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Term 1 2012/2013

THE HISTORIAN A publication of the University of Exeter History Society

The Historian Vol. 2 No.1

THE HISTORIAN Vol. 2 No. 1 The Historian welcomes new contributors for its next issue, due in December.

Editor & Creator: Arthur der Weduwen

Contributors: Robert Benham Rose Bray Will Carter Jess Cath Liz Claridge Rosemary George Jessica Gibbs Kelly Gregory Declan Henesy Madeleine Holder Charley Mason Paul Middleton Lydia Murtezaoglu Jessica Rayner Charlie Rush Stuairt Tosh Arthur der Weduwen

If interested, please contact ad383@exeter.


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Contents Editor’s Note Presidents’ Welcome History Society Committee Profiles Introduction for First Year Students First Term History Events and Visits 30 Years On: A Discussion of the Falklands Doing History Module Advice The History of the University of Exeter Alison Weir and the Historical Novel Jana Funke’s History of Sexuality Module Post-Conflict: Bosnia & Herzegovina Welcome to Medical History The Supernatural Module Review Joseph Banks: Historical Hottie

Rougemont Castle, Exeter


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Editor’s Note Welcome, reader, to another issue of The Historian. This is the second year of publication, and this is an exciting year, as this is the first time that The Historian is in print. Thanks to the sponsorship of the Exeter Alumni Fund, the History Society will be able to print a further two issues later in the year – watch out for those around December and March! This publication continues the movement that was started last academic year: the stimulation of access to history through various articles, interviews, reviews and short pieces, all designed to make history at Exeter a more enjoyable and fruitful experience for everyone. In this issue you will find a brief introduction to this year’s history society, an interview with Jana Funke and discussions of topics ranging from the Falklands and Medical History to Bosnia-Herzegovina and the historical novel. In addition, take a look at the high-profile history visits coming to Exeter during this first semester of the academic year. Edward Gibbon, celebrated 18th century historian of Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, can be found on the cover of this issue. I thought it fitting to open with a historian who stands not only as symbol of modern methodology of engaging with history, but also as a man who had a strong viewpoint and has been criticised for many of his arguments. No historian is ever truly right or wrong – one merely tries to present a new truth, a new reality of the past. The Historian will seek to reflect exactly this in its issues. I thank you for your interest, and I hope that you will enjoy this, and further, publications of the History Society. My gratitude goes out to all contributors and society officers who helped create this issue. I look forward to meeting new members and contributors soon. History student or not, anyone is welcome. History remains for everyone. 4


Arthur der Weduwen

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Presidents’ Welcome Welcome to History Society 2012/2013! We are your presidents – Charley Mason ( and Charlie Rush ( We have an excellent committee this year as well as some big ideas to build on the success of previous years’ societies. Our aim is to create a more active membership by pushing both academic and social fronts. With the new role of Academic Officer, Exeter History Society will be able to welcome regular and prestigious international speakers and historians to our university. Building on the launch of last years’ journal, The Historian is set to get bigger and better, showcasing the best of your work and that of staff, as well as offering advice and other history news. Get in contact with Arthur ( to find out more and be a part of the next issue! We both passionately believe in providing a network for our members in the form of module guides, helping you choose your modules for the following year based on previous students’ experiences as well as revision tips during exam time. Most importantly we are a permanent source of contact for any queries that you may have or if you need any advice, so know that you are always more than welcome to get in touch! Exeter History Society will enable you to build friendships that you otherwise might not have made during your time at Exeter. We met each other on the Society trip to Paris last year, and a year on we are still friends and wanting to use our experiences to enhance yours! Charley is a third year whilst Charlie is in second year, which we hope will allow us to be more approachable, as well as offering different angles on the experiences of students interested in history. We are passionate about studying History and making great friends whilst at university, and hope that with the help of you and our committee, we can enhance your time at the University of Exeter. 5

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Society Committee Profiles Vice President: Lydia Murtezaoglu My role is to assist in the development of the society, to improve the experience gained by its members and working particularly on fresher involvement within the society. I want to use my enthusiasm to increase participation in events and improve the level of interaction between first, second and third year students and to provide advice and assistance when choosing modules etc. I am interested in British, Early Modern history, particularly the Georgian period due to the interesting social and political changes.

