Posts Tagged ‘SPOT newsletter’

I have been waiting to write that title for well over a year now.  After a delay of over 5 months History SPOT is finally ready to launch!   

Research Seminars, Lectures and Conferences

History SPOT is brimming full of podcasts from IHR seminars, conferences and lectures from 2009 to the present.  In addition to our extensive archives you will have access to all new podcasts from the IHR in the coming months and have the opportunity to discuss, comment upon and debate their content online.   


In addition to the podcasts themselves History SPOT contains an archive of SPOT Newsletter reviews and abstracts which have thus far appeared on this blog along with various other additional resources.  The SPOT Newsletter will be growing over the coming months adding opinions, additional facts and information, and mini bibliographies.

Historical Research Training

History SPOT presents to you for free and for the first time material from our research training courses and from our expertises as a research institute.  Initially we have provided two research handbooks: one on the subject of Databases for Historians and another on podcasting.  More will follow soon.


History SPOT is not just a place to search for content it is also designed so that you can interact with the subject matter.  When you listen to one of our podcasts let us and other users know what you think.  Is there something that you disagree with or do you have something to add to what our speakers discuss? 

In addition you can create your own profiles, take part in social networking through Groups and Friends and create basic web pages.  You can also write your own blog posts and discuss our activities with each other in various group forums. 

Click below to access the site



History SPOT will be in Beta Mode for approximately one month while we iron out the final glitches and errors, however we would very much appreciate your feedback.  Do you like the new site?  Is there anything that you don’t like?  What could we do better?  Is there anything missing?  Please do let us know at History.spot@sas.ac.uk or through the Contact UsLINK option on History SPOT.

At some point soon I will write up another blog post here about the road to launch but in the meantime please do register for History SPOT, have a look around, and let us know what you think.

I hope you enjoy the site!



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“Wrong target, using the wrong methods” is the message in the first of this fortnight’s SPOT Newsletter podcasts.  From a lifetimes’ involvement in sport policies largely at the universities of Loughborough and Gloucestershire, Michael Collins discusses the sports policies of New Labour and the current coalition for the Sports and Leisure History Seminar.  Based upon a revised version of the final chapter to his 2009 book, Examining Sports Development, which will soon also appear in article form in the Journal of Sports Policy, Collins describes the 2008-11 strategy for Sport England as a backward step made worse by coalition budget cuts.  Collins believes that the ambitious targets designed to attract more British citizens to sport does not fit the available budget or the actual activities of government.  Whilst the 2012 Olympics has the capacity to have a positive effect on the nations health, Collins suggests that once over it is unlikely to have the desired long term benefit due to overambitious and poorly funded policies.    

The second podcast this week takes an entirely different theme and focus.  The Military History Seminar presents a paper by Declan O’Reilly on the topic of French resistance during the German Occupation.  Focusing on Pearl Witherington’s unit of Marquis Resistance fighters, O’Reilly tackles the ambiguity of resistance; in particular the units’ relationship with the British war effort and its role in helping to raise Charles de Gaulle to power.  Pearl Witherington was born and raised in France but was a British citizen.  When the Germans occupied France she escaped to London and then trained with the Special Operations Executive (SOE).  Wirtherington returned to France in September 1943 under the leadership of Maurice Southgate, leader of the Stationers Network.  After Southgate’s capture, Wirtherington took control of the network, which was to play an important role delaying German troops during the D-Day landings.  O’Reilly traces the ebbs and flows of ‘Pearl’s War’ and attempts to place its significance into context.  The post-paper discussion refocuses the discussion on the nature of the evidence and in particular how the written record often conflicts with veterans memories of events.      

Sports and leisure History Seminar
8 November 2010
Professor Michael Collins (University of Gloucestershire)
From ‘Sport for Good’ to ‘Sport for Sport’s Sake’: Reversing into the Past
[Warning: contains some explicit language]
Military History Seminar
9 November 2010
Declan O’Reilly (UEA)
SOE, the French Resistance and the Battle for the Indre, June-September 1944

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How is it that a man cannot avoid getting drunk with washer women when he knows his job is threatened by it?  Why does a thief running from a crime scene stop to buy a hat?  These are just some of the questions that Peter Andersson asks in his exploration of social behaviour in Victorian London streets.  Last week’s Metropolitan History seminar explored trivial behaviours on the streets through stories found in the proceedings of the Old Bailey, four Constable Notebooks and a variety of other sources.  The theories of the sociologist Erving Goffman form the basis for Andersson’s research and help him to explore how the city is shaped and how the city shapes the urban experience for the ordinary person.  The seminar podcast is followed by a lively debate largely related to how police records can be used to explore the self presentation of ordinary people.

