Historical Perspectives Newsletter – November 2022

Here’s your Historical Perspective newsletter for November!

We had two fantastic events in the last month, and have two more upcoming before the end of the year. Check out more details below!

Also, Sam shares his thoughts on Apple+’s Dickinson!

As always, drop us a line at arts-historicalperspectives@glasgow.ac.uk to get in touch.

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November 2022 

The roundup 

(Is it just us, or has this the been the quickest month?) 

This November, we travelled to sixteenth-century St. Andrews with Ashley Brown, who discussed her fascinating research on masculinities inside the academic ‘bubble’. 

November also saw us host our very first panel on New approaches and different methodologies in historical research. A special thanks to our panellists Erin Burrows, Cameron Maclean, and Claire Turner for sharing their time and work with us. 

Coming up 

A new month? A new panel and talk! 

Come along on Wed 7th Dec at 5pm for our second panel, ‘Bringing historical research to life’. We’ll hear from Kremena Dimitrova, Katherine Mackinnon, and Jessica Secmeszoy-Urquhart on how they creatively share their work. 

Then, join us again on Wed 14th Dec at 5pm to hear from Luke Thrumble on the intricacies of British foreign policy in the Cold War. How better to end the semester? 

A perspective on…Dickinson (2019-2021) Hailee Steinfeld stars as Emily Dickinson in this Apple TV+ exclusive, mixing historical fact about the poet’s life with commentary on the social and gender politics of the era, artistic representations of her poems, and a modern tone straight out of a CW show. A lot of fun, and well executed, even if I’ve fallen off Season 2 due to lack of direction. Sam 


Panel line-up announcement! Bringing historical research to life (Nov 30th 2022)

This panel is about how postgraduate researchers are using their research, skills or interests outside of traditional academic research. From artistic creations to media, there is a range of interesting and creative ways historical research can be used. This will be an informal panel, allowing our speakers to share their research and experiences in an open environment. 

The panelists are: 

  • Katherine Mackinnon, University of Glasgow
  • Kremena Dimitrova, University of Portsmouth
  • Jessica Secmezsoy-Urguhart, University of St Andrews

Kremena Dimitrova

Kremena Dimitrova is a London based illustrator-as-historian, lecturer in visual culture, and practice-based Ph.D. researcher in visualising history through comics at the University of Portsmouth. She specialises in socially engaged and site-specific creative interventions and visual storytelling in the museum and heritage sector. Her commissions often involve working with archives and collections and using a mixture of creative approaches such as walking, character development, humour, rhymes, words, and
images to bring hidden and marginalised narratives to life.

Katherine Mackinnon 

Katherine is a SGSAH-funded part-time PhD researcher working on an oral history of refugee lives in Scotland from the 1970s to the present day. In the process of recording life experiences, the project also seeks to develop and trial methodologies for undertaking ethical oral history with refugees. Her professional background includes work in refugee integration, prison education and community development.

Alongside her PhD, Katherine is also a writer and researcher, who works with groups to read and write poetry, and explore creative ways of documenting everyday life. She is also part of a collective running radical Glasgow history walking tours.

Jessica Seemezsoy-Urquhart

Jessica Secmezsoy-Urguhart is a Scottish/Turkish, LGBT, autistic and chronically ill person with multiple disabilities who is near the end of a PhD in History at the University of St. Andrews. They have previously received a distinction at Edinburgh University for a MScR in History and a First in History MA(Hons) at Glasgow University which they nearly did not get accepted into due to ill health but surprised the uni and themselves.

They are part of the Edinburgh TV Festival/AHRC’s TV PhD scheme for 2022 aiming to give PhD researchers a way into tv and film work using their skills. They’ve been a contributor to BBC Scotland’s The Social and BBC Scotland Loop and believe passionately in disability and LGBT rights and in making academic history and public history less separate.

Sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/panel-new-approaches-and-different-methodologies-in-historical-research-tickets-421754808987

Historical Perspectives Newsletter – October 2022

Here’s your Historical Perspective newsletter for October!

This month we launched our current seminar series with three wonderful sessions, and we can’t wait for what November has in store!

Also make sure to check out Christina’s review of The Sleeper’s Smile!

As always, drop us a line at histper@arts.gla.ac.uk to get in touch.

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October 2022 

The round up 

October brought two fantastic sessions to our screens and ears. Sindhu Rajasekaran shared her creative-critical work on queer Tamil (her)-stories; then Diego Latorre Manglano discussed everyday workers’ resistance and Tabitha Lambert-Bramwell explored women in the workhouse. We couldn’t have asked for a better start to this semester! 

Early November saw our very first panel on new and innovative methodologies in historical research with Erin Burrows, Cameron Maclean, and Claire Turner. This was a first for us and we were so pleased at the turnout and engagement. 