Academic Officer: Madeleine Holder My role is to come up with and organise visits to the university from historians, writers and various other people of interest. In term one these events are focusing on the Holocaust and include a visit from a Holocaust survivor and the head of research from the Imperial War Museum’s Holocaust exhibition. I am personally particularly interested in early modern English history, specifically medicine and religion. As Academic Officer I would love to make sure the events organised actually coincide with courses available at Exeter and so help students further their learning in their degrees. Areas of the Holocaust are being taught in first, second and third year courses and so we thought this would be an ideal topic for first term! 6

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Social Secretaries: Jess Rayner and Liz Claridge Hi, we are Jess and Liz; your Social Secretaries this year, so we’ll be making sure you guys are getting as much fun out of the society as possible. We’re both second year combined honours students so hopefully you’ll be seeing lots of society collaboration socials. We’re looking forward to some great socials this term, from bowling to balls, fancy dress pub crawls to firehouse pizzathons. However, this is YOUR society so we’d love to hear any ideas you have! Feel free to drop us a line anytime, we don’t bite! Otherwise we’ll see you soon! and

Treasurer: Declan Henesy

My name is Declan and I am treasurer. I ran for treasurer because I’m very interested in money and plan to be the first billionaire historian…still not quite there yet. It’s my job to make sure the society has money so we can have great socials, balls and trips. The committee members this year are good fun and an enthusiastic group, and I look forward to being a part of it. My particular period of interest is early modern history, especially cultural beliefs and the supernatural. If you ever see me at a social, feel free to come and say hi and buy me a drink; I will gladly accept because that’s the kind of guy I am. I don’t take myself too seriously but I will try my best be a great treasurer.


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Football Officer: Stuairt Tosh I’m in third year and am in charge of organising the guys’ football teams. I have played in a six–a–side team on a Wednesday afternoon for my first two years at Exeter and have really enjoyed it. The History Society usually runs about six teams on Wednesday afternoons so there is a place for everyone, regardless of ability. On top of this I am looking to start up an eleven–a–side team to play on Sundays. If you would like to get involved in any of these teams or have any questions about taster sessions please do not hesitate to get in touch with me at

Netball Officers: Jess Gibbs and Kelly Gregory We are the History Netball Sport Secretaries for 2012-13. We have played on the history netball team for two years and we’re really excited about taking on this role. The history netball team is part of the University’s intramural league and play every Sunday evening. It’s a great way to be part of a sports team without committing too much of your time and is a fantastic way to meet new people from history. The team is open to boys and girls and abilities range from complete beginner to veteran players! We are both currently in our third and final year doing straight history. Jess enjoys modern American history and history of science whereas Kelly enjoys studying early modern societies. If you have any questions about history netball contact Jess on and Kelly on 8

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Introduction for First Year Students Former student Will Carter has something to say about the joys and benefits of studying history at Exeter Hello, and welcome to the University of Exeter, the Department of History and its History Society. You don’t know it yet, but, in my opinion, you’ve made the best decision you possibly could have done... History at Exeter is one of the best subjects you could have chosen to study. You’ll get to meet some leaders in their field of research, and work alongside some peers who you just know are destined to be the best in the future. I’m assuming your passion for History exists in some form, so I won’t spend too long on that; what I will say is one thing: enjoy it. Before you know what’s happened, you’ll be handing in that Dissertation and bricking it for finals. Another reason why History is a fantastic subject to have chosen (well done again!) is the time it allows you to do other things alongside your degree. During my three years at Exeter, I have organised a charity ball for 4,000 people raising £41,000; worked in five local schools on a voluntary basis; volunteered as a counselor for ChildLine; written articles for Exeposé (the student newspaper); been interviewed for XTV (student TV) and Xpression FM (student radio); had two part-time jobs (at the Students’ Guild and Exeter Chiefs Rugby Club); visited Paris and Dublin; played football with the History Society; attended at least fifteen balls; had hundreds of nights out; 9

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written over 75,000 words of assessed work and read nowhere near enough books. Most importantly, I’ve met some people and experienced so many things that will stay with me for a lifetime. You are about to embark on a journey and you have no idea where it will take you. Those who say they’re not nervous are lying – everyone is! All I can say is enjoy every minute, take chances and try new things. I don’t regret much about my time here but I would have liked to play a sport – not sure where it would have fitted, but would have enjoyed it! The Students’ Guild (your Union) oversees so much of what happens to enrich your time here (including the History Society who is bringing you this article), so see what they can offer you. Good luck and enjoy!

