Humour is crucial to the human experience, yet it is rarely found in history books. Psychologists, sociologists and linguists have all found the topic worthy of study but not many historians have. Is this because historians really are those dusty researchers in archives not having any fun? Maybe history is just not that funny. Continue reading
In early October I was given the task of working out a 35 minute history taster session for year 8s. I wondered about how to make the history of industrial relations exciting for 13-year-olds and how to avoid spilling out a load of theoretical jargon but then the Pentonville Five saved me. Continue reading
Two days ago, I sat down and planned my entire dissertation. This plan did not go into which sources I would analyse and where, but the general structure of my argument. Continue reading
In the last two weeks I have carried out my first ever interviews as a historian. I have read many books on oral history theory but no amount of reading could have prepared me for how I felt when I sat face-to-face with the people who had trusted me to write the history of their life. Continue reading
I recently attended an oral history workshop at the University of Liverpool. I have read all the theory and practice books available and, to be honest, I thought my attendance was largely to tick a box on the numerous applications I have had to make in order to carry out my own interviews in my research. This was not the case.
Ever since reading Andrew Popp’s ‘The Broken Cotton Speculator’ I have been keen to use the approach of microhistory and I recently got my chance. I took the moment Robbie Fowler lifted his Liverpool top to reveal a t-shirt with a message of support for 500 sacked dock workers in a European Cup Winners Cup match on the 20th March 1997 as my focal point. I wanted to move this between multiple contexts to demonstrate that the moment had a number of meanings to different groups in society. Although I understood what went into the top and its meanings, structuring this essay was extremely difficult.