The Singing Postman

I spent a lot of time during my PhD research tracking down individuals. It was all part of a scheme (that looks increasingly foolish with hindsight) to identify the people who sang songs and told stories for the folklorist Félix Arnaudin from about 1870-1914. There were a lot of them. And some were only identified in […]

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Life After the PhD

This is the (lightly edited) text of a talk I gave for History Lab Plus at a really useful day on ‘Getting Grants, Getting Published and Staying Sane: Life After the PhD’ which was held at the Institute of Historical Research on Friday 15th July. My panel was called ‘Making the Transition’, so I talked […]

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Cognitive Dissidents

This week the Modern British Studies program at Birmingham launched their first paper towards a discussion of #MBS2017. It included the question “As we enter a moment of genuine crisis, are some kinds of history more important than others?” The question is more controversial among historians than I would have assumed. This is my attempt […]

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I am European

Since last Friday, I have been thinking about all sorts of clever things to write about history and Europe, and my despair at the referendum result here in the UK. But I can’t even get them out. I am numbed, intellectually. I am not a constitutional lawyer, nor an economist, nor even a historian of […]

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Dangerous Territory

It’s a busy time of year in the universities. As I near the end of an intense period of marking and related work, I’ve been saving myself a treat: more work on French witchcraft, 1791-1939. Well, ‘French’ in its broadest sense. Like many historians over the past few years, I’ve been forced to engage with […]

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