The History Society would like to express its deepest gratitude to the Alumni Society of the University of Exeter and its Annual Fund that have helped to create this journal. Find out more about the Alumni Society at


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First Semester History Events Exciting visits will stimulate history at Exeter As part of the promotion of access to and comprehension of history, the History Society has planned two visits by notable speakers, in collaboration with the Holocaust Educational Trust and the Imperial War Museum. Further still, we are very excited to announce a visit by the historian Alison Weir. On the 17th of October, Professor Ladislaus Löb will give a testimony of his experiences of the Holocaust as a survivor, and hold a question and answer session afterwards. Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust noted that “The Holocaust Educational Trust educates and engages students from across the UK, from all communities about the Holocaust and there can be no better way than through the first-hand testimony of a survivor. Ladislaus’ story is one of tremendous courage during horrific circumstances and by hearing his testimony, students will have the opportunity to learn where prejudice and racism can ultimately lead. “At the Trust, we impart the history of the Holocaust to young people, to ensure that we honour the memory of those whose lives were lost and take forward the lessons taught by those who survived.”


Professor Löb aged eleven, in 1944

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Almost a month later, on the 14 of November, the University will be visited by Suzanne Bardgett, the head of research of the Imperial War Museum’s Holocaust exhibition. She will give a talk on the exhibition, also followed by questions and answers. There are modules in first, second, and third year that involve the history of the Holocaust at Exeter, which allows students to students to benefit even more from this unique experience. We truly urge all students and staff, history-focused or not, to attend these visits and book a place, as they promise to be memorable and highly inspirational for everyone. Furthermore, celebrated historian Alison Weir, specialised in the history of the Plantagenet and Tudor monarchs, will hold a talk in the first semester. More details regarding the visits will be announced throughout the coming weeks.

30 Years on: The Worth of the Falklands War In light of more recent tension between Argentina and the United Kingdom regarding the Falkland Isles, Jess Cath offers an opinion of the value of the Falklands War. On the 14th June, veterans and fellow Falkland islanders marked the 30th anniversary of the ‘liberation’ of the Falkland Islands. Hundreds braved the snow and bitter temperatures to commemorate the dead and celebrate their ‘freedom’ at the Liberation Monument. 12

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Yet, 30 years on, after 1000 deaths and £3bn in military spending – was it all worth it? Should the United Kingdom have gone to war in the first place? The simple answer to both of those questions is no. To Britain, the Falkland Islands are more of a post-imperial nuisance than the purveyor of imperial revenue. It makes little sense for Britain to maintain a territory 8,000 miles from its coast. This is especially the case when considering Britain’s former refusal to develop the Island’s services. Such neglect has already made the Falklands more dependent on neighbouring Argentina for provisions such as medical treatment and supplies. The dispute between Britain and Argentina regarding the Island’s sovereignty has raged for almost two centuries. Today the majority of Falklanders regard themselves as British. However, looking back to the 18th and 19th Centuries, we realise that Argentina’s claim to sovereignty is certainly strong. In 1713, the Treaty of Utrecht recognised Spanish sovereignty. This was then reasserted in 1823 by Buenos Aires after its independence from Spain. Yet, in 1833 Britain seized the island by force as part of its great imperial mission for world dominance. Since then Britain has exercised de facto sovereignty over the islands. At the same time Argentina has persistently disputed this claim, regularly registering its concerns with the UN’s decolonisation committee. One can thus conclude that Britain entered into a seventy-four day war to defend a region 8,000 miles away, which provides neither revenue nor an arguable case of sovereignty.


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Yet, warfare is never the product of rational deliberations. Carl von Clausewitz stated that ‘war is merely the continuation of politics by other means’. The Falklands War is no exception. Studying the history of the island’s sovereignty was of little concern to General Galtieri and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher when deciding to engage in warfare. At the time both Britain and Argentina were suffering from economic crises and, as a result, popularity for the respective leaders had declined. General Galtieri was exposed to general strikes and mass protests against the economic crisis and Argentina’s political regime, which was dominated by a dictatorial military junta.

