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Exposing the ‘Naked Man’: A 16th-century motif of cultural nudity

by Katy Bond

“Everyone’s way is made known through clothing” said Hans Weigel, author of a 1577 costume book of Nuremberg which illustrated the dress of a variety of nations.[i] In Renaissance Europe, it was expected that one’s countrymen would be identifiable through distinctive modes of dressing.

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Medieval Mappaemundi (World Maps)

by Julia Bourke

Medieval world maps, or mappaemundi, are something worth sharing even today because of what they tell us about how medieval people viewed their world. While we have our own, modern techniques of map making, the mappaemundi provide us with a different vision of the world and its geography.
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Plunging into industrial archives

by Marta Musso

When I think of classicists spending hours trying to analyse what is left of a civilisation from a few words on a stone that survived centuries of rain, I pat myself on the back for deciding to specialise in contemporary history. It actually feels like cheating: not only are sources everywhere and the consequences of what happened forty years ago still weigh heavily today (however, being able to discern them is another story).  Sometimes you can even talk to the people who made the events you are studying. Not much to dig up then, right?

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Professor Sir Richard J. Evans on History and the Public

by Janine Noack and Tiia Sahrakorpi

On January 28th, 2014 Sir Richard J. Evans gave a Q&A session to Cambridge University MPhil and Ph.D students on what it has been like to work and research as a prominent historian in the digital age and earlier. Students sent in various questions about his career and how history has changed since he was a student.

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History and United States prison policy: An interview with Dr Heather Ann Thompson (Part II)

by Jess Hope

Last week we published the first of a two-part interview with Dr Heather Ann Thompson, whose research on the history of mass incarceration has frequently contributed to debates about prison policy in the United States. Addressing post-war urban crisis, the decline of the labour movement and the rightward shift in political power over the last few decades, her work illustrates the damaging impact of a punitive prison policy on a purportedly democratic political system. Its appearance in publications such as The Atlantic also demonstrates how popular media can give voice to historical research in a way that broadens its purposes beyond the academic.

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British Library Doctoral Open Day

by Emily Ward

The British Library is one of those resources which can be so initially overwhelming that you don’t know the first place to start in order to make the best use of it. With over 56 million items, even navigating through the 17 different online catalogues seemed a daunting prospect to me. It was for this reason that I decided to attend one of the Doctoral Open Days run by the library, which are specifically aimed at postgraduates in the first year of PhD study.

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Margaret F. Rosenthal and Ann Rosalind Jones, The Clothing of the Renaissance World (2008)

by Katy Bond 

When Cesare Vecellio published his celebrated book of world dress in 1590, the Earth’s horizons must have seemed to the Venetian artist, to be ever-expanding. First published under the title, ‘Degli habiti antichi et oderni di diverse parti del mondo’ (‘Of the clothing, ancient and modern, of diverse parts of the world’), his work claimed to offer its readers an encyclopaedic reference for the appearances and cultural habits of people the world over. Having been republished as a facsimile edition – with English translations – by Thames & Hudson in 2008, Vecellio’s invaluable research is now easily accessible to the historian interested in early modern clothing.

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History and United States prison policy: an interview with Dr Heather Ann Thompson (Part I)

By Jess Hope

As a glance at the profiles of this blog team will show, ‘doing history in public’ reflects a goal of making our practices as historians more transparent, collaborative and accessible. Many historians I’ve spoken with also hope to demonstrate that their research matters to the public, and that it has important political, economic or social implications for the way the world works today. Still others—and I would count myself in this category—feel that there has occasionally been a breakdown in communication between historians and those whose work might be informed by historical knowledge, including journalists, activists and policy-makers.

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Calling all Cambridge Graduate Historians: Put yourself on the Map!

The University of Cambridge History Faculty is recognised as one of the world’s leading history departments and it is the largest amongst the humanities and social science faculties at Cambridge.

It is time to visualise the sheer diversity of the research being undertaken by History graduates. The map pins each student to their area of research and briefly outlines their thesis topic. Click here to discover who is reaching what and where.

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Reflections on Creating a Map

by Hira Amin

To showcase the sheer diversity in research being undertaken at the University of Cambridge by history MPhil and PhD students, I decided to create a map pinning each student to their research area. This brief article will outline the thought process and actions behind the final product.

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