Issue 3 December 2011
Manchester Historian Who was Steve Biko? p5
Independence Rock me Amadeus Day p11
Five tips for Long Essay and Dissertation magic YOUR supervisors will give you focused advice on content and methods, so here are five things you won’t be told about how to shine in independent study projects, but which will get where you want to be. Some will be profoundly counter-intuitive, and all
will mean challenging yourself and your views. But that’s the name of the game. However, all of these will transform your work over time in mystifying and almost magical ways.
PABLO Emilio Escobar Gaviria was the infamous Colombian drug lord who’s violent power dominated the cocaine industry for two decades, making him billions of dollars and leading to the murder of hundreds of people.
the city of Envigado, Colombia in 1949 and his criminal inclinations can be seen from his youth; it is alleged that he began his criminal career stealing gravestones and sanding them down for resale.
Pablo Escobar was born in
Continued on page 9
Continued on page 13
Pablo Escobar: king of the cartels
Hidden Past: Argentina’s dirty war history known as The Dirty War.
AS part of our ongoing focus on world history, this edition’s article focuses on the oppressive period in 20th Century Argentine
Between 1976 and 1983 between 10,000 and 30,000 people “disappeared”, victims targeted for their opposition to the military junta that had seized power. Continued on page 8
It was all Aliens! p17
Contents Current Affairs
p3 - How should history be taught at degree level
University History p4 - How old are we? p5 - Who was Steve Biko The Stephen Joseph Studio
Spotlight onYour City
p6 - More than a game: Football and Manchester p7 - Pub Review: Mr Thomas’s Chop House Hooray for Henry Holland
The Hidden Past p8 - Don’t Cry for me Argentina p9 - Pablo: Power and Pain
The Enlighenment p10 - A very English Affair p11 - Enlightenment: super sized Enlightenment and society p12 - Mozart: A musical maestro
p13 - Leif ’s Life Lessons p14 - Calling Dr. Jones Interview with Hannah Barker p15 - Why PhD? Postgraduate Study p16 - The History Society
p17 - Aliens, Monsters and Psychics Spitfire Women p18 - Leonardo’s Dream Machines The Working Class Movement Library
Welcome to the new look Manchester Historian! Issue 3 has seen an expansion in the production team so we are finishing the year bigger and better than ever. We’re so grateful for the work everyone has put into the paper and we hope you all enjoy reading this as a break from all your essays!
Florence Holmes Juliette Donaldson Frankie Williams
Ata Rahman Aditya Iyer Danag Gabriel Samuel Beech Jessie Brener
Christopher McMahon William Rhys Jones Rebecca Stevens Emma Slater
Sophia White Alice Maccines Ned Lamb
Jemma Gibson Carmel Godfrey Sinead Doherty
Current Affairs How should history be taught at degree level? The increasing reliance upon ‘online teaching’ has caused contention among some students who feel they are not getting enough for their money, with such little contact hours and an emphasis on self-study. The launch of Blackboard 9 has enabled the creation of the History Student Portal (HSP), a set of pages that give all History undergraduates a single space which direct you to all the resources you will need, in a less confusing and more contained way. The creation of the HSP is designed to give students in this field an improved learning experience throughout their degree and is part of a broader programme of reforms, but is it auto didacticism taken too far?
Compared to many other courses taught at degree level, History has remarkably fewer ‘contact hours’ a week. This consists mainly of lectures and tutorials, except in Level 3, as the already limited amount of contact time is replaced by ‘workshops’ where a topic is raised and discussed by the group as a whole, usually lasting 3 hours long at a time. There has been quite a divided response to that from level three History students, as many find it hard to concentrate for such long periods and some argue a longer seminar often means their notes are less organised and lack the formal structure that you get in a lecture. There are students who
prefer this way of more active group discussion, arguing that it re-enforces the importance of weekly reading to understand and partake in such debates. Becki Guy-Ragan, a Second year Medieval Studies student says: ‘I prefer seminars to get a range of different opinions on the weekly readings, and to learn from my peers, but I would rather have more contact hours’. Other students argue another fault of the current ‘online teaching’ system that there are not enough career orientated aspects of the degree, such as opportunities for a placement year to increase graduate recruitment prospects. One of the main reasons why ‘online teaching’ is encouraged for History Undergraduates at Manchester is because of the amazing range of resources that are available online, not just on the HSP, but also on many other sites that hardly any students are aware of. In a recent Long Essay lecture for History students in levels 2 and 3, conducted by Dr. Stephen Mossman, not a single student put their hand up to say they knew there was a John Rylands History webpage, which is put there specifically for students’ use, with numerous online databases and helpful links to library resources. There have also been changes made to the availability of online reading in the history department, making all compulsory reading for the course available online. This enables every student with the opportunity with the basic readings, as theres no longer the chance you couldn’t get access to the
book that you need. Pippa Standard, a second year History student says: ‘I really enjoy my course here because it involves a lot of independent learning so it’s completely different to school...having everything online makes things so much easier to access and means you can do your work anywhere which is useful’. Evidently there are differences in opinions amongst students about the benefits and the pitfalls of the increased use of the internet in History degree programmes, but the opinion seems to be that students are more disgruntled with the actual hours of contact than with the content of the course, and the ‘online teaching’ would be seen in a much more positive light if it was teamed with a few more extra hours of ‘facetime’ with lecturers, and no, I don’t mean the face-time app for the Ipod. If this is the case, whose fault is it that resources aren’t being taken full use of? Dr. Stephen Mossman sheds some further light on the matter, explaining the reasons why there are a small amount of contact hours in History degree programmes, and why we should be making the most of what we’re paying for. ‘When you come to Manchester, your fees aren’t just paying for ‘contact hours’ with a world authority in the specialist field (though that’s a distinct benefit)...The library spends millions of pounds of your money annually on securing access to the largest collection of electronic journals and databases of any UK University...but they are significantly under-used. Our students need to take the initiative to explore what the library resources have to offer - afterall, you have paid for them! Bethany Gent
University History How old are we?!
To an outside onlooker, it seems simple. The clever logo above clearly says that the University of Manchester was (Est)ablished in 1824, right? Wrong. Well, kind of. It is well known (or at least I think it is), that in 2004 the Victoria University of Manchester and UMIST merged together to become one conventional university, subsequently creating (as the university website proudly states), ‘a powerful new force in British higher education.’ But what about before then?
