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The 2011 Annual Meeting of the NACBS will convene in Denver, Colorado, from November 18 to 20.  Paper and panel proposals are due on March 15.  You can find the link to the submissions system on the Conference Website at www.nacbs.org/conference.html http://www.nacbs.org/conference.html. Alternatively, you can go directly to http://nacbsproposal.fiu.edu

Thanks very much to those who have already submitted proposals for the 2011 NACBS Conference.  We look forward to considering all of the submissions.

Do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] if questions arise in the process of submission.   Shortly after March 15, I will send an email confirming receipt of submissions to those who are listed as panel contacts and to those who have submitted individual papers.

With best wishes,
Lara Kriegel, Program Chair, on behalf of the NACBS Program Committee

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March
3
2011

Reviews in History - New Reviews for February 2011

Posted by dannymillum under Announcement | Tags: Reviews in History | 0 Comments

The following reviews of possible interest to followers of The British and Irish Studies Intelligencer were published in December in the Institute of Historical Research's e-journal Reviews in History.

Firstly Pat Starkey welcomes an important addition to the growing literature on child migration, with her review (http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/1033) of Child, Nation, Race and Empire. Child Rescue Discourse, England, Canada and Australia, 1850-1915 by Shurlee Swain and Margot Hillel.

Next we have a review article by an old friend of the IHR, David Renton, who casts his eye (http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/1035) over two recent works on fascism and anti-fascism between the wars – Oswald Mosley and the New Party by Matthew Worley and Varieties of Anti-Fascism: Britain in the Inter-War Period edited by Nigel Copsey and Andrzej Olechnowicz.

Chris Berg surveys (http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/1039) the historiography of combat resilience in the First World War.

We then move to the 12th century, and Edmund King’s new biography King Stephen, which our reviewer David Crouch finds (http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/1038) judges Stephen the king harshly, even as it strives to be fair to Stephen the man.

Next, Mark Crowley believes (http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/1037) readers will understand significantly more about the struggle for female suffrage and its consequent impact after reading Pat Thane and Esther Breitenbach’s edited collection Women and Citizenship in Britain and Ireland in the Twentieth Century: What Difference did the Vote Make?

Matthew McKean reviews (http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/1036) ProQuest’s British Periodicals Collections I and II, which he welcomes as resources that both enhance history teaching and research, and allow researchers opportunities to do what would have been difficult, if not impossible, with traditional print resources.

Brian Harrison tackles (http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/1040) No Turning Back: The Peacetime Revolutions of Post-War Britain by Paul Addison – and suggests it may lack the sparkle of his previous books like The Road to 1945.

Finally Ariel Hessayon enjoys a superb inter-disciplinary collaboration, as he describes (http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/1043) The Complete Works of Gerrard Winstanley, edited by Thomas N. Corns, Ann Hughes, David Loewenstein.

As always, all comments or suggestions should be sent to [email protected].

Danny Millum
Deputy Editor, Reviews in History / Editorial Assistant (Web) Institute of Historical Research University of London Senate House Malet Street LONDON WC1E 7HU
t: +44 (0)20 7862 8812
f: +44 (0)20 7862 8754
e: [email protected]

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Dear NACBS colleagues,

I am writing to you about the redevelopment of the Institute of Historical Research, which is scheduled to begin later this year.

As was announced before Christmas, the IHR will be moving this summer into a temporary location for two years, as the University continues with the refurbishment of Senate House. We will be rehoused in the 3rd floor of the South Block and in the Mezzanine. IHR staff have now been allocated new offices and we hope to finalise soon the relocation of the Common Room facilities as well.

We have now agreed with the Senate House Library which sections of the IHR Library will remain on open access during the temporary relocation, and full details of the new arrangements are now available on the IHR website: on the news page and on the Library pages. I have also attached this information to this email for your convenience.

I can also announce that the University has confirmed that it will be able to rehouse all of the IHR Events programme, that is our seminars, colloquia, conferences and Friends’ Events programme. It has also been agreed that external scholarly organisations which use IHR rooms and facilities will be charged the same rates during 2011-13 as they would in our usual premises. During 2011-13 our seminars and other events will run in the Ground Floor rooms of the South Block of Senate House, and on the Second Floor of Stewart House (also part of the Senate House complex).

