Recent books include:
Tim Jones, Sexual Politics in the Church of England, 1857-1957 (Oxford University Press, 2013)
The period between 1857 and 1957 saw a transformation in Anglican sexual understanding when the established church negotiated substantial new normative interpretations of marriage, sexuality, citizenship, and priesthood. Timothy Jones demonstrates how the introduction of female voices into the previously exclusively male spheres of power transformed understandings of gender. He also delineates the impact of the Anglo-Catholic revival on Anglican sexual culture, in particular, the significance of catholic sacramentality on understandings of the relationship between the sexual and the spiritual.
Sharif Gemie, Women’s Writing and Muslims Societies, 1920-the present: The Search for Dialogue (University of Wales Press, 2012)
This work analyses a hundred works written by women concerning Muslim societies. It studies the dramatic change of tone in writing which happened in the 1980s, as a result of the Iranian Revolution of 1978—79. It was in this decade that there was a shift from the older narrative of wonderment and romantic respect for the mysterious wonders of the East, to a narrative of fear, hostility and disgust which—by the 1990s—was explicitly linked to a new hostility to Islam (often seen as represented by Iran).
These works have become steadily more popular: in the 1920s books were largely produced by exceptional, leisured women, often characterized as 'indomitable’ and easily dismissed as eccentric. Following Mahmoody’s Not Without My Daughter, Seierstad’s The Bookseller of Kabul and Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran, this form of writing has become mainstream, commercially viable and successful. Books of this nature can be bought in WH Smiths. This literary zone is one of the few examples of a form of public representation in which women have achieved success.
Jonathan Durrant, Historical Dictionary of Witchcraft (Continuum, 2011)
Most witchcraft scholarship focuses on Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but this volume, as well as covering the classic age of witch persecution in Europe, ranges across the continents and has a time-span extending back to earliest law code that punished sorcery, the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi (1792-1750 B.C.E.), and forward to the last witchcraft cases in England, those of Helen Duncan and Jane Yorke, tried in 1944.
Sharif Gemie, Fiona Reid and Laure Humbert (with Louise Ingram), Outcast Europe: Refugees and Relief Workers in an Era of Total War 1936-48 (Continuum, 2011)
This pathbreaking book looks at the experience of warfare in the twentieth century in a completely new way by looking at the Spanish Republicans fleeing Franco’s Spain in 1939, the French civilians trying to escape the Nazi invasion in 1940, and the millions of people displaced or expelled by the forces of Hitler’s Third Reich. Using case studies of displaced people and of relief workers, this book is unique in placing such crises at the centre rather than the margins of wartime experience, making the work nothing less than an alternative history of the Second World War. Fiona Reid and Kath Holden (eds), Women on the Move: Refugees, Migration and Exile (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010) This is an innovative and wide-ranging edited collection which brings women clearly into view, reflecting their disproportionately high numbers within migrating populations. Spanning four centuries, its contents are culturally diverse but address some important common themes and questions. Beginning with a useful survey of women in migration studies in early modern Europe, subsequent chapters explore the following topics: the exile experiences in Europe, first of English Brigittine nuns, and second of Catholic Gentlewomen displaced by the English Reformation; the dual national identities of a French woman moving to America during the revolutionary period; the lives of two women preachers moving to an American city with a large migrant population in the mid 20th century; and finally, autobiographical narratives of Islamic women exiled in body and/or mind from their countries of origin in the late twentieth century. The authors and editors consider the significance of spirituality amongst women migrants, address the difficulties of generalising from individual experiences and consider issues raised by a particular focus on elite women. The focus on personal narratives crosses disciplinary boundaries making it a valuable resource for students and researchers interested in migration history, autobiography, personal narratives, social history and gender and women’s studies.
Using case studies of displaced people and of relief workers, this book is unique in placing such crises at the centre rather than the margins of wartime experience, making the work nothing less than an alternative history of the Second World War.
