Creative Histories Event, University of Bristol July 2017

The Call for Contributions has just come out for an event I’m organising at the University of Bristol next summer on ‘creative histories’. The idea behind the event is to explore some of the many ways that different groups are using and making history, especially beyond academia, but also in conversation with university researchers. Please […]

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Style Notes: Louis Chevalier

I remember first reading – and not understanding – Louis Chevalier’s Classes laborieuses et classes dangereuses as an undergraduate. The book is a classic, and Chevalier’s influence on later historians of crime and criminality is obvious. Foucault, for instance, is full of echoes of Chevalier’s ideas. But it’s also a very hard book to categorise. Not really a […]

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The Prophets’ Poison

Who saw the US election result coming? Not many before it happened. A great many once it had. When I woke up and saw the result, I was angry, not simply at the result, not simply at the voters who elected Trump, but at the process that now sets in as Trump’s victory becomes part […]

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To the Historians of the Future

So I did something stupid yesterday. I suggested to a colleague that for a class on ‘writing style’ we should set students a quick exercise: write the start of a history of the 2016 US Election from the point of view of 2026, looking back. Why was this stupid? Well the class evolved into an impassioned […]

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Most Wanted

Have you seen this man? Eugène Vintras was – depending on who you believe – a fraudster or a prophet, and an inspiration for many of the heterodox religious movements of the fin-de-siècle and twentieth century. He was important enough to merit a walk-on part in Huysman’s La-bas (1891) and was also mentioned by Maurice Barrès. And […]

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