The beginning of the University of Manchester’s history can be marked by the formation of the Mechanics Institute by the English chemist John Dalton and some of Manchester’s leading businessmen and industrialists. This would one day be UMIST, and the future prestige of the institution would have been unimaginable to those who met in a pub in 1824, (the ‘Bridgewater Arms’) with the aim of helping artisans learn basic science; from Richard Hyde Greg, a cotton mill owner who was to become a Member of Parliament, to David Bellhouse - a builder. It is also interesting (and induces a strange feeling of smugness) to note that hundreds of institutions of this kind were founded across the country in towns and cities at the time, yet it was Manchester’s alone that survived and carried out the original educational aims intended through the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. By 1840, the institute was established with 1000 subscribers and 5,500 library books. The Mechanics Institute continued to prosper during this time, and in 1883 the secretary of the Institution, John Henry Reynolds, reorganised the Institution as a Technical School using
the schemes and examinations of the City and Guilds of London Institute. In 1895 a new building was designed, and opened by the Prime Minister Arthur Balfour in October 1902. The site had been previously crowded with inner-city housing occupied by Irish immigrants. This was the western end of the UMIST main building, (or as it is better known today, the Sackville Street Building). By 1918, the institution changed name again to the Manchester Municipal College of Technology. The appointment of B. V. Bowden in 1953 marked the beginning of a phase of expansion. During 1955 and 1956 the Manchester College of Science and Technology achieved independent university status under its own Royal Charter and by 1966 all non-degree courses were moved to the Manchester Polytechnic (Manchester Metropolitan University), and the name finally changed to the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. When UMIST was still in its infancy, (in 1846), John Owens, a textile merchant, left a bequest of £96,942 for Owens College (finally founded 5 years later in 1851), with the purpose of educating males along nonsectarian lines. This was of course the beginning of the Victoria University of Manchester. The institution shared links to other Universities and colleges. In 1859 it was approved as a provincial examination centre for matriculation candidates of the University of London. As the college progressed, Cobden House (on Quay Street, which had been their accommodation) became inadequate. Thus a move to Chorlton-on-Medlock was planned in 1871, and Alfred Waterhouse was the architect of the new college building west of Oxford Road which was opened in 1873. It was granted its Royal Charter in 1880, becoming the first constituent college of the federal Victoria University.
In 1884, University College Liverpool joined the University (though it left in 1903 to become the University of Liverpool), followed in 1887 by the Yorkshire College in Leeds (which again followed Liverpool’s example in 1904 to become the University of Leeds). The remaining Victoria University and Owens College were merged by Act of Parliament, 24 June 1904, (so the Victoria University of Manchester was established by royal charter 15 July 1903). The two were powerful forces in education, working alongside each other one hundred years before they formally merged. The foundation in 1905 of MMST’s Faculty of Technology was answerable academically to what they referred to as their ‘younger sister’ (the Victoria University of Manchester), awarding BSc and MSc degrees. They retained close ties for the second half of the 20th century, and UMIST was the Faculty of Technology of the Victoria University of Manchester. In fact, the only thing separating the two institutions was that UMIST was financially and administratively independent. Students of UMIST were actually students of both UMIST and the Victoria University with graduation certificates stating the university issuing the degree as “The Victoria University of Manchester”. And then in 2004, the two institutions put a cease to their academic flirting and decided to finally get together. Much more could be said about the particular buildings and the incredible academics that helped to shape this history, a history to be proud of. Though I think it’s safe to say, that the University was in fact, not established in 1824. Rebecca Stevens
Who was Steve Biko? monopoly on truth and power held by the Afrikaan minority.
die for an idea that will live, than to live for an idea that will die.”
The Black Consciousness Movement supported the Soweto uprising of 1976. The uprising was caused by the passing of new legislation which forced all black schools to use Afrikaans and English as languages of instruction. An estimated 200 protesters, mainly school children, were killed by South African security forces as they crushed the uprising.
Born in 1946, Steve Biko was a black anti-apartheid campaigner who died in police custody in 1977. Biko established himself as a student leader in the 1960’s. His belief in the need for black South Africans to organise and liberate themselves free from liberal white influence led him to establish the Black Consciousness Movement in 1969. The BCM aimed to promote black culture and challenge the
On the 18th August 1977 Biko was arrested under anti-terrorism legislation. Taken into police custody he was interrogated, tortured and beaten until he fell into a coma. Biko died of his injuries in a prison hospital on the 11th of September that year, the outcry at his death led to an inquest which was nothing more than a cover up by the state. However, anti-apartheid journalists were able to Police brutality and intimidation was reveal the real cause of his death to the a constant threat to Steve Biko and his world. Over 10,000 people attended supporters. He was expelled from the Biko’s funeral and he is regarded as University of Natal a national hero for “It is better to die for an idea in 1972, banned black South Africans. from speaking in that will live, than to live for The University of public, banned an idea that will die.” Manchester’s Steve from writing and Biko Building, known his movement was restricted to his to most as the Students’ Union, was hometown. Despite the threats he named in his honour. faced Biko continued to challenge Afrikaan rule, he said “It is better to William Jones
The Stephen Joseph studio
Joseph was born in 1921 and his life, whilst relatively short, encompassed a lot. He was the youngest student to attend the prestigious Central School of Speech and Drama. He was also something of a war hero, twice decorated for his bravery. Yet it was on the stage where his heart truly lay.
Stephen Joseph is a name ingrained in the minds of Manchester’s drama students. The Stephen Joseph studio, named in his honour, is one of the Drama departments most frequented rehearsal spots. The studio itself was originally built as a German Protestant church, before being occupied by the university in 1949 and eventually taken over by the Drama department. However, about the man himself, students generally know very little.
Determined not to be in the shadows of his famous parents, actress Hermione Gingold and publisher Michael Joseph, he set out to make a name for himself in the theatrical world. Joseph was very successful, being often considered the pioneer of the exciting style of performance known as ‘theatre-in-the-round’ in Britain. Having been inspired by what he saw in Broadway, he was determined to establish it across the pond. In Scarborough in 1955 he established the country’s first theatre-in-theround company on the first floor of the Public Library. Joseph died young, at only 46, yet was able to achieve much in his relatively short lifetime.