Fiona Reid and Kath Holden (eds), Women on the Move: Refugees, Migration and Exile (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010)
This is an innovative and wide-ranging edited collection which brings women clearly into view, reflecting their disproportionately high numbers within migrating populations. Spanning four centuries, its contents are culturally diverse but address some important common themes and questions. Beginning with a useful survey of women in migration studies in early modern Europe, subsequent chapters explore the following topics: the exile experiences in Europe, first of English Brigittine nuns, and second of Catholic Gentlewomen displaced by the English Reformation; the dual national identities of a French woman moving to America during the revolutionary period; the lives of two women preachers moving to an American city with a large migrant population in the mid 20th century; and finally, autobiographical narratives of Islamic women exiled in body and/or mind from their countries of origin in the late twentieth century. The authors and editors consider the significance of spirituality amongst women migrants, address the difficulties of generalising from individual experiences and consider issues raised by a particular focus on elite women. The focus on personal narratives crosses disciplinary boundaries making it a valuable resource for students and researchers interested in migration history, autobiography, personal narratives, social history and gender and women’s studies.Read more about Women on the Move
Brian Ireland, The US Military in Hawai’i: Colonialism, Memory and Resistance (Palgrave, 2010)
Although the popular image of Hawai’i is of an idyllic paradise, the islands are, in fact, home to one of the largest military arsenals in the world. Hawai’i is a vital American strategic possession, holding the dubious distinction of being America’s most militarized state. However, militarism has been so ingrained in Hawai’i that its presence has come to be seen as normal and necessary. It is non-natives who have written the histories of Hawai’i, built its war monuments, constructed its museum, and depicted its people in Hollywood films, presenting the US military as a welcome, protective force. Islanders’ views on the subject are more ambivalent. While some are patriotically supportive, and others indifferent, a growing section of the community views US forces with the hostility of people under military rule. Brian Ireland analyses how and why this situation came to be.
Chris Evans, Slave Wales: The Welsh and Atlantic slavery 1660-1850 (University of Wales Press, 2010)
Atlantic slavery does not loom large in the traditional telling of Welsh history. Yet Wales, like many regions of Europe, was deeply affected by the forced migration of captive Africans. Welsh commodities, like copper and brass made in Swansea, were used to purchase slaves on the African coast and some Welsh products, such as woollens from Montgomeryshire, were an important feature of plantation life in the West Indies. In turn, the profits of plantation agriculture flowed back into Wales, to be invested in new industries or to be lavished on country mansions.
This book looks at Slave Wales between 1650 and 1850, bringing the most up-to-date scholarship on Atlantic slavery to bear on the Welsh experience. New research by Chris Evans casts light on previously unknown episodes, such as Welsh involvement with slave-based copper mining in nineteenth-century Cuba, and illuminates in new and disturbing ways familiar features of Welsh history – like the woollen industry – that have previously unsuspected 'slave dimensions’. Many Welsh people turned against slavery in the late eighteenth century, but Welsh abolitionism was never a particularly powerful force. Indeed, Chris Evans demonstrates that Welsh participation the slave Atlantic lasted well beyond the abolition of Britain’s slave trade in 1807 and the ending of slavery in Britain’s Caribbean empire in 1834.
Stefan Berger and Norman LaPorte, Friendly Enemies: Britain and the GDR, 1949-1990 (Berghahn, 2010)
During the Cold War, Britain had an astonishing number of contacts and connections with one of the Soviet Bloc’s most hard-line regimes: the German Democratic Republic. The left wing of the British Labour Party and the Trade Unions often had closer ties with communist East Germany than the Communist Party of Great Britain. There were strong connections between the East German and British churches, women’s movements, and peace movements; influential Conservative politicians and the Communist leadership in the GDR had working relationships; and lucrative contracts existed between business leaders in Britain and their counterparts in East Germany. Stefan Berger (University of Manchester) and Norry LaPorte (University of Glamorgan) provide the first comprehensive study of Anglo-East German relations in this surprisingly under-researched field of study.