The Falklands issue offered Galtieri a means to a more politically popular end. Indeed, a quick and decisive military victory to secure the re-occupation of an old territory would have increased his popularity and perhaps maintained the authority of Argentina’s military dictatorship. After the invasion of the Falkland Islands took the Tory government by surprise, 14

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Thatcher had her own political reputation to worry about. Crumbling in the wake of a military dictatorship would have meant political suicide both internally (especially with the economic crisis as a backdrop) and externally (in terms of Britain’s international standing in organisations such as NATO). Thatcher had no choice but to defend the power and prestige of British imperialism; the resulting success of which secured Thatcher’s decisive victory at the next election and sparked the downfall of Galtieri’s military regime in Argentina. However, many people are not aware of the previous neglect of the Falklands as a depending territory. Britain’s disregard for the island’s welfare had led to its increased dependency on Argentina for basic living essentials. On top of this, the Thatcher government sought the withdrawal of the ‘Falklands guard ship’ HMS Endurance in 1981, indicating that they had no intention of defending the Falklands militarily. Thus, it seems the British government recognised the worthlessness of islands 8,000 miles away, even before Thatcher was drawn into a war to defend the imperial territory. To me, the Falklands dispute is an imperial anachronism, as it was in 1982 and still is today. Galtieri’s motivations for war were self-indulgent and corrupt, whilst Thatcher’s motivations were equally as debauched. Both leaders sought internal political advantage under a façade of imperial archaism. 15

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Almost seventy years after the end of the Second World War the maintenance of Britain’s imperial might is not and should not remain on the agenda. Thus, the practical conclusion would have been to return the Falkland Islands to the Argentineans a long time ago. Sadly, this option is not politically feasible. Firstly, if the British Government were to suddenly relinquish sovereignty of the Falklands, the British population would recognise that the deaths of some 255 British personnel had been for nothing; such an admission would be political suicide for any political leader. Secondly, the population of the Falkland Islands themselves wants to remain British (they gained full British citizenry in the British Nationality Act in 1983). The final reason, and perhaps now the most important, is the discovery of an estimated 60bn barrels worth of oil off the coast of the Falklands in 1998. Thus, it came as no surprise when David Cameron refused to negotiate the islands sovereignty with Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, the President of Argentina, at the recent G20 summit in Mexico. Using a façade of imperial archaism through the portrayal of a genuine concern for those living on the Falkland Islands, Cameron told Kirchner to respect the decision of the Falkland islanders after a referendum is held next year. During this short encounter, imperial oil revenue was not mentioned. Therefore, like so many other territorial disputes, it appears that a dispute regarding historical sovereignty has now turned into a scramble for oil. Was that worth a war?


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Doing History Module Advice Maddie Holder has solid advice for Second Year Students enrolled in the mandatory (for all BA History students) Doing History module 1. Limit yourself to seven or eight sources 2. Divide your question into sections, use each one as a side-heading in your portfolio and have one or two sources for each section. 3. Make sure your sources are relevant to your question and explicitly state why and how they are in your introduction. 4. Make your question as specific as possible to make it easier to address within your portfolio 5. Secondary information is needed to outline the historiography and frame your question in the long introduction, and do as much as possible so you understand your subject. However this work is predominantly source commentary, so when examining sources use secondary information sparingly and concentrate on the analysis. 6. Keep a learning log diary noting down ideas, changes and difficulties; this is invaluable when writing your learning log. 7. DO NOT LEAVE IT TO THE LAST MINUTE. Set a goal for the end of each week and stick to it to avoid living in the library for the last week of term!


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One of the biggest sighs of relief will take place at the moment when you hand in your final project. However, once it is done you realise the skills it has given you are invaluable. Having a taste of writing a dissertation-length piece of work, and the independence required to complete it, undeniably prepares you for your final dissertation and certainly makes it less daunting.

The History of the University of Exeter Robert Benham presents a brief history of our University Today, Exeter is a world class University, placed by the Times in the top 1% of universities worldwide (156th). This success has not come overnight and the University of Exeter, which this week welcomes thousands of new students, is the project of an interesting past. What is considered the first attempt at establishing a university in Exeter was a failure. In 1225, Gilbert le Blond granted to St. John’s Hospital school 2s (10 pence) per annum for the rent of some shops in Smythen Street for the purpose of a ‘school’. The school was aimed at the intellectual, ecclesiastical class from the ‘street of priests’ (Preston Street), which ran parallel to Smythen Street. This pioneering institution was founded at the same time as Oxford University. Oxford‘s competition proved too much. Students favoured Oxford’s central location, and Exeter’s embryonic university did not survive. 18

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The university received its charter on the 21st of December, 1955. To find its origins, you need to fast forward from the thirteenth century to the late nineteenth century and the schools and colleges established by educational reformers and philanthropists of the day. Inspired by the Great Exhibition of 1851, the Exeter Schools of Art and Science were set up in 1855 and 1863 respectively. Eventually these schools combined and after a spell as the Exeter Technical and University Extension College, became known as the University College of the South West of England in 1922. After a further thirty years of growth, the product of these early schools was officially opened as the University of Exeter by a visit from the Queen in May 1956.

