Category Archives: Authors

David E. Latané Wins Colby Book Prize for William Maginn and the British Press

Ashgate is proud to announce that David E. Latané, author of William Maginn and the British Press was a joint winner of the Robert and Vineta Colby Scholarly Book Prize 2013, awarded by The Research Society for Victorian Periodicals. The Colby book prize is “awarded to the scholarly books that most advance the understanding of the nineteenth-century British newspaper or periodical press.” As a winner of the prize, Professor Latané will be invited to speak at this year’s RSVP conference being held at the University of Delaware.

William Maginn and the British PressWilliam Maginn and the British Press examines the life and career of political journalist, editor, and writer, William Maginn. Following him from his early days in Ireland, to work in Paris and London, and finally to his decline and incarceration, this fastidious biography is essential reading for nineteenth-century scholars and historians of the book and periodical.

The Robert and Vineta Colby Scholarly Book Prize was endowed in 2006 in memory of Robert Colby by his wife, Vineta. In 2011, after Vineta also passed, the board voted to rename the prize in honor of both of them. Robert and Vineta were long-time members of RSVP and distinguished, contributing scholars to the study of Victorian periodicals. This is the second time in the prize’s history that an Ashgate author has won this award. In 2009 Catherine Waters won for her book, Commodity Culture in Dickens’s Household Words (Ashgate, 2008).

We are pleased to see another Ashgate author honored with this award and congratulate him on his success.

For information on other Ashgate prize winning titles, visit

Ayona Datta on The Intimate City: Violence, Gender, and the ‘Descent Into The Ordinary’ in Delhi

Posted by Katy Crossan, Commissioning Editor

Ayona Datta, author of The Illegal City: Space, Law and Gender in a Delhi Squatter Settlement , will be giving the Urban Geography Plenary Lecture at the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida next week (8-12 April 2014).

Her lecture, The Intimate City: Violence, Gender, and the ‘Descent Into The Ordinary’ in Delhi draws on the accounts of men and women facing the immanent violence of demolition of their homes in Delhi slums to ask what their stories of gendered and sexualized violence within the slums tell us about the ways that violence might be conceived in the city. Ayona will also discuss how the intimate and the urban are linked during the protests across Indian cities after the brutal gang rape of a student in Delhi in 2012  and how the intimate city can be made a part of a wider agenda of urban geography.

The Illegal City was honoured at the Geographical Perspectives on Women Speciality Group (GPOW) book event and nominated for the AAG Meridian Book Award in 2013. Discounted copies will be available for purchase from the Ashgate stand in the conference book exhibition.

The Illegal CityPraise for The Illegal City:

‘At its core, it is an immensely scholarly work that adds substantive and methodological value to urban development studies. It is rich with insights and observations that may lead to further work…’    Times Higher Education

‘This compelling analysis sheds new light on interstices of vulnerability that are often hidden from view or simply neglected and attributed to the “normality” of life among the poor. The Illegal City is immensely smart and will appeal to a wide readership.’    Cecilia Menjivar, Arizona State University, USA

‘The Illegal City is a thought provoking study of the double nature of law as both threat and hope in the lives of people in squatter settlements in a city. Paying close attention to the processes of governmentality through which space is categorized and acted upon, Datta produces an excellent ethnographic account of the fine workings of power and domination that are reproduced within the slum. Especially interesting is the way she tracks the manner in which gender folds into other differences and produces the uneven subjectivities through which law is encountered. This book is theoretically bold and ethnographically well anchored in the lived experiences of the poor.’    Veena Das, Johns Hopkins University, USA

Ayona Datta is Senior Lecturer in Citizenship and Belonging at the University of Leeds and currently co-chair of the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association, UK. Read more about her work on gender, citizenship and urban life on her blog, The City Inside Out.

Clare Rose talks to Claudia Winkleman on “The Great British Sewing Bee”

Posted by Beth Whalley, Marketing Executive

Reality television fans may have recently caught an episode or two of the BBC’s programme, ‘The Great British Sewing Bee,’ in which contestants compete to be named Britain’s best home sewer.