The University will give final approval to these moves in the Spring, and we will continue to keep our members, users and visitors as fully informed as possible. Later in the year I will also be able to announce in more detail the planned modernisation of our current premises into which we shall move back in 2013. In the meantime, if you have any queries or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.

I look forward to seeing you at the NACBS in Denver next November, when we will be inviting you to join our IHR 90th birthday celebrations. Whilst we face a huge logistical challenge in making this temporary move, we are all delighted and excited by the prospect of creating an IHR fit for the 21st century. I hope very much that you will join us in bringing that project to life.

With best wishes,

Miles Taylor

Professor Miles Taylor
Director
Institute of Historical Research
University of London
Senate House
Malet Street
LONDON  WC1E 7HU
t: +44 (0)20 7862 8759
f: +44 (0)20 7862 8811
e: [email protected]

Web: www.history.ac.uk

______
Library arrangements during temporary relocation of the IHR

The IHR has now agreed with the University which sections of the Library collection should take priority for open access during the next phase of the refurbishment of Senate House.  As indicated in the Director’s statement in December, during the two year period of relocation to the 3rd floor of the South Block only one-third of the IHR Library will remain on open access.  The bulk of the remainder of the collection will be housed in the Senate House Library Tower and available through a dedicated fetch service.

In order to ensure the most effective use is made of the space available, a survey of collection usage has been running throughout this academic year.  The usage level of each collection has been the main criteria for retention on open access, amongst other considerations such as usage patterns, growth rate, the needs of Institute staff and students, ease of requesting and fetching, type of shelving available, the size of the individual books within the collections, online availability (mainly in the case of periodicals), and availability elsewhere in other local libraries. The outcomes have been discussed and approved by both the IHR Library Committee and the IHR Advisory Council.

The following collections are to remain on open access, with the exclusion of folio material and periodicals:

British History to c.1603 B.1-B.6 Excluding bibliography
British History from c.1603 B.7-B.8 Excluding Hansard’s Parliamentary Debates
Quick reference collection Q. Ref
British Local History BC.51**, BC.95**,

BC.25

English Counties and Poll Books only
Irish History BI.010-883 Excluding Dublin Gazette
London History BL.002-872
Scottish History BS.01-71 Main sequence only, excluding  local history
General Historiography E.10-149
French History EF
French Provincial History EFP
Italian History EI Excluding Italian Parliamentary Papers
Ecclesiastical History ER.01-89 Excluding Patrologia Latina
History of the Crusades EU
Current issues of all periodicals
Microfilm/fiche collections

Ordering and consultation arrangements for materials in the closed stacks

It has been agreed that the IHR library staff will administer a dedicated hourly fetch service from the 3rd floor temporary location.  Library staff will aim to ensure the service is as responsive to demand as possible, and requests for material can be made in person, or via telephone, email, or the website, where there will be a request form.  Please note that due to staffing restrictions it will not always be possible for material to be fetched outside the core hours of 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.  The Library would strongly encourage those wishing to request closed access material to contact the Library in advance of their visit wherever possible, so we can ensure material is waiting on arrival.  In addition, material can be kept out for readers who wish to consult closed access items over a longer period.  As is the case currently, library staff will work in an accessible enquiry office throughout library opening hours, ensuring continuity of service to readers.

Reader facilities
The current IHR photocopiers and microform reader/printer will be available in the temporary location, in addition to reader desks, catalogues terminals and PCs.

Opening hours
The IHR Library will maintain its current opening hours in the temporary location.  However, please be aware that there will definitely be a period of closure in August to enable the move to take place.  The moving schedule is yet to be agreed but closure dates will be publicised as soon as they are known.

If you have any queries about these proposed changes, please contact the IHR Librarian Jennifer Higham on [email protected]

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February
10
2011

Reviews in History - New Reviews for January

Posted by dannymillum under Announcement | Tags: Reviews in History | 0 Comments

The following reviews of possible interest to followers of H-Albion were published in January on Reviews in History.