He was something of a maverick and was consistently passionate about innovation and experimentation in theatre. Joseph sourced new and controversial material and encouraged up-and-coming playwrights such as Alan Ayckbourn and Harold Pinter. As a lecturer at Manchester, the University Drama department owes a lot to Stephen Joseph for its establishment and its original and exciting style that makes it so successful. He left us with this optimistic philosophy: “If, when mankind finally disintegrates, whoever created him has been stimulated and amused, mankind will have accomplished something.” These words speak of Joseph’s legacy, in rainy Manchester, as wit and optimist. Just as winter truly kicks in and deadlines loom, Joseph’s words, much like his theatre, provide a cheerful respite from the cold. Rosie Webster
More than a game: football and Manchester A quick glance at the Premier League table sees Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City backed by the foreign billions of Sheikh Mansour, sitting smugly at the summit. Following closely are city rivals Manchester United, who can reasonably claim to be the planet’s best supported club. United, by winning their 19th league title in May 2011, overtook Liverpool’s title record to become England’s most successful football club domestically. Manchester City have also collected the league twice and their FA Cup win last May was their fifth success in the competition. The city can therefore reasonably claim to be one of the most successful in the football world. It may surprise you to learn that whilst the football league was founded in Manchester in April 1888, neither Manchester club was present from the offset. Manchester United’s previous incarnation Newton Heath FC joined the league in 1892-93 with their origins in the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway. Like many clubs Manchester City were founded as a church team in the parish of St. Mark’s of Gorton. Known as Ardwick Association FC before changing to Manchester City they joined the league in the same season as Newton Heath.
The first derby contested between the sides was played on the 3rd October 1891. It saw Newton Heath emerging 5-1 winners in the FA Cup’s 1st Round of Qualifying. The game was attended by an estimated 15,000 at Newton Heath’s old North Road ground, a far cry from the millions who tuned in to City’s mauling last October, which was the 161st meeting of the pair. It goes without saying that the derby is the key fixture, particularly of late, for any supporter of either of the Manchester clubs. Manchester City’s FA Cup success last May had particular significance for the Blues as they finally managed to force
United fans to remove a banner in Old Trafford’s Stretford End mocking how many years it had been since they last won silverware. The growth of the Manchester United brand sees that their every match is now the subject of international media focus. One incredible statistic shows that Manchester United matches attract almost 52 % of the Premier League’s entire global TV audience - this roughly equates to United matches each being watched by around 64m people on average. However in the days before television brought football to the armchair supporter, fans from the city and its surrounding areas were the primary consumer packing Old Trafford & Maine Road to the rafters. The top two highest record home attendances in the history of English football unsurprisingly were in games featuring the two clubs – City in 1934 with 84,569 and United with 83,260 in 1948. This illustrates just how important football was in the city from an earlier age, and particularly to Manchester, with the record still standing. It is ironic to note both games were played at Maine Road as Old Trafford suffering damage from German bombing during the Second World War.
Old Trafford can be likened to wreckage when Matt Busby arrived at Old Trafford for his first day in the manager’s job. Busby was an accomplished player for United’s two biggest rivals - Liverpool & Manchester City, yet became embraced as a United idol. Busby’s 24 years at the helm saw more than the ground rebuilt after tragedy struck in February 1958. Returning from a European game against Red Star Belgrade during a fuel stop in Munich, hazardous weather conditions meant that the plane never brought the Busby Babes home. The majority of the side were killed in the disaster as they were looking to win their third successive league title. Ten years on Manchester United managed by a rejuvenated Matt Busby won the European Cup, the first English club to do so. The game played at Wembley saw United defeat the Portugese club Benfica 4-1. Munich survivors Bobby Charlton & Bill Foulkes played in the game. The disaster in Munich reverberated throughout the world of football and gave Manchester United a symbolic significance within the game after they were able to overcome such great adversity. Wesley Davidson
Pub review: Mr Thomas’s Chop House style in which it remains today. The Victorian ceramic tiled interior looks as perfect as the day it was made and the incredible gothic exterior stands in ridiculous contrast to the neighbouring office blocks.
Walking into this place really is (excuse the cliché) like stepping back in time - providing you can ignore the chrome coffee machine and smokeless air of course. Housed in a former Georgian House on Cross Street, this Manchester institution first opened as a pub and restaurant by Thomas Studd in 1870. Before 1901, hard as it is to believe, Mr Thomas’s was actually smaller than it is now. Just after the turn of the century, the pub was rebuilt and extended in the archetypal Victorian
Wondering what a chophouse is? As was I. Contrary to my initial thoughts, it has nothing to do with meat! Chop houses are actually, traditionally, places where businessmen ate, drank and conducted their business - and they date back to the sixteenth century. This chop house comes close to the fine line between old pub and living museum. Either way, the combination of authentic history and beer is surely every history students’ dream; don’t forget your top hat or petticoat Topshop jeans and a Blackberry are simply out of place! Jemma Gibson
Ornate Jacobean syle front
Hooray for Henry Holland ‘I’ll show you who’s boss, Kate Moss’. Henry Holland was working on the teen magazine Bliss when he soared to fame with his tongue in cheek catchphrase T-shirts. Everyone whose anyone would recognise his rhyming slogan t-shirts, he’s best friends with supermodel Agyness Deyne, but what of the man behind the madness.
approach to fashion. For him there isn’t that whole thing of, ‘I can’t wear that I’d look like a poof, because you are a poof.’ Holland is not afraid to look stupid in the name of style, for him it’s part of the fun! The first time he was invited to a Downing Street reception for the fashion industry he rocked up in a pink and lime green floral suit. Everyone else wore black.
Holland was born on 26 May 1983 in Ramsbottom, Lancashire. He always knew he was headed towards a career in fashion, giving his mum the Gok Wan treatment from the age of three! Holland admits that he started his business almost accidentally, designing T-shirts for his friends, affectionate yet satirical, they rapidly became a fashion crowd in-joke.
Fashion Week catwalk wearing a T-shirt tribute to fellow designer Giles Deacon (“Get Yer Freak on Giles Deacon). Soon there was a fashion frenzy and everyone wanted a Henry Holland T-shirt. He labels it a transition, he was a writer, he wrote on clothes, and then he made clothes.
A nugget of wisdom from Holland, don’t always listen to your careers advisor. The fashion world would be missing one of their shining stars if Henry had listened to his; his job questionnaire concluded that for him the perfect job would be a fishmonger.
In 2006, designer Gareth Pugh appeared at the end of his London
It was only later in life that Holland realised he was gay, but he credits his sexuality to his experimental
There can be no doubt that Holland is the man who puts the fun back in fashion. Frankie Williams
The Hidden Past Don’t cry for me Argentina Continued from page 1
As part of our ongoing focus on world history, this edition’s article focuses on the oppressive period in 20th Century Argentine history known as The Dirty War. Between 1976 and 1983 between 10,000 and 30,000 people “disappeared”, victims targeted for their opposition to the military junta that had seized power.
This period of history has long been outside mainstream Western public consciousness, yet it is a story that merits consideration as it serves as a stark reminder of the possibilities of unchecked power.