We were delighted to see that Episode 4 featured expert insight from none other than author Clare Rose, who published Making, Selling and Wearing Boys’ Clothes in Late-Victorian England with Ashgate in 2010, as part of the History of Retailing and Consumption series.

In the episode, which focuses on children’s clothing, Clare invites presenter Claudia Winkleman into the heart of her home institution, the Royal School of Needlework, to chat about little boys’ sailor suits. She explains that by the 1870s, tailors were mass-producing the outfits. They were simple to make, robust for daily wear and, importantly, a democratic fashion – every class of child, 9 out of 10 boys, wore sailor suits on a daily basis. Clare also refers to an 1897 Chas Bakers & Co. catalogue, a portion of which was used for the cover of Making, Selling and Wearing Boys’ Clothes. You can watch the episode here for a limited time (Clare appears 13 minutes in).

Making Selling and Wearing Boys Clothes in late Victorian EnglandClare’s book makes use of thousands of unpublished visual documents – including manufacturer’s designs, advertising from shop catalogues, and Dr Barnado’s Homes archives – to link the design and retailing of boys’ clothing with nineteenth-century social, cultural and economic issues. It is a significant piece of research for nineteenth-century historians, but, as this feature on the BBC proves, also ‘has many resonances for twenty-first century debates about children and the consumer market’ (Hugh Cunningham, University of Kent, UK).

Learn more about fashion, textiles and childhood in modern Britain on Clare’s website.

Making Public History, Past and Present

Jennifer WingateThis is a guest blog post in the First World War Centenary series, written by Jennifer Wingate, Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at St. Francis College, USA and author of Sculpting Doughboys (Ashgate, 2013)

The 100th anniversary of World War I coincides with the launching of newly digitized resources that inspire fresh scholarly insights and revisions of the historical narrative.  That same technology also invites the public to contemplate the history of the First World War.  This contemporary public engagement with history parallels that which took place after 1918 when civic groups took it upon themselves to raise money for local memorials.  The U.S. government focused on designing cemeteries abroad, so tributes on home soil were grass roots affairs.  Today, with smartphones acting as extensions of our physical selves, we can take snapshots of local memorials erected almost one hundred years ago, and upload them onto photo sharing sites where they can be categorized by keyword and easily sought out by interested individuals across the country and beyond.

WW1 memorial tree plaque

A memorial tree plaque embedded in the pavement of downtown Brooklyn, walked over daily by thousands of commuters, can reside side by side, in the virtual realm, with a relief stele in Canton, Illinois, a fighting soldier sculpture in the Alliance, Ohio, cemetery, and a neoclassical band shell that serves as the Washington, D.C., World War I Memorial in the nation’s capital (try searching social media sites for #WWI and #memorials).

Doughboy sculpture, Ohio  District of Columbia WW1 Memorial

This is the era of the digital database, and an impressive one called the World War I Memorial Inventory Project is in the works.

If we take the time to look carefully at these sculptures (it was the sculptural memorials that were the focus of my book), we can learn about the nineteen twenties when most World War I memorials were dedicated.  While some are elegant and understated, others are cartoonish looking to twenty-first-century eyes.  Why?  What can these sculptures tell us about women’s roles in the war?  About masculinity in the interwar period?  About African-American soldiers?  About the sculptors who made them?  Or the communities who dedicated them?

These are just some of the questions I tried to answer in my book.  Encouraging students and community members to go out and document and ask questions about this neglected history of community-generated commemoration can enrich the conversation about World War I memory and, ultimately, about how history is made.

Sculpting DoughboysSculpting Doughboys: Memory, Gender, and Taste in America’s World War I Memorials shows why sculptures of ‘doughboys’ (US soldiers during World War I) were in such demand during the 1920s, and how their functions and meanings have evolved. Wingate recovers and interprets the circumstances of the doughboy sculptures’ creation, and offers a new perspective on the complex culture of interwar America and on present-day commemorative practices.

Richard L. Greaves Award Honourable Mention for Tim Cooper’s book: John Owen, Richard Baxter and the Formation of Nonconformity

Posted by Bethany Whalley, Marketing Executive

The Nonconformist church leader and theologian, John Owen (1616-1683), and the Puritan church leader, poet and theologian Richard Baxter (1615-1691) had much in common, but their differing experiences of the English Civil War drew them into a long debate fuelled by mutual dislike.