Firstly Malcolm Gaskill enjoys a fitting tribute to an outstanding contributor to the social and cultural history of early modern England, as he reviews The Extraordinary and the Everyday in Early Modern England: Essays in Celebration of the Work of Bernard Capp, edited by Garthine Walker and Angela McShane.

Next Alison Twells recommends a successful and stimulating set of essays focusing on women's agency in their encounter with Christian discourses – Women, Gender and Religious Cultures in Britain, 1800–1940, edited by Jacqueline deVries and Sue Morgan.

Moving to the 17th century, Stephen Roberts reviews a well-produced snapshot of current scholarship in this area, Royalists and Royalism during the Interregnum, edited by Jason McElligott and David L. Smith.

Arnold Horner then recommends John Rocque’s Dublin: A Guide to the Georgian City (the work of historian Colm Lennon and art historian John Montague), which he believes will be of interest not just to students of Dublin, but to a wider audience interested in city development and city planning.

Finally we have Liberal Intellectuals and Public Culture in Modern Britain, 1815-1914: Making Words Flesh by Bill Lubenow, which our reviewer Julia Stapleton finds a rich and tightly argued book showing conclusively how the values that emerged from the loosening of the shackles of confessionalism were instrumental in the reordering of both public and private space.

As always, all comments or suggestions should be sent to [email protected].

Best wishes

Danny

Danny Millum
Deputy Editor, Reviews in History

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Thanks to all those who have shown interest in the NACBS 2011 Annual Meeting, to be held in Denver, Colorado, from November 18 to 20.  The Call
for Papers is available at http://www.nacbs.org/conference.htm.

The link to the electronic submissions site will soon be posted to the NACBS Website.  However, those who wish to access further instructions can consult the site beginning now.  For detailed submissions instructions and for access to the submissions system, please go to http://nacbsproposal.fiu.edu.

We look forward to considering your submissions for single papers, three-person panels, and four-person roundtables or panels.  If you have questions or if you wish to make a submission that deviates from these formats, please contact the Program Chair, Lara Kriegel, at [email protected].

The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, March 15, 2011.

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While much time and attention has been devoted recently to scrutinizing the government’s proposals on fees and teaching funding, important changes have already been implemented to the way in which our research funding is spent – and although some science blogs and spokespeople have raised the alarm, humanities scholars have almost totally overlooked this issue.

As we know, arts and humanities research funding has been ring-fenced – or at least ‘flat-cashed’ – along with science research funding, and this achievement has been hailed by the leaderships of the AHRC and the British Academy as a vindication of their canny strategy of piggybacking onto public support for science research.  However, there are costs as well as benefits of this strategy.  In a recent statement by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) on ‘The Allocation of Science and Research Funding, 2011/12-2014/15’ (December 2010), BIS now tells us how this ring-fenced research funding is to be spent.  That’s right, it tells us how it is to be spent.

One of the highlights of the BIS statement is its ‘clarification’ – i.e. its re-writing, or some would say its neutering – of the ‘Haldane Principle’, the convention accepted by government since 1918 that (to quote the BIS statement’s version) ‘decisions on individual research proposals are best taken by researchers themselves through peer review’.  Now, as the historian of science David Edgerton has argued, it was never as simple as that, and the Haldane Principle has been shown to be highly flexible for some time.  The last government, for example, found it easy to bribe the AHRC and the British Academy with extra funds if these bodies responded to the government agenda by themselves reserving some of their research funds for government priorities.  In this way we have had a growing number of ‘directed programmes’ in which the funders channelled research money to intellectual priorities that obviously originated with government, such as ‘social cohesion’ and ‘social inclusion’;  we have also had the ‘impact agenda’ by which funders agreed to require from funding recipients demonstrations of economic (and, if we were lucky, social and cultural) impact again on criteria originating from government.

But it did still matter that the Haldane Principle was there to be respected.  Successive leaderships of the AHRC have told us repeatedly that the directed programmes were just icing on the cake, releasing more funding for ‘responsive’ programmes, where the choice of projects to be funded was determined purely by peer review.