Following the death of President Juan Peron in 1974 his wife and vice-president, Isabel Peron, assumed power. This was short lived, however, and in 1976 a military junta launched a coup d’etat against her, beginning a period of eight years of military dictatorship in which horrendous atrocities were carried out against opponents of the regime. It is important to note that the Peronistas were actually not above such tactics of profound political repression, which famously drove Ernesto “Che” Guevara from
his homeland in the ‘50s, as is evident in the “annihilation decrees” of Isabel Peron that were recently uncovered; the scale of such atrocity, however, was unprecedented as that under the junta. As recently as 2006, an Argentine federal judge, Raul Costa, called for her testimony regarding the 600 disappearances and 500 assassinations that occurred under her government from 1973 to 1976. She was additionally arrested in 2007 in Madrid regarding the disappearance of the political activist Hector Aldo Fagetti Gallego under her regime, as well as the “annihilation decrees” that she authorised to wipe out dissident political elements in the country at the time. The relevance of the Dirty War today is beyond question and it is an episode which raises important issues regarding political freedoms as well as freedom of speech. Two features loom large over the mind with regards to the Dirty War; the breadth of the purge that took place, and the foreign endorsement of the junta’s actions from the US government. In 2003 newly classified State Department documents obtained by the National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act showed that in 1976 the then Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger (and other high ranking US officials), had lent their full economic and military support to the Argentinean junta in power. Indeed, their only concern was to ensure that the Dirty War was conducted quickly and effectively,
even threatening the junta with reductions in military transactions should this not be done so. This should not come as a surprise to those with even the most rudimentary knowledge of US Cold War politics; in order to ensure the dominance of capitalism and prevent the spread of Communism, especially so close to home, American governments consorted with and backed those juntas and individuals who were willing to impose capitalism without any regard for the human rights of those who lived under such regimes. Another striking feature of the events is the penetration of the Dirty War into ordinary society. As well as the targets that one would expect from a military dictatorship, the left wing activists, trade unionists, students, journalists, Marxists and alleged sympathisers of the previous Peron regime, there are reports of up to 500 missing children from the period, only of which around 100 have been found according to the Grandmothers of the Plaza De Mayo. It is in this instance that the Dirty War takes on the tone of a Guillermo Del Toro film; the los desaparecidos (the disappeared) are eternally condemned to walk in the imagination of the Argentine people as a silent testament of this troubled period in their history. However, it must be stressed that only in a brief glance does it posses this quality; there are no other fantastical allusions to draw from this, only the very real tales and stories of the horrors of war and the human suffering caused by unchecked and unfettered power. Lewis Gordon
Pablo: Power and Pain While this may be a slight over exaggeration, the money was rolling in and Pablo quickly adopted a flashy lifestyle; spending vast amounts of money on fast cars, planes and women.
Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria was the infamous Colombian drug lord who’s violent power dominated the cocaine industry for two decades, making him billions of dollars and leading to the murder of hundreds of people. Pablo Escobar was born in the city of Envigado, Colombia in 1949 and his criminal inclinations can be seen from his youth; it is alleged that he began his criminal career stealing gravestones and sanding them down for resale. The adolescent Pablo tried his hand at most petty crime in Medellin: from selling contraband cigarettes and fake lottery tickets to stealing cars. Escobar’s criminal existence was transformed in the 1970’s through the explosion in demand for cocaine in the United States. Together with the Ochoa brothers, Escobar formed the Medellin Cartel that quickly came to dominate the cocaine industry, so that by the end of the 1970’s Escobar’s cartel was responsible for more than half of the cocaine shipped to the United States, bringing in not millions but billions of dollars. Indeed Pablo’s brother Roberto Escobar claimed that the Medellin operation spent $2,500 a month just on rubber bands to wrap the stacks of money they were earning!
Publically Pablo generated an image of philanthropy, making ostensible contributions to Medellin’s poor; building and funding schools, sport centers and churches. However angelic he may have portrayed himself to be, Escobar’s empire was built on brutal violence and dirty corruption. A policy he described himself as ‘plate o plomo’, silver or lead, which in more colloquial terms meant money or bullet. At the end of the 1970’s the sky seemed the limit for Escobar and in 1982 he formally entered politics and was elected as substitute representative to Colombia’s Congress. Thus completing his economic, social and political hegemony in Colombia. However, Escobar’s criminal lifestyle increasingly came under threat in the 1980’s as Ronald Regan’s administration declared a war on drugs and increasingly put pressure on the Colombian government to capture and extradite Escobar. Then in 1989 Escobar initiated the murder of the popular liberal presidential candidate Luis Galan, an outspoken opponent of the drug industry. Three months later Escobar attempted to murder Galan’s successor, Cesar Gaviria, by planting a bomb on an Avianca plane that killed 110 people. Following these two acts of unabashed violence the Colombian government finally moved against Escobar. With solid backing from America, Colombia’s president Barco created a special police unit called ‘Search Bloc’ to hunt Escobar down and at the end of 1990 Escobar gave himself up following intense negotiations with the government. Escobar was granted his own special prison known as ‘La Catedral’, which resembled more of
a holiday home than a jail: Escobar was largely free to leave when he liked and marijuana and prostitutes were regularly bought in to the compound. Escobar’s flagrant flouting of justice meant the Colombian government moved to transfer him to a real prison in July 1992. Yet Pablo escaped and an epic manhunt ensued, characterized by intense violence. A homegrown vigilante movement, made up of a range of Escobar’s opponents called ‘Los Pepos’ or ‘People Persecuted by Pablo Escobar’, initiated a vengeful blood bath against Escobar’s associates and relatives. By 1992 Colombia had become the murder capital of the world, with 27,100 murders that can largely be seen as stemming from Escobar’s violent drug empire. Pablo Escobar was finally found on the 2nd of December 1993 and shot dead as he tried to flee to safety across the rooftops of Medellin. However the victory of the law was short lived as the rival Cali cartel quickly filled the power vacuum left by Escobar’s death. Thus the sad cycle of the Columbian underworld continues; one criminal tycoon falls, only for another to swiftly rise and take his place.
The Enlightenment A very English affair There has been debate as to why the English are neglected in studies of Enlightenment. Marsak, in his ‘The Enlightenment’ presents no readings from English writers and Erick Cassirer does not help either by omitting such English thinkers as Bentham, Paine and Adam Smith from his ‘The Philosophy of the Enlightenment’. Against this tide stands Roy Porter. He has challenged the hegemony that continental Europe had over studies of Enlightenment. Suggesting that an English Enlightenment was innately conservative, especially one occurring before the ‘traditional’ eighteenth century. Porter’s argument leads to two interesting questions: Do we associate the French with Enlightenment because of the French Revolution of 1789? Do we disassociate the English with Enlightenment because there was no uprising in the eighteenth century? English Enlightenment thinkers were merchants and traders as well as Philosophers and so took an economically conservative stance in the 18th century. This was reflected in the conservatism of English authorship, therefore giving the impression England was less Enlightened. Traditional history sees Enlightenment as a French story and as a story of struggle against authority. Enlightenment thinkers directed English thought and science without violence; therefore there was arguably no Enlightenment in England.
