Amidst the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic it seems that virtual conferences are here to stay. In the first half of this post, PhD student Ed DeVane reflects on the experience of ‘doing’ an online event. The second half of this blog serves as a report on the proceedings of the ‘Building Welfare States’ conference, hosted (online) by Warwick University, 23rd – 25th September 2020.
Histories of the Present
Is Maggi Hambling’s ‘A Sculpture for Mary Wollstonecraft’ attuned to the intellectual accomplishments of the woman it was created for, or to the particular struggles of women in the present? Vic Clarke investigates.
What does it mean to write a history of the lived experience of injustice and suffering in Trump’s America? Jane Caplan examines a life caught in the interstices of Trump’s Covid-19 strategy and his attacks on healthcare and public institutions.
When it comes to IVF politics, have the British been too quick to paint Americans as occupying the anti-scientific fringe? Laura Beers responds after the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court.
In commissioning this feature, editorial fellow Rachel Moss asked contributors: how can we radically re-imagine the writing of history? Over the next few weeks, our contributors reply with creative new methods, sources and forms that they are using to reshape what history writing can look like. In this instalment, Sarah Knott writes hastily, ahead of waking’s interruption, about being a historian who is always with child in one way or another.
How should historians respond to acts of violence in the official archive? Catherine Phipps considers the life of Samia, an Algerian-French teenager, arguing that the epistemic attacks she faced highlight the urgency of historical work which takes account of police violence against sex workers.
The gatekeepers of history have tended to take few risks. Julia Laite argues for a less certain, more quantum kind of history in the latest in our #WritingRadically series.