Author Tim Cooper uses this relationship in his book John Owen, Richard Baxter and the Formation of Nonconformity (Ashgate, 2011) to explore the shaping of nonconformity during the Restoration. He makes the argument that individual experience and fraught private relationships had the power to determine the future of much wider movements – and sometimes hamper their progress.

John Owen Richard Baxter and the formation of nonconformityThe book recently received an ‘Honourable Mention’ in the Richard L. Greaves Award 2013, awarded by the International John Bunyan Society for an outstanding book-length work of scholarship devoted to the history, literature, thought, practices and legacy of Anglophone Protestantism to 1700.

‘This is a dramatic and highly readable account of a poisonous feud between two thin-skinned giants of evangelical protestantism. This dual study not only gives us many new insights into the beliefs and actions of Baxter and Owen but (without taking sides) significantly deepens our understanding of the stress fractures within puritanism that led to the defeat of its hopes and expectations.’   John Morrill, University of Cambridge, UK

Tim CooperAbout the Author: Tim Cooper is Senior Lecturer in the History of Christianity in the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Otago, New Zealand.

More about the Richard L. Greaves Award

More about John Owen, Richard Baxter and the Formation of Nonconformity

A guest post from Bret Rothstein, General Editor of Ashgate’s new series— Cultures of Play, 1300-1700

If we might put the letters but one way,

In the lean dearth of words, what could we say?

– John Donne

Johan Huizinga once suggested that play is older than culture – that it is in fact the source of culture. Taking that idea as its starting point, this series proposes to examine ludic cultures in Europe from the fourteenth through the eighteenth centuries. Our goal in so doing is twofold. First, we aim to tap into a relatively new and important line of scholarly inquiry, one that has begun to concern itself not only with documenting examples of playfulness (to quote the call for proposals, “from backgammon and tops to Papal bulls and theological tractates”), but also with mapping the cultural contours that gave rise to such things.

The timing for such a series seems right: scholars have produced important articles on various objects (e.g., the Bargello Games Board) and ideas (the ethical or moral implications of chess), and some general studies of toys and the like are available. But we have yet to see focused, sustained consideration of the character and range of early modern playfulness as such, from its texts and its objects to its practices and value systems. This series is designed to promote that consideration by providing a venue for scholars from across a range of disciplines to engage in an in-depth dialogue concerning the history of play as a topic in its own right.

This brings me to our second aim, which is to interrogate the historical and intellectual implications of Huizinga’s statement. That is, we hope that this series will result not only in innovative historical research but also continued methodological inquiry concerning what exactly might constitute play in the first place. With that in mind, we welcome submissions from across a broad spectrum of disciplines, including childhood studies, gender studies, history, the history and philosophy of science, languages and literature, material culture studies, performance studies, philosophy, poetics, religious studies, and theater history, as well as the history of art and visual culture. As such a list might suggest, we conceive of play as a subtle and complex phenomenon that rewards interdisciplinary work particularly richly.


Bret RothsteinBret Rothstein is a scholar of visual wit who teaches in the Department of the History of Art at Indiana University, Bloomington.

More information about Cultures of Play, 1300-1700

A guest post from Tim Wales, author of ‘Business School Libraries in the 21st Century’

Tim WalesTim Wales recently joined the University of West London as Director of Library Services. He was previously Head of Library at the London Business School and Associate Director (E-Strategy) at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Business School Libraries in the 21st CenturyThis week sees the formal publication of my new book for Ashgate, Business School Libraries in the 21st Century. A lot has happened since I started writing and editing the book in August 2012 with my fellow contributors around the world, not least the fact that I changed jobs during its final gestation period and moved out of the business school library sector to take on a more general academic library leadership role at The University of West London.

This change has left me feeling somewhat conflicted about the book: depending on my frame of my mind, I see it serving as an effective “capstone” (to use MBA programme jargon) for my time spent leading a business school library with a nice piece of international collaboration to capture the common sets of issues business school libraries around the world are having to confront and deal with.