But this feature did not mean the English didn’t have Enlightenment, not only this, the English Enlightenment swept its way across Europe. French Enlightenment thinkers such as Diderot were inspired by the freedoms already enjoyed by the English. As illustrated by his most famous quote ‘In England, philosophers are honoured, respected; they rise to
public offices, they are buried with the kings’. This puts to shame Perry Anderson, who thought England was ‘blessed by a continental drift’. The English Enlightenment did occur, but it occurred earlier; the French one aspired to imitate what the English
Thomas Paine: Paine is temporary, enlightenment is eternal
had already achieved. An English Enlightenment can easily be made as what defined an Enlightened culture existed in England before the eighteenth century. Credos of English origin were translated into the founding of the American constitution, the most obvious being the rights to pursue life, liberty and happiness, mirroring Locke’s ‘All mankind... being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions’. This constitution, carried ideals of religious toleration, constitutional property rights and liberties which all had their origins in the writings of English Enlightenment thinkers. An enlightened culture offered religious toleration, political freedoms and pursued science with a purely
empirical method as fundamentals. All these features were entrenched in English culture before their continental counterparts. Religious toleration had its origins in the Civil War, when the Anglican Church was temporarily dethroned allowing protestant Dissenters to stray from conventional worship. The impossibility of bringing the Dissenters back to the Anglican Church during the Restoration proved impossible and finally in 1689 through the Bill of Rights the Dissenters were guaranteed freedom of worship. Empiricism, a practise based on observation and experiment, dated back to the sixteenth century statesman Francis Bacon and culminated in Newton’s Principia of 1687, widely considered the most significant works in the history of science and the impetus for modern day physics. Political freedoms were also guaranteed in the Bill of Rights of 1689, which limited the monarchy’s powers without Parliament’s consent in respect to the suspension of laws, levying of money and raising of a standing army. It also guaranteed that the election to parliament was free, parliaments would he held regularly and there would be freedom of speech without royal impeachment. England had become Enlightened by the eighteenth century. It looked to the future instead of the past and studies of it have been all but non-existent due to it being unique, occurring earlier and its non association with civil strife and the existence of complacent and conservative literature in the eighteenth century, the over studied century of Enlightenment. William de la Bedoyere
The Enlightenment: super sized The ideological movement that developed in Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, known universally as “The Enlightenment”, had a significant impact on the struggle for American independence. The ‘American Enlightenment’ combined an engaging political scene with a proactive military objective for sovereignty, creating a revolutionary war that was unparalleled in scope or ferocity in Europe, excluding France. The focus on academic and ideological development in Europe, along with the dynamic manifestation of the Enlightenment principles of Liberalism, Democracy, religious tolerance and the Republicanism that the Declaration of Independence in 1776 highlights the developed concept of an ideological revolution. One of the key thinkers who influenced the movement for independence was the Englishman John Locke, widely regarded in Western thought as the ‘Father of
congress and The Bill of Rights, which is still in effect.
John Locke: Lost in thought
Liberalism’, who believed in a clear separation of powers between the State and the Church. The chief protagonists of the campaign for freedom for the thirteen original east coast states, such as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, adhered to such a belief, which had a momentous impact on the formulation and direction of American political ideology. For example, Locke’s ideas regarding social contracts and his belief in the necessity of revolution in changing society for the better, can be clearly seen in the American context today with the division of the senate and the
Enlightment and Society Arguably the most important facet to consider when one is examining the social and cultural developments within the European Enlightenment is the rise of the public sphere. What gave rise to what many historians now regard as the birth of the modern middle class in Europe is debated to be the result of numerous factors. Within Europe, the birth and rapid spread of the coffeehouse gave rise to an open public space for people to meet and discuss issues of common concern. This was the first time in which social interactions between non-elites became commonplace in Europe. The effects of modernisation and urbanisation had an additionally significant impact on the public sphere; the rising urban population, general population growth and improvements to communications in the 18th and 19th centuries created
a greater number of possibilities for intellectual exchange between members of the public. Records from this period reveal that both private and state-run libraries were in existence during the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe, and as more middle class people became literate, accessibility to information became correspondingly widespread as the number of publications released continued to increase during this period. The Protestant Reformation had an extremely significant impact on the public sphere as individuals began questioning the Catholic Church and its practices, particularly in the Northern and Western parts of Europe, for the first time. Changes in political structures, such as the Glorious Revolution of 1688 in Britain meant a greater impetus for involvement in the running of one’s own states and
Other scholars such as Voltaire, Montesquieu and Jean-Jacques Rousseau who represent the French school of the Enlightenment, also made key contributions to the progress of the revolution in America. Rousseau, for example, made a sharp difference between the masses as the sovereign lawmakers, and the power of the government universally, whilst Montesquieu’s theory over constitutional government had major ramifications on the structure of the American political system as a democratic and accountable one. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this period is that the European Enlightenment influenced events and political campaigns across the world on a more revolutionary manner, before affecting society closer to home with the monumental events of the French Revolution in 1789 and subsequent events. Sahand Razavi
therefore aided in the growing interest in the exchange of ideas. External influences also had an impact on the public sphere; by the 18th century, most European states had considerable colonial holdings, which allowed their countries to be exposed to new cultures and lifestyles. However, it must be remembered that the public sphere that the Enlightenment gave birth to was still considerably limited; though nonelites were becoming involved in experiences previously only available to the upper echelons of society, these experiences continued to exclude both women and the working class, an imbalance that would only be rectified during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Ata Rahman
Mozart: A musical maestro “A world that has produced a Mozart is a world worth saving” was the grand declaration of Franz Schubert, and it is true that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart made his mark on history in a way that few other composers have equalled.
and when he turned his attentions to opera in 1786, he produced the celebrated Don Giovanni. Indeed, the range of his work was another feature of Mozart’s genius: from operas to violin sonatas, with a couple of horn concerti thrown in for good measure, he tackled a broad spectrum of music and succeeded in all.