Fiona Reid, Broken Men: Shell Shock, Treatment and Recovery in Britain 1914-1930 (Hambleton Continuum, 2010)
What happened to shell-shocked soldiers of the Great War? Fiona Reid’s innovative history of traumatised veterans reveals the complexity of official policies, the attitudes of those who survived trauma, and the way in which shell-shock has affected the understanding that subsequent generations have had of the First World War.
Peter Stead and Gareth Williams (eds), Wales and its Boxers – the Fighting Tradition (University of Wales Press, 2008)
This new title bears a distinct University of Glamorgan imprint. It is edited by Professor Gareth Williams, Director of the Centre for Modern and Contemporary Wales, along with external professor Peter Stead, two of Wales’ leading historians of popular culture. Among its contributors are Desmond Barry and Stephen Malcolm Williams, who teach in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science, and Professor Dai Smith, a former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University. Read more.
Sharif Gemie, Brittany 1750-1950: The Invisible Nation (University of Wales Press, 2007)
Brittany presents a paradox: the region was incorporated into France in 1532, and has never known a substantial nationalist movement. Yet, in recent years, signs of a sense of separation from France are growing clearer. This paradox raises some fundamental questions about the processes of nation formation. This work by Glamorgan historian Sharif Gemie provides an introduction to identity politics in Brittany, analysing its special status within France: at once a western border and a potential rival centre to Paris.
“...without doubt the best English-language work on the Breton question. [Gemie] innovates by showing that spark of empathy which his predecessors lacked, while remaining lucid and retaining the critical spirit that an in-depth analysis requires. However, the success of this work is based on the originality of the author’s perspective, combined with his knowledge. Half-Arab, half-English and living in Wales, this progressive-minded historian is a specialist in European history and in anarchism. Breton readers will be surprised by the depth of his knowledge concerning the region but, above all, they will be guided towards new approaches to Brittany and new lines of research.”
ArMen, 168 (January 2009)
Chris Evans and Göran Rydén, Baltic Iron in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World (Brill, 2007)
This new book by Chris Evans of the University of Glamorgan and Professor Göran Rydén of the University of Uppsala in Sweden is the latest title in the series “The Atlantic World: Europe, Africa and the Americas, 1500-1830” to be issued by Brill, the prestigious Dutch publishing house. Read more
“This book reveals brilliantly the crucial place of Baltic iron in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world… This is an exemplary study that enriches traditional histories of trade, production, and innovation by demonstrating a complicated, transnational interconnectedness. In contrast to a growing fad that simply emphasizes cultural factors, this study underlines geography, local resources, government policy, war, institutional differences, fear, and contingency. Anyone interested in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world cannot fail to benefit from reading this book.”
Economic History Review, 61:3 (2008)
Gareth Williams, Sport: an anthology (Library of Wales, 2007)
Gareth Williams, the director of the Centre for Modern and Contemporary Wales and co-author of Fields of praise, the official history of the Welsh Rugby Union, is the editor of this new anthology of prose and poetry that explores the relationship between the Welsh and sport. This is a collection that looks not just at iconic Welsh activities like rugby and boxing – although they are represented by some classic, and some lesser known pieces – but extends to less noticed pastimes like snooker, golf and pigeon-racing.
American sports writing has been the work of literary giants, and not just hack wordsmiths. Professor Williams muses here on whether there is an equivalent Welsh tradition.
“...a terrific treasure trove …rich and timely”
Frank Keating, The Guardian
Sport: an anthology is published by Parthian Press for the Library of Wales.
Jonathan Durrant, Witchcraft, Gender and Society in Early Modern Germany (Brill, 2007)
Recent witchcraft historiography, particularly where it concerns the gender of the witch-suspect, has been dominated by theories of social conflict in which ordinary people colluded in the persecution of the witch sect. The reconstruction of the Eichstätt persecutions (1590-1631) in this book shows that many witchcraft episodes were imposed exclusively 'from above’ as part of a programme of Catholic reform. The high proportion of female suspects in these cases resulted from the persecutors’ demonology and their interrogation procedures. The confession narratives forced from the suspects reveal a socially integrated, if gendered, community rather than one in crisis.