Reality and its representation (both real and fictional) also form the basis for Scott Laderman’s paper presented to the Sports and Leisure History seminar.  The constant search amongst surfers for that perfect wave brought them to Bali, Indonesia in the 1970s, just seven years after the anti-PKA massacres.  Laderman tells a story of continued violence and bloodshed concealed under a fictional fabrication of a tropical fantasy world which was promoted by and for surfers.  The Suharto government had recognized the potential for advertising Bali as a centre for tourism, and surfers were the first to accept the invitation.  Laderman tells how surfers, largely from Australia and America, came to Bali seeking discovery and freedom, only for it to be later spoilt once tourism fully took hold.  The contrast between reality and fiction forms the backbone of Laderman’s account, as he shows how the Indonesian Suharto government encouraged the creation of a myth which bore little relation to what was actually happening in the country at the time. 

Meanwhile, Carlos Alfaro Zaforteza provided the Military History seminar with three case studies to demonstrate the internal uses of the navy in the mid-nineteenth century.  Zaforteza argues that one of the core capabilities and responsibilities of the navy was to deal with internal political strife.  This shaped the structure of the navy and in particular, its development of stream powered ships.  Zaforteza uses as case studies Turkey (its trouble spots being Crete and Montenegro/Bosnia-Herzegovina); Italy (its trouble spots being Sicily and the south); and Spain (its trouble spots linked to challenges from conservative and revolutionary radicals particularly along the Mediterranean coast).  As per the previous Military History seminar we have included the post-paper discussion, which nicely debates the role of the navy as part of the nineteenth century state. 

Finally, the Voluntary Action History seminar played host to Eve Colpus from the University of Oxford.  Colpus’ paper explored the transnational dimensions of British women’s philanthropy mainly through four short biographical case-studies: Muriel Paget, Lettice Fisher, Evangeline Booth, and Emily Kinnaird.  Each of these women was active in different philanthropic ‘milieux’, and therefore came from varied backgrounds and social status.  They each brought with them varying agendas and interests.   Colpus focuses on the idea that inter-war female philanthropists were part of a global community of reformist social activists working towards goals of social improvement across the world.  YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) receives particular mention as one of the oldest female philanthropic organizations, which still operates today. 


We hope you find these podcasts interesting and enjoyable!  Look for more updates in two weeks time.


Sports and Leisure History Seminar
Dr Scott Laderman (University of Minnesota)
Surfing’s Final Frontier: Discovering Paradise in Suharto’s Indonesia
Voluntary Action History Seminar
Eve Colpus (University of Oxford)
The geography of the matter: transnationalism and interwar British women’s philanthropy
Military History Seminar
Carlos Alfaro Zaforteza (KCL)
Navies, Internal Order and State-building in the Nineteenth Century
Metropolitan History
Peter Andersson (Lund/CMH)
The Constable and the Crowd. Policing Public Behaviour in Late-Victorian London

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 27 September – 15 October 2010

On 27 September Clare Mulley presented a paper to the Voluntary Action History Seminar on the philanthropist and founder of Save the Children, Eglantyne Jebb .  Based upon her recent award-winning biography: The woman who save the children: a biography of Eglantyne Jebb founder of save the children (Oxford, 2009), Mulley delves into Jebb’s life, work and motivations and asks why someone that did not particularly like children in her own life ended up as one of the most important fundraisers and supporters of children’s rights. 

We began the second week of October by welcoming to the podcasting fold for the first time, the Sport and Leisure History Seminar.  On 11 October, Professor Tony Collins from Leeds Metropolitan University gave a fascinating talk on ‘Representing the Nation? Welsh Rugby, Its Players and the Imaginary’.  Professor Collins has examined the background of Welsh International Rugby Union players and asks if an international team represents in anyway the nation in terms of class structure and occupation.   

Our second paper of the week marks our first attempt at recording the after-paper discussion.  We hope that you will find this addition interesting and would welcome any feedback.  Dr Matthew Hughes from Brunel University talks about Britain’s military suppression of the Arab Revolt in Palestine between 1936 and 1939.  In part Dr Hughes presents a controversial paper to the Military History Seminar, as he defends British actions in contrast to other colonial and post-colonial armies of the time.  Dr Hughes is quick to point out that he is no apologist for the British military or their actions, which at times could be morally repulsive, but is attempting to paint an accurate image which is embedded in the context and attitudes of the 1930s.  The post-paper discussion explains and debates this stance and in this sense is crucial to understanding Dr Hughes’ argument. 

Our third and final seminar paper of the week, presented on 13 October, is again a welcome new addition to podcasting and in this case represents our only non-modern podcast this week.  Tim Reinke-Williams from the University of Northampton presented to the Metropolitan History Seminar group, a paper entitled ‘Gender and sociability in early modern London’.  This paper examines women of the middling sort and labouring poor in relation to London neighbourhood communities of the sixteenth and seventeenth century.  Reinke-Williams scrutinises this topic through neighbourliness, company and civility.

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