This special issue on E. P. Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class (1963) grew out of a symposium I organized at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in October 2013 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the book’s publication. I am, on the face of it, one of the least likely modern British historians to be organizing such an event. I can remember the first time I held the weighty tome in my hands: I was a junior in college, in the fall of 1982, and it was on the syllabus for a course I was taking on Victorian Britain, taught by Jonathan Schneer at Yale University. As did many feminist and postcolonial historians of my generation, I struggled with what I saw as Thompson’s indifference to women and gender (oh, those deluded followers of Joanna Southcott!) and his incapacity to see the evidence of race and empire in his sources even when they cried out from below the footnote line for all to see.
E. P. Thompson and The Making of the English Working Class
Jean Elisabeth Pedersen
“What is a nation?” Ernest Renan’s famous rhetorical question to an audience at the Sorbonne on 11 March 1882 has remained vital for a wide variety of scholars in fields as diverse as history, literary criticism, sociology, philosophy, and political science. Renan initially posed the question barely ten years after the close of the Franco-Prussian War, which had sparked the establishment of the French Third Republic, the unification of Germany under the leadership of Wilhelm I, and the transfer of the disputed territory of Alsace-Lorraine from French to German control in the months between July 1870 and May 1871. Renan made no overt mention of these events while he was speaking, but he rejected any possible answer to his question that might attempt to base the creation of nations and national identities on shared “race, language, [economic] interests, religious affinity, geography, [or] military necessities.” This explicit refusal constituted an implicit rejection of the entire range of German justifications for the acquisition of the two recently French border provinces.
Uncovering the Politics of Playtime
Since the publication in 1960 of Philippe Ariès’s foundational, if problematic, Centuries of Childhood, the history of childhood has developed into a rich and varied field. At the annual conference of the Western Society for French History in 2018, a call for panelists for a roundtable on the history of childhood expanded into two separate panels ranging from the medieval era through the thirty glorious postwar years. The panelists and the audience grappled with questions about the social construction of age, the ages of childhood, and the challenges of finding sources for a group that left few “ego documents.” Although children per se never exercised political or global power, attention to children clarifies how critical children were to political and international systems. Material generated by children themselves can be difficult to locate, but adults generated plenty of material about children. The intersectionality of the history of childhood with fields like labor history, urban history, the history of the welfare state, and the history of psychology parallels the intersectionality of children themselves, who come from every race, social class, and gender. All humans, it turns out, start out as children.
Identities in Transformation after World War I
, these representations could be invoked for many different political or ideological ends. In the introduction to Empire’s Children: Race, Filiation and Citizenship in the French Colonies , Emmanuelle Saada notes her surprise in discovering a reference to
Katherine Weikert and Elena Woodacre
2015, https://bitchmedia.org/post/pushback-at-the-intersections-defining-and-critiquing-intersectionality . 17 For a limited number of examples, see M. Lindsay Kaplan, “Jessica’s Mother: Medieval Constructions of Jewish Race and Gender in ‘The Merchant
Colonial Law Enforcement and the Search for Racial-Territorial Hegemony
normalizing the colonized terrain.” 2 As race proved the most fundamental marker of colonial difference, it became the sole delineating factor in determining rights and benefits, and also the focus of security efforts throughout global empires. 3 Worse still
When Was Brexit? Reading Backward to the Present
evident in Kennetta Perry's reading of The Heart of the Race (1986), where she shows us how the authors, Beverley Bryan, Stella Dadzie, and Suzanne Scafe, make a relentless case against the racializing technologies of the postwar welfare state. In the
Methods for Historians Attending to the Voices of the Past
material ways. 47 Likewise, Nina Eidsheim's writes, in The Race of Sound : “In the same way that culturally derived systems of pitches organized into scales render a given vibrational field in tune or out of tune , a culturally derived system of race
France’s Great War from the Edge
Susan B. Whitney
–8, doi: 10.3167/hrrh.2016.420301 . 4 See, for example, Richard S. Fogarty, Race & War in France: Colonial Subjects in the French Army, 1914–1918 (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008). 5 In 2014, Frederick R. Dickinson identified