Blog

Call for Papers: The Hero and Heroism: Then, There and Now, Leeds Beckett University, 12-13th September 2019

In May 2018, Mamoudou Gassama, ‘France’s real-life Spider Man’, became a social media sensation when YouTube footage showed him climbing four storeys on the outside of a block of flats in Paris to save a four-year-old boy who was hanging perilously from an open balcony. He was duly thanked personally by French President Emmanuel Macron … Continue reading Call for Papers: The Hero and Heroism: Then, There and Now, Leeds Beckett University, 12-13th September 2019

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Burns injuries and the embodiment of childhood deprivation in 1960s and 1970s Britain

All of us here at @burnshistory are thrilled to introduce our newest addition to the team: Aaron Andrews has joined us as Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Aaron completed his PhD at the University of Leicester’s Centre for Urban History, on ‘Decline and the City: the ‘Urban Crisis’ in Liverpool, c. 1968-86’, in 2018. He has published … Continue reading Burns injuries and the embodiment of childhood deprivation in 1960s and 1970s Britain

Workshop Report: Fires and Communities in the Early-Modern and Modern Periods

This week members of the Forged by Fire project attended a workshop on ‘Fires and Communities in the Early-Modern and Modern Periods’ at the Maison Française d’Oxford. Organised by Marie Thébaud-Sorger (MFO/French National Centre for Scientific Research) and Shane Ewen (Co-I of Forged by Fire, Leeds Beckett University), the event was the first in what … Continue reading Workshop Report: Fires and Communities in the Early-Modern and Modern Periods

Interview with Benjamin Zephaniah to mark 20th anniversary of his novel, Face, 1 Feb. 2019, Birmingham

This year will mark the 20th anniversary of the publication of Benjamin Zephaniah’s first teen novel, Face. The publication date of the novel coincides with the end date chosen for our 'Forged by Fire' project, and it also engages with a number of issues at the heart of our project and the story is also … Continue reading Interview with Benjamin Zephaniah to mark 20th anniversary of his novel, Face, 1 Feb. 2019, Birmingham

Remembering Glasgow’s James Watt Street Fire, 18 November 1968

James (Jim) Smith joined Glasgow Fire Brigade as a firefighter in 1962 at the age of twenty, where he was assigned to one of the busiest city stations in Western Europe. Glasgow was known as ‘Tinderbox City’ at the time, and the brigade had a reputation for being well-equipped and trained in order to deal … Continue reading Remembering Glasgow’s James Watt Street Fire, 18 November 1968

Stories of Burns Past: Destiny and The Button

Some stories you’re meant to tell. And there are days you’re meant to tell them. The Button’s tale draws together work and people, linking individual ideas, the plans of different projects, and global travel. For me, the story began in 2018, but for The Button, this all started in 1890. Some items contained in the … Continue reading Stories of Burns Past: Destiny and The Button

Learning from the A-bomb: Atomic flash-burns in Hiroshima and Nagasaki

*This post contains images that some readers may find distressing* Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima. Image copyright: Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum From 1 January until 26 March 2018, I shifted my research on the history of burns in Britain to explore these injuries in the context of Japan during the Second World War. Although the connections … Continue reading Learning from the A-bomb: Atomic flash-burns in Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Scale, Scope, Equality and History: Reflections on Glasgow Research

Just as the neeps and tatties of Burns Night were being cleared away, before the UK university strikes of recent weeks, I found myself again transported back to last year and my time in Scotland… Image © The Author. ‘Forged by Fire: Burns Injuries and Identity in Britain, c.1800-2000’ considers experiences across Britain and throughout … Continue reading Scale, Scope, Equality and History: Reflections on Glasgow Research

Interview with ‘Forged by Fire’ artist Sarah Taylor Silverwood

Biography As part of the ‘Forged by Fire’ project, the research team decided to commission Birmingham artist Sarah Taylor Silverwood to produce a series of stories, which will form a graphic novel describing some of the experiences of the people and professionals who experienced and treated burns historically. Sarah, who was an artist in residence at … Continue reading Interview with ‘Forged by Fire’ artist Sarah Taylor Silverwood