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The seminar in Modern British History brings together historians from New York area institutions, together with literary scholars, political scientists, philosophers and others working historically, to hear research papers by visiting scholars, to discuss recent books in the field of modern British history (from the late seventeenth century to the present), or to comment on work in progress by members of the group.

James Stafford

Ren Pepitone

Kate Reeve

Meeting Schedule

11/08/2023 411 Fayweather Hall, Columbia University
6:00 PM
Decolonization and the 'Break up of Britain
Ben Jackson, Oxford University

Stuart Ward, University of Copenhagen

Discussant: James Stafford, Columbia University

Discussant: Susan Pedersen, Columbia University

12/06/2023 411 Fayweather Hall, Columbia University
6:00 PM
Fluid Economies, Fluid Identities: Gender, Water and Work in Britain, 1750 – 1918
Dale Booth, Bryn Mawr


The excerpted chapter, "Speciated Crossings: Fishwives and the Limits of Sex and Species," brings together a social and economic history of women in the fishing industry, with an inquiry into scientific and popular discourses and understandings of sex, gender, and species. Women fish sellers are largely absent from histories of gendered labor and capitalism, yet they literally carried one of Britain’s most historically significant economies on their backs. They were at once a reminder of
Britain’s long standing dependence on the economies of the sea and an indicator of the startling potential of an economy significantly controlled by women, particularly along the eastern coastline of Scotland and England. In a period obsessed with the confines of categorization, fishwives themselves, and contemporary representations of them, dangerously transgressed and crossed borders.

Respondent: Deborah Valenze, Barnard College

02/15/2024 King Juan Carlos Centre 324, NYU
6:00 PM
Imperfect Technologies of Moralization: Railway Paternalism in Mid-Nineteenth Century Britain
Mattie Armstrong-Price, Fordham University

Respondent: Ren Pepitone, New York University

03/21/2024 411 Fayweather Hall, Columbia University
6:00 PM
Thatcher's Carers: British Caregivers, Community Welfare and the European Court of Justice in the 1980s
Roslyn Dubler, Columbia University

Respondent: Lise Butler, City University of London

04/11/2024 411 Fayweather Hall
6:00 PM
The Mix-up around “Unmixing”: Population Exchange, the British Empire and the Treaty of Lausanne
Michelle Tusan, University of Nevada

Respondent: Mark Mazower, Columbia University