In 1854, the Exeter Diocesan training, known as St. Luke’s today, had an intake of only forty pupils. Today, Exeter has 18,500 students spread over six colleges and three campuses. In the 1960s the University really started to grow. The ‘Robbins report’ of 1963 recommended that higher education institutions immediately expanded, to which Exeter happily obliged. From 1963-1968 the number of Exeter students almost doubled. 19

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Ten major new buildings were built, including homes for the Chemistry and Physics departments, the Newman, Laver and Streatham Court buildings, alongside accommodation for a thousand more students. These state of the art buildings and residences in their day helped build the reputation of the new University, allowing it to attract more students and establish itself as a top university. The 2009 injection of £300 million in campus developments, crowned by last year’s completion of the £48 million Forum Project, means Exeter can truly boast some of the best facilities in the country. It remains important for the University of Exeter to bear in mind where it has come from. Its history is memorialised across the campus in its buildings and the campus grounds itself. This balance of the old and new is important to the wellbeing of the university’s progression and is what makes Exeter such an intriguing place.

Alison Weir and A Dangerous Inheritance Lydia Murtezaoglu was present at Weir’s presentation of her new historical fiction novel and offers her opinion Anticipating Alison Weir’s future visit to Exeter University I attended her introductory talk on her recent release, ‘A Dangerous Inheritance’, a novel depicting both the life of Lady Katherine Grey, the younger sister of Britain’s shortest reigning monarch Lady Jane 20

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Grey and Kate Plantagenet (Richard III’s bastard daughter). Tudor England in tumultuous times was sensed by the audience as Weir dramatically uncovered the bones of her latest work. The novel relies on the existence of two heroines supported by factual sources but diverting into fictional supernatural twists creating what she calls emotional and psychological history and making for thought provoking reading. Those familiar with Weir’s work will notice that ‘A Dangerous Inheritance’ is in the same vein as much of her other published works – women’s history, a theme which some would argue has been exhausted over recent decades. Weir, however, finds more obscure heroines for her novels.

Weir views herself primarily as a historian and secondly a novelist, advocating an ‘informed imagination’ for those interested in pursuing a career in the historical novel genre. She consequently emphasised the necessity of using primary sources in order to write about Tudor Britain in a believable and yet creative way. Sources such as the diplomatic records open ‘the Sun of the Tudor Age’ to Weir. The current economic recession has been seen to influence every profession, commercial history included. Weir was forced to lose one hundred and forty words from this particular novel to avoid the cost of printing pricing her outside the commercial market. 21

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Since the talk, I have seen the links between history and commercial historicism. It is not enough to have carefully researched and written an excellent book on the Tudor period, one must capture the reader’s, but firstly the publisher’s attention to find a niche believed to be relevant to present day interests. Here I believe marks the source of Weir’s success, as she has written for her audience and written heroines into history where previously they had little reverence or attention. She has through her distinctive way of enlivening the past created her own following, giving those previously uninterested a welcome access to history. I eagerly await her trip to Exeter and encourage you to read her fiction as well as her factual works.

Jana Funke’s A History of Sexuality Rose Bray reviews a challenging and innovative module Jana Funke’s History of Sexuality is both the most exciting, and the most challenging module I have done to date. It covers a vast array of topics, with an innovative and analytical approach. There is no shying away from the fact that, quite simply, this is a module about sex. With its risqué touches and liberal tone this is certainly not a module for prudes. However, it is also incredibly academic, tackling vast conceptual issues in the most accessible way; making theorists such as Foucault not only comprehensible, but also interesting!


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This methodological and conceptual approach arms you with skills that can be applied, not just to this module, but to all of your academic work. What makes the course so dynamic is that, despite being a history module, it is also very relevant to the modern day and brings up hugely controversial contemporary issues. I met with Jana to ask her a few questions: What made you interested in the history of sexuality? In my PhD dissertation, I started out by exploring the question of how gender and sexuality are constructed in surprising and often contradictory ways, for instance, in scientific and literary writing of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth century. I also find the wider conceptual debates surrounding the history of sexuality fascinating. What does it mean to think of gender and sexuality as cultural and historical constructs? How does this approach change our understanding of gender identity and sexual identity today? And can we ever really claim to know sexualities of the past? These are important and challenging questions that can open up rich opportunities for critical thought and scholarship. What are your favourite areas of the course? My own research to-date has focused on scientific constructions and cultural representations of homosexuality, hermaphroditism and transgenderism, so teaching these topics is a lot of fun for me. There are some wonderful sources to use, such as The Memoirs of Herculine Barbin, which deal with the life of a mid-nineteenthcentury 'pseudo-hermaphrodite', who grew up as a girl,


