Showing posts from June, 2015

British Library Labs competition 2015: Political Meetings Mapper

I can now announce that I'm one of the two winners of the British Library Labs 2015 competition to design a digital tool and resource to showcase the library's collections.

Press release:

My idea is 'Political Meetings Mapper', to extract records of political meetings from the 19th century newspapers and plot them on layers of historical maps.

To start, we'll be doing a pilot with the Chartist newspaper the Northern Star, from 1838-1844, and plotting all the Chartist meetings that took place. We will be able to see geographical patterns in the meetings and users of the website will be able to see if Chartist meetings happened in their area, on their street, or perhaps even in their local pub!

I've been doing this manually for my book - see the data on my website Protest History - but this project will enable historians to extract and map the data automati…

BBC programme on Peterloo

Here's a permanent link to the BBC Learning programme I was on about the Peterloo Massacre:

It features Dr Robert Poole, and a great Lancashire lad called Mathew.

The BBC warns it 'contains scenes of moderate violence'. I think the people who faced the yeomanry's sabres would say that was more than just 'moderate'.

crackdown on 'aimless loitering'

John Levin pointed this article out on twitter today -
"Cops pledge crackdown on ‘aimless loitering’ at Elephant & Castle". 
So you can be served with an asbo (even though they've been replaced by something else now?) if you engage in 'aimless loitering' within the shopping centre. Although I can see the point about the measure being directed at gangs, the assumption prevails that loitering is inherently bad, associated with the phrase 'loitering with intent', even though 'aimless' in this interdict suggests that 'loitering without intent' is also potentially criminal.
I've blogged about the parallels with the early 19th century improvement acts and privatisation of public space before - 

And here the parallels are evident again, and I'll discuss them further in my new book, Protest and the…

quick bibliography on the history of emotions

I've spent the last couple of days reading about the history of emotion. Here are some recommended reading:

The 'big three' theorists who seem to have spearheaded the debate about the history of emotions are:

Barbara Rosenwein, a medievalist - key concept of 'emotional communities'
'Problems and Methods in the History of Emotions', Passions in Context, 2010'Worrying About Emotions in History',American Historical Review, 107 (2002)
William Reddy, a scholar of the Enlightenment and C18 France - key concepts of emotional 'regimes, refuges, suffering and liberty'
 The Navigation of Feeling: a Framework for the History of Emotions (Cambridge, 2001)'Historical research on the self and emotions', Emotion Review, 1 (2009), 302–315
Peter Stearns, a 20thC Americanist - concept of 'emotives'
Jealousy: The evolution of an emotion in American history (New York, NY: New York University Press, 1989)American cool: Constructing a twentieth-century …