From Space to Place: the Spatial Dimension in History of Western Europe 16 and 17 April 2010

Centre for Research in History and Theory

German Historical Institute, 17 Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2NJ.

A two-day international and interdisciplinary conference, organised by the Centre for Research in History and Theory, Roehampton University

This conference will explore the so-called ‘spatial turn in history’ discussed among historians for the last decade or so and inspired by earlier anthropological ideas and the interdisciplinary approach by sociologists, especially geographers. It challenges the idea of place or space in history as an unreflected essentialist category linked to tradition and immutability. Instead, space as place is shown to be socially and culturally constructed, mediated and contested. Organised into three separate but interlinking topics (social space, workplace and intimate space) papers will investigate how specific spaces in the past not only evoked but conveyed political, social, cultural and symbolic meaning and conversely how particular spaces/places influenced this meaning.

The conference is interdisciplinary; historians and geographers with an interest in politics, society, culture and gender as well as anthropologists, archaeologists, and literary scholars will explore the meaning of space in the past by situating it in its precise historical

context. There will be broader reflections on historiography and theory as well as case studies from a wide chronological span (from the medieval, early modern to the modern period) but geographically restricted to Western Europe.


10.00am   Registration

10.30am   Welcome by Andreas Gestrich, Director, German Historical Institute, and Cornelie Usborne, Roehampton University

10.45am – 1pm General reflections

  1. Beat Kümin (History, Warwick), ‘The “spatial turn” from a historical perspective’

2.   Linda McDowell (Human Geography, St John’s College, Oxford), ‘Space and place in geographical theory: from spatial differentiation to social relations’

3.   Eliza Darling, (Anthropology, Goldsmith College, London), ‘The spatial turn that wasn’t: class, anthropology, and the triumph of place over space’

1 – 2pm Lunch at the GHI

2 – 5pm Social Space

  1. Matthew Johnson (Archaeology, Southampton), ‘Late Medieval Spaces, Early Modern Practices’
  2. Gerd Schwerhoff (History, Technical University Dresden), ‘Public places in early modern towns’.

3. – 3.30 Tea break

  1. Leif Jerram (Urban History, Manchester), ‘Space: A Useless Category of Historical Analysis?’ (with case studies from turn of the 20th-century Munich)

Conference Dinner


10 – 10.30am coffee

10.30 – 12.45pm Workplace

1. Jeremy Goldberg (History, York), ‘“I have mor to doo then I doo may”: Problematising Labour, Space and Gender in later medieval England’

2.  Amanda Flather (History, Essex), ‘Space, place and gender: the sexual and spatial division of labour in the early modern household’

3. Steven King (History, Oxford Brookes), ‘Work places and places of work: Labour market architecture and issues of space in Europe 1750-1870’

12.45-1.45pm Lunch at the GHI

1.45- 4pm  Intimate Places

1.  Felicity Riddy (English, York), ‘Space, intimacy and values in the late medieval English “bourgeois” home’

2. Sandra Cavallo (History, Royal Holloway), ‘Spaces for body-care and body services in the early modern Italian home’

3. Willem de Blėcourt (Historical Anthropology, Huizinga Institute, Amsterdam), ‘Over the Threshold: liminality, proximity & intimacy in twentieth-century witchcraft discourse’ 

4-4.30pm Tea

4.30 – 5.30pm Roundtable

Organising committee:  Prof. Cornelie Usborne, Prof. John Tosh, Dr Charlotte Behr, Dr Sara Pennell, Dr John Seed, Dr. Sabine Wieber, Prof. Trevor Dean.

Participation Fee: £ 80 (including lunch and refreshments on both days)

£ 40 Students/Associate Tutors

For more information and registration see:

Published in: on September 30, 2009 at 2:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Engendering Gender: Production, Transmission and Change 1450-1950 University of Exeter 20-22 July 2010

CFP just issued for the above conference.