Or, alternatively, I see it as a “tombstone” for my time in charge at London Business School Library (LBS) – this is because the strategic planning exercise for the Library’s future that I describe in Chapter 12 will continue under the aegis of an interim Head of Library (currently being appointed) reporting to a senior Library Review group. I am not so vain to presume that the future scenarios for the Library that I came up with are the only possible variations and so I will be watching through my fingers as events play out in Regent’s Park in the next 12 months. Two predictions though: 1) the Library’s reporting line in the organisational structure will change from being part of IT (it is always fascinating to discover how many different variations Library reporting lines can throw up around the world) and 2) the Library team will move into the School’s new Sammy Ofer Centre on the Marylebone Road in some shape or form in 2017.

I should also say that I feel very proud to have published my first professional book just as I was proud to have published various professional articles in the past and written a chapter for another Ashgate book on academic libraries for my friend, fellow contributor and business library head, Andy Priestner. Not only do these publications give me ideal testing and demoing metadata for use with Library systems, citation databases and altmetrics, they give me the means to understand the publishing cycle and associated processes for the academic community I support. This in turn gives me a little more professional credibility at a senior level and, crucially, the opportunity to experience at first hand the issues wrapped up in my role as Director of Library Services: academic dissemination and visibility, publisher processes and agreements, open access publishing (OA) not to mention working remotely within a defined virtual subject community internationally to name just a few.

OA in relation to my own situation with this book deserves further brief comment. I remember having discussions with senior managers at LBS regarding how to handle publications of faculty who had since left the School. Should associated metadata and outputs be left in the publications database or not? The scenario did not extend to non-faculty staff who happened to publish as there was no tradition of including such staff in the publications database anyway (I’m deliberately not using the word “repository” by the way). So having carefully chosen a publisher like Ashgate that permits green OA chapter deposits in repositories, but with nowhere now to deposit them as I have left my associated institution, where can I deposit my chapters to fulfil my moral and ethical duties as a librarian? Thankfully, there is a OA refuge for nomadic authors like me in my situation, it’s called OpenDepot. By the way, my book includes a very interesting chapter on the OA situation in France by Agnès Melot and Sophie Forcadell from HEC Paris.

So would I edit such a book again? However good your contributors, it is undoubtedly hard work to keep an eye on all the details all of the times and and it is very easy to lose momentum and interest through the proofing stages. I don’t think I will be able to read the book myself for another two years as I am sick of the sight of the text but also afraid that I will uncover mistakes or omissions! At times, it was like an extension of the day job in terms of managing people over whom you have no formal control but require their co-operation in order to complete a task to a required degree of quality by a certain date. The worst part was having to gently encourage (by email) two prospective contributors to withdraw their draft chapter voluntarily and rewrite it e.g. as a journal article instead, without hurting their feelings or injuring their professional pride.This leads me to think that my next publication will be a sole author work in whatever shape or form.

Why should you read this book? Well, it collates (original) material together which you will not encounter elsewhere, including some primary research and original change management case studies for libraries in the USA, Europe and Asia (like all good MBA courses!) as well as some thought-provoking opinion pieces from respected librarians in the sector. And, as it is emphatically not a “how to be a business librarian” or “how to answer business queries” book, then it has general relevance for senior library professionals and managers working in tertiary education with English as a first or second language. It also has a very touching and personal foreword by the Dean of Harvard Business School, Nitin Nohria, about the importance of academic libraries in his own career which is eminently citable in its own right. Enjoy…

The author writes this blog post in a personal capacity.

The History of Learning Disability

chris-goodey1This is a guest post from Chris Goodey

A group of academics from five separate disciplines – Education, Ancient History, Social Work, English Literature, and a stray teacher of mature students (myself) – have put together a WordPress site which is based on our common interest in conceptual history but which also invites immediate engagement with politics and public affairs. The topic is intellectual disability, or learning disability, or developmental disability, or cognitive disability, or mental handicap, or mental retardation. And that’s just the current usages.

