Monster Carnival 2022: Why Early Modern History Matters Now
We started this blog in 2012, and in all sorts of ways the world is a very different place now than it was then. Back then, the global financial crash and the UK coalition government’s policy of austerity loomed large. Today, the ongoing impact of the covid pandemic, Brexit, the Trump presidency, the climate emergency, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the crisis in UK politics set an even more apocalyptic backdrop. The MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements have brought more positive change, but in countless less obvious ways the nature and tone of public discourse often feels more polarised and poisonous than ever. Closer to home, the university sector in the UK has been transforming too, thanks simultaneously to the tripling of tuition fees and cutting of budgets, a central government increasingly hostile to the arts and humanities, the rise of decolonising initiatives, and a series of bitter labour disputes.
Our first Monster Carnival is a response to these critical challenges. Over the next two months we will publish a series of guest authored posts, each articulating the vital necessity of studying, explaining and understanding events or phenomena from our deeper past.
The Carnival opened on Monday 7 November, and we are publishing two posts a week (on Mondays and Thursdays) up to the middle of December. We hope that our readers will follow along and join the conversation – bookmark this page as we will be updating it with authors, titles and links to new posts as they are published. Participate by adding comments to individual blog posts or use the twitter hashtag #MonsterCarnival.
- Clare Griffin, The Depressing Relevance of Early Modern Russian History.
- Misha Ewen, Colonialism From Below.
- Jordan Graham, The Suspicious Smell of Witchcraft.
- Lisa Olsen, Plague, Religion, and Medicine in Seventeenth-Century England.
- Christophe Schellekens, How Dead are My Early Modern merchants?
- Alasdair McNeill, Changing Minds on Early Modern Disability.
- Onni Gust, Black Mermaids and the Long Legacy of Eighteenth-Century Racism.
- Urvashi Chakravarty, Race and Slavery in Early Modern England: the ‘Inadvertent’ Apprenticeship of Robert Johnson.
- Kirsteen M. McKenzie, Understanding the Anglo-Scottish Political Union within the United Kingdom.
What is a Monster Carnival?
An open-access online event on the many-headed monster blog that offers a platform for scholars of history, especially but not exclusively newer researchers, and those who study the late fifteenth to eighteenth centuries. Based on our successful online symposium model (see here, here, here) the Carnivals provide a forum for blog posts and events that address critically important themes in current scholarship.