Sarah Knott’s ‘Mother’: Twitter Discussion

For anyone who missed the discussion yesterday and wants a rundown, Rachel Moss has kindly put together a Twitter moment where you can find the various threads... And it's never too late to add more! https://twitter.com/i/moments/1172449793718833152?s=13

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The Fecund Past: Sarah Knott’s ‘Mother’

This post is a response to Sarah Knott's Mother: An Unconventional History which is the subject of our next online discussion at 1pm (GMT) on 12th September. Find the discussion on Twitter at #StoryPast and #MotherIsAVerb. You can also read some of Rachel Moss's thoughts on the book here. Sarah Knott's new book will change how historians think about maternity, … Continue reading The Fecund Past: Sarah Knott’s ‘Mother’

Sarah Knott: ‘Mother: An Unconventional History’

After a long break, the #StoryPast virtual reading group is back. At 1pm (GMT) on 12th September, we will be discussing Sarah Knott's new book Mother: An Unconventional History. To join, simply head over to the #StoryPast hashtag on 12th September. If you've already read it and want to start the conversation early, we will also … Continue reading Sarah Knott: ‘Mother: An Unconventional History’

Creative Writing as a Tool of Sustained Ignorance, by Will Pooley

The prohibition against outright invention is a shibboleth of historical professionalism. Perhaps one of the most useful tools historians can learn from creative writers is how to make things up, writes Will Pooley. I’m not arguing in favour of anything like what George R.R. Martin recently called ‘fake’ or ‘imaginary’ history. When historians present histories … Continue reading Creative Writing as a Tool of Sustained Ignorance, by Will Pooley

The Fact That Engenders, by Kim Sherwood

Virginia Woolf, writing about the art of biography in 1927, argued that ‘[b]y telling us the true facts, by sifting the little from the big, and shaping the whole so that we perceive the outline, the biographer does more to stimulate the imagination than any poet or novelist save the very greatest.’ As a novelist … Continue reading The Fact That Engenders, by Kim Sherwood

The Living, the Dead and the Very Very Dead: Ethics for Historians by Laura Sangha

Students of history are no strangers to ethics, writes Laura Sangha. Indeed, universities have ethics committees and policies which cover instances where the conduct of research involves the interests and rights of others. For historians, this usually means that they must reflect on the possible repercussions of their research on the living – particularly those … Continue reading The Living, the Dead and the Very Very Dead: Ethics for Historians by Laura Sangha

Historical Fiction and the ‘Pastness’ of the Way People Think, by Mark Hailwood

Once upon a time, I wrote a blog post about the story telling techniques that historians use in their writing, writes Mark Hailwood. This was not a long time ago, and nor was it far away – you can read it here in fact. Inspired by the ‘Storying the Past’ reading group, and a series of … Continue reading Historical Fiction and the ‘Pastness’ of the Way People Think, by Mark Hailwood

Blog Series: Creative Writing and History

The third and final event of the 'Creative Histories' series funded by the British Academy in 2017-8 was held in Bristol on 26th January. The event brought together historians and creative writers to talk about shared challenges as well as a disagreements, and finished with a talk from Kate Summerscale, author of a series of … Continue reading Blog Series: Creative Writing and History

Erika Hanna, ‘The Politics of Creativity’

What are the politics of creative histories? Are they radical or conservative? Across the three days of the conference I really enjoyed listening to the huge wealth of research and expertise, and discovering new and beautiful histories which often displayed a disarming novelty and sensitivity. But I really wanted to think through the question of … Continue reading Erika Hanna, ‘The Politics of Creativity’

Cheryl Morgan, ‘The Objectivity Trap’

In the wrap up session for Creative Histories we talked quite a lot about the question, “Who gets to be creative?”, writes Cheryl Morgan. That is obviously a major issue for the conference, but from my point of view a more pressing question is, “Who gets to do history?” That’s important because it can determine … Continue reading Cheryl Morgan, ‘The Objectivity Trap’