Yet for all his success, Mozart was never truly wealthy. He spent rather irresponsibly during his earlier years, saving little. And after the AustroBy any measure, Mozart stands as one Turkish War began of the greatest musical composers of all in 1786, his financial time, perhaps unsurprising from a man situation deteriorated rapidly, and he who apparently learned to write music was forced to borrow money. These notes before he could write words. monetary woes forced him into long Born in Austria in 1756, his talent was tours around German cities in a recognised early on, and before he was search for further fortune, with little out of his teenage years he had already success and further detrimental effect become a highly respected pianist on his fragile health, which had never by the nobility of Germany, France recovered from the difficult conditions and Italy. A papal knighthood and of his earliest European tours with his appointment as family. No amount of tackled a broad personal prestige could a court musician “He by the ruler of spectrum of music and persuade the Austrian Salzburg, Prince- succeeded in all” nobility, many of whom Archbishop were already squeezed by Hieronymus Colloredo, followed this the cost of the war with the Ottomans, success. to support him sufficiently.
But Mozart did not become one of the most prolific composers in Europe, with over 600 categorised works, and more besides, by settling into a comfortable (albeit poorly paid) position. In 1777, after four years at court, he set off travelling again, first to Paris and then, in 1781, to Vienna. All the while he composed at a furious rate, often with no amendments to the first written drafts that he produced during his travels. The concerts he staged were met with great acclaim,
As he entered what was to be the final year of his life, in 1791, Mozart’s finances improved, and his productivity increased. So too did the range of expression in his music, outstripping the usual boundaries of the classical genre. But for his death at the end of the year, of suspected acute rheumatic fever (although ambiguity surrounding the true cause has given conspiracy theorists ample material), he could have perhaps reached even greater heights, depths and subtleties
in his compositions. Yet there is a bitter poeticism to the idea that while his travels as a young boy – during which time he absorbed the influences of countless other composers including Bach – moulded him into one of the great composers, they also sowed the seeds which would cut this talent down early. Nonetheless, his legacy remains one of the most enduring of all composers. Though the names may be unfamiliar to many, works like Eine kleine Nachtmusik and the third movement of Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major are still some of the most distinctive pieces of music ever written. His influence was felt by Beethoven, who travelled to Vienna in 1787 in the hope of meeting Mozart, and composers ever since. And though the title “musical Christ”, as Tchaikovsky once remarked regarding him, may be debatable, there is no doubt that he was a musical genius, and one of the greatest composers who ever lived. Alexander Larkinson
Staff Leif’s Life Lessons
your supervisor’s office hour.
2. Explore the now.
Five Tips for Long Essay and Dissertation Magic Your supervisors will give you focused advice on content and methods, so here are five things you won’t be told about how to shine in independent study projects, but which will get where you want to be. Some will be profoundly counterintuitive, and all will mean challenging yourself and your views. But that’s the name of the game. However, all of these will transform your work over time in mystifying and almost magical ways.
1. Philosophise. About half the marks available in all the work you do are for solving ‘thinky’ problems. What’s wrong with my argument? What is evidence like? What are states? Does gender matter? Are individuals real? What do historians do? Can objects speak? Brainstorm a list of ‘thinky’ problems in your project and take them to
Why is Olympus potentially the most corrupt corporation on earth? Why did democracy campaigners in Egypt not want elections now? Don’t know? Oops. If you want to start to grow your appreciation for complexity, contested ideas and interconnectedness in a relatively painless way, then read a paper edition of a serious newspaper 3+ times a week. Only paper editions count, because you can’t flippantly pick and choose what you read in them, and because they make you invest something in obtaining them and spend special time away from gadgets reading them. The reviews, comment, economics and society pages matter as much as the news.
3. Obsess about commas. And paragraphs. And colons. Can you quote the rules for using these? They might seem marginal to the real business of your work, but they’re not. These are easy marks to throw away – and easy to win back, too. Explore the rules at http:// www.bristol.ac.uk/arts/exercises/ grammar/grammar_tutorial/index. htm. Master the exercises, and your grades will improve – as will your salary after Uni.
4. Cheat. You have to master a huge amount of material just to get started on your research – including dozens of difficult, long books. Eventually, you have to read the books that matter in detail, but you can identify those more quickly by reading book reviews in JSTOR. If a book crops up in your literature search, JSTOR will find reviews - you tick the ‘review’ box in ‘advanced search’. Then you’ll know what the book’s major arguments are without reading it. If they’re important – then you read the book.
5. Stop taking notes. No-one can read, think and write at the same time. So when doing your research, put your pen down. Read a chapter of a book or a journal article, and when you have finished reading, write down what you remember. But not everything that you remember! Jot down: the argument; its relationship to other people’s arguments (same, similar, different); the types of evidence it used; the types of approach it used (economic history, anthropology, gender theory etc.). If you can’t remember it, it wasn’t that important – move on to the next item. Think more; write less. Dr. Leif Jerram
Calling Dr. Jones
Greetings History Students! Dr Jerram initiated a series of reforms last year to improve your experience at Manchester, which I’m now taking forward. We’re working on a number of fronts, but here are 6 key areas: 1. Feedback & Assessment: History has pioneered online submission through Blackboard/Turnitin, both saving students’ time and money, and making feedback on essays more easily accessible - no more crumpled bits of paper getting lost! We’re also developing the ‘Feed Forward’ marking system, where we identify specific points for you to work on after every piece of work. 2. Learning Resources: We’ve developed a reading-list strategy with the JRUL which includes: a) making all compulsory readings available online; b) purchasing more copies of key texts; c) extending online provision of texts through Blackboard. If you think there are problems with resources for a specific course unit, please let me know. 3. Academic Advising: Every student should know the name of their Academic Adviser (AA), and meet with them to discuss their progress, course choices, and where to go for careers advice. Among other reforms, we will be announcing a ‘Course Choice Day’ in May 2012, when all Level 1 and 2 students will meet with their AA to discuss next year’s options. 4. Joint-Programmes: Studying on a joint-honours programme presents unique challenges. We’ve appointed
dedicated liaison officers for each programme, and are actively working to improve communication with our principal partners, Economics, Politics & Sociology. 5. History Community: History is a large Department in a large University. We know that students sometimes feel anonymous and want to build a stronger sense of community. The History Society has done a terrific job, which all staff appreciate – thank you. And thanks also to the Manchester Historian team – we’re delighted the newspaper’s taken off! We’ll be announcing more staffstudent activities in the new year. 6. History Student Portal: The aim of the HSP is to create a single space which will direct you to all the resources you need at Manchester. Do have a look around, and make sure to check out the ‘Online Resources for Historians’. We think this is as useful a set of web pages for history students as any we’ve found. If you’ve found better, please let me know! We are working hard to improve what we do in History. We’ve made good progress, but there’s still room for improvement, so please don’t hesitate to let us know what we need to work on. Enjoy the vacation! Dr Max Jones (Director of Undergraduate Programmes in History)
Interview with Hannah Barker What first interested you in history? Studying ancient Egypt at primary school made me positive I wanted to be an Egyptologist. Quite how I then made the leap to the C18th I’m not sure, but my early love of ‘historical’ films of the 1950s and 60s (The Vikings, Robin of Sherwood, The Scarlet Pimpernel etc) might have had something to do with fostering my love of historical periods when men wore tights.
rather than gender history but have drifted towards it in recent years because it interests me. I get bored quite easily and like a new challenge and so I have worked on various types of history during my career, whilst always sticking in the eighteenth century and usually looking at the north of England. It wouldn’t surprise me if in 5 years I was doing something quite different.
