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Past & Present
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.392
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 152  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0031-2746 - ISSN (Online) 1477-464X
Published by Oxford University Press Homepage  [396 journals]
  • A Grammar of Conquest: The Spanish and Arabic Reorganization of Granada
           After 1492*
    • Authors: Gilbert C.
      Pages: 3 - 40
      Abstract: Antonio de Nebrija's phrase, ‘Language has always been the companion of empire,' from his 1492 Gramática castellana, has become synonymous with how control over language sustained Spanish colonial enterprises in the Americas. Nebrija's imperial ideals in 1492, however, focused on the recently conquered Muslim kingdom of Granada and the imposition of new language and law on those subjects. The aftermath of conquest in Granada witnessed the promulgation of complex language policies regarding both Spanish and Arabic, and the creation of bilingual power structures across local, royal, noble and church administration. In that setting, the Castilian priest Pedro de Alcalá learned Arabic and created a set of grammatical, lexical and religious materials in Arabic and Spanish that reflected and were instrumental for the reorganization of Granadan society. This article studies Alcalá's work as part of the religious and scholarly milieux connected to Ferdinand and Isabel's court and considers it alongside archival documents in Arabic and Spanish which testify to the social relations and institutions surrounding its production in Granada. The collaboration and competition behind the production of Alcalá's texts are an example of how missionary linguistics, translation and language policies shape political and social organization according to multiple agendas and perspectives.
      PubDate: Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/pastj/gty003
      Issue No: Vol. 239, No. 1 (2018)
  • ‘Voyage Iron’: An Atlantic Slave Trade Currency, its European Origins,
           and West African Impact*
    • Authors: Evans C; Rydén G.
      Pages: 41 - 70
      Abstract: In West Africa, as in other parts of the Atlantic world, the eighteenth century was an age of exuberant consumerism. The West African coast was a burgeoning marketplace to which goods from all points of the compass were rushed: Indian cottons, Brazilian tobacco, brassware from Aachen, New England rum, glass from Venice and Bohemia, and much else besides. Trashy gewgaws would not do. Traders from Europe and the Americas knew that African consumers were discerning; only articles that matched African tastes and met local quality standards would find a market. African buyers, much like their prosperous counterparts in Paris or Philadelphia, were ‘moved by prestige, fancy, changing taste, and a desire for variety’.11 Consumer demand in West Africa was therefore dynamic. Sub-Saharan consumption patterns varied from place to place and changed markedly over time.22
      PubDate: Mon, 08 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/pastj/gtx055
      Issue No: Vol. 239, No. 1 (2018)
  • Diets, Hunger and Living Standards During the British Industrial
    • Authors: Griffin E.
      Pages: 71 - 111
      Abstract: Throughout the twentieth century, historians debated what happened to the living standards of ordinary men, women, and children during the British industrial revolution. But where this historical question once attracted attention from across the methodological spectrum, the past two decades have seen cultural and qualitative approaches eclipsed by statistical accounts written by economic historians. In this article, I will argue that the marginalisation of social and cultural approaches to historical living standards has been to the detriment of our understanding. Through an analysis of two discrete sources of evidence – nineteenth-century budget data and working-class autobiography – this article sheds new light on the diets and living standards of the labouring poor. It rejects the optimism/pessimism dichotomy that continues to frame quantitative analyses and presents a more nuanced account that examines how experiences varied according to region, gender and age. The article concludes that it is not only that it is possible to incorporate cultural change into our analyses of living standards, but that it is necessary to do so in order to grasp this period in all its complexity.
      PubDate: Tue, 09 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/pastj/gtx061
      Issue No: Vol. 239, No. 1 (2018)
  • The Power of Ancestors: Tombs and Death Practices in Late Qing China’s
           Foreign Relations, 1845–1914*
    • Authors: Chen S.
      Pages: 113 - 142
      Abstract: Shanghai was among the first five treaty ports to be opened to Europeans by the Treaty of Nanking, signed after the Qing Empire (1644–1911) was defeated by the British in the First Opium War (1839–42). A wall poster from the early 1850s, currently in the collection of the Cambridge University Library, gives a rare glimpse of how people in Shanghai reacted to the arrival of foreign powers:
      PubDate: Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/pastj/gty001
      Issue No: Vol. 239, No. 1 (2018)
  • Rethinking Metrology, Nationalism and Development in India,
    • Authors: Velkar A.
      Pages: 143 - 179
      PubDate: Thu, 01 Feb 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/pastj/gtx064
      Issue No: Vol. 239, No. 1 (2018)
  • International Adoption and Anglo-American Internationalism,
    • Authors: Baughan E.
      Pages: 181 - 217
      Abstract: In January 1920, Admiral Newton McCully landed in New York after a three-year diplomatic tour of Bolshevik Russia. He was greeted by cheering crowds waving silk handkerchiefs and women clamouring to kiss him on both cheeks. Reporters crowded around to catch a glimpse of the ‘man of the hour’ and the reason for his new heroic status: the four boys and three girls, ranging in age from two years to twelve, that he had plucked from impoverished orphanages in the Crimea and brought to America. Knowing only the English words ‘bread’, ‘blanket’ and (now) ‘father’, their emotive tale — in addition to McCully’s considerable status in the US Navy — had achieved an exceptional breach of US immigration laws.11 They were permitted to enter America as unaccompanied minors, were subsequently legally adopted by Admiral McCully, and became naturalized citizens shortly after their adoption.22 The children grew up in McCully’s family home in North Carolina.33 The boys followed in the steps of their adoptive father, graduating from the US Naval Academy in Annapolis before the outbreak of the Second World War, while the girls married ‘society gentlemen’.44
      PubDate: Wed, 31 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/pastj/gtx059
      Issue No: Vol. 239, No. 1 (2018)
  • Planning Peace: The European Roots of the Post-War Global Development
    • Authors: Alacevich M.
