After Carribee Island: the Great War

This post follows on from these two about the afterlife of Carribee Island, for forty years the assumed - and stigmatised - home of Wolverhampton's Irish population in the nineteenth century. The Carribee Island area was part of a major clearance scheme in the late 1870s and 1880s which transformed the North-Eastern area of Wolverhampton … Continue reading After Carribee Island: the Great War

Distance and Strangeness: the murder of Anne Spencer

I sometimes feel like I've spent the last three years trying to figure out my place within history. I still feel like there's probably a huge mountain of scholarship that I've completely missed, but in general I'm starting to work out what historiography is (I'm not a historian by background - everyone else just calls it 'the literature' … Continue reading Distance and Strangeness: the murder of Anne Spencer

Telling family stories

As part of my research I will inevitably have to tell you some family histories. I say have to - it's a vital, fascinating and relevant part of my research. But have you ever had someone try to tell you their family history? I'm guilty of this, because my own family history is really interesting - to … Continue reading Telling family stories

Black Country Irish: Wolverhampton, 1851

I'm starting my series on the Irish in the 19th century Black Country by looking at Wolverhampton. This is familiar ground for me, or at least should be - so I'm broadening my normal hyper-local view of Carribee Island out to look at some quantitative data on Wolverhampton as a whole. My hope is that this will … Continue reading Black Country Irish: Wolverhampton, 1851

Maps and legends

  This week's big adventure was a trip to the fabled meadows of Cambridge or, at least, the brutalist Robinson College (see Otto Saumarez-Smith's paper on it here) and an ugly Travelodge overlooking some flats. The Urban History Group conference was the first academic conference I ever attended, this time last year, and this year was … Continue reading Maps and legends

Beauty is in the streets

  The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it. Karl Marx, Theses on Feuerbach. I never realised that, like party politics, academia has a conference season. At least, March appears to be it which means I've ended up with far too much work to do in one … Continue reading Beauty is in the streets

Dead ends and back alleys

Just a short one today as I'm in the midst of a massive trawl through several decades' worth of census enumerators returns. I'm writing this from my local library, from where I can work on their computers (for free) (albeit in Internet Explorer) and use (for free). I'm very lucky to be funded out … Continue reading Dead ends and back alleys

Camping, privies, and mapping the everyday

At the age of 33, I recently had my first proper experience of camping (my subconscious has all but blocked the ramshackle Cub camps of my youth, although a few excursions in a refurbished caravan a couple of years ago helped). It was quite lovely, and afforded much opportunity for reading - I dipped between Lefebvre … Continue reading Camping, privies, and mapping the everyday

Space to think

GIS is increasingly being seen as much as a place to think as a simple data management and mapping tool Gillings & Goodrick (1996) "Sensuous and reflexive GIS: exploring visualisation and VRML"  I'm very grateful to have been allowed to sit in on a GIS course this semester with students from the Archaeology department. Whilst the material is … Continue reading Space to think