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.
The Black Report, a landmark critique of health inequalities that barely discussed ‘race’, turns forty today. Grace Redhead and Jesse Olszynko-Gryn investigate the legacy of the report for the age of COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter.
The COVID-19 pandemic sheds light on the history of “facemask diplomacy”, in which contagion and epidemic become prisms through which power rivalries, tensions and aspirations are conducted – international politics wearing a facemask.
With Italy on the frontline of Europe’s Coronavirus outbreak, Rosa Salzberg examines how Renaissance Venice established world-leading measures to combat the plague, strategies we are still relying on today.
Bruce Campbell argues that interactions between climate and disease during the fourteenth-century Black Death can inform insights into Covid-19 and alter historians’ understanding of the nature of historical change.
What can the British provincial press tell us about the way pandemics have historically been experienced at a local level? Andrew Jackson proposes that such coverage offers vital insights into community-led responses to global public health crises in 1918 and 2020.
What can we learn from comparing past and present sensory experiences of illness? The senses are an essential avenue through which we navigate understandings and responses to disease. Further research into how people sense illness, both inside and outside of the hospital, past and present, can aid our understanding of the experience of sickness and recovery for individuals and societies, particularly at times of public health crisis.