The Cultural History Reader
Edited by Peter McCaffery, Ben Marsden
To Be Published October 2nd 2013 by Routledge – 440 pages
Series: Routledge Readers in History
The Cultural History Reader is the first volume to collect together the distinctive contributions made by cultural historians across the spectrum of historiographical methods. It offers a unique view into the insights to be gained from examining how cultural factors have shaped people's experiences of the world and guided their actions.
Featuring ten thematic sections, covering everything from childhood to technology and war to popular culture, this book bridges disparate themes, periods, nationalities and religions to present detailed analyses of a variety of cultural responses and interpretations in diverse historical contexts. Peter McCaffery and Ben Marsden use their wealth of experience in teaching and researching cultural history to identify key topics and to provide the most telling extracts, illustrating how different social and cultural factors intersect and link together to give a richer picture of the past in all its surprising complexity. They also provide authoritative and clearly written introductions that contextualize each section and show the ways in which the themes have been handled by different cultural historians.
The book provides a detailed and accessible introduction to cultural history as a discipline, outlining how it has developed since the eighteenth century and where it differs from related disciplines such as sociology, anthropology and archaeology. The Cultural History Reader is a perfect resource for all students of cultural history and all those interested in how focusing on cultural factors has shaped our understanding of the past.
Introduction. 1. Oral and literate cultures 2. Culture and technology 3. Space, time and measurement 4. Work and commerce 5. Religion 6. Gender 7. Childhood 9. Individuality 10. Popular culture 11. Cross-cultural encounters 12. War
Peter McCaffery taught Sociology and Cultural History in the University of Aberdeen. Among his publications are ‘The transition from unitary to pluralist Catholicism in The Netherlands 1920-1970’, in Religious Pluralism and Unbelief, edited by Ian Hamnett (1990), and Midwifery and the Medicalization of Childbirth, edited with Edwin van Teijlingen, George Lowis and Maureen Porter (2000). He is interested in problems of interdisciplinary collaboration, both in research and in professional practice
Ben Marsdenis Director of the Centre for the History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Medicine at the University of Aberdeen. He has been involved in the teaching of cultural history, especially of science and technology, since 1992. His books include Watt’s Perfect Engine: Steam and the Age of Invention (2002), Engineering Empires: A Cultural History of Technology in Nineteenth-Century Britain with Crosbie Smith (2005), and Uncommon Contexts: Encounters between Science and Literature 1800-1914 edited with Ralph O’Connor and Hazel Hutchison (2013).