British Studies

British Studies


Interviews with scholars of the United Kingdom about their new books.

Coreen McGuire, "Measuring Difference, Numbering Normal: Setting the Standards for Disability in the Interwar Period" (Manchester UP, 2020)

April 20, 2024

Measuring Difference, Numbering Normal

Coreen McGuire
Hosted by Shu Wan

Measurements, and their manipulation, have been underestimated as crucial historical forces motivating and guiding the way we think about disability. …

D. J. Taylor, "Who Is Big Brother?: A Reader's Guide to George Orwell" (Yale UP, 2024)

April 17, 2024

Who Is Big Brother?

D. J. Taylor
Hosted by Charles Coutinho

An intellectual who hated intellectuals, a socialist who didn't trust the state--our foremost political essayist and author of Animal Farm and Ninetee…

Liz Tregenza, "Wholesale Couture: London and Beyond, 1930-70" (Bloombury, 2023)

April 17, 2024

Wholesale Couture

Liz Tregenza
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

Wholesale Couture: London and Beyond, 1930-70 (Bloomsbury, 2023) by Dr. Liz Tregenza seeks to revise the notion that wholesale couturiers were simply …

Annaliese Jacobs Claydon, "Arctic Circles and Imperial Knowledge: The Franklin Family, Indigenous Intermediaries, and the Politics of Truth" (Bloomsbury, 2024)

April 15, 2024

Arctic Circles and Imperial Knowledge

Annaliese Jacobs Claydon
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

In 1845 an expedition led by Sir John Franklin vanished in the Canadian Arctic. The enduring obsession with the Franklin mystery, and in particular In…

Miriam Piilonen, "Theorizing Music Evolution: Darwin, Spencer, and the Limits of the Human" (Oxford UP, 2024)

April 15, 2024

Theorizing Music Evolution

Miriam Piilonen
Hosted by Nathan Smith

What did historical evolutionists such as Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer have to say about music? What role did music play in their evolutionary t…

Kevin Lambert, "Symbols and Things: Material Mathematics in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries" (U Pittsburgh Press, 2021)

April 15, 2024

Symbols and Things

Kevin Lambert
Hosted by Cory Brunson

The stereotype of the solitary mathematician is widespread, but practicing users and producers of mathematics know well that our work depends heavily …

Aidan Beatty and Dan O'Brien, "Irish Questions and Jewish Questions: Crossovers in Culture" (Syracuse UP, 2018)

April 12, 2024

Irish Questions and Jewish Questions

Aidan Beatty and Dan O'Brien
Hosted by Ari Barbalat

The Irish and the Jews are two of the classic outliers of modern Europe. Both struggled with their lack of formal political sovereignty in the ninetee…

Hume, the Epicureans, and the Origins of Liberalism: A Conversation with Aaron Zubia

April 10, 2024

Hume, the Epicureans, and the Origins of Liberalism

Aaron Alexander Zubia
Hosted by Annika Nordquist

Enlightenment philosopher David Hume enjoyed a tremendous influence on intellectual history. What did Hume believe, why was it so controversial at the…

Christopher Michael Blakley, "Empire of Brutality: Enslaved People and Animals in the British Atlantic World" (Louisiana State UP, 2023)

April 8, 2024

Empire of Brutality

Christopher Michael Blakley
Hosted by Susan Liebell

Historians of early America, slavery, early African American history, the history of science, and environmental history have interrogated the complex …

Adele Oliver, "Deeping It: Colonialism, Culture & Criminalisation of UK Drill" (404 Ink, 2023)

April 7, 2024

Deeping It

Adele Oliver
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

Deeping It: Colonialism, Culture & Criminalisation of UK Drill (404 Ink, 2023) by Adèle Oliver shines a critical light on UK drill and its fraught rel…

Rabiat Akande, "Entangled Domains: Empire, Law and Religion in Northern Nigeria" (Cambridge UP, 2023)

April 6, 2024

Entangled Domains

Rabiat Akande
Hosted by Sara Katz

Set in Colonial Northern Nigeria, this book confronts a paradox: the state insisted on its separation from religion even as it governed its multirelig…

Leah Broad, "Quartet: How Four Women Changed the Musical World" (Faber & Faber, 2023)

April 5, 2024


Leah Broad
Hosted by Joseph Edwards

This is a story of four composers whose careers, lives and loves as women working in 20th century Britain have since been largely forgotten. Dr Leah …

Stefanos Geroulanos, "The Invention of Prehistory: Empire, Violence, and Our Obsession with Human Origins" (Liveright, 2024)

April 3, 2024

The Invention of Prehistory

Stefanos Geroulanos
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

Books about the origins of humanity dominate bestseller lists, while national newspapers present breathless accounts of new archaeological findings an…

Katie Barclay, "Caritas: Neighbourly Love and the Early Modern Self" (Oxford UP, 2021)

April 1, 2024


Katie Barclay
Hosted by Shu Wan

Caritas, a form of grace that turned our love for our neighbour into a spiritual practice, was expected of all early modern Christians, and correspond…

Ben Highmore, "Lifestyle Revolution: How Taste Changed Class in Late 20th-Century Britain" (Manchester UP, 2023)

March 31, 2024

Lifestyle Revolution

Ben Highmore

In postwar Britain, journalists and politicians predicted that the class system would not survive a consumer culture where everyone had TVs and washin…

Thomas Lockley, "A Gentleman from Japan: The Untold Story of an Incredible Journey from Asia to Queen Elizabeth’s Court" (Hanover Square Press, 2024)

March 30, 2024

A Gentleman from Japan

Thomas Lockley
Hosted by Jingyi Li

On November 12, 1588, five young Asian men—led by a twenty-one-year-old called Christopher—traveled up the River Thames to meet Queen Elizabeth I. Chr…

Jamie Goodall, "Daring Exploits of Pirate Black Sam Bellamy: From Cape Cod to the Caribbean" (History Press, 2023)

March 29, 2024

Daring Exploits of Pirate Black Sam Bellamy

Jamie Goodall
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

In 1717, the Council of Trade and Plantations received "agreeable news" from New England. "Bellamy with his ship and Company" had perished on the shoa…

David Veevers, "The Great Defiance: How the World Took on the British Empire" (Ebury Press, 2023)

March 28, 2024

The Great Defiance

David Veevers
Hosted by Nicholas Gordon

It’s very easy to study the history of the British Empire from the perspective of, well, the British–and to extend the early 20th century version of t…

An Oral History Archive of World War One: A Discussion with Peter Liddle

March 25, 2024

An Oral History Archive of World War One

Peter Liddle

Peter Liddle OBE FRHistS (born 1934) is a British historian and author specialising in the study of the First and Second World Wars. In 1968 Liddle s…

Anelise Hanson Shrout, "Aiding Ireland: The Great Famine and the Rise of Transnational Philanthropy" (NYU Press, 2024)

March 22, 2024

Aiding Ireland

Anelise Hanson Shrout
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

Famine brought ruin to the Irish countryside in the nineteenth century. In response, people around the world and from myriad social, ethnic, and relig…