Coming up 

Wed 16th’s session is dedicated to masculinities with Ashley Thompson and Struan Kennedy, guiding us from the University of St. Andrews in the 16th century to the loyalist murals of Northern Ireland. 

On Wed 30th, another panel on bringing historical research to life will see Katherine Mackinnon, Kremena Dimitrova, and Jessica Secmezsoy-Urquhart share their fascinating work. As ever, see Eventbrite, Twitter, or WordPress for more info. 

A perspective on… 

An excellent anthology, ‘The Sleeper’s Smile’, translated from Arabic to French by Antoine Jockey, covers the poetic work of Nouri Al-Jarrah from 1988 to 2019. His poems from 2011 and afterwards have been influenced by the Syrian tragedy. He describes the violence and bloodshed but he also wishes to transmit to us his hopes for the future, his faith in a more humane tomorrow. 

‘Le Désespoir de Noé’ [Noah’s Despair] is an elegy for his hometown, Damascus- now wrecked by the civil war. ‘Une Barque pour Lesbos’ [A Boat to Lesbos] is a homage to the hundreds of drowned Syrians in the Mediterranean sea who seek refuge in Europe to escape the war; a subtle reminder that no one puts himself/herself or his/her family in a boat to the ‘unknown’, unless the water appears to be safer than the land he/she decides to leave behind. 

Panel line-up announcement! New approaches and different methodologies in historical research (Nov 2nd 2022)

We’re hosting a panel on the new, the different, and the innovative in historical research. Come along on Wednesday 2nd November at 5pm on Zoom to speak with our fantastic panellists – hear from them on the following pages – and discuss your own research too. Sign up on Eventbrite!  

Erin Burrows, University of Glasgow 

Cameron Maclean, University of Glasgow 

Claire Turner, University of Leeds 

Erin Burrows 

I am looking at the nature and purpose of public history and its connection to place-based or culturally based collective identities through the lens of public monuments. Problematising public history like this is a somewhat new approach and requires various methods of research beyond the standard interpretation of the past. 

Along with archival research, I am combing over contemporaneous newspapers and social media posts – both themselves a kind of public history repository – to provide insight into what public history means to the public and what public monuments are actually for. Additionally, I will be interviewing relevant individuals (planning committees, artists, etc.) to obtain qualitative data about the impact of statues and how they may or may not influence collective identity. 

Cameron Maclean 

My PhD is on the Anglo-Scottish monetary union (1604-1707). I aim to study this union to determine just how closely Scottish and English authorities cooperated to implement and uphold it and how effectively it was maintained throughout its existence. Coins are a key source in my research, which I use alongside a range of documentary sources. 

Despite being studied for centuries, the use of numismatic sources (such as coins, tokens and medals) is often confined to its own niche field of study. I’m looking forward to discussing how these fascinating and versatile sources can be used in works of wider historical research. 

Claire Turner 

My research employs an intersensory approach to explores experiences and perceptions of epidemic disease in seventeenth-century London. 

My research is different because it offers alternative perspectives and challenges traditional theories of disease transmission and prevention in the early modern period. One of the core aims of my thesis is to encourage sensory scholars to consider the interactions between the senses and how these intersensory experiences influence our understanding of a given topic. 

Sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/panel-new-approaches-and-different-methodologies-in-historical-research-tickets-421754808987

References from Sindhu Rajasekaran’s talk ‘How I tell Queer (Her)stories.’

We were so pleased to kick off our semester with Sindhu Rajasekaran’s fantastic work on queer Tamil (her)stories, a fascinating blend of critical and creative approaches on some important – and often harrowing – topics.  

Sindhu provided the following references for anyone interested in myth, folklore, and what influences her work generally (see below). Be sure to follow Sindhu on Twitter @sindhurajasekar and find more of her work at The Selkie, The Swaddle, and Asia Literary Review

Ramaswamy, Vijaya. “Chaste widows, cunning wives, and Amazonian warriors: imaging of women in Tamil oral traditions.” Asian Ethnology, vol. 69, no. 1, spring 2010, pp. 129+. Gale Academic OneFile, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A238476414/AONE?u=ustrath&sid=bookmark-AONE&xid=99dccf6d. Accessed 20 Sept. 2022. 

Thiruchandran, Selvy . 2001 . Feminine speech transmissions. An exploration into the lullabies and dirges of women . Women’s education and research centre . New Delhi : Vikas Publishing House . 88 pp . ISBN: 81 259 1057 3 . 
Trawick, Margaret. “Spirits and Voices in Tamil Songs.” American Ethnologist 15, no. 2 (1988): 193–215. http://www.jstor.org/stable/644753

Greene, Paul D. “Professional weeping: music, affect, and hierarchy in a South Indian folk performance art.” Ethnomusicology OnLine, no. 5, annual 1999. Gale Academic OneFilelink.gale.com/apps/doc/A229301667/AONE?u=ustrath&sid=googleScholar&xid=de67a1dd. Accessed 31 Aug. 2022.