Reading Group: Sensory History

Tim Edensor, ‘The Social Life of the Senses: Ordering and Disordering the Modern Sensorium’ in David Howes (ed.), A Cultural History of the Senses in the Modern Age, 1920-2000 (Bloomsbury, 2014) Rebecca P. Scales, Radio and the Politics of Sound in Interwar France (Cambridge University Press, 2016), Chapter 2 ‘Disabled veterans, radio citizenship, and the …

Reading Group: The International City

Not only were conferences key spaces where the world order was redesigned in the wake of the World War I – where new borders were drawn and states created – but they were held in towns, cities, and regions that were themselves materially transformed by the increasing intensity and scale of conference events. Large imperial centres …

A Princely Archive: The Ganga Singh Memorial Trust records, Bikaner, Rajasthan, India

The nation state monopolises many official archives. These include archives at the level of the nation (the National Archives of India, in New Delhi, or the UK in Kew, London), but also at subsidiary levels (the Scottish National Archives in Ediburgh, the Bengal archives in Kolkata, the Nottinghamshire County archives in Nottingham). Conferencing the International argues that …

The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi

Undertaking historical research in India presents the researcher with a more broadly familiar set of dilemmas: oral or archival history; popular or elite; published materials, commercial products, popular objects and social movements, or official documents, state repositories and the archive of power? These are, of course, false distinctions; the popular press tells us much about …

Reading Group: Performance and the Senses

Craggs R (2014) Postcolonial geographies, decolonization, and the performance of geopolitics at Commonwealth conferences Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 35, 39-55 Geertz, C. (1980). Negara: The theatre state in nineteenth-century Bali. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press. Paterson, M (2009) Haptic geographies: ethnography, haptic knowledges and sensuous dispositions Progress in Human Geography 33, 766-788   This …

The National Archives of India

The National Archives of India in New Delhi, like the British National Archives at Kew in London, turn government into History. Minutes, memoranda, laws, reports, and inter-governmental circulars, designed solely for the purpose of colonial bureaucracy, now become the stuff of history making; a dauntingly huge Imperial Archive. A substantial body of scholarship exists on …

International Institute of Agriculture Archives, Rome

I recently spent ten days at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome, investigating the FAO’s forgotten precursor, the International Institute of Agriculture (IIA). The IIA was established in 1905 by David Lubin (1849-1919), a wealthy American businessman and agrarian philosopher whose name is memorialised in the FAO’s library. The IIA reflected Lubin’s …

Reading Group: Actor-Network Theory and the Agency of the Document

Guest post by Martin Mahony Latour, B. (1999). On recalling ANT. The Sociological Review, 47(S1), 15-25. Weisser, F. (2014). Practices, politics, performativities: Documents in the international negotiations on climate change. Political Geography, 40, 46-55. Blok, A. (2010). Topologies of climate change: actor-network theory, relational-scalar analytics, and carbon-market overflows. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, …

Reading Group: Brian Vick’s ‘The Congress of Vienna’

Brian E. Vick, The Congress of Vienna: Power and Politics After Napoleon (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2014) The project team met for a regular reading group discussion, this one focused exclusively on a fascinating new book on the Congress of Vienna by Brian Vick, an American historian from Emory College in Atlanta, Georgia. Vick …

British Parliamentary Archives, London

The Parliamentary Archives house the records of the House of Lords, the House of Commons and other collections relating to the running of Parliament. Visits are by appointment only and the staff were kind enough to have ordered in-advance some documents I had located via the online database, Portcullis. These included personal papers (Correspondence between …