Available now from Brill Publishers.
Sharif Gemie, Galicia: a concise history (University of Wales Press, 2006)
Sharif Gemie’s innovative study provides an introduction to the landmarks of Galician history, from pre-history to the present. Clearly written and easily understandable, it alerts the reader to some of the controversies and debates linked to Galicia’s development, and points out the connections between Galicia and Spain, Europe and the Atlantic world. The study concentrates mainly on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and analyses issues such as the strengths and weaknesses of Galician nationalism, the status of Galego (the Galician language), Galicia during the Civil War and the Francoist dictatorship, and the rise and fall of the Fraga and the conservative Partido Popular in Galicia after 1981.
Elizabeth Andrews, A Woman’s Work is Never Done and other writings, edited and introduced by Ursula Masson (Honno, 2006)
The autobiography of Andrews (1882-1960), a prominent Labour activist in South Wales during the party’s 'heroic age’, is reprinted with a scholarly introduction by Ursula Masson and a foreword by Glenys Kinnock MEP.
Chris Evans, Debating the revolution: Britain in the 1790s (I.B. Tauris, 2006)
“A wonderful book: authoritative, informative and full of intriguing interpretations and interesting perspectives. A historiographical tour de force“. Professor Stefan Berger, University of Manchester. Read more
Chris Evans and Göran Rydén (eds), The industrial revolution in iron: the impact of British coal technology in nineteenth-century Europe (Ashgate, 2005)
“Chris Evans’s introductory chapter is a masterful summary of British technology and the historiography of nineteenth-century iron… This book makes an invaluable contribution to our understanding of technology transfer and the global modernization of the iron industry. It gives Anglophone readers access to literatures that have until now been unknown to many of us.”
Technology and Culture, July 2006.
Ursula Masson (ed.), Women’s rights and 'womanly duties’: the Aberdare Women’s Liberal Association 1891-1910 (South Wales Record Society, 2005)
The minutes of of the Aberdare WLA, which had over 500 members at its peak, shed light on a rich period in the history of women’s political activity, when women campaigned on issues dear to the Liberal Party such as Home Rule for Ireland, Welsh Church disestablishment, temperance and reform of the House of Lords, but also on many aspects of women’s fight for equality in all walks of life.
“Ursula Masson has produced a splendid edition of the papers of one of the best documented local organisations…. [and] has contributed a substantial introductory essay which sheds light on the context and meaning of the episodes. Women’s Rights and Womanly Duties is an extremely valuable source for both the history of modern Liberalism and the study of women’s political activism at the turn of the century.”
Journal of Liberal History, Winter 2006/7.
Stefan Berger, Andy Croll and Norman LaPorte (eds), Towards a comparative history of coalfield societies (Ashgate, 2005)
A selection of papers from the international conference on coalfields and their peoples organised by the Labour History Society and hosted by the University of Glamorgan in 2002.
Stefan Berger and Norry LaPorte, The other Germany: perceptions and influences in British & East German relations, 1945-1990 (Wißner, 2005)
Britain did not recognise the German Democratic Republic until 1973, but throughout the forty years of the GDR’s existence there were significant political and cultural exchanges between the two. This path-breaking book explores the cold war relationship between the 'friendly enemies’.
Norman LaPorte, The German Communist Party in Saxony, 1924-1933: factionalism, fratricide and political failure (Peter Lang, 2003)
“...contributes new and important material to the major debates on the history of German Communism during the Weimar Republic.” Central European History, 2006
“...essential reading for all scholars of German communism… LaPorte offers a cogent analysis of the historiographical questions regarding the KPD.” H-German, June 2005