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but was then found out to 'really' be a man. Another example are the case studies used in sexological publications from the second half of the nineteenth century, which include autobiographical accounts provided by men and women who were experiencing same-sex desire. I feel that these sources speak to students and allow them to come up with interesting and original readings. I am also becoming more and more interested in the history of heterosexuality. It can be difficult to explain to students why it makes sense to think of heterosexuality - and sexuality in general as something that is historically constructed rather than a natural or biological fact of life, but it is incredibly rewarding to see students engage with these ideas. The topics discussed, ranging from homosexuality to marriage and pornography, are very topical and relevant, which helps to keep students motivated. Ultimately, the history of sexuality allows you to think critically about aspects of our lives and identities, including gender and sexuality. Often assumed to be 'natural' or 'normal', these concepts can appear quite different once they are historicised, so it is a very empowering way of thinking. What are your key research interests? My background is in English Literature and I am now working on a book project with Professor Kate Fisher, who is a historian, so my research interests are interdisciplinary. I am generally interested in the relation between sexuality and time. In my PhD dissertation, which I am currently turning into a book, I asked what can be gained by looking at late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century representations of gender and sexuality in terms of time rather than sexual identity categories.


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So, rather than say that certain authors were trying to depict a lesbian or a homosexual man in one of their novels or short stories, for instance, I tried to look at the way in which these texts presented sexuality in relation to time. For instance, looking at a reproductive time of futurity or the backward and anachronistic time of the primitive. I found that this approach offers a richer understanding of how gender and sexuality were represented at the time. In the new book I am co-authoring with Professor Fisher, we are looking at the way in which sexological writings and other debates about sexuality in the late nineteenth- and early twentieth century drew on the past to construct sexual knowledge. So, again, we are trying to say something different about constructions about sexuality by looking at sexuality in terms of time, in this case, the past.

Post-Conflict: Bosnia & Herzegovina Rose George reveals the post-war complications of the Balkan War through a personal visit My interest in Bosnia and its recent history began after a brief visit to the country last summer during an inter-rail trip and I was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to return this summer to work in a guesthouse in the city of Mostar. My knowledge of the conflicts that followed the dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia at the beginning of the 1990s was relatively small prior to visiting the country – limited to the snippets of news footage I remember from growing up at the time. 25

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My experience this summer allowed me to gain a much larger understanding of the conflict and the way country has attempted to rebuild itself in its wake. The region of Bosnia-Herzegovina was the most ethnically diverse within the former Yugoslavia. In a 1991 census 44% of the population declared themselves Bosnian Muslim, 31% Serb and 17% Croat. This diversity made division of the region heavily contested following the breakup of Yugoslavia. Following the Slovenian and Croat secessions, in 1992 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina attempted to declare its independence. This attempt failed and the Bosnian Serbs, supported by the Serbian government of Slobodan Milosevic, along with the Yugoslav People’s Army mobilised forces within the area to secure Serbian territory and their population. Croat claims to land further complicated the situation and war broke out across the area and lasted until 1995. The number of people killed during the conflict is estimated at between 100,000 and 110,000 and the memory of the war still strongly resonates across the country. During the conflict the Bosnian Muslims faced severe persecution. The anniversary of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre took place during my visit. In what was one of the most iconic events of the war, more than 8,300 Bosnian Muslims, mainly men and boys, were killed in the town by units of the Serbian Army controlled by General Mladic. Annually, on the anniversary of the massacre, 26

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the remains of newly identified victims that have been exhumed from unmarked graves are reburied during a ceremony of remembrance. This year the remains of 520 people were reburied and the anniversary created an eerily silent and sombre atmosphere across Mostar. The signing of the Dayton Agreement in 1995 by the presidents of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia finally ended the bloodiest war on European soil since 1945. The agreement divided Bosnia into two semi-independent entities: the federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina which was inhabited mainly by Bosnian Muslims and Croats, and the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska. NATO peacekeeping troops were moved into the area and the country received over $14 billion in international aid. This has gone a long way in terms of reconstructing the nation post-conflict. Relations with its neighbours Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro have remained fairly stable since the end of the war. In 2007 Bosnia and Herzegovina became a potential candidate country for EU accession and full membership of NATO is expected within the next few years. Today, Bosnia has become one of the most frequently-visited countries in the Balkan region due to its renowned natural beauty and cultural heritage. In Mostar, the reconstruction is most clearly marked by the rebuilding of Stari Most – the ‘Old Bridge’ that was destroyed by bombing in 1993 after standing for 427 years. The destruction of the 16th century Ottoman bridge was a purposeful tactic aimed at weakening the cultural history and identity of the city.


