Histories of the Present

The Memory Map of the Jewish East End

A new digital resource allowing users to explore former sites of Jewish memory in East London went online this week. On it you will find audio interviews, photographs, and essays about more than 70 sites (we hope to include more in future) that consistently appear in people’s recollections of Jewish East London. The memory map aims to create a lasting document of both the history and memory traces of the Jewish East End and attempts to bring the stories and memories of this rapidly vanishing landscape to new audiences.

Pox Romana and War as a Virus Vector

This piece is part of HWO’s feature on ‘Apocalypse Then and Now’. The feature brings together radical reflections and historic perspectives on catastrophe and calamity. How have crises (both real and imagined), and responses to them, shaped our world?

Here Pippo Carmona discusses historic instances of epidemics, and ways in which war has often served as a vector for viral disease. 

Football and Epidemics: A Matter of Life and Death

The Coronavirus has brought chaos to global sport with major football matches played behind closed doors and postponements widespread across elite football, despite Government insistence that the show would go on.
Here Dr Tosh Warwick reveals how the threat of COVID-19 has echoes of a Victorian epidemic that brought controversial postponements, matches played in secret and conflict between clubs and sport’s governing bodies…

The Slippery History of the Dental Dam

As an object, the dental dam awkwardly straddles the history of AIDS activism and queer sexuality, acting as an assertion that sex doesn’t require the presence of a penis to be real sex, while acknowledging simultaneously that such sex still carries risks. The dental dam was deployed as an object for sexual use in an attempt to abate the risk of HIV transmission, but its questionable efficacy as a barrier against the virus has reduced it, for some at least, to a latex relic of historical fears.