      Pages: 219 - 264
      Abstract: The Second World War marked a radical, global transformation of political and economic hierarchies. With the rise of the United States from hemispheric to world power, the demise of colonialism and the emergence of Asia and other non-European regions, the Eurocentrism that had shaped the world during the previous 150 years came to an end.11 The United Nations became a fundamental forum for the debate that accompanied this global transformation, while at the level of ideas the European notion of a ‘civilizing mission’ gave way to a new conceptual framework, the idea of ‘development’. As two historians wrote, this new notion ‘appealed as much to leaders of “underdeveloped” societies as to the people of developed countries, and it gave citizens in both categories a share in the intellectual universe and in the moral community that grew up around the world-wide development initiative of the post-World War II era’.22 For decades to follow, generations of scholars, activists and policy makers would devote their careers to discussing development as a theory and set of practices, to such an extent that development, in whatever its current iteration, would impact questions as broad and as interrelated as post-war reconstruction, the fall of empires, the Cold War and the emancipation of entire countries and continents.
      PubDate: Wed, 31 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/pastj/gtx065
      Issue No: Vol. 239, No. 1 (2018)
  • Europeanist Trends and Islamicate Trajectories in Early Modern Ottoman
    • Authors: Markiewicz C.
      Pages: 265 - 281
      Abstract: There is little question these days that the Ottoman Empire constitutes a significant aspect of the early modern landscape. It is now rare to come across any academic publication or conference presentation on the Ottoman Empire between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries without also encountering ‘early modern’ prominently included in the title or text. More substantively, Ottomanists have made great strides in the last generation to connect the history of the empire in meaningful ways to the major concepts, themes and developments that have animated the study of contemporaneous, neighbouring geographies. In the last two decades, such geographies have most frequently consisted of Europe and the Mediterranean, however construed. By any number of criteria, Ottoman studies of the early modern era have been connected frequently and accepted generally as an integral component of a wider early modern world, especially in its European and Mediterranean iterations. The approach has shifted the field away from the self-referential and arcane concerns that had once dominated its study, yet this integration of Ottoman history with the broader historiographical currents of Europeanists also has come at a cost. In some cases, the overlaying of Europeanist themes and concepts upon sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Ottoman realities obscures as much as it illuminates and raises the question of whether a European or Mediterranean frame of reference is the most appropriate for examining the more localized political, social, religious, economic and intellectual contexts that shaped life in the Ottoman Empire between 1500 and 1800. Put differently, is there another way'
      PubDate: Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/pastj/gty009
      Issue No: Vol. 239, No. 1 (2018)
  • Corrigendum
    • Pages: 283 - 283
      Abstract: The word “folklore” was incorrectly spelled in the title of William G. Pooley’s article “Native to the Past: History, Anthropology, and Folklore in Past and Present” ( The error has been corrected online.
      PubDate: Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/pastj/gty002
      Issue No: Vol. 239, No. 1 (2018)
  • Rethinking Metrology, Nationalism and Development in India,
    • Pages: 285 - 285
      Abstract: In Aashish Velkar’s article “Rethinking Metrology, Nationalism and Development in India, 1833–1956” ( the name of Michael Gordin was spelled incorrectly in the footnote of page 1. The authors apologize for the error which has been corrected online.
      PubDate: Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/pastj/gty013
      Issue No: Vol. 239, No. 1 (2018)
  • Space, Place and Scale: Human Geography and Spatial History in Past and
    • Authors: Campbell C.
      Abstract: Just as, in Nigel Thrift’s words, space is the ‘fundamental stuff of human geography’, time, one might add, is the ‘stuff’ of history.11 While this separation seems neat, historians tend to study time and place as parallel concepts; when they merge, spatial history (and historical geography) follows. Important within spatial history are the concepts of ‘place’ (that is, physical spaces that people naturalize through patterns, behaviour and communications) and ‘scale’ (the representation of any area, as produced and defined by social process, from the smallest unit, the body, to the largest, the universe).22 This article presents how authors within Past and Present have studied space, place and scale. It emphasizes that spatial history can serve as methodology, approach and object. It contributes to a small but growing pool of articles outlining the historiography of spatial history. By examining spatial history in Past and Present (a journal with an explicitly social character) I show that, while the study of human geography turned away from social concerns from the 1940s to the 1960s, it was concern with social history that made the space of Past and Present a place for spatial studies. Further, the linguistic turn and postmodernism opened the door to innovative articles that examine or employ space, place and scale.
      PubDate: Tue, 17 May 2016 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/pastj/gtw006
      Issue No: Vol. 239, No. 1 (2016)
  • Slavery and Anti-Slavery in the Atlantic World
    • Authors: Schneider R; Hilton M.
      Abstract: Since their respective foundations in 1895 and 1952, both the American Historical Review and Past and Present have maintained a commitment to the importance of being generalist journals. We continue to publish articles that can cover any period and any place or region so long as they can be presented in a manner that might appeal to historians and other scholars far removed from the authors’ own areas of specialism and expertise. That said, certain topics have become mainstays of the two journals, and we have published key interventions in some of the most controversial and stimulating historiographical debates.
      PubDate: Fri, 05 Feb 2016 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/pastj/gtw003
      Issue No: Vol. 239, No. 1 (2016)
  • Native to the Past: History, Anthropology, and Folklore in Past and
    • Authors: Pooley W.
      PubDate: Tue, 29 Sep 2015 00:00:00 GMT
      DOI: 10.1093/pastj/gtv038
      Issue No: Vol. 239, No. 1 (2015)
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
Tel: +00 44 (0)131 4513762
Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
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