The deadline for proposals, which is Friday 30 October 2009. Abstracts of 300-500 words should be sent either to me at or to Henry French at

This interdisciplinary conference will explore concepts of gendered identities across the period 1450-1950. Breaking free of the traditional constraints of periodization, this conference will promote discussion that transcends period boundaries (i.e. medieval, early modern, long-eighteenth century, modern) and considers how far gender identities are modified by religious, political, medical, social and cultural shifts, or are punctuated only by sudden, limited, periods of change. In particular ‘Engendering Gender’ aims to explore key sites of gender construction and the transmission of gendered norms, both public and private.


SITES & RELATIONS: The roles of home, family, schooling, workplace, institutions, voluntary associations, sociability, travel, empire and encounters in shaping gender identities.

SPHERES: Decisive locations for the formation, realisation, projection, modification and subversion of gender identities, particularly international, national, local or familial levels, and the interaction between them.

VALUES: The relationship between the formation of gender identity and religion and religious vocations, political ideology, social status and class, educational precepts (‘humanism’), military and institutional codes, racial or scientific discourses, and more informal concepts of virtue, honour, civility, propriety, or shame.

IMAGES & IDENTITIES: What was the role, power and significance of the idealisation of gender roles? How were gender stereotypes formed and perpetuated through time?

TIME: What was the nature of change over time in gender identities and the processes of change? In what ways did gender identities change over time, how fundamental were these shifts in relation to more enduring concepts such as patriarchy or motherhood, and over what time scales?

Steve Pincus on the Glorious Revolution – History Today Magazine

In this month’s History Today, Steve Pincus gives an overview of his take on the Revolution of 1688-9. The article can be accessed in full, free of charge, over here. I’ll be posting my own review of Professor Pincus’ book in due course.

Published in: on September 20, 2009 at 8:33 pm  Comments (1)  
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A Radical History of Britain round up – Pt. 5

A couple more reviews of my book out in recent weeks. It was reviewed, largely positively, by A. W. Purdue in the Times Higher Education Supplement groovy magazine and was also generously reviewed by Jonathan Pearson in the Sept 11 edition of the Times Literary Supplement (but, sadly, they don’t publish all their content online so I can’t link.)

Update! A Radical History of Britain also reviewed in the Spenborough Guardian.

Dr Who and the Glorious Revolution

This looks fantastic. From the people who brought you Dr. Who vs. Oliver Cromwell.

Published in: on September 8, 2009 at 3:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Royalist Religion programme 11 September

Programme below for this workshop featuring yours truly:

Royalist Religion Provisional programme, 11 September

Royalist Religion

Provisional programme

Workshop, September 11 2009, JRUL Deansgate

Arrival, coffee from 9.30


Anthony Milton (Sheffield), ‘Royalist divines and the king’s conscience in the 1640s’



Ted Vallance (Liverpool), ‘Robert Sanderson’s use of amended prayer book services’

Marie-Louise Coolahan (Galway), ‘Royalism and the 1641 Depositions’

Jason McElligott (TCD), ‘Massacre, Infanticide and Psalm 137 in Early-Modern England’

1-2 Lunch


Lloyd Bowen (Cardiff), ‘Royalist Ministers and the Royalist Message, 1642-9′

Sue Wiseman (Birkbeck), ‘Vaughan and cat baptism’



Molly Murray (Columbia),

Iain McClure (Birkbeck), ‘The development of interiority in Eikon Basilike

Call for Papers: The Perils of Print Culture

A conference to be held at Trinity College Dublin, 10-12 September 2010

Organised by Dr Jason McElligott and Dr Eve Patten

Over the past twenty years the study of print culture has become prominent in the disciplines of history, literary studies and languages. The study of print culture has many advantages, but there is a growing sense among advanced practitioners that scholars need to fine-tune or calibrate their understanding of this burgeoning field of enquiry.

Papers presented at this conference will encourage scholars to think more systematically about the conceptual, methodological and technological problems associated with the study of print culture. They will encompass a wide range of chronological periods, geographical locations and genres of print.

For more details of the themes of the conference go to:

Proposals (max. 300 words) for papers of 30 to 40 minutes duration should be sent to the conference organisers at by Friday 11 December 2009.

This conference has been funded by the Trinity Long Room Hub under PRTLI IV