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A reconstruction programme, possible due to the considerable aid and funding from the international community, enabled a new bridge of the same design to be opened in 2004.

For many Mostarians, the bridge represents the resilience of the city and is viewed with a sense of pride. Despite successful reconstruction efforts, memories of the conflict are fresh. The permanent presence of deserted, destroyed buildings serves as a constant reminder of the past. Mostar’s main road across the city marks the former front line and countless derelict buildings line the road interspersed with the new, modern architecture. The former sniper tower of the Serbian forces remains untouched ensuring its presence is still felt all over the city. Every local person I met wanted to share their own experience of the war. Perhaps this was because it was important to them to try and convey the extent of what had happened to an international visitor, or perhaps because it was somehow easier to talk about it with someone from outside the region. Many of the older generation express nostalgia for the socialist era and the former peaceful and prosperous Yugoslavia. Presently, the economy in Bosnia28

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Herzegovina is struggling and unemployment is exceedingly high. Youth unemployment reaches up to 43% even with the growth of the tourist trade and poverty is widespread. At the moment the country is stuck in limbo – constantly haunted by reminders of the past, but trying to look to the future. One can only hope that the raw memories of the conflict will be replaced by more solid reconstruction programmes and an entrance into the EU.

A Welcome to the History of Medicine Paul Middleton offers an introduction to a popular and celebrated discipline of history To many the history of medicine may seem confined to the study of changing medical practices, a subject with little relevance to the modern world. Medical history, however, is in fact one of the most relevant topics to modern society. The subject encompasses a wide range of issues concerning health, welfare and sexuality that continue to be at the forefront of public discussion. In recent decades society has become increasingly aware of29 the impact of public health on

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populations, and one of the fascinating parts about this subject is the ability to integrate the history of medicine with ideas surrounding contemporary medical practice. The University of Exeter offers many opportunities for students to gain an insight into the history of medicine through the centre for medical history that was established in 1997. The centre brings together academics and professionals from various disciplines, and for the past nine years has been supported by the Wellcome Trust, a global foundation set up to fund biomedical research and developments in medical humanities. As well as providing many undergraduate modules focusing on the subject, the university also offers an MA in Medical History, which incidentally is the course I am just about to start. Applying for a masters programme is never an easy decision due to the fact that many postgraduate students receive no funding from the government to support their studies. There is help out there, however. The university offers up to two substantial bursaries funded by the Wellcome Trust, and I was lucky enough to secure one of these grants enabling me to concentrate on my studies without the added pressure of money. Although the application process is competitive, it isn’t impossible, and if you put forward an interesting proposal you’ve got a good chance at being selected. After spending three years focusing on gender and sexuality in the early modern period, I decided to apply my knowledge within the context of more traditional areas of medical history. For example my undergraduate dissertation that focused on ideas concerning 30

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homosexuality and masculinity will now be applied to anatomical drawings from the early modern period, and this will form the basis for my 25,000-word dissertation. As previously stated, medical history is a wide and varied subject area and this is reflected in the specialties of the centre staff at Exeter. Members of the centre are currently supervising PhD students on a range of topics including aphrodisiacs, crossdressing and the history of cancer. Moreover, Dr. Rebecca Langlands and Dr. Kate Fisher recently co-directed the Sex and History project, which works alongside local museums and schools within the South West. The project aimed to empower young people and encourage them to talk more openly about sex by approaching sex education from a historical and cultural angle. Not only does this project show the variety of topics within the history of medicine, but it also demonstrates the relationship that medical history has with contemporary medical issues. So for anyone choosing module choices and dissertation ideas, or if you’re tempted by the idea of postgraduate study then have a look into medical history. It’s such a vast area of history with a wide geographical and chronological scope, so there is always something that will go alongside your existing knowledge of a particular subject area. For more information see:


