History@Portsmouth

University of Portsmouth's History Blog

Fantine from Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, by Margaret Bernadine Hall (1863-1910)

The morality of state intervention in sexually-transmitted disease

Is it appropriate for governments to restrict personal liberty in an effort to control disease? This issue has come very much to the fore in the wake of the current worldwide Coronavirus epidemic.  In this post, Darcy Mckinlay, a second year history student, writes about nineteenth-century arguments against forcible methods of controlling venereal diseases. During […]

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Not so merry England: a Swiss visitor comments on Elizabethan criminal justice

English people tend to think highly of our long-established legal system.  But as second-year student Liam Fisher explains, visitors from Europe didn’t always see things the same way.  Liam’s blog is based on work he did for the second-year module: Underworlds: Crime Deviance and Punishment: 1500-1900, taught by Fiona McCall and Brad Beaven. The English […]

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UoP History research seminar: the attack on female deviance under Godly rule, 1645-1660

    On 10th March 2021 the paper in our UoP History Research seminar series was by UoP history lecturer Dr Fiona McCall, who gave a paper on female deviance during the English interregnum, including fighting in church, sexual harassment, drinking, swearing and cursing, adultery and witchcraft.  This paper has been recorded for those unable […]

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Martin Guerre: a student podcast on Natalie Davis’s famous microhistory

Seminar tutor Dr Katy Gibbons explains: Mandy and Beth’s podcast came out of the level 5 core module, Dealing with Debates. One strand of this module explores Natalie Davis’ book, The Return of Martin Guerre, and the questions and possibilities it raises for historical scholarship. We had some fantastic discussions online, including: how historians analyse […]

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International Women’s Day 2021: Katherine Johnson: Mathematician at NASA

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we are delighted that UoP history graduate Ian Atkins has written this profile of pioneering NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson. For International Women’s Day I have chosen to write about Katherine Johnson, NASA mathematician, most famous for her work in calculation of the trajectory for manned space orbits, and subsequent lunar […]

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The hidden heritage of a naval town: women’s community activism in Portsmouth since 1960

As a naval town, Portsmouth’s history has tended to have a masculine focus.  But many Portsmouth women have actively campaigned for women’s rights and set up practical initiatives in the Portsmouth area to improve the lives of women. A Heritage Lottery Fund grant enabled the setting up of a project to interview these women and […]

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Sailors Ashore: The Exploration of Class, Culture and Ethnicity in Victorian London by Brad Beaven

Brad Beaven has a new blog published on the Social History Society’s blog, looking at the history of ‘sailortowns’, seaport’s urban quarters where sailors would stay, eat, drink and be entertained.  These were  transient and liminal spaces and a unique site of cultural contact and exchange. Despite the rich array of research areas in class, […]

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