As of now, this is no longer the case.  In its latest document BIS restates its support for the Haldane Principle but also offers a ‘further clarification’, based on consultation with ‘senior figures’.  This clarification establishes the new principle – perhaps it should be the Cable Principle? – that government can and should set ‘key national strategic priorities’ which should guide the research funders ‘without crowding out other areas of their missions’.  Peer review remains supreme in deciding which specific proposals best address these priorities, but the priorities now can and will come from government.

What does this mean in practice?  The BIS document specifies this in certain cases with devastating clarity.  The AHRC for example ‘will direct’ – is this a prediction or an order? – ‘a significant part of its funding into six strategic areas…communities and big society;  civic values and active citizenship, including ethics in public life;  creative and digital economy;  cultural heritage;  language-based disciplines;  and interdisciplinary collaborations with a range of STEM subjects’.  Those are, says BIS, ‘the highest priorities in arts and humanities’.  Thanks for letting us know.  In certain respects instructions to the British Academy have been still more specific.  The Academy’s support for individuals is supposed to complement the research councils’ support for team projects, but the Academy has been told summarily to abandon its small research grants (which have probably been the best value-for-money grants government has ever funded for humanities research, but – obviously their fatal flaw –  purely ‘responsive’ to individuals’ own choice of research topics).  Instead, the Academy has been told to focus on postdoctoral awards, both early and mid-career, ‘that contribute to national priorities’.  In another piece of fancy prosaic footwork, BIS tells us that ‘The Academy expects a majority of Postdoctoral Fellowship awards to be linked to challenges such as these.’  I don’t think the Academy’s ‘expectation’ was a spontaneous one.  And what happened to the stipulation that national priorities should not crowd out other missions?

Now of course in a democracy we want government to have powers to direct research according to priorities chosen by the electorate.  As the BIS document says, lots of important research decisions necessarily involve government input – they decide how much money is allocated overall, and some allocations are so large (e.g. for the most expensive scientific research establishments) that surely government must have some say in them.  As the document further says, government departments can and do commission their own research.  But in a democracy we also want our universities to be insulated from undue government pressure – we want universities to be centres of free enquiry, diverse, critical and independent.  The Haldane Principle did establish some crucial arm’s-length independence for academic research which has been in part responsible for the extraordinary degree of freedom fostered in British academic culture in the postwar period – which has made it the global competitor that it still is, just about, today, and also has been the source of much novelty and creativity that no government department can plan for (as one would expect Conservative governments to recognize).  We ought not to give it up without a fight.

One reason why there has been no fight is also made clear in the BIS document.  The only spokespeople we have had for the humanities – the British Academy and the AHRC – are now so completely enmeshed in the government apparatus that they no longer have any independent voice.  So far as I can tell, no-one in either of these bodies has consulted or spoken out on the issue of the Haldane Principle;  presumably some must have been among the ‘senior figures’ consulted, but all of this consultation now takes place behind closed doors, and is deeply compromised by the carrots and sticks at the government’s disposal.  Similarly, although the BIS document says that ‘in making strategic decisions on the funding of research’ it is important that government ‘take account of advice from a wide variety of expert sources, including academia and industry, both nationally and internationally’ – if this happened in making the strategic decisions now laid out for us for the next 5 years, I missed it, and I certainly missed any public discussion emanating from the British Academy on what these national priorities should be.  The BIS document calls the British Academy ‘an important source of authoritative, impartial advice’.  Does anyone believe this description any longer?  Clearly we need a truly independent voice for the humanities that is not beholden to government in any way.

Postscript:  the BIS document also notes, with some evident regret, that HEFCE (and thus the QR funding it distributes via the RAE/REF) is not subject to its ‘national priorities’ because the 1992 Further and Higher Education Act prohibits government from attaching ‘terms and conditions on grants to HEFCE’ with reference to particular programmes of research.  Should we expect in pending legislation reorganizing HEFCE a ‘clarification’ of that prohibition too?

Peter Mandler
Dr. Mandler is Professor of Modern Cultural History at Gonville and Caius College at Cambridge University.  He is the Vice President of the Royal Historical Society.

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January
13
2011

Reviews in History - New Reviews for December

Posted by dannymillum under Announcement | Tags: Reviews in History | 0 Comments

The following reviews of possible interest to readers were published in December in the Institute of Historical Research's e-journal Reviews in History (http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews).

