Paper Trails: History and Archives in Practice

We were invited to contribute a virtual paper to the ‘History and Archives in Practice’ conference, organized by the Royal Historical Society, the Institute of Historical Research, and the National Archives. We submitted the following video, outlining what’s involved in our Open Access UCL Press publication Paper Trails: The Social Life of Archives and Collections. The next update is currently in production and we’re looking … Continue reading Paper Trails: History and Archives in Practice

F24 Debate: Pension Reform Plan

I appeared on the France24 show ‘The Debate’ to discuss the planned introduction of pension reforms in France. The clip is available below, outlining the different approaches to passing the bill, its historical precedents, and the likely public and syndical reactions to the plans. From the channel’s description: “French pension reform plan: Macron between a rock and a hard place? • FRANCE 24 English The … Continue reading F24 Debate: Pension Reform Plan

Re-encountering the ‘Ballets Africains’ in the Museum of Man

Years ago, when doing research for my postgraduate dissertation at ANOM in Aix-en-Provence, I found an odd police report amongst documents relating to the 1956 Loi Cadre. In it, French security services recounted a surveillance report of a music and poetry performance by Keïta Fodéba in Paris in 1949. That discordant image of spies in the backseat of a recital was enough to have me … Continue reading Re-encountering the ‘Ballets Africains’ in the Museum of Man

Perspective: French Presidential Election 2022 on France24

I’ve been doing a regular slot for France24 in their flagship ‘Perspectives’ slot, looking at the latest in the 2022 French Presidential election as it develops. It’s been a helpful way to gather thoughts, track the progress of the campaign and to contribute in some small way to wider discussions about the political choices on offer. On 7th March, I spoke in a segment they … Continue reading Perspective: French Presidential Election 2022 on France24

Sovereign fairy tales: the President’s new clothes?

On the 12th February, two boys Augustin and Anatole had a sign confiscated on the way into the France vs Ireland Six Nations rugby match. Their father, a journalist, took to Twitter to express his disbelief, before the French Rugby Federation came good, reassuring them that the team’s captain had received the message of support. This was not a political message, they confirmed, and Antoine … Continue reading Sovereign fairy tales: the President’s new clothes?

Launching Paper Trails: Second-hand book to living book (with sandwiches in between)

This story started with a second-hand book I had ordered from a bookseller in Toulouse. Exploring its uncut pages and recontextualising its material history led me to reflect on the idea of research stories and sparked creative ideas about our affective relationship with archives and collections. Later, in the classroom, the story continued as students reacted creatively to items from Special Collections, challenging my own … Continue reading Launching Paper Trails: Second-hand book to living book (with sandwiches in between)

Adjustments: Learning and Teaching in Lockdown

I recently wrote up a blog post about my experiences adapting to the pandemic, with some reflections on my own pedagogy, as well as experiences of being a student (on my degree apprenticeship) at the same time. You can find that piece over on the French History Network blog by following this link. I’ll be taking part in a roundtable on Online Pedagogy at my … Continue reading Adjustments: Learning and Teaching in Lockdown

Postcards of the Past: Gilets Jaunes on Trial

The opening of the trial against people accused of damaging the Arc de Triomphe during Gilets Jaunes protests represents an emotive and symbolic process, as noted in recent press coverage of the event. But does the COVID context rewrite the echoes of the past which pervaded the protests? At the time, in December 2018, national and international news focussed intently on the destruction of national … Continue reading Postcards of the Past: Gilets Jaunes on Trial