Alain Corbin's Life of an Unknown is a book that I return to time and time again. Not so much the biography of the 'unknown' 19th-century clog maker who Corbin chose at random in the archive, it is more akin to an anti-biography. Corbin's own conclusion is that he knows nothing of who Pinagot - … Continue reading Antibiography


Translating History

Guest post by Rachel Kaufman “But times do comeWhen the old shaping imageriesOf earth launch forth –In histories,Happenings past….”—“Greece,” Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843) In his piece on John Ashbery’s and Karl Kirchwey’s translations, poet and scholar Eric Ormsby writes of verse translation: “In [a good] translation, a sharp scent of strangeness remains, as vague yet distinctive … Continue reading Translating History

History as Creative Practice

Since the professionalization of historical research in the nineteenth century, there have always been different ways to present histories, and this plurality has intensified with the advent of new media and the internet. But the more recent creative turn among historians is not simply a question of different, more imaginative or more daring outputs. The problem … Continue reading History as Creative Practice

Three Definitions of Creative Histories

As the collaboration phase of 'Creative Histories of Witchcraft' comes to an end, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the wider significance of the project as an example of the broader 'creative histories' movement. What are 'creative histories'? In a recent interview with Ann Curthoys, Kiera Lindsey has helpfully summarised two definitions. … Continue reading Three Definitions of Creative Histories

(Re)producing Historical Realities

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Ellie Chadwick to the Creative Histories of Witchcraft team as a producer for upcoming events. Ellie writes: In her book The Archive and The Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas, Diana Taylor points out that performance is ‘not simply an object of analysis’ but also functions as ‘a way … Continue reading (Re)producing Historical Realities

Embodied understandings

Bodily Empathy  In past blogs, I’ve written about writing and empathy, and the creative task of empathising with people we may consider ‘bad’ and behaviours that seem abhorrent. This week, I’m going to explore how empathy might be engaged through physicality and embodiment.  In order to research how performance might be able to transmit knowledge … Continue reading Embodied understandings