Experiencing museums in times of crisis

Now that the lockdown is easing in many parts of Germany I thought it would be a good idea to visit a few museums. It was definitely nice to be out and about again  despite the ongoing pandemic, but following social distancing rules in smaller local museums was clearly not easy. My first trip took… Continue reading Experiencing museums in times of crisis

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A small workshop shows why I like the EU and Brexit is a bad idea

I have just returned from our annual workshop on Translating Cultures at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel (HAB, Germany) which is always a great opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues while discussing the significance of translation for the dissemination of ideas in early modern Europe. The spread of papers was amazing –… Continue reading A small workshop shows why I like the EU and Brexit is a bad idea

Translating Cultures in Early Modern Europe – What’s Next?

Sometimes a workshop is only a workshop, and sometimes it is the beginning of a whole new project. With the recent Translating Cultures event held at the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel, Germany on 26 and 27 June, my co-convernor Thomas Munck and I soon had the feeling it could be the latter. We got… Continue reading Translating Cultures in Early Modern Europe – What’s Next?

Continental Breakfast

Nothing illustrates the British disdain for Europe like the concept of Continental Breakfast. I have been staying at a mid-ranking London hotel for the past week – just about expensive enough to avoid the bed bugs, but not expensive enough to get your shoes polished – where guests are divided into two classes, depending on… Continue reading Continental Breakfast

Democracy and Anti-Democracy in Early Modern England 1603-1689

A historiographical consensus asserts that in the early modern period democracy was reputed to be the worst form of government. However, this scholarly trend leaves a few major questions unanswered: why was this so? How was criticism of popular government articulated? In what ways did different authors and genres depict the people and their power?… Continue reading Democracy and Anti-Democracy in Early Modern England 1603-1689

Workshop: Early Modern Intellectual Biographies, Newcastle, 4 July

The genre of the intellectual biography has recently come back into vogue. It has been reinvigorated by two recent developments. First, the construction of large digitised data sets that allow published pamphlets, newspapers and government documents to be searched by name, date, and theme, making it possible to uncover new information even about the lives… Continue reading Workshop: Early Modern Intellectual Biographies, Newcastle, 4 July

The Turkeys have Voted for Christmas

After a large majority of British MPs voted in favour of triggering Article 50 last night, the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that “history has been made”. And it’s tragic history indeed. The turkeys voted for Christmas once again – allegedly to uphold the will of the people who voted in a referendum on 23 June… Continue reading The Turkeys have Voted for Christmas

You can’t buy an education

As university lecturers in the UK remain locked in a dispute with their employers over pay and working conditions in Higher Education, a survey published by private student loan company Future Finance this week revealed that less than half of students think their degree will help them get a graduate job to pay off their… Continue reading You can’t buy an education

Improving the Nation

In his new book, The Invention of Improvement, Paul Slack sets out to do two things: first, to trace the ‘notion of improvement’ in seventeenth-century ‘public discourse’ (vii) in England; and secondly to show how ‘the quest for improvement distinguished England from other countries.’ (1) Slack has not set himself an easy task as he… Continue reading Improving the Nation