No wonder the conceptual history is deeply problematic – and therefore of deep interest to those involved. For the rest of you, perhaps not. So far. But I do assure you that if you value your status as intelligent people, you will need to know how to defend yourself against the notion that both intellectual disability and “intelligence” itself are not natural kinds but historically contingent ways in which human beings represent themselves to themselves and to each other, and no more. We can’t advise you how to defend yourselves, but at least our shocking notions will reveal the massive nature of the challenge.

My original idea was to create a personal website that would, among other things, reinforce the excellent job Ashgate had done in publishing and marketing my book A History of Intelligence and ‘Intellectual Disability’: The Shaping of Psychology in Early Modern Europe. It soon became clear, though, that a collective effort was both needed and possible, the number of people with a historical research orientation in this field being very small. Tim Stainton, Murray Simpson, Lynn Rose, Patrick McDonagh and I think we have started something that will radically alter present directions in the critical analysis of psychological concepts. WordPress seems the ideal means. Time will tell.

Chris Goodey has held teaching posts at Ruskin College, Oxford, the Open University and the University of London Institute of Education, and is currently an independent consultant working for national and local government services on learning disability in the UK. He is the author of A History of Intelligence and ‘Intellectual Disability’: The Shaping of Psychology in Early Modern Europe

Goodey case_Goodey case‘This timely, daring and challenging book… a phenomenally ambitious, interesting and reflective interdisciplinary history of ideas… assembles some convincing evidence for the processes by which changing sets of ideas, or an accident of historical contingencies, have come to shape allegedly incontrovertible universal truths. At the risk of turning a tautological phrase, this is a highly intellectual history of intellectual disability.’ Medical History

The Greening of Architecture by Phillip James Tabb and A. Senem Deviren

Posted by Fiona Dunford, Marketing Executive

  • What are the five most important steps in the greening of Architecture?
  • Which of the early green design strategies can be considered up-to-date?
  • Who will drive the sustainable movement in the built environment, architects, the clients or government?
  • What are the challenges of green architecture in years to come?

The Greening of ArchitectureThe Greening of Architecture: A Critical History and Survey of Contemporary Sustainable Architecture and Urban Design is an engaging book which breaks new ground – contextualizing the development of sustainability in architecture from its roots on the 1960s to the present day.

Co-author, Phillip Tabb on how he came to be involved in writing this book:

 ‘I was asked to write a chapter in a book entitled ‘A Critical History of Contemporary Architecture’.   My chapter was to be on green architecture. In brainstorming the topic, I came up with the concept of “greening” architecture where sustainability became a process of evolution rather than a thing you stick on a building. So, my chapter in that book became “Greening Architecture: the Impact of Sustainability.” After I completed my first draft of this chapter, many of my reviewers felt that it was very strong and should be made into a book by itself. I contacted Ashgate and they agreed, and I consequently prepared a book proposal, which was accepted. I worked between 8 and 10 hours a day on this book for two and a half years’

Phillip Tabb recently discussed the book in an interview with Paolo Bulletti, for Archinfo, where he gives his responses to the questions above. Read the rest of the interview on Archinfo.

About the Authors: Phillip James Tabb is a Professor in the School of Architecture, Texas A&M University, USA and A. Senem Deviren is an Associate Professor at the School of Architecture, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey.

Contents of the book: Origins of green architecture; 1960s: an environmental awakening; 1970s: solar architecture; 1980s: postmodern green; 1990s: eco-technology; 2000s: sustainable pluralism; The global landscape of green architecture.

More about The Greening of Architecture: A Critical History and Survey of Contemporary Sustainable Architecture and Urban Design

‘How to Rival the Old Masters’ … by David Mayernik

Posted by Fiona Dunford, Marketing Executive

How to Rival the Old Masters’ …

… is the title of David Mayernik’s fascinating guest blog post for Artist Daily.

In the first of his planned series of posts the concept of emulation is explained, including the materials employed. Follow this link to Artist Daily

David Mayernik is a practising artist and architect, and an Associate Professor at the University of Notre Dame’s School of Architecture, USA. His book The Challenge of Emulation in Art and Architecture was published by Ashgate in November 2013.