Firstly, Gary Magee and Andrew Thompson’s ‘Empire and Globalisation: Networks of People, Goods and Capital in the British World’, c.1850–1914, is reviewed by Stuart Ward.

Elizabeth Tilley’s discusses ‘The Punch Brotherhood: Table Talk and Print Culture in Mid-Victorian London’ by Patrick Leary.

Two major new digital resources, ‘The Illustrated London News Historical Archive, 1842–2003’  and ‘London Lives 1690–1800’, are also reviewed, by Peter Sinnema and Ben Heller respectively.

From the field of medieval history we have a review by Mark Hagger of an accessible and engaging book on the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy, Ann Williams’ ‘The World Before Domesday: The English Aristocracy 900–1066’.

‘Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales: Life, Death and Commemoration’, an edited collection produced by Steven Gunn and Linda Monckton, is recommended as a richly detailed monograph by Simon Lambe.

Turning to the Victorian era, we have Richard Gaunt’s ‘Sir Robert Peel: the Life and Legacy’. Our reviewer Robert Saunders believes that this book will serve as a useful introduction to one of Britain’s most enigmatic political figures.

Elsewhere Daniel Spence recommends a work which uses individual testimonies to bring out the broader issues surrounding Africans in the Second World War, ‘Fighting for Britain: African Soldiers in the Second World War’ by David Killingray.

And finally, the IHR’s very own Matt Phillpott praises an important addition to the debate concerning early modernity and modernity, in his review of Phil Withington’s ‘Society in Early Modern England: The Vernacular Origins of Some Powerful Ideas’.

As always, all comments or suggestions should be sent to [email protected].

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January
6
2011

NACBS Reception at AHA, 8 January 2011

Posted by jaskelly under Announcement, Conferences, NACBS | 0 Comments

I am writing to remind members of the North American Conference on British Studies that the organization will host a reception at this weekend's Annual Meeting of the AHA in Boston.

The reception will occur from 5:30-7:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 8th in the Provincetown Room at the Marriott Boston Copley Place.

If you are attending the AHA, please do make an effort to come by the NACBS reception. I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Best wishes,
Paul Deslandes
Associate Executive Secretary, NACBS

--
Paul Deslandes
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Department of History
University of Vermont
Wheeler House
133 South Prospect St.
Burlington, VT 05405

e-mail: [email protected]
Phone: (802)656-3535
Fax: (802)656-8794

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CALL FOR PAPERS
Midwest Conference on British Studies 57th Annual Meeting
November 4-6, 2011, Terre Haute, IN

The Midwest Conference on British Studies is proud to announce that its fifty-seventh annual meeting will be hosted by Indiana State University in Terre Haute, IN.

The MWCBS seeks papers from scholars in all fields of British Studies, broadly defined to include those who study England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and Britain's empire. We welcome scholars from the broad spectrum of disciplines, including but not limited to history, literature, political science, gender studies and art history. Proposals for complete sessions are preferred, although proposals for individual papers will be considered. Especially welcome are roundtables and panels that:

  • offer cross-disciplinary perspectives on topics in British Studies
  • discuss collaborative or innovative learning techniques in the British Studies classroom
  • situate the arts, letters, and sciences in a British cultural context
  • examine representations of British and imperial/Commonwealth national identities
  • consider Anglo-American relations, past and present
  • examine new trends in British Studies
  • assess a major work or body of work by a scholar

The MWCBS welcomes papers presented by advanced graduate students and will award the Walter L. Arnstein Prize at its plenary luncheon for the best graduate student paper(s) given at the conference.

Proposals should include a 200-word abstract for each paper and a brief, 1-page c.v. for each participant, including chairs and commentators. For full panels, please include a brief 200-word preview of the panel as a whole. Please place the panel proposal, and its accompanying paper proposals and vitas in one file. Please make certain that all contact information, particularly email addresses are correct and current. All proposals should be submitted online by April 15, 2011, to the Program Committee Chair, Lia Paradis at [email protected].

Visit the MWCBS website at http://mwcbs.edublogs.org/.