What changes do you hope to bring How did you get into a career in about in the History department as history? head of history? I did a D.Phil. in history at Oxford and then was lucky enough get a teaching job at Keele.
Why gender history?
I hope to make both students and staff as happy and productive in their work as possible. Paul Fouracre has done a great job and so I want to build upon his successes.
I started off doing political history,
Is creating a history community one
of your priorities? Absolutely, this ties in with the previous question - I think a common space for all historians is really important in terms of fostering a sense of identity and belonging.
What is your favourite era in history? See previous answer regarding male tight-wearing (or stockings, to be more historically accurate).
Any final words of wisdom for current history undergraduates? I’d like to (mis)quote Wordsworth here: ‘to be young is very heaven’. It may not feel like it at times, but this is probably the most exciting period of your life, full of possibility. Embrace it.
Postgraduate Study Why study for a PhD? It’s a valid question. Why spend at least another three or four years slaving away to write the longest piece of work you’ve ever had to struggle with?
Well, as any PhD student will tell you, it is hard, but it is also one of the most rewarding experiences you can have at University. In short, a PhD is your first chance to make your mark on the academic world. It is an opportunity to study, in depth, almost any subject that interests you. You can experiment with new theoretical approaches, present new evidence, and engage with academic debates on a level that you will never have had the chance to as an undergraduate or masters student. With a bit of luck, your thesis
could even be turned into a book and end up on the shelves in Blackwells or Waterstones. Undertaking a PhD also gives you a chance to get involved in a diverse range of other projects, including (although this is not an exhaustive list) teaching at various levels, widening participation activities with secondary school and college students, a huge range of public engagement activities, and organising events within the University. Completing a PhD involves a lot of hard work, research and writing and it can be a very lonely experience, but the social circle is always there, and there are always healthy distractions from work! However heavy the workload is, it is always rewarding to
work on something you enjoy. A PhD does not necessarily have to lead to academia however. It can prepare you for a career outside of academia in that it will help to hone those skills that you begin to develop as an undergraduate, critical engagement, self-reflection and evaluation of evidence, formation of arguments and clarity of communication to name but a few. If you are reading this, and you think you would like to take a PhD, speak to academic advisors, peers and current PhD students about their experience. They will all tell you it is well worth doing. Edd Poole
Remembering the past We Must Remember to Remember! In cultural history the buzz word of the moment seems to be ‘memory’ and how different social groups, ranging from local communities to nations, remember the past. As I am sure you will agree this does sound a fascinating topic. However, the subject has now become bogged down in a debate over terminology that can make you want to forget all about remembering! Most scholars agree that memory is affected by society and cannot be viewed simply as an individualist activity. Our everyday landscape is full of cultural elements such as artworks and architecture that have an impact on our memory. Yet, this is where historians stop being happy campers and start bickering over the finer details. There are numerous terms advocated by different scholars as to the best way of describing this kind of memory. For example, Lucy Noakes argues the case for ‘popular memory’ which
implies the fundamental role played by the media in how and what people remember. For Noakes ‘popular memory’ highlights the fact that what is remembered is often dependent on what is popularly consumed from newspapers or the television. David Berliner agrees that media is important to how we remember. However, for him ‘popular memory’ just will not do! Berliner believes ‘cultural memory’ is preferable as it emphasises the transformation memory can undergo. For instance, each time there is a new film about the Titanic the memory of the event is reshaped. Our memories, probably created from the previous film, will be altered or completely replaced by this latest version (i.e. many of us now remember the Titanic as a heart-wrenching romantic tragedy between Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet). I do not have the space (or the patience) to outline all the different terms, but
many more have been promoted such as ‘collective memory’, ‘social memory’, ‘historical remembrance’ etc. etc. And this is really my point. Whilst identify correct terminology is an important step in any academic study the discussion seems to have got slightly out of hand when it comes to memory. This labelling frenzy can make the study of memory seem confusing and I am sure it has put more than a few people off. However, if you ignore the preference of ‘cultural memory’ or ‘public memory’ then Noakes and Berliners arguments suddenly become so much more interesting. The terminology almost has to be looked passed in order to get to the really juicy stuff. Stripped of its jargon I completely understand why cultural historians cannot forget about memory, I just wish they would forget to brand it! Amanda Phipps
The History Society A message from the academic officers of the history society Historians at Manchester are a multi-faceted bunch. There are the hard-working library squatters who only emerge for lectures, seminars and office hours. Then we have the shirkers who last went to a lecture in second week, have no idea where their seminars are and couldn’t find their tutor if they tried. And of course, there are the rest of us who put the work in, keeping intact the well-established work hard, play harder attitude. We do all have something more in common. We can all expect a certain standard of teaching and service from the History Department and the University. The Academic and support in the department are really committed to the study of history at Manchester.
But sometimes things don’t work properly, go as smoothly as they should or are simply overlooked. When this happens you shouldn’t just whine to your housemates down the pub. Talk to your academic advisor or course director. The History Society has a role to play here too. If there is a widespread problem that is going to effect other history students or you think staff haven’t dealt with your complaint satisfactorily get in touch with the Academic Officers (Rachel Jones and me) and we can take your case further.
interested in that too.
We hold a drop-in session once a fortnight. The details of which are posted on the facebook group – join if you haven’t already search ‘Manchester University History Society 11-12’ to find us. You can also email us: firstname.lastname@example.org Charlie Bush
Things don’t have to have gone totally wrong before you speak to us. If you’ve got suggestions or recommendations to make things just a bit better we are
Have your say about the history department Next year there will be a brand new history common room somewhere on the west wing in the Samuel Alexander building. We asked you what you wanted this to look like and this is what you said: -
It would be great to have a mini kitchen, or just a kettle so we can meet there for tea breaks!
Lots of computer plugs so we can bring our laptops with us to uni and charge them easily.
We have plenty of computers so just loads of comfy seating would be great.
Lots of books to make it look like a cozy library!
Not too modern – we are history students after all.
The law school has a great one, look there for inspiration!
Freely available daily newspapers.
A space where lecturers and students mix together so we create a more cohesive department.
