King Henry the Fift with His Battell Fought at Agincourt in France, directed by and starring Olivier, is widely regarded as the first motion picture to successfully adapt Shakespeare from the stage to the screen.  In homage to the Bard, the movie opens with a production of Henry V at the Globe Theatre, and slowly transforms into a cinematic spectacle.  The viewer is then treated to a masterful mix of action—following the King’s campaign to Agincourt—and romance—as Henry attempts to court the French princess.  The action returns to the Globe as this Academy Award-winning film draws to a close.

The Friends of the IHR have been very loyal supporters of the Institute.  The funding they provide is integral to increasing the capacity of the IHR to promote and enhance the study of history in Britain.  As part of the mission to extend the reach of the IHR’s resources, charitable donations from the Friends have funded bursaries for many PhD students who are based outside London to access the Institute and undertake excellent research.  In addition, the Friends have subsidised numerous outstanding speakers to present insightful seminars, provided vital capital for the recently completed redevelopment, and delivered cornerstone funding for the IHR Library’s new Conservation Fund.  All of these help ensure that the IHR is able to offer the highest quality scholarship and resources.

Agincourt-Battle archers_WikkiCommons_small

Battle of Agincourt ( _Azincourt.jpg)

Much more than just financial supporters, however, the Friends form a social community of academics and all with a shared interest in history.  As such, the film evenings are a highlight of the Friends’ calendar.  These events offer a chance to engage with history through a medium other than books, to hear from experts in the field, and to partake in a critical discussion of the subject and an exchange of ideas.  Perhaps just as importantly, these events provide an opportunity to have a good time with like-minded people, enjoy some food and drink, and perhaps make some friends among the Friends. For information on how to join the Friends, please follow this link.

The event is open to all, but you are encouraged to book soon, as spaces are limited and going fast.  In addition to the film and lecture, there will be wine throughout and light supper to follow.

Venue: Wolfson Conference Suite, IHR, Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU

Talk/Screening: 5:30 pm

Light supper from: 8:00 pm

Tickets: £20 / £10 (students)

For information on how to register and to see the event poster, please click here.

London and the First World War Conference – 20-21 March 2015


ww1 londonRegistration is now open for this major conference which will explore the ways in which London and its inhabitants were affected by, and involved in, the 1914-18 conflict. Organised by IWM (Imperial War Museums) in partnership with the Centre for Metropolitan History (IHR) as part of events to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, it will be held in the IHR new conference suite (20 March) and at IWM London on 21 March.

With a packed programme of wide-ranging papers, it is hoped that the conference will appeal to both academics and members of the public.  Bookended by plenary lectures by Dr Adrian Gregory (Pembroke College, Oxford) on ‘London: a wartime metropolis in comparative perspective’ and Professor Jerry White (Birkbeck, University of London) on ‘London in the First World War: questions of legacy’, there will also be  seven panel sessions over the two days, a conference reception on Friday evening, as well as the opportunity to view IWM London’s new First World War gallery before the Museum opens to the general public on Saturday.

On 20 March, the panel sessions will explore: ‘daily life and institutions’, with papers on local government and waste, policing and Kew Gardens; ‘enemy aliens’,  focusing on riots, internment, deportations and the rise and fall of Sir Edgar Speyer; ‘transport’ – public transport, the Metropolitan Railway, and women war workers in the streets and railway stations; the ‘Empire view’, from the standpoint of Australian visitors, New Zealanders in London and African and Caribbean colonial troops. On 21 March, the session on ‘dissent’, will include papers on the peace campaigner, Caroline Playne, The Herald newspaper and anti-war trade unionists, the impact on the Anglican Church, and the East London Federation of Suffragettes; ‘air war’ will look at the interrogation of captured Zeppelin air crew, aircraft manufacturing and curating ‘The First World War in the Air’ at the RAF Museum; the final session will focus on ‘leisure’ – memory, work and leisure, Chelsea FC, and importing London to the Front.

For the full programme and booking details, please visit:

Fashion, the 84th Anglo-American Conference of Historians, 2-3 July 2015: Call for Papers


fashionaach2In a major collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum, the IHR is taking Fashion as the theme for its annual conference in summer 2015. Fashion in history is a topic which has come of age in recent years, as scholars have turned to addressing what is chic and what is style over the ages and across different cultures. The history of fashion, and the role of fashion in history, is not just confined to the study of dress and costume, but encompasses design and innovation, taste and zeitgeist, treats as its subjects both people and objects, and crosses over into related disciplines such as the history of art and architecture, consumption, retailing and technology. And across the world, fashion brings together museums, graduate teaching programmes, learned societies and the fashion profession around a common set of interests and concerns. The IHR conference next year we hope will be a perfect showcase and a meeting-point for the wide spectrum of specialists in this exciting field.

Our plenary speakers include Christopher Breward (Edinburgh), Beverly Lemire (Alberta), Ulinka Rublack (Cambridge) and Valerie Steele (Fashion Institute of Technology, New York). Proposals for panels on the themes of dress, imitation and emulation, taste and style, body-art, the fashion-industry and its media, fashionability and trend-setting, catwalks, fairs and exhibitions, innovation in interior design, architecture and public space, fashion education and technology will be accepted down to the middle of December. Individual paper proposals will also be accepted. Panels should comprise three papers and a chair, and proposals must include the name and affiliation of the speakers, the title of the panel and the titles of the individual papers. Please send proposals by 15th December to Decisions will be made known once the Programme Committee has met in early January 2015.

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