MWCBS Program Committee:  Lia Paradis, Chair, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania; Gene Beiriger, DePaul University; Lori Campbell, University of Pittsburgh; Essaka Joshua, University of Notre Dame; Chris Otter, Ohio State University; Anne Rodrick, Wofford College.

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We need a Public Commission of Enquiry on the future of higher education
Michael Collins, 25 November 2010

It is clear from the scale of yesterday’s largely peaceful demonstrations and occupations across Britain that there is an enormous amount of concern amongst young people – school children and university students – over the future of higher education. They are not alone.

There is a growing sense of unease in academic circles about what the Browne report’s plans to increase undergraduate tuition fees by almost six thousand pounds per year will mean. More specifically, how will a marketised ‘supply and demand’ model for arts and humanities funding really function in practice?  The proposed withdrawal of the teaching grant for arts and humanities and the replacement of this lost revenue with a user fee would have devastating effects leading to the loss of jobs, institutions and expertise that would not be recovered once they had been cut.

Education and research institutions cannot be set up, shut down and restarted according to the vagaries of market demand. British universities do not benefit from the enormous endowments of American institutions, which can help them adapt to change. With so much uncertainty about future employment prospects and economic conditions, student numbers will ebb and flow. How can university vice-chancellors, deans of faculties and heads of departments plan their research and teaching on such shifting ground? Higher education needs much greater stability and continuity, and the long-term consequences of ill-conceived change could be immensely damaging.

As many of us have argued, it is essential to restate the wider social, intellectual, moral and political values of the arts and humanities, as well as point out the falsity of any division between arts and humanities on the one side and supposedly economically valuable sciences on the other. In short, we must recognise that humanities matter, just as we have acknowledged that ‘science is vital’. However, as well as making these wider arguments the immediate political context in which this government is proposing to implement reforms in higher education remains a central problem.

In its response to the Browne report the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) – a respected independent think tank – has pointed out that “in cash terms the proposals will increase public expenditure through this parliament and into the next”. This is a very obvious fact that is too frequently ignored. The fee that students pay is not ‘up front’, but has to be funded by the government. They will effectively be given a loan to purchase a higher education product. The income stream from repayments – which is supposed to form the long term basis for higher education funding – will not come back to the treasury for many years to come.

This completely demolishes the argument that current changes to higher education funding are concurrent with a deficit reduction strategy in the spirit of “we are all in this together”. The changes will mean a real terms increase in government spending, and hence can only be explained by reference to the coalition’s ideological commitment to market-led reforms, regardless of the cost to the public purse. Regrettably, government ministers have repeatedly made rhetorical links between increasing tuition fees and deficit reduction, and the media has too frequently allowed this fallacy to inform its reporting and its lines of questioning.

Under present circumstances the government must think again about seeking to push through reforms which may do very substantial damage to our higher education sector. There is no economic case to be made that these reforms are part of an urgent solution to reducing Britain’s budget deficit. Given the promises made by coalition partners at the 2010 general election, there is also no political mandate for change. There is widespread fear, anger and confusion.

An alternative idea is to draw back from reform based on the Browne report and opt for a Public Commission. This may be politically difficult, but will become more palatable if opposition to the coalition’s plans is increased from all sides. It is unfortunate that public money has already been spent on producing a report into this matter, but Browne is a wholly inadequate basis on which to move forward. It is also clear that all three major political parties need to take more time to re-think their positions on higher education funding.

The government should therefore set up a Public Commission to examine the function and funding of higher education from first principles. Only such a move could produce the kind of consensus required to make reform deliverable and place the future of UK higher education on a sustainable footing.

Michael Collins is lecturer in twentieth century British history at UCL.

Michael Collins writes in a purely personal capacity and his views in no way reflect those of UCL.

This article is published by Michael Collins, and openDemocracy.net under a Creative Commons licence. You may republish it without needing further permission, with attribution for non-commercial purposes following these guidelines. These rules apply to one-off or infrequent use. For all re-print, syndication and educational use please see read our republishing guidelines or contact us. Some articles on this site are published under different terms. No images on the site or in articles may be re-used without permission unless specifically licensed under Creative Commons.

BISI Editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the NACBS or its affiliates.  For information on our editorial policies, see http://nacbs.edublogs.org/bisi-editorials/.

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