If you have any more feedback on the common room ideas don’t hesitate to get in touch with the history society on our email: email@example.com
Reviews Aliens, Monsters and Psychics
The History Channel would seem like the logical go to for any avid history fan who wanted to learn more about their interest. In reality anyone turning on the History Channel for any real historical insight will be sorely disappointed. However, if crackpot conspiracies,
doomsday theories and programmes that have almost nothing to do with history are your thing, you are in for a treat! Programmes like Ancient Aliens, UFO Hunters, MonsterQuest, Pawn Stars, Big Shrimpin’, Swamp People and Nostradamus Effect are just a few I can name to make you puzzle as to how this channel is called the “History” Channel, and not the “We Found Some Mental People with Barmy Ideas and Some Other Stuff that has Nothing to do with History” Channel. My personal favourite out of the History Channel’s choice programming is Ancient Aliens, which resembles a show that would normally be confined to late night showings on ITV 4 (Channel 5 if they’re lucky). One of the guests on this show is Giorgio Tsoukalos, if you don’t know
him then YouTube his name and get to grips with his theories, it should take no more than 30 seconds. Essentially his arguments, and the shows, can be summed up with this sort of statement; ‘I’m not saying it was aliens...but it was aliens’. I know I may be dancing around the obvious and that the History Channel has these sorts of programmes for rating purposes but I do think they need to be reminded that they are the History Channel. There is a lot of unexplored history out there without having to resort to aliens and myth. In a way this is a plea for the History Channel to put the history back into their programming. Christopher McMahon
Spitfire Women: BBC Four documentary This wonderful documentary tells the story of the 168 fearless women who provided vital support to the RAF in transporting planes from factory to aerodrome throughout the war; the Air Transport Auxiliary.
tales of endless parties in London before rushing back to the base to fly for 9am.
Constantly subjected to sexism and underappreciated for their bravery and hard work, it was fascinating to see how these young, mainly upper class ‘gals’ battled to be allowed to risk their lives for their country via their shared passion and talent for flight.
In a time when women’s options were so limited, these girls were truly breaking boundaries – and having the time of their lives. There was a poignant air to their recollections though, as for many this was a brief hiatus of freedom; after the war any hope of continuing to fly professionally was dashed, the girls were expected to go home and get married.
The ‘ATA Girls’ quickly became pinup stars when they were formed in 1939; the glamorous band of female pilots drove the press into a frenzy; subsequently there is no shortage of real film footage of the girls frolicking, both in flight and on land. The surviving ladies, now well into their eighties, happily regale
We are told the stories of many inspiring and determined women, many of whom deserve their own documentary entirely; from Amy Johnson, the first woman to fly solo from London to Australia and ATA ‘head girl’, to the feisty American beauty product billionaire (and pilot) Jackie Cochran. As well as
being pioneers of aviation, the ATA girls were pioneers in the struggle for women’s rights, succeeding in the first ever ‘equal rights for equal pay’ battle in 1943. Given the current trend for ‘vintage’ television such as Pan Am and Mad Men, one feels it won’t be long until the ATA girls’ story is told on the big screen. “Spitfire Women” is no longer available on BBC iplayer but can be found on Youtube. Harriet Cherry
Leonardo’s Dream Machines Leonardo Da Vinci was, without doubt, one of the greatest minds in human history who is often said to have been, scientifically at least, hundreds of years ahead of his time.
being a television programme, it was never going to be as easy as it could have been; there are the inevitable ‘unforeseen’ pitfalls that come with any documentary.
However, this seems to be an idea that grates on the modern day scientist who cannot dream of being compared to such a man or lauded in such a way. Therefore, the natural thing to do is to test the real scale of Da Vinci’s genius by attempting to transform his blueprints into working models using only the known resources of Leonardo’s time. The recreation of a hang glider style flying machine and a large crossbow is the aim of the group of engineers and in fairness, throughout, the engineers do their utmost to achieve this aim, constantly referring to Da Vinci’s name with reverence and the
However, the team pulls through and, with varying degrees of success, seem satisfied to conclude that Da Vinci really was as remarkable as we already thought and deserves to be lavished with even more posthumous praise as a result of their discoveries. Unfortunately, those involved seem to have a greater opinion of the impact of the show than the reality, but to give it some credit, they make a valid point - Da Vinci was a genius, by any standards, and always deserves to be remembered as such.
exalted status so often given. The group sets about trying to turn, what may have been at the time, Da Vinci’s wildest dreams into a medieval reality without the use of the tools and machinery that would make such construction seem trivial to you or I. Call me cynical, but
The Working Class Movement Library Want a new archive to track down those elusive ‘primary sources’ your lecturers keep nagging you about? Writing an essay on the history of radical politics? Well, you’re in luck because this week the Manchester Historian travelled to Salford to take a look around the Working Class Movement Library.
The easily accessible site houses an incredible collection of historical records and documents from across the globe, although the real strength of the collection lies in British history, hosting the best Thomas
Paine collection in the country and roomfuls of books on Ireland. The library owns copies (many originals) of all radical newspapers, from the Chartist Political Register to the leftist The Leveller of the 1970s and 1980s. Unlike many libraries, no appointment is necessary, you can simply ring the bell, enter and browse! However, if you have specific material in mind it may be worth giving them a quick ring so they can dig it out for you in advance. The library’s books all belonged to the couple Ruth and Eddie Frow who dedicated their lives to tracking down and purchasing books on the political activities of the working class, opening up their home (the original site of the library) to any researcher who wanted to locate a particular source.
The ethos of sharing the great wealth of knowledge collected by the Frows remains central to the library, and anyone is permitted to browse the collection. This has created a wonderfully welcoming atmosphere in the library, with other researchers approaching you to point out their favourite books and staff plying you with endless cups of tea and biscuits. The WCML is more than just a building full of books – it is an experience, and we urge you to go. The WCML is a two minute walk from Salford Crescent train station. Visit www.wcml.org.uk to find out opening hours and to browse the online catalogues. Florence Holmes Donaldson
History Students! Want more contact hours? Not sure how to find out a lecturer’s office hours? Tired of hunting for books on blue 3? Baffled by the library’s databases? Want more issues of the Manchester Historian? I know I do. THEN LET US KNOW! Next year the Manchester Historian will be launching a forum for academic debate within the paper, so you can anonymously critique the department and make suggestions for improvements. These ideas will be debated between students and lecturers, opening up communications within the history department. Regardless of whether you’re in first year or third, your opinion matters and it will be heard by those that can act upon it. This is your chance for change. Look out in the new year for more information on how to submit your ideas. In the time being, if you have anything pressing to say please email: firstname.lastname@example.org with your query.
Thanks, and check your emails for updates.
Published on Dec 3, 2012