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The Supernatural in Early-Modern England Declan Henesy reviews Dr. Laura Sangha’s revealing module of the English spiritual world of 1500 to 1700 From white witches to fairies, from angels to ghosts and the Devil, this course leads you through the rich, and often contradictory, belief systems of the early modern English. It challenges students to put aside one’s preconceived ideas about the ‘backward’ nature of those in the past and to reassess what was rational for the English living between 1560-1700. This module uses a variety of different source materials, both written and visual, such as sermons, pamphlets, poems, plays and court records; leading you in one seminar from ancient Greek astronomy, in another to the medical knowledge of the Romans and in another to the eerie Shakespearian landscape of Hamlet. The language at first can seem daunting and impermeable but by the end of the course you will have gained the skills to explore early modern England with enough ease and confidence for it to be of little worry. Your first seminar will have you split into small groups who you will work with for the remainder of the term; in these groups you will also be given certain topics and a week in which you will present a particular subject matter. Each week the presentations improved and the most successful included interesting facts, that while perhaps not relevant to the set seminar questions, were intriguing and unusual. The beauty of this module is that almost anything you find interesting as a student Dr Laura Sangha, the module coordinator, will encourage discussion upon and cleverly interlink with the aims and objectives of the seminar. The second half of the two hour seminar lends itself entirely to class discussion of the 32

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presentation just given and the seminar readings in general. This class is much more about personal interpretation than being right or wrong. Debate may arise with your fellow classmates, though I personally found this the most interesting part of the seminar as it was the conflicting views that often shed most light upon an issue. Ultimately, this course is as engaging as you make it. So long as you have read your primary source material and some key reading this course will definitely be of interest to you. Dr Sangha is an encouraging seminar tutor and a fountain of supernatural knowledge. Importantly, she is also a kind and constructive marker. From talking to history students in other source and skills modules, the supernatural format and delivery appeared more exciting, fascinating and complemented the Early Modern and Medieval core module superbly.

Portrayal of Early-Modern witches


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Joseph Banks: Historical Hottie A ‘Top Trump style’ analysis of the hottest man of the eighteenth century, by Lydia Murtezaoglu Finding the perfect man is a difficult feat for us all so I have been scouring through the history books to find the most eligible man worthy of the title, Historical Hottie. In this issue I have scouted Joseph Banks for your approval, marked initially in Top Trumps style to give you his credentials. Born in 1743, Joseph has it all, inherited wealth, good looks, a hankering for adventure, intelligence and associations with the rich and famous. A notable explorer and botanist he is enough to make any girl swoon.

Attractiveness: 8 Intelligence: 9 Wealth: 7 Success: 8 Likeability: 10

Joseph Banks

After searching through many, many men to find one worthy of the Historical Hottie title, (life on the committee is hard, hard work) I found Joseph, unlike his more famous contemporaries, he has reaped the benefits of fewer incestual marriages. Not only does he sport dark yet innocent good looks and an interesting hair cut, he was born into an intelligent and wealthy family as the son of a Lincolnshire county squire. You could consequently look forward to stimulating conversations around the dinner table in a beautiful setting with the in-laws. 34 Earning his name in the history books as a member of the first crew to explore the outback, he is definitely not a man to be overlooked.

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Earning his name in the history books as a member of the first crew to explore the outback, he is definitely not a man to be overlooked. On his travels to Australia he had a beautiful and interesting plant, the Banksia named after him, clearly reflecting his personality. His interest in travel originates to 1766 when he ventured to Newfoundland and Labrador, clearly a fan of dogs as well as plants. The Banksia

When young he developed an interest in history so if you feel out of your depth conversing on botany you can always talk about your combined interest, providing your historical knowledge predates 1744. As friend and advisor to George III, Joseph could ensure your admittance to parties at the palace. He also artistically directed the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. His influence led him to be admitted into the Privy Council and for the Banks Islands to be named after him, so you would always have somewhere to holiday. He generously let other scientists use his research whilst president of the Royal Society in 1788. However, he is not all work and no play as he showed his party side whilst studying at Oxford. He successfully promoted international science through his work with the Royal Society. All his success could mean that Joseph is a little too busy to make time for you but I think the Baronet title he received in 1781 softens the blow. Evidently an ambitious and successful man I believe Joseph Banks to be the catch of the 18th century.


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The next issue of The Historian is due in December – we thank you for your attention!

In Association With


The Historian Volume 2, Number 1  

The first issue of the second volume of the University of Exeter History Society Journal. Published in Exeter in print in September 2012. Co...